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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 15, 1954, Feurs, Loire:

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

Reports:

[Ref. ch1] "LE CHAROLLAIS-DIMANCHE" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

The caption reads: "and you will read, on page 12, the amazing story by four residents of Saint-Etienne, who have seen a Martian looking like Hitler come out of a red boiled egg."

[Ref. er1:] "L'EST REPUBLICAIN" NEWSPAPER:

A wave of strange "objects" is sweeping France

Dark-lovers Martians lovers play pass walls

But all those who have seen "saucers" are not dreamers

A plague of "flying saucers" and other mysterious craft is sweeping Europe, and the number of recorded testimony shows that France appears to be particularly targeted. There is no day, since weeks, where many of these events are reported from the Vendée, the Moselle and the Quiévrain to the Bidassoa.

In the Limousin, in particular, where a farmer was embraced on September 10, by a stranger; although he was peaceful, terror took hold, especially in the area of Roches (Creuse), where children no longer dare to go to school alone and where shepherdesses no longer want to keep their flocks since a dark shadow was reported hiding in the brushes. There is concern that the friendly Martian re-embarked leaving on the earth one of his companions.

In Diges (Yonne), two women saw each in her turn, a cigar land in a meadow and its pilot was leaning, perhaps on its engine. The "being" was of normal size, dressed in khaki and wearing a cap, but they were so scared that by the same reflex, they fled and locked themselves in.

Malenkov and Eisenhower shaking hands around a "saucer"

A pseudo-writer, on the contrary, delighted that these fantastic creatures come to join his philosophical ramblings, assimilates the "anti-saucerists" to troublemakers and warmongers. He writes without smiling: "These cigars and saucers could well make all of us agree. Perhaps this is why some people do not want to hear about it. Think about it! Eisenhower and Malenkov shaking hands around a saucer! What an idea!"

What to think of this new fever? Should we follow in their disdainful disapproval those who believe without verification, it is all hallucinations - sometimes collective - or should we believe with the others these are real craft originating from the human genius or more romantically coming from another world?

No doubt it is better to examine things more closely. The case now takes a too serious turn for trafficking in nonsense or admit all the news. It is time to grasp the problem and reason healthily on the sum of elements accumulated since more than seven years.

The first victim...

For it is on June 24, 1947, that the first "saucers" were reported in the manner described thousands of times since.

It was an American businessman, Kenneth Arnold, who saw that day "nine luminous discs flying in formation at high altitude" when he had taken off from Chehalis (Washington) on a personal plane. He could see that these "craft" were "flat like frying pans or saucers" before their disappearance and, if the case made little noise, the term "flying saucers" (soucoupe volante) was already launched.

It took six months before a new apparition was reported again in America, but this one was to end in tragedy, beginning to worry the public opinion. On January 7, 1948, the police in Fort Knox (Kentucky) warns the military at the Godman Airfield that "a huge fiery object, surrounded by a reddish glow" was flying in their direction. Three reservists fighter pilots were in flight, precisely at that time, on "Mustangs" propeller planes, and the tower alerted the control. Captain Mantell, leader of the squadron, immediately saw the "object" and putting gas on dove after it although his two comrades and himself had left for a flight at low altitude and were deprived of oxygen masks. The two crew members did not exceed 4,000 meters. Only Mantell went up to almost 7,000 meters before telling on the radio, breathless:

- It's frightening...

These words were the last and no one ever knew what they meant. The plane broke up in flight and the body of the unfortunate pilot was found horribly disjointed. The first reaction of Mantell's friends was naturally to think that he had been "downed" by the mysterious craft. His exclamation seemed to indicate that what he saw was awful and that monsters had fired at him.

This is the first victim - the first "martyr" - who tragically marked the true arrival of the "saucers" on earth.

An investigation commission was appointed, but its work was long and hard at a time when the high-speed compressibility phenomena were still unclear. When it put out its report on the accident, it finally explained that the pilot had climbed too high, probably in the pursuit of an atmospheric phenomenon. Deprived of oxygen, he had probably exclaimed that he was losing consciousness. The aircraft, abandoned to itself, had probably dislocated by diving at nearly the speed of the "wall of sound".

But psychosis was already on his way. What can the fairly conservative assumptions of technicians do against the taste of wonderful and the supernatural?

...and the first "hoax"

It is in any case strange to see that the appearances of "flying saucers" multiplied at once in America where 1,192 cases were reported, in waves, from 1947 to 1952. And it is no less surprising to see that, little by little parallel waves manifested themselves in France three to five weeks behind those recorded in the U.S.A.

Of course, the "pro-saucerists" interpret this pattern to their advantage: - We are part of the same humanity that the Americans and the "saucers" have no reason to despise us when visiting Earth. Their pilots wherever they come from can be as much interested in France and in the United States and if we see less it is because our territory is seventeen times smaller than that of the U.S.A.

It is certainly flattering to our national pride. But more Cartesian than sentimental "anti-saucerists", are concerned with this regular shift:

Just long enough to newspapers to inform you of the virus, they reply. After the Mantell crash anyway America was so gripped by the fear of the saucers deadly saucers that it accepted all the fables.

The most sensational story was published by one Franck Scully of Denver, who told in a weekkly magazine, then in a book, how a circular machine, that came from another planet, crashed in the United States, described the autopsy by a famous practitioner of sixteen little creatures found on board and stated that metal debris from the machine, heated to 10,000 degrees, had not melted. The finally palpable "saucer" and these little men in blue linen clothes made such a noise that an investigation commission - again - joined in. Frank Scully, interrogated, had to admit the "hoax". His piece of metal melted at 637 degrees and the case ended with two convictions for fraud.

But once again, the explanation came too late. The book beautifully sold and the author won a lot of dollars.

1953 has not been a hot year for "saucers".

In France, the first known "saucer" was reported in Antibes, in August 1949, but the following came in waves, parallel, we repeat, to those in the US. There is a fever in 1950, two in 1951 and one particularly important in 1952. That year, there were eleven appearances in May, six in June, six in July, two in August and two in September, eight finally in October.

This is precisely the time when America also see many "flying objects" and made us know its anxiety. We will see how calm then returned across the Atlantic. Here, 1953 was also quiet. The saucers disappeared from our skies until last August where a new wave started discreetly in Norway with the meeting of a helicopter by two young people who were picking blueberries.

This time Europe had exclusivity. The wave grows slowly, recalling the Loch Ness [Monster] who in the past returned in the heart of summer to fill the gaps in the news. But the Scottish snake was a prisoner of the lake while the "saucers" do not recognize borders nor countries nor the dreams and the real facts are now mingled with the disorder.

Awake hallucinations

We must reject from the first five recent stories - the most sensational alas! - just too unreliable.

In Vernon, the young witness has a strong imagination well known in the region.

In Quarouble, near Valenciennes, the gatekeeper who saw "little people" was a victim, one year ago, of a head injury and is subject, since then, to nervous disorders. Prints appear on the wood of the railway track, but may give rise to infinite interpretations.

Near Amiens, four pranksters had to admit they had wanted to make fun of their friends. In Bugeat (Corrèze), Mr. Mazaud has probably been embraced by someone but the air police firstly believes in a light aircraft that came in this deserted place at dusk, for a rendez-vous with a smuggler.

In Craintilleux finally, near St-Etienne, the giant, Hitler lookalike, double-faced (one grimacing at the front and the other, jovial, at the back) climbed in his saucer without opening the door, in the manner of wall-crossing ghosts, really seems too childishly wonderful. Witnesses, actors and writers have probably the romantic spirit that suits this kind of occurrence. And the Martian they thought they saw will at least have the advantage of providing them something for a play or a novel.

Medicine knows about these awaken hallucinations which can be experienced by completely normal people. Who did not see in the dark shadows move where there was nothing? It should be noted in this connection that virtually all reported landings of "saucers" took place at night and no one has yet seen Martians having a shape significantly different from ours in daylight.

Should we conclude that all recorded reports are the work of unbridled imaginations?

Certainly not.

Kenneth Arnold and Mantell were not dreamers. Most French witnesses aren' either.

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

The two authors report that in the night from September 15 to September 16, 1954, at an hour not specified, in the plain of Forez close to Feurs, a mysterious machine landed within a few meters of a group of people from Saint-Etienne who were immobilized by a car failure on a secondary road. A being fled in front of two witnesses who, in spite of their fear, try to come into contact with him.

A woman farmer of the vicinity who did not sleep heard a strange buzz in the sky, and her dog was excited.

The two authors note that it is not known if the breakdown of car was caused by the UFO or not, and that description of the being does not correspond to that given by Mr. Mazaud in the case of Mouriéras.

They indicate as sources the newspaper La Dépêche for September 18, and 19, 1954.

[Ref. js1] JEAN SIDER:

Jean Sider discovered the advertisement of the first page of the newspaper Charollais-Dimanche, which indicates the nature of a hoax of the story, and notes with humour that indeed, as Figuet and Ruchon wrote, the "being" hardly resembles the one described by Mr. Mazaud in this other case in Mouriéras.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on September 15, in France in Feurs (St Etienne), "In the night, a mysterious machine lands at a few meters of a group of people immobilized by a breakdown on a secondary road. A being flees in front of two witnesses who, in spite of their fear, try to come into contact with him."

The source is indicated as "M. FIGUET/J.L. RUCHON: 'Ovni, le premier dossier complet..' - Lefeuvre 1979, p. 79".

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

67.
Location. Feurs, St Etienne, France
Date: September 15 1954
Time: night

Driving through a secondary road the witness vehicle breaks down. Soon a bright undescribed object lands very close to the car. A small being briefly is seen near the car, which runs away from the witnesses as they attempt to approach and communicate with him. The craft soon takes off. No other information.

HC addendum
Source: Figuet & J L Ruchon, Complete Ovni Dossier
Type: C

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Loire in Feurs on September 15, 1954, at an unknown hour, "In the night, a mysterious machine lands at a few meters of a group of people immobilized by a breakdown on a secondary road. A being flees in front of two witnesses who, in spite of their fear, try to come into contact with him."

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

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 15 September 1954 at 23:00 in Feurs, France, "Car engine quits. Saucer descends. Hitler-like figure runs by several observers. Dog excited. An object was observed. Electromagnetic effects were noted. One disc was observed in a town for two minutes."

"Driving through a secondary road the witness vehicle breaks down. Soon a bright undescribed object lands very close to the car. A small being briefly is seen near the car, which runs away from the witnesses as they attempt to approach and communicate with him. The craft soon takes off. No other information."

The sources are listed as Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002; Rosales, Albert, Humanoid Sighting Reports Database.

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

*Sep. 15, 1954 - Driving on a secondary road at around 11:00 p.m. in Feurs, St. Etienne, Loire department, France the witness's car engine quit. Soon a bright saucer-shaped object descended and landed very close to the car. A small being, described as wearing a Hitler-like uniform, ran by the car and was seen by several observers. It ran away from the group of witnesses when they attempted to approach and communicate with him. The craft soon took off. A dog was supposedly excited during the encounter. (Source: Larry Hatch, U computer database, case # 3582; Michel Figeut & Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: Le Premier Dossier Complet des Rencontres Rapprochees en France, p. 79).

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

Location: Feurs, St Etienne, France

Date: September 15 1954

Time: night

Driving through a secondary road the witness vehicle breaks down. Soon a bright undescribed object lands very close to the car. A small being briefly is seen near the car, which runs away from the witnesses as they attempt to approach and communicate with him. The craft soon takes off. No other information.

Source: Figuet & J L Ruchon, Complete Ovni Dossier

[Ref. gz1:] JULIEN GONZALEZ:

The author indicates that there was a false close encounter of the third kind in Feurs, the Loire, on September 15, 1954, during the night at an unknown hour:

In the plain of the Forez, a mysterious craft landed a few meters from a group of residents of Saint-Etienne immobilized by a failure on a departmental road. One being fled before two of them who, despite their fear, tried to come into contact with it. A farm woman in the neighborhood, who was not asleep, heard a singular purr sound in the sky. Her dog gave obvious signs of agitation.

The source is indicated as Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon, "OVNI: le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochées en France", page 79, citing as reference La Dépêche for September 18 and 19, 1954.

Julien Gonzalez indicates that, in fact, it was a hoax set by a troup of actors, and that the article published in Charolais-Dimanche on September 19, 1954 and entitled "The hallucinating narrative of four Saint-Etienne residents who saw a Martian resembling Hitler emerge from a red-hulled egg" did not leave doubt. The illustration showed a "Hitler" in Martian diving suit making an insulting gesture at the readers. This nevertheless became a ufological case of the French wave of 1954, including car engine failure, claimed to have taken place near Feurs on September 15, 1954, citedagain without the slightest form of explanation decades later.

He indicates that the source of the explanation is Jean Sider, "Le dossier 1954 et l'imposture rationaliste", page 75 and iconographic workbook.

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

When the aliens land in the Loire

They crossed the Loire sky within a few seconds but still feed the conversations. Figment of the imagination, astronomical hazard proven events or presence of curious visitors, the mysteries remain.

The UFO phenomenon is not new. Any time, any place, writings telling puzzling observations were kept. For proof, NASA published in 2014 a report on UFO reports by the Romans, headlined unidentified flying objects in classical antiquity.

And the Loire is no exception to the rule. On October 11, 1954, in Saint-Genest-Malifaux, a delivery driver said he saw in the sky a huge multicolored glow, moving away at high speed and moving through the cloud. Another witness, that of a young motorcyclist in Roanne on December 14, 1979: he reported seeing six oval objects, very bright; which moved quickly in the sky, training threes.

Hoax in Feurs

If these two cases are unexplained, many UFO observations, in the department, were quickly resolved. The witnesses were undoubtedly in good faith, but what they took to an unidentified flying object was something else. This was the case in Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert on July 25th 2009. Towards 7 p.m., several people watched the passage of a white object moving silently in the valley, with a regular speed and height. The object suddenly gained altitude, sped and disappeared immediately into the sky. Strange, indeed. Yet this UFO was probably a weather balloon.

Other observations find their explanation through astronomy, like that of 13 August 1998 in Saint-Chamond. One family said they saw a very bright stationary object which emitted red lights, green and yellow. The next day, an enlightened astronomer explained that it was actually the star Antares, which by its low position on the horizon, was prone to chromatic and luminous distortions.

Finally, some observations can result from a simple hoax like that of September 15, 1954, in Feurs. A group of four Saint-Etienne residents, immobilized by a breakdown on a country road, saw an object shaped like an egg, with a red shell, that landed near the place where they were. They saw coming down from the "spacecraft" a little creature with the appearance of Hitler who fled when he saw them?! It was of course a joke having the great wave of French UFO in 1954 as frame.

Both troubling to Montbrison

In Montbrison, one finds traces of two troubling observations. The first of April 26, 1970: five witnesses observed for at least ten seconds a white ovoid object whose path was complex and regular. The second took place a few months later, on 9 September 1970, a witness observed a spot moving among the stars. A second person scanned the same object with binoculars and certified that it was not a plane...

Finally, more recently, a UFO was filmed in Riorges at the end of July 2013 and the video was posted on the YouTube website on August 5, 2013. This video gives everyone the opportunity to make his own opinion... always keeping in mind that a UFO remains an unidentified flying object that is not necessarily synonymous with aliens?!

Source. "The new mysteries of the Loire" Philippe Marconnet, De Boreas publisher in 2011.

Ségolène Perret

Explanations:

Utter BS.

The whole story was invented, and the Charollais-Dimanche newspaper leaves no doubt about it.

Keywords:

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

Feurs, Loire, object, bright, landing, humanoid, occupant, small, car, failure, road, night, multiple, dog, farmer, sound, humming

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 8, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross May 24, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross October 8, 2014 Additions [ni1], [ta1].
1.5 Patrick Gross October 26, 2016 Addition [lp1].
1.6 Patrick Gross November 23, 2016 Addition [er1].
1.7 Patrick Gross February 20, 2017 Addition [gz1].

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