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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 10, 1954, Metz, Moselle:

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

Reports:

[Ref. af1] AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE:

AFP


Paris, Oct. 13 (AFP) -- Observations of flying saucers and cigars were again reported today from certain points of France and Europe. Inquiries into previous reports were also in progress.

Military authorities continue their investigation of the saucer which appeared in the beam of a searchlight installed at the Metz Fair-Exposition. The searchlight operators saw, at a distance estimated as 10 km, a luminous circle which remained immobile during several hours. However, the radar operators, who were alerted, were unable to detect anything. Military authorities are investigating the possibility that some peculiar meteorological phenomenon may have been responsible.

Near the locality of Chateaubriant, in the center of France, a thirteen-year-old boy claims to have seen a machine shaped like a phosphorescent cigar only a dozen meters away. A passenger, dressed in a suit and grey hat, and wearing boots, supposedly told him "Look, but don't touch." The man is said to have got back into the flying cigar, which took off vertically.

On the other hand, Anatolia [region of Turkey] had not previously had the privilege of seeing flying saucers above its territory. A report originating from Ankara [the capital] indicates that this gap is now filled. Several persons living in the Ulus quarter [suburb] of Ankara saw, about noon, an object which remained immobile above them a long time. Suddenly, it moved off at great speed, and disappeared.

[Ref. fs1:] "FRANCE-SOIR" NEWSPAPER:

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The military governor of Metz studies the report by Commander Cottel who saw a luminous device caught in the beam of a searchlight

(From our special envoy Henri PIGNOLET)

METZ, October 13 (by phone).

The military governor of Metz, General Navereau, commanding the 6th region, is awaiting this morning the report of Captain Cottel, specialist of the anti-aircraft ground forces, about the presence last Sunday in the sky of the city of a mysterious craft which during three hours remained in the evening in the beam of a powerful army projector.

This report, we can imagine with what words and what prudence the commander of the F.T.A.A. [A.A.] crafted it. Commander Cottel ran the radar station installed at the army stand at the Metz trade fair which has just closed. The station had a powerful spotlight which, during the whole fair, swept the sky of the city. A dozen men were around the device when, on Sunday evening, the beam of light suddenly stopped on a motionless globe in the sky, "glittering," said the commander, "like a Christmas tree ball."

The beam was vertical. The "thing" seemed to be at 16,000 meters. That is what connoisseurs say. There was no panic, it must be said.

"It's a balloon," said one of the servants of the projector.

- Impossible, "that" must be fifty meters in diameter.

Everyone agreed.

But then?

The radar had not caught anything

Then, as they did not want to believe in flying saucers, it was decided to clean the mirrors and even to change the coals of the projector. When it was turned on again, the ball was still there.

The curious, who had gathered around the searchlight, also saw "the Christmas tree ball". They saw it until, at about ten o'clock, they resigned themselves to turning the projector off. Besides, they were not alone, since the inhabitants of the Faubourg de Sablon were to report the phenomenon the next day.

The radar, however, whose beam had ceaselessly swept through space, had caught nothing.

- The "thing", explained a technician, is not metallic. It is not detectable by radar.

The day before yesterday, the fair of Metz, which had received more than 800,000 visitors, closed its doors. No more searchlight, no more radar set, no mysterious sphere. All that remained was the testimony of some fifteen people, the servants of the projector, an officer in the geographical service of the army and Commander Cottel, whose report, which was expected at the palace of the military governor, with the impatience ... and the curiosity that one guesses, will record this episoode of the history of the flying saucers.

[Ref. la1:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

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In the flying saucers file

A MACHINE SEEN IN THE SKY OF METZ HOLDS THE ATTENTION OF THE MILITARY AUTORITIES

Metz, October 13. -- Throughout the fair of Metz, a military projector, installed at the army axhibit, swept, each evening, the sky of Metz with its beam of light. Sunday evening, the servants of the device saw, at a height estimated at more than 10.000 meters, a luminous circle which remained motionless above their head during several hours. The radar service, also set up at the army exhibit, vainly tried to catch the strange circle in their device.

A local newspaper having reported the facts, the General governor commanding the 6th military area ordered an investigation which, until now, did not conclude. General Navereau awaits the report by Major Cottel, person in charge of the Army exhibit.

According to the first information collected as of yesterday, it seems impossible that the projector set up at the fair of Metz could catch any object put so high. Indeed, this projector hardly has a 5.000 meters range, a distances at which, in very clear weather, it could perhaps make it possible to distinguish something.

The luminous circle caught in the projector's beam could be explained by the presence, at a great altitude, of a whirling cumulus lit by the moon, full, and hidden at this time behind a curtain of clouds. One remains skeptical, in expectation, on the presence of a round object, which would have had, one estimated, fifty meters in diameter, and which would have remained perfectly motionless during several hours.

However the military services continue their investigations and will draw the conclusions from this case as soon as they are in possession of the report by Major Cottel.

A little boy meets a French-speaking "Martian"...

Chateaubriant, Oct. 13. -- A 13 year old little boy, young Gilbert Lelay, claims to have seen yesterday evening, at about 10:30 p.m., a mysterious machine in a meadow, at a few 600 meters of the residence of his parents, at the village of Sainte-Marie-en-Erbray, close to Chateaubriant.

The child states he stayed ten minutes to observe, within ten meters, this machine which had the shape of a phosphorescent cigar. A passenger, a man dressed of a suit and a gray hat, fitted with boots, reportedly told him in French: "Look, but do not touch." He put a hand on the boy's shoulder while, with the other hand, he held a ball throwing purple fires. He climbed in the apparatus thtough a door which he slammed. On what could be a dashboard, were several multicoloured buttons.

Still according to the child, the machine rose slowly vertically, throwing fires in all the directions, made two turns in the airs and disappeared suddenly.

In Tyrol

Vienna, Oct. 13. -- Mr. Harald Kreutzberg, the Austrian Serge Lifar, Seefeld resident, in the Tyrol, observed as he was in his garden, a flying saucer who flew over the small city during a few seconds before moving towards the north and disappear behind the mountains.

Some residents of Seefeld also observed the phenomenon and vainly tried to photograph the mysterious craft.

[Ref. lp1:] "LE PROVENCAL" NEWSPAPER:

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A strange sphere remains during three hours in the beam of a projector of the army

The military governor of Metz studies the report by the commander who observed the mysterious craft

Metz (A.C.P.)

General Navereau, chief of the 6th Region, and governor of Metz, received yesterday morning the report by commander Cottel, specialist in the anti-aircraft terrestrial forces, about the mysterious craft which, during three hours last Sunday, remained in the beam of a powerful projector of the army, in the middle of the sky of Metz.

No information was communicated on the contents of this report, but one imagines with which careful sagacity the commander Cottel must analyze a "phenomenon" that had several tens of witnesses.

A strange sphere

The army, indeed, had set up an exhibit at the Fair of Metz. It is there that, at the fall of the night, a powerful projector functioned without stop, sweeping [illegible line] projector "captured" in its beam a strange sphere, motionless:

"You would have said a Christmas tree ball", stated commander Cottel thereafter.

Initially, it was believed it could be a weather balloon. Soon, a dozen military experts surrounded the commander. They all agreed:

"It cannot be a weather balloon: its diameter is fifty meters at least."

The radar set is helpless

All kinds of hypothesis were then emitted, the specialists not really daring to put forth that of a flying saucer. It was decided to clean the glass and to even change the coals of the projector. But when it was lit again, the "thing" was still there. It remained there up to 11 p.m., hour when one resigned to turn off the projector. During this time, the radar set, that had not stopped to scan the sky, failed to detect the mysterious craft.

Numerous witnesses

"The 'thing', commented on a technician, is undoubtedly not metallic, that is why the radar set was unable to detect it".

Many curious passer-by who had grouped around the projector managed to observe, too, the "ball of Christmas tree". Some residents of the suburb of Sablon were to claim the next day, that they too noted the phenomenon.

[Ref. vm1:] "VAR-MATIN - REPUBLIQUE" NEWSPAPER:

More and more amazing!

In the Lower Loire, a young boy meets a French-speaking Martian

The military authority opens an investigation into the presence of a mysterious craft above Metz

Chateaubriant, October 13. -- A 13-year-old young boy, little Gilbert Lelay, laims to have seen, yesterday evening towards 10 p.m., a mysterious craft in a meadow, at some 600 m of his parents' home, at the village of Ste Marie-en-Erblay, close to Chateaubriant.

The child states to have stayed ten minutes watching, at ten meters, this craft which had the shape of a phosphorescent cigar. A passenger, a man dressed of a suit and a gray hat, fitted with boots, reportedly told him in French: "look at it, but do not touch!". He put his hand on the child's shoulder, while the other hand held a ball launching purple fires. He went up in the apparatus by a door which he shut noisily. On what could be a dashboard were several multicoloured buttons.

Still according to the child, the craft rose slowly vertically, throwing fires of all the directions, made two turns in the airs and disappeared suddenly.

A mysterious craft above Metz

Throughout the Metz fair, a military projector is installed at the Army's exhibit, sweeping each evening the sky of Metz with its beam of light. Sunday evening, the users of the device saw, at a height estimated at more than 10 000 m, a luminous circle which remained motionless above their heads during several hours. The radar service, also set up at the army's exhibit, vainly tried to catch the strange circle in its device.

A local journalist having reported the facts, the General governor, in command of the 6th military area, ordered an investigation, which, until now, did not succeed. General Navereva awaits the report by commander Cottel, person in charge of the army exhibit.

According to the first information collected as of yesterday, it seems impossible that the projector set up at the Metz fair of Metz could catch an unspecified object placed so high. Indeed, this headlight hardly has a range of 5000 meters, distances which in very clear weather would perhaps make it possible to distinguish something. The luminous circle caught in the projector beam could be explained by the presence, at a great height, of an illuminated cumulus lit by the moon, full at that time, and hidden behind a curtain of clouds. One remains skeptikal meanwhile, waiting on the presence of a round object which would have had, one estimated, fifty meters diameter and which would be remained perfectly motionless during several hours.

However, the military services continue their investigations and will draw the conclusions of this case as soon as they will be in possession of the report by commander Cottel.

[Ref. hw1:] HAROLD T. WILKINS:

The author indicates that on October 5, 1954, a French Army "projector" at an exposition at Metz sighted a mysterious metallic globe, motionless in the sky for more than three hours at altitude of 6.2 miles.

[Ref. us1:] A. ISENBERG, USAF PROJECT BLUE BOOK:

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A. Isenberg file

Paris - AFP Oct. 3, 1954.

METZ -- At Fair, searchlight beam crew saw at est. 10 km. luminous circle which remained motionless for several hours. Radar detected nothing. Military authorities: "Special meteorological phenomenon?"

See also Michel.

[Ref. la1:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

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In the flying saucers file

A Toulouse industrialist makes a sketch of a "Martian" before it disappears

Toulouse, October 14. -- Yesterday in Toulouse an event so extraordinary occurred, that all the city talks about it.

The witness, Mr. Olivier, one is not a crackpot. He is the owner of a factory, and a former plane pilot.

It is while crossing a garden, as he returned home, that he saw at approximately 80 meters, a kind of luminous ball, of reddish color, posed on the ground, in front of a tree trunk, near a bordering soccer field.

He at once alerted a neighbor, Mr. Perano, to make him note the phenomenon. But the two men's surprise was great, when they saw a being, moving close to the luminous ball, a human form, of small size and dressed of a kind of diving-suit of orange color. Another witness joined the two men then.

Without losing his head, Mr. Olivier hastened to draw on a nearby door the silhouette of the "Martian", estimating, not without reason, that it was the surest means to engrave it in his memory. A camera would have made the deal certainly better, but Mr. Olivier did not have any at hand - neither did Mr. Perano - and the strange unknown had not left him time to get one.

Either to escape the curiosity of which he was the object, or for any other reason known only of him, he penetrated in his ball, and the latter rose immediately in the sky at a pace that the two witnesses did not hesitate to qualify as a vertiginous one, leaving behind a trail of sparks of a striking effect.

An investigation is started to try to elucidate certain still obscure aspects of this new manifestation of the interplanetary relations.

The air police force interrogated these three people. One of the witnesses has

(Continued on page 3)


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In the flying saucers file

(Continued from page 1)

stated that the saucer was surrounded by iridescent reflections and emitted a slight fog around it. He added that having wanted to approach, he had been stopped at about twenty meters by a paralyzing force and that when the machine had risen in the sky, he was violently thrown at the ground.

According to professor Oberth:

The "pilots" of the saucers would be plants gifted of reason

Hamburg, October 13. -- "The "flying saucers" pilots are plants gifted of reason". Such is the theory that professor Hermann Oberth, inventor and manufacturer of the famous "V-2" rocket exposed to a correspondent of the France-Presse Agency.

According to the German scientist, the "Uranides" (such is the name with which he baptizes these plants) have thousands of years in advance on the earth men as well with regard to their spiritual evolution as their technology.The fatherland of the Uranides would be a planet where oxygen in a gas state does not exist, which prohibits the development of animal life. The plants, on the other hand, draw the oxygen they need from oxides contained in the ground.

The said planet would be apart from the solar system, but the mysterious machines in which the intelligent plants move might travel at a speed close to that of the light (300.000 kilometers per second).

Those of these machines seen above the earth would have a mission to watch progresses of earth's humanity in atomic sciences because this progress "represents a danger to the entire cosmos".

Official "case withdrawal" in the Metz affair

Metz, October 14. -- In reference to the investigation which had been opened by the military authority after the publication of information announcing that the soldiers in charge of the handling of a headlight installed at the fair of Metz had seen Sunday evening a mysterious luminous circle, the military autorities publishes the following official statement:

"The observation of unknown machines by a station of the anti-aircraft forces deployed at the Metz fair is noted in the Press. It is not necessary to take into consideration

[Ref. jg1:] JIMMY GUIEU:

Jimmy Guieu reports that on October 10, 1954, the army had installed an exhibit at the Fair of Metz. As soon as the night fell, a powerful projector functioned without stop, sweeping the sky of the city. At about 08:10 P.M., the projector caught a strange motionless sphere in its beam.

Jimmy Guieu indicates that Commander Cottel said thereafter: "One would have said a ball for the decoration of Christmas trees."

Jimmy Guieu indicates that one first of all thought that this was a weather balloon, but that soon ten military experts who joined Commander Cottel have all agreed: that could not be a weather-balloon for its diameter was at least fifty meters.

Jimmy Guieu indicates that all kinds of assumptions were then emitted, and that the specialists did not dare too much to put forth that of a "saucer." It was decided to clean the glasses of the projector, and to change its coals, but when the projector was relit, the object was still there, and is remained there up to 11 p.m., time at which one resigned to turn off the projector.

Jimmy Guieu specifies that the radar, which had not ceased sweeping the sky, had not succeeded in detecting the mysterious object. A technician commented that this would be because the thing is undoubtedly not made of metal.

Jimmy Guieu notes on this subject:

"This remark is without value since, as opposed to what this "technician" thinks, weather balloons which obviously do not have anything metallic (their envelope is made out of plastic) are perfectly detectable with the radar!"

Jimmy Guieu specifies that the "phenomenon" had several tens of witnesses, among whose were many curious people whom had grouped around the projector.

He adds that General Navereau, in command of the 6th Area and military governor of Metz received on October 13, 1954 a report emanating of Commander Cottel, specialist in the Anti-aircraft Terrestrial Forces, and that no information was communicated on the contents of this report.

He notes that the army then released the following official statement:

"The observation of unknown machines by the Anti-Aircraft Forces station Forces deployed at the exhibition of Metz is stated in the press. It is not necessary to take into account this information in this particular case."

[Ref. am1] AIME MICHEL:

Aime Michel reports a curious incident which he laces on Sunday October 10, 1954 above the fair of the town of Metz. The army had set up a exhibit there where they displayed some of its most modern equipment and apparatuses, among which a powerful projector and a radar tracking station, with about fifteen military technicians taking part in the exhibit, under the authority of the commander Cottel, specialist in the anti-aircraft defence.

At about 09:10 P.M., the projector which swept the sky of the city suddenly "caught" an object which was about its zenith. The projector was immobilized at once, and the technicians observed the celestial body, which seemed a kind of sphere, rigorously motionless, of about fifty meters in diameter, "scintillating as a Christmas tree ball," according to the expression of Commander Cottel. Aimé Michel also describes it as "a small motionless cumulus and of regular form. The technicians evaluated his altitude with 10000 meters."

The military personal is said to have considered various assumptions, such as a small cumulus, but its position, its shape and its dimensions remained rigorously identical and fixed, the sky being otherwise totally clear, showing only this "cumulus", and the stars. The soldiers are said to have excluded a balloon because of the diameter.

The projector was extinguished, its glasses were cleaned, its coals were changed, then it was relit, and the object was still there. One hour later, it was still there motionless there in the limpid sky. Two hours later, it had neither moved nor changed. Three hours later, the phenomenon remained still identical.

The technicians became tired by the monotony of the display, turned off the projector and went.

Aimé Michel provides an official statement of the army which was published five days afterwards:

"The observation of unknown machines by the Anti-Aircraft Forces station Forces deployed at the exhibition of Metz is stated in the press. It is not necessary to take into account this information in this particular case."

Aimé Michel is puzzled by the official statement, mentioning that there was indeed a report addressed by Commander Cottel to the military governor of Metz, General Navereau, in command of the 6th military area.

He points out that the observation was made not only by the military technicians, but also by the visitors of the fair, and inhabitants of Metz down to the suburbs of Sablon and Queuleu.

He adds that all that one knows of this incident comes from "certain leaks."

He put the sighting location on a map supposed to demonstrate cases are lined up:

Map by Aimé Michel

[Ref. jv5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

289 006.17130 54.57000 10 10 1954 21 10 199* METZ F 301 C 265

[Ref. gl1:] CHARLES GARREAU AND RAYMOND LAVIER:

The authors note that at the fair of Metz, on October 10, 1954, at about 11 p.m. a, anti-aircraft defence projector, set up on the stand of the Army, and which swept the sky for the greatest joy of the people, suddenly hung in its beam a mysterious object, a luminous, motionless sphere in the middlke of the sky and which, according to the expression of certain witnesses, "scintillated as a ball of Christmas tree". Some ten men were maneuvering around the projector. The ray was directed vertically. The thing seemed to be with approximately 10000 meters of altitude.

In order to make sure that it was not a phenomenon of optical illusion, one decided to carry out a complete cleaning of the projector. The coals were also changed and it was relit. The object was still there.

"It is at least 50 meters in diameter", the officer estimated.

Many curious people, who had gathered around the projector meanwhile, saw also the "Christmas ball." It remained there up to 11 p.m. hour at which one decided to turn off the projector. The radar had unceasingly swept space without detecting anything. That could mean two things: either the object was not metal or it was beyond the range of the radar of the type that functioned in Metz.

[Ref. cc1:] GILBERT CORNU AND HENRI CHALOUPEK:

The authors mention an incident which at the time made a fuss, in Metz, on October 10, 1954, where the Air Force had installed military projectors at the time of a fair.

In the night, these projectors sweeping the sky, many witnesses mong them the officers saw "something" which moved in the beams of light. This unknown object remained visible long enough but was not detected by radar sets, and five days later, an official statement of the army declared that it was not necessary to take this information "in consideration."

[Ref. lg1:] LOREN GROSS:

October 5th. Metz, France, (no known hour)

A metallic-like globe hung motionless in the sky above Metz, France, for three hours. A French army searchlight found it in the night heavens at an altitude of approximately 30,000 feet. 56.

56. Wilkins, Harold T. Flying Saucers Uncensored. p. 231.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

Godelieve van Overmeire indicates that in 1954, on October 10, in France, in Metz, "The army had organized an exhibit at the fair in Metz. At nightfall a powerful projector swept the sky without stop and towards 20:10 it hung in its beam a strange motionless sphere. One cleaned the ices of the projector and one even changed the coals. When it was relit, the thing was still there. Total duration: 3 hours."

The source is indicated as "Jimmy GUIEU: 'Black-out sur les S.V.' FLEUVE NOIR 1956 - p. 207".

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

Jerome Beau indicates that on Sunday October 10, 1954 at 23 o'clock "At the time of the fair of Metz (...) the army had set up a radar system as well as anti-aircraft projectors. (...) one of the powerful projectors, which swept the sky for the great joy of the visitors, suddenly hung in his beam a mysterious object. It was a kind of luminous, motionless sphere in the full sky and according to the expression of certain witnesses, it "scintillated as a ball of Christmas tree". The officer there estimated that the object was to be at least 50 m in diameter, and that it seemed to be at approximately 10 000 m of altitude. To make sure that it was not a phenomenon or an optical illusion, one decided to carry out a complete cleaning of the projector. One also changed the coals and one relit. The object was still there. During 3 h, the machine remained motionless. It resembled a kind of vertical cigar. Then, as nothing occurred, the projector was turned off. Commander Cotel, who directed the anti-aircraft detachment, addressed a report to the military governor of Metz. "It is not necessary to take into account this information in this particular case". The affait was classified. Not a word of the observation made not only by the technicians but also by the visitors, and the inhabitants of Metz to the suburbs of Sablon and Queuleu. The object presented the form of a small motionless cumulus and a regular form. But its form, its dimensions and its position remained rigorously identical, moreover the sky was perfectly clear except this supposed cumulus. That would eliminate the possibility of a cloud. However, a diameter of 50 m makes is much for a balloon... Curious fact: the radar had unceasingly swept the sky during the observation, without detecting anything. That could mean 2 things: either the object was not in metal, or it was out of reach of radars of the type of that which functioned in Metz."

Jérôme Beau indicates that th source is "Sider, J. 1997".

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Moselle in Metz on October 10, 1954 at 20:10 hours, a mysterious object remained during three hours in the beam of a powerful projector of the army. The latter had set up an exhibit at the Metz fair and in particular this powerful projector which swept the sky of the city. It is towards 20:10 that the latter captured in its beam a strange motionless sphere. The latter was described as a ball of Christmas tree. The size was estimated a about fifty meters. On the other hand this object was never visualized on the screen of a radar also set up at the place of the fair.

Luc Chastan indicates that the sources are "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979"; "Black-out sur les Soucoupes volantes by Guieu Jimmy ** Fleuve Noir 1956 omnium 1977".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 10 October 1954 at 21:10 in Metz, France, a hovering object was observed by seven witnesses for 99 minutes.

The website indicates that the sources are Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01).

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 10 October 1954 at 21:10 in Metz, France "A hovering object was observed. One object was observed by seven witnesses for 99 minutes."

The website says the sources are Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01).

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 12 October 1954 at 20:00 in Metz, France, "One object was observed by several witnesses for 180 minutes."

The website says that the source is "Condon Committee, Condon Committee investigation files".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 13 October 1954 at 20:10 in Metz, France, "An unidentified but otherwise conventional object was sighted. One object was observed by several witnesses for three hours."

The source is noted as Guieu, Jimmy, Flying Saucers Come from Another World, Citadel, New York, 1956.

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

This database recorded this case 9 times:

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 Metz France
19541010 10.10.1954 Metz France
19541010 10.10.1954 Metz France
19541010 10.10.1954 Metz France NL
19541010 10.10.1954 Metz France
19541012 12.10.1954 Metz France 20.00
19541012 12.10.1954 Metz France 20.00
19541013 13.10.1954 Metz France
19541013 13.10.1954 Metz France Night NL

[Ref. bl1:] "BLL ARCHIVES" WEBSITE:

UFO wave in Metz and its region

Comments »0

[... Other cases...]

A mysterious phenomenon also occurred on October 10, 1954 at the Foire Internationale de Metz (FIM). A powerful searchlight and a radar station of the FTA (Anti-Aircraft Land Forces) of the time had been installed on the stand of the French army. When around 8 p.m. the projector was switched on and raised to the sky for a demonstration, its beam caught a motionless globe in the sky in the vertical direction of the fair. Incredulous, the soldiers switched off the device to clean its components. After the manipulation and once the projector was switched on, the globe was still there, at an altitude of 12,000 meters according to the operators. Everyone could see the object except the radar installed next to it that did not detect its presence. The craft, estimated at about fifty meters in diameter, was stationed in the sky during the three hours of the demonstration of the projector. Research was subsequently carried out to determine if it was not a meteorological phenomenon, but the army never communicated about the event.

Notes:

Aimé Michel, in his book, wrote in connection with various cases of October 9, 1954, and goes on with this case, writing, "the following day, Sunday October 20." This is a simple trivial typographic error, the day after the 9th is of course the 10th and not the 20th, the 10th is indeed a Sunday while the 20th is not a Sunday.

Jimmy Guieu seemed to think that a metallic visual aspect could not correspond to a plastic balloon giving a metallic visual aspect. In addition, he is also wrong thinking that balloons are "perfectly detectable with the radar"; the proof of the opposite is that radar target are attached to them when radar tracking is needed.

The argument of the soldier on the "50 meters size" has no value. It is not possible to visually give a size to an unknown object at an important (more than ~50 meters, approximate maximum stereoscopy capacity of human vision) and unknown distance. As no instrument measurement was done, size and idstance are unknown.

Explanations:

The full Moon behind high clouds?

The phenomenon starts at nightfall and the observation is ended at 10:00 p.m. when the projector was turned off.

On October 10, 1954, at Metz, 49° 07' 02" and 06° 10' 36", the moon was at the elevation of 11° at 6 p.m., and 41° at 10 p.m..

But the report says that the "ball" was seen in the vertical beam of the projector (90°); it says it was motionless; hence, the ball could not have been the Moon.

One may suggest that it was a balloon, for example a weather balloon, especially since there was the lack of radar detection, the balloons being detectable to the radar set only when equipped with a radar reflector; but I think it is reasonably excluded that a balloon would have remained in the same direction for several hours.

The same may apply to the notion that the projector bean lighted a small cloud. Even if there was no wind, the air is certainly not still enough to have a small cloud remaining at the same place for hours.

Keywords:

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

Metz, Moselle, military, radar, projector, balloon, metallic, dimension, motionless, sky, night, duration, official

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 18, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 21, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lp1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross April 18, 2009 Additions [go1], [jb1], [ud2], [ud3].
1.2 Patrick Gross March 23, 2010 Addition [vm1], Explanations: "The full Moon behins the high clouds".
1.3 Patrick Gross May 30, 2010 Addition [la1].
1.4 Patrick Gross June 13, 2010 Addition [la1].
1.5 Patrick Gross June 28, 2010 Addition [jv5].
1.6 Patrick Gross October 29, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sources.
1.7 Patrick Gross January 25, 2017 Additions [fs1], [lg1], [bl1], [ub1]. In the Explanations, addition of the paragraphs starting at "The phenomenon starts at nightfall..."

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