This article was published in the daily newspaper The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, USA, on april 12, 1897.
Warning: the airship stories must not be taken at face value as "UFO sightings." Evaluation of such stories is under way here.
MAKER OF AIRSHIP REVEALS HIMSELF
Declares He Lives in Omaha and Asks For Thirty Five Acres in Which to Exhibit His Machine
Omaha, Neb., April 11. (Special) . -- The mysterious airship, which has caused the veracity of many reputable citizens to be questioned, promises to be cleared up within a few days through the medium of the trans-Mississippi exposition. Either this is the fact or a stupendous hoax is to be perpetrated on the exposition authorities. In the first mail yesterday Secretary Wakefield received a letter dated at Omaha and bearing the postmark Omaha. The letter was signed "A.C. Clinton" and read as follows.
"To the Exposition Directors: My identity up to date has been unknown, but I will come to the front now, if you guarantee me 870,000 square feet of space. I am the famous airship constructor and will guarantee you positively of this fact in a week. The airship is my own invention, and as I am an Omaha man I wish it to be held as an Omaha invention. It will carry safely twenty people to a height of from 10,000 to 20,000 feet. I truly believe I have made the greatest invention and discovery ever made. Will see you April 17, 1897 at the headquarters."
The writer gave no address. The amount of space asked for by the writer of this letter is nearly thirty-five acres.
Dubuque, Ia., April 11 – The mysterious airship passed over Dubuque after midnight, last night. It was seen at Green Island at 10 o'clock, and at Bellevue at 11.
Bloomington, Ill., April 11. (Special) .-- An object believed to be the mysterious air-ship which has been sailing over Illinois was seen at noon today floating over Bloomington. It was going in a northeasterly direction at a great altitude. It was yellow in color and seemed to be rectangular in form.