Saturday, 8 February 1913

This post is part of a series post-blogging the phantom airship scare of 1913. See here for an introduction to the series, and here for a conclusion.

Liverpool Echo, 8 February 1913, 6

Two new airship reports today. First, from the Liverpool Echo (p. 6, above):

Between eight and half-past eight last night [7 February 1913] at least a dozen people in London-road, Northwich, observed a bright light in the sky, and were emphatically convinced that it proceeded from an airship. Rays seemed distinctly to emanate from the light, which shifted its position and shone steadily for possibly two minutes. It was observed later at an even higher altitude and smaller in size, the rays being still discernible. The light was intermittent and apparently shifting.

The airship disappeared in the direction of Crewe. It was at a great height, and no outline of the ship was observed. The gale was blowing at the time.

Second, from the Norfolk News (p. 11):

The sight of three aeroplanes was reported from Sheringham on Friday [7 February 1913]. From what we have ascertained, a lady living on the Beeston Hills, looking inland over Hook's Hill, to the back of the town, about six o'clock, saw first one, then a second, and near-by a third aeroplane, going in a westerly direction. From one a red light was flashed over the town. Another lady who was walking in High Street about the same hour noticed a brilliant light from above.

Another paragraph notes the results of 'Further enquiries':

Several residents confirm the truth of the report; and an ex-Army officer observed the last one through his [field] glasses. It now appears that they returned about midnight, and one gentleman distinctly heard them at that hour.

These reports have some unique features. The Northwich sighting took place in the teeth of a gale which caused havoc around Liverpool that night, not the best time to be taking a voyage in an airship. (Though it should be noted that the wind was blowing 'half a gale' during the Dover incident a month ago.) And the Sheringham sighting was of not one but three airships (or aeroplanes); hitherto the fly-by-nights have always been solitary.

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