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For 70 years Superman has been flying around, seeming to violate the basic laws of Newtonian Physics, specifically Law #3 – For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When he was young he could leap over his parents garage but when he grew up he was able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound. Later, when more mature he was chasing jet airplanes around the sky seemingly without any propulsive force.

Superman flying in formation with a 747

Superman flying faster than a 747 Jet without flapping his cape.

Picture by Gus from supermanfanart.com

It didn’t make physical sense because no matter how powerful his initial leap was he wouldn’t be able to change direction or speed up or slow down without some form of reactive force.

Superman flying

Superman by Van Cordle shows him flying over a Metropolis in his typical pose. Cape back.

(See more Van Cordle paintings.)

That lack of visible propulsive force was perplexing me so I started looking for one. There were sometimes streaks behind him but they appeared to be just blur lines showing movement and not causal forces creating movement. Then I checked out the possibility that he was somehow flapping his cape rather like a butterfly might flap its wings. But that wouldn’t work because the cape was invariably being flapped itself by his moving through the wind so it couldn’t be the cape flapping to move the wind and propel him forward.

It has been said that he moved by will power alone but that obviously must be nonsense for physical travel through physical reality, because the will is wholly within the mind and not flying through the physical air. Because many people reportedly saw Superman flying, he clearly wasn’t just a willful mental hallucination. There was something which could be seen by many other people especially those hopeful of being rescued. But even more important he was clearly seen by hostile viewers. This point about hostile and unwilling viewers is important. See Trustworthiness TST~14 (agreement of observation by numerous hostile viewers who are held accountable for their observations). Even these hostile viewers who didn’t want to be seeing Superman come their way were in fact seeing him and being forced to interact with him against their will and were being held accountable for their actions. This is the highest proof of trustworthiness of information; it is even better than one’s own personal eye-witnessing of an event because it is too easy to deceive a single mind which is eager for some particular thing to be a fact. So because his flying meets this highest standard of trustworthiness we must accept it as if it is true if we are to move on with any logical analysis.

We must ask the question, are there any observable actions consistently performed by Superman as he is flying about? Especially relevant, are there actions associated with his speeding up and slowing down? We already mentioned that his cape was flapping when he was cruising along but it obviously wasn’t the motive power. Almost always, however, when he is taking off, changing direction or coming in for a landing, he is changing the position of his arms. When he wants to accelerate he holds his arms up above his head in the direction he wants to go and when he is landing he holds his arms down just out from his waist a bit with his feet pointed towards the ground. When he is on the ground his arms come fully to his sides.

Superman descending

Superman RETURNS to Earth in his descending position. Notice the cape flutters up.

(Superman Returns from Warner Bros pictures.)

That arm position appears to be the key to this problem. The superhero Spiderman has stuff squirt out of his wrist squirter and it should now be obvious that Superman has stuff squirt out of his armpits. It would have to be some sort of energetic physical matter to create the reactive propulsive force required to lift this heavy man (reported to be a man of steel-like qualities) off the ground and high into the air. It would have to be invisible also or people would have been noticing it every time he flew around. In fact many times people did inquire as to how he was able to fly and they were watching carefully to learn his secret. The problem will resolve itself if we answer some simple physical questions.

Captain Marvel and Superman pose in front of US flag

Superman keeps his pits closed when Captain Marvel opens his.

(Go to SupermanTV.net for more.)

What comes out of armpits that is powerful and invisible? Everyone knows the answer to that question and it is totally reasonable that Superman would have super powerful armpits. Thus, when he raised his arms a jet of super powerful but unseen gases would exit rapidly from his armpits and the reactive force would propel him through the air. When he chose to descend he pointed his feet toward where he wanted to land and held his arms out horizontally which would be directing this powerful force downward and that would slow him down and when he approached the ground he would pull his arms in close to his sides and in doing so turn off the force. With his arms clamped to his sides, as in the picture above, his heavy weight would hold him firmly on the ground. It all becomes so obvious when you analyse the problem by finding the unusual element and pursuing it to its logical end.

This analysis solves another problem which adds corroborative support to this theory. Why did Superman lose his powers whenever Kryptonite was near him? It’s easy to understand now—it’s because Kryptonite is an underarm deodorant!