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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 10, 1954, Le Donjon, Allier:

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




Yesterday evening at approximately 06:30 in Poupetière, community of Le Donjon, six hunters, Misters Paul Bornet, industry man in Dugoin, Doctor Pierre Conti of Vichy, Claude Jonar, manager at Le Donjon, Louis Cothenet, president of the federation of the rural craftsmen of the Saone-et-Loire, domiciled in Toulon-sur-Arroux, Mr. Pic, tax collector at Le Donjon and Mr. Pierre Tourtier, of Casset, had the surprise to see at the edge of the wood of Borde, a luminous disc of about fifteen meter in diameter and yellowish red color. Misters Cothenet and Conti, which were closest, had the presence of mind to shoot four rifle shots at the apparatus which disappeared very slowly in the direction of Digoin. Mr. Cothenet collected on the location a shining metallic part whose nature is not yet identified and which was directed to the laboratory of les Essieux.




The hunters were only pranksters

Yesterday, sensational news announced that in the Allier, close to Le Donjon, hunters had shot at a saucer and had collected pieces. The news spread in the area like a powder trail and an investigation was started on this matter. It finally seems that this story has been completely invented in a hotel of the locality at the end of a good hunting party.


Note: full article here.

[Ref. tp1] TED PHILIPPS:

October 10, 1954, Donjon, France 06:30 p.m.: multiple witnesses, shot on glowing object, metallic traces.

[Ref. js1] JEAN SIDER:

Ufologist and author Jean Sider learned by an article from the newspaper Le Petit Mâconnais, of Mâcon, for October 11, 1954, on page 1, the details of this case of October 10, 1954, at 06:30 p.m., in Poupelière, Le Donjon, department of the Allier.

He quotes from the newspaper:

"Six hunters, Paul Borne, industrial in Digoin; Doctor Pierre Coni, of Vichy; Claude Jonard, manager in Le Donjon; Louis Cotheret, president of the Federation of the Rural Craftsmen of the Saône-et-Loire, livin in Toulon-sur-Arroux; Mr. Pic, tax collector in Le Donjon, as well as our correspondent of Cusset, had the surprise to see at the edge of the wood of Borde, a luminous disc of about fifteen meters in diameter and of red-yellowish color. Mr. Cotheret and Mr. Coni, which were the nearest, had the presence of mind to shoot four blows from their rifle at the apparatus which disappeared very slowly in the direction to Digoin. Mr. Cotheret collected on the premises a shining metallic part whose nature is not identified yet, and it was sent to the laboratory of Les Essieux B.P."

He notes that a rumour ran at the time that this was a hoax, but he did not find anything in the local press to support this explanation.

He notes that in the newspaper L'Eveil de Haute-Loire, of Le Puy, for October 13, 1954 on page 1, it was told that the recovered part would come from an American weather balloon.

Jean Sider jokingly leaves it up to the reader to choose between hoax, weather balloon and UFO: he remarks however that a hoax perpetrated by six people of which some are well placed in public offices seems not very probable and that one never saw a weather balloon in the shape of a disc of about fifteen meters in diameter "and luminous too, and which does not burst after having received four gunshot!"

[Ref. tp1:] TED PHILLIPS:

Ted Phillips listed the case as a "top" case in his "preliminary list of top cases":

Report 10/10/54 Donjon, France 1830: multiple witness, fired at glowing object, metal traces.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 10 October 1954 at 18:30, in Le Donjon, France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object, about 20 feet across, was observed by six witnesses."

The sources are indicated as Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.


The authors indicates that on October 6, 1954, six hunters in the Allier, among them an industrialist, a doctor, a manager, the president of the Federation of the Rural Craftsmen, a tax collector and a journalist were surprised to see at the edge of the wood of Borde a luminous disc of about fifteen meters in diameter and yellowish red in color. The doctor and the president who were the closest shot four time with a rifle [or rifles] on the apparatus which was apparently touched and dropped a piece of before disappearing very slowly in the direction of Digoin. The metal piece was analyzed by a laboratory and was recognized as being remains of an American weather balloon.

The authors indicate that the source is Jean Sider's book.

[Ref. ub1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541010 10.10.1954 Le Donjon France 18.30 NL


Jean Sider confuses two incidents. One was the hoax by the six hunters and the other was the real recovery of a weather balloon by others, as told in this newspaper.

This case was a hoax.


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

Le Donjon, Allier, Poupelière, multiple, hunters, Paul Borde, Pierre Coni, Claude Jonard, Louis Cotheret, Pic, journalist, Borde, disc, luminous, red, yellow, shooting, slow, fragment, analyze


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 5, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 18, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [ud1], [ki1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 9, 2009 Addition [tp1].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 29, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sources.
1.3 Patrick Gross February 20, 2017 Addition [ub1].

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This page was last updated on October 29, 2011.