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The 1954 French flap:

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October 17, 1954, Fontain, Doubs:

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



Ufologist Charles Garreau and journalist Raymond Lavier report in their book that a large red ball of red-orange colour has been seen from Fontain in the Doubs, at 3 kilometers from Besançon. The ball was in the direction of above Avanne and was going to the South-West.


The two authors indicate that in Fontain in the department of the Doubs, on October 17, 1954, several people observed during the evening a large orange ball which moved towards the south-west.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Doubs in Fontain on October 17, 1954 at an unknown hour, several people observe during the evening, a large orange ball which moves towards the south-west.

Luc Chastan indicates that the source is "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".


Garreau and Lavier indicate that this was seen in the direction of Avanne, where there was a sighting that night. Figuet and Ruchon and also make this connection as they present the observation as from "witness #4" in the Avanne sighting.

Maybe this is the case; but the sighting in Avanne is much stranger than this one; which looks like a sighting of Mars.

So I searched the heading to Avanne from Fontain, and verified the position of Mars at that time, "during the evening" and especially at 09:30 p.m., the time given for the Avanne sighting.

Avanne is 5 km from Fontain at 275° from Fontain, almost exactly in the west.

Fontain coordinates are 47° 11 '55' North and 06° 01 '34' East.

Around 09:30 p.m. Mara is at 14° elevation, it will go down at 11:00 p.m. At 09:30 p.m., Mars is almost in the South, and at 11 p.m., it is almost in the West. As there is no specific time, and no duration, it may well be that these people saw Mars setting slowly from south to west. "Gpoing to the Southwest" might actually express: "went from the South to the West."

The thing therefore ended its trip almost over Avanne, but only at 11 p.m..

I think it is likely that this observation is an observation of Mars, not really related to the Avanne sighting, but just by coincidence in the direction of Avanne at the end of observation.

Of course, I can not "prove scientifically" that this is correct, if one wishes, let it be the "saucer of Avanne seen from Fontain by independent witnesses" or whatever But, this is an orange ball like Mars and at least roughly in that direction, and the witnesses in Fontain do not seem to have seen Mars in addition to their "orange ball".


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

Fontain, Doubs, ball, red, orange, Avanne


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross July 4, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross February 4, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lc1].

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This page was last updated on February 4, 2009