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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 14, 1954, Saint-Ambroix, Gard:

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

Reports:

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

Scan

NEAR SAINT-AMBROIX (GARD)

Seven odd and tiny beings reportedly sowed mysterious seeds

before disappearing in a phosphorescent craft
Several hunters of the area claim this

Nîmes (C.P.).
Testimonys of various sources inform us that in the woods of the commune of Saint-Ambroix (the Gard), several hunters reportedly [...] having a vaguely human shape. When the hunters approached, the homunculus's rushed towards a phosphorescent craft which flew away at once and disappeared. Coming back a short time later the hunters noted that in the place where they had seen the "Martians", a certain number of seeds of odd appearance were strewn on the ground.

These seeds were allegedly shown to various seed resellers of Saint-Ambroix, who were unable to identify any known species.

According to various information, they would have been sent to a [...] to control the exactitude of this information, that some deny and others confirm.

A FLYING SAUCER IN A STREET OF NIMES

Nîmes (C.P.).
Mr. Pitot, Nîmes resident, saw yesterday in the night "something abnormal" in a street of the suburb, Edgar Mouton street. This machine which he was unable to identify in an absolute manner, suddenly rose in the airs and disappeared without any noise nor light.

A "FLYING PLATE" ON SAINT CHAMAS

Saint-Chamas (C.P.).
Saturday, October 9, at 08:15 p.m., a mysterious machine, coming from the direction of Cornillon and going to Istres, passed above Saint-Chamas at approximately an altitude of one thousand to fifteen hundred meters.

This craft was disc-shaped of the size approximately of a plate seen at this distance. It was incandescent, letting escape a very thick smoke of fiery color which formed a long luminous trail.

After having crossed Saint-Chamas, it climbed higher and disappeared suddenly above Istres.

A "stack of cigars" with two colors in the sky of the Gard

Nîmes (C.P.).
After the policeman of Nîmes who saw a stack of cigars soon changing into a quadrilateral from where red and orange gleams escaped, an S.N.C.F. [national railway] employee, Mr. Martinet, living in the workers suburbs of the farmhouse Mathieu, road of Avignon, had his glance attracted by a ball of fire which moved in the sky, in direction of the plate of Garons.

Mr. Martinet who was on the point of going fishing in Bellegarde and had waken up for that at 5 o'clock had [...]

[Ref. cn1:] "LA CROIX DU NORD" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

Seed of saucers

NIMES, [?]. - Several hunters in the commune of Saint-Ambroix (the Gard), recently saw seven tiny beings whose shape vaguely reminds that of a human being. When they tried to approach, the beings rushed towards a phosphorescent machine which flew away at once.

At the place where the pilots of the flying saucer had been, the hunters discovered on the ground a number of seeds of bizarre appearance; which they had examined by seeds resellers. The latter found it impossible to classify them into a known species.

[Ref. cm1:] "CENTRE-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

Nimes. -- Several hunters of the municipality of Saint-Abroix (Gard) recently found seven tiny beings whose shape was vaguely reminiscent of a human body. When they tried to approach the beings rushed to a phosphorescent craft, which immediately flew away.

At the location where the pilot of the flying saucer had been, the hunters discovered on the ground a number of seeds of a weird appearance, that they had examined by seed dealers. They found themselves unable to classify them in a known species.

[Ref. vm1:] "VAR-MATIN - REPUBLIQUE" NEWSPAPER:

Coming down from a mysterious machine, a diver of small size, but with enormous eyes, appears to three Toulouse residents

The pilots of the saucers are plants gifted of reason" the V2 manufacturer says.

Toulouse, October 14. -- A diver of small size with a large head compared to the body, two enormous eyes, such is the description that was just made this evening, by a resident of Toulouse, Mr. Olivier, of a mysterious figure, who came down of a spherical craft which had just landed on a vacant site.

Mr. Olivier, owner of the Jaret Netis establishments, rue des Fontaines in Toulouse, was accompanied by an employee, Mr. Perano and a young boy about fifteen years old.

All three saw the mysterious craft of spherical form and reddish color land. Then they saw come towards them, the figure, whose diving-suit, according to the statements of the witnesses, shone like glass. Thereafter, Mr. Olivier, former aviation pilot, drew with a chalk, in a dramatic manner, on a door, the diver. "I did not believe in it, says Mr. Perano, but I saw it as I see you, it was quite a shock".

After a rather short time, one minute, the diver reinstated the luminous sphere, which went away vertically in the sky, without noise, at an extraordinary speed while launching a wake of fire.

Traces

Oily traces were noticed this morning in several places of the ground, according to the witnesses statements, the machine would have landed the day before on this place at 07:35 p.m..

The police force of the Air questioned these three people who confirmed their statements. While specifying that the mysterious individual measuring approximately 1,20 m, exceeded the craft by the head, consequently bending to enter in it.

One of the witnesses ensured that the saucer was surrounded by iridescent reflection and emitted around a slight fog around it.

He added that having wanted to approach, he had been stopped at about twenty meters by a paralysing force. When the craft rose in the sky, he was violently thrown at the ground.

Strange contact near the Montluçon station

The flying saucers file increased of several testimonys of which the most important seems to be that of an employee of the station of Montlucon, Mr. Laugère, who made contact Sunday evening, with an individual who came out of an apparatus in the shape of a torpedo.

Mr. Laugère left his work and crossed the ways near the bridge of the SNCF [national railway co], when he saw a metallic machine posed at little distance from the fuel oil tank intended for the rail-car supply. At side of the apparatus which had the shape of a torpedo and could have been four meters in diameter, was a man, all covered of hair, unless he was dressed of a coat with quite long hair.

Mr. Laugère, surprised, asked him what he was doing. The unknown answered him in inintelligibles terms, but the railwayman however seemed to distinguish the words "Fuel oil".

Mr. Laugère did not ask him for more and went away to alert his comrades. He had hardly gone a hundred meters, when he saw the apparatus rising vertically without any noise. It soon disappeared from his view. Only the fear of the irony of his comrades had prevented him, until today, from telling his adventure.

The disc did not land...

A second testimony was collected: that of a 17-year-old young man, Marc German, resident of Pontault, who declared at the police station of this locality, that he had seen in the night, during approximately half an hour, a machine which was in his opinion, a flying saucer. This machine was in the sky within 200 or 300 meters of altitude and had the shape of a very shining disc. Ir remained thirty minutes motionless then left at a vertiginous speed, leaving a trail of fire behind. The young man stated that he had not alerted the police station earlier for he had made a point of remaining on the spot in case the saucer would have landed.

A ball in the sky of the Creuse

In St Marc-de-Lombaud (the Creuse), residents of Vallières saw, in the night from Monday to Tuesday, a white ball which moved in the sky. The ball changed color, disappeared and reappeared before disappearing definitively.

A simple balloon

On the other hand, a development was just made today by a person, about the "saucer" which was seen above the area of St Andre, at the limit of the department of the Eure and the Eure-et-Loire, Saturday towards 06:30 p.m.

Mrs. Amonts from Groth-Soret affirmed that the object was only a simple balloon. "A sketch, she said, appeared painted in red color on the top of the balloon and the ropes maintaining the nacelle".

Seven tiny beings seen in the Gard...

Several hunters of the commune of St Ambroise (the Gard) allegedly saw recently seven tiny beings whose shape vaguely resembled that of a human body. When they tried to approach, the beings rushed towards a phosphorescent apparatus which flew away at once.

On the site where the pilots of the flying saucer had been, the hunters discovered on the ground a certain number of seeds of odd appearance; which they had examined by seed resellers. The latter were unable to classify them into a known species.

The "pilots" are plants:

Hamburg. -- "The pilots of the "flying saucers" are plants gifted of reason". Such is the theory that Professor Hermann Oberth, inventor and manufacturer of the famous "V.2" rocket, exposed to a correspondent of Agence France Presse.

According to the German scientist, the "Uranids" (this is the name he baptizes these plants with) are thousands years more advanced than Earth as well with regard to their spiritual evolution and their technique. The fatherland of origin of Uranides would be a planet where there is not oxygen in a gas state, which prohibits the development of a animal life. The plants on the other hand, draw the necessary oxygen from oxides contained in the soil.

That planet would be outside the solar system, but the mysterious machines in which the intelligent plants move could travel a speed close to that of the light (300 000 km/s). Those of these machines seen above the earth would be in charge of watching progress of earth's humanity in the atomic sciences because this progress "is a danger to the entire cosmos".

[Ref. qh1:] "LE QUOTIDIEN DE LA HAUTE-LOIRE" NEWSPAPER:

[...]

SEVEN VERY LITTLE BEINGS

Several hunters of the commune of St Ambrois (Gard), are said to have recently seen seven tiny beings whose vaguely reminded of that of a human body. When they tried to approach, the beings rushed towards a phosphorescent machine which flew away at once. On the site where the pilots of the flying saucer had been, the hunters discovered on the ground a certain number of seeds of weird appearance which they hade examined by seeds resellers. Those were unable to classify them in a known species.

[...]

Full article here.

[Ref. mc1:] MICHEL CARROUGES:

Michel Carrouges lists as a case with small occupants but lacking details that with hunters of Saint-Ambroix in the Gard as witnesses, on October 14, 1954. He says that there were allegedly seven small beings but no details are available about them.

[Ref. jv5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

297 -004.20030 44.27100 11 10 1954 ST AMBROIX-GARD F A
324 -004.20030 44.27100 13 10 1954 ST AMBROIX-GARD F 167 A

[Ref. jv1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

250

Oct. 14, 1954 Saint-Ambroix (France).

Several witnesses saw seven small beings flee into a phosphorescent object when they were approached. It took off immediately. It is claimed that "unknown seeds" were found at the site. (62) (La Croix, 16 oct. 1954).

[Ref. jv2:] JACQUES VALLEE:

The author indicates that on October 14, 1954, in Saint-Ambroix in the Gard, several witnesses saw seven small beings which fled in a "phosphorescent" object when they approached. The object flew away immediately.

[Ref. jp1:] JADER U. PEREIRA:

This ufologist indicated in a listing of cases of "not admitted to classification" CE3, that the case No. 27 of 10/14/54 in St. Ambroix in the Gard in France with hunters as witnesses is to be classified as "imprecise source" or "with insufficient investigation."

[Ref. cb1:] CHARLES BOWEN:

The author indicates that on October 14, 1954, in Saint-Ambroix in the Gard, several witnesses saw seven small beings who fled into a "phosphorescent" object when they approached. The object flew away immediately.

[Ref. ez1:] ERICH ZUERCHER:

This author indicates that the case was "a prank organized by the hunters."

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

The authors indicate about the case in Saint-Ambroix in the Gard for October 13, indicating the Press and their file as sources:

"Several hunters see seven tiny beings, of humanoid aspect. They try to approach them. But the beings rush towards a phosphorescent machine which flies away at once. The hunters immediately look for traces. They do not find any, but discover odd seed species, which they have examined with seed experts. The experts were unable to identify them."

"Is it necessary to conclude from this strange encounters that the hunters disturbed an horticultural commando with a mission to test the acclimatization on our ground of seeds from another planet?"

[Ref. mf1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

13.10.1954

Saint-Ambroix

Press, newspaper at the time headlined "Snowy White and the Seven Dwarves". Prank by the hunters narrated in "INFO OVNI" N.0: "the rabbit and the fox" and "OVNI" p. 669-670. LDLN #249-250 p. 2.

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

The two authors indicate that the following story was published by the newspaper "Le Provençal" for October 14, 1954:

"Seven weird and tiny beings are said to have sown mysterious seeds - before disappearing in a phosphorescent craft. Several hunters of the area claim this."

"Nimes (C.P.) Testimonys of various sources inform us that in the wood of the village of Saint-Ambois (Gard), several hunters are said to have seen, several days ago, seven beings minusculs having a vaguely human appearance. When the hunters approached, the homonculuses rushed towards a phosphorescent craft, which immediately flew away and disappeared. Back a few moment later, the hunters took notice that in the place where they had seen the "Martians", a certain number of seeds of weird aspect strewed the ground."

"These seeds are said to have been shown to various seed-sellers of Saint-Ambroix, who could not identify any known species."

"According to various information, they have been sent to a laboratory for expertise. It was impossible to us to control the authenticity of this information, that some deny and others confirm."

The two authors indicate that "this parody had been invented by some inhabitants of the locality."

They specify that a collaborator of the Association of the Friends of Marc Thirouin (AAMT, a ufology association), at the time of a re-investigation, "had already smelled a hoax."

[Ref. ge1] GEPAN:

Nr (x) PLACE LOCALISATION JJV MODIFICATION
LOCALISATION JCF
[... other cases ...]
73 142.3 St AMBROIX 4.200 44.271
[... other cases ...]

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

In his 1997 book on the 1954 French flap, UFO researcher and author Jean Sider exerts his wit against debunkers Barthel and Brucker.

Indeed, the two infamous debunkers authored a book of which they claimed to explain cases so far unexplained.

However, Sider notes, this case waa already explained long ago: two days after the story broke in the national Press, the "Midi Libre" regional newspaper for October 16 admitted that the story was nothing but a joke played by a seed reseller and some friends.

Sider adds that a private ufology group called A.A.M.T also made it clear in 1970 that the story has no other nature than that of a joke.

So, asks Sider, why do the two debunkers bring the already explained case back to life?

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

Godelieve van Overmeire indicates that in 1954, on October 14, in France, in St Ambroix, several witnesses saw seven small beings which fled in a phosphorescent object when they approached. It took off immediately. It is said that one found unknown seeds at this site.

The sources are noted "La Croix, 16 oct 1954" and "Jacques Vallée: 'Chronique des apparitions ET' - DENOEL 1972 - J'AI LU COLL. - p. 279, 280".

She indicates that another version is: "In reality: hoax performed by the hunters."

The source for this is given as "Erich ZURCHER: 'Les Apparitions d'Humanoïdes' - Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 181,182".

[Ref. lh2:] LARRY HATCH:

1954/10/13 St. AMBROIX, CHER, FR: Landed UFO

+ 7 figures. A journalistic prank / Samedi Soir.

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

165.

Location. St Ambroix France

Date: October 14 1954

Time: night

Several witnesses saw 7 small beings flee into a phosphorescent object when they were approached. It took off immediately. It is claimed that "unknown seeds" were found at the site. No other information.

Humcat 1954-97

Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia

Type: B

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

Thursday, October 14, 1954

In Saint-Ambroix (France), several witnesses see 7 small beings which fled in a phosphorescent object when they approach. It takes off immediately. It is said that one found unknown seeds on this site.

Jérome Beau indicates as sources "La Croix, October 16, 1954".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 14 October 1954 at 21:00 in St Ambroix, France, "Several witnesses saw 7 small beings flee into a phosphorescent object when they were approached. It took off immediately. It is claimed that 'unknown seeds' were found at the site. No other information."

The source is a link to a nonexistent web page.

[Ref. dj2:] DONALD JONHSON:

Donald Johnson indicates that on October 14, 1954, in southeastern France "several witnesses in Saint-Ambroix, Gard, France saw seven small beings flee into a luminous object when they were approached. It took off immediately. It was claimed that 'unknown seeds' were found at the site".

The sources are indicated as Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, case # 250; Michel Carrouges, Les Apparitions de Martiens, p. 104.

[Ref. pr1:] PETER ROGERSON:

October 14 1954

ST AMBROIX (GARD : FRANCE)

Several witnesses saw seven small beings flee into a phosphorescent when they were approached. It took off immediately. Unknown seeds were said to have been found at the spot. According to Bonabot citing Dubois and Giraud this story was a hoax

Vallee case 250, citing La Croix 16 Oct 1954.

[Ref. jg1:] JULIEN GONZALEZ:

The author reports as an anecdote that near Saint-Ambroix, in the Gard, on October 14, 1954 at an unknown hour, in the woods of the commune, several hunters saw seven tiny beings having a vaguely human form. When the witnesses approached, the homunculites rushed to a phosphorescent machine that flew away and disappeared. A number of seeds of bizarre appearance were then found on the site and the seeds resellers were unable to classify them in a known species.

He indicates that the sources are C. Garreau and R. Lavier, in "Face aux Extra-Terrestres", page 119; Le Provençal for October 14, 1954; La Dépêche du Midi for October 15, 1954; La Croix for October 16, 1954.

He explains that in reality it was a hoax, and that the newspapers of the time titled "The Seven Motorized Dwarfs of Snowy White", "Is Snowy White Martian? Bizarre appearance fly in a phosphorescent machine near Nimes."

He indicates that as of October 16, 1954, Le Midi Libre admitted that it was a hoax by a seed reseller and some of his hunters friends; which did not prevent ufologists like C. Garreau and J. Vallée to note this fanciful case in their catalogs.

He indicates as source for the explanation Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon, in "OVNI: Le Premier Dossier des Recnontres RapprochéEs en France", pages 669-670; Eric Zurcher, in "Les Apparitions d'Humanoides", pages 181-182.

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

Location: St Ambroix France

Date: October 14 1954

Time: night

Several witnesses saw 7 small beings flee into a phosphorescent object when they were approached. It took off immediately. It is claimed that “unknown seeds” were found at the site. No other information.

Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia

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

*Oct. 14, 1954 - Several witnesses including one named Chasseurs in Saint-Ambroix, Gard department, France saw seven small beings flee into a phosphorescent object when they were approached. It took off immediately. It is claimed that "unknown seeds" were found at the site. (Sources: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, case # 250; Michel Carrouges, Les Apparitions de Martiens, p. 104).

[Ref. gz1:] JULIEN GONZALEZ:

The author indicates that there was a false close encounter of the third kind near Saint-Ambroix, the Gard, on October 14, 1954 at an unknown hour.

In the woods of the commune, several hunters saw seven tiny beings with a vaguely human form. As the witnesses approached, the homunculus rushed to a phosphorescent machine that flew away and disappeared. A number of bizarre-looking seeds were found at the site and the seeds resellers were unable to classify them in a known species.

The sources are indicated to be C. Garreau and R. Lavier, "Face aux Extra-Terrestres", page 119; Le Provençal for 14 October 1954; La Dépêche du Midi for 15 October 1954; La Croix for 16 October 1954.

Julien Gonzalez says that in reality it was a hoax. The newspapers of the time had titled "The Seven Motorized Dwarfs of Snow White", "Is Snow White Martian? Seven dwarves of bizarre appearance fly in a phosphorescent machine near Nimes." As early as October 16, 1954, Le Midi Libre admitted that it was a prank mounted by a seiner and some of his hunters friends. This did not prevent ufologists like C. Garreau and J. Vallée from recording this fanciful case in their catalogs.

He indicates that the sources of the explanation are Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon, "OVNI: le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochées en France", pages 669-670; Eric Zurcher, "Les apparitions d'humanoïdes", pages 181-182.

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

This database recorded this case 14 times instead of one:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541011 11.10.1954 St. Ambroix France
19541013 13.10.1954 St. Ambroix France CE III
19541013 13.10.1954 St. Ambroix France
19541014 14.10.1954 St Ambroix France Night CE III
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France CE III
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France CE III
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France CE III
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France CE II
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France CE II
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France Night CE III
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France CE III
19541014 14.10.1954 St. Ambroix France

Explanations:

Before I had found the case referenced in FRANCAT in May 2003, I wrote:

"The weekly magazine "Samedi Soir" subsequently explained that it had just been a journalistic prank (to check.) It seems more obvious that it was a prank by the hunters (the "unknown seeds" examined by "seed experts" all so unknown.)"

FRANCAT confirms my impression that it was a prank by the hunters themselves.

FRANCAT dates the case of the 13th and not the 14th.

November 25, 2004: I read about the case in Jean Sider's book, see above. Now two more sources, (unless disproved) including a newspaper of that time, confirm the hoax. However, not as a hoax of the Press, but much simply a hoax by a seed reseller and some friends (the hunters?).

Later I managed to locate the writings of Gerard Barthel and Jacques Brucker. As often - though not always - in their research on the 1954 saucer stories, it seems that Gerard Barthel and Jacques Brucker did not consider useful to give the least precision concerning their explanation of the story as an invention, the sentence "this parody had been invented by some inhabitants of the locality" being the total of what they provide as explanation. They indicate that someone else "had already smelled the hoax" but actually I feel like suspecting that they know nothing precise about the circumstances of the hoax and simply issue an opinion without risk since a counter investigation of someone of the AAMT had done the work previously.

Keywords:

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

Saint-Ambroix, Gard, beings, humanoids, occupants, small, object, phosphorescent, luminous, landing, multiple, prank, hoax, joke, seed

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross May 14, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 8, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [jb1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 28, 2010 Addition [dj2].
1.2 Patrick Gross March 9, 2010 Addition [ge1].
1.3 Patrick Gross June 28, 2010 Addition [jv5].
1.4 Patrick Gross July 27, 2010 Addition [lp1].
1.5 Patrick Gross August 17, 2010 Addition [vm1].
1.6 Patrick Gross August 14, 2013 Addition [pr1].
1.7 Patrick Gross September 17, 2014 Addition [cm1], [lh2], [ta1], [ni1].
1.8 Patrick Gross December 28, 2016 Additions [cn1], [jp1], [jg1], [ub1].
1.9 Patrick Gross February 20, 2017 Addition [gz1].

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