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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 23, 1954, Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges, Vendée:

Reference number for this case: 23-oct-54-SaintHilaireDesLoges. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

Newspapers, such as Le Midi Libre for October 26, 1954, reported a story about a family "barricading themselves and spending a sleepless night because a saucer was watching them."

On October 23, 1954, in Saint-Hilaire-les-Loges, in the Vendée, Mrs. Boeuf had just milked her cows at nightfall when, leaving the barn, she saw a luminous disk motionless at an altitude difficult to determine. She later said that "the saucer seemed to look at me".

She ran to warn her husband, also a farmer, and their three children, and they watched the phenomenon whose intensity was such that it "lit up like the full moon."

As the "saucer" seemed to show the intention of getting closer to the ground, Mrs. Boeuf came up with the idea that "Martians" could arrive, and, panicked, she decided to barricade herself in the farm. This was done, all the lights were turned off, all the blinds closed, and one took refuge in the common room.

It was only at the first light of day that neighbors, astonished by the silence that reigned in the house, ventured into the farm, soothing the Boeuf family and comforting the farm woman with a little glass of Marc.

The "disc" had disappeared meanwhile, without leaving any traces.

The local newspaper La Vendée Libre reportedly gave an hour: around 08:30 p.m. They indicated that the farm was the farm L'Aubire, of the town of Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges. "The craft" would have had the form of a "lampshade"; which oscillated and glowed at its lower part.

Mrs. Boeuf reportedly didn't just alert her husband and their three children, but also the neighbors, the Bobin husbands who all saw a few moments later the "mysterious apparatus."

In December 1985, ufologist Michel Figuet indicated in a brief note that it could have been a meteor, and that the witnesses "refuse to speak" - a ufologist indicating later on the web that it was Figuet himself who had tried the investigation.

Reports:

[Ref. ml1:] "LE MIDI LIBRE" NEWSPAPER:

IN A FARM IN VENDEE

The whole family
barricades
and gets no sleep

because "a flying saucer was watching them"

Fontenay-le-Comte, Oct. 25.The flying-saucer obsession continues to ravage the country. The best example is furnished by a farm family at St Hilaire-les-Loges (Vendee), who, terrorized, lived through a dramatic night.

Mrs. Boeuf had just milked her cows for the night, soon after dusk, when, as she emerged from the stable, she caught sight of a motionless luminous disc, at an altitude difficult to determine.

"The saucer seemed to be looking at me", the farmer woman was to say later on, when she described the incident.

Abandoning her milk pails, Mrs. Boeuf ran to warn her husband and her three children. They too were able to observe the phenomenon, whose intensity was such that it "shone like the full moon." The saucer now seemed to manifest an intention of coming closer to the ground, and Mrs. Boeuf expressed the idea that "Martians" might land.

Seized by panic, she decided to barricade herself in the farm building.

This was done. All lights were put out and all shutters closed, and the family took refuge in the living room. It was only at the first rays of dawn that neighbors, surprised by the silence which reigned in the house, ventured to the farmhouse.

After the Boeuf family was calmed down and the farmer woman cheered with a small glass of brandy, everyone resumed his normal occupation.

In the meantime, the menacing disc had disappeared without leaving any traces.

[Ref. ou1:] "OURANOS" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE:

In an article titled "Stay calm, please!" the C.I.E.O. Ouranos ufology group recalled "silly" incidents and gave some advice:

Stay calm please!

The most saddening and stupid incidents have been multiplying for several weeks. In Chauny (Aisne), a farmer shot at a quiet motorist whom he had mistaken for a "Martian".

At Train-l'Hermitage [sic] (Drôme) a peasant savagely hit one of his neighbors who had seemed "extraordinary" to him. Here an entire family barricades themselves at home, terrorized by the passage of a F.S. There a terrified witness must be driven urgently to a psychiatric hospital. Everywhere, strong and well-built men declare to have fled at the approach of a being descended from a F.S. ...

The C.I.E. OURANOS wishes to recall a number of positive facts that must put an end to these dangerous comedies and panics:

1° - It has been centuries since "objects" similar to F.S. have been observed in the Earth's atmosphere. While they are more numerous in recent years, however, there is no reason to suppose that they present a more dangerous character than in the past.

2° - F.S. never attacked an airplane or an individual. It is merely possible that accidents occurred due to the imprudence of some curious.

3° - If the observations of "Uranians" are accurate, it has been noted that the attitude of these beings is peaceful and that their reactions are only defensive.

In these conditions, the simple caution advises to remain in the expectation in case of encounter with "Uranians" and not to provoke them under any pretext. It is at the same time a duty of being civilized. Above all do not run away, nor toward of them. If they noticed you, try to get in touch, verbally or by discreet gestures. And observe them precisely.

Then send, as soon as possible, a detailed and objective report of your observation to the C.I.E.O., 27, rue Etienne Dolet, BONDY (Seine), which centralizes and studies worldwide information on these facts.

Lastly, protest energetically with those newspapers that would have distorted your testimony, and send a copy of your update to the C.I.E.O. (Join a stamped envelope for answer, please.).

One last piece of advice: refrain from hoaxing; it only amuses imbeciles; and it is dangerous.

And stop calling "Martians" beings whose origin we do not know! Simply baptize them, as we did, with the vague and general name of "Uranians", which means: coming from some part of the sky.

The C.I.E.O.

[Ref. jv5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

388 +000.66150 46.47240 23 10 1954 ST-HILAIRE-DES-LOG. F 301 A

[Ref. jv1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

301

Oct. 23, 1954 Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges (France).

Mrs. Boeuf was coming out of her farmhouse when she saw a luminous disk in the sky and called her family. When everyone saw the object come closer, they locked all doors and spent a sleepless night. They did not observe the object's departure. (France-Soir, 26 oct 1954) (81).

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors indicate that on October 23, 1954, in Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges in the department of Vendée, a person who went out of her farm saw a luminous disc in the sky; she then called her family.

When they noted that the object approached them, the witnesses closed all the doors. They spent the night without sleeping, they did not see the object leaving.

They indicate that their sources are the catalogue by Jacques Vallée and the newspaper "France-Soir" for October 26, 1954.

[Ref. mf1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

This ufologist noted:

CASE Nr CLASSIFICATION DATE HOUR PLACE ZIP CODE CREDIBILITY SOURCE
252 CE0 23 10 1954 hnp Saint-Hilaire des Loges 85240 E7 RS-P (fireball possi
OP."ET" W refuse to talk

[Ref. lg1] LOREN GROSS:

October 23rd. St-Hilaire-des-Loges, France, (night)

One French family acted differently than some. At the Boeuf farm outside St-Hilaire-des-Loges, the woman of the household happened to spot a luminous disc hovering over the property. She summoned the rest of the family to come and see the remarkable sight. Everyone rushed outdoors and stared at the thing in the sky, but when the object suddenly moved toward them, the family became panicky and rushed back inside the house, barring the doors and windows. For the rest of the night no one slept. 195.

  • 195. France-Soir. 26 October 54.

[Ref. lh1] LARRY HATCH - "*U* COMPUTER DATABASE":

4255: 1954/10/23 22:00 1 0:39:40 W 46:28:20 N 3331 WEU FRN VND 6:9

ST HILAIRE-des-LOGES,FR:SCR/SKY NEARS:FAMILY HIDES:GREAT SILENCE:/LDLN#321

Ref# 30 FIGEUT[sic]&RUCHON: OVNI: Le 1er Dossier Page No. 196 : PASTURE

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on October 23, in France in St Hilaire des Loges, "Mrs. Boeuf came out of her farm when she saw a luminous disc in the sky. She called her family. When they noted that the object approached them the witnesses closed all the doors. They spent one night without sleeping. They did not see the departure of the object."

The sources are given as "France-Soir, 26 Oct 1954" and "Jacques Vallée: 'Chronique des apparitions ET' - DENOEL 1972 - J'AI LU COLL. - p. 288".

The ufologist indicates that another version is: "IN REALITY: exaggeration of the press: same balloon than for other observations."

The source for this is given as "OVNI Présence #33/34 Dec. 1985".

[Ref. fb1:] FABRICE BONVIN:

Fabrice Bonvin notes:

Case #025: 23/10/1954, p. 196 (Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges)

[Ref. fb2:] FABRICE BONVIN:

In a table, Fabrice Bonvin notes selected cases of the 1954 French flap, including this one:

Case Nmbr witnesses Hours Type objects
Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges 1 - 2

[Ref. dj1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

Encounters with Aliens on this Day

October 23

1954 - Mrs. Boeuf was coming out of her farmhouse in the evening in St. Hilaire-des-Loges, Vendee, France when she saw a luminous disc hovering in the sky and called to her family. When everyone saw the object come closer they locked all the doors and spent a sleepless night inside. They did not observe the object's departure, but noticed an unnatural silence that pervaded the area. (Sources: France-Soir, October 26, 1954; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 237, case 301).

[Ref. mv1:] "LES MYSTERES DE VENDEE":

The webmaster of the website "Les Mystères de Vendée" writes:

Saint Hilaire des Loges

October 23, 1954

This case of Saint Hilaire des Loges won the honor of the front page of the newspaper La Vendée Libre for October 31, 1954, in a frame presenting several cases of observations of flying saucers reported in France for the past week (at that time of publication, La Vendée Libre reserved the front page to national and international events).

This case also went through an attempt at counter-investigation on behalf of the ufologist Michel Figuet, which failed.

With the end of October, the flap will subside and the phenomenon gradually disappeared from the French and Vendean skies. This observation of Saint Hilaire des Loges is thus at the end of the flap, even if others will still occur. Here is the article:

THE FLYING
SAUCERS

New and numerous appearances of unidentified machines in the sky were recorded during the past week.

Here are some testimonies:

A luminous lampshade
above
St-Hilaire-des-Loges

Wednesday, at approximately 08:30 p.m., Mrs. Boeuf, farmer at the farm of Aubire, community of Saint Hilaire les Loges, came to milk her cows when suddenly she saw a luminous machine having the shape of a lamp-shade in the sky, which oscillated and launched gleams at its lower part.

Mrs. Boeuf alerted her husband and her three children as well as the neighbors, the Bobin man and wife, who all saw, a few moments later, the mysterious machine.

(The accounts of a cigar seen above Vienna follow there, and a luminous disc in the sky of Brest and the encounter of a workman of St Rémy (the Vosges) with a "Martian which understood Russian").

The article is short and it appears difficult today to learn more on this flying machine. During the Seventies, ufologist Michel Figuet tried a counter-investigation whereas he sought to build a list of cases for his own catalogues.

Joining a mail to me in 1997 he wrote about this case: "There, I found the farm six years ago (this is about files going up to the Seventies), but the witnesses systematically refused to talk to me about what they saw?! (These were indeed the same witnesses.)"

There is however something curious because Michel Figuet dates the incident from October 23 whereas the article talks about Wednesday, that is to say on October 27. It may be that there is a confusion or that two observations are joined together here. However the case has appeared first in France-Soir for October 26, 1954, which makes the date of the 27 impossible.

That was what I can publish today on this observation made in Saint Hilaire des Loges on October 27, 1954.

[Ref. mv2:] "LES MYSTERES DE VENDEE" WEBSITE:

In his case listing "UFOs in the Vendée", the author notes this case:

Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges, 23 October 1954

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

20:30 In Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges (the Vendée, France), 1 woman comes out of her farm when she sees 1 luminous disc in the sky. She then calls her family. When they note that the object approaches them, the witnesses close all the doors. They spend one night without sleeping, and do not observe the departure of the object.

The sources are said to be "'Les soucoupes volantes', La Vendée Libre, October 31, 1954" and "France-Soir, October 26, 1954".

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Vendée in St Hilaire des Loges on October 23, 1954 at an unknown hour, "The witness, who leaves her farm, sees a luminous disc in the sky; she then calls her family. When they note that the object approaches them, the witnesses close all the doors. They spend one night without sleeping. They do not see the object leave."

The source is indicated as: "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 23 October 1954 at 22:00 in Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges, France, "A luminous disk was seen in the sky." "Mrs. Boeuf was coming out of her farmhouse in the evening in St. Hilaire-des-Loges, France when she saw a luminous disc hovering in the sky and called to her family. When everyone saw the object come closer they locked all the doors and spent a sleepless night inside. They did not observe the object's departure."

And: "Mrs. Boeuf was coming out of her farmhouse when she saw a luminous disk in the sky and called her family. When everyone saw the object come closer, they locked all doors and spent a sleepless night. They did not observe the object's departure."

And: "A flying disc was observed. One saucer was observed by more than three witnesses in a yard for over one minute. A masked sound was heard."

The sources are indicated as "Bowen, Charles, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, FSR, London, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01); Vallee, Jacques, A Century of Landings (N = 923), (in JVallee04), Chicago, 1969; Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002."

[Ref. ni1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

*Oct. 23, 1954 -Mrs. Boeuf was coming out of her farmhouse in the evening in St. Hilaire-des-Loges, Vendee, France when she saw a luminous disc hovering in the sky and called to her family. When everyone saw the object come closer they locked all the doors and spent a sleepless night inside. They did not observe the object's departure, but noticed an unnatural silence that pervaded the area. (Sources: France-Soir, October 26, 1954; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 237, case 301).

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

This database recorded this case five times instead of one:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541022 22.10.1954 St. Hilaire France NL
19541023 23.10.1954 St. Hilaire Loges France Night NL
19541023 23.10.1954 St. Hilaire Loges France
19541023 23.10.1954 St. Hilaire Loges France
19541023 23.10.1954 St. Hilaire Loges France CE I

[Ref. pr2:] PETER ROGERSON - "INTCAT":

October 23 1954. Night.

SAINT HILAIRE-DES-LOGES (VENDEE : FRANCE)

Mrs Boeuf was milking her cows when she saw a luminous object in the sky and called her family out. When the object looked as though it was about to land, they fled indoors, only coming out in the morning.

Gross 1954. citing Midi Libre 26 October 1954.

Vallee Case 301 citing France Soir 26 October 1954.

Evaluation - Moon low on the horizon?

Explanations:

Peter Rogerson [pr2] suggests a misinterpretation caused by the moon low on the horizon. On October 23, 1954, from Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges, the moon rose at 4:14 in the morning, and has been below the horizon since 04:19 p.m.; the observation is at night around 08:30 p.m.

A misinterpretation with the moon would obviously not be impossible a priori, but here it does not stick because of the hour.

Another thing: the moon was, on this date, in its "first crescent", with only 12% of its surface illuminated, it was thus unlikely to illuminate "like the full moon."

When Rogerson wrote his evaluation, the source [mf1] was not in my file yet. Michel Figuet indicates the possibility of a meteor, and the witnesses' refusal to speak - he apparently attempted an investigation.

The possibility of the meteor seems to me a better explanation than that of the moon, but it is not assured, the description does not really correspond to a meteor, with this mention of oscillation and the absence of mention of a trail. It is also doubtful, though not impossible, that Mrs. Boeuf had enough time to alert her family, and neighbors, and that everyone could still see a meteor, which would have been a slow one. On the other hand, no duration being indicated, there isn't any certainty about that.

Keywords:

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

Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges, Vendée, Boeuf, farm, country, luminous, disk, multiple, Bobin, oscillations, gleams

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 21, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 25, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [jb1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross March 4, 2010 Addition [mv2].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 30, 2010 Addition [jv5].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 9, 2010 Addition [fb2].
1.4 Patrick Gross October 23, 2014 Addition [ni1].
1.5 Patrick Gross December 14, 2016 Additions [lg1], [ub1].
1.6 Patrick Gross December 24, 2018 Additions [mf1], [lh1], [pr2], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."
1.7 Patrick Gross January 22, 2019 Addition [ou1].

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