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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 16, 1954, Savigny, Rhône:

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



In the manner of Wells heroes

A farmer in the Vienne saw advancing towards him an interplanetary diver

In the Lyonese, a Parisian filmed a "flying cigar"

Châtellerault, September 29 -. Mr. Yves David, 28-year-old, farmer in Broudoux, community of Verneuil-sur-Vienne, stated to have seen advancing towards him, on the road from Cenon to Vouneuil, on September 19 at 10 p.m., a kind of diver.

The latter, he says, came to caress his arm, emitted unintelligible sounds and withdrew towards a craft (that Mr. David cannot describe). A green beam of light was projected in his direction, nailing him on the spot, then the machine disappeared in the sky vertically, without any noise. Mr. David states that initially he did not want to tell anything of this weird encounter for fear of ridicule. He however informed a friend of his, asking him whether other people had seen the "diver". That's how the country knew about it.

Air carrousel in the Lyonese

Lyon, September 29. -- Between September 15 and 20, several people in the Lyons area, announced to have seen flying saucers. A 15-year-old young man, Mr. Roland M... says: "On the 15th at approximately 11 p.m., I was within approximately 200 meters of the fort of Feyzin (the Isère) when my attention was caught by a white light. I was then amazed to see, detached in the sky, ten meters above the ground, a dark spot from where a sharp light similar to the combustion of a magnesium spot emerged."

The black "shape" seemed slightly elliptic.

Arrived at about fifty meters of this "space ship", I was amazed to hear a deaf noise like that of a wet rocket, I even saw at the same time a shower of sparks spout out of the lower part of the craft. Then all of a sudden, like a rocket, it rose at a tremendous speed, perhaps 4000 or 5000 km/h." In addition, residents of Chaudelas [sic] (the Ardeche) saw on September 17 in the sky, a craft of the shape of a torpedo with the front more luminous than the rest. Was it of an aerolith or an interplanetary apparatus? It will never be known. Lastly, in Lyons, Mrs. J T... indicates that on the 18th at 3:55 a.m., she saw a craft which went back in the sky vertically at a vertiginous pace.

Another testimony, perhaps the most important, was provided to us by Mr. René Valery, artistic director of the Olympia in Paris. Mr. Valery was in Lyon and he stated to us that he had, as well as his wife, sighted a curious "cigar" whereas they were, on Thursday 16, in Savigny, in the Rhone. "It was approximately 6 p.m., he told us. We were walking, when we saw a craft at approximately 700 or 800 m of altitude. It went up vertically without the least engine noise."

Behind it, it left a broad trail of white smoke. It could not be a matter, in my opinion, he still told us, of a jet plane, I would have heard the whistling sound, because of the proximity of the machine. Moreover, this cigar had by no means the shape of a jet."

Mr. Valery, who does not seem to be able to admit, in spite of the testimony of his senses, that he saw a flying saucer, was carrying an 8 mm movie camera. He hastened to film the evolutions of the aerial object.

Perhaps he will know Thursday, while going to get his developed film, if he were as well as his wife, the subject of an hallucination or if, on the contrary, it was really of one of these famous saucers. He waits for Thursday without impatience, the more so as the visibility was not very good and that he fears to have perhaps missed his "saucer".

Let us add that the saucers are not an invention of our century. Indeed, an extract of the memories of the Emulation society of the Jura, for 1864, under the title "Flaming globes" reports the following lines:

"On January 20, 1859 at 04:35 a.m., by a rather strong rain, but a calm and a very black night, the atmosphere was suddenly illuminated by a very bright white light which made it possible to distinguish from far away the objects with a great accuracy. This light was due to a luminous sphere slipping through space from the south to the north, at a great speed. Large numbers of people who, frightened, left their house, believed in a fire. This phenomenon was seen from Lyon to Strasbourg." [Perfect description of a meteor.]

Four other observations of this kind, but less remarkable, are noted on the registers at the following dates: January 10, 1847, November 13 and 17, 1848, and August 11, 1850.

"They must be distinguished from the incandescent spheres which are seen during storms [ball lightning], since their appearance always takes place by a calm weather, without detonation and giving a sharp light."

At the sight of a flying saucer, a locomotive driver falls sick.

MM. Gérard, mechanic and Paroux, driver, who led a wildcat locomotive engine, coming from Nantes, saw yesterday evening, whereas they passed by the location "La Butte Rouge", community of St Nicolas-de-Redon (the Ille and Vilaine), a machine which rose from nearby marshes. This machine, of a certain length, which was followed of a luminous trail, flew during ten seconds above the locomotive and disappeared in the sky. Whereas the mechanic kept his cool, the driver on the other hand, was so frightened that he fell sick and had to undergo a medical examination this morning.


Carrousel of "saucers" in the sky of Dauphiné

LYON. -- In the departments of the Rhone, Isère, Drôme and Savoy, many people claim to have seen, these last days, with more or less clarity, craft having either the shape of cigars, or those of discs.

In the area of the Arbresle, one of these witnesses, director of a music-hall, stated to have filmed one of these mysterious apparatuses which evolved at a height estimated by him as of approximately 700 meters. One will thus know, after development of the footage, if it was or was not an optical illusion.

Close to Feyzin (the Isère) a young man is said to have seen in the countryside, not far from the ground, a machine having the shape of a dome from where spouted out a very sharp light. The witness had compared it with that caused by the combustion of magnesium. The craft, suddenly, went up vertically while leaving a shower of sparks and disappeared.

Inhabitants of Chabeuil stated to have seen a flying saucer evolving above the countryside.

Lastly, in Savoy, close to the lake of Le Bourget, above Mount Revard, several motorists, on the whole about fifteen people, simultaneously saw an apparatus having the shape of a disc, that evolved during approximately four minutes, to then disappear suddenly.

One of the witnesses, a doctor of Chambéry, is a former artillery observer. He carefully wrote up the observations and drew a diagram reproducing the travel of the mysterious apparatus.

The drivers gets ill

REDON (Ille-et-Vilaine). -- Misters Gérard, mechanic, and Paroux, driver, who operated a wildcat engine coming from Nantes, saw, whereas they passed at the locality "La Butte Rouge", community of Saint-Nicolas-de-Besson (Ille-et-Vilaine), a machine which rose from the nearby marshes.

This craft, of a certain length, which was followed of a luminous trail, flew during ten second above the machine and disappeared in the sky.

While the mechanic preserved all his calm, the driver, on the other hand, was so frightened that he fell sick and had to pass a medical examination yesterday morning.


LA HAYE. -- The aerial phenomena which currently appears above Europe did not fail to visit the Netherlands.

Among the recently reported testimonies on the passage of flying saucers above the Dutch territory, it is necessary to quote that of a citizen of Schiedam (an important center of juniper production) which claimed to have seen a rather large object, circular and luminous, moving towards the west. Its fiancée who accompanied him corroborated his statements.

Less recent but more impressive, is the account of the captain of "Grote Beer" Mr J.-P. Boshoff, of the Holland - United States line.

The object detected on the open sea and observed by himself and his five officers using all the optical equipment on board, was the "size of a half-moon" and also circular and luminous.

The captain adamantly excluded the possibility that it can be a weather balloon.

Initially motionless, the disc, after a few moments, moved towards the west to disappear behind the clouds at an altitude of approximately 14.000 meters.



In the departments of the Rhone, of Isère, Drome and Savoy, many people clain to have seen, these last days, with more or less of clarity, crafts having either a cigar shape, or a disc shape. In the area of Arbresle, one of these witnesses, the director of a Parisian variety theater, even filmed one of these mysterious crafts. So we will know, after development of the film, if it is an optical illusion. Close to Fezin (Isère), a young man is said to have seen a machine having a dome and from where a light comparable with that caused by the combustion of magnesium spouted out in the countryside not far from the ground. In Drome, an inhabitant of Valence Miss Leboeuf, which was having a walk near Chabeuil, claims to have met in a pathway, a being of small size oddly dressed which she first believed to be a scarecrow in Cellophane. Miss Leboeuf hid behind a hedge, terrified. At this point in time she saw a disc from where a whistle emanated rising from a corn field. A little later the witness and peasants went in the field where, according to them, a circular trace approximately three meters in diameter with corn ears lying and branches broken in edge was clearly distinguished. Other inhabitants of Chabeuil also stated to have seen there a flying saucer evolving above the countryside on the same day.

[Ref. hw1:] HAROLD T. WILKINS:

The author indicates that in the Pyrénees, in France, in September 1954, the director of a Parisian cabaret saw a saucer 2297 feet up, and with presence of mind, photographed it.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Rhone in Savigny on September 16, 1954 at 18:00 hours "a couple walks when they observe at an altitude estimated as 700 or 800 m a kind of cigar going up vertically without noise. A broad white trail is visible."

The source is indicated as "Var Matin".



DATE:27 September 1954 (approximate day)
PLACE:Savigny, Rhone department France)
EXPLANATION:Not available
REFERENCES:Italian newspapers: Il Mattino (Naples) and Corriere di Sicilia (Catania), September 29, 1954, Giornale di Trieste (Trieste), Giornale del Mattino (Florence) and La Nazione Italiana), September 30, 1954, Il Gazzettino (Trento) and Il Mattino, October 1, 1954, and Milano Sera (Milano), October 1-2, 1954. Harold T. Wilkins, Flying Saucers Uncensored (The Citadel Press, 1955), pages 229-230. Donald Johnson’s UFOCAT.

[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
19540916 16.09.1954 Savigny France 18.00 NL


Not looked for yet. Obvious description of a meteor.


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

Savigny, Rhône, couple, cigar, silent, trail, photograph, white, ascent


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross June 16, 2009 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross April 8, 2010 Addition [bo1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 29, 2017 Addition [ub1].

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This page was last updated on January 29, 2017.