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If you thought stories in the old newspapers couldn’t get any stranger than some of the Twilight Club’s minutes, guess again. According to the May 25, 1897, Hamilton County Ledger, 121 years ago this month a UFO flew over Noblesville!

If the newspaper is to be believed, around 8 p.m. on May 24, Noblesville was visited by the “mysterious machine known as the airship.” It initially appeared as a faint light in the eastern sky, but rapidly moved west, accompanied by a strange noise.

Judge-elect John F. Neal and druggist Frank E. Ross were the first people to spot it. They immediately
hotfooted
it over to Charlie Pike’s photography studio and got Pike to set up his camera on the southeast corner of the square to capture the phenomenon as it went by.

Less than 10 minutes later, the airship flew over the courthouse and Pike supposedly got his shot, which he passed on to the Ledger. However, in those days photos hadn’t yet begun to appear in newspapers, so what actually ran on the Ledger’s front page was a drawing.

The sketch shows something that looks vaguely like an open boat with fins or wings passing to the left of the courthouse clock. The “boat” is suspended from a large cigar-shaped object with a propeller at one end and it appears to be carrying two people.

By the time the photo was taken, a substantial crowd of onlookers had gathered. Among them were several men whose observations and comments appeared in the Ledger article.

Deputy Sheriff Elihu Hawkins noted a colored light on the airship, while county school superintendent E. A. Hutchens saw large fans working and Judge Richard R. Stephenson was “confident the ship was manned by three men.”

To read more, click here.


Category: Weird Desk