Thursday, February 7, 2019

Claim They Saw a Flying Airship -- February 7, 2019

San Francisco Call, 18-November-1896
There were many sightings of unidentified flying objects in the United States during the late 1890s. I wonder what people saw. Last month we saw a later report about this particular airship:

Strange Tale of Sacramento Men Not Addicted to Prevarication.
Viewed an Aerial Courser as It Passed Over the City at Night.
Declare They Heard Voices of Those Aboard Join d in Merry Chorus.

SACRAMENTO, Cal., Nov. 17.— A vast amount of excitement was created among residents in the outskirts of the city to-night by the appearance of what they claim to have been an airship, which, seemingly under perfect control, passed over the city, going in the direction of San Francisco. The sky was obscured by heavy clouds and it was impossible to ascertain the shape and size of the aerial conveyance, presuming it to be such, but the onlookers followed its course by the lights displayed, which were about twice the brilliancy and size of an arc light.

In speaking of the appearance of the reputed airship, an eye-witness of undoubted veracity said: "When my attention was called to the traveling light it was, I should judge, about 1000 feet high, but as it approached the city limits it arose to probably an elevation of 2000 feet. When I first saw it, it was approaching from a northeasterly direction, and on arriving at the city limits it bore off to the south until past the city, when it turned toward the southwest as if resuming its course toward San Francisco.

"When the airship passed over the streetcar company's barn, a crowd of the employes came out, and they claim that they distinctly heard people's voices singing in a chorus, a rattling song, which gradually died away in the distance. The lights of this mysterious visitant were visible for upward of thirty minutes, until they passed out of sight."

A lineman in the employ of the Postal Telegraph service claims to have seen the same visitant about 9 o'clock in the vicinity of Suisun on Sunday evening. The impression here seems to be that some one has solved the mystery of aerial navigation, and is conducting his experiments at night in order to escape impertinent curiosity.

Men in charge of East Park, which lies outside the city limits, state that as the airship passed over the park the voices of men, who seemed to be disputing as to whether they should cause their conveyance to rise higher, could be heard. The lights then rose rapidly into the air and passed on.

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