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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 Wanganui Herald, New Zealand, Volume XXXXIV, Issue 12835, page 3, July 30, 1909.




Seen in Daylight.

(Per United Press Association.)

OAMARU, July 29.

For several nights mysterious lights have appeared in the neighbourhood of the Kakanui Ranges, and these have been watcHed by large numbers of people, several using glasses but all doubt as to reality was set at rest this morning when Mr. D. H. Bailey, a settler at Karoo Hill, and brother of the Magistrate, saw the airship at 8 o'clock. His attention was drawn to something unusual by the restiveness of his horses in the yard, and on looking up he saw what he describes to a North Otage Times reporter as a "shape like a boat with a flat top, speeding along at something like 30 miles an hour or more. After watching it for some time he ran in to obtain glasses but by this time the airship had disappeared oVer the hills. An airship was also seen by several people at Maheno, and its reality cannot therefore be doubted. If this is the same mysterious something that has been seen in South Otago and Southland, the inventor has a machine that can not only take long flights but that moves at a great rate of speed. The distance between the two points is about 200 miles.


The Balclutha Free Press publishes the story of one of several of the eye-witnesses, who is a man of unimpeachable respectability, and it runs 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 1000 ft, and even lower. Then it would turn and move 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 we 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 sky wards, and lo and behold! there was she mysterious light, high up in the sky and moving off inland in a westerly direction, towards the Blue Mountains, as as it seemed to me."

The Dunedin Star suggested that the light was nothing more nor less than the light of an heligraph signalling from Taiaroad Head lighthouse, and "Momus", who writes a column termed "By the Way," ridicules the idea as follows "Was the light that sign sought by a wicked and perverse generation, or was it but a remnant of uneasy light?" The Free Press again took the matter up and wrote as follows: "To anyone who stops to think, the idea of a heliograph 50 miles off conveying the impression of a dark body navigating the air is more wildly improbable than the airship theory. The heliograph and searchlight theories were advanced, duly, weighed, and dimissed before ever a word of the sight witnessed by three Stirling residents appeared imprint. So, too, with the light cast by the planet Mars and lesser satellites as viewed on nights subsequent to the 11th inst. by several district residents in the comfortable belief that they have located the mystery. Altogether, after endeavouring to secure an elucidation of the matter from almost every conceivable point of view, we are constrained to admit ourselves baffled. The story of the three original observers stands uncontradicted, and yet uncorroborated."

Perhaps the apparition which appeared over Invercargill on Saturday night is the corroboration of the strange story of Kaitangata.

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