2 December 1896
(San Francisco Call, California)
Source: California Digital Newspaper Collection (cdnc.ucr.edu)
The article reports on two 1896 Oakland, California, UFO sightings. The unknown objects (or the same object) (described by the journalist as “the strange aerial navigator”) was sighted by Case Gilson, Gilson’s friends and Percy Drew.
Quote from the article:
“ ‘The airship was moving very rapidly from the southeast toward Lorin, and not a light was visible,’ said Gilson. ‘It was about 1000 or 1500 feetin the air and looked like a great black cigar with a fish-like tail. If it had side propellers they were revolving so rapidly that I could not see them. The body was at least a hundred feet long, and attached to it was a triangular tail, one apex being attached to the main body. The surface of the airship looked as if it were made of aluminum, which exposure to wind and weather had turned dark. I saw all this distinctly, and I am willing to take any oath to the truth of what I say.’
‘The airship went at a tremendous speed. As it neared Lorin it turned quickly and disappeared in the direction of San Francisco. At half-past 8 we saw it again, when it took about the same direction and disappeared. ‘It was an airship; of that I am convinced.’
Gilson and his friends saw the airship twice during last Thursday (26 November 1896) evening at 8 and 8:30 o’clock. The skies were perfectly clear, and a strong northwest wind was blowing. The airship was moving rapidly from the southeast toward the north in the teeth of the wind. No light was visible, merely the weird, peculiar body silhoueted against the clear skies. Case Gilson, his brother, and the Petan brothers distinctly saw the strange sight, and Gilson describes its appearance very graphically.
Gilson is also an amateur astronomer and declares that he could not mistake a star or a cloud for an airship.
Percy Drew was another individual favored with a glimpse of the airship. He says it visited Oakland Saturday (28 November 1896) night. It then carried a red light and moved with its usual quickness. Both young men agree that the ship was of enormous size, measuring at least 100 feet in length.”
Satellite photo of Oakland, California(tageo.com)