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Close encounters of the first kind
United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany
October 1912 - March 1213
Before World War One, political tensions in Europe produced a rash of airship sightings over countries who felt threatened by Germany.
On the evening of October 12th 1912 a large, dark object making a strange buzzing sound was seen near the Eastchurch Naval Flying school.
On January 4th 1913, three witnesses saw an airship, showing a light, approach from the sea at Dover, and fly north-east. Even though there was a strong west wind, It traveled at quite a high speed.
On January 17th at 4:45pm, an airship was seen flying over Cardiff, trailing a large volume of smoke. It was noted that it was much bigger and faster than the locally-built airships. Half an hour later another similar looking airship was seen, trailing smoke 30 miles away.
Numerous sightings were seen in February in Yorkshire. On February 21 lights and engines were seen over Warwickshire and Norfolk.
Airship sightings in Belgium and Holland were reported in February 1913. In France, German air ships were reputedly spying on the eastern border.
Many sightings began in Germany on march 4th. A burning airship was seen to crash near Lake Schwielow, Tarnowitz, Prussia. When a search for the aircraft was made no wreckage could be found.
Some of the sightings cannot be easily dismissed. Wile many others may have been due to misidentifications made by fear of war. The reported speeds of the 1913 airships were much quicker than those of that time. The true origins of the 1913 wave remain a mystery.