“Well after trying in vain to move either of us they turned in the direction of the Woodbridge Canal, near which we were, and as they flashed their lights toward the bridge we beheld a startling sight. There, resting in the air about twenty feet above the water was an immense airship. It was 150 feet in length at least, though probably not over twenty feet in diameter at the widest part. It was pointed at both ends, and outside of a large rudder there was no visible machinery. The three walked rapidly toward the ship, not as you or I walk, but with a swaying motion: their feet only touching the ground at intervals of about twenty feet. We followed them as rapidly as possible, and reached the bridge as they were about to embark. With a little spring they rose to the machine, opened the door in the side, and then disappeared within. I do not know of what the affair was built, but just before it started I struck it with a rock and it gave no sound. It went through the air very rapidly and expanded and contracted with a muscular motion and was soon out of sight.

“I have a theory, which of course, is only a theory that those we beheld be inhabitants of Mars, who have been sent to earth for the purpose of securing one of its inhabitants. I feel safe in asserting that the stories being told by certain San Francisco attorneys are clumsy fakes and should not be given credence by anyone.

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“From the description I give I do not want you to get the idea that these creatures were hideous. In appearance they were markedly the contrary. They were posses of a strange and indescribable beauty. I can express myself in no other way. The were graceful to a degree, and more divinely beautiful than anything I have ever beheld.

“The strangest part of this story is yet to come. It is the lights they carried. Each held in his hand something about the size of a hen’s egg. Upon holding them up and partly opening the hand, these substances emitted the most remarkable, intense and penetrating light one can imagine.
Not with standing its intensity, it had no unpleasant effect upon our eyes and we found we could gaze directly at it. It seemed to me to be some sort of luminous material, though they had complete control of it.

“Finally they became tired of examining us and our horse and buggy, and then one of them, at a signal from one of them who appeared to be the leader, attempted to lift me, probably with the intention of carrying me away. Although I made not the slightest resistance and he could not move me, and finally the three of them tried it without the slightest success. They appeared to have no muscular power outside of being able to move their own limbs

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“While they were thus engaged I was enabled to inspect them as well. As I have already stated, they were seven feet in height and very slender. I noticed further, that their hands were quite small and delicate, and that their fingers were without nails. Their feet, however, were nearly twice as long as those of an ordinary man, though they were narrow. and the toes were also long and slender. I noticed, too, that they were able to use their feet and toes much the same as a monkey; in fact, they appeared to have much better use of their feet than their hands. I presently discovered that this was probably a provision of nature. As one of them came close to me I reached out to touch him and, placing my hand under his elbow, pressed gently upward and lo and behold I lifted him from the ground with scarcely an effort. I should judge that the specific gravity of the creature was less than an ounce. It was then that I observed him try to grasp the earth with his toes to prevent my lifting him. You can readily understand that their slight weight made such a provision necessary, or they might be blown away.

“They were without any sort of clothing, but were covered with a natural growth hard to describe: it was not hair, neither was it feathers, but it was as soft a silk to the touch, and their skin was like velvet. Their faces were without hair, the ears were very small, and the nose had the appearance of polished ivory, while the eyes were large and lustrous. The mouth, however, was small, and it seemed to me that they were without teeth. That and other things led me to believe that they neither ate nor drank, and that was sustained by some sort of gas. Each of them swung under the left arm a bag to which was attached a nozzle and every little while one or the other would place the nozzle in his mouth at which time I heard a sound as of escaping gas. It was much the same sound as is produced by a person blowing up a football.

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Were it not for the fact that I was not alone when I witnessed the strange sight I would never have mentioned it at all. Wednesday afternoon I went out to Lodi and Lockeford in company with Camille Spooner, a young man recently arrived from Nevada. I went to the places mentioned in quest of material to form an exhibit to represent this county at the Fresno Citrus Fair. We left Lodi on the return trip, I should judge shortly before 6 o’clock and we were jogging along quietly when the horse stopped suddenly and gave a snort of terror. Looking up we beheld three strange beings, they resembled human (……………….) were not like anything I had ever seen. They were nearly or quite seven feet high and very slender. We were both somewhat startled, and as you may readily imagine and the first impulse was to drive on. The horse, however, refused to budge, and when we were being regarded more with an air of curiosity than anything else we concluded to get out and investigate. I walked up to where the strange looking persons were and addressed them. I asked them where they were from. They seemed not to understand me, but began–well,
‘warbling. expresses it better than talking. Their remarks were addressed to each other, and sounded like a monotonous chant, inclined to be guttural. I saw it was no use to attempt a conversation, so I satisfied myself with watching and examining them. They seemed to take great interest in ourselves, the horse and buggy, and scrutinized everything very carefully.

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The stage has been set where things have been put in place to present the story as it appeared in it’s day. Here is the Evening Mail Article, Nov 27, 1896:


Who possibly came from the Planet Mars

Seen on a country road by Colonel H.G. Shaw and a companion-
they boarded the Airship

For more than a week the papers all over the coast have been reporting the presence of an alleged airship or flying machine which many reliable people claim to have seen on several occasions in the heavens at night. Whether or not there really is such a contrivance navigating in the air, the Mail is unable to satisfactorily determine, but some of the papers have taken the matter seriously and others have disposed to make light of the statements. A couple of San Francisco attorneys have secured a lot of free advertising by claiming to have clients who have invented and tested successful flying ships, and the newspapers have filled several columns talking about the aerial mystery.

The Mail makes the above statement merely by way of preface to a most remarkable story which is related by Colonel H.G.Shaw of this city, formerly of the mail editorial staff. Colonel Shaw is at present engaged in collecting an exhibit for the Stockton Commercial Association to be displayed at the Citrus Fair which will be held in Fresno during the coming month. The gentleman was very reticent about relaying the circumstance, as he was loath to appear before the public as a romancer or as a man who looked upon shoe-string when it was red. He tells the story as follows:

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Time of Day of the event

To further explore the circumstances surrounding the event, the time of day is important.  In the article Colonel Shaw states that it was:  “I should judge shortly before 6:00 p.m.” It was likely a dark gloomy day late in November with sunset at about 5:45 pm.  Colonel Shaw mentions further in the story that they carried a light about the size of a hen’s egg. It emitted a remarkable, intense and penetrating light.


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Weather Report – Nov 25, 1896

The weather at the time of this event, Wednesday Nov 25 1896,  6:00 p.m., has never been reported in anything I’ve researched In order to further investigate the abduction attempt completely, it is a factor to consider. The followling column was written as it appears in the Stockton Daily
Independent News, Wednesday November 25, 1896:


There Was Plenty More of It Here Yesterday

This section of the country has had an abundance of rain for the time being and yesterday the yellow color of the waterin the channels showed that the rainfall was having an effect on the waters thereof. Morman Channel was up about two and a half feet and the water at the head of the Stockton channel showed about a foot and a half of a rise.
the rainfall of yesterday as registered at the asylum swelled the total for the storm to 1.84 inches, making 2.27 inches for the month and 3.29 inches for the season as against 1.25 inches for the last season. There was a quick rush of waters into the channels and the rise was quick. It is not expected that there will be anything more than a slight rise as it is warm rain in the mountains after a heavy snow that counts with the rivers.
At Linden there was a little rise and at Duncans bridge, above Linden, word was sent that help was wanted to clear away the drift that was piling up against the underpinning of the bridge. That shows that there must to have been quite a rise in the foothills.At San Joaquin bridge the gauge showed 4.2 feet, which is a raise of about 2 feet since the low stage of a week and a half ago.

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the Woodbridge Irrigation Canal

wb canal

Pictured in the banner above is a north/north west view of the Woodbridge Irrigational Canal near the intersection of West Lodi Avenue and Lower Sacramento Road. The canal was origionally named “the ditch”. The picture below is from a postcard showing how it appeared in November 25, 1896. That is the actual date of the encounter with the Aliens. To the South is Raley’s Shopping Center, to the East is a housing development. The picture above in the banner is a current picture, the only undeveloped area. It is going to become a new housing area in the near future. In 1896 it was very much country farmland.

As the story develops in this BLOG, keep these pictures in mind where it happened as we examine all the known facts.

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The story that captured my interest

My interest in the Lodi abduction attempt began with the following story in a Lodi Newspaper thirteen years ago:
by Jeff Hood


Lodi’s place in American history is far more important than you may have imagined. It is the site of the first reported encounter between earthlings and outer space aliens in the United States history. The 104th anniversary of the historic visit passed on Nov. 25—apparently without a return visit to celebrate.
The 1896 encounter—reported in one of Stockton’s three newspapers at the time—has not been forgotten by UFO buffs, receiving mention on a show broadcast on the History Channel as a U.S. first and in UFO discussion groups on the internet.

But did anything strange really happen?

According to the Evening Mail, a Col. H.G. Shaw and another man, collecting exhibits to represent San Joaquin County in the Fresno Citrus Fair, were riding in a buggy on Lower Sacramento Road near the current Raley’s Supermarket, when their horses suddenly stopped in terror. Shaw described seeing three strange beings, about 7 feet tall and very slender. The height differs somewhat with subsequent reports of aliens, although space travelers apparently don’t have weight problems.

Shaw approached them, attempted to talk with them, but they made guttural sounds. Not even a “Take me to your leader.” which today would be a difficult request to fulfill.

The heavenly visitors also were near weightless. “As one of them came close to me I reached out to touch him, and, placing my hand under his elbow, pressed gently upward and lo and behold I lifted him from the ground with scarcely an effort.” Shaw told the Mail, estimating the aliens weight at less than an ounce.

Starting a trend

Shaw may also have given birth to the modern version of aliens:
“Their faces and heads were without hair, the ears were very small and the nose has the appearance of polished ivory, while the eyes were large and lustrous. The mouth, however, was small and it seemed to me that they were without teeth.”

The aliens held an object the size of a hen’s egg, which emitted a penetrating light, and occasionally breathed from the tube they had attached to a bag held under their left arms.

Their cigar-shaped airship –150 feet long and 20 feet wide
—hovered 20 feet above the Woodbridge irrigation canal. Shaw reported the aliens attempted to lift him, but weren’t strong enough to make him budge, then returned to their ship, jumping up through a hole in the side.

Then Shaw did what came naturally—he threw a rock at it, hitting the side without making a sound. The supposed airship then pulsed off into the distance.

Surge of sightings

Newspapers throughout Northern California at the time were filled with reports of strange lights filling the sky. About the same time, an inventor in San Francisco supposedly had developed a flying machine, seven years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight. A day before Shaw’s amazing encounter, bright lights were seen flying south toward and beyond Stockton. Witnesses often testified they had not been drinking.

A story in the Nov 28, 1896, Stockton Daily Independent started, “Unless you’ve seen the airship or flying machine you are not worth spending much time with.”

Maybe that’s what is behind occasional waves of UFO reports, typically after a high-profile case. The “modern” UFO era began when private pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing a flying saucer near Mount Rainier in Washington.

In a matter of day’s, a Lodi woman reported hearing a noise
“Like a four-motored bomber”, accompanied by a spectacular glow in the sky just before her lights went off at dawn. A United Press story on the matter concluded, “It was the first time any noise had been attributed to flying saucers,” even though no one reported seeing a UFO.

Flying saucers were reported at a ranch 15 miles south of Tracy on Oct. 30, 1999, and four years ago in Stockton a person notified a UFO reporting agency of “awakening to a being in the doorway of my room.”

That may have happened to you too. Try giving the being a drink of water and tucking it back in bed.

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The Callahan UFO Report

The Callahan UFO Report

This webpage is about UFO’s that have appeared in California’s Central Valley. The very first Alien Abduction attempt documented in print happened in Lodi, California, November 1896.

I will attempt to present historical information regarding articles from books, newspapers and periodicals relating to this event and other sightings reported on UFOs.

I am not the John Callahan formerly of the F.A.A. and a participant of the recent Disclosure Committee meeting in Washington D.C. I would welcome the opportunity to talk with him.

The United States Air Force defines a “UFO” as:

“Any airborne object which by performance, dynamic characteristics, or unusual feature does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positively identified as a familiar object.”

This is a pretty formal description to say: “We don’t know what the hell it is.”

Our Government doesn’t want the public to think they aren’t in control of everything, so when unusual things started showing up in the heavens above, they needed to have answers. They launched programs aimed at giving the public confidence they were on top of it. Project Grudge and later Blue Book were created to answer and define any reported sightings. The program was ended in 1970.

I will research as many of these reports, by newspaper accounts, books, and official Air Force declassified documents. These reports will be focused in the Northern California Central Valley where there is a concentration of Air Force Bases. These bases are or were:

Chico Army Airfield (Chico)
Oroville Army Airfield (Oroville)
Beale AFB (Marysville)
McCellan AFB (Sacramento)
Mather AFB (Rancho Cordova)
Travis (Fairfield-Suisun) AFB (Fairfield)
Hamilton AFB (San Rafael)
Castle AFB (Atwater)

As you would imagine there have been many sightings and reports in this area. UFOs seem to be interested in the military presence and the Central Valley of California certainly fills that bill.

It is only right to begin this site with an event that became the very first documented actual unsuccessful Alien Abduction Attempt in history, by beings from an airship.

It took place on the outskirts of Lodi, California: November 1896. There have many edited versions of the event, but I will present it in full. There are newspaper articles from that week and I will post information I found in my research.

So sit back and enjoy a bit of history. My next posting will begin the story.

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