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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 20, 1954, Villers-sur-Coudun, Oise:

Reference for this case: 20-Sep-54-Villers-sur-Coudun.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The regional newspaper L'Oise-Matin for September 24, 1954, indicated that Mr. Lucien Masse, 65, a former shoemaker, made a first observation on September 20, 1954 in Villers-sur-Coudun, in the Oise.

As for the observation of the next day, according to the newspaper, at 10 p.m., it would have been "a luminous shape similar to a large cigar which moved vertically and horizontally in the sky."




in the sky of France
and also of the Oise

[Photo caption:] Mrs. Masse and her husband show us the direction in which they saw moving a luminous object.

It is now in groups that the "flying saucers" are spotted in the skies of France - in the Oise in particular - and sometimes even, witnesses declared to have seen them moving in the company of a newcomer in the fantastic aerial flotilla: the "flying cigar", already reported in the Puy-de-Dôme and the skies of Rome.

In the department it is the same day, ie Tuesday, that these strange craft were reported.

In Villers-sur-Coudun...

In Villers-sur-Coudun, a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Lucien Masse, both aged 65, declare having seen that day, at 10 p.m., a luminous shape similar to a large cigar which moved vertically and horizontally in the sky. The phenomenon having already occurred, they say, the day before at the same hour, Mr. Masse, a former shoemaker, who had attended it the first time alone, was able, during the second appearance, to call his wife and son, who confirmed having also seen the craft. In both cases, these witnesses specify, the cigar moved 15 minutes west of their point of observation. It had they say "a brightness stronger than the stars and reached

Continued on page 10



Continuation of our 1st page

twice the size of the largest of the latter.

... and in Compiègne

In Compiègne, it is also two days in a row that the celestial craft appeared, according to the witness.

This is Mr. Perez, 30, an employee of the Englebert factories in Clairvoix, who said he saw Tuesday from 8:15 p.m. to about 9:00 p.m., and Wednesday at 9:15 p.m., two luminous balls, one orange and one, smaller, green. The behavior of these objects, adds Mr. Perez, who lives in Compiègne, however, varied from one day to the next.

On Tuesday, the balls remained motionless and at a short distance from each other, while the next day they varied in luminous intensity: the green one slowly died out and the orange one became brighter. Both extinguished and dd not show up anymore as soon as a plane buzzed in the sky, Perez adds.

Previously the balls, which were located substantially to the south of the Compiègne witness' observation spot, seemed, he said, very far from each other and seemed to move at a great altitude.

Finally, the three other appearances took place respectively in Lodeve, north of the Hérault department, at La Fleuranderie, in the Indre, and in Oberdorf (Moselle).

A flying cigar

In the first case, it was three trustworthy inhabitants of Lodeve who declared to have seen a flying cigar on Saturday at 7 p.m. which, moving at about 1,500 meters, was heading south. Witnesses were able, they say, to observe for nearly five minutes the cigar, which towed a red globe and moved silently at the speed of an airplane.

Finally, in Oberdorf, it is a rural policeman, Mr. Louis Moll, who claimed to have seen Sunday, around 9:15 p.m., "an intense glow coming from space and touching earth in the east."

This glow, the guard added, was similar to that of a neon tube and came from an object of rather vast proportions. It changed color and became reddish.

After 40 seconds of immobility, the object started to spin and take on the appearance of an orange ball, disappeared at breakneck speed in a southeast direction, concluded Mr. Moll.



The observation having taken place two days in a row and being apparently of the same nature, one can think of an astronomical misinterpretation.

I thought of a Venus pillar, but this planet had set at 7:50 pm. Mars was in the sky towards the South, but is never described as a "cigar" to my knowledge, and hardly has any oscillations or movements as described. Uranus and Jupiter were in conjunction, but set since long. Perhaps it was the star Capella, at 18° elevation.

However, it is possible that these were military aerial maneuvers.

On September 24, 1954, the press announced "Operation Shooting Star", "the largest allied air exercise in Europe", air maneuvers by NATO forces, which would take place over France and Germany.

Historically, these "Shooting Star" maneuvers including "Indian Summer" would have taken place from September 20 to 27, 1954, involving the new NATO dispersion base of Damblain, involving F-84G Thunderjets from the 3rd Fighter Wing of Reims and the F-84G of the EC 2/3. The bases of Lunéville, and Lahr-Hugsweier in Germany, among others no doubt, were participating.


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

Villers-sur-Coudun, Oise, Oise, Lucien Masse, shoemaker, retired, night, luminous, cigar, vertically, horizontally


[----] indicates sources that are not yet available to me.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross August 14, 2021 First published, [oem1].

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