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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 Evening Times, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, page 6, April 17, 1897.

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

Waterloo, Iowa April 17 - This region is much excited over an airship or a large vessel designed to leave the impression that it is a flying machine.

It was first observed here at dawn yesterday [April 16, 1897]. The stranger in charge says it is a flying machine and he landed here to make some repairs and that he will resume his voyage in the air to-day. He keeps all people at a distance of several hundred yards from the machine and therefore many do not credit his story, but think it is a fake designed to create a sensation.

Just what object the man has to gain is a mystery, as he has not asked for money from the hundreds who have visited the field to take a look at the thing.

The structure is about 40 feet long (13 meters), constructed like a giant cigar, with wing-like attachments on the sides and a steering apparatus in the rear.

The whole is surmounted by a cupola, or lookout cabin, on the roof. The queer craft appears to be built of canvas and to be heavily varnished.

A pipe leading from the cone constantly emits vapor, as if the motive power were steam. The man in charge is a stranger hereabouts and carries a rifle to keep the people from too closely examining the machine. He secured permission from the farmer upon whose land he is to keep the machine there for a few days.

The man says he is on a voyage around the world but was forced to alight for repairs and that if the people do not believe he can fly through the air they can wait and he will give them a free exhibition.

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