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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.

Summary:

The local newspaper Le Quotidien de la Haute-Loire for October 12, 1954, among other newspapers, reported that on October 10, 1954, around 06:30 p.m. in Poupetière, community of Donjon in the Allier department, six hunters, Paul Bornet, industrialist in Dugoin, Dr. Pierre Conti, of Vichy, Claude Jonar, manager at the Donjon, Louis Cothenet, president of the federation of rural artisans of Saône-et-Loire, domiciled in Toulon-sur-Arroux, Mr. Pic, tax collector at Le Donjon, and Pierre Tourtier, of Casset, saw at the edge of the Wood of La Borde a luminous disk, about 15 meters in diameter, and of a yellowish red color.

Messrs. Cothenet and Conti, who were the closest, had "the presence of mind to fire four shots on the craft; which disappeared very slowly towards Digoin."

Mr. Cothenet picked up on the spot a piece of shiny metal whose nature is not yet identified and which was directed on the Essieux laboratory.

The next day, the same newspaper explained that an investigation had been conducted and that "it finally seems that this story was built from scratch in a hotel in the locality after a good hunting party."

But not everyone read the second article thus this case entered without explanation in ufology catalogs and books.

Reports:

[Ref. lqh1:] "LE QUOTIDIEN DE LA HAUTE-LOIRE" NEWSPAPER:

HUNTERS SHOOT AT A SAUCER ... AND PICK UP PIECES

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.

P.B.

[Ref. lqh2:] "LE QUOTIDIEN DE LA HAUTE-LOIRE" NEWSPAPER:

[...]

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. ldl1:] "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE:

October 10 (La Montagne for 10-13) Le Donjon.

Six hunters reportedly saw near the wood of la Borde a luminous red yellowish disc of about 15 m in diameter.

[Ref. tps1:] TED PHILIPPS:

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

[Ref. jsr1:] 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 rumor 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. tps1:] 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. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH - "*U* COMPUTER DATABASE":

4051: 1954/10/10 18:30 1 3:47:40 E 46:21:00 N 3333 WEU FRN ALR 8:8

Le DONJON,FR:6 HUNTERS FIRE 4 SHOTS>15M GLO-DISK/WOODS:MTL TRACES:/LDLN#128

Ref#217 Jean SIDER: Le DOSSIER 1954 (2 vol.) Page No. 102 : FOREST

[Ref. uda1:] "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.

[Ref. kir1:] DANIEL AND FABRICE KIRCHER:

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. ubk1:] "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

[Ref. ehl1:] "L'EVEIL DE LA HAUTE LOIRE" NEWSPAPER:

Strange Auvergne

1954, the year when UFOs invaded us

WEIRD CLERMONT-FERRAND

Posted on 08/16/2017 at 07:00

1954, the year shen UFOs invaded us

This summer, we offer several stories from our special issue L'Auvergne Etrange, devoted to the most mysterious affairs of the region. Unknown creatures, haunted houses, witchcraft... Today, an an onlook at the extraterrestrials.

We are in 1954. Abbot Pierre launches his call during the cold wave hitting the country. In May, France capitulates in Indochina. In June, Mendes France is elected President of the Council. In November, the Algerian war begins. But from September on, a much lighter (but spectacular) news is installed in the columns of the newspapers, with a metronome regularity.

A light in the sky

For example, October 2, around 10 a.m., in Clermont-Ferrand. At the modern college, during recess, girls stop playing. Something is irresistibly attracting their attention. At the same moment, Rue Diomede, Madame S. looks up in her turn. A strange light shines in the sky. She thinks first of all to discern an advertising balloon. But by paying attention, the object is very different: it is a metal mass, almost motionless, animated by a slight oscillatory movement. Suddenly, the craft picks up speed and disappears from her field of vision. In neighboring houses, other neighbors report a similar scene.

UFOs seriously studied in Auvergne

Eighth episode of the saga of autumn. Another UFO. The year 1954 remains the period when we recorded the most reports in France. 2.000 cases were reported by the press.

Between September and November, the apparitions multiply, from the most disturbing to the most far-fetched. Bright craft are seen by several people at the same time, from Moulins to Puy-en-Velay.

A schoolboy pursued by a flying saucer

And mysterious facts do not just happen in the sky. On the 12th of October, in Montluçon, a railwayman discovered on the railway a person covered with hair who spoke an incomprehensible language. Panicked, the railwayman flees as a luminous machine takes off behind him. In Saint-Palais (Allier), a schoolboy says that a flying saucer has pursued him. In Le Donjon (Allier), hunters reportedly fired at a craft and recovered metal debris.

The panic is such that it reaches the Assemblée Nationale. Three Gaullist MPs ask the Minister of Air for insights into these intrusions. One of them demands that the craft be chased by the army.

Five unsolved UFO cases in Auvergne

The press is in flames. But as the days go by, cases get deflated. Here it was not a saucer but a meteorite. There, an airship. Elsewhere, a balloon. Not to mention the hoaxes. Thus, the hairy creature of Montluçon was only a colleague of work of the witness, disguised with goatskin. And his flying machine was a fireworks rocket. As for the hunters who shot down a craft, they end up confessing their lie.

UFO sightings in Auvergne?

Suddenly, the press gets tired. The stories are becoming scarce. In November, the Parisian doctor Heuyer sealed the end of the wave in front of the Academy of Medicine by putting a name on the phenomenon: "collective psychosis".

However! UFO specialists do not lay down their weapons. Those who believe it say it: out of 2,000 cases, there must be a sign from elsewhere!

The thirty most mysterious stories that have occurred in our region are to be discovered in our special issue L'Auvergne Etrange, to order online on our shop.

Thibaut Solano

Explanations:

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.

Keywords:

(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

Sources:

[----] 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 [uda1], [kir1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 9, 2009 Addition [tps1].
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 [ubk1].
1.4 Patrick Gross April 20, 2019 Additions [ldl1], [lhh1], [ehl1], Summary.

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