Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Before Kenneth Arnold's (1947) sighting : Collection of material on "aerial mysteries of the 19th and early 20th centuries" : "The Airship File" by Dr Thomas Bullard

Dr Thomas Bullard has now kindly given me permission to upload his collection of material entitled "The Airship File".  The title page indicates that this publication is "A collection of texts concerning phantom airships and other UFOs, gathered from newspapers and periodicals mostly during the hundred years prior to Kenneth Arnold's sighting".

This publication including a short introduction summarising research into "aerial mysteries of the 19th and early 20th centuries", with the bulk of the 407 pages of this publication being devoted to presenting the text of relevant articles from newspapers and magazines.  

The short introduction gives Dr Bullard's view that "the old reports contained which were equally as remarkable as the similarities and thereby cast doubt on the ready identification of airships with modern UFOs" although he also notes the airships sightings "... resemble the modern UFO phenomenon too closely for us to deny a kinship of some kind".

Dr Bullard's introduction also called for "researchers all over the world to join in an effort to pool our already extensive findings".  Those words, written in 1982, could equally well be written now (forty years later, in 2022). In the intervening decades there have been some efforts to pull together source materials on early "aerial mysteries" of the type requested by Dr Bullard (notably by the historical research group Magonia Exchange, an international archival project founded by researcher Chris Aubeck). However, the material that has been pulled together is (to a large extent) still not readily available to other researchers, despite the ease with which material can now be shared online as searchable PDFs. 

I have added a searchable PDF copy of Dr Bullard's "The Airship File" to my online archive, together with copies of three subsequent supplements by Dr Bullard (helpfully provided to me by Jeff Knox).



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