Excerpts from The Daily Argus News April 17, 1897
Crawfordsville, Indiana, Saturday Evening, April 17, 1897
SAW THE AIR SHIP
Conductor Tom Jarvis and Engineer Sharpe of the Big Four See the Mysterious Aeroplane.
The crew of train number 3 on the Big Four which passed through this city last night at 6 o’clock in charge of Engineer Sharpe and conductor T.E Jarvis, with thirty passengers, saw what is supposed to be the much talked of air ship about 8 o’clock a short distance west of Danville, Ills. The aeroplane was in sight about ten minutes and was traveling, at the rate of about 120 miles an hour, according to Engineer Sharpe. Scoffers assert that what the passenger and train men saw was merely a cloud driven with great force across the sky, but Conductor Tommy Jarvis, says it was too compact and moving with too great velocity to be ether a common cloud or a Kansas twister. Conductor Jarvis was seen at the Big Four depot this morning on his run to Indianapolis and he said:
“I have always read these newspaper stories about this air ship with a great deal of incredulity. But now 1am convinced that there is some thing mysterious shooting through the heavens at a tremendous speed. We could detect the faint outlines of the thing and it looked cigar shaped. There was a very bright light in front of It, which seemed to shift from side to side. I also detected a red and blue light, which seemed to be on the side of their ship. I could not discern how the thing was propelled, but I’ll tell you it was going at frightful speed. All these wise people can sit around and scoff at the story and say that we were flighty, but I am as confident that what I saw was a machine of human construction, as I am that I am standing talking to you.”
As printed in the April 17, 1897 Daily Argus News accessible here