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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 16, 1954, Châtellerault, Vienne:

Reference number for this case: 16-Oct-54-Châtellerault. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The regional newspaper L'Est Républicain for October 19, 1954, apparently mentioned this observation, without giving a date and time, indicating that "three fire-fighters, Captain Doussineau and Adjutant Serreau", were driving on a road near Châtellerault when they saw rising in the sky towards the castle of Targe, a large luminous disc.

They had stopped and had "long" observed the phenomenon. They said: "The disc passed over us at a few meters, emitting a high-pitched whistling sound".

In 1958, the pioneering ufologist Aimé Michel reported the passage of the big meteor on October 16, 1954 at 08:30 p.m..

As for the two "skeptical" ufologists, Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker, they indicated in their 1979 book that they had questioned two of the witnesses of the case of October 16, 1954, around 8:30 p.m. in Châtellerault: they had talked about a "luminous volume, very fast, hissing", whereas the press had spoken of a large disk.

Later in their book, they claim that "the few serious investigators" who had admitted that it was a meteor that had generated this type of sighting were the technicians from the Air Force's scientific bureau.



Saucers and cigars in the sky

A veterinarian, three firefighters and two Orly employees add their names to the list of "those who have seen"

Paris. -- A veterinarian, two employees at Orly airport and three firefighters register on the long list of witnesses of celestial phenomena.

At nightfall, while traveling by car, the commune of Baillolet (Seine-Inférieure) on R.N. 314, M. Henri Robert, a veterinary doctor in Londinières, saw four craft maneuvering one above the other, about 300 meters above sea level.

Mr. Robert claims that one of them came zigzagging in front of his car, that he felt a strong electric shock and the engine of his car stopped. The veterinarian then saw a strange figure on the road about twenty feet high, the headlights of his car died out and when they re-ignited, a cylinder about three meters long took off the slope and took height at a tremendous speed.

The saucer did not want to land in Orly

The two employees at Orly airport are MM. Raymond Castelle and Charles Birest who affirmed to their chiefs to have seen on Sunday evening a flying saucer crossing the sky of Orly "from East to West" at the speed of a jet plane, reaching the town of Paray-Vieille-Poste, that is to say, on the west-east runway, the mysterious craft, which, according to the witnesses, was moving at the altitude of 300 meters, stopped for about ten seconds while turning on itself and emitting rays that reflected intensely on the ground. As for the three firefighters, Captain Doussineau and Warrant Officer Serreau, they were driving on a road near Chatellerault (the Haute-Vienne) when they saw rise in the sky towards the castle of Targe, a large luminous disc. They stopped and observed the phenomenon at length. "The disc," they said, " passed qbove us at a few meters barely while emitting an high pitched whistling sound."

A written question from a member of the Parliament from the Ariège

It was inevitable and desirable that following the many occurrences of flying craft crossing the sky of France without interruption for weeks, a deputy addresses a Written question to the President of the Council.

It was Mr. René Dejean, the Socialist deputy of the Ariège, who took this initiative, in particular asking "whether a department has been created or appointed to collect existing documentation on this matter and to study the nature and origin of such craft.

"Whether the information currently gathered and recorded makes it possible to exclude the hypothesis of vehicles driven or controlled by living beings of unknown species and origin.

"Whether the government has, on the contrary, sufficient information to attribute the production Of these devices to the industry of a foreign state.

"Whether in the latter case, the international agreements signed by France have already allowed Consultations regarding the use of such devices in a potential conflict."




A veterinarian meets a "Martian"

Dieppe, 18. -- At nightfall, while driving through the town of Baillolet, by car, on the R. N. 316, Mr. Henri Robert, doctor-veterinarian in Londinières, saw four craft which were flying one above the other, at around [???] meters of altitude. Mr. Robert said that one of them came to his car, that he felt a strong electric shock, and that the engine of his car stopped.

The veterinarian then saw on the road, a strange figure, about four feet tall. The headlights of his car went out. When they re-ignited, a cylinder, about three meters long, took off from the roadside and headed north.

Mr. Robert told his story to the gendarmes of Londinières.

Chatellerault, 18. - Saturday evening, around 8:30 p.m., three firefighters, Captain Huguet, Lieutenant Doussineau and Warrant Officer Berreau, saw moving in the sky, towards the castle of Targe, a large disc projecting sparks, and followed by a very long luminous trail. They stopped their car. The disc, they say, passed over them and they heard a hissing sound.

The grass is burnt...

Toulon, 18. -- Two Toulon residents, Mr. Rappelini, bar owner, and Ottaviani, mechanic of the Merchant Marine, claim to have seen a saucer on Thursday evening landing in the Chemin Long district, near Hyères, and give an absolutely identical description of it.

The General Intelligence Air Brigade went to Toulon and heard at length from the two witnesses, who drew a detailed sketch of the mysterious craft.

Sunday morning, the General Intelligence inspectors went to the place where the two witnesses said they had seen the saucer land. They found there a large circular trace where the grass is burned.

In the sky of Orly

Paris, 18. -- Two employees from Orly airport, MM. Raymond Castelle and Charles Sirest, told the air police that they had seen, on the night of Saturday to Sunday, around 9:30 p.m., a flying saucer cross the sky of Orly from east to west, fast "like a jet plane". When above the commune of Paray-Vieille-Poste, that is to say along the west-east runway, the mysterious craft which, according to witnesses, was moving at an altitude of 300 meters, immobilized for ten seconds by turning on itself and emitting rays which were intensely reflected on the ground.


Rome, 17. -- Many Italians having observed "disks", "saucers", "cigars" etc... flying in the sky of the peninsula, the "Giornale d'Italia" interviewed professor Antonio Eula, Chair of Aerodynamics, at the University of Rome.

This eminent scientist about the possible origin of the so-called spacecraft of other planets, said in particular: "We do not fully know the mysteries of our solar system. Astronautics, when it can be put in practice, will perhaps allow us to penetrate them. But we know from now on that beings similar to us cannot exist on the planets currently known. If there are, they can only be profoundly different. So is it absurd to speak of Martians capable of human activity."

In response to another question, Professor Eula said he did not believe he was authorized to exclude, in an absolute manner, that it could be "experimental devices intended for military use, and protected by an impenetrable secrecy." In conclusion, the professor said: "If this last hypothesis corresponds to reality, the time will come when their secret will be revealed, because no secret of a technical nature can be preserved indefinitely."

To excuse his delay, a roadmender invents a saucer story

Dijon, 18. -- Ten days ago, Mr. André Narcy, 47, a roadworker in Mertrud, arrived at work breathless: "I saw a flying saucer", he affirmed. And he gave a lot of details: an orange colored object posed in a field, a small being dressed in a fur coat. A nice vertical start of the mysterious craft. With two of his comrades, MM. Riel and Henry, he went back there. All three declare that in fact the dew had dried on some surface, that the grass had taken "a slightly milky hue", that one saw traces of "round feet", etc...

In short, questioned again by the gendarmerie, Mr. Narcy did admit that he had put together this story from scratch to excuse his late arrival at work.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel wrote about the October 16, 1954, 09:30 p.m. meteor:

THE TEST OF THE METEOR. October 16, as if it was purposely, a splendid meteor crossed the north of France towards 09:30 p.m.. It was observed on a score of departments by thousands of people, from the Allier to Lorraine and from the Swiss border to Paris. Naturally many witnesses believed to have seen a Flying Saucer and said so. The newspapers printed "Flying Saucer in Orly", or "in Montididier", or "in Metz." But once again the description made by all these weak brains appeared of a remarkable honesty.


The innumerable gathered testimonies show indeed that even when the witnesses called "Flying saucer" the observed object, their description is identical on 200.000 square kilometers where the visible phenomenon was visible: an "orange ball followed by a trail", a "large luminous ball with a tail", a "flying egg followed by a trail", a "bottle's bottom with a trail of thirty times its diameter", etc. The same phenomenon is uniformly described.



The two authors note this case of October 16, 1954:

"Chatellerault - 86 - towards 08:30 p.m.: investigation (two witnesses interrogated). Luminous volume, very fast, whistling sound. The press talks of a large disc."

Further in their book, they claim that "the few serious investigators" who had admitted the fact that it was a meteor which had generated this type of observations were the technicians of the scientific office of the Air Force.

[Ref. ubk1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541013 13.10.1954 Chatellerault France CE III


The meteor of October 16, 1954, at 09:30 p.m..


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

Châtellerault, Vienne, luminous, disc, fast, night, firefighters, Captain Doussineau, Adjutant Serreau, car, road, ascent, castle of Targe, wide, whistling


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 21, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 27, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version
1.1 Patrick Gross November 25, 2016 Additions [ler1], [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross April 21, 2019 Addition of the Summary.
1.3 Patrick Gross March 2, 2020 Addition [nnm1].

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This page was last updated on March 2, 2020.