Solving the 1897 Airship Mystery

Overview

"It sailed directly over the public square, and when it reached the north part of town collided with the tower of Judge Proctor's windmill and went to pieces with a terrific explosion, scattering debris over several acres of ground, wrecking the windmill and water tank, and destroying the judge's flower garden."
--Dallas Morning News, April 19, 1897

Six years before the Wright brothers' successful flight and more than fifty years before the term "UFO" was invented, eyewitnesses from California to Michigan to ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $10.25   
  • New (4) from $20.43   
  • Used (4) from $10.25   
Sending request ...

Overview

"It sailed directly over the public square, and when it reached the north part of town collided with the tower of Judge Proctor's windmill and went to pieces with a terrific explosion, scattering debris over several acres of ground, wrecking the windmill and water tank, and destroying the judge's flower garden."
--Dallas Morning News, April 19, 1897

Six years before the Wright brothers' successful flight and more than fifty years before the term "UFO" was invented, eyewitnesses from California to Michigan to Louisiana reported seeing mysterious craft sailing through the sky. Newspapers across the country chronicled these sightings, like the account of the spectacular crash in Aurora, Texas, quoted above. Theories abounded, but the facts have eluded historians.
In Solving the 1897 Airship Mystery, Michael Busby reveals the truth about a secretive group of inventive men whose flying machines enthralled the nation six years before the Wright brothers flew at Kittyhawk, North Carolina. He has researched the backgrounds of the numerous individuals involved, including such prominent figures as San Francisco attorney George Collins, who professed to be legal representative for the airship inventors; Dr. Elmer Benjamin, San Francisco dentist and inventor; Prof. Amos Dolbear, chairman of Tufts University's Department of Astronomy and Physics; Prof. and Brig. Gen. Samuel E. Tillman, professor of chemistry (U.S. Military Academy--class of 1869) and U.S. Military Academy superintendent (1917-19); U.S. Marshal John Shelby Williams, federal marshal for the eastern district of Texas; California attorney general William H. H. Hart, immigrant, orphan, boy soldier, Indian fighter, and California pioneer; Dr. Solomon Andrews, the Perth Amboy, New Jersey, mayor, inventor, and physician; and San Francisco physician Dr. Charles A. Smith, who, with Dr. Andrews, pioneered aviation.
A call to duty from a divided country brought these men together during America's deadly fratricidal war. Serving in the Army of the Potomac, they forged lifelong friendships in the mud and blood of battle. After the Civil War they returned to their civilian professions, ultimately uniting again to design, build, and fly the amazing airships of 1897.
Featuring exhaustive research and numerous tables, illustrations, and maps, Solving the 1897 Airship Mystery is a startling addition to the history of flight.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589801257
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 711,177
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Busby earned his bachelor of science from the University of Texas. After serving eight years in the military and working in over twenty-four countries around the world, he decided to use his experience as an electrical engineer at Rockwell International. In 1989 he struck out on his own as a contract engineer and began writing eight years later in 1997. Currently living in Longview, Texas, Michael Busby works as an avionics systems test engineer for Lockhead Martin Aeronautics.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Tables 8
Acknowledgments 11
Introduction 13
Chapter 1 And There Shall Be Signs 19
Chapter 2 In the Attic 26
Chapter 3 The Beginning 29
Chapter 4 Wednesday, April 14, 1897 35
Chapter 5 Thursday, April 15, 1897 50
Chapter 6 Friday, April 16, 1897 70
Chapter 7 Saturday, April 17, 1897 108
Chapter 8 Easter Sunday, April 18, 1897 141
Chapter 9 Monday, April 19, 1897 151
Chapter 10 Tuesday, April 20, 1897 179
Chapter 11 Wednesday, April 21, 1897 189
Chapter 12 Thursday, April 22, 1897 192
Chapter 13 Friday, April 23, 1897 201
Chapter 14 Saturday, April 24, 1897 207
Chapter 15 Sunday, April 25, 1897 218
Chapter 16 Monday, April 26, 1897 219
Chapter 17 April 27-May 12, 1897 223
Chapter 18 Solutions 239
Chapter 19 The California Story (October 1896-January 1897) 249
Chapter 20 In Search of the Airship Players 268
Chapter 21 Aurora Revisited 331
Chapter 22 What Happened to the Airships? 345
Afterword 352
Appendix A Airship Patent Applications 354
Appendix B Newspapers Known to Carry Airship Stories 364
Index 373
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)