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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, Orly, Val-de-Marne:

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




A luminous and silent "bottle bottom" above Orly and in the sky of Paris

The most disconcerting testimony, this week, on the flying saucers, comes from the Paris area: from Orly. Saturday October 16, Misters Raymond Capelle and Charles Birest, after dining at 09:35 p.m., came out from Mr. Capelle's, 8, street of the Puy-de-Dome in Orly, when they saw in the sky a mysterious machine. Slipping by from East to West, this machine, in the shape of a "bottle's bottom", rotated and left behind a luminous orange, yellow and blue trail, long of thirty times approximately the diameter of the machine. At its passage, this luminous trail entirely lit the street. After a few seconds, the machine disappeared behind a house. Mr. Capelle is employed with the "traffic" service of Air France in Orly. During five years (four years in Indo-China, one year in Orly), he belonged to the gendarmerie of the air. He identifies any type of apparatus with the noise of its engine. "I cannot be mistaken, he said. It is not a jet plane, this machine did not make any noise, it is what gives it its supernatural character". Mr. Birest, employee with the U.S.A.F., worked at the Orly airfield for thirty years. He confirms in all manner Mr. Capelle's testimony. This machine was also observed by the many Parisians and suburbians who located the passage from the Stock Exchange to Neuilly. Three C.R.S. also saw it above Lagny.


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 rhey 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 he 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 above 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.

"Wether 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."

[Ref. am1:] 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 testimonys show indeed that even when the witnesses called "Flying saucer" the observed object, their description is identical on 200.000 square kilometres 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.


Concerning specifically the observation in Orly at this time, Aimé Michel specifies that there were, among the witnesses, two employees of the Orly airport, one being a former member of the Gendarmerie of the Air and the other a member of the personnel of the US Air Force, and that these two witnesses thought that the object had stopped during one second. Aimé Michel notes that this impression of a short stop is frequent in the observations of meteors of big size.


363 -002.41650 48.73500 16 10 1954 21 30 1 *ORLY F 301 A


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

"Orly-Seine (at the time) - 09:30 p.m.: investigation. In spite of information provided in certain books, it was impossible for us to find the two witnesses."

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. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

The author of the database indicates that in Orly, in the department of the Val-de-Marne, on October 16, 1954, at 09:35 p.m., several witnesses, among them operators of the control tower, observed an object in the shape of the bottom of a bottle, turning on itself and leaving behind itself a luminous orange, yellow and blue trail, long of thirty times its diameter, which entirely lit the street where two of the witnesses were.

The source is indicated as "Alerte dans le ciel by Garreau Charles ** Alain Lefeuvre 1981".

[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
19541016 16.10.1954 Orly France 21.30
19541016 16.10.1954 Orly France 21.30 NL
19541016 16.10.1954 Orly France 21.30 NL


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


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

Orly, Val-de-Marne, night, Raymond Capelle, Charles Birest, object, trail, stop, orange, yellow, blue, illumination


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross January 17, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 27, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross June 30, 2010 Addition [jv5].
1.3 Patrick Gross November 25, 2016 Additions [er1], [ub1].
1.4 Patrick Gross December 12, 2016 Addition [fd1].

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This page was last updated on December 12, 2016.