Saturday, 5 April 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.

Dundee Courier, 5 April 1913, 5

Z4 had only a brief stay in Lunéville. It has already flown back to Metz, though not before being searched by the authorities for any evidence that the Zeppelin had been photographing French defences. They didn't find any, but did impose a £300 customs duty anyway (which will be refunded). Except in the frontier provinces, French opinion seems little disturbed by the uninvited visitor; the German press is less sanguine, being concerned by the possibility of Zeppelin's secrets being revealed. Indeed, there is a suggestion that Z4's commander should have destroyed the airship rather than allowing it to fall into the hands of the French.

There is some more discussion today of the Lunéville incident in relation to mystery airship sightings. The Irish Times says (p. 7)

It is considered certain that the Zeppelin which came down at Luneville [sic] yesterday, is the same one which was seen cruising over Vesoul, and flying low over the forts of Epinol [sic]. It is therefore estimated that the vessel must have flown over about 24 miles of French territory. French aeronautical experts have naturally taken advantage of this opportunity to find out as much as possible about the aerial visitor.

While a leading article in the Irish Independent notes that (p. 4)

All through the foreign airship scare in England no one succeeded in actually sighting the mysterious airship, though its lights were alleged to have been seen from time to time. The French have been more lucky, for they actually captured, though not through any merit of their own, the newest and biggest of the German Zeppelin dirigibles.

And the Dundee Courier asks 'WAS ZEPPELIN Z4 THE MYSTERY AIRSHIP SEEN OVER BRITAIN'? (p. 5; above):

It is interesting to note that the dirigible is that which has been suspected of visiting various points along the British coast.

After a brief summary of the Sheerness affair and the sensation it caused, the Courier discusses 'France "seeing things"' as well as Britain:

Since then there has been a remarkable succession of reports from various British coast centres, and though it is probable that most of these may have been due to an over-heated public imagination it has emerged in the telegrams regarding the Zeppelin's latest exploit that France has also been 'seeing things' in the way of nocturnal aerial visitors.

Unfortunately, no details are provided of these French scareships.

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