Flying Steamboat

Flying Steamboat

Date: Late 1890s

Location: Evansville, IN

In the late 1890s, a few years before the Wright Brothers, people really got the itch to fly.

A professor named Carl Myers built a wild contraption for Tennessee's centennial celebration that looked like something Tim Burton would conjure in the throes of a mushroom binge.

It actually took flight and landed, something that couldn't be said for several other airships.

Professor Carl Myers is seen in a drawing of the airship he made for Tennessee's centennial celebration in 1987.

Sightings of winged vessels popped up all over the country, the Courier reported.

But the biggest one of all appeared to be unexplained.

It started in Sacramento, California, on November 17, 1896.

People there saw a cigar shaped light burn across the sky just after 8:00 p.m.

Sightings continued for months as the object apparently lurched over the Great Plains.

And in April 1897, it arrived in Viennese.

Several reputable citizens saw the object, Indianapolis Monthly reported in a 2014 UFO roundup.

Their descriptions varied from a ball of fire to a flying steamboat.

The mass sightings eventually inspired a book by J. Allan Danelek, who called the incident the most mysterious aviation event in history.

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