There was a tide of sightings by people across the country in the 1890's of mysterious "airships" that predated dirigibles and similar flying machines. These have long been used to support the pre-Roswell existence of "UFO's". Other researchers, however, citing the known tendency of some newspaper reporters to be less than truthful, or more kindly put, more inclined to not let an opportunity to pull a prank escape, question the validity of these stories. In 1897 there came a report of a visit of one of these mysterious craft to LeRoy, Kansas.
"An account by Alexander Hamilton of Leroy, Kansas supposedly occurred about April 19, 1897, and was published in the Yates Center Farmer’s Advocate of April 23. Hamilton, his son, and a tenant witnessed an airship hovering over his cattle pen. Upon closer examination, the witnesses realized that a red “cable” from the airship had lassoed a heifer, but had also become entangled in the pen’s fence. After trying unsuccessfully to free the heifer, Hamilton cut loose a portion of the fence, then "stood in amazement to see the ship, cow and all rise slowly and sail off." (Jacobs, 15)."
"In 1982, ....UFO researcher Jerome Clark debunked this story, and confirmed via interviews and Hamilton's own affidavit that the story was a successful attempt to win a Liar's Club competition to create the most outlandish tall tale). "
Once again, we see the "Liar's" angle from Kansas - which must have had a very strong storytelling heritage to support such tall tales and outright lies! One prank or hoax does not necessarily eliminate all such reports, but it does underscore the necessity of doing full background research when looking into any mystery of history.
Read the full and excellent report on the entire mystery airship phenom at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_airship.
Also, Publications International, Ltd., the Editors of. "The 1897 Cow Abduction Hoax." 07 February 2008. HowStuffWorks.com. 27 July 2008.
'WICHITA'S LIARS" : 1903
Early judge and newspaperman, David Leahy, spoke in Wichita in Feb. 1903 calling it the "hot air Emporium" and stating that "Wichita sends out more newspaper fairy tales than any place of like size on Earth." He referenced a story where a fake story was supported by forged telegrams and as a result a NY paper was defending itself in court. In another, he told of a tale that a 2 year old had fallen into a bored well and numerous requests for updates flooded the newspaper office. Another tale involved a farmer in the Cherokee Strip and a tornado funnel. According to the Kansas Historical Society, Leahy was an Irish born newsman who was in the first government in Kingfisher, Oklahoma and was in Wichita on the newspapers in 1890's. So, he presents alikely candidate as the "Kansas reporter" for the story of the "all woman town" in Oklahoma . "Wichita's Liars". Oklahoma (Feb. 14, 1903)David Leahy at http://www.kshs.org/research/topics/kansasn ewspapers/Leahybio.htm