In 1870, at Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, a picture of what appears to be a cigar-shaped, Unidentified Flying Object was taken over the summit of Mount Washington. The picture is an antique stereoview. The most interesting aspect of the picture is this is a time frame that is 30 years before airplanes, and only basic balloon style flight existed. This picture doesn’t look like any of the airships of 1870. The description on the picture reads “SUMMIT Mt. Washington WINTER 1870-1871 Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1871, by CLOGH & KIMBALL, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.” (UFOArtwork.com)
The original picture was auctioned off on eBay in March of 2002 for $385. The winner of the auction was Independent-International Pictures Corp. president Samuel M.
Sherman. Sherman stated the picture will be submitted to scientists for detailed analysis and the results made acailable to the public.
A UFO researcher named Ryan Mullahy followed up with his own research on the photo, and determined this is a picture of a “wooden ruler used to measure the snow or to show scale” but not a UFO.
Is this the earliest known photograph of a UFO or is this simply an optical illusion of a tool on a snowdrift?