As far as we know, no one else had developed the capability of sustained air flight, at least on this planet. But early accounts of our first settlers included an occasional report of something flying in the sky. These happen chance sightings were normally made when one would check the sky for weather conditions, or see birds fly over. One of the very first sightings of what could be a UFO occurred as early as 1865, over 35 years before the first known flight at Kitty Hawk. Fortunately, there are still newspaper accounts of this and other early sightings of days long since passed.
The Missouri Democrat dated October 19, 1865 gives an account of the sighting of an unknown flying object under the headline of "A STRANGE STORY-REMARKABLE DISCOVERY." The story was reported by one James Lumley, who was a trapper. The report stated that "if" what Lumley reported was true, it would shake the foundations of the scientific world. Lumely claims that in the middle of September, he was trapping in the mountains at a location about 75-100 miles above the Great Falls of the Upper Missouri River. Just after sunset, Lumley saw a "bright, luminous, body" in the skies. This body moved very quickly to the East. After five seconds, the unknown object burst into pieces. He soon heard a thunderous explosion followed by a "rushing sound." This explosion shook the ground. He could smell sulfur in the air. Though impressed by what he had seen and heard, the next day would bring even more remarkable discoveries.