For years there has been a story of a man, Gustave Whitehead in Connecticut who may have flown a powered plane in 1901, two years before the Wright Bros flight.
Some years back, there was a replica built and shown at Oshkosh.
It was a strange looking thing, with the bottom or fuselage part being almost exactly like a boat. It looked like you could remove the wings and row it out on the lake.
The wings were sort of bat like and were set above the boat part.
Anyway it was interesting, but certainly didn't fly at EAA.
The consensus as far as I recall was that the story was interesting , but no real proof of flight.
Now the story has arisen again on another site. There is claimed to be a picture of it in flight in 1901, buit it looks photoshop to me.
I don't put much stock in it, but there is a lot to read.
One thing we know about the Wrights, that with pretty much the same design as the first flight airplane, they went on to make and fly planes the could not only hop,but fly controlled circuits and carry a passenger, and they did it not only here but in Europe.