This article was published in the daily newspaper The Decatur Daily Republican, Decatur, Illinois, 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.
The airship landed near Springfield the previous night. Farmhand John Halley and local vineyard owner Adolf Wenke said that it landed three miles west of the city along the Jefferson street road. They said a long bearded man emerged and inquired where he was. Inside the car was seated another man and also the scientist's [sic] wife. He said they usually rested during the daytime in remote parts of the country in order to conceal the vessel's huge wings. When they asked the scientist his name, he smiled and pointed to the letter M, which was painted on the side of the car. After bidding the farmers farewell, he pressed a button and the ship flew off.