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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

BEFORE MAY 13, 1909, KELMARSH, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, U-K., C. W. ALLEN AND TWO OTHER MEN:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

The "East Anglian Daily Times" British newspaper reported on May 13, 1909, an airhsip sighting in Kelmarsh, Northants, United Kingdom, with the report of one C. W. Allen, "the pedestrian holder of the 2,000 mile record."

He was motoring with two friends, and "When passing through the village of Kelmarsh... we heard a loud report in the air, like the backfire of a motorcar. Then we heard distinctly from above our head the 'tock-tock-tock' of a swiftly running motor engine, and we looked up. I was sitting on the front seat, next to the driver, and had a clear view of a dark shape looming up out of the night. It was an oblong airship, with lights in front and behind, flying swiftly though the air. It seemed to five of six hundred feet up, and must have been at least 100 feet long. The lights were not very bright, but we could distinctly see the torpedo shape and what appeared to be two men on the platform below."

"The steady buzz of the engines could be heard through the still air, and we watched it until it passed out of sight in a north-easterly direction toward Peterborough. It was traveling at least twenty miles an hour, easily and steadily, and appeared to be answering to the helm like a ship. I cannot doubt the evidence of my senses, and my companions, both practical men, are convinced that the Peterborough district contains the home of the airship."

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001473
Date of event: Before May 13, 1909
Earliest report of event: May 13, 1909
Delay of report: Day, days?
Witness reported via: Not certain, apparently told to newspaper.
First alleged record by: Newspaper East Anglian Daily Times
First certain record by: Newspaper Standard.
First alleged record type: Newspaper.
First certain record type: Newspaper.
This file created on: August 20, 2013
This file last updated on: August 20, 2013
Country of event: U-K.
State/Department: Northamptonshire
Type of location: From inside a car moving through a village, above head.
Lighting conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: Yes
UFO/Entity Relation: Certain
Witnesses numbers: 1 to 3
Witnesses ages: Not reported. Adults.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Men.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 2
Type of entities: Human
Entities height: Small
Entities outfit type: Not reported or not visible.
Entities outfit color: Not visible.
Entities skin color: Not visible.
Entities body: Not reported. Seemed to be men.
Entities head: Not reported or not visible.
Entities eyes: Not visible.
Entities mouth: Not visible.
Entities nose: Not visible.
Entities feet: Not visible.
Entities arms: Not reported or not visible.
Entities fingers: Not visible.
Entities fingers number: Not visible.
Entities hair: Not visible.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Were on platform below airship.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, went.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: Airship.
Explanation category: Probable British airship.
Explanation certainty: High.

Narratives:

[Ref. st1:] "STANDARD" NEWSPAPER:

[... other reports ... ]

Mr. W. C. Allen, of Market Harborough, states that he saw an oblong airship with lights in front and behind, flying swiftly through the air. Time, about 11 o'clock.

[... other reports ... ]

[Ref. cg1:] CARL GROVE:

18. May 13. Kelmarsh, Northants. C. W. Allen, "the pedestrian holder of the 2,000 mile record," was motoring with two friends. "When passing through the village of Kelmarsh... we heard a loud report in the air, like the backfire of a motorcar. Then we heard distinctly from above our head the 'tock-tock-tock' of a swiftly running motor engine, and we looked up. I was sitting on the front seat, next to the driver, and had a clear view of a dark shape looming up out of the night. It was an oblong airship, with lights in front and behind, flying swiftly though the air. It seemed to five of six hundred feet up, and must have been at least 100ft. long. The lights were not very bright, but we could distinctly see the torpedo shape and what appeared to be two men on the platform below.

"The steady buzz of the engines could be heard through the still air, and we watched it until it passed out of sight in a north-easterly direction toward Peterborough. It was traveling at least twenty miles an hour, easily and steadily, and appeared to be answering to the helm like a ship. I cannot doubt the evidence of my senses, and my companions, both practical men, are convinced that the Peterborough district contains the home of the airship." (East Anglian Daily Times, May 13.)

[Ref. mb1:] MICHEL BOUGARD:

This ufologist indicates that on May 13, 1909 in Kelmarsh, England, three people observed an oblong dark shape flying rapidly towards the north-east towards Peterborough.

The craft had lights at the front and the rear and emitted an engine noise.

The witnesses were even able to distinguish a kind of platform at the bottom of the object which seemed to hold passengers.

[Ref. jc1:] JEROME CLARK:

Jerome Clark indicates that on May 13, 1909, in Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire, U-K., three men in a moving car heard what sounded like a motor engine.

Looking up, they saw an "oblong airship" 100 feet long and some 500 feet above them.

It had lights at the front and the back that were "not very bright", said C. W. Allen, "but we could distinctly see the torpedo shape and what appeared to be men on the platform below."

The source is noted as the East Anglian Daily Times for May 13, 1909.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

1909, May 13
GREAT BRITAIN, Kelmarsh
Three witnesses saw an oblong shape flying rapidly towards the north-east towards Peterborough. The machine, equipped with lights, at the front and the rear, emitted an engine noise. The witnesses could even distinguish a kind of platform at the lower portion of the object on which there seemed to be standing passengers. That evening an airship above Sandringtham (Norfolk) and Peakirk (Northants) was also seen. (Michel BOUGARD: "La chronique des OVNI" - Delarge 1977, p. 205-206) (IN REALITY: see also the ZEPPELIN from 1900, 2 juillet, on)

[Ref. np1:] NICK POPE:

Nick Pope indicates that on 13 May 1909, an airship of about 100 feet in length was seen over Kelmarsh in Northamptonshire.

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

Albert Rosales indicates that in Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire, England, on May 13, 1909, at night, "Three men in a moving car heard what appeared to be a motor engine. Looking up they saw an oblong shaped airship about 100 feet long. It had lights on the back and on the front. They were able to clearly see the torpedo shape of the object and what appeared to be men on a platform below."

Albert Rosales indicates that the source is "Jerome Clark, UFO Encyclopedia Vol. II".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 13 May 1909 at 09:00 in Kelmarsh, UK, "An object was observed. Occupants of the craft were seen. One object, about 150 feet across, was observed by two witnesses (Allen; Strange)."

The sources are indicated as "FSR, FSR (formerly Flying Saucer Review) FSR, London, 1966", "Newspaper Clippings", "Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002."

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

Jean Sider indicates that on May 11 or 12, 1909, in the evening at Kelmarsh, Northants, England, C. W. Allen, two thousand miles record holder, was crossing this town in a car with two friends. He told this:

"We heard a loud noise coming from the sky, like a car exhaust. Then we clearly noted above our heads the characteristic noise of a motorized device that functionned fast. I was sitting near the driver of our car, and I saw a perfectly a black shape that stood on the night sky. It was that of an elongated airship with lights at the front and rear. The craft moved quickly into the air. The lights were not very strong, but we could see the torpedo-shaped device, and what appeared to be men on the platform below. The regular engines noise was heard, and we watched the craft until it was lost sight of in the direction of Peterborough. It was traveling at about twenty miles an hour, easily and regularly, and seemed to be guided by a rudder like on a ship. There is no doubt in my mind and that of my friends, two sensible men, that the District of Peterborough is the home base of this craft."

Jean Sider indicates that he source is "FSR, vol. 16, #6, 1970, p. 11, based on the East Anglian Daily Times for May 13, 1909.

Jean Sider says his source dates this case on May 13, but as the information appeared in a newspaper of the same day, the incident took place probably one or two days before, especially since it happened at night, which puts the publication in the Press on the next day at the earliest.

[Ref. bh1:] BRETT HOLMAN:

Brett Holman indicates that in Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire, U-K., before May 17, 1909, there was an airship report without details.

The source is the Standard newspaper on 17 May 1909, p. 9.

[Ref. pr1:] PETER ROGERSON:

May 1909 - Night

KELMARSH (NORFOLK : ENGLAND)

While out walking 11km from Market Harborough, champion walker C. W. Allen and two friends heard a noise like a car backfiring, then the sound of a motor overhead. Above them at perhaps 200m altitude was a cylindrical machine about 30m long. In a platform below the cylinder what looked like two men could be seen. The object passed overhead at 30k/h

Carl Grove citing East Anglian Daily Times 13 May 1909

Points to consider:

The description by C. W. Allen, if it is not invented, is a perfect and clear description of an airship, it has absolutely nothing extraterrestrial or paranormal about it. Yet this entered the literature of some ufologists who are sometimes eager to make a point that it was "not an airship" about some other sightings, whereas they seem to forgt about airship in this case.

A German airship is rather out of the question: there were only three Zeppelin airship then and they were not quite capable without risk of crossing the channel to fly over England. But the British Army had the operational airship Nulli Secundus II that could have very well flown there.

Above: The Nulli Secundus II British Army airship at Aldershot in 1909.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Medium August 20, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary source not available. Help needed. Opened.

Evaluation:

Probable British airship.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:

Authoring

Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross August 20, 2013 Creation, [st1], [cg1], [mb1], [jc1], [np1], [ar1], [js1], [bh1], [ud1], [pr1].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 20, 2013 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 20, 2013