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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 14, 1954, Pierrefontaine-les-Varans, Doubs:

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

Summary:

In the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit #124 of April 1973, ufologist Jean Tyrode reported a retro-testimony for an observation in Pierrefontaine-les-Varans in the Doubs, on October 14, 1954, at 09:00 a.m.:

Pierre Mina, baker in Avoudrey, was on his delivery tour and drove to Longuemaison (actually Longemaison) by car on Departmental 132. Halfway between Avoudrey and Longuemaison, the road winds through a forest of fir trees, climbs a hill and leads to the valley above Longuemaison.

Pierre Mina had at this time in front of him the straight road, at the background at about 3 km, a horizon barred by a mountain range where emerge, in front and to the south-east, Mount Chaumont and on the right towards the south, the crest of Monniot. He was driving quite slowly and a gleam caught his attention over the ridge in front of him. It was a round object, a kind of disk that moved, little elevated above the ridge, a little to the left of the peak Monniot.

He was also not very sure to have seen only one disc, there were perhaps two, very close to one another. The red-tinted object(s) were moving northwest and he lost sight of them.

In 1979, the "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker reported in their book "La Grande Peur Martienne" ("The Great Martian Scare") that for the observation of October 14, 1954, at 9 o'clock in Pierrefontaine-les-Varans, they investigated by contacting two witnesses, that it was a "brief luminous phenomenon, very high, very far."

Three pages later, they said that the witness told them that it was very fast and very high, and therefore it was "not a UFO but an explained case."

Reports:

[Ref. jt1:] JEAN TYRODE:

Jean Tyrode reports this retro-testimony for an observation in Pierrefontaine-les-Varans in the department of the Doubs, on October 14, 1954 at 09:00.

Pierre Mina, baker in Avoudrey, was making his delivery round and was going to Longuemaison by car on Secondary road 132. At half-way between Avoudrey and Longuemaison, the road curves through a forest of fir trees, climbs a coast and leads to the valley where Longuemaison is located, which it dominates.

Pierre Mina saw at this time in front of him the very straight road, at its end at 3 km approximately a horizon barred by a mountainous ridge where, opposite and in the south-east, mount Chaumont appears, and on the right towards the south, the Monniot crest. He drove rather slowly and a gleam drew his attention above the peak opposite him. It was a round object, a kind of disc which moved, little above the peaks, a little on the left of the Monniot crest.

Besides, he is not very sure to have seen one disc, there were perhaps two of them very close one of the other. The objects of reddish color moved towards the North-West and he lost sight of them.

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

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

"Pierrefontaine-les-Varans - 25 - 9 o'clock: investigation. (Two witnesses contacted). Very brief luminous phenomenon, very high, very far."

Three pages further they indicate that the witness told them that it was very fast and very high, and that thus it is not a UFO but an explained case.

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

The two authors report that a kind of slowly moving disc at low altitude was observed in Pierrefontaine les Varans in the department of the Doubs on October 14, 1954, at 09:00 a.m.

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

4103: 1954/10/14 09:00 1 6:33:00 E 47:13:20 N 3333 WEU FRN DBS 6:6

PIERREFONTAINE-les-VARANS,FR:BAKER:REDDISH SCR >NW SLOWLY/LOW ALT:NFD:/r30p166

Ref#194 LUMIERES dans la NUIT.(LDLN France) Issue No. 121 : MOUNTAINS

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Doubs in Pierrefontaine les Varans on October 14, 1954 at 09:00 hours, there was an "Observation of a kind of slowly moving disc at low altitude."

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

Explanations:

There are errors about the indicated places.

First of all, it is not "Longuemaison" but Longemaison.

Then the case should not have been called "Pierrefontaine-les-Varans" (15 km away from the location) but "Avoudray" or "Longemaison", or "between Avoudray and Longemaison".

The witness was about the red dot on my map because Tyrode tells us that the mountains Mont Chaumont and Crêt Monniot were 3 km in front of him, with Mont Chaumont in the southeast, and Crêt Monniot on the right to the south. This is indeed on the road D132, and as described by Tyrode, with its bends, the forest, the top of the hill with Longemaison straight ahead and the clear view towards the ridge.

The phenomenon was "in front" of him, so at about 147 degrees.

At this place, on October 14, 1954, at 9 o'clock in the morning, there was no suitable planet or star in the sky at 147°, and it was daylight. The Moon was at 293°. The sun, it is almost in front of the witness, was at 126°, elevation 19° so well above the horizon. The key question about the sun would be whether there were clouds or not, that could have tinted the Sun in red.

Some of my readers might think it is delusional to consider such an explanation. However, I was able to see and photograph such a phenomenon, that is to say, a sun of a very unusual pink red hue, appearing to be smaller than the sun should appear, made quite unrecognizable; as shown in my photograph below taken in Bulgaria from a car on September 13, 2016.

The explanation for this strange aspect of the sun was the strong, low cloud layer, the limits of which are visible on my photograph.

I'm obviously not sure that this is the correct explanation for this case, but I think it is a possibility.

The irony is that if I'm wrong, if Barthel and Brucker were right about the phenomenon being very high and very fast... then it was indeed a UFO to me.

Keywords:

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

Pierrefontaine-les-Varans, Doubs, disc, red, gleam, Pierre Mina

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 10, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 8, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lc1].
1.1 Patrick Gross July 16, 2019 Addition [lh1], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."

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This page was last updated on July 16, 2019.