Etait-ce une floppée de pélicans ?

Weekly News and Courier de Charleston (Caroline du Sud), 30 juin 18971 Clark, J. E.: "pelicanism, 1897", Magonia Exchange, 26 mars 2008


Une solution très plausible au mystère du monstre de Stateburg et de Darlington.

Au rédacteur-en-chef du News and Courier:

Un vaisseau aérien qui pourrait se déplacer aussi rapidement et poursuivre sa course jusqu'à sa destination aussi directement que l'objet qui fut vu voler au-dessus de Stateburg et de Hartsville un dimanche soir il y a 3 ou 4 semaines de cela serait sans doute un trésor sans prix pour tout gouvernement et une merveilleuse pièce de mécanique à fabriquer par le génie inventif de l'homme, and still more wonderful does it become, as a snake or an air ship, when the manner of its movement and progression is taken into consideration, all the laws of aerial or aquatic navigation having been set at defiance, in that the thing cuts through the air sideways instead of endways, at a speed exceeding that of the fastest railroad trains.

Hartsville sur la carte est dans une direction nord-est par nord depuis Stateburg, et distant de quelques 40 miles ou plus à vol d'oiseau, et selon les diverses déclarations it must have been seen at the former place little, if any, more than half an hour after it had been observed flying over the latter, showing a speed of not less than eighty miles an hour. Migratory birds do not travel over long distances at this season of the year, and yet, without doubt, the object under discussion must have been a flock of sea fowl of some kind, changing their quarters from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic coast.

Ducks usually fly abreast of each other, but ducks would have formed a thinner line than the one described. Sand hill cranes are hardly ever seen east of the Mississippi, and fly with outstretched necks and legs, which scarcely could have escaped notice when it was in the power of vision to detect the covering of feathers, besides in flocks their flight is like that of geese, in single file, one after another.

Le pelican est un oiseau au vol très solide et rapide, sa couleur est grise et il vole le cou doubled up et la tête tucked back entre les épaules, de sorte qu'une floppée d'entre eux volant dans le courant l'un de l'autre formerait une figure linéaire très compacte, marquée par des silhouettes plus ou moins uniformément définies, and it is quite probable that the Stateburg and Hartsville stranger, which has caused so much speculation and wonder, was a gay party of pelicans on a "lark from the torrid coasts of their own State to the more breezy locality of Hatteras or Albemarle sound.

Whether pelicans flying in numbers together go abreast or in single file is beyond the memory of your correspondent, but this point can, no doubt, be readily settled by any one of the pilots or fishermen of the City by the Sea?.

W. W. Anderson, Sr.

Stateburg, S.C., June 21, 1897.