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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 18, 1954, Riquewihr, Haut-Rhin:

Reference number for this case: 18-Oct-54-Riquewihr. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin published on October 19, 1954, that a flying saucer was seen on October 18, 1954, in the afternoon, over Riquewihr.

There were dozens of witnesses who had gathered at the market place and had observed "the bright object that moved in all directions and disappeared half an hour later."

On October 21, 1954, the same newspaper said that it was actually a jet plane:

A reader form Mittelwihr who was picking up the grapes had written that it was actually a F-84 Thunderjet jet fighter. The reader explained that the actual shape of the aircraft was "concealed" with its loops and other maneuvers at high altitude. And there was also the sun's reflection on the metal of the aircraft.

Reports:

[Ref. nh1:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES DU HAUT-RHIN" NEWSPAPER:

In the Flying Saucers chapter

Riquewihr. -- Yesterday afternoon a Flying Saucer was seen above Riquewihr. Mr. E. C. Saw it first. Dozens of people gathered on the market place and found the shiny object that moved in all directions and disappeared half an hour later.

[Ref. nh2:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES DU HAUT-RHIN" NEWSPAPER:

The flying saucer was a jet fighter

Riquewihr. -- We reported in the recent days that from the town hall square in Riquewihr, fifty people have observed for a long time the maneuvers of a flying saucer.

Following this article, a reader from Mittelwihr, Mr. C. M., who is picking up the grapes at Mr. J. Z., writes that it was actually a jet fighter of the F84 Thunderjet type. Mr. M. claims that the actual shapes of the aircraft were "concealed" with the loops and other maneuvers at high altitude. In addition there were the sun's reflection on the metal of the aircraft.

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Christian Valentin indicates that on October 18, 1954, in the afternoon, nearly fifty people saw from the place of the Town Hall of Riquewihr, the evolutions of a shining object which moved in all directions to disappear half an hour later.

According to an inhabitant of Mittelwihr, it was actually a jet interceptor, whose real forms had been blurred by the loops and the operations that it carried out at high altitude.

[Ref. cv2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a very interesting book telling the story of UFO sightings, flying saucers sightings, in Alsace, from the beginning to 1980.

In this book, he reports that on October 18, 1954, in the Haut-Rhin in Riquewihr, there was a sighting reported in the newspaper Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin for Tuesday, October 19, 1954, on page 7 of the bilingual issue:

In the Flying Saucers chapter

Riquewihr: Yesterday afternoon a Flying Saucer was seen above Riquewihr. Mr. E. C. Saw it first. Dozens of people gathered on the market place and found the shiny object that moved in all directions and disappeared half an hour later.

Then, Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin for Thursday, October 21, 1954, on page 7 of the bilingual issue, informed:

The flying saucer was a jet fighter

Riquewihr: We reported in the recent days that from the town hall square in Riquewihr, fifty people have observed for a long time the maneuvers of a flying saucer.

Following this article, a reader from Mittelwihr, Mr. C. M., who is picking up the grapes at Mr. J. Z., writes that it was actually a jet fighter of the F84 Thunderjet type. Mr. M. claims that the actual shapes of the aircraft were "concealed" with the loops and other maneuvers at high altitude. In addition there were the sun's reflection on the metal of the aircraft.

Christian Valentin commented that it is regrettable that there is no explicit mention of noise, which would have lifted the last doubt.

Explanations:

Back then, most people were not yet familiar with jet fighter planes manoeuvers in the sky. The reader who reported this interpretation error was probably right.

Above:

The F-84 Thunderjet of the French Air Force on display at the Bourget Air and Space Museum.
Pictured in 2014 by this website's author.

Keywords:

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

Riquewihr, Haut-Rhin, shining, object, manoeuvers

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 5, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross June 6, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
3.0 Patrick Gross April 24, 2014 Additions [dh1], [dh2], [cv2], summary, Explanations.

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