Late 19th / Early 20th century Photograph of a UFO in California

What is in the sky in this photograph?

Is this one of the earliest UFO photographs?

Catalina Island Circa 1900

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.

Larger Image of Catalina Island UFO

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.

3 thoughts on “Late 19th / Early 20th century Photograph of a UFO in California

  1. Kanaya Tatsuo

    I’m interested in this photo’Catalina Island Circa 1900′.
    Which website did you find this photo?
    If possible, I’d like to get this photo.
    Please introduce me at which website I can look for it.
    By the way, are you interested in UFO?

  2. Barbara

    street lamp?

    also, local history books always seem to have tons of random pictures of main street. It’s kind of interesting: oh, that’s what main street looked like before they installed those hideous cobra head street lights or the streets were paved and there was 5 inches of mud covering the street every time it sprinkled!


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