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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, on July 8, 1909.


Terrified Englishmen

A Second "Headless Horseman"

London cables recently told how a great scare had been caused amongst the people of the Eastern Counties of England by the report that an airship had been seen and heard flying by night over various parts of the country. Many people jumped to the conclusion that the airship in question must be a German dirigible, spying out the land, and great alarm was caused. Later on it was stated that the finding of a wrecked toy balloon proved that the whole thing was simply an advertising dodge, but from the cable published above it will be seen that the airship was a reality, and it is very gratifying to know that it is a British-made one.

Recent London papers to hand in referring to the reports as to the strange airship which hovered over England at night, and spread such general alarm state:-— A mysterious airship has appeared in the Eastern Counties of England. It is as elusive and as terrifying as the Headless Horsemen, and scoffers — who are many — suggest that it is quite as unreal. However, it makes a satisfying scare for the moment. Country farmers, jogging home after a strenuous day at the market — and the market days are sometimes really a strain on the nerves — hear a low whirring sound, and looking up see two lights at the bows of a cigar-shaped craft looming vaguely in the sky.

The latest story (says the Daily Chronicle) comes from Northampton, and is quite as definite, or indefinite, as any of the others. The time was nine o'clock on Saturday night. "It came from the direction of Bedford, and went at a very rapid pace towards Daventry." The narrative proceeds to relate that its flight was witnessed "by a large number of people" (note the convincing multiplication of witnesses) "as it passed over the main streets."

But when it comes to the description of the airship an inexplicable vagueness overspreads the story. "Headlights," we are told, "were clearly seen, whilst the dark, cigar-shaped body of the airship was faintly silhouetted against the dull sky."

However, there are certain believing souls who are still convinced that a wonderful dirigible, manned by Germans, nightly spies over the great naval depots and the huge military defences that, as we all know, are the prominent feature of the Eastern Counties.

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