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Id 104
Date 1896-11-17
Location USA / California / San Francisco
Database p airship

General article about airships, inventions and the sightings in San Francisco and Sacramento.

Transcription of the newspaper clip:

A New Air-Ship

The American people have always
been keen inventors, and it is
not surprising that the intensely
interesting subject of the conquest
of the air has always had its devotees
among them. One of the
most promising attempts of this
kind is that of Mr. Hiram Maxim,
who is an American, though his
flying machine is being made at his
residence near Bexley Heath, in
Kent. The latest air-ship, however,
is causing much excitement on the
Pacific coast, in the neighbourhood
of Sacramento and San Francisco.
According to the New York World,
it was first noticed on November
17th. On that night a number of
people in Sacramento saw a strange
object in the sky. Two brilliant
beams of light high up in the
heavens attracted their attention.
The first impression was that it was
some marvellous meteoric phenomenon.
Closer observation revealed,
under the lights, the dim outline
of an oval-shaped body with what
looked like fluttering wings. It swept
down closer to the earth, and then
a number of people say they distinctly
heard the sound of human
voices on board the strange craft,
and the lights were manipulated
from it like ordinary search-lights.
A few nights later it reappeared
above the city, moving swiftly
across the heavens, and taking about
twenty minutes for its journey.
Prof. Dodge was able to trace the
outlines of the dark body from
which the light emanated, but so
indistinctly that he is unable to give
any description of it. All that is
known definitely about the ship is
that it is supposed to be the invention
of Dr. E. H. Matthews, of
San Francisco. It has been known
for some time that Dr. Matthews
was working at the problem of
aerial navigation on somewhat
new lines, but from the outset
his work has been veiled in mystery,
although from time to
time there have been rumours
that the inventor was
near to or had actually attained
very remarkable results. Mr. Hart,
Dr. Matthews' legal representative,
has given this description of the
vessel: - "The strange craft is oval
in general outline, with bow cut
off abruptly like a whaleback steamer's.
Its length is about three times
as great as its width. About the
centre on either side are projections,
like wings, extending straight out
and widening, with square cut
ends. They curve upward and outward.
At the rear is a similar projection.
There is a search-light in
the forward end and another directly
under the craft. The idea is not to
get the invention patented, but to
use it for war purposes. For this
reason the greatest secrecy is
maintained, and I cannot reveal the
names of the persons connected
with the invention or with the
actual construction of the machine.
I will add this on the authority
of a statement made to me by the
inventor, and that is that he actually
wem over Sacramento at the
time the people there say they saw
the ship. By my advice my client
is maintaining as much secrecy as
possible, and of course I cannot go
any further into particulars. I
have implicit confidence in the invention,
and I believe it will be
successful. It is very like one I
examined in New Jersey, which I
saw make several flights of from
ten to twenty rods. The air-ship
sometimes shows one and sometimes
as many as three search-lights.
These lights are under control, and
can be turned in any direction.
Within a short time, I have no
doubt, everybody will have unmistakable
evidence of the existence of
the invention. The machine itself
will be made plainly visible to
the public, but my earnest advice
to the inventor has been
and still is to keep the details
of construction a secret." If
this story by Mr. Hart, who is an
ex-Attorney-General of the State of
California, proves to be well founded,
the military experts of the world
will have a new enemy to consider.
A navigable air ship which can
drop dynamite on the enemy's
forces and keep out of the range of
his guns meanwhile, has hitherto
only existed in the pages of sensational
novels: but if it becomes a
practical reality the whole face of
the world might be changed by
those who possess the secret. Everybody
will wait with interest further
disclosures from the West, which
will show whether this remarkable
story is genuine or not.


NEWSPAPER Daily Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica)



wings    human    attorney    hiram stevens maxim    occupants    voices    searchlight    airship    invention   


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