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The 1954 French flap:

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October 14, 1954, Nîmes, Gard:

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

Reports:

[Ref. lm1:] "LE MERIDIONAL" NEWSPAPER:

Saucer and cigar in Vic-le-Fesq and in the sky of Nimes

One of our important Parisian newspaper publishes an important report on saucers, cigars and Martians.

Each day, a French locality is visited by the Martians or Martian girls and everyone tackles the problem of the veracity of these appearances.

Many witnesses of these appearances do not dare to report it by fear of drowning in the ridiculous.

It is not our idea to give an opinion on the existence or non-existence. Let us simply report these facts, which are reported to us.

In the night from Wednesday to Thursday, at 00:40 a.m. exactly, a resident of Nîmes, Mr. Dupuy, returning from the movie theater in company of his wife, saw, near the camp of the Garrigues, at the place known as the Farmhouse of Rouvière, an object having the shape of a "rugby ball", having green port-holes and seemingly resting on crutches.

For an unknown reason, the machine suddenly took its flight, passed from dark red to orange, and disappeared in the sky while leaving behind a trail of fire...

[...]

Rest of the article about other sightings available here.

[Ref. lp1:] "LE PROVENCAL" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

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

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.

13 h. 30. A saucer! a saucer!

Alerted by children who first saw it 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-coloured 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:
FLYING SAUCERS

Scan

FLYING SAUCERS

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 colour.

NUMEROUS WITNESSES SAW...

A luminous machine above Marseilles

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 testimonys 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 testimonys 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 Marseilles 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 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.

[Ref. le1:] "L'EST REPUBLICAIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

CONTRADICTORY TESTIMONYS IN THE VAUCLUSE

Visible from the ground, a white disc disappears in front of two jet planes

Paris. -- One could expect one moment on Thursday afternoon that one of these mysterious objects which furrow the sky of France and Navarre was going to give up its secret. Alas! It was not so, and the claims of the ones and others are so contradictory that one does not know any more who speaks seriously and who is joking.

Around 01:30 p.m., Thursday, the residents of Fountaine-de-Vaucluse were in agitation because of the maneuvers of a white disc slowly hovering above the city, and which was clearly distinguished with the binocular.

This white disc was surmounted by a segment of a sphere of the same color, and the lower circular edge carried, intermittently, two powerful fires, variable from the white to the purplished, passing by the red color.

Then, who is to be believed?

The air base of Caritat (Vaucluse) was alerted at once and two jet fighters took off. A few moments later, they veered above Fountaine-de-Vaucluse.

It is here that testimonys do not agree any more: the residents stated "the two planes took altitude immediately and dove right on the disc which was still visible. But they could not reach it, for their speed was lower than the speed of the disc. Soon, planes and disc disappeared at the horizon."

This report is the topic of an official statement of the secretary of State to the Air who states: "the two pilots of the Orange [Orange-Caritat] air base who flew over Fontaine-de-Vaucluse at various altitudes on October 14 in the afternoon did not observe any unknown machine during their search.

"The two pilots are experienced officers and their report is bulletproof."

Then, who is to be believed?

Mysterious explosion in the sky of Graulhet

The testimony of an inhabitant of Graulhet (the Tarn) also deserves a stop for the novelty it brings to the "saucers" file. This man, who is a craftsman, stated to have seen Wednesday evening, at high altitude, a silver-colored craft which he initially thought to be a jet plane.

But he soon saw, binoculars at the eyes, a large flexible disc which undulated on itself while moving at high speed.

At this point in time the machine seemed to explode in full flight. A silver-colored ball, from a diameter of one meter approximately, escaped from the mass and soon disappeared from sight, while the remainder of the machine fell in several pieces similar to cloths of various dimensions which hovered in the sky, and of which some clung to telegraph poles.

About fifteen people collected pieces of this material which appeared as silver-colored agglomerated threads that fell to pieces when touched.

Rugby ball and strange beings

Apart from these observations of some interest, the other statements by witnesses in good faith differ little from those told many times already.

Two people, close to Nîmes, saw in a field, at nightfall, a craft absolutely similar to a rugby ball and appearing to rest on crutches.

The strange apparatus raised in the airs while emitting luminous rays which soon formed a screen of orange colour.

An engineer from Meknès, who went to Port-Lyautey by car, stated to have been stopped Thursday afternoon on the road, in the forest of Mamora, by a man covered of a shining outfit.

This man, who measured 1 m 20 approximately, then moved to the right of the road. Hardly had he taken seat inside that the craft flew away and disappeared at high speed.

A resident of Bourg-de-Méral (the Mayenne) saw a transparent machine which released a dazzling gleam on a radius of two hundred meters at ground level. Inside the craft a black shape was distinguished.

The disc remained like this dor ten minutes, reddened and disappeared towards the north. The observer went then to the place where the object had been posed. There was, he claims, a kind of shining cloud which fell slowly on the ground. Arrived home, it realized that his clothes were covered with a matter, a bit sticky, like parafinne.

The common sense of Savoy people

People in Savoy, balanced people if there ever were, were not fooled by the machine which flew over their mountains Thursday. It had too much the shape of a sounding-balloon for not being one. And to see a parachute descending to which scientific devices hung did not surprize them more. The sounding-balloon continued its travel towards Gap where, today undoubtedly, theere will be a report of a mysterious machine which... etc, etc...

[Ref. cm1] "CENTRE MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

THE MYSTERY OF THE SAUCER

In Vaucluse, a luminous machine
escapes two jets

AVIGNON. - In early afternoon yesterday Friday the population of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, was in turmoil.

Indeed, a "white disc" was hovering slowly over the small town and one could clearly distinguish it with good binoculars.

This white disc was surmounted by a spherical cap of the same color.

The lower circular edge carried intermittently two powerful fires varying from white to purple color, passing by the red color.

Caritat Air Base (Vaucluse), alerted, immediately scrambled two jets which soon appeared, and after two turns on Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, they took altitude and dove on the "disc".

The radio installed on the jets was in communication with the base, it announced that the craft was in sight, it was chased, but it escaped because its speed was greater than theirs.

From Vaucluse, one could clearly see the disk go away fast, pursued by the two jets.

Here are also some other information about flying saucers appearances:

Mulhouse. - A trader in a car last night in the company of a friend, between Niffer and Kembs, suddenly saw in the sky a luminous machine in the form of an oval fireball. The latter, according to the trader, followed a large "8" in the sky, moving at a tremendous pace and at an altitude of about 300 meters the craft, which was preceded by a long trail of light, changed color passing from orange to white color, then went to the southeast.

Martigues. - An 8 year old child, who was with his mother and aunt on the road in the hamlet of Saint-Pierre, near Martigues, saw in the sky an elongated luminous machine, from which, she specified, a sort of fireworks came out. The parents have certified to the statements of their child.

Calais. - A baker boy of Calais said he had seen at 3:40 a.m., at the place called "St. Pierre Halte" on the road to Saint-Omer, a yellow and shining craft landing on the railway.

The oddly shaped object was, according to the baker, two meters high and four meters in diameter.

Nimes. - Two people saw last night, returning to their home, a few kilometers north of Nîmes, a greenish glow in a field.

They approached and noted the presence of a vehicle identical in all respects to a rugby ball and appearing to rest on crutches. The strange apparatus suddenly rose in the air while emitting a low noise and gradually taking an orange hue.

Graulhet. - A barrel-maker from Graulhet stated to have seen late yesterday afternoon, at high altitude, a silver craft heading toward the northwest, he first thought it was a jet plane, but discerning no contrail, the barrel-maker fetched binoculars and distinctly saw a broad flexible disc that undulated on itself while moving at a high speed.

That's when the craft seemed to explode in flight. A silver ball, one meter in diameter, escaped the mass and continued on his way, soon disappeared from view, while the rest of the craft fell into pieces similar to sheets of various sizes that hung in the sky and some of which clung to telegraph son. Fifteen people have testified to this singular event and material fragments were collected. They were in the form of agglomerated silver filaments and crumbling to the touch.

Melun. - Near Montargis on National Road No. 7, a resident of this city, said he saw in the sky a yellow mass of rounded and very brilliant form.

Marseille. - Two luminous craft flying high were seen in the sky of the Rove earlier this afternoon. Observers noted that these apparatuses were immobilized a moment and then resumed their flight.

Draguignan. - Several residents of Draguignan observed towards the end of the afternoon, a luminous object crossing the sky at the speed of a meteor.

Casablanca. - Workers of the military logistics of Casablanca stated to have seen this afternoon, above the city, a kind of phosphorescent cigar that, after gently going down like a dead leaf resumed its horizontal course at breakneck speed and eventually disappear.

Angers. - A resident of the village of Méral (the Mayenne), said he saw in the sky, a bright orange ball which landed on the ground.

The disc, with a flattened dome, of a diameter of five to six meters produced a blinding light, illuminating the countryside in a radius of 200 meters.

The craft was transparent and inside, one observed a black shape. The disc remained like this for ten minutes, turned reddish, and quickly disappeared to the north. The observer then went to the place where the object had landed. There was, he says, a kind of brilliant cloud that fell slowly to the ground.

Arrived at his home he noticed that his clothes were covered with a white layer of a slightly sticky material like paraphine [sic].

NO "SAUCER" IN BRITAIN WHERE NATURAL EXPLANATION ARE GENERALLY ENOUGH

London. - The Ministry of the British Air does not believe in the existence of "saucers", "cigars" and other flying contraptions.

While refusing to comment on the craft reported in France, official spokesmen stated that natural explanations are usually given to these phenomena in Britain and that only insufficient explanations let the mystery survive.

No mysterious object was reported in the skies of Britain in recent weeks.

[Ref. gl1:] CHARLES GARREAU AND RAYMOND LAVIER:

The two authors indicate that at a few kilometers to the north of Nimes, on October 15, 1954, at 10 p.m., according to newspaper cuttings and their files personal, two motorists returning from Alès, and arrived at 5 kilometers of Nimes saw a greenish gleam in a field. While approaching, they discovered the presence of a craft in all points identical to "a rugby balloon", which seemed to rest on crutches. The craft rose at this time, taking an orange colour gradually. The two motorists perceived a weak buzz.

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

These two authors indicate that on October 14, 1954 at 00:15, Mr. and Mrs. Dupuy, a couple returning from the city of Alès saw at 5 km in the north of Nimes in the department of Gard, a greenish gleam towards the airfield of Mas-de-Rouvière, in a field.

They approached and noted "lenghtily, the presence of an object in all manners identical to a football and appearing to rest on crutches." It was lit by a greenish light which filtered through three port-holes.

Suddenly, the strange apparatus rose in the airs, emitting a weak noise and gradually taking an orange colour.

The authors indicate that the sources are a letter by Mr. Gouiran, president of the V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A. group, to Michel Figuet; Le Provençal for October 15, 1954; Midi Libre for October 15, 1954; Garreau and Lavier in "Face aux ET" pages 163-164.

[Ref. bb1:] GERARD BARTHEL AND JACQUES BRUCKER:

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

"Nîmes - 30 - night: untraceable witness after investigation."

Further in their book, they indicate that the newspaper "Le Provençal" du 15 octobre 1954 indicates that the observation took place the night at a few kilometers in the north of the city, with for witness Mr. and Mrs. Dupuy. They specify that they could not locate the witnesses because their name is very ordinary. They indicate that they determined by thought that the place was Les Capitelles, a location in a military field, and invite the reader to read their chapter on confusions caused by helicopters for the explanation.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

Godelieve van Overmeire indicates that in 1954, on October 14, in France, at the Mas de Rouvière (Nimes), at 0:15 "Mr. and Mrs. Dupuy in a car, see a greenish light in a field. They approach and observe a craft of the shape of a rugby ball resting on crutches. The dark mass was lit by a greenish light which filtered by three port-holes. Suddenly, emitting a weak noise, the craft rose while taking an orange colour."

The source is noted "M. FIGUET/ J.L. RUCHON: "Ovni, premier dossier complet..." - Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 160".

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Gard in Nimes on October 14, 1954 at 00:15 hours, "a couple returns from Alès, when they see at 5 km in the north of Nimes towards the airfield of Mas-de-Rouvière, a greenish gleam in a field. They approach and note will all the time they need the presence of an object in all points identical to a rugby ball and appearing to rest on crutches. It was lit by a greenish light which filtered by three port-holes (dark mass).. Suddenly, the strange apparatus rises in the airs while emitting a weak noise and gradually taking an orange colour."

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

[Ref. dj2:] DONALD JONHSON:

Donald Johnson indicates that on October 14, 1954, at 12:15 a.m. five kilometers north of Nimes, France Mr. and Mrs. Dupuy saw an object shaped like a rugby ball resting on crutch-like landing gear. It was lit by a greenish light and had three portholes.

The sources are indicated as Figuet, Michel and Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: Le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochees en France, pp. 159-160, citing Le Provencal, October 15, 1954.

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

*Oct. 14, 1954 - At 12:15 a.m. five kilometers north of Nimes, France Mr. & Mrs. Dupuy saw an object shaped like a rugby ball resting on crutch-like landing gear. It was lit by a greenish light and had three portholes. (Source: Michel Figuet & Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: Le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochees en France, pp. 159-160, citing Le Provencal, October 15, 1954).

[Ref. ub1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

This database recorded this case twice:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541014 14.10.1954 Nimes France NL
19541016 16.10.1954 Rasteau France 18.21 NL

Explanations:

Not looked for yet. Possible helicopter.

Keywords:

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

Vic-le-Fesq, Hérault, Dupuy, car, military camp, garrigues, Mas de Rouvière, balloon, green, crutches, red, dark, orange, fire, trail, Nîmes, Gard, object, landing, field, airfield, green, portholes, orange, football, oval, three, sound, take off, night

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 20, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 8, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [lc1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 28, 2010 Addition [dj2].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 28, 2010 Addition [lp1].
1.3 Patrick Gross August 15, 2010 Addition [le1].
1.4 Patrick Gross October 15, 2014 Addition [ni1].
1.5 Patrick Gross October 26, 2016 Addition [cm1].

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