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The 1954 French flap:

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October 16, 1954, Ham, Somme:

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

Summary:

In the regional newspaper Le Courrier Picard, on page 4, for October 18, 1954, a journalist prided himself on his "skepticism" about flying saucers, telling that in Ham, on Saturday, therefore October 16, 1954, when a frightened child hailed him on the way, saying: "Sir, there is a flying saucer, rue de l'Arquebuse," he wanted to see and had found a vaguely intimidating reddish moon "that was rolling on the terrestrial borders and which a nebulosity marked with a large acute accent all black."

Reports:

[Ref. cpd1:] "LE COURRIER PICARD" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

HAM

The flying saucers
disdain our sky

Saturday evening, a frightened kid hailed me in passing: "Sir, there is a flying saucer, rue de l'Arquebuse."

I admit that I am resistant to this psychosis which, after having hatched in the United States, now reaches our old continent and makes discover, to many of our fellow men, in the Picardy sky itself, fabulous machines, capable of to make our - certainly eminent - astronautics researchers jealous, whose anticipations are not already lacking in extravagance.

But I wanted to see, to see with my own eyes. I discovered a splendid, vaguely intimidating red moon which rolled on the terrestrial borders and which a nebulosity marked with a large acute accent all black.

So, I crisscrossed the city and its surroundings. The Eppeville sugar factory drew hundreds, perhaps thousands of luminous rectangles, during the night. A fire of dry herbs on the side of Sébastopol, drew his dying flames and "Brass and Alloys", behind its severe enclosure, seemed strangely quiet.

So there were saucers only in my kitchen buffet and in those of my fellow citizens.

Even the unfortunate and long blackout which suddenly plunged into darkness the rue du Général-Foy and part of the avenue de Noyon, was not due to the facetious presence of a Martian with hairy face on the transformer of the old castle.

[Ref. jdh1:] "JOURNAL DE HAM" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

Was it a
flying saucer?

Riding a bicycle on the road to Saint-Quentin on Saturday evening, near the Picart farm in St-Sulpice, Mr. Paul Vinl, of St-Sulpice, saw an illuminated spherical object followed of a jet of light. The appearance was brief. The time to get off the bike and the phenomenon was gone.

Also, Mr. Raymond Fernet, a resident of rue de l'Arquebuse in Ham, saw a gleam in the sky from his street which disappeared at high speed.

The same evening, MM. Marc and Gilles Lemaire of Croix-Moligneux and Jean Yvart, of Douilly, went to Ham at their work and being on the road from Péronne towards the wood of Sancourt, saw the same phenomenon. A small orange mass, the shape of which they could not specify, which went from East to West.

Several people in the region also observed the same phenomenon.

Was it a flying saucer!

Explanations:

Negative case, the Moon.

In order to be sure that this gentleman was not just inventing an "educational" story, I checked what was happening with the Moon. It had risen at 08:49 p.m.. Obviously, our journalist did not care to give the hour of his observation of the Moon. But there was a moon visible around 9:00 p.m., low in the sky; which is favorable for both misinterpretations and its reddish color.

To complicate matters: it is not obvious that the child mistook the Moon for a flying saucer, for the simple reason that a meteor had passed there in the sky that day... Explaining possibly an observation but not necessarily the other observations...

Anyway, Ham's sky hadn't been so "disdained by saucers" for everyone that night!

Keywords:

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

Ham, Somme, Moon, red Moon, child

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross February 1, 2020 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross March 13, 2020 Addition [jdh1].

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This page was last updated on March 13, 2020.