March 26, 1880 was a quiet Friday night in tiny Galisteo Junction,
N. Mex. (now the town of Lamy). The train from nearby Santa Fe had
come and gone and the railroad agent, his day's work finished,
routinely locked up the depot and set out with a couple of friends
for a short walk.
Suddenly they heard voices which seemed to be coming from the sky.
The men looked up to see an object, "monstrous in size," rapidly
approaching from the west, flying so low that elegantly-drawn
characters could be discerned on the outside of the peculiar
vehicle. Inside, the occupants, who numbered 10 or so and looked
like ordinary human beings, were laughing and shouting in an
unfamiliar language and the men on the ground also heard music
coming from the craft. The craft itself was "fish-shaped" -- like a
cigar with a tail -- and it was driven by a huge "fan" or propeller.
As it passed overhead one of the occupants tossed some objects from
the car. The depot agent and his friends recovered one item almost
immediately, a beautiful flower with a slip of fine silk-like paper
containing characters which reminded the men of designs they had
seen on Japanese chests which held tea.
Soon thereafter the aerial machine ascended and sailed away toward
the east at high speed.
The next morning searchers found a cup -- one of the items the
witnesses had seen thrown out of the craft but had been unable to
locate in the darkness.
"It is of very peculiar workmanship," the Santa Fe Daily New Mexican
reported, "entirely different to anything used in this country."
The depot agent took the cup and the flower and put them on display.
Before the day was over, however, this physical evidence of the
passage of the early unidentified object had vanished.
In the evening a mysterious gentleman identified only as a
"collector of curiosities" appeared in town, examined the finds,
suggested they were Asiatic in origin and offered such a large sum
of money for them that the agent had no choice but to accept. The
"collector" scooped up his purchases and never was seen again.