by Steven A. Arts.  [September 26, 2004]

[]  Most people regard UFOs as a fairly recent phenomenon, yet mysterious objects have appeared in the heavens above for thousands of years. Nor have bright lights and objects in the sky been confined to one time period or culture.

In American skies from 1896 to 1897, thousands of people saw what they called “airships.”  Many were accused of drinking too much. Airships were variously thought to be kites, balloons, the planet Venus, the star Sirius, hoaxes, fakes, or ships from an abandoned civilization on Mars, as well as from the star Alpha Orionis.

Eyewitness sketch of the 
November 17, 1896 
Sacramento airship.

The first airship was spotted, officially, over Sacramento, CA, on the evening of November 17, 1896. But on November 23, the Silver Statenewspaper of Nevada claimed that an airship was seen on November 15th, over Winnemucca, Nevada.

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