This article was published in the daily newspaper The Gazette, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Thursday, April 15, 1897.
Warning: the airship stories must not be taken at face value as "UFO sightings." Evaluation of such stories is under way here.
Strange Moving Lights in the Heavens
A TOY BALLOON Said to Have Been One of the Objects Which Created Much Comment—Reputed Air Ship Seen at Kendalville, Ind. And Sturgis
These must be interesting times for astronomers, as not a night passes that some new moving object does not make its appearance in the heavens. Even right here in Kalamazoo last night there were two airships, comets, balloons, or some other light carrying object, bobbing around in the heavens. The GAZETTE telescope man is away on a vacation, or this story would state which one of the aerial floaters was the toy balloon sent up by the EVENING NEWS editors as their newly discovered airship. Between 8 and 9 o'clock it is reported that this mysterious ship was sent floating heavenward from the bluff on the west side of the city. It went north and a little west and nearly disappeared from sight and then seemed to return and appeared much larger. As it turned around it displayed different colors. Hundreds of people saw it and wondered what it was. Those who knew it was a toy balloon were silent listeners to the remarks of the sky gazers. It was expected that the same object which was seen Monday evening at about 8 o'clock would appear again last night. It probably did, but not until about 11 o'clock when it was noticed in the southwest and seemed to be moving in a wavering route nearly westward. The GAZETTE men saw it and watched it for half an hour. A number of Odd Fellows who were at Burr Oak hall also saw it and watched it disappear in the west at 11:45 o'clock. It bobbed about but kept the same general course. This may have been the toy balloon, but dispatches from Kendalville, Ind., and Sturgis, Mich., state that the same object was seen there between 9 and 10 o'clock moving in a northwesterly direction. Its color varied and would entirely disappear for a brief period of time and then appear brighter than ever in a slightly different place.