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The 1954 French flap:

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October 14, 1954, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Vaucluse:

Reference for this case: 14-Oct-54-L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


In the national newspaper Le Parisien Libéré for October 16, 1954, one learned among other observations that in "L'Isle-sur-Sorgue", between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., "various reliable people" had seen "either a luminous disc or a cigar moving at a vertiginous speed."

According to the bulletin Vaucluse Ufologie special issue of 1981, the case was quoted in the regional newspaper Le Dauphiné Libéré, the date was Friday, October 15, 1954, the hour 18:05 and it was "a sphere, with a trail of 50 cm, red and yellow" seen by four witnesses.





False alert in Vaucluse

the observation of a luminous phenomenon
by two aviators from the Orange base

A big event faded yesterday on the front of the flying saucers.

The affair took place in the Vaucluse, in the limpid sky where Mount Ventoux dominates the relief, above Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. At 6:30 p.m., witnesses said that they had just seen a white disk surmounted by a spherical cap. The craft had two powerful lights alternating from white to red and purple colors. The comments went very fast and in good faith, it seems, several people gave reports that confirmed most of the countless phenomena already observed around the world. The nearby Caritat air base was alerted while the craft was still visible. Two jet planes took off and one waited impatiently for the pilots' report.

However, imprudents people ventured to publish premature news: the pilots had spotted the craft they were hunting. But it escaped at a speed much greater than theirs.

In fact, this was not the case, and yesterday the Air Ministry denied these fanciful claims. "Contrary to the information published by some newspapers Friday morning, the two pilots sent in pursuit of the saucer overflew Fontaine-de-Vaucluse at different altitudes and observed no unknown apparatus during their searches. These are experienced officers and their report is formal."

It was therefore necessary to mourn the saucer of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. But in a field which in the autumn of 1954 offers a vast unknown in the world, that is not enough to conclude that flying saucers do not exist. There remain, alas, too many unexplained cases, and the enigma that remains hardly seems to be resolved.

On the other hand, Mr. Gauffredy, deputy mayor of Roussillon, saw, around 6 p.m., a saucer of greenish color which disappeared in a few seconds. Mr. Pierre Hector, entrepreneur, saw the same craft at the same time at Coustellet.


-- At 6:30 p.m. yesterday a score of people saw in the sky of Apt a craft in the shape of a cigar with a big white glow at the front. The craft disappeared suddenly leaving two green lights.

-- In Vaison, in Bollène, at the Ponet and L'Isle-sur-Sorgue, between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., various credible people saw either a luminous disc or a cigar moving at a dizzying speed.

-- A baker, Mr. Elie Théry, aged 43, living on the road from Saint-Omer to Calais, on his way home at around 3:30 a.m. in the morning, saw on the Dunkerque-Calais railway, near the level crossing of Saint-Pierre-Halte, 50 meters from him, a spherical luminous craft about 2 meters high and 4 meters wide. The object was extremely bright.

Mr. Thery, who passes for a very serious and conscientious man, has been deeply moved by this discovery.

-- In Vignory and Brottes, villages of the Haute-Marne, an orange-colored object was seen by different witnesses.

In the first case, it rose at a vertiginous pace towards the sky; the second time, Mr. Taillandier, an employee of the Chaumont buses, his wife and daughter, living at Brottes, saw an identical gleam moving from Neuilly to Vignory, moving very quickly.

In both cases, no noise was perceived.


[... other cases...]

18) 10/15/54 - 06:05 p.m. - L'ISLE SUR LA SORGUES

[... other cases...]




With Vaucluse Ufologie #3 and #6, we showed you how rich the day of October 14, 1954 was in observations. The next day is also rich, we have four observations throughout the Vaucluse:

At 6 p.m. - LE PONTET.

Mr. Jean C., deputy mayor, Mr. Louis M. and F., municipal councillors, all three saw an aluminum-colored sphere flying silently.

At 6:05 p.m. - at L’ISLE SUR SORGUE.

A sphere, with a 50 cm trail, red and yellow, is sighted by four witnesses. Is it the same object as at Pontet?

At 6:10 p.m. — at BOLLENE.

Twenty people saw, for 6 seconds, a very fast object with a green and orange trail.

At 6:21 p.m. — RASTEAU.

A ball is also observed.

We have scant information on these sighting [sic]; most of which come from Le Dauphiné Libéré for the first three, from Le Provençal for the last. If you have more information, we ask that you let us know. We will publish them in this section with your references.



With Vaucluse Ufologie #7, we gave you the list of all the cases of observation that we had for the period of the fifties, from 1950 to 1959. But since this publication we have been able to update this list, complete it and, sometimes, specify it further. It is above all because Jean Pierre Troadec endeavored to update his file for this period, with the aim of compiling a catalog of all the cases of UFO sightings on the Vaucluse that GREPO will make known in some time in a special issue of our bulletin, which I can give you today a new list. This new list obviously eliminates the previous one which contained many date errors, but it is still imprecise in certain cases. I hope that it can serve you usefully, or even generate investigations or counter-investigations; and, if you have new elements or other cases that we do not have, let us know and I will communicate them in this section with your references.

[... other cases...]

21° - 10/15/54 - 06:05 p.m. L'Isle sur Sorgue. A sphere.

[... other cases...]


FRIDAY OCTOBER 15, 1954 - 06:05 P.M.


Reference 6

At 06 hours 05 p.m., a sphere, with a trail of 50 cm, red and yellow is seen by four witnesses.

Is it the same object than in Le Pontet?

"Reference 6" refersto "Le Dauphiné Libéré".



Probably the 06:13 p.m. meteor of that day.

The newspaper Le Parisien Libéré for October 16, 1954, did not give a specific date, simply titling it was "yesterday" for some of the listed sightings. But it must be understood that the national press republished information of the local press from the day before, on October 15th, 1954, so that "yesterday" is quite likely was October 14th, 1954.

This is verified by other cases mentioned in this newspaper; which have the specific date given in other sources.


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

L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Vaucluse, multiple, disc, cigar, luminous, fast


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross December 5, 2016 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross November 6, 2019 Additions [vau1], Summary.
1.2 Patrick Gross July 1, 2022 Additions [vau2], [vau3], [vau4].

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This page was last updated on July 1, 2022.