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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, Vienne, Isère:

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

Reports:

[Ref. lp1:] "LE PROVENCAL" NEWSPAPER:


SAUCERS OR NOT SAUCERS?

A strange phenomenon observed after
the passing of a jet airplane

above the valley of the Rhône

Vienne (A.F.P.).
A "Stratojet" plane which, each day, flies over the valley of the Rhone at an altitude of approximately ten thousand meters, was mistaken Tuesday, by certain people, for a flying saucer.

The president instructor of the Aero club of Vienne dissuaded the too imaginative witnesses at once, but a strange phenomenon occurred at once after the passage of the powerful jet. It formed, indeed, in the sky, sorts of parachuts animated of odd movements and having the aspect of light veils which soon reached the ground.

The witnesses of the phenomenon seized this matter, very soft at touching, and having a little the consistency of rubber. While arriving on the ground, this one volatilized, probably under the influence of the temperature.

One of the witnesses put a little of the substance in a box and had it photograph at once. A few hours afterwards, what remained in this box, however sealed, had evaporated.

This phenomenon due to condensation in the rarefied and cold atmosphere, of certain elements of the fuel of the "Stratojet", can cause white or irrized formations moving at high speed at great altitude and thus giving place to more or less whimsical interpretations.

This observation made above the aerodrome of Vienne is identical to that already reported in its time [1952] by a resident of Oloron.

A FLYING SAUCER IN INDONESIA

Bondowoao (Indonesia) (A.P.). A flying saucer caused a disturbance in the town of Bondowoao, at 80 kilometers of the island of Bali. Several inhabitants state to have seen, during one half-minute, a greenish object which crossed the sky in North-western direction.

A BLACK CIGAR LANDS IN THE LOZERE

Saint Privat de Valongues (C.P.).
Mr. Albert Mallet of Fabrègue, city council man, had the surprise, last week, around 21 hours, to see a mysterious apparatus of lengthened form, black, that landed in a field very close to his house: the apparatus took off again all at once, almost vertically, at a vertiginous speed, with a gentle whistling sound like an electric motor, and emitting sharp red colors.

[Ref. le1:] "L'EST REPUBLICAIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan


The residents of the valley of the Rhone do not believe in flying saucers anymore

since the passage of a "Stratojet" plane

Vienne. --A "Stratojet" plane which, each day, flies over the valley of the Rhone, at an altitude of approximately 10.000 meters, was mistaken, Tuesday, by certain people, for a flying saucer.

The president monitor of the Aréo-Club of Vienne dissuaded at once the witnesses, too imaginative. But a strange phenomenon occurred after the passage of the powerful jet. Indeed, in the sky, kinds of parachutes animated of odd movements and having the aspect of light veils formed, and soon, reached the ground.

A very soft material at the touch

The witnesses of the phenomenon grabbed this material, very soft at the touch and having a little the consistency of rubber. While arriving on the ground, it volitilized, probably under the influence of the temperature.

One of the witnesses put a little of the substance in a box and had it photographed at once. A few hours later, what remained in this box, although it was sealed, had evaporated.

The phenomenon, due to condensation in the rarefied and cold atmosphere of certain elements of the fuel of the "Stratojet" can cause white or iridescent formations moving at high speed at great altitude and thus generate more or less whimsical interpretations.

This observation, made above the airport of Vienne, is identical to that already reported in its time by an Oloron resident.

The flying "plate" always comes at the same hour

This explanation does not prevent the flying saucers from disturbing the minds of a certain number of people, but the appearances are definitely fewer all the same.

It is today, in Indonesia, that the strangest phenomenon is located. Tuesday evening, the population of Bondowoso, in the state of Java, was struck of terror by seeing a white and green disc which passed at high speed above the city and disappeared in a half-minute. The witnesses described the object as a "large plate" animated a rotary movement.

It is the second time that the residents of Bondowoso witness a phenomenon of this kind. The first appearance of a "strange object" reportedly took place on July 25, at the same hour.

[Ref. qh1:] "LE QUOTIDIEN DE LA HAUTE-LOIRE" NEWSPAPER:

ARE FLYING SAUCERS JET AIRPLANES?

A stratojet plane which, each day, flies over the valley of the Rhone at an altitude of approximately 10000 meters, was mistaken Tuesday [October 18, 1954], by some people, for a flying saucer. The president instructor of the Flying-club of Vienne (Isère) dissuaded the too imaginative witnesses at once, but a strange phenomenon occurred after the passage of the powerful jet. It formed indeed, in the sky, some sort of animated parachutes with odd movements and having the aspect of light veils which soon reached the ground. The witnesses of the phenomenon grabbed this very soft matter which had a little the consistency of rubber. While arriving on the ground, the matter volatilized, probably under the influence of the temperature. One of the witnesses put some of the substance in a box and made a photograph of it at once. A few hours afterwards, what remained in this limps, that was sealed however, had evaporated. This phenomenon, due to condensation in the rarefied and cold atmosphere of certain elements of the fuel of the stratojet can cause white or iridescent formations moving at high speed, great altitude and give place, thus, to more or less whimsical interpretations. This observation, made above the Aerodrome of Vienne is identical to that already reported in its time [1952] by an inhabitant of Oloron.

FLYING SAUCERS AND NATURAL PHENOMENA

The director of the Roupy airfield (Aisne), gave to a newspaper of this department some explanations on natural phenomena interpreted by some as flying saucers. Here is his statement. It has been fashionable, for some time, to be able to say to have seen a weird machine in the sky, and soon undoubtedly, those who do not have seen anything will themselves be phenomena! As we fear that we are among this category of individuals, we will talk about false "saucers" observed in the area. We do not want to formally deny the existence of such machines, for it seems there are irrefutable observations; but many of the people imagine that they witnessed a mysterious phenomenon, whereas it is something completely ordinary. Thus frequently, when we carry out a survey of the night, the rare passers by who see the lampion provided with a candle which is balanced at the end of a balloon, stop and shout at the miracle, believing to be confronted to an extraterrestrial machine. Almost 15 years ago, these same balloons were for people ill of espionnite [French, illusion that there are spies everywhere], inflated with yperite and one of us had troubles in Orléansville because the Algiers-Oran express train had reversed vapor at the sight of one of these balloons. Other times, we are called at night by nightbirds who see something... Often, it is the planet Mars whose red-orange glare is different to other stars, or more simply a plane and its side-lights. There is also the phenomenon of paraselene. The paraselene is a luminous spot with the colors of the rainbow, the purple red being the most visible, it is roughly at 22° on the right and on the left of the moon. Often only one of these spots is visible. The paraselene is sometimes prolonged to the bottom by a kind of tail called oblique arc of Lowitz which is then mobile and fugacious. The same phenomenon occurs with the sun and then bears the name of parhelion. This phenomenon is related to halation, a large luminous circle which one frequently observes around the moon and the sun, and has the same cause. All these luminous phenomena are due to the scattering of the light emitted or reflected by the star when it crosses a layer of very high clouds, called cirrostratus and made of ice crystals. Solidified water serves as a prism, and depending to the shape and the orientation of the crystals, the nature of the phenomenon varies.

[Ref. jg1:] JIMMY GUIEU:

Jimmy Guieu indicates that on October 17, 1954, after the passage of Stratojet which flew over the valley of the Rhone, kinds of animated "parachutes" of odd movements and which took the aspect of gossamer-like veils falling slowly towards the ground formed in the sky. The witnesses grabbed this matter, very soft at the touch and a little the consistency of rubber, but it was not long to disappear, volitilizing in contact with the fingers or the ground.

Guieu says that the explanation "brought the technicians to advance this assumption", that it could be water injection in the engines of the planes. This water, in the combustion chambers at nearly 1800 °C undergoes a "molecular disintegration by contact with combustion gas" and there would be a chemical reaction that would produce the strange matter.

Guieu says that it "filled with ease the detractors of the flying saucers" and "delighted the skeptics", who "will be ironical": "That's the flying saucers!" without even wondering how such a chemical reaction could cause the appearance of the living creatures which come out of their spacecrafts.

[Ref. am1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel writes that the most abundant rain of angel's hair since Gaillac and Oloron, in 1952, was observed at Vienne during the afternoon by numerous witnesses. For example, Mr. Lelandais of the Aero Club of Vienne said:

"We first saw white shapes which seemed to be dancing in the clouds - rising, descending, going up again, changing shape, but very gradually coming nearer the ground."

"About half an hour later, a sort of rain of cobwebs came down on the airfield, as thick as closely-woven cloth. Handfuls were falling on the ground, on the hangar, on the airplanes, and we started to pick up great bunches. It felt like holding rubber threads, very fine, very soft to the touch, which matted together and at once evaporated in our fingers without leaving any sensation at all, any odor, or the least trace. We had the impression that it was the heat of our hands that made the material melt."

Mr. Lelandais shut some of the stuff in a tightly closed bakelite box. But next day, although he had put the box in a cool place, it was empty. On the ground, however, some of this "gossamer" still remained five hours later.

Michel also indicates that stratojet airplanes were seen by the airmen shortly before these white shapes descended. He does however dismiss the explanation that the white stuff is solidified water vapor from the Stratojets" which was issued in the press, commenting on the "experts" who imagined that water vapor does not decompose and solidify in anything like the collected white stuff.

[Ref. sn1:] JEAN SENELIER:

In 1954

- On 20 October, in the region of Vienne (Isère), was observed passing in the sky, at high altitude, a machine on which there was no agreement. Some claimed that it was a plane of the "Stratojet" type, others denied this possibility and opted for an "unidentified object". No evidence could be found in one direction or the other.

What is not disputed by anyone is that after the passage of the object (or plane), a slow drop of packs of whitish threads, soft at the touch, which quickly volatilized, occurred (from "Le Figaro" and "Paris Presse" for 10/21/1954).

[Ref. fl1:] FERNAND LAGARDE:

French ufologist Fernand Lagarde lists this case in a listing of French cases of observations with "angels hair" within an article about this phenomenon:

[...]
October 18, 1954 in Vienne (Isère.)
[...]

[Ref. hd1:] HENRI DURRANT:

Henri Durrant reproduces the [fl1] source.

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors indicate that in Vienne in the department of the Isere, on October 18, 1954, at an unknown time, the following event occurred according one of its witnesses, Mr. Lelandais, instructor at the flying-club of Vienne:

"We saw initially white shapes which seemed to carry out in the clouds a sort of ballet, going up, down, up again, changing shape, but approaching the ground little by little. Half an hour afterwards, approximately, it was a kind of rain of like cobwebs which arrived tight as a veil on the airfield. It fell a lot on the ground. We had the impression to hold very fine rubber wire, very soft at touching, which agglomerated at once and then sublimated."

The authors indicate that the source is Aimé Michel in "A Propos des S.V." page 238 and wonder whether this is angel hair that were so often reported.

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

The author indicates that on October 18, 1954 in the afternoon in Vienne in the Isère, Mr. Lelandais noticed white forms going and coming in the sky, changing, performing a kind of air ballet. Thirty minutes later he noticed a rain of "cobwebs" falling on the airfield he was working at.

These "gossamer threads" were very soft at the touch and agglomerated then sublimated. He tried to preserve some of it in an hermetically closed box in the freshness but the next day the box was empty.

Jean Sider indicates that the source is Aimé Michel page 238.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on October 18, in France, at Vienne (Isère), there is "Observation of a stratojet or a UFO at high altitude. After its passage kinds of parachutes were formed above the valley of the Rhone; which fell slowly towards the ground and were animated of odd movements. Half an hour later a rain of cobwebs came which arrived tight like a veil on the airfield."

The source is indicated as "Henry DURRANT: "Le dossier des OVNI" - Laffont 1973 - p. 149".

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Isère in Vienne on October 18, 1954 at an unknown hour, "We saw initially, the witness reports, a monitor at the flying-club of Vienne, white forms who seemed to carry out in the clouds a sort of ballet, going up, down, changing shape, but approaching the ground little by little. Half an hour later, approximately, it was a kind of rain like cobwebs which arrived tight such as a veil on the airfield. It fell there by handles on the ground. We had the feeling to hold very thin rubber wire, very soft at the touch, which agglomerated and at once sublimated."

The source is indicated as "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. mo1:] ALAIN MOREAU:

On October 13, 1954, over Graulhet (Tarn), and on October 18, 1954 in Vienne (Isère), there was the same rain evoking glass wool or cobweb threads.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 18 October 1954 at 15:00 in Vienne, France, there were "Angel hair." "A hovering object was observed. Telepathic phenomena were said to have occurred. One object was observed in cloudy weather by one witness in a city (Lelandais)."

The sources are indicated as Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

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

This database recorded this case 4 times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541018 18.10.1954 Vienne France 15.00 CE II
19541018 18.10.1954 Vienne France Afternoon CE II
19541019 19.10.1954 Vienne France CE II
19541020 20.10.1954 Vienne France Morning NL

Explanations:

Fuel, propellants, lubricants, cooling liquids, fire extinguishers liquids from high altitude jet airplane freezing and eventually mixed with water vapor (and not, of course, water vapor alone) can very well be the cause of such matters. The press poorly explained the mechanism, and Aimé Michel stuck to the "solidified water vapor" and did not think of the other substances released by the planes.

Keywords:

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

Vienne, Isère, angel hair, Lelandais, spiders, cobweb, mousse, foam, lubricants, propellants, stratojet, multiple

Sources:

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross October 24, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross June 7, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [js1], [go1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross March 13, 2010 Addition [jg1].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 28, 2010 Additions [lp1], [le1].
1.4 Patrick Gross November 25, 2014 Addition [mo1].
1.4 Patrick Gross March 3, 2017 Addition [ub1].

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