The Amazing Airship of 1896

The great airship mystery: A UFO of the 1890s  by Daniel Cohen 

By James L. Cambias

It appeared first in Sacramento, California, on the night of November 17, 1896 — a strange light in the rainy night sky. On that first night it was seen by dozens of people. Most saw only a light. Others made out a dark cigar shape behind the light. The most detailed description came from a streetcar motorman named Lowery, who said he saw a flying machine propelled by two men working bicycle pedals. When the story hit the papers the next day, it caused a storm of controversy. The Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Call paid lavish attention to the affair, and sent reporters to interview witnesses. By contrast, the San Francisco Chronicle pooh-poohed the whole notion. After a few days, the story died down.

But on November 22, the “mystery airship” came back……

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