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The 1954 French flap:

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October 15, 1954, La Londe-les-Maures, Var:

Reference number for this case: 15-oct-54-La-Londe-les-Maures. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The Var-Matin - République regional newspaper, from Toulon, reported on October 19, 1954, that on the "Friday", thus on October 15, 1954, at 06:30 p.m., Mr. Victor Verse Junior was about to return home, when suddenly he remained mute with surprise as he saw above his head a strange and luminous "something" with a trail of fire. "Believing he had an optical hallucination, he did not say a word, but the following day, his father-in-law, Mr. Eugene Martin, said he had seen the same phenomenon the day before, at about the same time, above Notre Dame des Maures, 4 km from La Londe."

In addition, a Miss D... from the district of l'Anguille, about 6 km from La Londe, the same day also towards 6 p.m., was going to draw water from the family well, "when she saw, suddenly, a luminous yellowish machine of spherical shape, with violet phosphorescent tail, fly in a parabole with a probable landing place between the Aiguille and the Comtabou (rocks, one of which is cut in two and by which the shepherds used to pass the sheep one by one to count them) two peaks of the Maures."



Hallucinations or realities?

New saucers seen in the sky of the Var

At the Brusc, in La Londe, in Mar-Vivo etc...

Should we laugh or worry? Should the most improbable hypotheses be considered in order to explain a phenomenon whose manifestations are certain, or should we simply jokingly recall all these so-called observations which have been pointing out for several days, and in all the azimuths, of flying saucers in our sky?

Clever, is the one who will settle the dilemma, if it can be resolved. Until last Thursday, indeed, cigars and saucers and other interplanetary vehicles had appeared only in regions far removed from ours. The Var and Toulon residents were astonished, then laughed at the peasants, who after having met a flying saucer to be finally paralyzed by a mysterious ray defending better than the most intractable guard the surroundings of a certain craft from somewhere else. And then, there were MM. Rappellini and Ottaviani, two well-known Toulonians, two sensible people, balanced and always considered as such, and their discovery on the evening of October 14th. A discovery that would throw emotion from St-Cyr to St-Tropez and Draguignan, fuel conversations in the workshop, office or school, make sensitive people shudder, disturb the healthiest minds.

Fugitive vision

Let us remember: coming back from Hyères on a motorcycle, these gentlemen stopped their machine to satisfy an urgent need while they were on the "Chemin Long", facing the radio station of the Navy. In order to conceal the sight, the two men walked a few steps towards the interior of the land and were face to face with a peculiar character, helmed like a motorcyclist but otherwise mounted.

A "flying saucer" is there, set on the ground, vibrating with a frightful power. A few words are exchanged with the astronaut speaking a very pure French. Then, under the stupefied looks of our fellow citizens, the passenger returns to his machine, closes the panel, accelerates the reactors. The perfectly circular "saucer" rises little by little, then suddenly goes in a frightening acceleration towards the east.

MM. Rappellini and Ottaviani rub their eyes to see if they have not dreamed.

But others too ...

The story might sound comical if the testimony of these people was not corroborated by a series of statements which, daily since then, are added to their assertions. Declaration by people as diverse as reliable, including traders, a retired policeman, fishermen etc...

It is this inhabitant of La Moutonne, near La Crau, who, like this butcher from Lafayette street in Toulon, saw the mysterious machine at the time when, flying over the trees, it took altitude. It is these brave men of our own who, now feeling the sky with understanding, clinging to an object of such a characteristic shape, brilliant or not, colored or not, spitting flames or not. So much so that the "flying saucer" of the "Long Chemin" must be regarded as a sure fact, regardless of our repulsion at such an obligation.

And yet ...

From La Londe to Mar-Vivo...

As if one saucer was not enough, others appeared at very different places, imposing on the azure of the celestial vault the enigma of their presence. Miss Michelle Volosinsky, who lives in Cordouan, in the Faveyrolles district of Ollioules, certifies to have noticed and observed on Friday evening between 07:30 and 7:40 p.m., when she was returning home, an extremely brilliant disc, motionless in the sky. After a few seconds, the disc started in a blazing way leaving a bright orange trail, absorbed by the night. It cannot in such a case be a shooting star or any meteorite since the disc was observed motionless...

That same Friday at 06:30 p.m., Mr. Victor Verse Junior was about to go home, when suddenly he was speechless in awe when he saw passing over his head a "something" strange and luminous with a wake of lights. Believing he had an optical hallucination, he did not say a word. But the next day, his father-in-law, Mr. Eugene Martin, said he had seen the same phenomenon the previous day at about the same hour, over Notre Dame des Maures, 4 km from La Londe.

And that's not all:

Miss D... of the Anguille district, about 6 km from La Londe, on the same day around 6 p.m., was also drawing water from the family well, when she suddenly saw a luminous machine of spherical shape, yellowish, with violet phosphorescent tail, describe a parabola with probable landing site between the Aiguille and the Comtabou (rocks one of which is cut in two and where shepherds used to pass the sheep one by one to count them ) two peaks of the Moors. From La Londe we jump to Mar-Vivo where Sunday evening, also around 07:30 p.m., a resident assures to have recognized - the term is valid - a saucer. He was able to observe the craft for a good quarter of an hour, then the ship flew off towards Bandol like a normal plane.

Hallucinations or realities?

Thus, that same evening, Madame Laporte, mechanic at Le Brusc, accompanied by her daughter-in-law, had just come out into the garden of her villa, when a strange, very bright disc with red shades attracted their attention. The object was above the Chapel of Notre-Dame du Mai, motionless. A pair of binoculars was found and observation could be continued. Shortly thereafter, the machine moved into the sky for very long minutes, then disappeared. What about all this?

Must we believe in a collective hallucination? That would be too easy. Must we conclude that there are actual machines from other planets? This is daring. But then? The problem remains, with the phenomenon. It is certain that the celestial space is nowadays violated by machines of revolutionary design driven by an energy that escapes us. Theories have been advanced, announced, the one more audacious, more reckless, more crazy than the others. The saucers jealously guard their secret.

Parliamentarians begin to be moved

Foix, October 18. -- Following a number of appearances of flying craft of unknown type currently reported in all regions of France, Mr. René Dejean, MP of the Ariège (Socialist) sent a written question to the President of the Council, including:

"Whether or not a department has been set up to collect the existing documentation on the subject and to study the nature and origin of the said devices. If the information currently available, collected and recorded, allow to totally eliminate the hypothesis of machines driven or controlled by living beings, of species and origin unknown.

Whether the government has, on the contrary, enough information to attribute the production of these devices to the industry of a foreign state. If, in the latter case, the international agreements signed by France have already allowed the use of such devices in a possible conflict." Will we soon see a "saucer" committee...

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

French ufologist and author Jean Sider learned in an article from the newspaper La République de Toulon et du Var, of Toulon, for October 19, 1954, page 8, that on October 15, 1954, towards 18:00, in the sector of Londe, Var, Miss D..., remained anonymous, from the district of L'Aiguille, at approximately 6 km of La Londe, was going to get water with the family well, when she suddenly saw a luminous machine of spherical form, yellowish, with a phosphorescent violet tail, which described a parabola, with a supposed landing spot between two tops of the Maures, L'Aiguille and Comtadou, rocks of which one is divided into two parts and where the shepherds formerly made their sheep pass through to count them.

This testimony is corroborated by that of Victor Verse junior, of La Londe, who also saw at approximately 06:30 p.m. something strange and luminous with wakes of fires, that passed above its head.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Var in La Londe Les Maures on October 15, 1954 at 18:00 hours "a woman of the district of l'Aiguille goes to get water at the family well when she sees a luminous object of spherical form, yellowish with a phosphorescent violet tail which follows a parabola and seems to land between the tops of L'Aiguille and Comtadou. Another witness saw a luminous wake passing above his head towards 18:30."

The source is indicated as "Lumières dans la Nuit".


Obvious description of a meteor.


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

La Londe-les-Maures, Var, Victor Verse, multiple, trail, luminous, sphere, yellowish, purple


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 9, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 24, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lc1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 19, 2017 Addition [vm3].
1.2 Patrick Gross August 7, 2019 Addition of the Summary.

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This page was last updated on August 7, 2019.