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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, Wednesday, April 7, 1897.

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


Watch It Sail Back and Forth at an Altitude of Three-Quarters Of a Mile

Omaha, Neb., April 6. – {Special} – Several hundred Omaha people insist that they saw an airship last night. The whole town is talking about it today and the local press is devoting much space to the matter. Several crowds witnessed it.

Fifty members of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben were treated to a sight of the airship, it being observed twice, and each time for a space of from five to eight minutes. At 9 o'clock, while the initiation was in progress, the attention of a few members was attracted by a bright light flashing past the west windows of the den. They immediately sprang to the window and saw a luminary appearing at least eighteen inches in diameter, the reflection from which passed along what appeared to be a steel body, the length of which could only be estimated at from twelve to thirty feet.

The object was at an altitude of about three-quarters of a mile and a little over a mile west of the den. The course of the ship was watched for some five or six minutes. Its course was due south until it reached as near as could be judged about the southern limits of South Omaha, the distance from the den being covered in about three minutes It then described a semi-circle to the east, following that direction for about a mile, when it turned to the north against the northeast wind, and traveled in that direction about half a mile. It then turned east, after some vacillation, and was lost behind a bank of clouds.

The Knights returned to the den and after the initiation, while waiting for the cars, the ship was again seen far to the southwest, but beating rapidly up against the wind to the north, and passed out of sight to the north.

Among the various people who saw it and permitted the use of their names as witnesses were these business men: O.D. Kiplinger, W.I. Hawks, H.K. Burket, A. Hospe Jr., Gould Dietz, L.P. Funkhauser, and Arthur Guiou. The airship was seen by W.H. Newville, a conductor on the Harney Street line, who stopped his car and called the dozen passengers out to see it.

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