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UFOs in the daily Press:

The 1909 airship scare in the U-K. Press:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper The Sandard, U-K., for May 17, 1909, page 7.





Although it is nearly two months since the mysterious airship, which is claimed to have been seen at night by many people in all parts of Eastern England, was first noticed, there is not the faintest clue to an elucidation of the mystery.

There seems little doubt that something has been seen, for the stories of the witnesses living many miles from one another agree on certain vital points. With few exceptions they speak of a torpedo-shaped object, possessing two powerful searchlights, which comes out only at night. From the careful observations made by some of the witnesses it seems reasonable to assume that the airship travels very swiftly and is held by it owner in complete control.

But the War Office and the Aeronautical Society have made extensive enquiries, but neither can throw any light on the matter. In view of recent German activity in aerial navigation, it has been suggested that the airship is one from across the North Sea, but this can be discarded in favour of a wiser assumprion that it is the property of an English inventor who wishes to keep his production a carefully guarded secret.

It was about 5 a.m. on March 23 last that Police constable Kettle, a Petersborough constable, detected a strange, cigar-shaped craft passing over the city. He told his friends, but they were skeptical, and refused to be convinced. Two days later, a report came from Mr. Banyard, of March, a place fifteen miles distant, that he had seen an airship similar to the one described by Kettle. Still those who heard the stories maintained an attitude of incredulity. Mr. Banyard's news was corroborated, however, by a Mrs. Day, who saw the airship about the same time on the same night. From March 25 to the present date scores of people have seen the mysterious visitant. Confirmation has been received from Coventry, St. Neot's, Clacton, Northampton - places many miles apart - from residents, who all declare that they have seen it.

Mr. W. C. Allen, of Market Harborough, states that he saw "an oblong airship with lights in front and behind, flying swiftly through the air." Time, about 11 o'clock.

Miss N. M. Boville, of Southend, writes that she saw "a dard object looming out of the sky" It was about a quarter of a mile above the houses and trees". There were two powerful searchlights on it". Time, 11.20 p.m..

Mr. E. S. Free, of Clacton, describes how he saw the craft, which he states is sausage shape[d]. Time, 10.30 p.m.

Other statements bear out the above, and in each case the time is either between ten and twelve o'clock or early morning. We append a list of witnesses who have seen the remarkable airship, with, when possible, the dates on which they noticed it.

Place Seen by Date Miles from last place named
Peterborough P. O. Kettle March 23 -
March Mr. Banyard March 25 15
March Mrs. Day March 25 -
Wisbech Mr. Deacon March 28 8
Ipswich P. O. Hudson April 24 62
Ipswich Mr. J. A. Smith April 24 -
Bury St. Edmonds Mrs. Rush May 3 23
Great Clacton Mr. Free May 3 35
Market Harborough Mr. C. W. Allen May 5 100
Market Harborough Mr. Brown May 5 100
King's Lynn Two labourers Abt. May 7 64
Peakirk Mr. strange - 30
St Neot's - - 29
Southend Miss boville May 9 67
Stamford Mr. Cole May 9 92
Northampton Mr. Kelf - 68
Weatcliff Mr. Rubens May 13 186
Broughton Astley (Rugby) Residents - 205
Coventry Tramway men - 15
Sandringham Residents - 45

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