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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 15, 1954, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, Haute-Loire:

Reference number for this case: 15-Oct-54-Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

In a February 1968 article in his Lumières Dans La Nuit magazine, Raymond Veillith reported that he himself observed, on October 15, 1954, around 6 p.m. and for many minutes, a fixed luminous object, about the brightness of the planet Venus when it is at its maximum.

It was located, from his village of Chambon-sur-Lignon (Haute-Loire) about 30° above the western spot of the horizon; then it disappeared on the spot.

Raymond Veillith explains that the next day, the press of the whole region reported a lot of observations of this object; and that he found out that all the descriptions matched; no one reported any strange changes to the object (such as very fast arrival, change of direction, landing), and no unusual shape (saucer), and no color it did not have.

Raymond Veillith says that in the following days, after hearing of an investigation by the Air Force Commission (created in 1954), he learned that the object in question was a huge sounding balloon, launched from the University of Padua in Italy, and located at very high altitude; which explained its visibility over a distance of several hundred kilometers; it had been observed by thousands of witnesses in many departments of the Massif Central and Toulouse.

Reports:

[Ref. rv1:] RAYMOND VEILLITH:

CREDIBILITY OF THE WITNESSES

Although the first point mentioned in this study highlights the fact that the vast majority of witnesses have described well what they saw, since the phenomenon of alignments excludes any chance when there are in particular quite a few cases reported to the same day, I want to narrate this, which confirms that in general it is possible to trust the witnesses who observed "MOC":

On October 15, 1954, I observed at about 6 p.m. and for many minutes, a fixed luminous object, about the brightness of the planet Venus when it is at its maximum; it was situated, seen from my village of Chambon-sur-Lignon (Haute-Loire) at about 30° above the western spot of the horizon; then it disappeared on the spot. The next day the press of the whole region reported a host of observations of this object; it was then symptomatic to note that all descriptions were consistent; no one reported any bizarre maneuver of the object (for example a very fast arrival, changes of direction, a landing), nor an unusual form (saucer), nor a color that it did not have. Over the next few days, after hearing of an investigation by the Air Force Commission (created in 1954), I learned that the object in question was a gigantic balloon, launched from the University of Padua in Italy, and that it was located at very high altitude, which explained its visibility over a distance of several hundred kilometers; it had been observed by thousands of witnesses in many departments of the Massif Central and Toulouse!

The fact that, in the circumstance, the numerous witnesses did describe the phenomenon observed well, took on a great importance to me; indeed, why then not trust, as a rule, the witnesses of the other cases reported every day in all the dailies ("M.O.C." maneuvering in flight, and landings) especially when there were sometimes numerous overlaps? From that moment, I considered almost all the testimonies were not hoaxes (and also thanks to my personal investigations) and that it was necessary to sort out and eliminate those relating to this or that known phenomenon.

Explanations:

Negative case, high altitude balloon.

Cases very likely or certainly caused by this balloon:

Cases probably or possibly caused by this balloon:

See also the note by Aimé Michel in 1958 about the same affair.

The photograph of the balloon by the Observatory of Haute-Provence:

Keywords:

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

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, Haute-Loire, negative case, high altitude balloon, Raymond Veillith, Air Force, investigation

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross August 5, 2019 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 5, 2019.