UFO Conjectures

Sunday, November 27, 2016

An 1896 Airship Newspaper report

Zoam Chomsky poo-poos the story, saying it's a newspaper creation: fraudulent reportage or a hoax.

If it is a hoaxed account, it's a delicious one, nicely done.

French skeptic Gilles Fernandez has provided much about the late 1800 airship stories, allowing that many were mistaken observations of the planet Venus, an interpretation that I find hard to take.

No matter what the truth is, the 1896 et al. reports, hoaxed or misinterpretations of Venus, or real, actual observations of something odd seen in the skies of America, fascinate, sociologically, psychologically, ufologically.

Should we dismiss the tales, because they are from a by-gone era?



  • My favorite is pre-Wright brothers inventors who never took/received credit.

    By Blogger Ron, at Sunday, November 27, 2016  

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Hargrave

    By Blogger Dave Down Under, at Monday, November 28, 2016  

  • Maybe this just tells us how the phenomena just changes its form (like, some see a UFO, some an angel or maybe a monster)?
    An aside. First these ufonauts say they´re coming from a different country, the from the moon. Later, they come from Mars or Venus. Nowadays everyone knows that there´s no life on Mars or Venus and so the aliens come from Sirius of Pleiades. Funny how they always come from a star that we have a name for. Why always Sirius, why not from Gliese 581?


    By Blogger Jerry Cornelius, at Monday, November 28, 2016  

  • Hello Rich,

    Well, it is what you have retained regarding my article, your personal interpretation, aka Venus explains ALL regarding the 1896/97 UFO-wave. "Quel raccourci !".

    It is more complex, and my article* is more focused on American people prepared to see airship, and "me" proposing:

    In other words in the case of the 1896/97 airship wave, did the witnesses project their conscious or unconscious prevailing or surrounding knowledge of airships on another observed object, transforming it into something that looks less and less like the actual stimulus, and much more in line with expectations of airships?

    1) there was a prevailing imagery and hope which may have generated several cultural mental representations before the wave and led some people to believe they saw real airships, but in reality they were misinterpreting prosaic/celestial stimuli through their psycho-sociocultural cognitive filter. or These sightings serve as a projected Rorschach inkblot test of the collective psyche, underscoring the promise technological advancement during a period of spiritual decline.


    2) I have been interested how the airships were announced or presented like "a total revolution", full of promise and probably then driving some people to high hopes and [unrealistic] expectations

    3) a contextualization of 1850 to 1900 american newspapers.

    Now, si tu veux continuer à singer ou ridiculiser "mon" article...

    Best Regards,


    * http://skepticversustheflyingsaucers.blogspot.fr/2014/01/cracking-189697-airships-mystery-toward_11.html

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, November 29, 2016  

  • Gilles:

    Your view that people were affected by aberrant cognition is not lost on me and is quite acceptable as an explanation, without the Venus factor however.

    But the attendant details of those aberrant visions tell me that if there is a cognitive problem it is more serious than your analysis indicates.

    People were immersed in a pathology not common to the era, a topic I'm working on even as I type this.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, November 29, 2016  

  • Wishful Thinking: The Great Airship Mania of 1896-97

    Beginning with a newspaper hoax in the form of a telegram in the November 17 1896 Sacramento Evening Bee--in which a New York inventor claimed he would pilot his newly perfected airship to California--people, that very night, made the first reports of seeing the airship. Its headlamp twinkling above the eastern horizon.

    >> Between November 1896 and May 1897, scores of Americans became convinced that one of their citizens had perfected the world's first heavier-than-air flying machine. As this widespread belief spread, airship mania swept across the United States. This little-known episode in American history was extraordinary, in that at the height of the rumors, it is estimated that tens of thousands of Americans in many states actually reported that they had seen the craft in various points across the nation--thousands of miles apart--at the same time! The maneuvers described by witnesses, were far above any technology of the period--even by today's standards. While the episode in general has been examined as a case of "mass hysteria," in this article I will document the airship wave in Illinois, and suggest an explanation. It was typically described as oval or cigar-shaped with an attached undercarriage, having a powerful headlight and giant fans or wings protruding from both sides. Some observers even claimed that the wings slowly flopped up and down like a bird! << --Robert Bartholomew


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, December 01, 2016  

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