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October 14, 1954, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône:

Reference for this case: 14-Oct-54-Marseille.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The regional newspaper Le Provençal for October 15, 1954, reported that many witnesses had seen a "luminous craft" over Marseille, and a few minutes later, in the sky of Vaucluse, the previous evening.

Among the witnesses, one or more journalists of this newspaper themselves, saying that unfortunately, it was not a "saucer".

They were at Daviel Square, at exactly 6:09 p.m., and as the day waned, it was dark, a very bright, very large, yellow-orange craft appeared in the east of the city. In the shape of a big ball, it was moving "at an incalculable pace", leaving behind a trail that was falling apart right away.

After five or six seconds, "the craft disappeared towards the north, that is, towards the Estaque."

The journalist(s) compare(s) it - quite accurately but without ever realizing that it was a meteor - to a "shooting star with hundredfold dimensions" and note that there was absolutely no noise.

They then received reports for the same hour: Mr. Gaston Laurent, who was at the Redon with his 10-year-old niece, Janine, told them:

"- This craft that moved noiselessly, coming from the East, was able to let itself see ten seconds then disappeared suddenly, it seemed to dive on Carpiagne."

"Its color was distinctly orange and sparkling, and it was not a plane at all, I'm certain."

Shortly after, a phone call from Mr. Rigaud, from Rasteau in the Vaucluse, indicated that at 06:21 p.m., he had seen "a pink ball" moving north.

The newspaper assures that "it was really an unknown machine, but not a plane or a saucer", and that it did not let them to become "neither for nor really against the existence of these luminous objects."

In 1979, the skeptical ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker did not identify the meteor, gave no source, believed in a single witness, still betraying their negligence by writing: "Marseille - 13 - 06:10 p.m.: witness not found after investigation. Brief phenomenon."

Then later in 1979, ufologists Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon would note the case as having occurred at 06:09 p.m. on October 14, 1954, consisting in a big luminous ball seen by many witnesses, leaving a trail behind. They noted that all the6 p.m. observations of that day were obviously about an object at very high altitude, simultaneously seen from very distant places; which was "presumably a big meteor from the descriptions."

This did not prevent the case from appearing on the Web without their explanation, even though they are cited as the source.




A "flying saucer" pursued by two jets planes
of the Caritat base (Vaucluse)


13 h. 30. A saucer! a saucer!

Alerted by children who first saw it in the sky, all the population was soon in agitation. A white disc hovered slowly above Fountaine-de-Vaucluse. Large artillery binoculars at the eyes, it was possible to clearly distinguish a large white disc surmounted of a segment of a sphere of the same color completely similar to a silver-colored bowler hat.

The lower circular edge carried, intermittently, two powerful fires, variable from the white to the purplished, passing by the red, oscillating on the axis of the large lower disc. The whole sometimes appeared in the shape of a bowler hat, sometimes of a rhombus, sometimes of a simple disc with brilliant edge, from where two fixed lights, diametrically opposite, were intermittently quite visible to the naked eye. No smoke nor noise.

The air base of Caritat, alerted, at once sent two jet planes which, at about 2 p.m., made their appearance in the sky of Vaucluse. Our correspondent was on the telephone with the air base, from where one communicated by radio with the planes. It was easy to guide the apparatuses on the saucer.

Too fast for the planes

After two turns on Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the planes took altitude and dove fast on the reported object.

The radio of the planes announced that the saucer was in sight, that they chased it, but that it escaped with a speed higher than theirs.

Indeed, from Vaucluse one saw the saucer clearly starting out like an arrow with the two jets following.

A "rugby ball on crutches" in the sky of Nimes...

Nimes (A.F.P.).

After the orange and red gleams accompanying the "packs

Continued on page 12
under the headline:



Continued from the first page

of flying cigars" seen by a policeman, two other residents of the Gard, Mr. Dupuy and his wife, saw last night when going back home at a few kilometers in the north of Nimes, a greenish gleam in a field.

They approached and noted with all the time they needed the presence of an object entirely identical to a rugby ball and appearing to rest on crutches. Suddenly, the strange apparatus rose in the air while emitting a weak noise and gradually taking an orange color.


A luminous machine above Marseille

and, a few minutes later, in the sky of Vaucluse

At present, one sees a little everywhere flying saucers or flying cigars crossing space at vertiginous speeds. The details do not miss on these mysterious machines.

But whereas the majority of people question testimonies that one often describes as whimsical, many people cherish the secret hope to see such a phenomenon. While making the usual reserves on these daily visits of extraterrestrial objects, we hoped that one day, we too, would be the witnesses of this still rare display.

Well, yesterday evening, we were privileged. We had the opportunity to see one of these phenomenon. Unfortunately, it was not a "saucer". Too bad, for we then would have been really convinced.

Here is exactly what we had in front of the eyes.

We were on the Daviel square, at 06:09 p.m. exactly and while the day declined, that it was dark, a very luminous machine, very large, of yellow color orange, appeared to us in the east of the city. In the shape of large ball, it moved at an incalculable pace, leaving a trail nehind it which disaggregated immediately. After having seen it five or six seconds, the machine disappeared towards the north, i.e. the Estaque.

What to compare it with? Quite simply with a shooting star with centuplicated dimensions. There was absolutely no noise.

Our "vision" was to be confirmed to us little afterwards. These testimonies are surprizing.

At the same hour, i.e. exactly at 06:09 p.m., Mr. Gaston Laurent, who was in Redon with his young 10 years old niece Janine, had the display in front of the eyes.

- This machine which moved without noise, coming from the East, he told us, let itself be seen ten seconds then disappeared suddenly. It seemed to dive on Carpiagne.

"Its color was definitely orange and sparkled. Anyway, it was not a plane. I am formal.

A little later a telephone call emanating from Vaucluse alerted us. It was Mr. Rigaud, from Rasteau, who, at 06:21 p.m., had seen a pinkish ball. It moved towards North.

What is this phenomenon which crossed Marseille yesterday evening? Some will claim today that they too saw the phenomenon. According to imagination, it will be a "saucer", a shooting star, a meteor! For our part we will not affirm anything precise. Like our correspondents, whose testimonies we report above, we will be satisfied to modestly say that it was really an unknown machine, but neither a plane nor a saucer. It enabled us to be neither for, nor really against the existence of these luminous objects.


These two authors indicate that in Marseille at 06:09 P.M. on October 14, 1954, a large luminous ball was seen by many witnesses. It left a trail behind itself.

The authors note that all the observations at 6 p.m. that day obviously refer to an object at very high altitude, seen simultaneously from very distant places, which is probably a large meteor according to descriptions.


The two authors note this case of October 14, 1954:

"Marseille - 13 - 06:10 p.m.: untraceable witness after investigation. Brief phenomenon."

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Bouches du Rhône in Marseille on October 14, 1954 at 18:09 hours, there was a "Large luminous ball leaving a trail behind it (seen by very numerous witnesses)."

The source is noted: "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 14 October 1954 at 18:00 in Marseille, France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed."

The website indicates that the source is "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".


The 6:13 p.m. meteor.

Note: I conventionally give the time as "06:13 p.m."; it should be understood that observations begin apparently at 06:09 p.m. in Marseilles, but the meteor took several minutes to reach Alsace; 06:13 p.m. is my "average" hour, I would like to avoid the illusion that there were meteors every minutes between 06:09 p.m. and 06:?? p.m..



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

Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, ball, large, trail, multiple, journalist, pink, yellow, orange, Gaston Laurent, Redon


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 11, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 8, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross July 28, 2010 Addition [lpl1].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 18, 2019 Addition of the Summary.

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This page was last updated on July 18, 2019.