Wednesday, 22 May 1918

This post is part of a series post-blogging the Australian mystery aeroplane panic of 1918. See here for an introduction or here for a list of all posts.

C. Joyes, 22 May 1918

NAA: MP1049/1, 1918/066, page 134 is a report by Constable C. Joyes, Victoria Police, about an 'Aeroplane seen in the vicinity of Dromana', a seaside resort town about 70km from Melbourne.

Doctor J. G. Weld of Dromana reported to me today that he saw an Aeroplane about 530 am yesterday morning (21st [May 1918]) flying between Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay, and finally flew in the direction of the Naval Base. The Dr was visiting a patient when he saw the lights he called his wife and two male friends, and they also saw the lights, sometimes the lights would disappear as if behind a cloud. The Dr. states he did not actually see the machine nor did he hear any noise.

There's not a lot to say about this one. In my article I use it as an unusual example of someone of a relatively high social status reporting a mystery aeroplane; the typical witnesses were working or lower middle class. Hard to know what they actually saw; perhaps Canopus which was very low on the SSE horizon at the time, but there's not enough information to make a judgement -- and anyway, the report does say lights, plural. Oddly, the report is addressed directly to 'the Minister for Navy', perhaps due to an internal police directive, though the Minister would have been less than interested by this stage. And, in yet another addition for the errata file, I originally read the constable's name as 'Joyce' but looking more closely it's clearly 'Joyes'.

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