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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, Mayrinhac, Lot:

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

Summary:

The newspaper L'Auvergnat de Paris, of Paris, reported on page 6 for October 23, 1954, that on Friday, October 15, 1954, in the afternoon, a person had seen in the east of Mayrinhac, direction Leyme and at 1.500 meters approximately in height in the sky a very small brilliant dot, "like a strand of metal heated to the red."

When viewed through binoculars, the object had hardly changed in appearance. Then looked at by means of a telescope, it clarified as "appreciably a sort of balloon, transparent, frosted, in the shape of a pear or an electric bulb erect at the top, with an appearance of frame, inside, a temperate light."

What was unexplained for the witness was that the luminous globe remained visible for more than 3 hours in the same place, "as immobile as an electric bulb on its ceiling." He had put it 20 times in the sight of the telescope, and it was always the same place, with the same shape, the same moderate brightness in broad daylight, the same total immobility, as if the object had been fixed or hung on a fixed point.

The witness said that he was not observing when the luminous globe stopped shining and that he cannot say how it disappeared.

Reports:

[Ref. lap1:] "L'AUVERGNAT DE PARIS" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

MAYRINHAC. - Friday October 15 in the afternoon, one announces: "We also had our saucer!". East of Mayrinhac, direction Leyme and about 1,500 meters high, I saw in the sky a very small shiny spot, like a strand of metal heated to red. When viewed through binoculars, the object has hardly changed in appearance. Looked at last, by means of a telescope, the object became clearer, appreciably a sort of balloon, transparent, frosted, in the shape of a pear or an electric bulb erect at the top, with at the bottom, an appearance of frame, inside, a temperate light. What is unexplained is the fact that the luminous globe remained visible for more than 3 hours in the same place, as immobile as an electric bulb in its ceiling. I put it 20 times in the axis of the telescope; always the same place, the same shape, the same moderate luminosity (it was in broad daylight), the same total immobility, as if the object had been fixed or hung on a fixed point. It is this fixity, this immobility that is an enigma. I was not observing when the luminous globe stopped shining and I cannot say how it disappeared.

Explanations:

It was indeed a balloon, a big high altitude balloon for cosmic rays study launched by the University of Padua in Italy.

See also what ufologist Aimé Michel said about it in 1958 and the 1968 note about it by ufologist Raymond Veillith.

The picture of the balloon by the observatory of Haute-Provence:

Keywords:

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

Mayrinhac, Lot, Mayrinhac-Lentour, afternoon, binoculars, telescope, balloon, motionless, transparent, pear, bulb, frame, light

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross January 13, 2020 First published.

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This page was last updated on January 13, 2020.