Air Ship, Or What?
By Frank Warren

Air Ship, Or What?
Various Views Expressed Respecting Tuesday Night's Queer Phenomenon
The Sacramento Evening Bee November 19th, 1896
But Then How Is That Fluctuating White Light In The Sky To be Accounted For?
And If Barwick Doesn't Know, the People Who Give Their Ideas May Be Pardoned for Entertaining Rather Riotous Fancies On The Subject
Nothing of a trustworthy character has been heard of the present whereabouts of the air ship, or the what-is-it which swept over the house tops of Sacramento Tuesday evening, in sight of many citizens who have not served terms in the County Jail for drunkenness nor attained even local renown as < illegible
Meanwhile the sensation groweth apace. Last evening after the publication of interviews with reputable parties with The Bee, the subject with "the voices in the sky" was the topic of conversation in the restaurants, hotels and wherever people congregate. The general sentiment was that the light was either a meteor or an attachment to a balloon which ascended somewhere near the city, and the notion that it was part of an air ship was scouted as ridiculous. That such a light was described in The Bee last night swept in a more or less diagonal line through Sacramento between 6 and 7 o'clock Tuesday evening is indisputable. That voices were heard traveling with the night certain persons assert with great solemnity. That the light was suspended under a contrivance of egg shape, with paddles whirring on the sides, one or two witnesses have been found with the hardihood to declare. That there is some mystery about the circumstance a great number of people believe. That the antics of the light, as to wobbling this and that, and going up and down, are embellishments to a grand hoax, the majority of citizens will probably agree.
One thing most of the witnesses to the phenomenon are positive about is that the light was white, like that shed by an arc-lamp. Weather Observer Barwick is at as much a loss as anybody to account for the appearance in the sky. He says the color of a meteor would be affected by the density of the atmosphere through which it was darting, and on an evening like that of Tuesday, he believes the light of such an aerial visitor would most likely be purplish, and in no event the extreme white of an arc-lamp.
Varioust rumors are afloat, but they can be scarcely given credence. One, published in this morning's Record Union, is to the effect that an air ship has been in course of construction for some time at Oak Park, and that on Tuesday evening a trial trip of the conveyance was made through the city, and out to the Arcade, where it broke down and is now awaiting repairs.
The authority of Ex-Senator F. S. Sprague is given for the loss of a carpenter's hammer from a scaffolding surrounding the steeple of St. Paul's Church, left there a few hours before the passage of the alleged ship, but this incident is not substantiated.



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