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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 Tuapeka Times, Volume XLI, Issue 5665, page 3, on August 11, 1909.




If further proof of the existence of the Blue Mountain airship were required after the statements made by the unimaginative residents of Kelso it has been given by a farmer of the Black Hills, who has found two petrol tins on an eminence in an out-of-the-way portion of his farm. The locality is fully a mile and a half from the nearest road. It is stated locally that it is improbable that the oil was used for a motor of any other description than that attached to an airship, for it would be impossible to have taken a motor car to the spot. After leaving the Black Hills something must have "gone wrong" with the machinery of the airship, for another farmer in the Otama district, we are informed, has found several screw wrenches in a field in which the aerial explorers must have landed to make repairs.

A farm hand at Greenvale while feeding his horses preparatory to commencing the day's ploughing on the 31st ult. heard a strange whirring sound which frightened the animals. On looking out for the cause it is stated that he saw the airship overhead. It was about 150 ft in length and had head and tail lights. The man ran to awaken his mates, but the airship was moving so fast that when they looked for it only the lights could be faintly seen.

Two ladies returning from a social at Waikaka saw the lights of what they consider was the airship on Thursday morning. The occupants of the ship must have been indulging in a pyrotechnic display just at the time, for the lights changed from white to red, violet, green, and orange, as the spectators watched.-- Mataura Ensign.


In view of the great interest taken in the mysterious lights seen in the heavens recently over a wide area from the reported airships, the following account from an actual beholder of the phenomenon (Mr Thomas Potter, Norwood, Kelso), published in the Mataura Ensign, is of interest:--

"I have noticed in recent issues of your paper accounts of the mysterious lights that have been seen about various districts during the last fortnight by some of your reporters and correspondents, some of them putting ihe phenomenon down to fire balloons, heliograph reflections, the planet Mars, or small boy practices. In the first place I do not think that the planet Mars has got quite so close to us yet. Now I can vouch that we have an airship, in our midst, for I with four or five others have seen it at a very close distance, being only a few hundred yards away. The night that we observed the vessel was Saturday, July 31, and she was travelling from the Blue Mountains making for Mount Wendon. The ship passed close to my house and the hum of the propellers was quite plainly heard. Not thinking of airships, we did not go out for a few seconds, and when we did the vessel was from twenty to twenty-five chains away. Owing to a fairly strong wind blowing she was travelling very low — I would say about eighty feet from the ground. For some time we could see only the rear light, as she was going direct from us.

The light was one that you would see on a traction engine - a white dazzling light, not a dull one like a fire balloon would give. From my homestead the vessel only made one tack until she disappeared over Mount Wendon. Then we could see the two side lights, which were red in colour and smaller than the rear light. The vessel then made a straight course for Mount Wendon, and after disappearing over the mountain she hove in sight for a second or two with a rising and falling motion. The vessel was travelling dead against the wind — a wind that I would say was travelling from four to five miles per hour. By the time the vessel took to travel from my homestead to Mount Wendon I would say that she was doing eighteen miles an hour.

Without a doubt we have an airship in our midst but whether she is of New Zealand or German construction I will leave to an abler man than myself to judge. I see by the paper that the vessel was seen in Alexandra at the same time that we viewed it. If so there are two airships."

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