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Alien Airships Over Old America 96,000 words. 350-plus pages. Photographs. Illustrations.
IN THE 19th CENTURY'S DYING YEARS, the skies above 20 American States became a stage for awe-inspiring events.
Countless witnesses, including public administrators, physicians, police and community leaders testified that they had watched immense winged and propellered 'airships' hovering above cities, towns, rivers and farms. Some of the intruders - seen by thousands below - had raked the landscape with dazzling spotlights. Others had landed - vanishing, when disturbed, in fiery explosions of speed.
This was in an era seven years before the Wright Brothers first flew in their slow and flimsy prototype airplane.
The Great American Airship Flap lasted 14 months and was chronicled in hundreds of newspapers and scientific journals across the nation. Most reports assumed that the astonishing skyships were exclusive to the United States. But historians have since verified that the futuristic ships also spread alarm in Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand.
What were these seemingly miraculous craft? Descriptions and drawings of the time present them as bizarre products of clunky Victorian technology - contradictorily endowed with breathtaking maneuverability and speed. Today, more than a century later, the skyships remain one of the profoundest mysteries to have confronted humankind.
Bestselling author, journalist and screenwriter JOHN PINKNEY has devoted most of his career to investigating strange and inexplicable occurrences. In this unique book he describes a myriad of the well-documented enigmas that have tantalized him most. Among them:
* THE GIGANTIC SHADOW ON MARS On March 27, 1989, moments before its communications systems failed, the Russian space probe Phobos transmitted two extraordinary images to ground control. The first showed an immense cylindrical object; the second a shadow 25 kilometres long, which the cylinder was apparently casting on the Martian surface. And that wasn't all. In September, Britain's Channel 4 televised further photographs from the aborted mission - images almost too bizarre to be believed...