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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 19, 1954, Vendin-lez-Béthune, Pas-de-Calais:

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

Summary:

The regional newspaper Nord-Eclair, of Roubaix, reported on October 20, 1954, that the news had run like wildfire the day before that among others, a man from Vendin-lez-Béthune, Mr. Louis Decourcelle, 54, transporter, rue de la Mairie, had seen for a few seconds, "a disk of fire similar to the full moon... which suddenly stretched out from the base, like a rugby ball, took then the indigo color, then moved away towards the southwest of Béthune (towards Annezin), sketching a trail of sparks".

The newspaper told that this was a "real saucer."

Reports:

[Ref. ner1:] "NORD-ECLAIR" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

REAL
SAUCERS
IN THE SKY
OF BETHUNE

The flying saucers continue to invade the sky... and the columns of the newspapers.

The psychosis of these celestial craft continues to develop.

Public opinion, which is passionate about this problem today, is divided into two: the "saucerists" and the "anti-saucerists."

After the discovery, not far from their home, of the Portuguese joker who sent paper "saucers" into the sky... the people of Bethune were not the last to mock these kinds of unusual craft.

Thus, supporters of the existence of "flying saucers" were only a small minority.

It is no longer so since yesterday, an abrupt change of majority took place by the news of the appearance in the Béthune sky of a "real flying saucer!"

From the pharmacist to the butcher, from the butcher to the deli, from father Thomas to father Camus, the news spread around town like wildfire: two men, one from Vendin-lez-Béthune, the other of Beuvry, had "seen with their own eyes", for a few seconds, "a disc of fire similar to the full moon... which suddenly lengthened by the base, like a rugby ball, then took on the indigo color, then withdrew towards the southwest of Bethune (towards Annezin), sketching a trail of sparks."

These two witnesses are called Mr. Louis Decourcelle, 54, transporter, rue de la Mairies, in Vendin-lez-Béthune; the second, Mr. Julien Vanarien, 35, from Beuvry-Gorre. The latter was accompanied by Mr. Julien Vannée and Mr. Jules Delbart.

These people think that others, like them, may have witnessed this bizarre appearance.

Will there be other testimonies?

[Ref. nmn1:] "NORD-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

A commando
of Martians
troubles
a village
in Moselle, but thex
were just
chrysanthemums
swaddled
against the cold!

An intense emotion seized the parishioners of Walscheid (Moselle) when, at the end of the evening mass, a group of children told them that a "Martian commando" had taken up position on a village farm.

With a thousand precautions, some of the most courageous men set out as scouts, and indeed distinguished on the terrace of the said farm, silhouettes as imprecise as suspicious, even disturbing...

A war council was held during which the virile element of the population decided to dislodge the aggressor.

While the women took refuge in the church, the men gathered an armament which, though disparate, was nonetheless handled with resolution: sticks, forks, rifles, knives...

Silently, making maximum use of

Read more on the last page
under the title:
MARTIANS

Scan

MARTIANS

mum the ground and the parades, the attackers progressed towards the entrenchment of the Martians and surrounded it.

No emotion being manifested among the suspicious figures, the assault was decided. One formed two columns and the bearers of edged weapons moved cautiously under the protection of the hunters, their fingers on the triggers.

At an adequate distance, the summons were launched. The Martians did not flinch: the summons became more imperative and soon a window opened, a man appeared. It was the owner of the place, who, with a sleepy voice, inquired:

- What's going on? What are you doing there?

He was told.

He replied with a huge laugh that was soon to be communicated to everyone...

He explained that he had swaddled the chrysanthemums on his terrace at nightfall to protect them from frost.

These were the suspicious figures, which had ignited the children's imaginations.

[...]

Monday evening, around 8:50 p.m., four people simultaneously saw an unknown object in the Béthune sky. One of them was in Vendin, 2 km west of Béthune, the three together in Beuvry, 2 km east.

It was to the Vendin resident, Mr. Louis Decourcelle, 53, transporter, rue de la Mairie, that the appearance was the clearest.

He was near his house when, shortly before 9 p.m., he saw in the sky, above Béthune, an indigo-colored disc which remained motionless for a moment, at a certain height. Then the disc elongated as if, at its base, a shape were unfolding. The whole thing spread a bright light in the sky. Suddenly, the craft launched blinding sparks. Then the craft went out and disappeared quickly.

Mr. Decourcelle, whom the Béthune gendarmes heard yesterday morning, at the Quay de Bruay where he works, drew for them on the blackboard, in the Quai post, the silhouette of this "saucer".

This appearance was very brief.

Mr. Decourcelle, without knowing what craft he had dealt with, is strictly certain that he was not the victim of hallucination.

At the same time, moreover, 4 or 5 km. from there, three Beuvry residents saw in the sky a luminous trail around a disc, the whole corresponding to the phenomenon observed by M. Decourcelle.

These are MM. Julien Vanarien, 35, laborer, hamlet of Gorre in Beuvry, who was accompanied by MM. Julien Vanne and Jules Delbarre, from Beuvry. All three were close to Beuvry railway station when they saw the mysterious object.

The gendarmes of Béthune took the testimony of Mr. Vanarien and attached it, in a formal report, to that of Mr. Decourcelle.

Several other residents of Béthune and Douai also saw the "saucer" at the same time Monday evening.

Other "unusual object"
in Audruicq

Sunday evening, around 10 p.m., Mr. Maurice Ramette, 24, from Naves, near Cambrai, and Mr. Léon Héquier, 28, from Sailly-en-Cambrésis, were returning on foot from Zutquerque, to Audruicq, accompanied by their wife and their two children, ages 8 and 2 and a half.

They saw high in the sky and to their right, an unusual object of round shape and white pink color, smaller than the moon but much larger than a star, and which seemed to be moving towards them. They remained petrified. The object went out. They continued on their way and saw it again, re-lit and moving away from them to their left, faster than a jet plane.

Mr. Ramette, who recounts the event, is a beet tarer at Audruicq station. He seems to be sincere. His 2 and a half year old son is still terrified of the apparition. His wife denies that she had been afraid, but admits having returned quickly to her dweeling and that she did not dare to go out to go to the movies.

A cultivator who ran
eyes in heaven,
falls into a pond

Several people were running across fields in Moyeux, in the direction of a flying saucer, surrounded by white smoke; which had been signaled to them by a child.

One of them, a farmer, Mr. Filate, did not take his eyes off the sky: he fell into a deep pond where he almost drowned. His companions managed to save him.

In Capri, a flying saucer
lands on the villa
of Curzio Malaparte

ROME. -- The flying discs continue their sarabande in the sky of the peninsula. In Capri, one of these mysterious craft landed on the terrace of the villa of the writer Curzio Malaparte.

It is a painter, Mr. Raffaele Castello who, during a night walk on Cape Massullo, saw a huge disc about five meters in diameter, which was moving at a hundred meters of altitude. The craft descended slowly and landed on the terrace of the writer's villa.

Mr. Castello, who at first thought it was a helicopter, approached the summer residence of Curzio Malaparte and was greatly surprised to see four men, small, descend from the disc. The passengers of the craft, who were wearing overalls, remained around the disc for about half an hour. "I had the feeling, said the witness of this landing, that they did not speak, or they did so in a low voice, because from where I was, I could not hear any sound. What is certain is that bluish gleams escaped from the disc without stopping, similar to pins and lightning fast, going in all directions."

"After some time, about half an hour, the four men entered the disc which, with a slight purring sound, rose gently, perpendicularly, and then quickly gained altitude."

[Ref. cdn1:] "LA CROIX DU NORD" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

The flying saucers
... at the Palais-Bourbon

Following numerous appearances of flying machines of unknown type, currently reported in all regions of France, Mr. René Dejean, Socialist deputy from Ariège, addressed a written question to the president of the council asking him in particular:

"Whether or not a service has been set up to collect the existing documentation on this matter and to study the nature and origin of these craft.

"Whether the information currently collected and gathered makes it absolutely possible to exclude the hypothesis of craft piloted or controlled by living beings of unknown species and origin;

"Whether, on the contrary, the government has enough information to attribute the production of these craft to the industry of a foreign state;

"Whether, in the latter case, the international agreements signed by France have already permitted consultations relating to the use of such craft in a possible conflict."

... AND IN THE SKY
OF BETHUNE?

After the discovery not far from their home of the Portuguese prankster who sent heavenly paper "saucers", the Béthune residents were not the last to scoff at these unusual kinds of craft.

Thus, those in favor of the existence of "flying saucers" formed a minority.

It has not been the same since yesterday, a sudden change has just taken place with the news of the appearance in the Béthune sky of a "real flying saucer"!

The news spread in town like wildfire: two men, one from Vendin-lez-Béthune the other from Beuvry, had seen "with their own eyes, seen", for a few seconds, "a disc of fire similar to the full moon..., which suddenly lengthened by the base, like a rugby ball, then took the indigo color, then moved away towards the south-west of Béthune (towards Annezin), while tracing a trail of sparks."

These two witnesses are called: Mr. Louis Decourcelle, 54, transporter on rue de la Mairie, in Vendin-lez-Béthune; the second, Mr. Julien Vanarien, 35, from Beuvry-Gorre. The latter was accompanied by Mr. Julien Vannée and Mr. Jules Delbart.

These people believe that others, like them, may have witnessed this bizarre appearance. Will there be other testimonials?

CHASING
A SAUCER, HE FALLS
IN A POND...

Several people were running across fields in Moyeux, in the direction of a flying saucer, surrounded by white and black smoke, which had been reported by a child.

One of them, a farmer, Mr. Filate, did not take his eyes off the sky: he fell into a deep pond where he almost drowned. His companions managed to save him.

THE MAUBEUGE - ARRAS
SAUCER
WAS ALSO SEEN
IN BOUCHAIN??

It was rumored on Monday that unknown craft had been seen in the sky of Bouchain.

All information taken, it follows that people of the city had seen, Sunday, in the evening, a flying saucer (unless it was a cigar) moving quietly at a very high altitude.

One of the people said he had seen an elongated object.

We must compare the passage of this "luminous object" in Bouchain with that reported in our region of Maubeuge and in Artois, Sunday evening.

This concordance in fact would seem to establish that the trajectory of this "mysterious object" goes from East to West, at least as far as the one seen on Sunday October 17, at the end of the evening, in the region.

Explanations:

Probable meteor.

Keywords:

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

Vendin-lez-Béthune, Pas-de-Calais, Louis Decourcelle, transporter, rue de la Mairie, brief, disc, fire, full moon, elongated, rugby ball, indigo, movement, southwest, Béthune, Annezin, trail, sparks

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross April 12, 2020 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross April 29, 2020 Addition [nmn1].
1.2 Patrick Gross May 2, 2020 Addition [cdn1].

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