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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 21, 1954, Calais, Pas-de-Calais:

Reference number for this case: 21-Oct-54-Calais. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper Nord Littoral for October 27, 1954, published a story about a car that hit a flying saucer.

Heading "You'd better laugh about it?", the newspaper joked about this new type of road accident, and then explained that they had received a letter, supposedly coming from a trader from Calais, who had written:

"Mr. the Editor,

"Coming back from Lille on the night of October 21, around 1 a.m., I suddenly saw, at the top of a hill, a luminous disc which came to land in front of my car and, to avoid it, I had to turn to my left, but it was not enough because I hit the left wing of my vehicle (a 13 CV traction) to what I presume to be a saucer.

Reddish traces are also visible on my car.

"I am attaching a sketch of what I saw and I ask you not to publish my name, being very well known because of the store I run in town!"

The newspaper explains that it must be a good joke, that all the newspapers in France receive many letters every day relating to flying saucers, some serious, others much less, like this one. To explain further their skepticism, they add that having invited the author of the letter to their office, he never showed up.

In addition, they explained, the sketch attached to the letter - visible below in my file - looked very much like a sketch of a flying saucer which appeared in a science-fiction comic just launched by an evening newspaper.

Reports:

[Ref. nll1:] "NORD-LITTORAL" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

YOU'D BETTER LAUGH ABOUT IT? It gets better and better:

Collision (sic) between the car
of a Calais trader
and a... flying saucer

Will a new kind of traffic accident soon cause concern for the police officers responsible for investigating the circumstances of the collision and for the bailiffs mandated to find out?

Obviously, those who take literally what one of our fellow citizens writes to us will answer in the affirmative.

But alas! we must believe that they will be very few because, if they approach the question with the same skepticism as us, they will be the first to record this information with the very great reservations which are essential:

A CALAIS TRADER STATED (hold on) HAVING HIT WHILE DRIVING BY CAR, A FLYING SAUCER. THE TRACES ARE STILL VISIBLE ON THE VEHICLE'S WING.

Here is, in fact, the letter sent to us by our fellow citizen:

"Mr. the Editor,

"Coming back from Lille on the night of October 21, around 1 a.m., I suddenly saw, at the top of a hill, a luminous disc which came to land in front of my car and, to avoid it, I had to turn to my left, but it was not enough because I hit the left wing of my vehicle (a 13 CV traction) to what I presume to be a saucer.

Reddish traces are also visible on my car.

"I am attaching a sketch of what I saw and I ask you not to publish my name, being very well known because of the store I run in town!"

We saw the 2.5 meters tall Martians, others with hairy faces, we saw flying chamber pots, cigars, saucers of all colors.

But, in memory of earthlings, never, never did we talk about a collision between a car and a flying saucer. A fashion is launched...

But alas! may our readers be reassured because it must be a good joke. In fact, all the newspapers in France and Navarre (including "Nord Littoral") receive numerous letters every day relating to flying saucers. Some testimonies are serious. Others much less and the one we have just exposed must belong to this last category.

Why?

Our correspondent, whom we had invited, following a postscript that was included in his letter, to come to the newspaper, did not come.

Last but not least, the sketch that we publish and that our trader sent sent very much resembles a certain sketch of a flying saucer which appeared in a science fiction comic that an evening newspaper just launched.

What if it were true?

Explanations:

Probable hoax.

Map

Keywords:

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

Calais, Pas-de-Calais, trader, car, disc, accident, collision, luminous, landing, traces, purple, cupola, crutches, dome, red

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross May 13, 2020 First published.

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This page was last updated on May 13, 2020.