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The 1954 French flap:

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

December 1, 1954, Chaumont, Haute-Marne:

Reference number for this case: 1-dec-54-Chaumont. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper "La Haute Marne Libérée", of December 3, 1954, reported about an observation in Chaumont, the Haute-Marne, at approximately 09:17 p.m., on Wednesday, December 1, 1954.

The witness was a female resident of Chaumont, considered to be "of good faith, perfectly lucid", the wife of the well-known tailor.

According to the newspaper, she said:

"At this hour I came out of my property on Maréchal street, and reached my garden to collect my linen there. I had hardly taken some steps, that while looking up I saw in the darkness a strong pink gleam which attracted my glance like a magnet. It appeared distant of 2 kilometers, just at the height [elevation] of the nearby house."

"The appearance had the shape of a cigar, with a very large belly that seemed the bigest part of the object. I first of all thought it was a shooting star but, in my opinion, there is no relation between the cigar and a star. It was like a big fish moving in silence. It disappeared behind the roof, then reappeared again and I dis not see it any more, the machine having taken the NW direction. A pink color was the dominant color."

"Returning to the house, I entrusted what I had just seen with my young daughter Corrine, 11.5 years old. She acknowledged to me that she saw from her bedroom, a luminous disc surrounded by kinds of wool nets, a short time ago. She had not dared to tell it to me, the thing being at the very least odd."

"Until now I had heard speak about saucers and I had never been interested in this, without wanting however to scoff at those who had seen one of these cigars and I tried to understand what it was."

The case does not seem to have interested anyone, except for Luc Chastan who included it in his "Base OVNI France" web database in the 2000's. As for me, I think this is strongly similar to one or more noctilucent clouds.

Reports:

[Ref. hm1:] "LA HAUTE-MARNE LIBEREE" NEWSPAPER:

If one wants to believe a resident of Chaumontoise who has good faith, perfectly lucid, wife of the well known tailor, a flying cigar appeared in the sky of Chaumont, Wednesday evening December 1st at about 09:17 p.m.

"At this time I left my property on Maréchal street, and gained my garden to collect my linen there. I had hardly taken some steps, that as I was looking up I saw a strong pink gleam which attracted my glance like a magnet in the darkness. It appeared distant of 2 kilometers, just at the height of the next house.

The appearance had the shape of a cigar, with a very large belly which seemed the most important part of the object. I first of all took it for a shooting star but, in my opinion, there is no relation between the cigar and the star. It was like a big fish moving in silence. It disappeared behind the roof, then reappeared again and I did not see it anymore, the machine having taken the Northwestern direction. A pink color was the dominant color.

Returning to the house, I entrusted what I had just seen to my young daughter Corrine, 11 1/2 years old. She acknowledged to me to have seen, from her room, a luminous disc surrounded by sorts of wool nets, little time ago. She did not dare to tell it to me, the thing being odd at the very least.

Until now I had heard talks of saucers and I had never been interested in this, without wanting to ridicule those who had seen one of these cigars and I tried to understand what it was".

Let's wait for a follow up, it is very possible that other people saw the same appearance.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Haute Marne, in Chaumont, on December 1, 1954 at 21:17 hours, a woman went to pick up the linen in her garden on street marshal. A strong pink gleam attracted her glance in the black night. It appeared to be 2 km away. The shape was like a cigar with a very large belly. The object disappeared behind the roofs in the direction of the Northwest.

The source is indicated as Lumières dans la Nuit issue 259/260.

Explanations:

Probable noctilucent clouds.

The pink color, the shape, the "filamentous" aspect evoked by the daughter, the hour, all makes me think that it was probably one or more noctilucent clouds.

Noctilucent clouds are made up of ice and particles in the upper atmosphere that get visible at dawn or dusk because the sun's rays illuminate them, causing them to appear as strange luminous masses, with orange, pink or red hue.

Above: Simplified figure with exaggerated proportions of the cause of noctilucents clouds.

Keywords:

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

Chaumont, Haute-Marne, cigar, pink, silent, luminous, disc, angel hair

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross August 18, 2008 First published.
0.1 Patrick Gross October 3, 2007 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 26, 2008 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lc1].
1.1 Patrick Gross December 1, 2016 Addition of the Summary. Explanations changed, was: "Not looked for yet".

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This page was last updated on December 26, 2008