Last Halloween, we remembered the sighting of the so-called Crawfordsville monster, which appeared in the Crawfordsville skies in September 1891.

However, two eyewitnesses were able to identify the "monster" as a flock of killdeer. Six years later, on May 6, 1897, the Crawfordsville Star reported on another unidentified aerial phenomenon, which two eyewitnesses described as an airship.

Many people across the country swore to seeing an airship in American skies throughout 1896 and 1897. The Crawfordsville Star was generally skeptical in reporting on unexplained phenomenon, but the testimony of two Montgomery County men they deemed credible changed their minds.

John Callahan, a farmer living around Dry Branch, told the Star: "You will remember that last Monday was a perfect day with the bluest sky without a speck of cloud or moisture. . . . I was washing my buggy . . . about 3 o'clock in the afternoon when I . . . saw Mr. Edward Grimes, a well-known farmer who resides . . . west of Crawfordsville. 'Do you see that?' exclaimed Mr. Grimes as he pointed upwards. 'I do that,' I replied, 'and what a queer thing it is.' 'Do you know what it is?' he exclaimed. 'That I do,' I replied, 'it's the air ship.' . . . And we looked at the queer thing till it faded out of sight away over to the northeast beyond the city."

Callahan described the vessel as flying twice as high as kites normally fly. "It was a dark looking object pointed like a fish," he said, "It had a fan like arrangement at the rear something like a fish's tail. It was much bigger in the middle than anywhere else."

The reporter asked Callahan if the object was not a cloud, and Callahan adamantly denied this explanation. "The object was not a cloud; it was an air ship and I am willing to make an affidavit to the strict truthfulness of what I tell you."

Many people today who have studied the airship of 1896-97 believe it was a UFO. Other people have dismissed it as a hoax, a misidentification, or a real dirigible, which although not numerous did exist by the late 1800s. Yet, what exactly Callahan and Grimes espied in the Montgomery County skies may never be known with certainty.