What is in the sky in this photograph?
Is this one of the earliest UFO photographs?
I saw this magic lantern slide photograph for sale on eBay about 5 years ago and thought it was interesting enough to copy on to my computer, but not to bid on. It was identified as Santa Catalina Island at the turn-of-the-century and that was pretty much all there was to the description. The person selling it did mention there is a strange object in the photograph.
There certainly is.
First I do believe there are UFO’s. But let’s be clear – Unidentified Flying Objects. Not necessarily spacemen from other galaxies or strange visitors from other planets in flying saucers. I won’t eliminate the possibility, but I need better evidence.
There definitely is something in the right hand corner of the photo. For some strange reason I do not believe this photo is a hoax. It appears to be in the air. But, is it flying? Is it a blemish to the photo itself? Is it a reflection? Somebody threw their hat in the air? A cloud? Sunspot? Optical illusion? Or is it some sort of saucer-like spacecraft? Click on the photo and then click again to get an enlarged closer view.
I checked the newspaper archives from the Los Angeles Times from 1890-1915 and can find no mention of this event on Catalina Island where the photograph was supposedly taken. But maybe I am just not searching with the correct keywords. I have looked at various UFO web sites and I have never seen the photograph reproduced on any another web site. There are some photographs from the 1800’s that are mystery shots of flying objects, but I believe this may be the earliest clear photograph of an unidentified flying object.
Is this definitely Catalina Island? Are the people in the street looking at the object? Ignoring it? Aware of it? Why would the photographer be taking this picture of seemingly nothing extraordinary happening in the middle of a street?
It is intriguing. Lots of questions. No answers. I wish I had bought that slide. If anyone has more information please let us know.