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UFOs in the daily Press:

Airship stories in the US Press:

This article was published in the daily newspaper The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, Monday, April 12, 1897.

Warning: the airship stories must not be taken at face value as "UFO sightings." Evaluation of such stories is under way here.


Thousands of People of Milwaukee Observe a Monster of the Air Over the Court House

Milwaukee, Wis., April 11. (Special) .-- Prof. Hough and his theory that the supposed airship is the star Alpha Orionus don't stand as high in the minds of thousands of citizens of this city tonight. They have seen the wonder and are convinced that it is a machine which navigates the air, and not a star which has been wandering around for 10,000,000 or more years through space without an object or destination. The strange machine made its first appearance in the wee small hours this morning. It was not seen by many at that time, but the few who did see it are convinced that it is a machine. The lights which appeared on it seemed to move backwards and forwards toward each other, as if signaling to the earth.

It was first seen on the northern horizon, and about the only persons who were up at the time and who were not seeing things double, were a few newspapermen, police officers, and a guard at the House of Correction. All of these are willing to make oath they saw an airship come from the north a little before the break of daylight and that it disappeared again, reversing itself, and fading from view in the north.

Tonight the stranger made its appearance again in the heavens about 9 o'clock. It came from the northeast from out over the lake. There was no possibility of a mistake this time. Thousands of people saw it, and in a few minutes they were following the machine as it floated over the city. It traveled towards the southwest until it reached a point directly over the City Hall, where it stopped for a quarter of an hour. Then the excitement in the downtown districts became intense. It was reported and said that attempts were being made to anchor the machine.

A Mr. Meyer, a traveling man, had a field glass ranged on the machine and said he distinctly saw four men in it. Station keeper Harry Moore of the Central Police Station saw it distinctly and was one of the few who did not at the same time lose his head. He says:

"The machine, or whatever it was, anchored or stopped directly over the city hall. The light, which I saw, was suspended from a large dark oval-shaped object, the shadow of which could be distinctly seen. In fact, it could be seen so plainly that I could discern the wheels working. I did not see anyone in it, but any one who claims that the thing I saw floating over city hall is a star simply don't know what he is talking about. I saw it too distinctly to be fooled. It was, I should judge, about 1,000 feet above the city hall."

After hovering about for fifteen minutes it went back and disappeared in the northeast.

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