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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The term UFO had not been coined in 1914 – but a lot of Spokane residents saw one in the night sky.

The Spokesman-Review reported a number of phone calls from agitated residents who claimed they saw “an aerial visitor” of some kind over Fort George Wright.

Most were convinced that it was “the tail light of an aeroplane” or some other airborne vehicle. A reporter went outside and saw it, as well. He described it as a light that was suspended 2,000 feet in the air, which moved rapidly in a southwesterly direction and sputtered out, “changing from light green to a reddish color.”

Fort George Wright authorities said that no aeroplane left the reservation, and indeed, no aeroplane was there at all. Officers said they heard no motor of any kind overhead.

The paper did not speculate on the nature of the light. However, it did say that people may have jumped to the conclusion that it was a military vehicle because of “auto-suggestion, induced by reading of threatened Zeppelin night attacks on London and aeroplane duels over the Yser Canal.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1886: The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland.

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