Brett Holman (Airminded) is paleoblogging the phantom airship scare of 1909. Exactly one hundred years ago this month, Britain was bedeviled with a wave of mysterious zeppelin sightings. Brett’s written on the Age of Scareships before, but now he is actually walking through the panic day by day. It’s great. You could ask for no better guide to the Edwardian UFO invasion.
This is only tangentially related, but it’s also cool: Here’s a quotation a student of mine found for a paper on Percival Lowell and the Martian canal controversy.
The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 28, 1907:
Look back upon the year 1907 and pick out what has been, to your mind, the most extraordinary event of the twelve months. Certainly it has not been the financial panic … That is, after all, a mere temporary disturbance, a mere passing cloud. The most extraordinary development has been the proof afforded by the astronomical observations of the year that conscious, intelligent human life exists upon the planet Mars.
Yeah. Get a sense of perspective, people!