Date: Fri Dec 31 1993 11:12:32
From: Pete Porro
To: Jay Barrymore
Subj: GREAT AIRSHIP HOAX
For those who have asked about the Airship Wave of 1896-97, and the
mysterious sighting, including a classic cattle abduction by the craft.
I think you will find the "rest of the story" interesting. This is the
part that gets forgotten or ignored.
"UFO's and the Limits of Science" Ronald D. Story 1981, Pages 39-40
Forty-six years later, the tale was finally revealed as a hoax.
The expose' appeared in a small Kansas weekly, the Buffalo
Enterprise, in it's January 28, 1943, issue. The obscure article
was discovered later by UFO writer-researcher Jerome Clark, who
told the full story in the February,1977, issue of Fate
magazine. The first breakthrough came when the Buffalo
Enterprise reprinted Hamilton's tale, which brought a letter
from Ed F. Hudson, who in 1897 was an editor for the Yates
Center Farmer's Advocate. Hudson wrote:
"I had just bought and installed a little gasoline engine, the
first I believe to come to Yates Center, using it to run my
machinery replacing the hand-power on the old Country Campbell
press and kicking the job presses. I invited many of my friends
into the back shop to see the engine work. Hamilton was one of
them. He Exclaimed, 'Now they can fly', hence the airship story
was made up. After we had published it, the story was copied in
many of the largest newspapers in the country, England, France
and Germany, some illustraing it with pen-drawn (images by)
their staff artists. There were also hundreds of inquiries from
every part of the globe. Soon afterwards there came the various
experiments in flight, but I have always maintained that Alex
Hamilton was the real inventor of human flight."
(Ethel L. Shaw, who claims to have been present when Mr. Hamilton
came home and told them the airship story.)
"It seems there were a few men round about who had formed a club
which the called 'Ananias" (Liar's Club). They would get
together once in a while to see which one could tell the biggest
story they'd concocted since their last meeting. Well, to my
knowledge, the club soon broke up after the 'airship and cow'
story. I guess that one had topped them all and the Hamilton
family went down in history."
And so they did, at least among the classics of UFO hoaxdom.