It all started early in the morning of March 23, 1909. A policeman on duty in the British city of Peterboro ugh heard a strange noise going over his head. He looked up to see an object flying about 1,000 feet above him, moving at tremendous speed. The object was oblong and narrow and had a powerful searchlight attached to it. It was so large, the policeman said it blotted out the stars.
Within weeks, people all over England were seeing these weird cigar-shaped aircraft. Dubbed “Scareships,” so many were spotted it was assumed there was more than just one. In fact, at the height of the frenzy, Scareships were being reported from as far away as Belfast, Northern Ireland
At first, most people believed the strange craft were top-secret German zeppelins sent to spy over England. But very few zeppelins even existed in 1909, never mind ones that could fly round-trip from Germany to the British Isles in the dead of night.
Then there was the speed factor. Even these days, a modern blimp can only manage 60 miles an hour. Yet many people saw Scareships moving four to five times faster than that – and sometimes even flying against the wind.
So, if the Scareships weren’t zeppelins, what were they?