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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 15, 1954, Le Vigan, Var:

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

Reports:

[Ref. jg1:] JIMMY GUIEU:

In connection with an observation of 1954 in Italy, the author talks about another sighting 2 years earlier in mid-October 1952 in France.

Guieu indicates that the investigation was carried out with a rigorous care by Jean Terrasson interviewing the eyewitness Felix Fize, a mason, the investigation report being sent to Guieu's ufology groupe C.I.E.O., and he indicates that he reports it wholy because of its exceptional importance.

Mr. Fize was worked on a construction site close to the airfield of Nimes-Courbessac when around 7 p.m. he suddenly saw a kind of whitish cloud that moved quickly, coming from South-west from the direction of Marseilles.

The apparatus coming from the South-west passed above the construction site, then moved towards the North-East in the direction of Le Vigan, having initially the aspect of a quickly moving "cloud", seen upfront, emitting a kind of vapor.

Mr. Fize as well as his comrades then realized when this "cloud" showed its profile while coming at their level, that it was actually an apparatus of cylindro-conical aspect, metallic, silver-yellow in color, with a seemingly rounded nose. It was approximately 30 meters long, 6 meters in diameter and evolved at an altitude of 600 to 800 meters maximum. Its back disappeared in a kind of cloudy mist.

There was on this "cylinder" three enormous port-holes or kinds of very large "bays" highly lit by a source of inner light, very white and pure, similar to a fluorescence.

Inside, five or six living beings which moved were perfectly visible to the half-length of their bodies. They were wearing kaki flight-suits, large glasses and a helmet.

The craft flew almost silently, but Mr. Fize however perceived a kind of rustling sound that he compared to the noise produced by a powerful very quiet American car.

While moving away, the machine took again an aspect of "cloud", the back also producing a vaporous boiling.

Jean Terrasson indicates that one would not have detailed anything, except when it was almost at the vertical, if the machine had been constantly in frontal position compared to the observers. He notes that arrived near the city, that is to say within one kilometer of the construction site, the machine accelerated suddenly at a vertiginous speed.

He notes that it was reported above Marseilles towards 06:50 p.m., passed above Nimes-Courbessac around 07:00 p.m. and was seen above the area of Le Vigan towards 07:10 p.m., that is to say a total distance of approximately 250 kilometers in 20 minutes, giving an average speed of 500 km/h.

The trajectory had been absolutely rectilinear and neither its altitude nor its direction had varied throughout all the observation which was approximately of 15 seconds.

Guieu indicates that an illustration was made by Jean Terrasson according to the information provided by the eyewitnesses and in particular by Felix Fize.

[Ref. mc1:] MICHEL CARROUGES:

The author indicates that according to Jimmy Guieu, page 211, in October 1952, close to Nimes in the Gard, mason Felix Fize and several workmen had seen a curious whitish cloud. Then only, they "recognized" a metallic, yellow-silver cylinder, 30 meters in length, with brilliantly lit port-holes, which seemed to emit at the front and the back a "vaporous boiling" so that it seemed always escorted of a cloud, which misled the witnesses at times.

Carrouges indicates that this cigar was definitely lower, at most at 600 or 800 meters, and undoubtedly much less, since the witness saw very clearly, through the port-holes, the silhouettes of pilots wearing flight goggles and helmets.

Carrouges indicates that in this respect, the drawing established by Mr. Terrasson following the indications of the witnesses and reproduced by Jimmy Guieu on page 176 is particularly striking.

[Ref. jv1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Jacques Vallée indicates that the first UFO landing with a complete description of "Little Men" was reported in Le Vigan. the Gard, in France on October 15, 1952.

[Ref. jv2:] JACQUES VALLEE:

103

Oct. 15, 1952, 19:10, Le Vigan (France). Approximate date. Figures with helmets and masks were seen through lighted windows inside a bright yellow, cigar-shaped object on the ground. Length 30 m, diameter 6 m. Forward section was rounded, and a sort of fog was noted at both ends of object.

(Quincy; Anatomy 62)


266

Oct. 15, 1954, 07:50 P.M. Nimes-Courbessac Airfield (France).

A yellow, cigar-shaped object with brilliant portholes, 30 m long, 6 m diameter, was seen on the ground. Figures with helmets covering the head could be seen inside. A sort of haze was observed at both ends of the craft.

(Quincy).

[Ref. jv3:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Jacques Vallée indicates that on October 15, 1954, at 07:50 p.m., close to the airport of Nimes-Courbessac, a yellow object in the shape of a cigar, with brilliant "ports", of approximately 30 meters length by 6 meters in diameter, was seen on the ground. Forms with helmets covering their heads were visible inside. A kind of fog was observed at each end of the apparatus.

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

These authors indicate that on October 15, 1954, at 06:00 P.M., between Vigan and Vallerangue in the department of Gard, witnesses see a cigar-shaped object which is landed on the ground. Its length is 30 meters approximately, it is 6 meters high, and the front is rounded.

A fog surrounds the extremities. The witnesses see helmeted silhouettes through portholes.

These authors and ufologist comment that the object seen in this case may have been the same as the one seen 50 minutes later in Nimes.

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

The authors remind that it was said that on October 15, 1954, around 20 hours a yellow object in the shape of a cigar with shining port-holes, 30 meters long and 6 meters in diameter had been seen on the ground, that silhouettes with helmets had been seen inside, and that a kind of fog was observed at the two ends of the vessel, according to the catalogue of Mr Vallée, whereas J. Guieu says it was in mid-October 1952 and an object which was not observed on the ground; so that one wonders who to believe.

The two authors indicate that in the area of Nîmes, in the Gard, in October 1954, close to the airport of Courbessac, the inhabitants do not remember the arrival of a flying saucer. The chief of the weather station does not remember any saucer, although he exerted at the time. The director of the flying-club acknowledged that he knew nothing about a saucer, but he got information from former pilots of his friends who flew at the time and none had memories either. The correspondent of the newspapers "Midi Libre" and "La Marseillaise" burst into laughter, ensuring that if there had been a saucer at the time, he would have known about it. The mayor of the community of Marguerite, nearest to the places, did not have any memory either, but recalled that the ground was then filled with planes, with a hydrogen stock, and kept by the soldiers, and if something had occurred the soldiers would have chattered about it.

The authors suspect that a large troop transport plane, port-holes lit, with helmeted soldiers on board, night take the night an aspect they have "no idea" about.

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

The two authors indicate that on October 15, 1954, and not 1952, at 19 hours, between Vigan and Valleraugues, and not "Vallerangues", an anonymous witness saw a yellow and shining cigar, posed on the ground, 30 meters long, a diameter of 6 meters, a roun front part and a species of fog at the two ends of the machine.

The witness saw silhouettes equipped with helmets and masks through the enlightened port-holes.

The authors specify that Vallée was mistaken with the year, and that other authors write Vallerangues instead of Valleraugues.

The sources are indicated as the Vallée catalogue case 103; C. Garreau and R. Lavier in "Face aux E.T" page 73; Quincy; Anatomy 62.

[Ref. fr2] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors indicate that on October 15, 1954 at 07:00 p.m. in Nimes in the department of the Gard, a group of masons worked on a construction site near the airfield of Courbessac, when they saw in the direction of Marseilles a kind of whitish cloud which came facing them.

Whereas it arrived at their level, they saw that it was a cylinder of metallic appearance whose back disappeared in a kind of cloudy mist. Its size was estimated as of six meters in diameter for thirty meters in length.

On this object, three enormous openings resembled bays vividly illuminated by a very white and pure interior light source, laid out horizontally.

Five or six beings were visible, to the half of the bodies. The witnesses noted that they were dressed in kaki clothes and wore large glasses and a helmet.

The object went away in the direction of Le Vigan.

Michel Figuet notes that there are contradictions between Jacques Vallée's summary and that of Jimmy Guieu: for Vallée, the object landed, for Guieu it is at 600 or 800 meters of altitude, for Vallée it is 07:50 p.m., for Guieu it is 07:10 p.m.. Guieu indicates that the object comes from Marseilles in the South-west whereas Marseilles is in South-east.

The authors indicate that the sources are case 266 of the Vallée catalogue and Black-Out sur les S.V. pages 240-241.

[Ref. op1:] MAGAZINE "OVNI PRESENCE":

An article in this ufology magazine interprets the sighting as that of a "slow meteor."

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist states on the one hand that on October 15, 1954, in France, between Le Vigan and Vallerangue in the Gard, at 6 p.m., the witnesses saw an object in the shape of a cigar posed on the ground, 30 meters in length approximately, 6 meters in height, with a fog which wrapped its ends. Through the port-holes the witnesses distinguished helmeted silhouettes.

Godelieve Van Overmeire notes the question about whether it was the same apparatus that was seen a little later in Nimes.

The source is indicated as Garreau and Lavier in "Face aux extra-terrestres", Delarge - J'ai Lu, page. 77.

She specifies that actually according to OVNI Présence #33/34 of December 1985, it wwas a "slow fireball" seen on all France and elsewhere. Or that according to another possibility of what it would actually have been, it could be a hoax which finished badly for at least one of the witnesses, Ottoviani, who was prosecuted in Court for grivelery, according to Erich Zurcher in "Les Apparitions d'Humanoïdes", Alain Lefeuvre publisher, 1979, page 182.

In another entry of her catalogue, she notes that on October 15, 1954, in Nimes-Courbessac in France, at the airfield, an object in the shape of a yellow cigar with brilliant port-holes, 30 meters in length, and 6 meters in diameter, was seen on the ground with at 07:50 p.m. by the mason Felix Fize and his workmates. Silhouettes carrying helmets covering the head could be seen inside, and a kind of fog was observed at the two ends of the ship.

La source est indiquée comme Jacques Vallée dans "Chronique des apparitions ET", Denoel, J'ai Lu, 1972 page 282.

She specifies that the contradictions between the report by Jacques Vallée and the report by Jimmy Guieu can be read in Figuet / J.L. Ruchon in "Ovni, premier dossier complet..." Alain Lefeuvre publisher, 1979, pages 169,170.

[Ref. fb1:] FABRICE BONVIN:

Fabrice Bonvin notes:

Case #004: 15/10/1954, p. 168 (Le Vigan)

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

Albert Rosales indicates in his catalogue that in the Nimes Courbessac Airport, Gard, France, on early October 1952 at 07:10 p.m., several witnesses, including Mr. Felix Fize, saw a UFO of yellowish-silvery metallic appearance, flying at an altitude of about 700 meters. Through 3 large windows could be seen beings with helmets and goggles. Duration of observation was 10-15 seconds.

Albert Rosales indicates that the source is M. Terrasson for C.E.I. Ouranos.

[Ref. dj1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

On this Day

October 15

[...]

1954 – At the Courbessac Airfield in Nimes, France a yellow, cigar-shaped object with brilliant portholes, 30 m long, 6 m diameter, was seen on the ground. Figures with helmets covering the head could be seen inside. A sort of haze was observed at both ends of the craft. (Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia, p. 230).

[...]

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

Jerome Beau indicates that on October 15, 1952 at 07:00 p.m. in Le Vigan in the Gard, France, silhouettes equipped with helmets and masks are seen through the enlightened port-holes of a shining yellow object in the shape of a cigar, posed on the ground. "Length: 30 m; diameter: 6 m. Front part is round, and a sort of fog at the 2 ends of the apparatus."

Jérôme Beau indicates that his sources are "Quincy" and "Vallée, J., Anatomy 62"

Jerome Beau indicates that on October 15, 1954 at 07:50 p.m. in Nimes-Courbessac, an airfield in France, 1 object in the shape of a yellow cigar with shining port-holes, 6 m diameter, 30 m length is seen on the ground. Silhouettes carrying helmets covering the head can be seen inside. A kind of fog is observed at the 2 ends of the ship.

Jérôme Beau indicates that his source is "Quincy".

[Ref. jb2:] JEROME BEAU:

Friday, October 15, 1954

[...]

19:50 : In Nîmes-Courbessac (airfield) (France), 1 yellow object in the shape of cigar with shining port-holes, 6 m in diameter, 30 m in length is seen on the ground. Silhouettes wearing helmets covering the head can be seen inside. A kind of fog is observed at the 2 ends of the ship.

[...]

La source est indiquée comme "Quincy".

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

A database entry dated October 15, 1954, 07:00 p.m., indicates that several witnesses observed between Le Vigan and Valleraugue a yellow shining cigar posed on the ground: length 30 meters, diameter 6 meters, front round, and a sort of fog at the two ends of the apparatus. Inside are silhouettes equipped with helmets and masks, seen through enlightened port-holes.

The source is indicated as "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... par Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** éd. Alain Lefeuvre 1979."

[Ref. lc2:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Gard in Nimes on October 15, 1954 at 19:00 hours "a group of masons work on a building site close to the airfield of Courbessac. They see in the direction of Marseilles a kind of whitish cloud coming opposite them. As it arrives at their level, they see that it is a cylinder of metallic appearance whose back disappears in a kind of cloudy mist. Its size is estimated as six meters in diameters by thirty in length. On this object three enormous openings resembling bays brightly lit by aninside source very white and pure. They are laid out horizontally. Five or six beings are visible from the waist up. The witnesses note that the latter are dressed of khaki clothes and large glasses and a helmet. The object moves away towards Le Vigan."

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

[Ref. lc3:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Gard in Le Vigan on October 15, 1952, ar 07:00 p.m., an object in the shape of a yellow cigar of shining color is observed posed on the ground. Length 30 meters, diameter 6 meters. The front part is round and a sort of fog is at the the two ends of the object. There are enlightened port-holes where one can see silhouettes equipped with helmets and masks.

The source is indicated as "Chroniques des apparitions E.T. par Vallée Jacques ** DENOEL 1972 - coll. J'AI LU".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on October 15, 1954, at 19:10 in Le Vigan, France, "Figures with helmets and masks were seen through lighted windows inside a bright yellow, cigar-shaped object on the ground."

The website adds: "Approximate date. Figures with helmets and masks were seen through lighted windows inside a bright yellow, cigar-shaped object on the ground. Length 30 meters, diameter six meters. Forward section was rounded, and a sort of fog was noted at both ends of object."

And: "An object was observed. Occupants of the craft were seen. One yellow cigar-shaped object, about 80 feet across, was observed by several male witnesses at an airport for 12 seconds. A being, wearing a helmet and mask, was seen."

The sources are noted as Webb, David, HUMCAT: Catalogue of Humanoid Reports; Guieu, Jimmy, Flying Saucers Come from Another World, Citadel, New York, 1956; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01); Vallee, Jacques, Anatomy of a Phenomenon, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1965; Vallee, Jacques, A Century of Landings (N = 923), (in JVallee04), Chicago, 1969; Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Rogerson, Peter, World-Wide Catalog of Type 1 Reports; Delaire, J. Bernard, UFO Register Volume 7 (1976), Data Research, Oxford, 1976; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on October 15, 1954, at 19:50 in Nimes, France, "A yellow, cigar-shaped object with brilliant portholes." "At the Courbessac Airfield in Nimes, France a yellow, cigar-shaped object with brilliant portholes, 30 m long, 6 m diameter, was seen on the ground. Figures with helmets covering the head could be seen inside. A sort of haze was observed at both ends of the craft."

And: "At Nimes-Courbessac Airfield a yellow, cigar shaped object with brilliant portholes, 30 meters long, six meters diameter, was seen on the ground. Figures with helmets covering the head could be seen inside. A sort of haze was observed at both ends of the craft."

And: "An object was observed. It departed by rapidly flying straight up until lost to sight. One yellow cigar-shaped object was observed in a residential area for over one minute. A whistling sound was heard."

The source is indicated as "Vallee Magonia Database".

[Ref. pr1:] PETER ROGERSON:

October 15 1954. 1950hrs.

NIMES-COURBESSAC AIRFIELD (GARD : FRANCE)

A yellow cigar shaped object 30m long, 6m diameter, with brilliant portholes, was seen on the ground. Figures in helmets covering the head could be seen inside. A sort of haze was observed at both ends of the object.

Vallee case 266, citing Guy Quincy.

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

*Oct. 15, 1954 – At 7:50 p.m. at the Courbessac Airfield in Nimes, France a yellow, cigar-shaped object with brilliant portholes, 30 m long, 6 m diameter, was seen on the ground. Figures with helmets covering their heads could be seen inside. A sort of haze was observed at both ends of the craft. (Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 230, case # 266).

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

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541015 15.10.1954 Le Vigan France 19.00 CE III

Notes:

What a big mess!

The case, obviously of 1952 and not 1954, became two different entries in Vallée's catalogue, and other ufologist simply did the same, as so often, simply copying Vallée's shoddy summaries. And this, in spite of the fact that the very sources indicated by some ufologists do point at the date problem!

It is very likely that Vallée mixed up two stories, that of Mr. Fize reported by Terrasson to Guieu, that occurred some date of October 1952, and possibly some other case of 1954.

Obviously, it is impossible that Mr. Fize saw goggles and helmets of occupants of a foggy object that crossed the sky in 10-15 seconds at a sighting distance of 600 to 800 meters!

Contrary to Jimmy Guieu's assertion, the investigation by Mr. Terrasson appears to be only some notes he took from hearing Mr. Fize, with no attempt at really understanding what has been going on, as he did not seem to realize the impossibility of distinguishing goggles on people so far away and so fast moving, and as he put Marseilles in the wrong direction. and of course, the sightings by other people at other places are not correctly documented, and the "timing" of the object rests only in the usual belief at the C.E.I.O. that witnesses indication of times such as "19:10" or "18:50" must be taken at face value as exact timing, whereas they are probably just rough estimates.

Explanations:

Perhaps an observation of a triple-head meteor with a whimsical description by the witness, or a mixture of an observation of a meteor and a hoax. Certainly not a "slow meteor" since 10-15 seconds are a normal observation duration for a normal meteor.

Keywords:

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

Le Vigan, Var, Vallerangue, multiple, cigar, object, landing, portholes, occupants, helmet, kaki, fog, mist, light, glasses

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 12, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 24, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [bb1], [jb2], [dj1], [lc2], [ud1], [ud2].
1.1 Patrick Gross August 14, 2013 Addition [pr1].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 15, 2014 Addition [ni1].
1.3 Patrick Gross February 29, 2017 Addition [ub1].

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This page was last updated on February 29, 2017.