On the one hand, there are more mystery airships reports (many old but some new) in today's papers than ever before, mostly in the provincial press. On the other, some editors seem to have grown weary of the subject: for example, whereas both the Daily Express and the Standard have carried multiple articles on the subject all this week, today they don't mention it at all. Newspapers which do still discuss the scareships (and there are many) are more likely to have a sceptical tone: the Dundee Evening Telegraph records that 'With regard to the Hull vision, a correspondent who has been making investigations is unable to find one responsible observer who takes the airship view', and that 'Inquiries at Ipswich failed to reveal any confirmation of the airship theory' (p. 2). This may be an effect of the increasingly assertive scepticism of the Daily Mirror and others over the past few days, but it might also have something to do with the discovery of a wrecked fire balloon on the Yorkshire moors. As The Times reports (p. 5):
An under-gamekeeper, named Walter Moore, in the employment of Colonel Longdale [sic], of Houghton Hall, two miles south of Market Weighton and about 14 miles from Selby, found a fire balloon on Houghton Moor on Sunday morning. He paid his first visit to Market Weighton for several days on Tuesday, and had not heard of the rumours which associated the lights which had been seen in the district with foreign airships. He then stated that the balloon was the size of 36-galloon cask and just like those sent up at galas. The cover was marked in blue and yellow stripes, and the fuse when found did not appear to have been long extinguished. The balloon was half-deflated and was resting against a small hillock. He completed the process of deflation, and wrapped up the cover and took it home. It is thought that the light of this balloon may have been that seen on Friday evening.
The Manchester Guardian reports this discovery, and also prints a letter from E. G. Herbert of Manchester along the same lines:
I was passing along Moseley Road, Fallowfield, about three weeks ago at 6 30 p.m. when a lad excitedly called my attention to 'an airship.' There was a bright light in the sky about 20 degrees above the horizon and almost due south from where I was.
My first thought was: 'It cannot be an aeroplane because it moves too slowly; it cannot be an airship because there is no hull visible.' It certainly was not a planet. I doubt if it could have been mistaken for one even if it had been stationary, but the most noticeable thing about it was its steady movement to the right, exactly that of a drifting balloon. During the five minutes or so that I watched it its position changed from south to west-south-west, and it became perceptibly dimmer and more distant.
I concluded that the light was carried by a toy balloon which had probably been sent up by someone wishing to enjoy himself at the expense of the 'jumpiness' of his fellow citizens.
Grahame-White, 'the famous aviator', has also suggested that (as quoted by the Dublin Freeman's Journal, p.6, which is itself quoting the Evening Standard) that 'the reports of lights in the sky seen in different parts of the country might be due to the work of a practical joker sending up fire-balloons'.