Saturday, 29 March 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.

After an absence of more than a week, a mystery airship has been seen again, this time in Galway, Ireland. The Connacht Tribune's report gives a sense of the debates surrounding the 'nocturnal apparition' (p. 4):

Was it an aeroplane or a kite? That is the question that is troubling the minds of the people of Galway since a report became current that an airship had been seen over the city on Wednesday night [26 March 1913]. Many people were startled by the rumour, and drew highly imaginative pictures of a German invasion, evidently an echo of the recent airship scare in England. Others less inclined to sensationalism discredited this view, and say the cause was nothing less prosaic than a kite flown by some college boys. Those who actually saw the aerial visitor, however, are certain that it was an aeroplane, though whence it came and whiteher [sic] flown again, who knows.

'About half a dozen people saw the alleged airship, which had disappeared about an hour later.' One of the witnesses, 'Mr. Conroy, who is employed as coachman by Mr. B. Parks', spoke to the Tribune's correspondent:

'I was coming from the house,' he said, 'and walking along the new line about 8 p.m., when I heard two young lads shouting, "Look at that thing in the air." Glancing up, I saw a large dark body, as high in the air as the College clock (180 feet). Mr. Roycroft then came along and he said it looked like an aeroplane.' 'How did it appear to be moving?' asked the reporter. 'It would go straight for about a hundred yards and then turn round,' said Conroy.

Another witness was 'Mr. Hanly, hall porter at Galway Workhouse', who said that

it had wings like the planes of an aeroplane. When he saw it, he noticed its peculiar motion, from side to side for a distance and then it would stop. That was about 8.15 p.m., and there was a south-easterly wind blowing. There was no light attached to the aerial 'apparition.'

So maybe it's a mystery aeroplane instead.

It's possible that both a mystery airship and a mystery aeroplane have been seen in Russian Poland. The Dundee Courier, the Aberdeen Journal, and the Manchester Courier all carry the Reuter's report from St Petersburg, but the latter's is by a small margin the most detailed (p. 7):

A telegram received here from Kielce (Poland) says that an airship from Austria to-day [28 March 1913] flew over the Vistula into Russian territory, and was followed half an hour later by an aeroplane. The frontier guards fired at the aeroplane, which at once returned towards Austria.

With more information, it could well turn out that there was no mystery about these aircraft at all.

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

One thought on “Saturday, 29 March 1913

  1. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

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