Project 1947 UFO Reports for the year 1909.

source: [offline]

Sandusky, Ohio Daily Register – July 23, 1909


Attracts Attention of Night Owls

Many Looked for Airship to Alight

A light believed by many to have been attached to an airship, attracted a great deal of attention in the northeastern skies about 11 o’clock Thursday night. One minute it would be large and brilliant and the next small and dim. It would remain appearently stationary for awhile and then speed along in an easterly direction at a rapid rate.

(Thanks to John Hudson)

Wilminton, Delaware MORNING NEWS – 2 August 1909


People of Middletown Tell Tales of Ghostly Dirigible with Lights

MIDDLETOWN, August 1. — A mysterious airship which flies only at night is causing considerable excitement and keeping the people of Orange county residing between Goshen and Newburg up nights in their efforts to get a look at it.For the past month persons who have been out late at night have reported seeing an airship, but few believed the stories.

For a week or more the flying machine had not been seen, but at 11 o’clock last night it made its appearance near Goshen. It was flying high in the air and carried a light which attracted attention.

It flew very fast and was last seen traveling in the direction of Newburg. Those who have seen the machine say it is shaped like a balloon and has wings on each side and a cigar-shaped car underneath. The sound of a motor was distinctly heard by those who saw the machine. (Thanks to Carl Feindt)

Willimantic (CT) Chronicle – 11 Aug, 1909


Night Policeman Saw the Ball of Fire Pass Over the Methodist Church Steeple

Winsted, August 11.–Hundreds of citizens of this vicinity were awakened by a terrrific explosion early this morning. As soon as daylight appeared telephone and telegraph wires were busy to ascertain what had caused the explosion, but the first solution of the mystery came from Lyman R. Woodworth, night policeman, who stated that it was caused by a meteor. He said that at 2:30 the heavens were lighted up by a ball of fire which came out of the northwest and disappeared over the Methodist church steeple. A few seconds later he heard the explosion. His story is corroborated by J. L. Dewey.

Willimantic (CT) Chronicle – 22 Oct, 1909


Terrific Explosion Heard and Big Ball of Fire Seen Early This Morning — House Damaged.

Willimantic people heard a heavy peal of thunder, accompanying which was a sharp of lightning, at 12:35 o’clock this morning. There was only this one report but at Storrs it was so terrific as to wake nearly everybody up, many people getting up to see what happened. Mr. Beebe, the store-keeper at Storrs, says the report was like a great explosion and according to him some of the people at Storrs believe a meteor exploded although no pieces of anything like a meteor have been found. There are several big holes in the ground, however, that may have been made by the pieces of the meteor, if that is what it was, burying themselves.

F. C. Guenther, clerk at the agricultural college, and Frank McLean, the football coach, happened to be up during the storm and when the explosion occurred they looked out and saw what looked like a huge ball of fire descending. This struck a telegraph pole near Mr. Beebe’s store, splintering and twisting the pole, and then entering F. M. Chadwick’s house, going in near the ground and working up towards the roof, tearing off base-board, breaking glass, making holes in ceilings and passing out over a door, but not setting the house on fire.

Dr. R. C. White was at Storrs today and said that whatever caused the damage was some terrific force. There are four or five big holes in the ground, all within a radius of 25 or 30 feet. It may have been a meteor that struck Storrs, and then again it may have been just lightning.

Willimantic (CT) Chronicle – 23 Oct, 1909


What Football Coach at the State College Saw Was Probably a Meteorite.

Frank McLean, the football coach at the Connecticut Agricultural college, in talking with a Chronicle reporter today in relation to the alleged meteorite that burst over the village of Storrs early yesterday morning, said that he had seen a lot of lightning, but none of it was like what he beheld yesterday morning as he stood at his bed-room window at the college.

From over the hill, back of the dairy barn, there suddenly came a ball of fire leaving a trail of light behind, some thirty or forty feet long. There was no zig-zagging, but a direct course. The ball of fire in its movement made a sizzling sound and there followed a terrific explosion such as he had never heard before. “Words cannot describe the sight nor the nature of that explosion”, said McLean.

F. M. Chadwick, whose house was struck, said that when the report came he and his family were stunned. The house seemed to rock and they were thrown to the floor. As soon as they recovered they got up but found no evidence of fire. A telegraph pole in front of Chadwick house was splintered in fine pieces and there was a large hole in the ground.

Willimantic (CT) Chronicle – 24 Dec, 1909, Page 1


Home of the Worcester Aeroplane Located in west Boylston, Massachusetts,it is Believed.


While Trying to Get Close to the Place United Press Representative Was Captured, Haled Before Justice of the Peace and Fined for Trespass.

Worcester, Mass., Dec 24.–The home of the mysterious aeroplane which has been cruising at unheard of altitudes over Massachusetts for the last two nights and causing wonderment to thousands, it is believed has been found.

Scouring the country about Worcester in a search for the home of the Tillinghast machine a United Press representative discovered at West Boylston, six miles from this city, that fourteen men in the employ of Paul B. Morgan of the Morgan Construction company of Worcester were busy in some secret occupation on the old estate of John B. Gough, the old-time temperance lecturer. On this estate, and situated in dense woods, there is a shed more than 100 feet long which, it is believed, contains the aeroplane that is to startle the world. No aeroplane was seen by the United Press representative, however. As he was advancing through the woods to reconnoiter he was captured by some of the men employed on the estate, haled before a justice of the peace and fined for trespass.

This, so far, is the only clue to the aeroplane. That it is pregnant with possibilities, however, is certain from the fact that Paul B. Morgan is known as an intimate of Wallace E. Tillinghast and is also known to be interested in aerial navigation. Two years ago Morgan spent $15,000 on the aeroplane of a Swedish aviator but later abandoned it as unsatisfactory. It is now thought that with Tillinghast he has perfected the machine which has been sailing over New England, the same that Tillinghast declares he used in a flight from here to New York and return on September 8.

Through Tillinghast himself is believed to have been himself in Worcester last night thousands all over Massachusetts today declare the aeroplane associated with his declarations and probably manned by his mechanics was winging its way through the skies up to last midnight. Between six o’clock last evening until midnight its flashlights were trailed from Marlboro to Fitchburg and back through Worcester, thence to Boston via Natick, Wellesley, Newton and Needham. From Boston the light passed to the northeast, circling over Chelsea and Revere, through Lynn toward the Salem line, then returning as far as Farmingham where it mysteriously disappeared from the eager searchings of newspaper men who hoped to trail the daring aerial navigator to his lair and unfathom the mystery which has now perturbed the entire eastern part of the state.

Many of the 10,000 people who saw the light are positive in their belief that made the outlines of the same aerial craft that closely resembled a monoplane of the type used by Latham and Bleriot

They say the machine was under perfect control and that it flew close to the ground, coming as near to the earth as 100 feet in Natick and later rising to fully 1,000 feet. Some say there were two men in the craft. One was standing forward near the headlight, which has been seen by thousands of people, and the second man was in the stern, where a much dimmer light was burning. They say the craft at times attained a speed of fully 80 miles an hour, while again it remained stationary for fifteen minutes at a time.

Willimantic (CT) Chronicle – 24 Dec, 1909


Bright Light in the East Had Willimantic Folks, Hundreds of Them Guessing.


Others, and Plenty of Them, Sure it was Tillinghast’s or Some Other AerialCraft That Had All Eyes Turned Towards the Eastern Skies Last Night.

Twinkle, twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are,

Up above the world so high,

Like an airship in the sky.

There was a bright light in the east last night and the wise ones sized it up for Tillinghast’s mysterious airship. It was about 7:30 o’clock that the light was first noticed and it was then in the southeast, appearing to be above the tread plant as viewed from the foot of Railroad street but a long way off–from a twenty to thirty miles in the opinion of some of the people who saw it. Prosaic policemen and some other matter-of-fact persons winked the other eye when the airship was mentioned but there were plenty of people who were quite willing to declare, and did so declare, that what they saw in the eastern sky answered in all particulars the descriptions sent out of the mystifying aerial craft that has been aerial craft that has been creating such a sensation in Worcester and other Massachusetts cities and villages.

There were several hundred in Willimantic who saw what they believed to have been an airship and others said it was Halley’s comet. Whatever it was it caused considerable excitement for a while and the curious ones spent several hours with their eyes riveted on the heavens. The light in the southeast looked like a powerful searchlight. Because of its size and the rays it threw out it attracted wide attention. It remained stationery for a few minutes and then seemed to shoot upwards, then circle around as though the person manipulating it was trying to get his bearings.

As usual Mayor Dunn’s store was crowded about that time and Benjamin Murphy, time-keeper on the New Haven road, came into the place calling the men out to see the airship. Mayor Dunn was among them and he stated last night when seen by a Chronicle reported [sic] that he would not swear it was an airship but it certainly did look like one. Others who saw it were of the same opinion.

The light was miles away apparently and quite high in the air. It played in the east for about fifteen minutes and then vanished. Later there appeared a brilliant star in the firmament and those who had not seen the first light and saw this star were of the opinion that both light were one and the same, but those who saw the first light said it was no star.

People who had come down street to do their Christmas shopping forgot what they had come for and stood on the sidewalk and even in the middle of the street looking to the east, hoping to see the return of the airship. Some of the skeptics ones just because they did not hear the buzzing of the engine or get an introduction to the man running the ship, laughed at those who claimed it was an airship they saw. The skeptics could not account, though, for the strange light and its peculiar accounts.

It was too bad that the airship, if it was one, did not come nearer the city so that the people could inspect the machine. The scoffers would then have had no ground for scoffing.

One of the skeptics had a lot of fun during the evening puting the credulous ones “wise” to the “airship.” Pointing to the bright star he would say “See it? It’s the airship, stopped for repairs.

The fellow running it dropped a monkey wrench overboard and it struck a man on the head, and they’ve taken him to the hospital!” And strange to say, to such a pitch of excitement had the crowd been wrought up that even this story found believers.

Reserved seats for this evening’s performance are now on sale. A few choice ones left for the early comers.

A dispatch sent out from Boston says: Following the report from Worcester Wednesday night of the discovery above the city of a strange moving light, apparently the searchlight of a dirigible airship, Thursday night brought stories from many points of the observance of similar lights Thursday evening from villages east of Worcester and even from Boston Common. People in the towns of Marlboro, South Framingham, Natick, Ashland, Grafton, North Grafton, Upton, Hopedale and Northboro turned out in throngs and viewed a mysterious light in the heavens.

Many declared that the light had all the appearance of a strong searchlight and while they could discover no framework behind it, such as an aeroplane would have, they were positive that the light could not be that of a balloon, as it moved as if under control, and apparently against the wind.

If the lights seen last night were those of an airship, Mr. Tillinghast was not the navigator of the craft, for he remained at his home in Worcester.

It is estimated that fully fifty thousand people thronged the streets of Worcester watching for the reappearance of the visitor in the skies. The passage of trolley cars was seriously impeded by the gaping crowds in the main thoroughfares. For most of the curious the watch was unrewarded. People on the tops of buildings told of seeing a light pass rapidly at some distance south of the city, but it was smaller and much less brilliant than the one seen Wednesday night.


Story about a New London resident who has an aeroplane who plans to test fly it Christmas day. It crashed. Later he said he would repair it and try to fly it again in the spring.

Willimantic (CT) Chronicle – Tuesday, 28 Dec 1909, page 1


Many People Saw it but They Were Unable to Tell
How Many Persons Were in it

That the “airship” that many Willimantic people saw or thought they saw last Thursday night may have been an airship after all, and that the stories sent out by local newspapermen were not such complete “fakes” as some persons would have the public believe, is indicated by the following account of an airship printed in the Norwich Bulletin this morning in its Norwich news:-

“Between 7:30 and 8 o’clock Monday evening there were many in the central part of the city who were watching an airship as it passed over the city, going in a southerly direction. There was no noise to be heard and no particular demonstration with the searchlight, but the fact that the lights were moving attracted attention, and it was wached [sic] until it disappeared. It was not very high, but it was impossible to tell how many were in it. That it was not a star is the positive statement of those who saw it.

“It was not a steady level flight like that of a bird, but there was occasionally a dip to the airship and as it went along a second light now and then bobbed into view. It was a fine, clear bright night for a flight, but the operator must have been clothed like Perry on his Arctic trip, to defy the cold of the night.”

The New Haven Palladium says: it was on the Christmas day just passed, that New Haveners witnessed for the first time in their home city an exhibition of the aeroplane, the invention of which was the real conquest of the air. A mysterious heavier-than-air machine circled the city during Christmas day, and at such a height that its real form, its pilot and its mechanics were not discernible, but it was properly enough within our vision to leave no doubt as to what the stranger was, it circled the air in a manner that is impossible for the balloon or the dirigible, and it was too large for any of the now known feathered inhabitants of the globe. Many of us have seen the aeroplane on exhibition in trial flights at low altitudes, but those who saw the mysterious stranger of Christmas were treated to the real thing in air conquests. It was a great spectacle in the skies. The aeroplane was generally believed to be the one which has been flying for many months past in New England, traveling incognito, as it were, for the stranger, while owned in Worchester, comes to earth and leaves it in parts unknown to the public. The owner claims that it is the greatest of all heavier-than-air contrivances, and after what we saw the other day we agree with him, if the Christmas day visitor was really Mr. Tillinghast in his greatest of airships. It was a stirring sight and encouraged our thoughts to the great achievements of mankind. In all of the seriousness of the incident there was also the humorous side to it, and no better shown perhaps than in the statement of the little newsboy who exclaimed, “That is nothing only Santa Claus going home after a hard night’s work.”