West Virginia, HERALD-DISPATCH, 12 October 1931, page 1
BLIMP SOUGHT VAINLY FROM AIR, LAND
Parties Scour Hills For Big Ship, Reported Fallen
REPORTS ARE REITERATED
Residents Describes Mishap As Seen From Distance
last night continued to enshroud the reported buckling and
burning of a blimp in the West Virginia mountains near Point
Pleasant Saturday afternoon about 2:50 o'clock.
parties on foot and in airplanes yesterday scoured the hills
in the vicinity of Gallipolis Ferry, where the object believed
to have been a blimp was seen falling, but their efforts
were unavailing. Nothing was found to indicate a mishap.
search for the ship was abandoned last night by the various
residents of Gallipolis reiterated that they had seen the
big ship buckle in midair, some saying that it burst into
R. P. Henke, of Gallipolis, one of those who told of seeing
the ship, last night described the mishap, as seen from
a distance, for the Herald-Dispatch.
like many others in Gallipolis were waiting to glimpse the
Akron, which was reported heading for Huntington Saturday
afternoon, when we caught sight of the ship on the opposite
side of the river over the mountains. It seemed to buckle
and fall. Some who saw it said that four persons jumped
with parachutes. There seemed to be some smoke surrounding
the object, but it may have been clouds that we saw."
McKenzie, and Mrs. Claude Parker, residents of Gallipolis,
and a number of people residing on the river road, also
reported witnessing the reported mishap.
Charles Holzer, owner of the Gallipolis airport, and prominent
surgeon, said that several responsible citizens of unquestioned
integrity told him of seeing the craft in flames.
belief that something must have occurred was strengthened
by the number of persons who told of seeing the supposed
check up of all airports in the region, however, disclosed
that all airships were accounted for. The Akron, it was
said, was unable to make the scheduled jump to Huntington,
where it was scheduled to circle Fairfield Stadium for the
crowd attending the Washington & Jefferson-Marshall
parties, however, were undaunted in their efforts by the
reported safety of all ships. They continued to search until
early evening yesterday, but finally gave up the search
when no evidence of a mishap of any character was found.
party headed by Sheriff H. E. Burdette, of Mason county,
went into the woods early yesterday morning, and returned
to Point Pleasant at dawn. Other unofficial parties continued
to search during the day.
of the airplane searches was made shortly after dawn by
Lieut. Eckford Hodgson, pilot at the Gallipolis airport.
He zig-zagged over a 20-mile square wooded area for approximately
an hour and a half flying at an altitude of 6,800 feet,
but found nothing. He also made two other vain flights for
sight of the mishap. Last night he decided to search no
trooper H. E. Pomroy and other members of the state police
checked reports of various persons who reported having seen
the blimp fall after white spots were seen drifting down
from it. Pomroy made an additional ground search, and last
night announced that state police had abandoned their efforts.
B. Huntington, manager of the Gallipolis airport, said the
"white things" seen floating downward from the
blimp shortly after it passed over Gallipolis headed south,
may have been water, explaining that most blimps carried
water ballast and that it might have been found necessary
to lighten the ship quickly by dropping the ballast.
report that the blimp may have been that of the Enna Jettick
Shoe Co., of Auburn, N. Y., was disproved late last night
when it was learned that it was flying between Rochester
and Buffalo and was not in West Virginia. The Enna Jettick
blimp is commanded by Major Wadworth and has two pilots.