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UFOs in the daily Press:

The "mysterious airship" wave in the New Zealand Press, 1909:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper Otago Witness, New Zealand, Issue 2887, page 70, July 21, 1909.

Scan.

A MYSTERIOUS LIGHT.

SUPPOSED AIRSHIP.

Ridicule and rigid cross-examination have failed to shake the theory that a light, supposed to belong to an airship, was hovering over the Wangaloa Hills, near Kaitangata, on the night of the 11th. The narrative of this extraordinary apparition as supplied to the Free Press (Balclutha) by several eye witnwsses who are prepared to take an affidavit to the truth of their statement, which (according to tho newspaper named) is as follows: --

"It first came into our view from the east, and we thought it was a meteor or a falling star, but the light grew in brilliance. It moved about the hills above Kaitangata, sometimes swooping down from a height of apparently 2000 ft to about 1OOOft and even lower. Then it would turn and make away towards the sea, or would dip completely out of sight behind the hills. It seemed to move with as much ease, and even grace, as a bird on the wing. The light carried was a strong and steady one, and whenever the ship, or whatever it was, turned, we thought we could see a dark, opaque body. Certainly we could see, without a doubt, the reflection of the light in the clouds. It was a white light with a reflector. When she was side on we thought wo could see the reflection as of a black body above and below. It was a marvellously mystifying sight. After we had watched it for a good half hour the ship moved off in an easterly direction, whence it had first come into view. I left my companions and made off home, and then a peculiar thing happened. I had been walking for 10 minutes, and chanced to look skyward, and lo and behold! there was the mysterious light, high up in the sky and moving off inland in a westerly direction, towards the Blue Mountain, as it seemed to me."

The story has been received with some incredulity, but the kite and the advertisement balloon theories had been found as being as improbable as the airship. Seeing that the gentlement who witnessed the phenomenon are or irreproachable integrity, residents are at loss what to make of it. "If it isn't a hoax, or an airship, what is it?" is a question being generally asked.

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