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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 17, 1954, Diénay, Côte-d'Or:

Reference number for this case: 17-Oct-54-Diénay. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper Le Bien Public, of Dijon, for October 20, 1954, reported that on October l1, 1954, while hunting, a Mr. Bricard Auguste of Diénay discovered in a plantation of fir trees, a device suspended on a small balloon and a parachute:

"The white painted box with the marking 'radio sonde, U.S. Army' was handed over by the mayor to the gendarmerie of Is-sur-Tille, who will send it to the military authority. Perhaps the parachute that was red in color was caught in its atmospheric journey for a flying saucer!"

This is of course a "negative case", that is to say a "UFO" immediately identified by the observer himself.

Reports:

[Ref. vi1] "VIMANA 21" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

WHY 1954?

The French flap of 1954 is today more than controversial.

Thus, A.D.R.U.P. wanted to make a compilation of all the documents published in a Burgundy daily newspaper:

"Le Bien Public".

The interest of this catalogue is triple:

  • A- to get back in the mood of that too famous year -
  • B- recall all the testimonies that appeared in the local press, whether they are good or bad. -
  • C- to be used as references for potential researchers of sociological or UFO character.

[... Other cases...]

- -

[... Other cases...]

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20: WAS a WEATHER BALLOON MISTAKEN FOR A SAUCER? -

On the 11th of October, while hunting, Mr. Bricard Auguste of Diénay discovered in a plantation of fir trees, a device suspended on a small balloon and a parachute. The white painted box with the marking "radio sonde, U.S. Army" was handed over by the mayor to the gendarmerie of Is sur Tille, who will send it to the military authority. Perhaps the parachute that was red in color was caught in its atmospheric journey for a flying saucer!.

[Ref. vi2] "VIMANA 21" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

54 10 17 / DIENAY / .... / .. / I /

Misinterpretation with a small weather balloon.

(Source: Bien public, 20.10.54)

Explanations:

Whereas I am delighted that the ufology group ADRUP noted this case while so many ufologists silence cases with ordinary explanations, I do not agree with the presentation of the case made in their catalog in [vi2]:

First of all, there was no misinterpretation, since the witness who picked up the object understood what it was, and obviously never called it a flying saucer.

On the other hand, it is only speculated that the craft may have been mistaken for a flying saucer. The speculation is quite sensible, but one should not present it as if it had been the case.

Finally, what was found was not a "weather balloon" that was found, but only the radio probe of a weather balloon with its parachute.

Above: on the over of Scientific American magazine for June 1954, a U.S. Army weather balloon. Under the balloon, the red parachute, under the parachute, the radio sonde. When the balloon rises in the sky, it inflates. At very high altitude, it bursts and the radio sonde box descends slowly thanks to the parachute.

Below: US radio sonde of the 1950's. The box generally has an indication of property, here "United States Government" and instructions to return the device to the authorities.

Keywords:

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

Diénay, Côte-d'Or, Auguste Bricard, weather balloon, radio sonde, Army, crash, sounding balloon, parachute, red

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross December 15, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on December 15, 2018.