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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 22, 1954, Banyuls-sur-Mer, Pyrénées-Orientales:

Reference for this case: 22-Sep-54-Banyuls-sur-Mer.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The regional newspaper L'Indépendant for September 22, 1954 indicated that in "the night of Wednesday to Thursday" (thus 22nd to 23th), three young boys, 16 17-year-old, who were walking on the pier of the port of Banyuls-sur-Mer in the Pyrénées-Orientales, "saw in the sky a flying object flying at high speed and from which came red and green flames."

"A little frightened, the boys went to tell their adventure to various consumers who were at the terrace of a coffee shop. But those searched the sky in vain they did not see any trace of the mysterious machine."

In the national newspaper Le Parisien Libéré for September 24, 1954, the date is "the other night", the time is "around 11 p.m.", and the story is the same.





LODEVE. -- The mysterious machine commonly called "flying Cigar", reported in the Puy de Dôme and the sky of Rome was seen Saturday, September 18 at 7 p.m. very precisely, by three residents worthy of faith of Lodève, in the North of the department of Hérault, as it moved at 1.500 meters of altitude approximately. The object was goings towards the South.

The witnesses were able to observe during nearly five minutes a pointed front, towing a brightly lit sphere of fire red color and moving without noise roughly at the speed of an ordinary plane.

On their side, returning from a patrol during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, two gendarmes of Chateauroux, Misters Courtaud and Péninon stated to their chief that they had seen between 9:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. above la Fleuranderie, commune of Montlerchaume (Indre), a luminous machine immobilized in the sky, at a height of approximately 1.500 meters, then two others of greenish color at a greater altitude. The three mysterious objects, after having veered at right angle, reportedly took the direction of the North-West, South-east.

Mr. Louis Moll, guard-pastoral in Oberdorf (the Moselle), stated to have seen, Sunday, around 9:15 p.m., an intense gleam coming from space and touching the ground in the east of Tromborn.

This gleam, similar to that of a neon tube, the guard added, and coming from an object of rather vast proportions, changed color. It became reddish and Mr. Moll claims to have seen "black spots" moving silently.

The object, motionless during nearly 40 seconds, started to rotate and carried out an almost vertical rise, taking the aspect of an orange ball and being flattened before disappearing at a vertiginous speed, in the south-eastern direction. The total duration of the phenomenon was one minute approximately.

The authorities who recorded this declaration, opened an investigation.

A "flying cigar" above Banyuls-sur-Mer?

PERPIGNAN. -- In the night from Wednesday to Thursday, three young boys from 16 to 17 years old, who walked on the pier of the Banyuls-sur-Mer harbor (East. Pyr.) saw in the sky a flying object going at high speed and from which red and green flames seemed to leave.

A little frightened, the boys went to tell their adventure to various consumers who were at the terrace of a coffee shop. But those searched the sky in vain they did not see any trace of the mysterious machine.



Saucers and cigars multiply in the sky of France

MP calls for official investigation

After the astonishing observations which excited and intrigued last week, more than a thousand Rome residents, in the course of the last forty-eight hours, many Frenchmen, in various regions, witnessed these phenomena in their turn.

It is confirmed once more (and this is the essence of this great mystery) that the reports match as to the strange evolutions of these unknown devices. Once again, too, the thesis of hallucination is hardly admissible. General perplexity is a fact on which everyone agrees, while "saucers" and "antisaucerists" will find there an exciting and inexhaustible conversation topic.

Michèle Morgan and an old gentleman saw "something" on the Esplanade des Invalides

The beautiful French movie star, Michèle Morgan, witnessed while passing on the Esplanade des Invalides a celestial phenomenon about which she stated:

"I'm sure it was not the lights of the Eiffel tower or the lights of an airplane, for I saw the craft going up vertically. An old gentleman, who was near me, and who had also noticed the phenomenon, ran away.

Her friends gently teased her by reminding her that she had played the part of Joan of Arc. But the star persisted in confirming what she had seen.

A ball of fire in the Seine-et-Marne

Until now, flying saucers had never been seen in the Seine-et-Marne. Everything happens, since, on Wednesday, around 8:30 p.m., two residents of Saint-Fargeau witnessed the moves of a ball of fire. These persons are worthy of faith, it is the apparitor Mr. Binet, and Mr. Ravot, butcher.

The latter was returning from Ponthierry when he saw through the windscreen of his car, just before him, a ball of fire moving in the sky.

"I was so surprised," he said, "that I stopped my car, I went out and followed the machine with my eyes for a few minutes. It moved horizontally, sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left, then disappearing in the clouds. It appeared four times, and I noticed in its back a small trail of light, not very long."

Back home, Mr. Ravot could not resist the desire of calling his neighbor, Mr. Binet. The two men inspected the sky, but in vain. Suddenly the butcher's little girl uttered an exclamation. The ball of fire had made a new appearance. Messrs. Binet and Ravot saw it clearly. It paused for a few seconds before disappearing into the clouds.

Let us repeat this testimony of one of our readers, Mrs. Gamundi, living on 192 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris. The day before yesterday, she was driving by car between Fontainebleau and Essonne, and for half an hour she watched a motionless luminous ball surrounded by a kind of smoke, from which other luminous balls were falling. The ball shifted suddenly and rose at high speed.

At the moment when returning from [...]

[...] cigar shape surrounded by a kind of purple blue steam.

- Another cigar, matching the characteristics of the one observed in Rome, was seen by three people from Lodève (the Hérault). The craft seemed to tow a shining globe at a speed of 1,500 km per hour.

As of Dr. Mercier, of Le Puy, he declared that he had observed, twice above the town, a silent round, brilliant object, which moved from south to north at a very high altitude. This machine would also have been seen by several farmers around Le Puy.

- In the Puy-de-Dôme, new witnesses of the phenomenon became known. The craft had a red color. It was a very elongated cigar which, and this is the first time that this particularity is reported, flew sideways. It was absolutely clear, without trail, and seemed to fly very high.

The other night, around 11 p.m., three young boys aged 16 to 17, who were walking on the jetty of the harbor of Banyuls-sur-Mer (PO), saw in the sky an oblong object moving at high speed and from which seemed to come out red and green flames. A little frightened, the boys went to tell their story to various consumers who were on the terrace of a coffee shop, but thee latter watched the sky and saw no trace of the mysterious machine.

Mr. de Léotard asks the Ministry of the Air for an official investigation

Mr. de Léotard, MP of the Seine, in a written question, explained to the Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (Air) that recent testimonies relating to "flying saucers" and "flying cigars" are intriguing the public opinion, if not to worrying it, he asks:

(1) If instructions have been given for these phenomena to be systematically and scientifically observed;

(2) If these "saucers" or "cigars" could not be hunted for better observation so that the public would know exactly if come collective autosuggestion has to be dissipated or whether it is necessary to consider these phenomena to the point of view of security and national defense.


The two authors indicate that on September 22, 1954 there was an observation in Banyuls-sur-Mer, which description is identical to that of Dôle this same day and thus the explanation is also a meteor.

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

October 3rd.

A "long object," a flying cigar perhaps, zoomed over Banyals-sur-Mer [sic], France, on October 3rd. It emitted flames of green and red, according to the newspaper France Dimanche. 22.

[Ref. lgs2:] LOREN GROSS:

Loren Gross reproduces in the middle of summaries of cases from mid to late September 1954, a barely legible press clipping from France-Dimanche, entitled "They all saw flying saucers", without giving the references, on which we see:


In Banyuls-sur-Mer (Pyrénées-Orientales), three boys from [16?] to 17 years old, saw an oblong object in the sky, moving at high speed, from which red and green flames emerged.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 22 September 1954 at 23:00 in "Banyuls.Mer", France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed."

The source is indicated as "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".

[Ref. ubk1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

This database recorded this case twice:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540922 22.09.1954 Banyuls Mer France 23.00 NL
19541010 10.10.1954 Banyuls Mer France NL



Possible meteor.


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

Banyuls-sur-Mer, Pyrénées-Orientales, boys, young, multiple, fast flames, red, green


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 17, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 17, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross October 23, 2011 Addition [lit1].
1.2 Patrick Gross December 5, 2016 Additions [lpl1], [ubk1].
1.3 Patrick Gross December 16, 2016 Addition [lgs1].
1.4 Patrick Gross August 28, 2019 Addition of the Summary.
1.5 Patrick Gross April 12, 2022 Addition [lgs2].

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This page was last updated on April 12, 2022.