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Dawson Daily News

June 17, 1903


John Leonard, Klondike Balloonist

Prof. Leonard Back in North

Returns to Dawson After Absence of Two Years - Makes Spectacular Ascension

      After an absence of two years, Prof. John Leonard has returned to Dawson. He will remain here during this season and then leave for St.Louis, where he will do a few stunts with a flying machine at the great fair. While here the professor will make one ascension at Dawson, another at the Forks and a third somewhere else.
      This is Leonardís twentieth season as an aeronaut and his fourth in the Yukon. When he left here two years ago the First avenue business men presented him with a handsome gold medal of appropriate design. He went to Nome and gave several exhibitions there. Twice he landed in the Behring sea three-quarters of a mile from shore.
      From the barren shores of Nome, Leonard traveled south to the sunny beach of Hawaii, where he made six ascensions. He flew four times over the course traveled by Laurence, the ill-fated employe of Van Tassel. Laurence was devoured by sharks outside Honolulu. Leonard, however , came out of the ascensions safely. The local papers were opposed to him taking the Laurence course.
      The professor was charmed with the quaint simplicity of the natives. They looked upon him as a demi-god. He met Prince Cupid and Prince David. But he had to leave Honolulu because of sickness. He did not acclimate readily. It was a big change from the Yukon. The food was entirely different. Consequently the professor returned to the states and thence to Dawson.
      Coming down to Dawson Leonard made a spectacular a spectacular ascension at Whitehorse. He crossed the river in his balloon. When he cut loose at a height of 2,000 feet he aeroplaned the parachute by hauling in one side and traveled back across the stream. In his 2,000 foot fall he traveled about 100 yards.
      If Leonard ascends here on July 4 he may dynamite the air. He would take two or three sticks and a fuse with him and explode the dynamite when he reached a safe height. It would be an illuminated ascension.
      When he goes to St. Louis Leonard will have a flying machine built on the same principle as Count Von Zeppelinís famous contrivance. Santos Dumont and other noted air navigators will be at the fair. Altogether it is expected that forty flying machines will be in attendance.
      Leonard expresses great pleasure at getting back to the Klondike."



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