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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 17, 1954, Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dôme:

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



After the "saucers" the "flying cigars"

Their "passage" reported in Rome, in the Allier and the Puy de Dôme

The "passage" of mysterious "flying cigars" is reported in Italy and France. Friday, in Rome, several thousands people observed the strange phenomenon. The "craft" moved above the city at an altitude evaluated as 10.000 meters, then descended much lower, leaving a trail of smoke behind.

In France, a resident of Moulins who was, Sunday, in Rongères, small commune in the Allier, saw a similar craft in the sky.

In addition, several residents of Clermont stated to have seen, above the Puy-de-Dôme, a luminous "machine" fly, of very lengthened oval form seeming to move rather slowly towards the North-East.

Four people in particular affirmed to have observed the "machine" during two minutes before it disappeared by taking altitude. All the witnesses are affirmative: no noise was heard. It could not be a plane.

Many explanations are advanced which, for the majority, do not deserve to get any attention. Let's report however that, according to Italian scientists, the "flying cigar" would not be a celestial body, but an aircraft of a type unknown so far.

Invasion of "balls of fire" in Holland

In Holland, it is an invasion of "balls of fire" which invades the journalistic chronicle.

Our fellows report that the 194 residents of the small village of Zuidlaardevereen, in Groninguen, have been hit by collective insomnia for a week, fearing to be the next victims of an invasion of balls of fire which, according to the assertions of one of the farmers of the village, M. Va[n] Der Veen, occurred in his own home.

Mr. Van Der Veen was chatting, the other evening, in the closed bed, in Brittany fashion, he shares with Mrs. Van der Veen, when he noticed that a small ball of the size of a marble, emitting a yellow gleam and surrounded by a black circle, floated above the bed.

As he tried to catch it, the ball started to grow bigger and disappeared.

A few moments later, under the horrified eyes at Mrs. Van Der Veen, about fifteen small balls were formed and started to roll under the covers. The couple jumped off the bed and, while Mr. Van Der Veen made an effort with a shaking hand, to light an oil lamp, the balls rose and merged in a long ribbon, which, while twisting itself, circle around the room room to disappear at the time even when the lamp ignited.

The adventure of Mr. Van Der Veen, supported by the credit of his solid personality, met few skeptics in his village.



Still flying saucers and cigars

Clermont-Ferrand, September 22 (from our own correspondent). -- As one could expect, the statements of the four people who affirmed to have seen, in the evening of last Friday, a "flying cigar" in the sky of Clermont-Ferrand provoked an influx of testimonies.

These testimonies confirm the passage of "something" in the Auvergne atmosphere. But almost all observers give the relevant reasons why they believe it was simply a jet plane.

"Whereas it is true that a machine passed over the puy de Dôme, Friday at 7:15 p.m., said one of these witnesses, the first, I could not observe the aircraft in the half-darkness, which was flying at a very high altitude, leaving behind a trail of condensation typical of jet planes.

And this precision:

- At a time when one says that a jet plane was seen over Giat, a jet plane was flying over this area. Given the altitude of this aircraft, we could not see it, but the condensation of the gases it left behind formed a trail that actually had the shape of a cigar and was red, as it was in the rays of the setting sun. So I think witnesses who claim to have seen an interplanetary craft are in good faith, but had mistaken that red trail for the craft.

A third, finally, confirms these two statements:

- Last Friday, I was at my home, rue Champleury, in Clermont-Ferrand. I saw, around 7:15 p.m., a little pink cloud above the puy de Dôme. It intrigued me by his shape. Taking landmarks by means of the power lines, I saw that it was moving. I have directed upon this cloud a small telescope I possess, and which gives a magnification of about twenty-five times. Unfortunately, I did not have time to put it on its foot, and the tremor produced by my hand prevented a good observation. However, I realized that it was undeniably a flying craft. I could see a big black dot before the luminous tail. It was impossible for me to assess the distance and speed. I thought for a moment that it was a jet aircraft whose trail was illuminated by the declining sun. However, I was perplexed because I never saw a jet plane produce such a luminous trail and it disappeared suddenly.

Another mysterious machine was seen in the Moselle

Metz, Sept. 22 (from our own correpondent). -- Several inhabitants of the Moselle claim to have witnessed the moves of a mysterious apparatus - saucer or flying cigar - but it was only after three days of silence that the spectators decided to make their observations public.

It is Mr. Louis Moll, a rural guard at Oberdorf, who informed the gendarmes of what he had seen.

"I did not want to say anything sooner," said the rural guard, "for fear of passing for a visionary among my fellow-citizens. But what I saw seemed so extraordinary to me that I could not keep quiet any longer.

"It was Sunday evening," he said, "and I returned to my home at about 9:15 p.m. when my attention was attracted by a strange gleam coming from the east and approaching the ground a few hundred yards from the road, towards Tromborn, where the craft, which was at a very low height, stayed in place for about forty seconds before rising vertically and disappearing in a southeasterly direction.


The magazine indicates that on September 17, 1954, at 07:30 P.M., in Clermont-Ferrand, according to Aimé Michel, a craft has been seen going towards the Puy-de-Dôme mountain.

[Ref. ni1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

*Sep. 17, 1954 - At 7:15 p.m. a cigar-shaped object was seen through a 25x telescope and was witnessed by at least 11 people in Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dome, France. It was black with a luminous tail, and the trail was exceptionally luminous. (Source: Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 57).

[Ref. ub1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

This database recorded this case four times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540917 17.09.1954 Clermont Ferrand France 19.15 NL
19540917 17.09.1954 Clermont Ferrand France 19.15 NL
19540917 17.09.1954 Clermont Ferrand France 19.15 NL
19540917 17.09.1954 Clermont-Ferrand France


Jet plane contrail in setting sun.


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

Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dôme, object, craft


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 16, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross June 15, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 29, 2010 Addition [le1].
1.2 Patrick Gross November 15, 2014 Addition [ni1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 20, 2017 Additions [lm1], [ub1]. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet".

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This page was last updated on January 20, 2017.