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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 10, 1954, Valenciennes, Nord:

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

Summary:

One of the questions that arose from Marius Dewilde's observation report in Quarouble on September 10, 1954, was whether there would have been other witnesses that would give credibility to the case.

Among those cited, there was this one, reported by Aimé Michel in the second edition of his book "Mystérieux Objets Célestes", that of 1966 re-titled "A Propos des Soucoupes Volantes."

Michel stated in a footnote about the Dewilde sighting that among the additional witnesses who made themselves known in the following years, there was Madame Paul Badot, from Valenciennes, whom he quoted:

"I was, this Friday September 10, at approximately 10:30 p.m., in the locality la Briquette, hamlet of Valenciennes, in direction of Famars. I saw the object appearing in the sky at low altitude at the time when a bus arrived. The headlights of the bus died out and the engine stopped. There was a beginning of panic within the passengers, the driver himself being terrified. But the object having disappeared, the headlights turned on again by themselves and the driver managed to restart the engine by actuating the starter."

Michel did not give any source and nothing else would surface about this to my knowledge.

Reports:

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel indicates in a footnote of the 1966 version of his book that among the witnesses who came forward about the Marius Dewilde observation in the following years, there was Mrs. Paul Badot (in the 1966 version, Mrs. B. in the later reprints), of Valenciennes, whom he quotes saying:

"I was, this Friday September 10, at approximately 10:30 p.m., in the locality la Briquette, hamlet of Valenciennes, in direction of Famars. I saw the object appearing in the sky at low altitude at the time when a bus arrived. The headlights of the bus died out and the engine stopped. There was a beginning of panic within the passengers, the driver himself being terrified. But the object having disappeared, the headlights turned on again by themselves and the driver managed to restart the engine by actuating the starter."

[Ref. rmy1:] ROGER-LUC MARY:

Chronology of the events that occurred in France, in Quarouble and its area, on September 10, 1954

[... other cases ...]

4th testimony, 10 p.m. and some minutes. La Briquette, locality of the town of Marly, south of Valenciennes (department Nord). A witness observed a craft.

[... other cases ...]

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

3767: 1954/09/10 22:30 2 3:31:00 E 50:22:00 N 3333 WEU FRN NRD 5:A

VALENCIENNES,FR:NLTS PLAY:BUS HEADLITES+MOTOR STOP:PASSENGERS IN NEAR PANIC.

Ref# 30 FIGEUT[sic]&RUCHON: OVNI: Le 1er Dossier Page No. 77 : TOWN &CITY

[Ref. jbu1:] JEROME BEAU:

September 10, 10:30 P.M.

In Valenciennes (Nord), a bus stalls and its headlights turn off, which resulted in the start of a panic.

[Ref. jdt1:] JEAN-PIERRE D'HONDT:

This ufologist indicates that on September 10, 1954 in Valenciennes in the Nord, at approximately 10:30 p.m. in the location "La Briquette", according to the book M.O.C. by Aimé Michel on page 63, Mrs. Badot saw appearing an object at the time when a bus arrived. The headlights of the bus died out and the engine stalled. There was a panic in the bus which started again normally after the passage of the apparatus.

[Ref. dcn1:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

Scan

"Skeptic" ufologist Dominique Caudron, who is from the North of France, explains in one of his web pages that according to him, Marius Dewilde invented his encounter starting from his observation of what would have really been a meteor. Here is what he said about the case in Vicq:

Witnesses describe a bolide

[Photo: the caption is "a witness of Vicq" and the file name is "Ravet".]

But if it was a bolide, other witnesses would probably have seen it too. Indeed other witnesses have also seen it, with their own eyes.

They were, first of all, inhabitants of the neighboring communes of Quarouble, convinced that they had seen the craft which had risen from Quarouble:

At Onnaing Mr. Edouard Auverlot and Mr. Hublart saw a light in the sky pass at the time indicated by Dewilde.

At Vicq, three young men, including Augustin Ravet, saw the passage of a very brilliant object coming from the direction of Quarouble. This does not mean that it appeared in the direction of Quarouble but that it seemed to be following an East-West trajectory.

And according to Nord-Eclair: "More than ten people said they saw, that evening, at around 10:30 p.m., a "fireball", a "disc with a trail of fire" in the sky. Testimonies agree that the craft was heading for Anzin."

Other local testimonies are mentioned twelve years later by Aimé Michel, in Bruay-Thiers, and Valencienne La Briquette. Another, even later, testimony is about an observation at the Vicq pumping station. These observations are not useful, not only because of the delay, but also because certain details (mysterious breakdown) seem imported from ufological mythology.

[Ref. prn2:] PETER ROGERSON - "INTCAT":

September 10 1954. 2230hrs.

VALENCIENNES (NORD : FRANCE)

The lights and engine of a bus went out, as a strange object passed low over it, causing a panic among the passengers. When it had passed the lights came on again and the driver restarted the engine.

Note: I was citing Michel in 1966, not 1954, and cited more sources.

Explanations:

Valenciennes is not a hamlet at all, but a city. Aimé Michel likely misquoted Mrs. Badot, who probably rather told that she was in the hamlet of La Briquette near Valencienne, than at a place called La Briquette in the hamlet of Valenciennes.

La Briquette is about 9 km in straight line approximately to the southwest of Marius Dewilde's observation spot:

The testimony is dubious:

  1. it is out of the question that Mrs. Badot could have determined that the bus' headlights would have come back on their own as she was not on the bus. Only the driver could have given this information.
  2. the (alleged) Dewilde sighting had made a lot of noise in the media of the time, yet none of the multiple witnesses on the bus came forward at the time, or even later.

And nothing is said about the object.

Keywords:

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

Valenciennes, Nord, bus, headlights, stall, engine, motor, panic, night, Badot, object

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 14, 2007 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross January 28, 2017 Addition [dcn1].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 31, 2019 Additions [lhh1], [prn2], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."

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