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The 1954 French flap:

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October 11, 1954, Acquigny, Eure:

Reference number for this case: 11-oct-54-Acquigny. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

Reported in the press from a news brief of Agence France Presse, from October 13, 1954 on, the case of October 11, 1954, in Acquigny in the Eure department, was described in the regional newspaper L'Ardennais for October 14, 1954, as follows:

An artisan and his apprentice claimed to have seen on the railway from Evreux to Louviers, while they were riding a motorcycle, around 3 o'clock in the morning, a bell-shaped machine, from 2.60 to 3 meters high, which was at one meter above the ground. Its lower part was shaped like a ring.

This craft emitted sparks with greenish and reddish reflections. It first jumped from 10 to 12 meters, while an orange glow shot from its base.

A farm worker joined the two men to observe the phenomenon. All three said that the "bell" remained visible for nearly an hour, then the orange glow became brighter, and the craft climbed very rapidly, heading east.

Reports:

[Ref. las1:] "L'ARDENNAIS" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

The saucers chronicle

LOUVIERS. -- A craftsman and his apprentice claimed to have seen on the railway from Evreux to Louviers, as they drove a motorcycle, at about 3 a.m., a craft shaped like a bell, 2 m. 60 to 3 meters high, which was at one meter above the ground. The craft emitted sparks shimmering in greenish and reddish. First it rose a good 10 to 12 meters, while gushing from its base an orange glow.

The lower part of the apparatus had the shape of a ring.

A farm worker joined the two men to observe the phenomenon. All three state that the "bell" remained visible for about an hour. Then the orange glow became brighter, and the object rose very fast vertically, taking the direction of the east.

Lisieux. -- Mr. Bon, professor of mathematics at Lisieux, saw early in the afternoon in Saint-Germain-de-Livet, 2 or 300 meters from the road, over a wooden area, a silver disc with a diameter of 7 to 8 meters, which rose suddenly in the sky, without noise.

The disc was animated of a rapid movement of rotation. After diving to the ground from an altitude of about 800 meters it suddenly left horizontally at a tremendous speed.

LA ROCHE-SUR-YON. -- Mrs. Drouillard, residing in La Roche-sur-Yon, said she saw in the sky Monday night around 11:30 p.m., a luminous machine resembling a mushroom, moving silently and rapidly.

Nevers. -- Two residents of Clamecy (Nièvre), MM. Henry Gallois and Louis Vigneron, stallholders, stated to have seen in a meadow near Corbigny, a cylindrical craft.

They say that while they were about fifty meters from the object, they felt an electrical shock, while the engine of their truck stopped and the headlights went out. When the craft was gone the headlights came on again but they had to restart the engine.

LYON. -- Dr. Durand, general counsellor of the Township of Belleville-sur-Saône and Mr. Bourgeois, cafe owner in Saint-Georges de Reneins saw over the chapel of Brouilly, a flying saucer.

On the other hand, around 7:30 p.m. Monday night, MM. Dubois, rugby player and Coulon, swimming champion, saw, flying at low altitude, in the direction of Montgelas, a ball of fire that changed color several times.

TOULOUSE. -- Two residents in the Toulouse suburb, Mr. Pierre Vidal and his nephew Angel Hurle, saw yesterday morning at dawn, a hundred meters from their house, a giant rocket, fly away from a field and disappearing into the sky while producing a clarity of rare intensity.

The two men then went to the place where they thought the starting point of the mysterious craft was located. There, they found that the grass had been trampled on a circular area with a diameter of 6 meters. In the center of the area they found in the ground, four prints appearing to have been left by the feet of a heavy machine.

The grass was covered with droplets of fat steam condensation and smelled of oil.

The police went to the scene.

CHATEAUBRIANT. -- A 13-year-old boy, young Gilbert Lelay, said he saw on Tuesday night around 10:30 p.m., a mysterious craft in a field some 600 meters from his parents' home in the village of Sainte-Marie en Erbray near Chateaubriant.

The child claims to have spent ten minutes looking at ten meters this craft that was shaped like a phosphorescent cigar.

A passenger, a man wearing a suit and a gray hat, wearing boots, reportedly told him in French, "Look but do not touch." He put the hand on his shoulder, while with the other he held a ball launching purple lights. He climbed into the craft through a door that slammed. On what could have been a dashboard, there were several colored buttons.

Still according to the child, the machine rose slowly vertically, throwing light in all directions, flew two rounds in the air and suddenly disappeared.

Abroad

VIENNA. -- Harald Kreutzberg, the Austrian Serge Lifar, living in Seefeld in Tirol, observed while he was in his garden, a flying saucer that flew over the small town for a few seconds before heading north and disappearing behind mountains.

Several residents of Seefeld also observed the phenomenon and tried unsuccessfully to photograph the mysterious craft.

[Ref. fso1:] "FRANCE SOIR" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

A GIANT ROCKET, taking off from a field, was seen by M. Pierre Vidal, cook, residing at Croix Daurade, near Toulouse, and his nephew, Ange Hurle. It disappeared in a bright orange and pale green wake. At the presumed location of the rocket, the grass was covered with a fatty vapor with an oil smell.

A professor of mathematics from Lisieux, Mr. Bon, saw in Saint-Germain-de-Livet, above a wood, a silvery disk seven or eight meters; which rose silently in the sky, rotating on itself. After diving to the ground from an altitude of about 800 meters, it left again at the horizontal at a dizzying pace.

A GENERAL COUNCILMAN, a coffee-maker, a rugby player and a swimming champion, saw above the chapel of Romilly in the direction of Montgelas (Rhone) a flying saucer looking like a ball of fire.

A three meters high bell, moving with twelve meters jumps in an orange glow and emitting greenish sparks, was seen for an hour on the Evreux Louviers railway by an artisan, his apprentice and a farm worker.

A LUMINOUS MUSHROOM, which moved quickly and silently, was seen Monday evening around 9:30 p.m., by Mrs. Drouillard, at La Roche-sur-Yon.

A FLYING CIGAR, of metallic appearance, from which three red balls detached, was seen by Messrs. Roger Thévenin and Albert Daury, guardians of the peace of the urban body of Riom (Puy-de-Dôme).

ANOTHER CIGAR, surrounded by iridescent lights was observed in Bompas (Pyrénées-Orientales) by the baker M. Sebelli.

AN OBLONG-SHAPED ENGINE, moving in the sky as in a big "S" and making a sound of steam under pressure was seen by three young hunters above Gaillac (Aveyron). The same machine was reportedly observed in Pont-de-Salars.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel mentions that there was a case of landing in Acquigny on October 11, 1954.

He says the case was reported in the newspapers Le Figaro, l'Aurore, le Parisien Libéré for October 13, 1954, and Sud-Ouest and Ouest-France for October 14, 1954.

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

Map by Aimé Michel

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

295 -001.17981 49.17060 11 10 1954 ACQUIGNY F 001 C 273

[Ref. jve3:] JACQUES VALLEE:

October 11, 1954, 03:00, Acquigny (France):

Two men riding motorcycles saw a bell-shaped craft about 2.5 m high, hovered 1 m above the Evreux-Louviers railroad line. The lower part was ringlike, and the object gave off reddish and greenish sparks. A burst of orange light was seen as it jumped about 10 m high, then it remained motionless for about 1 hour, during which time a third witness joined the first two. It ultimately turned brighter and flew away toward the east. (France-Soir, Le Figaro, Oct. 14, 1954).

[Ref. jve2:] JACQUES VALLEE:

The author indicates that on October 11, 1954, two men riding a motorcycle saw, approximately 3 hours of the afternoon, close to Acquigny, on the rails of the railroad Evreux-Louviers, a machine whose form recalled that of a bell of approximately 2 m 50 height and to 1 meter about of the ground. Its lower part was like a ring, and the object projected reddish and greenish sparks. An explosion of orange light is observed when the UFO rose suddenly of approximately 10 meters, then remained motionless in the air. This lasted approximately an hour, time during which a third witness joined the two first. The UFO finally became more brilliant and flew away in direction of the east.

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

ICOD DESIGNATION (57) DATE JV4 JV1 COMMENTS
066 1250 ACQUIGNY RF27 541011 231 295

[Ref. mft3:] MICHEL FIGUET:

Nr of the J. C. Fumoux list Nr of Francat list Localization Date Class Credibility Sources Number of W
066 172 Acquigny 11/10 CE1 NI RS P J.V. 2 - p. 148 3 T

[Ref. mft1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

This ufologist noted:

CASE Nr CLASSIFICATION DATE HOUR PLACE ZIP CODE CREDIBILITY SOURCE
172 CE1 11 10 1954 03.00 Acquigny 27400 B4 RS-P, OVNI: p. 146

[Ref. rcn1:] ROBERT CREPIN, LDLN CORRESPONDENT:

In a catalog of observations in the department of Creuse, a brief record relates to this case. Nothing particular appears in it, it compares totally to Vallée's sumary above and thus seems to be a simple copy of it.

[Ref. gal1:] CHARLES GARREAU AND RAYMOND LAVIER:

The two authors indicate that according to an A.F.P. dispatch and their personal files, on October 11, 1954 around 3 hours of the morning, a craftsman and his apprentice, travelling by motorbike, saw on the railway Evreux-Louviers a craft stationed at ground level, or resting on short crutches. The witnesses said that it had the shape of bell, with its lower part resembled a ring, and emitted greenish and reddish sparks.

A farm laborer, who went to his work joined these two men and all three observed the thing during more than one hour. The orange gleam which lit it then became sharper, the machine initially made a jump of ten meters, then rose quickly vertically, taking the direction of the East.

[Ref. prn1:] PETER ROGERSON - "INTCAT":

406 11 October 1954 0300 hrs

ACQUIGNY (FRANCE) Two motoroyolists [sic] saw a bell-shaped object hovering lm above the Evreux-Louviers railway line. The lower part was ring-like and the object gave off reddish and greenish sparks. A burst of orange light was seen as it jumped about l0m high, then it remained motionless for about 1 hour, during which time a third witness joined the other two. The object finally turned brighter and flew away to the east. (M231; France-Soir, Figaro, 14 Oct 54; Michel II, 162)

[Ref. fru1] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors indicate that in Acquigny in the Eure on October 11, 1954, at 03:00 a.m., a craftsman and his apprentice who circulated by motorcycle saw on the railway Evreux-Louviers a machine in the shape of a bell of 2,50 meters by 3 meters in height, being 1 meter above the rails. The lower part of the machine had the shape of a ring. This object emitted sparks with greenish and reddish reflections. It made a jump from 10 to 12 meters, while spouting an orange gleam out of its base. A farm laborer joined the two witnesses, and they observed this apparatus during one hour. Then the orange gleam became sharper, and it rose very quickly vertically and took the direction of the East.

The sources are listed as the Vallée catalogue, case 231, Garreau and Lavier in "Face aux ET" page 47, France-Soir, La Croix, Le Figaro for October 14, 1954, and Quincy.

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

4059: 1954/10/11 03:00 60 1:10:40 E 49:10:20 N 3333 WEU FRN EUR 6:8

nr ACQUIGNY,FR:2.5M BELL-SCR HVRS/RR LINE:^^/10M alt/1hr:>>E:/r30p146+/Le Soir

Ref#194 LUMIERES dans la NUIT.(LDLN France) Issue No. 260 : ROAD+RAILS

Larry Hatch recorded this case twice instead of once:

4075: 1954/10/12 03:00 50 1:09:00 E 49:07:00 N 3323 WEU FRN EUR 7:7

N/EVREUX,FR:2+1 SEP.OBS:2.5M BELL-SHAPE GLOWS:HVRS/1M alt:SPARKS:^^+>>E

Ref#197 WEINSTEIN, D: French Newsclips 1954 Page No. 81 : ROAD+RAILS

[Ref. fbn1:] FABRICE BONVIN:

Fabrice Bonvin notes:

Case #001: 11/10/1954, p. 146 (Acquigny)

[Ref. mcn1:] MARK CASHMAN'S SIGHTINGS DATABASE:

Acquigny (France).

10/11/1954 3:00

Two men riding motorcycles saw a bell-shaped craft about 2. 5 m high, hovered 1 m above the Evreux-Louviers railroad line. The lower part was ringlike, and the object gave off reddish and greenish sparks. A burst of orange light was seen as it jumped about 10 m high, then it remained motionless for about 1 hr, during which time a third witness joined the first two. It ultimately turned brighter and flew away toward the east.

[Ref. djn1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

Donald Johnson indicates that on October 11, 1954, two men riding motorcycles near Acquigny, France saw a bell-shaped craft about 2.5 m tall while it hovered just a meter above the Evreux-Louviers railroad line. The lower part was ringlike, and the object gave off reddish and greenish sparks. A burst of orange light was seen as it jumped about 10 meters high, then it remained motionless for about one hour. During this time a third witness joined the first two. The UFO ultimately brightened and flew away toward the east.

The source is noted "Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 224."

[Ref. jbu1:] JEROME BEAU:

Jerome Beau indicates that on Monday, October 11, 1954 at 03:00 in Acquigny, France, "2 people driving by motorbike see 1 object in the shape of a bell, of approximately 2,50 m in height, hovering at 1 m above the railway line from Evreux to Louviers. The lower part resembles a ring, and the object releases reddish and greenish sparks. A dazzling orange light is seen whereas it rises to 10 m, then it remains immobilized during 1 H. During this time, one 3rd witness joint with the 2 first. The object becomes more brilliant and flies away towards the east."

Jérôme Beau indicates that the sources are France-Soir, Le Figaro, October 14, 1954.

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Eure in Acquigny on October 11, 1954, at 03:00 hours, a craftsman and his apprentice who drove by motorbike see, on the railway from Evreux to Louviers, a craft in the shape of a bell of 2,50 m to 3 meters in height, being 1 meter above the railway. The lower part of the machine has the shape of a ring. This object emits sparks with the greenish and reddish reflections. It makes a jump from 10 to 12 meters, while an orange gleam spouts out of its base. A farm laborer joins with the two witnesses, they observe this apparatus during one hour. Then the orange gleam becomes sharper, and it rises very quickly vertically taking the direction of the east.

Luc Chastan indicates as source "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. mps1:] MICHEL PADRINES:

Michel Padrines indicates that in the Eure in Acquigny on October 11, 1954, at 03:00 hours, a craftsman and his apprentice who drove by motorbike see, on the railway from Evreux to Louviers, a craft in the shape of a bell of 2,50 m to 3 meters in height, being 1 meter above the railway. The lower part of the machine has the shape of a ring. This object emits sparks with the greenish and reddish reflections. It makes a jump from 10 to 12 meters, while an orange gleam spouts out of its base. A farm laborer joins with the two witnesses, they observe this apparatus during one hour. Then the orange gleam becomes sharper, and it rises very quickly vertically taking the direction of the east.

Michel Padrines indicates that sources are France-Soir, Le Figaro, October 14, 1954.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 11 October 1954 at 03:00 in Acquigny, France, a bell-shaped craft about 2.5 meters high was seen. Two men riding motorcycles saw a bell-shaped craft about 2.5 meters high, hovered one meter above the Evreux-Louviers railroad line. The lower part was ring like, and the object gave off reddish and greenish sparks. A burst of orange light was seen as it jumped about ten meters high, then it remained motionless for about one hour, during which time a third witness joined the first two. It ultimately turned brighter and flew away toward the east.

The website comments: "An object was observed. Animal reactions to the object were reported. One green-orange star, about 5 feet across, was observed by three male witnesses on a farm for over 60 minutes (Labonde)."

The sources are indicated as "Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Bowen, Charles, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, FSR, London, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01); Vallee, Jacques, A Century of Landings (N = 923), (in JVallee04), Chicago, 1969; Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002."

[Note: "Labonde" has nothing to do with this case; see Lacanche case].

[Ref. nip1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

*Oct. 11, 1954 - At 3:00 a.m. two men riding motorcycles near Acquigny, Eure, France saw a bell-shaped craft about 2.5 meters tall while it hovered just a meter above the Evreux-Louviers railroad line. The lower part was ringlike, and the object gave off reddish and greenish sparks. A burst of orange light was seen as it jumped about 10 meters high, then it remained motionless for about one hour. During this time a third witness joined the first two. The UFO ultimately brightened and flew away toward the east. (Sources: Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 162; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 224, case # 231).

[Ref. ubk1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

This database recorded this case 7 times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541011 11.10.1954 Acquigny France 03.00 CE I
19541011 11.10.1954 Acquigny France 03.00 CE I
19541011 11.10.1954 Acquigny France 03.00 CE I
19541011 11.10.1954 Acquigny France CE I
19541011 11.10.1954 Acquigny France CE I
19541011 11.10.1954 Acquigny France 03.00 CE I
19541011 11.10.1954 Acquigny France 03.00 CE I

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

October 11 1954. 0300hrs.

ACQUIGNY (EURE : FRANCE)

Two motorcyclists saw a ball shaped object hovering 1m above the Evreux-Louviers railway line. The lower part was ring like and the object gave off reddish and greenish sparks. A burst of orange light was seen as it jumped about 10m into the air, then it remained motionless for about an hour, during which time a third witness joined the other two. The object eventually turned brighter and flew away to the east.

Vallee Case 231 citing France Soir + Figaro both 14 October 1954 + Michel 1958b p162

Evaluation - Astronomical + autokinesis

Explanations:

The roads (three or four roads are possible) between Evreux and Louviers, including near Acquigny, are indeed along the railroad Evreux to Louviers, but these roads all pass sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left of the railway; as the precise location is not known, it is not possible for me to determine an observation direction.

The "bell" being said to make a "jump" of 10 or 12 meters after being 1 meter above the ground, we can think that it was something visually close to the horizon, or close to the ground, especially since it would then "rise vertically" to leave the to the East.

Peter Rogerson ([prn2]) states without nuance that the explanation is "Astronomical + autokinesis".

I do not think so, and here's why:

Autokinesis is the fact that stars may appear to have jerky movements because of a misinterpretation of the brain of the involuntary movements of the eyeballs of the observer looking at a star without other fixed landmarks near this star (the involuntary movements of eyes are normally corrected by the brain by using reference landmarks, but when there are none, this "autokinesis" occurs). But here the "bell" is certainly low, and there is certainly a point of reference: the ground. Indeed the witnesses speak of a leap from an object of 2.6 to 3 meters carrying the object to 10 to 12 meters above the ground when it was initially 1 meter above the ground (These measures are certainly not reliable in themselves, but they have a relative value, giving an apparent size of the thing in relation to the height of the jump, that is to say a jump whose height is 3 to 4 times the size of the object. It takes a horizon to be able to express this.) Of course, there is no guaranteed certainty about the reliability of the report, but it is indeed Rogerson who seems to have certainties.

There is, however, the possibility of real, non-autokinetic jerky moves when air masses of varying temperatures circulate between the eyes of the witnesses and the object observed when it is close to the horizon. Which would be the case here. It would not then be "autokinesis" but it has the same consequences altogether.

We need an astronomical body of the star or planet type, preferably close to the horizon, staying there for one hour, then rising vertically in the sky and going away eastward.

As the direction of observation is not given, there is no lack of stars near the horizon. For example Vega, Regulus, Sirius are there that night at this time.

But the problem is that no star stays on the spot for an hour to finally climb vertically and "leave". Neither has the shape of a bell with a ring base.

We also have the planets Uranus and Jupiter. And they are even "aligned", exactly in the same place of the sky. But they are practically at 30 degrees of elevation, and their movement is neither jerky, nor ending in a departure after an hour. It is a long, steady climb that takes them in an hour of 30 to 40 degrees of elevation, they reach 50 degrees of elevation at 5 in the morning (they do not "go away") and neither the stars nor the planets become "finally" "brighter" at the moment of "leaving".

And whether it's a star or a planet, the apparent movement carries them towards the West, towards the East.

And the reddish and greenish reflections and gushes of orange light are not typical for any planets at an elevation of 30°.

It is therefore not at all obvious to me that the explanation "Astronomical + autokinesis" is the correct one.

Keywords:

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

Acquigny, Eure, object, bell, railway, train, sparks, red, green, orange, light, multiple

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross August 18, 2008 First published.
0.2 Patrick Gross April 15, 2008 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 20, 2008 First formal version. Additions [aml1], [djn1], [lcn1], [jbu1], [mps1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 28, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.2 Patrick Gross September 26, 2014 Additions [las1], [nip1].
1.3 Patrick Gross December 30, 2016 Additions [fso1], [ubk1].
1.4 Patrick Gross April 27, 2019 Additions [ldl1], [mft3], [mft1], [lhh1], [prn2], Summary.
1.5 Patrick Gross May 2, 2019 Addition [prn1].

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