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The 1954 French flap:

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September 20, 1954, Saint-Père-en-Retz, Loire-Atlantique:

Reference number for this case: 20-sep-54-Saint-Père-En-Retz. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


[Ref. am1:] AIME MICHEL:

According to the French ufologist Aime Michel, on September 20, 1954, at Saint-Père-En-Retz, close to the mouth of the river Loire, in the department of Loire Atlantique, a mysterious explosion is heard in the area, causing windows to tremble in the nearby villages. People went out of their homes and looked for the cause of the noise, but the sky was empty and nothing was seen.

A few minutes later, white flakes of a creamy consistency and transitory aspect fell on the countryside. Aimé Michel indicates that his nearest correspondent in the area, engineer Durivault, who lives in Nantes at 35 kilometers of Saint-Father-in-Retz, forwarded a very intriguing report on this phenomenon to him.

Aimé Michel notes that as of this period of 1954, people started to be willing to see flying saucers everywhere after the phenomenon had been publicized in the press. He noted that three cases of the same day have been explained, two by a plane and the third by a meteor. When reading this case report it appears clearly that he considers it explained by a commonplace cause, however he does not precisely specify which explanation he has thought of.


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

September 20, 1954 in Saint-Père-du-Retz (Loire Atl.)


The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on September 20 in France in " Saint-Pèr-du-Retz (the Loire Atl.)", "There was an explosion making the windows shake. One did not see an object in the sky but soon there was a fall of white flakes, of a consistent, transitory matter, which completely sublimated."

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 Loire Atlantique in St Père en Retz on September 20, 1954, at an unknown hour, "In the evening, a mysterious explosion suddenly resounded. The windows shake. People go outside, nothing is visible. A few minutes later kinds of white flakes fall sublimating when one touches them."

The source is indicated as "M.O.C. by Michel Aimé ** Arthaud 1958".

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

This database recorded this case three times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540920 20.09.1954 St. Pere Retz France Nightfall
19540920 20.09.1954 St. Pere Retz France Evening
19540920 20.09.1954 St. Pere Retz France


Contrarily to the source indication in [go1] thre is no mention of this case in "Le Dossier des O.V.N.I." by "Henri Durrant" on p149.


I submit that the bang was cause by the sonic boom of a passing jet, The mysterious flakes which dissolve themselves in my opinion are caused by the fuel remnants ejection of the passing plane.


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

September 20, 1954, Saint-Père-En-Retz, Loire Atlantique, jet, airplane, flakes, explained, multiple, bang, boom, sonic boom, explosion


Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 21, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 4, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [lc1].
1.1 Patrick Gross January 31, 2017 Addition [ub1].

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This page was last updated on January 31, 2017.