At about 11pm, a travelling Punch and Judy showman named C. Lethbridge encountered an airship on the ground, about 45 feet in length, on the summit of Caerphilly Mountain, just to the north of Cardiff. He also claimed to have met its crew, two young men in heavy fur coats who ‘jabbered furiously to each other in a strange language — Welsh, or something else. Certainly not English’. The airship rose into the air, the men jumped into a carriage suspended underneath, ‘two lights like electric lamps’ switched on, and it flew towards Cardiff. There was a whirring sound which came from a fan at the back of the carriage. The next day, Lethbridge accompanied a journalist to the landing site where the ground appeared disturbed; a collection of strange objects was found, including a kind of plug with a label in French (including the ominous word obus, “shrapnel”), paper scraps on the letterhead of a firm of London stockbrokers, and a number of newspaper clippings concerning ‘airships or the German army’. Also found were fragments of notes ‘bearing a mass of figures and letters of the alphabet formed in a style distinctly different to that of the average English hand’.
Manchester Guardian, 20 May 1909, p. 7; Standard, 20 May 1909, p. 10; Globe, 20 May 1909, p. 7.