s ufo - UFOS at close sight: the 1954 French flap, November 10, Wignehies, Nord
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The 1954 French flap:

The index page for the 1954 French flap section of this website is here.

November 10, 1954, Wignehies, Nord:

Reference number for this case: 10-Nov-54-Wignehies. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

Towards the "end" of the wave of "flying saucer" reports over France in the fall of 1954, the Press, which had been quite divided as to the way of presenting the reports, gradually and often changed to a tone of derision.

An example is an article in the local newspaper Le Courier de la Région de Fourmies, in the Nord department, which told on page 5 for November 13, 1954, a story that may have been intended to be edifying, or perhaps of an advertising nature. The story that can be read below in this file is so rambling that it seems difficult to understand the writer's goal.

It begins with a report of a landing of a saucer and an occupant or robot descending from it, in a square in Wignehie on November 10, 1954, with a crowd gathering to see, and ends with a kind of explanation which would be that it was the village beggar who had built the saucer to thank the residents.

The very rambling story is largely made of local humor, but also shows a hopefully obsolete mysoginy.

Reports:

[Ref. crf1:] NEWSPAPER "LE COURIER DE LA REGION DE FOURMIES":

Scan

A flying saucer on WIGNEHIES

Last Wednesday around 11:45 p.m., Mr. Maurice, our sympathetic and vigilant guardian of the communal buildings, returned home satisfied, after having made his usual tour. He had indeed noticed that, contrary to certain rumors, the urinals installed in the square had not been stolen. This did not prevent him, while pulling on his buffoon, to gripe against the ill-advised who could have been guilty of such an offense. He was there in his reflections when his attention was suddenly drawn by an intense glow that suddenly violently lit the whole place. Turning around quickly he noticed that a huge luminous machine had just landed in the center. Aware of his responsibilities, he immediately alerted the authorities, while in the vicinity all the windows of the surrounding houses lit up and opened, revealing people in nightwear already strongly frightened by this event. But this news had spread like wildfire that had been set on fire. A few minutes later it was a real human tide which surged towards the Place. At this moment some daring people arrived, the first wanted to approach the machine and when they were at the height of the pilings surrounding the square they saw to their amazement an enormous crown completely enveloping the machine, according to some experts in astronomy. The whole looked strangely like the planet Saturn. This overwhelming apparition, the color of which varied at every moment, included all the hues of the rainbow, but, when its color turned to dark purple, there were dazzling flashes of lightning which, when the brightness, definitively stopped the curious who already paralyzed by fear remained frozen in place. This infernal fireball that appeared unexpectedly may measure 8 meters in diameter and had a convex shape that could reach 3 m. 50 in its greatest height, on the upper part one could see cabalistic marking which were impossible to decipher.

The crown surrounding the machine at the height of the center gave off an unbearable smell of sulfur forcing the spectators to move away while all the ladies present crossed themselves as if it could be the devil in person, which did not prevent them to stay put, as fear was unable to paralyze their usual curiosity.

Inside the machine, one could not see a shape that could be taken for a man or a robot, who seated in front of a sort of table fixed to the lower wall seemed to be scanning certain papers in the supposed form of detachable leaflets notebooks.

Shortly after, the stranger got up and walked towards a door which opened and gave off strong sparks. Then he came down to earth. This when it happened is a much stranger fact still, a sharp snap was heard, the craft and the man were suddenly gone, there was no trace, everything had vanished, and the most absolute darkness now reigned where it had landed. These facts are certainly very difficult to explain and we will only be able to understand them if certain circumstances allow us to do so. However, these circumstances occurred at the very moment when the inhabitants commenting on the event in their own way, were preparing to return to their respective homes, when suddenly the kiosk suddenly lit up with a white light so intense that it forced assistants to close their eyes, little by little, the intensity of this light diminished and one could then see a man, a real one, that one, standing in the middle of the kiosk. Calling to the crowd he spoke in a very good French, very much from our region, he made all the people present understand that they had to approach to hear the revelation of the strangeness of the facts which they had just witnessed. Of course the ladies of a natural nature always inclined to learn were the first, the Gentlemen, more reserved came afterwards, only a few managed to pierce the female crowd and approached. But the man at the kiosk still wore a helmet on his head, enveloping him up to the shoulders, one could nevertheless see the phosphorescence of his gaze through two holes made at a suitable height. After talking for a few moments and reassuring this eager to know crowd he took off his helmet and put it next to him, it was then possible to see him perfectly well.

Among the men who managed to infiltrate we recognized the Big Totor d'True Gogand, the tutur d'l'Fontaine Florent joined immediately by Tatave des Zé Villeu as well as by Gros Charlot d'l'rue de Fourmies who brought their big box.

But all of a sudden the Grand Totor with disproportionately wide eyes exclaimed, but I know him! I recognoize it's the beggar, also put on, said the Tutur, I recognoize him! It is he, gosh, he has his handbook.

Well yes! There you know I think I'm gonna get somthing to eat, I already have the bug. Well yes it was the beggar.

The beggar who had used this ultra modern means to assemble the sympathetic and generous population of our town in order to be able to thank them all together. He apologizes to you for having intrigued you so strongly and as a conclusion he wishes you all the happiness you deserve. While waiting for others to let you know the final result of these steps, the beggar and the Music express their gratitude to you and say: See you next year.

Explanations:

Press parody.

Map

Keywords:

(These keywords are only to help queries and are not implying anything.)

Wignehies, Nord, saucer, robot, Saturn, beggar, crowd, square, occupant, crown, smell, sulphur, door, sparks, landing, colors, rainbow

Sources:

[----] indicates sources which I have not yet checked.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross October 30, 2020 First published.

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