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UFOs in the daily Press:

The airship stories in the 1897 US Press:

This article was published in the daily newspaper The New York Times, June 3, 1897.

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

The discovery of an airship farm in the wilderness of Illinois (whether within or without the municipal boundaries of Chicago is not specified) will surprise no one except a few having some knowledge of the etymology of the word "farm". It has not been generally used hitherto to describe a place where artisans are employed in manufacturing. But the English language is growing as rapidly as Chicago itself, and we have had a great variety of farms lately, including "poor farms," not actually designed for the cultivation of poverty, and cat and dog farms, where canine and feline household pets are taken in and done for. Wherefore the "airship farm" will not cause much disturbance among sensible philologists.

Octave Chanute is said to be supervisor of this new industrial enterprise, and the only printed account of it we have seen gravely associates with him HIRAM MAXIM, in the capacity of airship farmhand. Like most enterprises in or near Chicago, whether "farms" artistic "movements," or wheat corners, this is "backed" by a syndicate of capitalists. The situation of the "farm" is kept secret, and the only explorer who has discovered it and returned to civilization alive seems to have gone there in such a blindfolded and tangle footed condition that his testimony is somewhat bewildering. Hitherto, the builders of airships have courted rather than shunned the bright sunshine of publicity. They have, in fact, done rather more talking than flying. It seems hardly credible, therefore, that men engaged in inventing flying machines should care to prosecute their labors in silence and seclusion. No result of the operations on the farm worth mentioning is recorded. The almost forgotten airship that floated over some of the Middle Western States a few weeks ago, did not originate there. The weather is so cool and bracing that we could scarcely realize that Summer is upon us, and work begun on the innumerable "silly season fake" farms, if it were not for lucid newspaper narratives such as this.

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