Rich Reynolds, UFO Iconoclast(s), has posted a link to Gilles Fernandez's work on adapting the psycho/social model as an explanation for the multiple of airship sightings back in the late 19th Century. Gilles post, "Cracking the 1896/97 Airship Mystery? Toward a Psycho-Sociocultural Explanation", provides an indepth analysis of the "airship" hysteria particularly in California back in 1896 as well as other incidents."
Gilles has accomplished a marvelous piece of research. What strikes me is that Gilles has, through the numerous actual airship designs of the period in question, clearly shown an "evolutionary" process where the human mind has been able to construct a mental visual perception of "cigar" shaped UFOs to the modern day saucer shaped phenomena.
Though this mental evolution is not the thrust of his post, it's clearly apparent. I've long supported a psychological component to most, if not all, UFO encounters and Gilles has accomplished a great deal in further developing this model.
Gilles' site, Sceptic vs. the Flying Saucers, can be accessed here.