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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 19, 1954, Eu, Seine-Maritime:

Reference number for this case: 19-Oct-54-Eu. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

In 2003 on a ufology discussion board of the web, "Uncle Dom", i.e. the veteran and "skeptical" ufologist Dominique Caudron, told that at the time of the 1954 saucer flap, there was the case "of a pathetic shaky light observed by a girl who lived above a movie theater."

He says that this was reported like this by the small local newspaper, but the local issue of the "Courier Picard" made of it an a little richer report already. Mentioned in another regional newspaper, it was still better, and it then was reported in the "Parisien Libéré."

He says that "in the end," in Jacques Vallée's catalogue" - where actually this case does not exist - "it becomes two squadrons of flying saucers which echanged signals. Two more steps and you would get the War of the Worlds:-)".

Subsequently, I found, published by the GEIPAN, an information note of the Gendarmerie Nationale in 1954 telling a rather different story:

On October 19, 1954, from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., a lady and her daughter over 18 were at their window, a dwelling that was an outbuilding of the castle of Eu, raised 12 meters above Boulevard Hélène.

In the direction of the Côte d'Ault, also called Côte Saint Valéry, about 1500 meters from their point of observation, they observed bright gleams appearing to come from a spot on the ground. The night was very dark, there was wind and it had rained heavily. The lights became stronger and stronger and dazzling, their source remaining fixed.

At one point luminous spots were thrown from the source in various directions, these "rockets" formed red circles, spinning and returning to their starting base. This "luminous ballet" seems to have taken place exclusively on the ground.

The gendarmerie indicated that the women "are not subject to hallucinations, they are calm and sensible", the girl was raised at the College of Eu until the age of 18, had her "Brevet d'Etudes" and spoke English and German.

Other people had seen unusual lights from the Pont Route on the Bresle in the direction of the Côte de Saint Valéry, but they could not observe the "ballet".

The gendarmerie had consulted a chief electrician of the national power company E.D.F., who thought that at the place indicated, two high voltage power lines crossed in the fields, and that the humidity resulting from the heavy rain could have provoked a powerful electric arc and several colors. He did not explain the phenomenon of the spinning lights.

Reports:

[Ref. gn1:] GENDARMERIE NATIONALE:

Scan


E.M. F.A.A.
SCIENTIFIC OFFICE
ARRIVAL COURIER
8 NOV. 1954

INFORMATION

Origin: 02
Source: Gendarmerie
Value: B / 2

By P. V. ["Procès Verbal", written report] No. 482 of 10.10.1954, the Gendarmerie of [Blackened out] (Oise) reported that on 6.10.1954 around 8 p.m. Mr. [Blackened out] residing [Blackened out] observed for about 40 minutes from 8:10 pm to 8:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m. a luminous disc of orange red color with an apparent diameter of half the full moon, supporting a kind of nacelle. This apparition, whose luminous intensity was variable, and which was alternately extinguished and relighted several times, seemed to be above Senlis, and moved very slowly to the right in relation to the point of observation.

The family of Mr. [Blackened out], composed of his wife, his 2 sons and his daughter-in-law, also observed this phenomenon.

By P. V. No. 553 of 19.10.1954, the Gendarmerie of [Blackened out] (Oise) reported that on 18.10.1954 Mrs [Blackened out] and her friend [Blackened out] riding a bicycle between FONTENAY TORCY and SAINT SAMSON LA POTERIE saw a gear shaped as a "cigar" going at a prodigious speed from west to east, then falling vertically. This craft had a white headlight at the front, while orange-red flames arose at the rear. For a few seconds, the area (in a hollow) was illuminated on 2 to 3 square kilometers. 300 meters farther away, the woman, who had felt severe headaches from the moment she saw in the headlight of her bicycle a strange "man" standing motionless on the side of the road, she felt her legs paralyzed. According to Mr. [Blackened out], who followed her, and also saw the "man", she passed only at few centimeters of the "man".

Description of the "man": size 1m. approximately, black face, helmeted head, strong corpulence, leather jacket with brilliant highlights. The light rays of his eyes gave the sensation of emitting electric shocks paralyzing the legs of the 2 cyclists and causing them violent headaches.

The two witnesses experienced intense fright. These people are reputed to be of a serious nature and do not indulge in drinking.

Mr. [Blackened out], residing at [Blackened out], stated that at the same time, on his return from work, he had seen the "cigar" descending vertically; he also declared that the region had been lit up like in broad daylight for 2 seconds.

By P. V. No. 752 of 23.10.1954, the Gendarmerie [Blackened out] (S.I.) reports that on 19.10, from 9.30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Mrs. [Blackened out] and her daughter [Blackened out], observed from their window a strange luminous display. The [Blackened out] housing is a dependence of the castle of EU, it is in elevation of 12 meters with respect to the Boulevard Hélène.

In the direction of the côte d'Ault, also called Côte Saint Valéry, about 1 km. 500 of their observation point, these people saw bright gleams

../...


Scan


seeming to come from a terrestrial point. The night was very dark, there was wind and it had rained heavily. The lights became stronger and stronger and dazzling, the source remaining fixed. At one point luminous spots were launched from the source in various directions, these "flares" formed red circles, spinning and returning to their starting base. This "luminous ballet" seems to have taken place exclusively on the ground.

The ladies are not subject to hallucinations, they are calm and sensible, the girl was raised at the College of EU until the age of 18, she is in possession of the B.E. [Brevet d'Etudes] and speaks English and German.

From the road bridge over the Bresle, people saw unusual lights in the direction of the Côte de Saint Valéry but could not observe the "ballet".

A chief electrician of the E.D.F. to whom the gendarmes asked for his opinion, thinks that at the indicated places two high voltage power lines are crossing in the fields, the humidity resulting from the heavy rain could cause a powerful electric arc and several colors. He does not explain the phenomenon of revolving lights.

By P.V. n° 159/4 of 23.10.1954 the Section of Gendarmerie of [Blackened out], reports that the 21.10.154 at 07:30 p.m., the Maréchal des Logis Chef [Blackened out] and the Gendarme [Blackened out] of the Brigade of [Blackened out] observed a luminous phenomenon as they circulated between Andres and Guines, heading towards Guines.

They saw a very bright luminous trail crossing the sky at low altitude and at very high speed following a strictly horizontal trajectory oriented N-S.

The thing had the shape of a cone, point forward, from 200 to 300 m. long and with a diameter of 2 to 10 m., the base of the cone being prolonged by a multitude of sparks - altitude 400 to 500 m. No noise emitted - brightness of lightning bolts. The phenomenon was visible for 15 seconds at most.

[Ref. dc1:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

Groupes de discussion : "francom.ovni"
From: "Oncle Dom"
Date : Thu, 3 Jul 2003 06:49:56

During the flap of 1954, one had the case in Eu of a pathetic shaky light
observed by a young girl who was residing above a movie theater.
Reported by the small local newspaper, that's how it is. Reported
by the loacal edition of "le Courrier picard", it is lready a bit richer.
Republished by another local newspaper, it's even better. And then you
come to the "Parisien libéré".
In the end, in the catalogue by Jacques Vallée, you get two squadrons
of flying saucers that exchange signals.
Two more steps and it's the war or the worlds :-)
I'd like to have seen that reproduced in a comic strip or as cover
in "radar"

When you show the witness the comic strip where his case is, that's hilarious ;-)
--
Oncle Dom

Note:

Although Dominique Caudron [dc1] says this case appears in Jacques Vallée's catalogue as "two squadrons of flying saucers that exchange signals", there is no French 1954 case that matches this in Vallée's catalogue as far as I know.

Explanations:

The chances are great that this was, as suggested by the E.D.F. person, a case of electric arcs between crossing high voltage power lines.

Keywords:

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

Eu, Seine-Maritime, movie theater, light

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross January 16, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 1, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross December 1, 2016 Addition of the Summary.
1.2 Patrick Gross January 21, 2017 Additions [gn1], in the Summary, addition of the parapgraphs starting at "Subsequently, I found, published by the GEIPAN". Date changed from "1954" to "October 19, 1954". Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."

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This page was last updated on December 1, 2016.