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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 Courier-Herald, Saginaw, Michigan, Friday, April 16, 1897.

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


Passed Over the Valley at an Early Hour This Morning


Believed to Have Come Down Near Essexville

Of a Conical Shape and Having Red Lights

Bay City, April 16 -- At about 12:30 this morning while several residents of Bay City were returning from a lodge meeting in west Bay City, they noticed a large object approaching from the south, high up in the air. At first it looked like a flying cloud, but as the sky was overcast by a dull thick haze, it was soon apparent that the floating body was not a cloud but it was a substantial thing of material existence. As it approached it appeared to gradually lower itself and when it reached Center Street, it did not seem to be over 50 feet high. There was a red light at either end. It seemed to be traveling at a rapid rate when first seen. But slowed up gradually as it neared Bay City. From the descriptions given, the airship was from 50 to 75 feet long, perhaps one-third as wide. It shone with a dull red glow, as if there were lights on the upper side. In shape it was conical and no mode of propulsion was visible to the terrestrial observers.

As the ship passed on to Essexville it seemed to suddenly sink toward the ground and from all appearances it descended to earth not very far north of Bay City. It was too late in the morning to send messengers in that direction to find out whether the airship landed or not.

The airship seen in Bay City passed over Saginaw shortly after midnight this morning, and the description as given by those who saw it is substantially the same as that received from Bay City. It had the appearance of a cloud when first seen here and was not very bright. While passing Saginaw it kept a course due north, though it seemed to approach this city from a southwesterly direction and then change its course as it neared Saginaw.

The sources from which the information comes are entirely authentic and there can be no doubt that the mysterious object, whatever it is, passed over the city. It was going at a terrific rate of speed and soon disappeared from sight to the north.

According to late reports from different parts of the country, the strange messenger is a real airship, operated by some of its inventors, who are simply making a trial trip and who have already made applications for patents. The principle on which it is constructed is that of the parallel plane and it is operated by steam.

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