Sunday, July 7, 2019

Attaches a Balloon to the Warship of the Air -- July 7, 2019

San Francisco Call, 28-November-1896
There were many sightings of unidentified flying objects in the United States during the late 1890s. I wonder what people saw. The Cuban junta may have been the Cuban Revolutionary Party, founded by José Martí. Martí was killed in battle in 1896. No one seems very concerned about the inventor proposing to destroy Havana. The "Normal student" who was at Mrs Young's house was studying to be a teacher at what is now San Jose State University.  A "boniface" is someone who runs a restaurant or a hotel.

This is our seventh report from the San Francisco Call.

18-November-1895: "Claim They Saw a Flying Airship"
23-November-1896: "The Great Airship That is Startling the People of Many Cities"
24-November-1896: "The Apparition of the Air"
25-November-1896: "Mission of the Aerial Ship"
26-November-1896: "The Mystery Again Seen at the Capital"
27-November-1896: "It Is to Be Used to Destroy the City of Havana"

Aerial Lights Cross the
Vision of Prominent
Hart Takes Some of His
Professional Friends Into
His Confidence.
The Public May Be Given an Aerial View of the
Great Mystery of the Day at a Pre-
arranged Time and Place.

Interest in the great aerial mystery continues without sign of abatement. It still furnishes the main theme of discourse in all circles. Many are ready to make oath and stake all their earthly possessions that a veritable flying-ship has been hovering above the earth in this vicinity, while the scoffers are also in evidence, equally vociferous and insistent.

As yet, however, nothing has transpired that can be accepted as either positive proof or disproof of the existence of an aerial voyager, operated and controlled by human inventive genius.

San Jose has furnished one of the most interesting reports of the mysterious aerial lights that have yet been published. The strange moving illumination was seen there by a number of men of the highest standing in the community, and the description of the phenomenon given by them is both vivid and clear.

General Hart now states that the inventor is a cousin of the electrician of General Antonio Maceo, commander of the patriot forces in Cuba. He also contributes much additional information relative to the reputed warship of the air and has promised to intercede with the inventor to have the invention appear at a prearranged time and place for the purpose of gratifying the deep and widespread curiosity of the public.

The Well-Known San Jose Educator Scrutinizes the Mysterious Flier
and Gives the Result of a Calm Examination.

SAN JOSE, Cal., Nov. 27.— An interesting account of the mysterious moving light which passed over this city Thursday evening, and which is supposed to be attached to an airship, is given by Professor H. B. Worcester, president of the Garden City Business College. Professor Worcester resides with his family in East San Jose. To a Mercury reporter who asked him regarding the strange light, he said:

"There was a small party at my house in East San Jose on Thanksgiving day and dinner was prolonged until about 7 o'clock in the evening. The company then repaired to the front of the house to enjoy some music and I went into the rear yard to get a lantern. I happened to lookup and saw several miles away, apparently about over College Park or Santa Clara, a large light moving rapidly toward San Jose. In a second I surmised it was the mysterious light which people had seen and which was supposed to be attached to an airship. In order to call the attention of those in the house to the same I ran round the house to save time and called out that the airship was passing. Everybody rushed out into the front yard.

"Within the time it had taken me to run around the house the light had changed its course from east to southwest and had traveled several miles and was in a line over the southern portion of San Jose. The entire party saw the moving light and saw it go west, then turn south and then change to southeast Wo watched the light until it disappeared behind the horizon.

"When the ship turned to the southeast I could distinguish two lights, one behind the other. The single light first seen was about the size of an engine headlight and had more the appearance of a large incandescent light than anything else. It was moving at the rate of from 60 to 100 miles an hour and it was only a few moments before it had disappeared behind the horizon.

"There were three things regarding the light which impressed me, viz.: Its velocity, its regular movement and its apparent intelligent control. The motion of . the light would suggest the alternate flapping of wings.

"I have seen many fire-balloons, but the light I saw had none of the characteristics of such a toy. Its velocity was too great for a balloon on such a still night and its movements too regular. The light was about 1500 feet high when first seen and may have continued at that elevation, but it appeared to lower as it disappeared on the horizon."

Professor Worchester stated that his party consisted of Professor M. S. Cross of the University of the Pacific, Mrs. Dr. Allen, Mrs. Colonel Moore, Miss Annie Chase, Harry Worcester and himself. All of these, he said, saw the mysterious light and expressed their belief that it was under intelligent control. Among others who saw the sight was a party at Belle Vista, near Alum Rock, composed of Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Baker, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rengstorff of Mountain View, Mr. and Mrs. Bert M. Babcock and Mr. and Mrs. Elton.

SAN JOSE, Cal., Nov. 27. -- John Bawl, a farmer who bears the reputation of being practical and unimaginative, declares that he saw the airship in flight over his residence in East San Jose, on Monroe street, near Franklin, Thursday evening and though it was moving rapidly and was at a considerable altitude. he was able to plainly distinguish its general outline and most striking features. He describes the great winged ship with vividness and realism. His wife and family corroborate his story.

"I was standing in the rear of my residence about 7 o'clock, or shortly before that," be said, "when my attention was attracted by some bright object in the sky about 150 yards distant, and bearing rapidly toward me from the northwest. I looked at it closely and observed it was lunging about from side to side, sometimes swerving sharply to one side, but always maintaining a general southwesterly direction. It occurred to me that this was the famous airship, and I shouted lustily to my family and they all witnessed It as it came over our residence. It was so high up I could form no very definite idea of its size.

"It had a pair of wings which were constantly flapping not from side to side like a bird's, but with more of a forward and downward motion. Beneath it several feet hung a ball of red light which lit up the bottom of the ship and sent its rays far down below it. At the front was a cone-shaped projection which I surmised was a windbreak. The vessel lunged badly and once made a beeline to the west, but regained its course again. It varied in height considerably during the time I watched it. Its speed I judged to be about that of an electric-car doing its best."

Mrs. Bawl tells a similar story of the strange voyager of the air.

General Hart May Give the Public
an Aerial Exhibition of the

Ex-Attorney-General W. H. H. Hart came a step nearer to disclosing the name of the inventor of the reputed successful airship yesterday He also gave many new details regarding the marvel, and promised to confer with the inventor with the object of bringing the wonder of the air within the observation of the public at a prearranged time and place.

"Interest in the airship, general," remarked the reporter to the legal captain of the aerial warship, "continues unabated, and the public are anxiously awaiting more definite news in reference to it. They are demanding something more tangible than aerial lights at night."

"I am sorry that I am still unable to tell you all you want to know. I can tell you this, however: The inventor is a cousin of John Linn, the electrician of the Cuban patriot general, Antonio Maceo. Linn is now, of course, in Cuba, but was formerly a resident of Chicago, and is an American citizen. The inventor is not a Californian, but came here, owing to our favorable climate, to make tests of and perfect his machine."

"It is admitted that the power problem is the great one in aerial navigation, and in view of this a detailed description of the Fargo storage battery which you state is to be used on the improved and remodeled craft would be interesting," suggested the reporter.

"I would be glad to comply with your suggestion, but we have only made application for a patent for this storage battery in this country, and to expose its composition and construction would interfere with the procuration of foreign patents on it. I reiterate, however, that of my own knowledge I know that the Fargo storage battery has sufficient capacity to furnish power for a flying-ship, if the latter can be constructed to fly at all. This arrangement is different from all other methods that have been heretofore tried. No acids are used at all, and it will store electricity in any amperage and voltage. A 20-horsepower battery to run ten hours can be made to weigh 150 pounds, and to run six hours the battery would need to weigh not more than 100 pounds. Tests have been made which prove this. The man who invented the battery is not the man who invented the airship."

"Why not have the inventor, in order so satisfy public curiosity, bring his winged craft over a certain place at a certain time, giving him sufficient latitude for delays and baffling air currents? His programme could be announced through you to the public. He would thus run no risk of identification, nor would his invention be in danger of being exposed. Such an arrangement would be most gratifying to the public, and would, at the same time, most conclusively substantiate all the claims made on his behalf."

"He don't care to submit his invention to the public, and is perfectly indifferent to what the public thinks. I have an arrangement to see him on Monday, how ever, and will then endeavor to have him carry out the plan. When I last saw him he said be was going south to test his machine in the higher altitudes. He is experimenting on the difference between the heavy atmosphere near the ocean and the lighter air on elevated plains. You see he is preparing to carry out precisely what I have said in reference to Havana. I know he can and will do it, and he is not going to give out a description of his invention until he makes the attempt on Havana. I am quite convinced he will be at Havana within sixty days with one of those ships equipped to do what he says it can do."

"This plan, then, of destroying Havana is a preconceived idea of his?"

'Certainly; and he came out here to work it oat. I did not know him before he came to me on this matter, though I know his friends."

"Have you had my applications to sell stock in connection with this invention?"

'No, and there is none to sell. I asked my client if he wanted to sell any stock and he said no. He added that be had all the money he wanted, and did not care to take in any person or organize any company for the present. This was the only thing that gave me the impression that he might be off his pins. He is the first man I have struck of that kind in California. But I am quite convinced that he is not crazy nor a crank. He is thoroughly cool and logical in all be says, and his entire conduct is such as to inspire perfect confidence in his invention and faith in what he says."

In response to an inquiry as to how he looked, General Hart said he has a dark complexion and bears considerable resemblance to Arion, now performing at the Chutes

Discloses New and Important Features
of the Aerial Mystery to
Professional Friends.

General Hart told a cluster of friends, principally professional men, gathered in the Supreme Court rooms yesterday something more about the airship which his client has in view. "My client says that he has built one airship and has successfully navigated it," said General Hart. "The first ship cost him $15,000. He says that he will now construct a second airship in the locality of Bolinas and that the expense will be $30,000.

"So far as I know, the second ship will resemble the first. I am now willing to make public some more facts concerning the general structure of the ship which has been operated in this locality recently. The sustaining power is supplied from gas tanks, which are in the hull of the vessel and which are connected with the balloon which flies over the airship by a pipe.

When the inventor wants to go up higher be lets more gas into the balloon out of the tanks, which are filled with condensed gas.

"When the inventor wants to fly lower he simply opens a valve in the balloon and the contrivance naturally descends, just as an ordinary balloon does. It appears to me that the unsafe part of the whole contrivance is this reliance upon the balloon, which is all that keeps the ship up. If the balloon would fail down would go the ship. For this reason I am frank to say I would not care to take a ride in the airship. Do I believe that the airship actually exists? Why, certainly !

"The inventor says that he has traveled 120 miles in the air in about six and a half hours, which is a little over twenty miles per hour. His storage battery he uses for power only to propel his airship when he is sailing against the wind. When he is running with the wind or a few points off he needs no power, but naturally drifts, just as a balloon would.

"I believe that four pounds of dynamite thrown vertically downward from the deck of the airship would make terrific havoc among an enemy gathered below the ship. The dynamite throwing could be done most easily by hand. All that would be necessary would be simply to drop it.

"The condensed gas serves no purpose except to raise the airship. It has nothing to do with propelling it in any other direction.

"It may or may not be possible for my client's airship to sail the air from Key West to Havana. He thinks that it is possible. Whenever be arrives in Cuba his power would be nearly exhausted. Therefore it would be necessary for him to have a Cuban base of power supply. The location may be something like thirty miles from Havana. That would seem to me to be about the proper distance."

Observations by a Clever Watcher
of the Mysterious Light.

The following communication has been received:

Editor Call — Dear Sir: As public attention is at present very much taken up with the recent appearances of a strange light in the heavens here and in neighboring places, I venture to offer one or two observations made by myself personally on the occasion of the appearance of the strange light in the western sky some few nights ago, which attracted so much attention among our citizens. These observations you may take for what you may think them worth, merely prefacing my remarks by saying that in years gone by I made somewhat of a study of astronomy, and took quite an interest in the heavenly bodies and their movements.

On the night in question I was one of a group of persons stationed near the edge of the sidewalk in front of the Flood building, southwest corner Fourth and Market streets, watching a strange bright light in the western heavens. At first it seemed to me as though I had sometimes seen the evening star look nearly as large and bright, and so I remarked to a gentleman in my immediate vicinity. But a closer observation seemed to show that it had not the steady and serene rays that mark the light of a planet. It was observed for brief intervals from time to time, and its altitude when I first observed it seemed to negative the idea of any terrestrial obstruction.

I then decided to make a practical test and take the bearings from some fixed object, taking the small building with its turret-like cone that forms a gore at the south side of Eddy street, at its junction with Market, and maintaining my position by a telegraph-pole at the edge of the sidewalk.

The light appeared to be in a straight line from where I stood with a point directly over the aforesaid turret-llke roof that crowns the gore at the southwest corner of Eddy and Market streets. I soon observed that the light moved from over the point of the roof in an easterly and northerly direction, until at last it had crossed the path In the sky corresponding to the width of Eddy street, when it disappeared around the corner of the Baldwin Hotel.

The gentleman above referred to observed the same thing, and remarked that by stepping backward he could see it again. This test proved conclusively to my mind that the light observed was not that of a planet, for If any one ever saw Venus or any other planet travel from the westward in a north-easterly direction he must have observed a phenomenon not recorded in ancient or modern times.

You may insert the above, if you deem it of sufficient interest, in your valuable paper.
Yours respectfully, Austin R. Reid,
219 Geary street, City.

Prominent Citizens See What They
Believe to Be Lights of the
Aerial Destroyer.

MODESTO, Cal., Nov. 27.— Residents in the northern part of this city were treated to a sight of what was undoubtedly the flying machine at 10:30 o'clock last night.

J. E. Ward, cashier of the First National Bank, discovering what he believed to be the lights of the flying machine, aroused his neighbors, all reputable men, among whom were County Treasurer W. A. Downer, Deputy Treasurer W. B. Bell, C. P. Schafer, the bookkeeper of the First National Bank, Armory L. J. Maddux and others. The lights were seen at a considerable height, going in a northwesterly direction toward Stockton. The lights moved steadily and at an even height from the ground.

Sighted Near Mount Tacoma—Varicolored Flashes.

TACOMA, Wash., Nov. 27 — The airship phenomenon which has startled San Francisco has appeared here. Several reputable people have observed it. They believe it is an airship and that the inventor has either made two models and set one up in this neighborhood or was taking an evening spin from California to Puget Sound. The airship seen here resembles that described by California witnesses in every particular. It possesses the same birdlike shape and moves swiftly with an up and down wavelike motion, varied occasionally by a dart forward and some times in slanting directions.

Last Tuesday night the operator of the airship is believed to have visited and explored the top of Mount Tacoma. Tuesday night Druggist George St. John closed his drugstore on Pacific avenue at 11:30 and went home. He reached his residence on Tacoma avenue fifteen minutes later and soon retired. It was a beautiful moonlight night and the window curtains a few feet away from the bed were left up.

Just about 12 o'clock Mrs. St. John saw the strange light and called her husband's attention to it. It appeared to be high up in the heavens east of Mount Tacoma and moving in a southeasterly direction. The distance from Tacoma must have been at least fifty miles. They watched the heavenly stranger over half an hour. They first saw it through a north window in their room, but after a while could see it through a window several feet further south without having changed their positions. This proves that the airship traveled a long distance during the time they were watching it.

Mr. St. John says that vari-colored lights were shot forth in ail directions. They were emitted from each end and both sides. Sometimes the light at one end or one side would be cut off. Some of the lights were white, others red, blue and green. These four shades were distinctly visible. When all the lights were shining the aerial monster seemed incased in a brilliant glow, having the appearance of a powerful electric searchlight. The size then seemed to be that of an arc light. It flashed often, sending the various colored rays shooting out from the center in every direction like spokes in the hub of a wheel. Sometimes it had a wavering motion and swayed back and forth in its course through the heavens like a vessel at sea in a storm, but the undulating motion was its chief course, being varied by frequent dartings.

The moonlight was not strong enough to permit a distinct view of Mount Tacoma, but the airship was seen to approach the neighborhood of the mountain at what seemed to be its exact height, and dart hither and thither as if an exploration was in progress.

The supposed airship was still in sight when Mr. and Mrs. St. John became tired of watching it and went to sleep. They spoke of the strange occurrence to many friends next day, but what they had witnessed was not made public until to-day. They have eagerly read accounts of the California airship, and declare that what they saw must have been the same or an exactly similar contrivance.

Hundreds of people are on the lookout here for another appearance of the airship.

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