This article was published in the daily newspaper The Courier, Algona, Iowa, Friday April 16, 1897.
Warning: the airship stories must not be taken at face value as "UFO sightings." Evaluation of such stories is under way here.
BANCROFT NEWS IN BRIEF
The Mysterious Air Schooner the Talk Of the Town
Well, the air ship; your correspondent has at last been waked up from his lethargy by its wonderful appearance. Last Saturday night [April 10, 1897] at about 9 o'clock, the mysterious air motor appeared to the citizens of the hitherto skeptical little city, called Bancroft, and while a few ridiculed the object that so wonderfully glided away from us, the majority watched with increasing interest, and some not content with seeing it out of sight, hastened to the telephone office to alarm Swea City toward which it floated against the wind. Mr. Stone dropped his instrument as soon as air ship was heard and ran forth to look. Lo, it was at hand and passed rapidly by to the south of him.
Our operator then called Armstrong by which time it was passing just south of town on a south-westerly course very rapidly. Mr. Calvin immediately called Estherville who failed at first to see it but soon discovered the wonder north-west of them at the time Armstrong saw it south of them, so the meteor theory advanced by smart alecks has no ground at all – simply gaseous foundation to stand upon. We hear many haw-haws and much heated debating on the subject by old and young. Your correspondent, however, hasn't much to say. He believes in the air ship though, you may say to those who have the courage to say they have seen it.