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The 1954 French flap:

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

November 14, 1954, Saint-Maudan, Côtes-d'Armor:

Reference number for this case: 14-Nov-54-Saint-Maudan. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

Ufologist and author Jean Sider discovered - or received from Michel Jeantheau - this case of November 18, 1954 at 6 o'clock in the morning by an article of the newspaper "Le Courier Indépendant", of Loudéac, on page 3 in the edition of November 27, 1954.

The article says that the young Danielle (or Danièle) Ponner, aged 12, living at her parent's in Bomel was waken up by a sharp gleam Thursday morning of last week.

She saw, by the window, very close to the house, a kind of shining boat resting on the ground and, around the boat, two small hairy beings which seemed to collect apples.

Frightened, the young girl called her parents, but at once the light and the boat disappeared. The young girl seemed very categorical in her statements.

Jean Sider points out the ambiguity of the word "disappeared" and the coincidence that the disappearance occurs when the young girl calls her parents.

In 2018, ufologist Dominique Caudron gave his prosaic explanation, similar to the one I proposed in 2008, and also gave what would be the exact text of the newspaper of the time, obtained from Michel Jeantheau:

"ST MAUDAN"

"A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL REPORTEDLY SAW A SAUCER"

"On Thursday morning last week, around six o'clock, little Danielle Ponner, 12, living at her parents' home in Bomel, St Maudan, was awakened by a bright glow. She saw through the window, near the house, a kind of sparkling boat resting on the ground and around the boat, two little hairy people who seemed to pick apples. Frightened, she called her parents, but immediately the light and the boat disappeared. The girl seems very categorical in her statements."

Reports:

[ld1:] "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT" MAGAZINE:

The magazine reproduces the text of the newspaper Le Courrier Indépendant, of Loudéac, for November 27, 1954, page 3, indicated as the source.

The article indicates that young Danielle Ponner, 12-year-old, living at her parents' in Bomel, in Saint-Maudan, was awaked by a sharp gleam, and then saw by the window, very close to the house, a kind of shining or sparkling "boat", and around this "boat", two small hairy being which seemed to be busy collecting apples.

She was frightened and called her parents, but "at once, the light and the boat disappeared."

The newspaper noted that the little girl was very affirmative in her statements.

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

Ufologist and author Jean Sider discovered this case of November 18, 1954 at 6 o'clock in the morning by an article of the newspaper "Le Courier Indépendant", of Loudéac, on page 3 in the edition of November 27, 1954.

The article says that the young Danielle Ponner, aged 12, living at her parent's in Bomel was waken up by a sharp gleam Thursday morning of last week.

She saw, by the window, very close to the house, a kind of shining boat resting on the ground and, around the boat, two small hairy beings who seemed to collect apples.

Frightened, the young girl called her parents, but at once the light and the boat disappeared. The young girl seemed very categorical in her statements.

Jean Sider points out the ambiguity of the word "disappeared" and the coincidence that the disappearance occurs when the young girl calls her parents.

[Ref. lh1] LARRY HATCH - "*U* COMPUTER DATABASE":

4403: 1954/11/18 06:00 2 2:47:00 W 48:07:00 N 3333 WEU FRN CDN 9:4

St.MAUDAN,FR:GIRL/12:GLOW-BOAT ^/FIELD:3 HAIRY OIDS PICK APPLES!:/LDLN#325

Ref#217 Jean SIDER: Le DOSSIER 1954 (2 vol.) Page No. 225 : FARMLANDS

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

228.

Location. St Maudan France

Date: November 14 1954

Time: 0600A

A 12-year old girl sees a luminous boat shaped craft land on a nearby field. Three hairy humanoids emerged from the object and began to gather apples from a nearby orchard. No other information.

HC addition # 2399

Source: LDLN # 325

Type: B

[Ref. ed1:] EMMANUEL DEHLINGER:

This author defends the thesis that UFOs are caused by military personal using waves and other devices to make believe in the existence of aliens by misleading in the witnesses. He studies as example of the thesis this case, indicating that in Bomel in Saint-Maudan in the Côte d'Armor on November 18, 1954 at 06:00, a luminous boat and two small hairy beings pretence to collect apples were seen, with a disappearance on the spot. He suggests that it can be a "luminous projection?"

He indicates as source LDLN #325 page 36.

[Ref. bo1:] BASE OVNI FRANCE:

The web site indicates that in St Maudan in the Côtes d'Armor, on November 18, 1954, at 06:00, at the location Bomel, a girl sees by the window very close to the house a kind of shining boat on the ground. Around it two small hairy beings seem to be collecting apples. The child calls her parents, but all had disappeared when they come.

The indicated source is Lumières dans la Nuit.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 14 November 1954 at 06:00 in St Maudan, France, a 12-year old girl sees a luminous boat shaped craft land on a nearby field. Three hairy humanoids emerged from the object and began to gather apples from a nearby orchard.

The source is a link to a nonexistant web page.

[Ref. ud2:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 18 November 1954 at 06:00 in St Maudan, France, a 12-year-old girl sees a "glowing boat" descend into field. Three hairy dwarfs get out and pick apples.

The website comments that it was a "close encounter with a an unidentified craft and its occupants. One luminous boat-shaped object was observed by one female 12-year-old witness in a field for two minutes. Three hairy dwarves were seen.

The source is indicated as Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

[Ref. te1:] "LA TAVERNE DE L'ETRANGE" WEBSITE:

In a list of cases given without date, without source, without content, we read "Saint-Maudan and Mademoiselle Danièle Ponner".

The author assures that recurring letters or the number of letters of 9 and 13 frequent in the names of witnesses and places of a few tens of cases presented without any reserve proves this:

"One comes to the conclusion that at least part of the game set by the Responsible for the UFO leads to: it stages the Order of the Templars!"

[Ref. ni1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

*Nov. 14, 1954 - At six o'clock in the morning in St. Maudan, France a 12-year-old girl saw a luminous boat-shaped craft land in a nearby field. Three hairy humanoids emerged from the object and began to gather apples from a nearby orchard. (Source: Lumieres dans la Nuit, issue # 325).

[Ref. ta1:] "THINK ABOUT IT" WEBSITE:

Location: St Maudan France

Date: November 14 1954

Time: 0600A

A 12-year old girl sees a luminous boat shaped craft land on a nearby field. Three hairy humanoids emerged from the object and began to gather apples from a nearby orchard.

No other information.

Source: LDLN # 325 257.

[Ref. gz1:] JULIEN GONZALEZ:

The author indicates that there was a close encounter of the third kind in Bomel, Saint-Maudan, the Côtes d'Armor, on November 18, 1954, at 06:00 a.m.:

Twelve-year-old Danielle Ponner was awakened by a sharp gleam, and she saw by the window, near the house, a sort of shining boat resting on the ground and, around the boat, two hairy beings who seemed to pick up apples. Frightened, the little girl called her parents, but the light and the boat disappeared at once.

The sources are indicated as Le Courrier Indépendant for November 27, 1954; Jean Sider, "Le dossier 1954 et l'imposture rationaliste", pages 225-226.

[Ref. pr2:] PETER ROGERSON - "INTCAT":

November 18 1954. 0600 BOMEL, SAINT-MAUDAN (COTES D'AMOUR : FRANCE)

Danielle Ponner (12) was awoken by a bright light, and looking through the window, she saw a luminous object like a boat on the ground and near it two small hairy beings picking up apples. She called out to her parents and when she did so, the light and object disappeared. (URECAT citing Lumieres dans le [sic] Nuit 325 + Sider 1997 p225)

Evaluation - Gross suggests apple pickers, another possibily is a hypnopompic hallucination or false awakening)

Note: The source reference "URECAT" is my file as it appears in my CE3 catalogue URECAT; the file content is the same as this page of my France 1954 catalogue.

[Ref. dc1:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

No Martian in Saint-Maudan

Here is another case taken out of oblivion by the patient researches of Michel Jeantheau.

But of course, there was no counter-investigation, and we should not have too much trouble doubting a story told by a 12-year-old girl who had just woken up in the middle of the night.

The case is told by Le Courrier Indépendant at the time

ST MAUDAN

A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL REPORTEDLY SAW A SAUCER

On Thursday morning last week, around six o'clock, little Danielle Ponner, 12, living at her parents' home in Bomel, St Maudan, was awakened by a bright glow. She saw through the window, near the house, a kind of sparkling boat resting on the ground and around the boat, two little hairy people who seemed to pick apples. Frightened, she called her parents, but immediately the light and the boat disappeared. The girl seems very categorical in her statements.

(Le Courrier Indépendant, 27/11/1954, p.3, communication by Michel Jeantheau)

The case resurfaced in 1994

November 18, 6 o'clock,

Bomel, Saint-Maudan, Côtes-du-Nord

The little Danielle Ponner, 12-year-old, staying at her parents' home, in Bomel, in Saint-Maudan, was awakened by a bright glow. She saw through the window, near the house, a sort of sparkling boat resting on the ground and around this "boat", two little hairy creatures, who seemed to pick apples.

Frightened, she called her parents, but immediately the light and the boat disappeared.

The girl was very positive in her statements.

source:

The Courrier Indépendant, Loudéac, 27.11.54, p.3

(Lumières Dans La Nuit, No. 325, January-February 1994, page 36)

Then in 1997, Jean Sider recovers this case. He begins by copying the text that appeared in Lumières Dans La Nuit, while pretending to copy Le Courrier Indépendant, and then adds:

Note [Jean Sider]: The reader will again note that the show offered to the witness "disappeared". How? We will probably never know. Moreover, it "disappeared" when the girl called her parents. A coincidence that is not necessarily one for the reader who has followed my thought expressed through my various books. Indeed, it seems that the intelligence that produces these manifestations has access to the brain of the targeted individuals, that it can read the thoughts, so that it has the opportunity to oppose some of their initiatives.

Note [Dominique Caudron]: the reader can also notice that Jean-Sider favors the rather paranoid hypothesis of an action of the object on the consciousness of the witness, instead of imagining a more prosaic psychological hypothesis. In fact, if the "occupants" of the object could have acted on the conscience of the witness, the girl would have simply not seen anything at all, since her perception of the phenomenon would have been blocked, like that of the other possible witnesses.

(Jean Sider, Le dossier 1954 et l'imposture rationaliste, Ramuel, 1997, page 225-226)

In 2014, the witness was probably still alive, but no one had re-investigared. Never mind. Julien Gonzalez keeps the observation

Bomel, Saint-Maudan, Côtes d'Armor, November 18, 1954, 06:00.

Danielle Ponner, 12 years old.

The girl is awakened by a bright glow. She sees through the window, near the house, a kind of sparkling boat resting on the ground and around the boat, two little hairy people who seem to pick apples. Frightened, the girl calls her parents, but immediately the light and the boat disappear.

Sources: Le Courrier Indépendant for November 27, l954; Jean Sider, Le dossier 1954 et l'imposture rationaliste, pages 225-226.

Note [Dominique Caudron]: It is likely that the author read only Sider, and not the article of the Courrier Indépendant

(Julien Gonzalez, RR3 - Le Dossier des Rencontres du Troisième Type en France, Le Temps Présent, 2014, pp 163)

Conclusion

Once again ufologists copy each other, either by enriching the story or as here, without taking into account the remarks of their predecessors.

And of course, no investigation, no attempt at objective reconstruction of the facts.

In Saint Maudan, there is a hamlet named Bomel, which is 7 km south of Loudéac. But on November 18, at 6 o'clock in the morning, it's the middle of the night because the sun does not rise until around 8:22.

The girl was woken in the middle of the night by an unusual light. She saw what she describes, for want of something better, like a boat lying on the ground, and two little hairy people who seemed to pick up apples. She did not see any craft land or take off, so that a vehicle headlights on, could be suitable. One can also doubt that at a distance, and in the middle of the night, she could have distinguished the hairs of the little beings.

We do not have to invoke a hoax, because then the girl would have invented something more in keeping with the mythology of the time than a boat and little hairy creatures.

We do not have to invoke a hallucination, because we do not report any sequelae, not even related to fear.

We do not have to doubt that there was indeed a craft, and two beings. But a 12-year-old net, woken up in the middle of the night, is not really an experienced observer, and interpretation is the problem.

As Jean Sider remarks, taking the opportunity to put a very personal hypothesis, as soon as the girl called her parents, everything disappeared without anyone knowing how.

The assumption, by far the simplest, is that, as it was in the middle of the night, the scene was no longer visible as soon as the light went out, which can be explained very simply by a vehicle having extinguished its headlights.

A more twisted assumption is that when the girl was better awake, and had enough lucidity to call her parents, her interpretation of the scene changed, and that she saw nothing unusual about it, but this does not explain why the light went out.

It remains only the two "little" beings, seen a few moments, without knowing what size they really were, or why they seemed hairy.

No, really, nothing proves that Saint-Maudan was visited by hairy Martians.

Last updated: 11/03/2018

Explanations:

Not looked for yet.

In addition of the points noted by Jean Sider, it should be noted that the single witness is a young girl, 12 years old, and the story is a quotation of a newspaper article. No investigation seems to have been carried out, and the case is of little strangeness. A confusion with people picking up apples at some light cannot be excluded.

Additions on November 26, 2018:

The explanations above were written at the creation of this file on November 8, 2008. In view of the new publications, I think that an addition may be useful.

The 1954 newspaper:

The newspaper Le Courier Indépendant is the only source at the origin of this case, the closest to the facts. I do not have an original copy. Dominique Caudron [dc1] gave the text, as he received it from Michel Jeantheau he said.

I was told that Mr. Jeantheau is sitting on a mountain of French press articles about flying saucers, I was told that it was he who had fed Jean Sider. The "discovery" of the case would therefore be due to Michel Jeantheau, but it is Jean Sider who was the first to publish about this case. I was told, moreover, that Sider is the author of the article of LDLN N° 325 [ld1], from which he would later pick up contents in his 1997 book [js1].

The case therefore boils down to:

"On Thursday morning last week, at about six o'clock, the little Danielle Ponner, 12, staying at her parents' home in Bomel, St Maudan, was awakened by a bright glow. She then saw out of the window, close to the house, a kind of sparkling boat resting on the ground and, around the boat, two little hairy creatures who seemed to pick up apples. Frightened, she called her parents, but immediately the light and the bark disappeared. The girl seems very categorical in her statements."

Jean Sider:

This author therefore had the article, and naturally introduced his ad-hoc theory supposed to explain any case as extraterrestrial, even if it could be a misintterpretation: the "problems" of the case, which makes it less credible or less extraterrestrial, would be, according to him, created by the extraterrestrials themselves. The interest is that we cannot refute it, since the refutation could be a manipulation by the extraterrestrials. The trouble is that these "non-refutable" theories, these tautologies, allow absolutely no knowledge progress. Just to explain Jean Sider's approach in a simple manner: if people mistake a balloon for a UFO, Sider would argue that it was an alien craft nevertheless becasues the aliens disguised their craft as a balloon. If people say they have seen "ridiculous" extraterrestrials doing "ridiculous" things, he would argue that the "absurdities" of the extraterrestrials exist because real aliens create fake, ridiculoius aliens, for the purpose of a "manipulation" of mankind of some sort. And so on.

In addition to my principle objection to self-demonstrating theories, we have the quite valid objection by Dominique Caudron [dc1]: if these laiens were engaged in manipulations of witnesses to go unnoticed, why don't they do it properly by blocking all the witnessees perceptiona?

Larry Hatch:

Larry Hatch compiled a computer database of UFO sightings at a time when computers did not allow much storage. Everything is reduced to a few indicators. Hatch also maintained a world map with localization of cases from its base, and a list of "discredited" cases. It was meritorious, but obsolete, and not useful for seriously evaluating a case.

Albert Rosales:

Starting from David Webb's old HUMCAT catalog that he enriched, Rosales built a catalog of close encounters of the third kind. Unfortunately, no verification of the value of the cases is made, generally a single source only - often second-hand - is given for each case. Thus, this voluminous catalog is a good help for a census of cases, but of no help in determining which ones would be hoaxes, misintepretations... or something else. Here, for example, the source he gave is LDLN 325, so the reader cannot know that this is a Presse report of 1954, the reader does not learn when the case was reported. Yet the press source was given in "LDLN 325". It was therefore not correct to assure that there would be "no other information" than what Rosales gave.

Emmanuel Dehlinger

He is the author of an "electronic book" published on the Web. Listing a number of cases, but not all, mainly from LDLN, and not evaluating them, thus taking into account a large proportion of misinterpretations and hoaxes, he built a thesis that... "the military" is fabricating the UFOs reported by people, for some unclear purpose, or to convince people that we have extraterrestrial visitors. The thesis is totally absurd - I explained it to him at the time. One needs to know nothing about UFO history to be unaware that UFOs were more a source of probalems for the military than something they "desired". (Of course it happens that some witnesses mistake an aicraft, military or not, for a "UFO" but for Dehlinger, the "statistics" would prove that almost ALL UFO sightings reports would be sightings of "staged" false UFOs voluntarily organized by the military - which military personal, from which country, in what epochs, this he did not know how to tell me. How does he explain that the vast majority of reports find trivial explanations (balloons, helicopters, meteors, hoaxes,) to the point that there is really no need for the least military to add "false UFOs", he did not explain either.

For this case of Saint-Maudan, we can see that his very short explanation is: "luminous projection?" - what about the hairy beings, then?

Luc Chastan

Chastan built a web database of UFO sighting reports in France using mainly book sources; but the cases are rarely evaluated, so the base includes many misinterpretations and hoaxes (compare his year 1954 and mine for example).

UFODNA

A global UFO sigthing reports web database, built from the old UFOCAT and enriched, with the same problems as Albert Rosales' catalog, but also a number of duplicates, misdated cases etc. Evaluations are rare, misintepretations and hoaxes abound without being indicated as such.

"La Taverne de l'Etrange"

If you were stunned by the theories of Jean Sider or Emmanuel Dehlinger, this goes several step beyond in lunacy. Using a few randomlay selected cases, without any decent information, the author finds that some letters often appear in the names of witnesses, that locations cities names often have 9 or 13 letters, and by a thought process I think I can never grasp, ends up concluding that the "Responsibles for the UFOs" (?) fabricate "staged UFOs" for some "selected" people, all in connection with... "the Order of the Templars."

"Think About It"

This website just copied Albert Rosales and other works, without giving any credit to these people, and without any added value.

Peter Rogerson

This British Ufologist who in the 1970s was a "UFO proponent" and took a "skeptical" position later had compiled a CE3 catalog named INTCAT, of "quality" similar to that of Albert Rosales. Shortly before his death he published a part of INTCAT on the web, a reworked version of his INTCAT catalog. It contains not just CE3 cases but aosme ghosts stories, "Virgin Mary" appearances stories, and many cases without any "entity" reported. The cases are presented in brief summaries with numerous errors on the names of places or witnesses in the French cases, the sources are poorly noted and rarely firsthand. An occasional "Evaluation" is given, as here, cirting my proposal of apple pickers, and adding that of the hypnagogic hallucination (I cannot exclude it, the case is so poorly documented that this will probably remain rather undecidable).

So:

So, from a 3-phrases story written by a journalist, with, as a witness, a 12-year-old child, we get:

I think the last three explanations are the "least worst."

I want to detail my explanation a bit. My apple pickers, at night, could have used a flashlight of some kind, perhaps hung at a tree branch, and it would have drawn "a luminous object like a boat on the ground". The beings would be hairy because they would have worn heavy coats - it's winter.

Maybe my apple pickers were actaully stealing the apples. When the girl called her parents, they may have heard her, and turned off their light; which would explain the "disappearance". We are told, indeed, that the disappearance takes place when the girl calls.

In the newspaper, according to [dc1], we are told: "immediately the light and the boat disappeared." There would have been, then, on one hand a light, on the other hand a "boat", ao the first might have been a flashlight and athe second a parked car.

Finally, I want to stredd that I do not exclude that the girl saw aliens and their craft. But, like Dominique Caudron, I do not see any proof thereof.

Keywords:

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

Bomel, Côtes-d'Armor, Saint-Maudan, Danielle Ponner, night, gleam, boat, object, luminous, occupants, two, hairs, hairy, small, samples, light, boat

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 January 29, 2008 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 23, 2008 First formal version. Additions [ud1], [ud2].
1.1 Patrick Gross October 19, 2014 Addition [ni1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 11, 2017 Addition [ta1].
1.3 Patrick Gross February 21, 2017 Additions [gz1], Summary.
1.4 Patrick Gross November 26, 2018 Additions [te1], [lh1], [pr2], [dv1]. In the Explanations, addition of what follows "Additions on November 26, 2018". In the Summary, addition of "- or received from Michel Jeantheau - " and what follows "In 2018, ".

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This page was last updated on November 26, 2018.