24 Oct 2010


Tim Barlass-- Edited by S W Read
October 24, 2010
Leading up to the capture of Ned Kelly, just about everyone had a theory on how police could capture the bushrangers.
Three weeks from the 130th anniversary of Kelly's hanging, one of these theories can be revealed.
Among long-forgotten correspondence between police and outraged members of the public was an outlandish proposal for the gang's capture.
The gang had the ability to outfox the law, thanks to an extensive network of loyal informers who kept them abreast of police deployments.
Benjamin Dodds wrote to police suggesting they look to the sky for answers.
Dodds proposed the gang could be apprehended through the use of police observers stationed in four hot-air balloons.
Floating ''two miles high'' at Benalla, Beechworth, Buckland Camp and Mansfield.
Each balloon should carry a telegraphic operator and an officer in charge together with telescopes, field glasses, arms and ammunition.
The balloons could be inflated under cover of darkness by police using flashing lights to communicate. The whole operation would cost £400.
Ned apparently heard this rumour and fell to fit of laughter. Little did he realise that in the future helicopters would be used for just such a purpose.
Oh how things have changed Ned, there are still bushrangers, they are called banks these days isn't that ironic............They make you and the boys look like angels.
Ned Kelly

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