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The 1954 French flap:

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September 23, 1954, Bayonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques:

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

Summary:

The national newspaper Le Parisien Libéré dated September 24, 1954, reported from Bayonne on September 24, 1954, that residents of this city "claim to have seen, this afternoon high up in the sky, three mysterious objects, of a clear hue. Mr. Corrions, who was in the Les Halles district, observed three motionless craft arranged in a triangle. "They had," he said, "the shape and size of a rugby ball and seemed to be at a considerable height."

The newspaper added that "passers-by said they saw the same bright objects from other places."

The newspaper Var-Matin - République for September 26, 1954, reported exactly the same thing but dated the report of September 25, 1954.

The Midi-Libre newspaper for September 28, 1954, reported the affair without giving a date; but L'Est Républicain for October 6, 1954, gave the date of "September 24th".

In 1979, the "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker affirmed that according to the newspaper that one chooses, this case is dated sometimes of September 23, 1954, sometimes of September 26, 1954, and that "the observation poor in details can be attributed to anything."

The ufologist Michel Jeantheau will find in the 1970s that this observation, supposed to be a starting point for a straight line of observations alleged by the ufologist Aimé Michel and called "BAVIC line" for "BAyonne-VIChy", would date it from September 23, 1954: he found in 1976 at the National Library in the Bayonne daily newspaper Côte Basque Soir for September 24, 1954, that this observation is dated "yesterday afternoon around 5 p.m.."

He also found the case mentioned on page 3 of the regional newspaper La 4ème République des Pyrénées for September 27, 1954, with the indication "Thursday afternoon around 5 p.m."; which also places the case on September 23, 1954. He notes therefore that Aimé Michel was mistaken when he relied on the newpsaper Le Parisien Libéré for September 27, 1954, since the article in question is in this newspaper on September 25, 1954.

He added that Barthel and Brucker who wrote that some newspapers date the case to the 26th, others to the 23rd, were also mistaken, even though he had informed them of the correct date of the 23rd, and that there are no newspapers dating the case of the 25th or the 26th contrary to what they wrote.

Others later "invent" the time as "15:00", or "16:30", probably to make more specific than the "in the afternoon" read in some newspapers.

The observation itself apparently did not interest ufologists, since the ones focused on the erroneous date which wrongly placed it on the "BAVIC line" - which line does not withstand scrutiny at all - and the others were apparently satisfied that it was a starting point for that line.

Reports:

[Ref. ple1:] "LE PARISIEN LIBERE" NEWSPAPER:

In the sky of Bayonne the "cigars" fly in formation

Bayonne, September 24. -- Residents of Bayonne claim to have seen, this afternoon very high in the sky, three mysterious objects, of light color. A policeman, Mr. Corrions, who was in the district of Les Halles, observed three motionless machines laid out in a triangle. "They had", he said, "the shape and the dimension of a rugby ball and appeared to be at a considerable height."

Passers by stated to have seen the same luminous objects from other locations.

[Ref. vmr1:] "VAR-MATIN - REPUBLIQUE" NEWSPAPER:

New invasion of flying cigars in the sky of France
Witnesses claim: "They had the dimension of a rugby ball"

Bayonne, September 25. -- Residents of Bayonne claim to have seen, this afternoon, very high in the sky, in the north-eastern direction, three mysterious objects of light color, contrasting on the pure sky at this hour there.

A policeman, Mr. Carrions, who was in the district of the Halles, observed these three motionless machines, laid out in triangle, of slightly oval shape. They had, he said, the dimension of a rugby ball and appeared to be at a considerable height.

Passers by stated to have seen the same luminous objects in other places.

In the Meurthe et Moselle

Several tens of workmen of "Sidelor" living the area of Lantefontaine-les-Baroches (Meurthe et Moselle) claim to have seen in the sky, six flying cigars, between 04:30 and 05:30. "We initially saw, they stated, two "cigars" then four other apparatuses came to join the two first. All remained perfectly motionless one moment to finally disappear instantaneously." These statements are confirmed by several other people.

In Le Puy

Mrs. Chaumard, living in the La Girette district in Le Puy, saw in the sky, a machine having the shape of a cigar, reddish at an end. Silent and appearing motionless, she managed to observe the machine during nearly a quarter of an hour, then the "cigar" suddenly disappeared by taking altitude.

In the sky of the Auvergne

Clermont Ferrand. -- Six residents of Langeac (the Haute Loire) saw a white gleam moving in the sky in direction of the ground.

A resident of Gelles (the Puy de Dôme), Mrs. widow Melles claims to have seen in the sky, a luminous machine of lengthened form "of the cigar kind". The craft moved silently. A resident of Clermont Ferrand gathered mushrooms: he saw in the sky at high altitude, a luminous trail "slightly pink colored".

Rugby players, training in the Vichy stadium, saw a flying cigar.

Near La Rochelle

La Rochelle. -- At La Charron (the Charente Maritime), three fishermen and a customs observer state to have seen, during one of these last nights, a formation of flying saucers moving very low and flying over the shore, before disappearing.

[Ref. mle1:] "LE MIDI LIBRE" NEWSPAPER:

The sky of France is furrowed by "cigars" and "flying saucers"

Paris. September 25. -- From several localities of France, the appearance of "cigars" or "flying saucers" in the sky is reported.

Thus in Charron (the Charente-Maritime), three fishermen and a customs officer state to have seen during one of these last nights, a formation of flying saucers evolving very low and flying over the shore before disappearing.

In Bayonne, inhabitants claim to have seen, very high in the sky, three mysterious objects of clear color, contrasting with the sky. A police officer, Mr. Corrions, observed these three motionless machines, laid out in triangle, of slightly oval form. "They had, he said, the dimension

Flying saucers

of a rugby ball and appeared to be at a considerable height."

In the Meurthe-and-Moselle, several tens of workmen of "Sidelor", living the area of Lantefontaine-les-Baroches (M.-and-M.). claim to have seen six flying cigars between 04:30 and 05:00 in the sky .

"We initially saw, they said, two "cigars", then afterwards, four other craft came to join the two first. All remained motionless one moment for finally disappearing instantaneously."

In Le Puy, Mrs. Chaumard, resident of the district of La Girète, saw in the sky a machine having the shape of a cigar reddish glowing at an end, silent and appearing motionless. She managed to observe the machine during nearly a quarter of hour, then the "cigar" suddenly disappeared by taking altitude.

The same observations were made by six inhabitants of Langeac (Haute-Loire) and several inhabitants of Gelles (Puy-de-Dome) or Clermont-Ferrand.

In this area, rugby players training at the Vichy stadium saw a "flying cigar".

In the Aveyron

From Villefranche-de-Rouergue in the Aveyron, it is reported that an owner of Vabre-Tézac, Mr. Marre, saw a yellowish mass of color which moved away towards the south, without leaving behind any trace of smoke.

The attention of Mr. Marre had been drawn by the noise of an engine.

Other inhabitants of the locality also heard, from the inside of their house, the same noise, but not having come out, they did not see the weird "mass."

[Ref. ler1:] "L'EST REPUBLICAIN" NEWSPAPER:

Saucers - cigars and fireballs

After the flight of saucers over the White House the investigation revealed that radar sets were mistaken.

Thousands of people have actually seen the "bright objects" wander in the sky in a puzzling manner. Certainly, on September 28, the "saucer" seen above Mt. Revard by Dr Martinet and fifteen other people was a flock of starlings. The good doctor admitted his mistake the next day when an aviator, Michel Guyard, came to reveal that he also was intrigued by this glittering whirl, but that as he approached it with his plane he merely frightened peaceful birds - as a result, the perfect disc they formed was disrupted.

It is impossible, however, to explain other reports of observed phenomena as collective hallucination... although it is fair to note at first that these "saucers" appeared with extremely diverse aspects.

In the few hundred and fifty cases we have been cataloged in France, they looked round or oblong balls of fire, matt or bright, big or small, blue, green, red, yellow or white, naked or surrounded of a ring, noisy or silent, producing sparks (or smoke) or leaving no wake, when they did not have the form of discs, cigars or half cigars.

They were seen day and night, although their occupants preferred the troubled hours of dusk. They were especially seen evolving in every manners: slowly or quickly, horizontally or vertically, in a straight line or in a broken line.

How to sort all this?

The jet fighters hunted in vain

Could there be so many different saucers with so many different origins? If they come to us from outer space, are there so many other inhabited worlds... and who are interested in us?

In truth, nothing precise could be learned of the reported sightings and often witness of the same phenomenon does not agree among themselves as to the size, shape and color of the object. So we are at the same step as the Americans in 1952, when the new radar set installed just a few days ago in Washington detected flying "saucers", finally placing the matter in the field of science. This device could not be wrong and played the role of arbitrator in an unexpected but worrying manner.

Specialists on duty assured the survey in their new premises, when one fine morning the watchman was startled: a luminous echo appeared on the screen although no aircraft was reported. They first thought - it had happened - that a commercial aircraft had violated regulations of air navigation and was flying over the forbidden zone of the White House. They alerted "Shooting Star" squadrons, which took off immediately. But the "object" fainted before the arrival of the jet fighters. Thus the thing had fled at such an unimaginable speed, showing by that the existence of these objects zigzagging at thousands of kilometers an hour before dissolving in the sky. The emotion climbed and it was officially decided to strengthen monitoring devices. The order was not useless, because a few days later, a new alert was given.

Jet fighters take off and rush at the full power of their reactors to the spot of the sky indicated by their radio, but arrived there, they announced again: - The sky is empty.

"For God's sake, do not shoot on the saucers!"

This time radar men jump on their feet. The bright spot is on their screen, indisputable and provocative. The small spots of the "Shooting Star[s]" come close to covering it. Saucers, cigars and fireballs.

- Attention, you are in contact, scream the radar experts. But the fighters rush at 800 km/h in a still desert sky, with perhaps at this place a slightly milky transparency.

Are the famous "objects" merely ectoplasm?

Once again public opinion is moved. Letters reach the U.S. Air Force to ask "not to irritate the visitors." "For God's sake, do not shoot at the saucers" implores a correspondent. Technicians, of course, do not believe in ghosts. A new commission is appointed. For six months, aerodynamic engineers, astronomers, meteorologists and scientists of all disciplines having some possible connection with the "saucers" study dozens of cases. And their conclusion sudden bursts, amazing but indisputable, freeing America of a part of its fear, by revealing the radar, too, was wrong. Each time a ghost image scored the fighters, meteorologists found in altitude, the presence of a layer of cold air between two layers of warm air. The density (and index of refraction) of air varying with the temperature, this "sandwich" had acted like a mirror to the radio-electrical airwaves and airplanes were guided, after a descent as fast as the rise, towards sheds or metal structures on the ground. The phenomenon can also reflect the sun in the day and the moon and the lights of a city at night. Often, the picture is double or triple, each separation surface playing a distinct role; "Saucers in pairs."

Certainly temperature inversions do not explain everything. But US experts feel that they were responsible for nearly 80% of the reported luminous apparitions beyond the Atlantic, and many mysterious machines seen in France can probably be allotted to them.

It may be noted, in chronological order, two parallel gleams in Antibes, in August 1949, two silver balls in Poitiers, May 10, 1952, two white discs at Roche-sur-Yon, twelve days later, "numerous red saucers" flying in zigzag, two by two, on October 17, 1952 in Oloron-Sainte-Marie (the radar of Mont-de-Marsan perceives its echo like its American brothers). Many other cases could be cited to the most recent: last September 24 three oval objects were reported in Bayonne, three in Charente-Maritime and six "cigar" evolving two by two in Lantefontaine, Lorraine.

Cases of isolated phenomena are even more numerous. - What! cry the disappointed "pro-saucerists", so, it was only this? Honestly see that we find in this category of events most characteristics reported by the "witnesses": blurry lights, sometimes surrounded by a halo, appearance and disappearance (with the complicity of clouds or because of the fading of lighting conditions) and above developments as capricious as fast. The surface of separation of two air layers are not still, of course; it empties and oscillates under the influence of currents in the atmosphere and the image is rejected from one corner of the sky to another.

Very thin cosmic dust

It is regrettable that comments are usually too vague to allow the technician to decide with authority; but only immaterial manifestations may be gifted the dizzying, instantaneous speeds, lent to "saucers" in which most cases. Whatever their origin, terrestrial or extraterrestrial visitors, they would be subject to the laws of the universal gravitation (and consequently the acceleration), that all the planets in all galaxies undergo. Whatever the power of their machinery and engineering, "Saucers" could not overcome their own weight. And all the magnetic currents or other cosmic rays they are deemed to use may make immaterial beings. But the meteorologists still have in their arsenal the noctilucent clouds that Vestine and Störmer think to be composed of very fine cosmic dust from outer space. These meteors are at 75 or 80 kilometers high, becoming brighter as the night goes on and present their maximum brightness at about midnight. The very serious "International Atlas of clouds "indicates that they may be driven by the powerful air currents prevailing in these altitudes, at speeds of 50 to 250 meters per second, or 180 to 900 kms. Let's recall in our turn that it only takes a small cumulus, although classic, but hidden in the night, so that the "saucer" vanishes and reappears.

- But, protesting the "pro-saucerists" you still have demolished only simplistic and disappointing sightings with this argument. They can rest assured there are other answers, more varied and also safe, to the most amazing events.

Barrels, discs, pots, headlights and flying balls are on the verge of dethroning the saucers and other cigars.

The time is gone, by far, when an ordinary "saucer" crossed the blue sky at high pace and disappeared over the horizon leaving a bluish trail. Since then, there were "cigars" which, together with their shape, generally took shimmering colors allowing witnesses not be wrong.

All this is outdated, if we judge by the recent observations made in France by people whose good faith may not be in doubt. The mysterious craft that arouse so much controversies and are poised to discord in many families between those who believe and those who disbelieve it, now take extremely varied and pleasing forms. As to colors, they turn from red to yellow through orange to any possible colors and halftones. Thus we have seen over the last twenty-four hours in the sky of France, several discs, a large headlight, a big ball, a pot, a crescent, and a barrel, a big star, not to mention the "saucers" and other "cigars" whose enumeration would be too long.

From Normandy...

The disks attracted the attention both of a Le Havre taxi driver, over Deauville, and a Lyon journalist south of the Basilica of Fourvière. In both cases, they were red-orange colored and shiny. They disappeared after ten minutes. The big headlight was moving over Aurec-sur-Loire (Haute-Loire) at high speed by issuing a orange-red light beam also. "When it disappeared", witnesses, Mr. and Mrs. Teyssier, of Saint-Etienne, said, "a second craft, similar to the first and appearing to follow it disappeared in the same direction."

In Epinac-les-Mines (Saône-et-Loire), drivers, puzzled, stopped at the roadside to follow the slow and graceful maneuvers of a big ball of light whose color, unfortunately, is not specified.

... to the Auvergne

The pot and the crescent troubled the tranquility of many northerners. The first, in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, turned on itself and freed a reddish glow. The second, in the sky of Lievin, hovered for a few minutes before splitting in two. That is when the upper part was standing still as the other landed in a field between two haystacks, then suddenly flew to join again the part remained in the air!...

It was night in Montecreau -Villebois-Lavalette (Charente) when Mr. Jean Allary, 22, saw by the light of the headlight of his motorcycle, a kind of 1.80-meters-high barrel and nails of golden nails! It swung on the roadside and fled when the witness approached. The next day, at the place indicated by Mr. Allary, witnesses spotted traces of about seven meters in length in the grass by the roadside.

It is the Clermont-Ferrand residents who, today, had the last word with the big star changing from the white to green and yellow to red, which, driven by a rotary movement, left behind an orange plume Monday night at 7 p.m. in the sky of Clermont-Ferrand.

Scientific controversies...

These celestial phenomena result, we have said it, in heated controversy. Thus a Professor of the University of Bonn, Joseph Meurès, said during a conference: "The book by American author Key Hoc [sic, Keyhoe] on flying saucers is not even worth the paper on which it is printed." Mr. Duneau Fletcher, vice president of the Astronomical Association of Kenya has another opinion: "The existence of saucers" is not to question, he believes, very experienced observers have seen them across the globe. And Mr. Fletcher gives his little idea on the question: "Visitors from another world observe the Earth and probably map it."

And merry pranks

These scholarly remarks do not prevent pranksters have fun with it at the expense of their fellow citizens. The police came and ended the hobby of a pensioner of Beuvry-les-Bethune who made gears three meters in diameter with sheets of paper very carefully glued and fitted at their base of a small receptacle containing a clump of tow soaked with a flammable liquid. Once he set fire to the tow, the "saucer" was in the sky and disappeared with the wind with yellow, orange and red lights. Alas! the truth was discovered when a gear began to set fire to a haystack...

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel notes that on September 24, 1954, there was a sighting in Bayonne.

Aimé Michel indicates that the observation is briefly reported by the newspaper France-Soir for September 26, 1954.

Michel indicates that the case is one of the "Bayonne-Vichy alignment", dubbed BAVIC, of which he thinks that it marks the alignment of a series of six and three observations of September 24, 1954 which are aligned on an imaginary line passing by these two cities. He evaluated that it could not have been a coincidence. He indicates that it is not by strangeness that these observations are remarkable, but by their alignment.

He indicates that this case happened in the afternoon, when a large number of people saw three elliptic objects very high in the sky, which were motionless, of metallic aspect and shining in the sun. Their immobility lasted a long moment, "after that they disappear quickly."

He reasons that at first sight the weather balloon seems to be an explanation but that the ellipse is horizontal and not vertical, and that there is a fast departure.

Aimé Michel indicates that the case is briefly reported in the newspaper "France-Soir" for September 26, 1954.

[Ref. buj2:] "BUFORA JOURNAL" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

The same considerations apply to any attempt to establish the permanent and extended character of some of the lines, as envisaged in a subsequent article by Michel (1). In this he suggests that the Bayonne-Vichy line, established for September 24, 1954, is such a line and supports his statement by pointing out that the line passes through a number of regions in which large numbers of sightings later occurred. This is admittedly indicative of the extended character of the line, but not conclusive. A far more valid demonstration would be to find, within one or more of the regions concerned, during a limited time-period, a 3-pt., 4-pt., or 5-pt., ... line which was manifestly identical with the Bayonne-Vichy line. So far as I know, this has not been done.

[Ref. buj1:] "BUFORA JOURNAL" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

Let us now apply these relations to the famous BAVIC alignment of 24th September, 1954. on this day, from midnight to midnight, there were a number of 10 sightings, of which 6 lie on a line stretching from Bayonne to Vichy [...]

Appliquons maintenant ces relations au fameux tracé de BAVIC du 24 septembre 1954. Ce jour-là, de minuit à minuit, 10 observations ont été observées, dont six sur une ligne allant de Bayonne à Vichy [...]

[Ref. jve6:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Jacques Vallée indicates that for the day of September 24, 1954, the French Press mentioned a number of sightings, including one in Bayonne in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques in the afternoon.

Jacques Vallée indicates that the observation of type "III"; which he defines as "a case where an alleged 'abnormal object' of spherical, discoid or elliptic form is reported motionless in the atmosphere." He indicates it was "a triple image or object".

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

139 001.47356 43.49100 24 09 1954 15 00 205 BAYONNE F 3037 C** 117

[Ref. aml2:] AIME MICHEL:

THE BAYONNE-VICHY LINE

[...]

Let us take another day, the 24th of September. Nine observations that day. On the nine, six are on the same line going from Bayonne to Vichy.

[...]

[Ref. fsy1:] FRANK B. SALISBURY:

6. Bayonne, afternoon: Many people watched three elliptical objects, metallic in appearance, hover in the sky, and then move away very rapidly.

[Ref. mub1:] "MERSEYSIDE UFO BULLETIN:

BAVIC Line joining Bayonne and Vichy, in France (BAyonne - VIChy). Aime Michel discovered that 6 out of 10 sightings recorded in France on Septemberc 24th, 1954, lay on this line. It has been suggested that this line may be a permanent feature, of global significance so far as UFOs are concerned. This is because, when continued around the world the line runs through areas which have experienced intensive waves of UFO sightings. (See also "0rthoteny.")

[Ref. pdl1:] MAGAZINE D'UFOLOGIE "PHENOMENES INCONNUS":

- Carte rep. A

(I): BAVIC (Bayonne - Vichy)

  1. Bayonne [en réalité le 23]
  2. Lencouacq [en réalité le 23]
  3. Tulle [en réalité le 22]
  4. Ussel [en réalité le 20]
  5. Gelles [en réalité le 17]
  6. Vichy [en réalité sans date précise]

"BAVIC" est un alignement orthoténique (journée du 24-9-1954, carte N° 1 de "MOC" d'Aimé Michel.)

[Ref. dss1:] DAVID SAUNDERS:

Dr. David Saunders discusses whether the mathematical probability that the alleged alignment BAVIC is due to chance, and quotes as one of the dots of this line, the observation in Bayonne; which he dates of September 24, 1954.

[Ref. ioi1:] "INFO-OVNI" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE:

WHAT ABOUT BAVIC IN ALL THIS!

And yes, BAVIC remains! because orthoteny, more or less consciously, has finally identified with this line. For this memorable day of 09/24/1954, it remains undeniable at the challenge of all the "certainties of chance", six places of observation (Vichy, Gelles, Ussel, Tulle, Lencouacq and Bayonne) are yet perfectly alined.

Unable to refute the alignment, many researchers tried to deny any meaning to it.

[Ref. gal1:] CHARLES GARREAU AND RAYMOND LAVIER:

The two authors note that the observation in Bayonne of September 24, 1954 was used as a basis for Aimé Michel for his description of an alignment "Bayonne-Vichy" (BAVIC).

Around 4 p.m., many people, among them several policemen the ensuring circulation downtown observed during nearly a quarter of an hour three elliptic objects, very high in the sky, motionless, of metallic appearance, shining with the sun.

A police officer, Mr. Corrions, who was in the district of the Halles, specified: "They had the dimension of a rugby ball. They were in triangular formation." Like all the other witnesses, Mr. Carrions saw the three objects suddenly passing from a quasi complete immobility, to a very high speed and disappearing quickly in a north-western direction.

[Ref. dvl1:] DANIEL VIDAL:

Now here is a series of articles that Daniel Vidal of Nîmes sent us. This young boy, well known to the VERONICA group had to carry out a long and painstaking research work in the archive of the newspaper "Midi-Libre" in order to be able to communicate to us these articles and we congratulate him.

- The sky of France is furrowed with "cigars" and "flying saucers"

Paris, September 25 - In several localities in France, there is the appearance of "cigars" or "flying saucers" in the sky.

Thus in Charron (Charente-Maritime), three fishermen and a customs officer declare having seen during one of these last nights, a formation of flying saucers moving very low and flying over the shore before disappearing.

In Bayonne, locals say they saw high up in the sky three mysterious objects of clear hue, sharply visible on the sky. A peace officer, Mr. Carrions, observed these three immobile craft set in triangle, of slightly oval shape.

"They had, he said, the size of a rugby ball and seemed to be at a considerable height."

In the Meurthe-et-Moselle, dozens of workers from "Sidelor" living in the region of Lantéfontaine-les-Baroches (M-and-M) claim to have seen six "flying cigars" in the sky between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.

"We first saw, they said, two "cigars", then after four other craft joined the first two, all remained motionless to finally disappear instantly."

In Le Puy, Mrs. Chaumard, living in the Trinité district, saw in the sky a craft in the shape of a cigar glowing red at one end, silent and motionless. She was able to observe the craft hovering nearly fifteen minutes, then the "cigar" suddenly disappeared while gaining altitude.

The same observations were made by six residents of Langeac (Haute-Loire) and several others from Les Gelles (Puy-de-Dôme) or Clermont-Ferrand. In this region, rugby players at the Vichy stadium, saw a "flying cigar".

In the Aveyron

From Villefranche de Rouergue in the Aveyron, an owner of Vabre-Tizac, Mr. Marre, is reported to have seen a yellow-colored mass moving southwards, without leaving behind any traces of smoke.

Mr. Marre's attention was drawn to the sound of a motor. Other inhabitants of the locality also heard the same noise from inside their house, but not having come out, they did not see the singular "mass". (Midi Libre 09/26/54.) (2-3)

[Ref. fru1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors report that in Bayonne in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, on September 24, 1954 at 04:30 p.m., three objects laid out in triangle were observed.

[Ref. bbr1:] GERARD BARTHEL AND JACQUES BRUCKER:

The two authors indicate that depending to the newspaper that one chooses, this case is dated sometimes of September 23, 1954, sometimes of September 26, 1954. They add that the sighting is poor in details and could be explained by anything.

[Ref. jsx11:] JACQUES SCORNEAUX:

Subsequently, the Parisian ufologist M. Jeantheau, who undertook a thorough study of the 1954 wave, discovered that the observation of Bayonne took place on September 23rd and not on the 24th. Here is the error: the 24th is the date of publication of the local newspaper, found by Jeantheau, who published the original information, and the article stated: "yesterday, it was observed..." The national dailies, which then took up the news and that Aimé Michel consulted, gave as date that of the local newspaper by omitting the "yesterday": and that's two.

[Ref. asa1:] ANANDA SIRISENA:

In 1972, "Flying Saucer Review" published an article by Aime Michel, called: "AN ENIGMATIC FIGURE OF THE XVI CENTURY", (1), an absorbing study of a Saint who was born in France in 1579 on the Bayonne-Vichy line. However, as J.C. Dufour said in a subsequent article, "THE BIRTHPLACES OF PROMINENT PEOPLE IN RELATION TO BAVIC" (2) this discovery proved very little; the connection with UFOs is obvious - the extraterrestrial is not - unless one accepts that UFOs are from outer space.

[Ref. via1:] "VIMANA 21" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

SATURDAY 25 AND SUNDAY 26 SEPTEMBER [Publication date]: CIGARS FLY IN FORMATION -

Bayonne - Bayonese claim to have seen this afternoon, high in the sky, northeast direction, three mysterious objects of light-colored hue, cut out on the pure sky at that time. A law enforcment officer, Me. Corrieres, who was in the Quartier des Halles, observed these three immobile craft, arranged in triangle, of slightly oval form. They had the size of a rugby ball and seemed to be at a considerable height. Passersby said they saw the same bright objects in [or from] other places.

The source is said to be the newspaper Le Bien Public.

[Ref. pha1:] "PHENOMENA" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE:

Orthoteny

It is nice to remember that it is his friend, poet Jean Cocteau, who will suggest to Aimé Michel the idea of seeking an order in the observations of the "mysterious celestial objects" that appeared during the autumn of 1954.

To begin with, Aimé Michel painstakingly pointed out on a map the observations of October 14, 1954, made between 06:30 p.m. and 07:35 p.m.. His stupefaction will be great in discovering that five points seem to align perfectly. He then resumes all the observations, and reports them, for every 24 hours, on a map. Here again, everything seems to be ordered according to lines of which the most famous, that of September 24, 1954, will be known under the name of "BAVIC line", contraction of BAyonne and VIChy, which will align no less than six observations (Bayonne [in reality on the 23rd], Lencouacq [in reality on the 23rd], Tulle [in reality on the 22nd], Ussel [in reality on the 20th], Gelles [in reality on the 17th] and Vichy) [without precuse date].

[Ref. mju1:] MICHEL JEANTHEAU:

Ufologist Michel Jeantheau closely checked the date of this observation allegedly being the starting point of an alignment of sightings pled by ufologist Aimé Michel and called "the BAVIC line" for "BAyonne-VIChy."

He indicates to have found in 1976 in the National Library in the daily newspaper of Bayonne "Côte Basque Soir" for September 24, 1954, that this observation is indicated as of "yesterday afternoon around 17 hours," which indicates that the correct date is September 23 and not on September 24 as Aimé Michel thought it was.

He also found the case mentioned on page 3 of the regional newspaper La 4ème République des Pyrénées for September 27, 1954, with the indication "Thursday afternoon around 17 hours"; which also places the case at September 23, 1954.

He thus notes that Aimé Michel was mistaken when he indicated that his source was the newspaper Le Parisien Libéré for September 27, 1954, since the article in question is really in this newspaper at the date of September 25, 1954.

He adds that the authors Barthel and Brucker in their book "La grande peur martienne" wrote that certain newspapers date the case as of the 26th, others as of the 23rd, and that "a doubt remains" on the date, despite that he has informed them of the correct date before, which is not dated 26th or 23rd in any newspapers.

[Ref. jca1:] JACQUES COSTAGLIOLA:

The author indicates that on September 24, 1954, there were 9 sightings, 6 being on the Bayonne - Vichy line, one of those sighting was in Bayonne.

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH - "*U* COMPUTER DATABASE":

3833: 1954/09/24 14:00 1 1:29:00 W 43:29:00 N 3332 WEU FRN PYA 6:A

BAYONNE,FR:NMRS OBS:3 MTLC OVOIDS HVR/TRIANGLE/1min+:AWAY RAPIDE:NFD:/r30p85

RefN° 3 VALLEE:UFO ENIGMA: Challenge/Science Page No. 71 : MONTAGNES

[Ref. goe1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on September 24 in France, in Bayonne "At 4:30 observations of three objects laid out in triangle."

The source is indicated as "M. FIGUET/J.L. RUCHON: "Ovni, le premier dossier complet.." - éd. Alain Lefeuvre 1979, p. 85."

[Ref. djn1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

Encounters with Aliens On this Day

September 24

[...]

1954 - At sometime before 3:00 p.m. in Bayonne, Pyrenees-Atlantique, France three metallic ovoid objects hovered in a triangular formation for over one minute, then flew away fast. At 3:00 p.m. a fast silent cigar-shaped object crossed the sky slowly over the Vichy stadium, Allier, France and was seen by many. These are two of the defining sightings of the Bayonne to Vichy (BAVIC) orthotenic line discovered by Aime Michel and confirmed by Dr. David R. Saunders.(Sources: Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 76; David R. Saunders, Is BAVIC Remarkable?, FSR, Vol. 17, No. 4, July-August 1971).

[...]

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the "Pyrenees Atlantique" in Bayonne on September 24, 1954 at 16:30 hours "Many people including several policemen observed during a quarter of hour, three elliptic objects very high in the sky, motionless, of metallic appearance, which are shining with the sun. They had the dimension of a rugby ball and were in triangular formation. Suddenly they passed from a quasi total immobility to a very high speed and disappeared quickly in direction of the Northwest."

The sources are noted as "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979" and "Face aux Extra terrestres by Garreau and Lavier ** DELARGE 1975,".

[Ref. gfr1:] GEORGE FILER:

Interestingly, Aime Michel points out in her [sic] book, "Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery," that only the caverns located on or close to BAVIC line (Bayonne to Vichy), a trajectory that he discovered by tracking straight line sightings in France.

[Ref. toe1:] "TOUCHSTONE" BULLETIN:

Orthotenic lines of UFO activity were found on which numerous sightings occurred over a time span of many years. The most famous of these is BA VI C, originally a six-point line extending from Bayonne to Vichy, France. Although the six original sightings all occurred on September 24, 1954, subsequent study has revealed other cases of high strangeness occurring on other dates along the BA VIC line.

[Ref. jbu1:] JEROME BEAU:

September 1954

Fri 24

6 observations of that day geographically lined from Bayonne to Vichy (including that of Ussel) 4.

4. Will be spotted by Aimé Michel, who will develop the othoteny [sic] theory, among others in his book Mystérieux Objets Célestes (MOC). Jacques Vallée will call the line BaVic, but will finally concluded to simple hazard.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 24 September 1954 at 15:00 in Bayonne, France, "Three metallic ovoid objects hover in triangular formation for over one minute. Fly away fast."

And: "Hovering objects were observed. Three metallic ovoid objects were observed by a male witness on the shore for over one minute."

The sources are indicated as "Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; 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); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002".

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

This database recorded this case four times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540924 24.09.1954 Bayonne France 15.00 DD
19540924 24.09.1954 Bayonne France 15.00 DD
19540924 24.09.1954 Bayonne France Afternoon DD
19540924 24.09.1954 Bayonne France 15.00 DD

Explanations:

Aimé Michel had the date wrong for this observation. The event thus cannot be taken into consideration as justifying a BAVIC line.

Here is my review of this matter of the date, showing the lack of accuracy of some newspapers:

Source: Date published: Cited by: Date indicated: Date deduced:
Le Parisien Libéré September 25, 1954 Myself September 24 [...] This afternoon September 24, 1954, afternoon
Var-Matin - République September 26, 1954. Myself September 25 [...] This afternoon September 25, 1954, afternoon
Le Midi Libre 28 septembre 1954 Myself - N/A
L'Est Républicain October 6, 1954 Myself the last September 24 September 24, 1954
France-Soir September 26, 1954 Aimé Michel ? September 24, 1954
Le Midi Libre September 26, 1954 Daniel Vidal - N/A
Côte Basque Soir September 24, 1954 Michel Jeantheau yesterday afternoon at about 5 p.m. September 23, 1954, at about 5 p.m.
La 4ème République des Pyrénées September 27, 1954 Michel Jeantheau Thursday afternoon at about 5 p.m. September 23, 1954, at about 5 p.m.
Parisien Libéré September 25, 1954 Michel Jeantheau ? ?

As of the sighting, this is an "unidentified" to me, unfortunately poorly documented.

And it may have been three helicopters...

Keywords:

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

Bayonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Corrions, cigars, day, Halles, three, triangle, formation, Rugby, oval, high, clear, police officer, multiple, motionless, fast, shining

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 20, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 28, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [vmr1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 10, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [jca1], [goe1], [jbu1], [djn1], [uda1].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 17, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 2, 2010 Addition [jve6].
1.4 Patrick Gross January 12, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.5 Patrick Gross February 10, 2017 Addition [ler1].
1.6 Patrick Gross September 10, 2019 Additions [via1], [lhh1], [gfr1], [toe1], [mub1], [buj1], [asa1], [buj2], [dss1], [jsx1], [dvl1], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."

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