Mystery aircraft, 1865-1946

This is a preliminary, partial (and possibly erroneous) list of mystery aircraft (balloons, airships, aeroplanes, rockets) panics and related scares up to 1946. Entries in bold are major episodes (occurring over a wide area and/or long time); those in (brackets) either do not involve aircraft but are related episodes of widespread misperception or else are failed panics. Links are to posts elsewhere on this blog.

See also: a miscellany of Australian mystery aeroplanes, 1906-1947 and, more generally, all mystery aircraft posts. I have published on the 1913 British phantom airship panic (The Next War in the Air, 'The phantom airship panic of 1913') and the 1918 Australian mystery aeroplane panic ('Dreaming war'); see my list of publications.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *