M. Deschamps - Director
of Terminology and Abbreviations
Tennessee, TIMES, 13 January 1910, page 7
IN THE AIR
See Strange Craft Pass Over Chattanooga.
unknown airship passed over Chattanooga yesterday morning
about 9:30 o'clock, proceeding in a northeasterly direction
and in a straight course, as if on a long journey. The unusual
sight was witnessed by many people in this city. Starting
point or destination of the mysterious aerial craft is not
who saw it described the vessel as cigar-shaped, which would
indicate that it was a dirigible balloon. These people say
they did not see it through rings of cigar smoke, either,
and that they were not victims of a pipe dream.
airship seen yesterday above the city is thought to be at
least the second to pass over this region within a few weeks.
Some Chattanoogans saw a strange object in the sky recently
and strongly leaned to the opinion that it, like the unknown
visitor of yesterday, was an aerial machine.
Tennessee, TIMES, 14 January 1910, page
If Aviator Has Sinister Designs Upon Chattanooga Territory.
flying machine. or perhaps the same one, was seen to pass
over the city yesterday. Those who saw it said it came from
the southwest, and after maneuvering around, sailed away
toward the north, keeping parallel with Walden's ridge.
From all that can be learned of the craft, it appeared to
be a dirigible balloon similar to that one which passed
over this section Wednesday morning. Many think it is the
same one, and are at a loss to account for its visitations.
Some are inclined to think that the mysterious airship is
the craft of a sky pirate who has sinister designs upon
Chattanooga. At any rate, the aeronautically inclined gentleman
(end of article)
Tennessee, TIMES, 15 January 1910, page
Tennessee, TIMES, 15 January 1910, page
PASSES OVER CITY OF KNOXVILLE
Tenn., Jan. 14 - Several citizens report having seen a dirigible
airship which passed over the city shortly before 7 o'clock
tonight ___ in a southerly direction. The outline of the
air craft could plainly be seen and the noise of the motors
could be heard. Fast speed was being made on its trip across
the city occupied __ few minutes time. The machine was under
Tennessee, TIMES, 17 January 1910, page
Alighted Yesterday in the Ninth Ward.
BASS AND OTHERS PERPETRATED THE JOKE
Other Small Boys He Fooled People for Whole Week - Nothing
But Paper Balloons Sent Skyward for Fun.
aeroplanes, dirigible balloons, biplanes and aerial craft
of all kinds, must take a tumble in the minds of Chattanoogans
for the time being. Those things in the sky which thousands
of people in this city and vicinity have been accepting
as the real, genuine all-wool and a yard wide airship were
not real airships at all. They were no more than toys sent
up as a practical joke. The perpetrator was Squire Ed Bass
and some more of the small boys out in South Chattanooga.
squire and a very few others who must have been "on"
have had lots of un. The gullibles whose name is legion,
may have enjoyed the stunt, too, but just how much they
will appreciate the humor of the situation now remaineth
to be seen. It will depend largely on the temperament of
the victim. A joke's a joke, but when the victim gets wise
the effect is more or less doubtful. Doubtless the joking
'squire's ears will burn with an exceeding warmth today,
because of the many he so thoroughly fooled there will be
some to express themselves plainly, forgetting the Sunday
school lesson yesterday.
will out, doncherknow, and other matters not as serious
do not always remain a mystery. The cat has scratched and
chewed her way clean out of the bag of the dirigible balloon
business. Truth once more reigns supreme and sits at the
tiller of the aeroplane, having ousted the spirit of humor
and falsity which has been steering the airships all over
the sky in the region roundabout Chattanooga. The cat got
out of the bag and the genus at the steering gear gave way
to the truth yesterday when a cigar-shaped paper balloon,
some fifteen feet long and four feet through, at the maximum,
alighted calmly, peacefully, without shame or embarrassment,
in the neighborhood of the Ninth ward fire hall.
was not long before the presence of the strange object was
discovered by the natives, and they began to congregate.
was much interest and amusement manifested, coupled with
a certain form of admiration of whoever it was who had succeeded
in fooling the people for so long. For it was very apparent
that in the collapsed paper structure lay the secret of
the airships which had been seen over the city.
the good people of Highland Park who saw the paper balloon
and realized its significance did not know who was back
of the joke. Even before the discovery in Highland Park
The Times had learned the identity of the juveniles who
perpetrated the joke and was preparing to inform its readers
on the subject. Then came word that the inevitable Ninth
ward had come again to the fore and had material evidence
of the nature of the airships which have been causing so
much commotion and talk for the last few days.
what people in a dry town will see, and, seeing, what mountains
they will make out of mole hills that come into their line
of vision. Chattanooga can console itself in the knowledge
that other towns, dry like Chattanooga, have been victimized
lately in the matter of sky-craft. Dry Knoxville has been
a seein' airships lately. Dry Huntsville has been peering
aloft to the detriment of its necks and collars at strange
craft in the big dome.
the commotion caused by the frequent appearance of the what
seemed to be an airship with a strong liking for this vicinity.
'Squire Bass and his fellow conspirators have been saying
nothing and laughing up their sleeves at the mystification
of their townspeople: Like Mr. Hyde, they have stood around
among the wondering victims and hearing accounts of their
Dr. Jekyll doings.
Bass, arch-conspirator of them all, perhaps had the biggest
share of amusement in this way. It was no unusual thing
for him to hear people describe the airship in the minutest
detail. His amusement was in their gullibleness, and the
power of their optics. Some of them declared that the craft
was a biplane and that they could plainly discern the man
at the steering gear, and even hear the chug-chug of the
so many people were successfully deceived by the toy balloon
was due to optical delusion. Tricks which the eye will play
in certain circumstances are certainly delusions and snares.
reality a 14-foot affair, the little balloon, perhaps a
few hundred feet high, looked like a monster affair. And,
then, too, like looking at the Pleiades, the more one looked
the more there was to see. The man in the rigging, and other
details described by some, were natural consequences.
Bass' joke was simply that and nothing more - a practical
joke. It has been the opinion of many that the alleged airship,
or whatever it was, would resolve itself finally into some
sort of an advertising dodge. But the worthy 'squire has
no brand of soap, panacea, cigar or breakfast food to hoist
upon a purchasing public, so far as known. The craft which
ambled into the camp of the Highland Parkers yesterday bore
no advertisement. It was very inconsiderate of that balloon
to land in an enlightened community like Highland Park,
anyway. Had it gone further the 'squire's joke might have
lasted longer. But in the midst of thousands of wide-awake
and strenuous folk it could only result in discovery and
limelight. It was a case of "If we're discovered we're
lost," as 'Squire Bass may have said.
Bass' balloon was not made lighter than air by the use of
hot air about the prison commissioner's job, either. The
balloon which landed among the Parkites owed its powers
of navigation to the gases arising from a bunch of waste
soaked in some liquid, presumably gasoline, kerosene, benzine,
or some other old sene, and ignited.
perpetrating such a joke upon an unsuspecting public, especially
as the joke was so successful, 'Squire Bass lays himself
open to a variety of more or less succulent and pithy flings.
Any time today it will be pertinent to eject sarcasm and
hitting sentences about the airship man. There will be some
to say that he was trying to get high enough up to get his
grasp on the prison commissioner plum. Others may hint that
he was looking around for more love-smitten couples in order
that he might join their two lives in one, and get a nice
balloons of the Bass persuasion were sent up from the rear
of Stong's drug store, Main street. The forests, mountains
and streams of the vicinity could probably divulge the landing
place of the others, the ones turned loose before that which
opened the Ninth warders' eyes.
Tennessee, TIMES, 26 June 1924, page
OTHER WORLD AIRSHIP VISITED HERE
Fort Seeks Information From Chattanoogans.
OTHER PLANETS TRY TO COMMUNICATE
From London on Strange Aircraft Observed Here in January,
1910 - Author of "New Lands."
who remember the "mysterious airship" reported
to have hovered over this city for three days in January,
1910, will be interested in a letter received by The Times
from one Charles Fort, of 39 Marchmont street, Russell Square,
London, England. Mr. Fort, who has written a "spooky"
book called "New Lands," suggests that the strange
aircraft seen here was a visitor from some other planet.
His letter to The Times follows:
The Chattanooga Times:
Sir - I don't know whether you will think that the letter
which I enclose is preposterous or not. I think, myself,
that it so seems. But I think you will agree with me that
the effect of preposterousness, or affront to preconceptions
is no criterion. Of course I do not reason in the other
extreme and favor an idea simply because it seems preposterous.
hope that you will not think that I am hoaxing. My latest
book, "New Lands," which was published last October,
in New York, is filled with similar data. The introduction
to the book is by Booth Tarkington. Other persons, who would
not be accused of being wild-minded, are interested in this
you will publish the letter, I shall be very much obliged
to you. I have tried to make it interesting enough, and
some new data may be forthcoming to justify considerable
space, and I think that speculation upon other worlds, stimulated
by the approaching opposition of the planet Mars, make the
subject timely. Very truly. CHARLES FORT. 19 Marchmont Street,
Russell Square, London, England, June 11, 1924.
the above communication was the following:
to the New York Tribune, Jan. 13, 1910, an unknown airship
was seen in the sky, upon three successive days, at Chattanooga.
Upon the 10th of January, it was seen traveling southward
again, disappearing over Missionary ridge.
reason for thinking that this object was no airship of terrestrial
origin, is that it was reported also from Huntsville, Ala.,
seventy-five miles from Chattanooga. In this period, aeronautics
upon this earth was of development so small that, in the
middle of December, 1909, somebody won a prize for sailing
in a dirigible from St. Cyr to the Eiffel tower, Paris,
and back, a distance of less than twenty-five miles.
am spending my time collecting data that indicate that there
are other, inhabited worlds, perhaps not the visible planets;
not inaccessibly remote; and that explorers from them have
many times been seen in the sky. In the newspapers, this
work has been called "epoch-making," also otherwise,
according to various opinions and emotions - "rather
crazy," for instance. Of many accounts of seeming explorers
from other worlds, in the sky of this earth, I pick out
one that is not especial for its convincingness, but that
is convenient as to date, because the occurence was at a
time when dirigible airships of this earth could not have
sailed even from St. Cyr to Paris.
the Journal des Debats (Paris) April 12, 1905, is reported
a luminous object, or an object bearing lights, which had
been appearing every night since April 1, over the city
of Cherbourg, France. In the "Bull Soc. Astro. de France,"
19-243, Flammarion says that the object must have been the
planet Venus; he therefore derides the descriptions of it
as having sometimes moved in various directions, saying
that such supposed observations were illusions. In Le Figaro,
April 13, it is said that the prefet maritime, of Cherbourg,
had commisioned Commander de Kerillis, of the "Chasseloup-Laubat,"
to investigate. The results of this officer's investigations
are published; that the object was not in the position of
the planet Venus, and that it did not have the cresentic
disk of Venus.
last observations upon this object, at Cherbourg, were upon
the night of the 11th. There is a datum to support the idea
that something had been exploring locally over Cherbourg,
and had then sailed away, and had been seen sailing away.
In Le Figaro, April 15, it is said that, upon the night
of the eleventh, the guards of La Blanche Lighthouse had
seen something like a lighted balloon in the sky, and had
started to signal to it, but that it had disappeared. It
is said that the lighthouse had been out of communication
with the mainland, and that the guards had not heard of
the object that had been exciting the people of Cherbourg.
are data which indicate that the observations upon an unknown
vessel in the sky of Tennessee and Alabama, January, 1910,
were upon something that had ben exploring in various parts
of the sky of this earth. To some minds the data may seem
unrelated: almost everything that has even been found out
has been developed by organizing the seemingly unrelated.
the New York Tribune, Dec 21, 1909, it is said that, at
1 o'clock, morning of the 21st, Immigration Inspector Hoe,
of Boston, had seen "a bright light passing over the
harbor," and had concluded that he had seen an airship
of some kind. In following issues of the Tribune, and other
newspapers, it is said that two nights later, the streets
of Worcester, Mass., were thronged with crowds, watching
"a mysterious visitor" in the sky. Upon the night
of the 23rd, a dark object, bearing lights moved in the
sky, over Boston. "As it flew away to the north, queries
began to pour into the newspaper offices and the police
stations, regarding the remarkable visitations."
the night of the 24th there were no such observations reported
upon anything in the sky of New England.
to data, this may be because some exploring construction
from some other world had swiftly moved across the Atlantic
the English Mechanic, 104-71, James Fergusen, a well-known
writer upon scientific subjects, writes from Rossbrien,
Limerick, Ireland, that, at 8:30 o'clock, night of Dec.
24, he saw a luminous object appear above the northeastern
horizon, and for twenty minutes sail southward, then turning
around, retracing, and, at two minutes past nine, disappearing
at the point whence it had come.
am gathering material for as extensive an investigation
of this whole subject as is possible. If readers of this
newspaper, who saw the object that was reported from Tennessee,in
January, 1910, will send accounts to me (33 marchmont Street,
Russell Square, London, England) it may be that we can learn
more about these appearances than could the Aztecs, for
instance, when they heard of "moving lights at sea,"
and probably thought the reports preposterous, or thought
that nothing but torches in canoes had been seen, or thought
virtually nothing upon the subject, and they did a great
deal of thinking later.
Tennessee, TIMES, 26 June 1924, page
EXPLAINS OLD AIRSHIP "MYSTERY"
veteran Chattanooga policeman claims that he can account
for the "mysterious airship" reported to have
hovered over this city for a period of three days during
January, 1910, referred to in a letter received by The Times
and printed in the issue of Tuesday from Charles Fort, of
39 Marchmont street, Russell square, London, England. This
policeman asserts that he and a fellow policeman, now dead,
and a salesman set loose three balloons shortly after Christmas,
1909, and caused the excitement.
Tennessee, TIMES, 19 June 1924, page
LIGHT MYSTERY PROVES WORM HUNTER
GROVE, O., June 18. - The mysterious red light, which for
two weeks has attracted thousands of persons to Deakin grove,
northeast of here, has been solved. Fifteen thousand persons
who had traveled miles to see it last night learned that
instead of a "ghost" it came from a lantern carried
by Sammie Busick, 13, while hunting worms.
theories were advanced, to account for the nightly reappearance
of the light. The crowds increased until the lonely hotel
was unable to accommodate them.
of the soil by a chemist brought his announcement that the
red glow was caused by phosphorous rising from the ground
and coming in contact with light rays through which it passed.
admitted that he carried a red lantern in hunting night
crawlers from the sale of which at $1 a gallon he hoped
to purchase a roadster. When talk started about the "spooks"
Sammie said he kept quiet fearing he would lose his business
and prospective automobile.
Tennessee, TIMES, 29 June 1924, page
Message to Mars.
being a big country, we consider it incumbent on us to do
things on a big scale, and our latest project is certainly
Goddard, who has been experimenting for some years, and
has perfected rockets which soar to amazing heights, is
now going to turn his artillery on the moon. He believes
that he can devise a firing apparatus which will give his
rocket the muzzle velocity necessary to overcome the pull
of the earth's gravitation. After that, by successive explosions
en route, the rocket will, it is hoped, develop sufficient
power to reach the moon, when the impact, the rocket being
provided with a charge of flash powder, should produce a
flare visible by the aid of an ordinary astronomical telescope.
thus shooting the moon, the professor is to turn his attention
to Mars. But if, as certain people believe, Mars is inhabited,
its citizens are hardly likely to relish this means of interplanetary
communication, and may reply in kind, in which case even
the league of nations will find difficulty in securing arbitration
between the two parties to the argument.
Tennessee, TIMES, 13 July 1924, page
of Huge Size?
(R. H. Platt, Jr., in the World's Work.)
prominent astronomical authority has allowed his imagination
to play with the possible effect of gravity on the appearance
of the Martians. His vision is interesting, and it fits
the problem presented by such a huge engineering feat as
represented by the canals.
is known that gravity on Mars is only one-third of what
it is on the earth. That means that three times as much
work could be done (as for example, the digging of a canal)
by the same expenditure of muscular effort. With ourselves
the average size of men conforms with the most efficient
activity in our gravity. If the same were true on Mars,
nature would build her Martians three times the size of
men. Such a being would have three dimensions, height, breadth
and thickness: therefore, on earth, he would weigh twenty-seven
times as much as the average man, but on Mars, where gravity
is only one-third of that of the earth, he would weigh nine
times as much as we weigh in our sphere.
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