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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 11, 1954, Saint-Alban, Haute-Garonne:

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


Michel Carrouges in his 1963 book of 1963, and other ufological sources later saying to be based on the Press of the time, report a case of October 11, 1954, in Saint-Alban, between Fronton and Villemur-sur-Tarn, in the Haute-Garonne department.

The night around 10:30 p.m., one Spirite Stramare, farmer, returned home when he saw a blue craft consisting of two bunk discs, posed at the edge of the road, near the street lighting pole near the bifurcation of the roads of Fronton and Villemur - or at the crossroads of the roads Fronton - Bouloc. The craft would have had the "approximate size" of a "gardener's umbrella."

He claimed to have seen three small beings standing next to the saucer, dressed in dark gray uniforms and tight pants, wearing "aviator helmets."

Frightened, Spirite Stramare got off his bike and ran to hide behind a tree, some 20 meters from the craft.

As if they had seen him, the three beings introduced themselves between the two discs, the upper disc lowered, revealing an antenna about 1.50 meters high and the apparatus took off vertically, "with a noise similar to that caused by a small electric motor." said Mr. Stramare.

Carrouges recalled that the incident had taken place on the trip on which two pranksters journalists of the Samedi-Soir weekly with scuba-suits played Martians and launched fireworks to show that flying saucers exist only in the minds of the witnesses. He said he was tempted to explain the incident like this because it was at the crossroads of the Fronton-Bouloc roads that these reporters had to use.

"Skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker, in their 1979 book, add that Samedi-Soir #486 of the week of October 21 to 27, 1954, had published an article "We were the Martians" presenting with photos the whole series of hoaxes, including this one.

Just after, in 1979, Figuet and Ruchon cited the explanation of Carrouges, but noted that the journalists of Samedi-Soir were two, whereas Mr. Stramare said he saw seen three little men.



Michel Carrouges indicates that on October 11, 1954, in Stramare, between Fronton and Vielmur in the Haute-Garonne, there was a sighting by a witness named Stramare with occupants in "dark gray uniforms." Carrouges files this sighting among his six listed cases in which there is talking of suits or clothes of ordinary type.

He indicates that it was in the night at about 10:30 p.m., but that the witness was only at 20 meters or some 20 meters and hidden behind a tree, looking at a saucer placed at the edge of the road, very close to the public lighting pole.

Carrouges says that the witness saw at the same time the pilots who were three small men with aviators helmets, dark gray uniforms gray and tight-fitting trousers, which indicates that the visibility was excellent, since the witness could give these precise details. He however wonders how the description should be correctly interpreted, whether for example the helmets wrapped all the head or not, if they had a glazed part or not, and considers it regrettable that such essential points were not clarified. He regrets that these uncertainties, while they may perhaps come from a lack of attention of the witnesses for the details, or of the brevity of certain sightings, may just as easily come from the simple fact that nobody may have drawn the attention of the witnesses of such encounters to the importance to indeed provide each and all seen detail.

He adds that when the saucer flew away, it made a light noise of electric motor.

Then, he reminds the reader that this incident took place on the path on which two hoaxers journalists, equipped with diving-suits, played "Martians," and he thus concludes that all this does not allow keeping this testimony as correct.

Further in his book, he details more the claims of hoaxes of the two journalist of Samedi-Soir who disguised as Martians and launched firework to prove that flying saucers exist only in the head of the witnesses. Among the cases possibly ascribable to this series of pranks, he is tempted to retain the incident of the saucer and of the three little men indicated by the witness Stramare, because this testimony was at the crossroads of the roads Fronton-Bouloc and these reporters had to use one of these roads. Carrouges notes however it is not known which crossroads it was exactly, and that moreover, this incident appears to date from the 11th and even in this case, it would make for a somehow unusually long duration of the wanderings of the journalists.


In an article on the landing of saucers in France in September and October 1954, Michel Carrouges notes this case as one of those for which the observation distance was 20 meters.


The two ufologists and authors report that on October 11, 1954, at 10:30 P.M, in Saint Alban in the Haute-Garonne, Spirite Stramare, a farmer, returned to his home when he saw a machine of blue color composed of two superimposed discs, close to the junction of the roads of Fronton and Villemur. It had the approximate dimension of a "gardener's umbrella."

Three beings of small size stood besides, wearing tight-fitting dark gray uniforms, and capped with "aviators helmets." Frightened, Spirite Stramare gets down of his bicycle and runs to hide behind a tree, at some twenty meters of the machine.

As if they had seen him, the three beings get within the two disks. The higher disc drops down, letting a sort of antenna of 1,50m of height appear, and the apparatus takes off vertically, "with a noise similar to that caused by a small electric engine," specified Mr. Stramare.

The authors indicate that their sources are newspapers clipping, personal files.


The authors indicate that on October 11, 1954 at about 10:30 p.m., Mr. Stramare, farmer in Saint Alban, was the victim of a series of mystifications by two journalists of the weekly magazine "Samedi-Soir", Michel Agnellet and Pierre Laforêt. They say Laforêt confirmed this and that an article in Samedi-Soir for the week of Pctober 21-27, 1954, with photographs, displayed the whole series of the journalists's hoaxes.

The latter used "two complete divers' equipment and some petty hardware", a panoply which they described as follows:

"We also took along in our luggage complete equipment of bomb disposal expert: eighteen Bengal fireworks, reds, greens and white, forty Roman candles, true Martians guns launching green or red small balls of fire at fifteen meters around... and in silence. We had also taken some twenty flying rockets, able to spring up to a hundred or hundred fifty meters, to explode in gigantic umbrella of fire. Prosaically we bought this material at the market of Brives-la-Gaillarde, where the local fireworks expert, Mr. Forêt, had guaranteed to us the exceptional quality of these devices..."


In their book, the authors specify that the witness is Spirite Stramare, the case is at October 11, 1954 at 10:30 p.m. in Saint-Alban, the Haute-Garonne.

The witness was returning home and saw with at the separation of the roads of Fronton and Villemur a machine of blue color composed of two superimposed discs, posed in a field.

At the side of the craft, three beings who are of small sizes are standing, they are in dark gray uniforms, tight pants and capped with aviators helmets.

The witness is frightened, he gets down of his bicycle and hides behind a tree.

The three beings introduced themselves between the two discs, the top disc drops and lets appear a kind of antenna, and the craft rises vertically with a noise similar to that of a small electric motor.

The authors specify that the witness must have been seeing one of the setup of the famous hoax organized by the journalists of the "Samedi-Soir" newspaper. They were at the crossroads of the roads of Fronton and Villemur at that time, equipped with their diving suits and all the material: rockets, fireworks, car, to prove that the "Martians" are only hoaxes.

They however note that the witness saw three beings while the pranksters journalists were two.

They indicate that their sources are the book by Garreau and Lavier, the book by Michel Carrouges and the weekly newspaper Samedi-Soir for October 21-27, 1954.

[Ref. mft2:] MICHEL FIGUET:

This ufologist noted:

181 CE3 11 10 1954 10.30 p.m. Sain-Alban [sic] 31140 B6 E, (hoax), OVNI 66




Witness victim of a prank by journalists of "Samedi-Soir", "OVNI" p. 669.


In her chronology, Genevieve van Overmeire indicates that on October 11, 1954 at 10:30 p.m., in France, in Saint Alban in the Haute-Garonne, Spirite Stramare was returning at his place when he saw close to a crossroads a craft of blue color composed of two superimposed discs.

The two discs have the approximate dimension of a "gardener's umbrella," and three beings of small size stand at its side, who wear dark gray uniforms, tight pants, and are capped with aviators helmets.

Frightened, Stramare gets down his bicycle and runs to hide behind a tree, at some 20 meters of the craft.

The three beings introduced themselves between the two discs, the higher disc drops while letting appear an antenna of approximately 1 m 50m in height. The craft takes off with a noise similar to that caused by a small electric motor.

Genevieve van Overmeire indicates that actually the witness are said to have been confronted to one of the pranks organized by journalists of "Samedi-Soir" who were at that hour at the crossroads of the roads of Fronton and Villemur, equipped with their diving-suits and all their material, rockets and fireworks, and other stuff, to act as "Martians". She notes that the witness saw three beings, whereas the journalists were only two.

She indicates as sources the book by Garreau and Lavier for the account and that of Figuet and Ruchon concerning the explanation by the prank of the journalists of Samedi-Soir.


Larry Hatch classified the sighting of October 11, 1954, in Saint-Alban in France, with a disk and humanoids, in his "discredited cases" listing, indicating it was a journalistic prank in the weekly Samedi Soir.

[Ref. lhh2:] LARRY HATCH:

1954/10/11 St. ALBAN, 31, FRANCE: DISK + humanoids. Journalistic prank in Samedi Soir (weekly).

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 11 October 1954 at 22:45 in St Alban, France, an object was observed, traces were found, one disc was observed by several witnesses in a forest for a few seconds.

The explanation is that it was a hoax.

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, A Century of Landings (N = 923), (in JVallee04), Chicago, 1969; Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Phillips, Ted R., Ted Phillips investigation files; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002; Hatch, Larry, internet data.

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

This database recorded this case 4 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 St. Alban France 22.30 CE II
19541011 11.10.1954 Alto Garona France 22.30 CE III
19541011 11.10.1954 Fronton France 22.30 CE III
19541011 11.10.1954 Fronton France 22.30 CE III


October 11 1954. 2230hrs.


Farmer Spirite Stamare [sic] was cycling home when he saw something blue at the crossroads from Fronton and Villemur. Hiding behind a tree he saw that it consisted of one disc superimposed on the other, the size of a "gardener's umberella [sic]. Near it were three small men dressed in dark grey uniforms with tight trousers and helmets like those worn by pilots. All of this was about 20-30m away. The three beings entered the object through the middle section between the two discs, the top disc then lowered, leaving just an antenna 1.5 m high sticking up. The object then took off m making a sound like an electrical motor.

P Gross 1954. citing Carrouges 1963 pp80, 105, 166 + Garreau and Lavier 1975 p170 + Figuet and Ruchon 1979 p667 all citing Michel Agnelett [sic] and Pierre Laforet in Samedi-Soir 21-27 October 1954.

Evaluation - Hoax by journalists


Possible hoax by the Samedi-Soir journalists. But his was also possibly, or even more probably, a helicopter!

The Samedi-Soir journalists, Michel Agnellet and Pierre Laforêt, used a car, fireworks, and scuba-diver suits, and they were not three but two.

The commune of Fronton is in the North of the department of the Haute-Garonne and part of the urban area of Toulouse from which it is separated of 29 kilometers, it is in the canton of Fronton which gathers 16 communities.

Villemur is actually Villemur-sur-Tarn, 35 kilometers from Toulouse in the Haute-Garonne, in the canton of Villemur in the heart of the vineyard of the Frontonnais, it is crossed by the river Tarn.

Saint-Alban is in the Haute-Garonne, 11 kilometers in the North of Toulouse.

From Fronton to Saint-Alban, there are 22 kilometers and multiple roads. In the same manner, from Villemur to Saint-Alban, there are 25 kilometers and also multiple roads. This makes illusory a sure localization of a junction of the roads of Front and Villemur while going to Saint-Alban.


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

Saint-Alban, Haute-Garonne, hoax, occupants, uniforms, grey, three, Stramare, disc, blue, antenna, landing, take-off, vertical, close, bicycle, road, crossroad, small, helmets, pilots, diving suits, suits, uniforms, frightened, noise, electric engine, night, fronton, Villemur, sound


[----] indicates sources that are not yet available to me.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 3, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 20, 2008 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross April 23, 2009 Addition [bbr1].
1.2 Patrick Gross February 21, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.3 Patrick Gross April 20, 2019 Additions [mft1], [prn2], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Possible hoax by the Samedi-Soir journalists."

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This page was last updated on April 20, 2019.