Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Loch Ness and the Mysterious Airships of 1909

I will be giving a talk to the Edinburgh Fortean Society on Tuesday 12th September entitled "The Mysterious Airships of 1909". Back in those pre-war days, unknown airships were buzzing the skies of Britain at various widespread locations. Indeed, it was a report of one being seen near Loch Ness that piqued my interest in this subject and led to further research.

Were they advance spies for the German Kaiser in preparation for the feared invasion? Was it mass hysteria or something completely different to these explanations? Damned if I know, but I'll give it a go! The sketch above from Punch Magazine dated 26th May 1909 sums up the Fortean mystique of the subject as it was likened to its contemporary, the cryptozoological sea serpent.

More details can be found here.

The author can be contacted at lochnesskelpie@gmail.com


  1. It was not just GB, GB. The US also had an airship invasion in 1909...https://www.jstor.org/stable/1559788?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

  2. John Keel devoted a whole chapter to mystery airships in his book, Ufos: Operation Trojan Horse.

    1. Yes, he investigated the 1896 "flap" in America. Note that John Keel was credited with finding an 1896 "Nessie" article which turned out to be a sea serpent article.

      Most likely Keel was scanning old newspapers for 1896 airship reports when he stumbled upon the 1896 nessie/sea-serpent article.


  3. Will a transcript of your talk be available afterwards? I certainly hope so. Thanks.

  4. Those were the UFOs of the time in terms of technologies people could fathom, but may very well have been the same phenomena that people continue to observes (minus hoaxes and misidentifications)...