Unknown Distant Plane – The least interesting clip in the archive?

We came across this clip in our archive quite recently called “Unknown Distant Plane” from some time between 1910 and 1920 and it was quickly proclaimed the least interesting clip we’d ever seen! We feel guilty thinking that about any clip in the archive, but as you can gather from the images, there’s not a great deal to see. And when it looks like something might be happening, with soldiers appearing in the frame, we end up only being shown the tops of their heads.

There's a plane up there somewhere.
There’s a plane up there somewhere.
Some fascinating head shots.
Some fascinating head shots.

So why are we sharing with you such a boring clip? Because we refuse to believe that it doesn’t have some value, though we require some assistance to know exactly what that value is.

Can you help identify the location? The type of plane? The uniforms? We already have a helpful comment from “Hayling_Billy” beneath the clip: “Looks to me very much like a Bleriot monoplane. The fact that a camera was on hand, and the ‘rush’ of people towards it (to see it land?) points to an event of some importance.” This has got us very intrigued! Does this sound right? Is there any additional information, or any historical context, that you might be able to share?

If so, leave a comment beneath the clip, or at the end of this blog post.

View the clip here.

Author: British Pathé

British Pathé holds the world's finest newsreel collection. We also represent the Reuters historical collection. All 220K films are viewable on our website.

3 thoughts on “Unknown Distant Plane – The least interesting clip in the archive?”

  1. Although it is a monoplane, it would appear to not be Bleriot’s cross channel flight since, according to http://www.fylde.demon.co.uk/bleriot.htm, only a policeman and the man marking the landing site [Fontaine] were there to witness it. It was also around 5 in the morning. Is this too light for that time? Also there are no leaves on the trees and Bleriot flew in July.

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