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The 1954 French flap:

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

1954? France?:

Reference number for this case: 54-Paris2. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The Radar weekly magazine, in the heart of the 1954 saucer wave in France, had launched a competition offering a million Francs of the time to the first person who would send them a flying saucer photograph that their jury would accept to consider "genuine."

Throughout the issues, the magazine presented some of the photos they had received, with little information and a "verdict" (often summary or even contradictory) from their jury.

On page 2 of their October 24, 1954 issue, they published, among others, this photograph:

Scan

The magazine explained it like this:

IT IS ONLY A HAT

PARIS. -- All of our experts agree to qualify this document as faking. Mr. Chéreau thinks that it is a scout hat thrown in front of a balcony or a deception by superposition. For Mr. Natkin, the identification of the hat is beyond doubt. "This alleged saucer, he assures, could not have been at more than ten meters at most from the photographer. He may have been the victim of a big prank from a tenant on the upper floor." In fact, as it is true that "Radar" is still there, we are able to identify the narrow limits between which the shooting took place. The young Persiaux, 56, rue Fontaine-au-Roi, (11th district), one morning took the camera of his older sister. He had some remorse for that, because he was not sure that the little girl would take it well. He threw his boy scout hat over the balcony and pressed the button. You won't become a millionaire so easily.

Reports:

[Ref. rdr1:] "RADAR" MAGAZINE:

Scan

IT IS ONLY A HAT

PARIS. -- All of our experts agree to qualify this document as faking. Mr. Chéreau thinks that it is a scout hat thrown in front of a balcony or a deception by superposition. For Mr. Natkin, the identification of the hat is beyond doubt. "This alleged saucer, he assures, could not have been at more than ten meters at most from the photographer. He may have been the victim of a big prank from a tenant on the upper floor." In fact, as it is true that "Radar" is still there, we are able to identify the narrow limits between which the shooting took place. The young Persiaux, 56, rue Fontaine-au-Roi, (11th district), one morning took the camera of his older sister. He had some remorse for that, because he was not sure that the little girl would take it well. He threw his boy scout hat over the balcony and pressed the button. You won't become a millionaire so easily.

[Ref. ort1:] O.R.T.F. FRENCH NATIONAL TV:

Explanations:

Probable photographic hoax.

Weekly magazine "Radar", at the time of the 1954 French saucer flap, started a first contest offering a million old francs to whoever would deliver a Martian to them. The magazine then launched a similar contest to reward any authentic photograph of a flying saucer:

On February 14, 1965, the ORTF showed a television documentary about the flying saucers, during which fragments of the Radar article appeared. I have neither the entire Radar article nor its day and month of publication.

The image shown in [rdr1] appeared in this magazine among others, none being accepted as "authentic".

I do not have any other information, and it is not entirely certain that the image was said to have been taken in France and in 1954.

Update on April 27, 2020:

I now have a reproduction of the Radar magazine article [rdr1]; which allows me to complete the file, with the place, among other information.

Only two members of the jury gave an opinion. Marcel Natkin, then director of the magazine Le Photographe, and Louis (or Jules) Chéreau, "general delegate of the congress for scientific progress."

The explanations by Radar magazine seem to be the result of an investigation they carried out; so I change my assessment:

Photographic hoax.

Keywords:

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

Paris, photograph, Persiaux, saucer, disc, hat, photographic hoax, child

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross April 10, 2010 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross April 27, 2020 Additions [rdr1], Summary. In the Explanations, addition of the part "Update on April 27, 2020".

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This page was last updated on April 27, 2020.