This article was published in the daily newspaper Daily Record-Union, of Sacramento, California, page 4, on November 18, 1896.
Warning: the airship stories must not be taken at face value as "UFO sightings." Evaluation of such stories is under way here.
WHAT WAS IT?
An Apparition Wandering Through the Atmosphere.
Several persons last evening, between 6 and 7 o'clock, saw a big ball of fire, like an electric light, pass over the city going in a southwesterly direction. It moved slowly and was in sight for more than a half-hour, finally disappearing in the mist and darkness. More than one person was heard to declare that he distinguished human voices engaged in song and mirth coming from above, but could distinguish no outline of a balloon - nothing but a large ball of light.
One man in the suburbs declares he heard a voice warning "the man at the helm" to go higher, or they would collide with the church steeples, etc.
It is possible someone sent up an illuminated balloon, or that a stray meteor was hunting for the rest of the gang, but there really were persons who insisted that it was a new-fangled airship, lighted by electricity and traveling direct for San Francisco from - somewhere.