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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 24, 1954, Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry, Pyrénées-Atlantiques:

Reference number for this case: 24-Oct-54-Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

In his 1997 book about the 1954 French saucers flap, French ufologist and author Jean Sider discusses a letter that the newspaper L'Eclair-Pyrénées for November 3, 1954, claims to be that of one of its readers who tells of his encounter with a craft. Jean Sider notes that there are many chances that the story is entirely invented when one considers the description in this letter:

The reader who introduces himself as a shepherd says that on Sunday, October 24, 1954, towards 03:00 p.m., he saw a strange display whereas he was on the mountain of Moumboa, keeping his sheep on a small pass at 800 meters of altitude.

He writes that he has seen two men looking on the side opposed to his, of which he thought that they were excursionists, but he soon saw between them and him, at about fifty meters, a craft of the dimension of a large shell, from three to four meters, a diameter of a little more than one meter, in lying position.

He writes that he did not dare to approach this apparatus; which was of coffee with milk color. In its center, there was a cabin, and at the two ends, were distinguished a multitude of small propellers similar to pine cones. At the back end, the broadest end, was a bent tripod. After a while, the two men approached the machine; which they put upright on the tripod. The writer supposes that it was to be of an extremely lightweight plastic so that this was possible.

He says to have noticed no portholes. One of the men opened a narrow door and both individuals disappeared in the cabin. Without noise, the two groups of propellers started to turn, but in opposite direction (one compared to the other, supposes Jean Sider). The machine took off vertically on a hundred meters, then disappeared quickly towards the north.

The "witness" says that the two men were indeed Earthmen, of Caucasian race, of a size between 1 meter 70 and 1 meter 75.

Reports:

[Ref. js1] JEAN SIDER:

French ufologist and author Jean Sider discusses a letter that the newspaper L'Eclair-Pyrénées for November 3, 1954, claims to be that of one of its readers who tells of his encounter with a craft. Jean Sider notes that there are many chances that the story is entirely invented when one considers the description in this letter:

The reader who introduces himself as a shepherd says that on Sunday, October 24, 1954, towards 03:00 p.m., he saw a strange display whereas he was on the mountain of Moumboa, keeping his sheep on a small pass at 800 meters of altitude.

He writes that he has seen two men looking on the side opposed to his, of which he thought that they were excursionists, but he soon saw between them and him, at about fifty meters, a craft of the dimension of a large shell, from three to four meters, a diameter of a little more than one meter, in lying position.

He writes that he did not dare to approach this apparatus; which was of coffee with milk color. In its center, there was a cabin, and at the two ends, were distinguished a multitude of small propellers similar to pine cones. At the back end, the broadest end, was a bent tripod. After a while, the two men approached the machine; which they put upright on the tripod. The writer supposes that it was to be of an extremely lightweight plastic so that this was possible.

He says to have noticed no portholes. One of the men opened a narrow door and both individuals disappeared in the cabin. Without noise, the two groups of propellers started to turn, but in opposite direction (one compared to the other, supposes Jean Sider). The machine took off vertically on a hundred meters, then disappeared quickly towards the north.

The "witness" says that the two men were indeed Earthmen, of Caucasian race, of a size between 1 meter 70 and 1 meter 75.

[Ref. ed1:] :

Emmanuel Dehlinger included this case is a list of cases supposed to demonstrate by statistics that UFOs are hoaxes organized by some military personal so that people believe in aliens being on Earth.

He specifies that the case is dubious because it is anonymous, anf that not luminous pehnomeon was reported, and thus the case is eliminated from his statistics.

He indicates that the source is LDLN N.324 page 35.

[Ref. ki1:] FABRICE ET DANIEL KIRCHER:

The authors indicate that on October 24, 1954 in "Saint-Eteinne de Balgorry" in the Basque Country at 15 hours, a shepherd kept his sheep on the mountain of Moumboa and saw there two men whom he mistook for excursionnists, but it saw then between them and him a machine similar to a large shell from three to four meters length and approximately a meter of diameter, in lying position. The characters were humanoids of white race from 1.70 to 1.75 meters.

There were at its two ends numerous small propellers, a cabin in the center, and at the back, a kind of tripod.

At the end of a moment they approached the machine, put it upright on the tripod, entered there by a narrow door, the two groups of propellers started to rotate without noise but not in the same direction, and the machine took off vertically, rose at a hundred meters, before disappearing towards the north.

The two authors comments on that both character put the UFO upright, and are astonished, "What was it then made of? in celluloid?"

[Ref. ta1:] "THINK ABOUT IT" WEBSITE:

Date: October 24 1954

Location: Saint Etienne de Baigorry, Pyrenees Atlantique, France

Time: 1500

Summary: A shepherd guarding his flock at a peak called “Moumboa” located at about 800meters altitude reported seeing two “men” standing on the side opposite to him, looking around. At first he thought they were excursionists but he soon saw between them at about 50meters a craft shaped like a large shell, from three to four meters in diameter and of a little more than one meter in height. He did not dare to approach the object which was brown in color. In its center there was a cabin, and at the two ends he could distinguish a number of small propellers similar to pine cones. At the back end, the broadest end was a bent tripod. After a while, the two men approached the machine which they then placed upright on the tripod. The witness supposed that the machine was made out of some very light weight material or plastic. He says he did not notice any portholes. One of the men then opened a narrow door and both individuals disappeared into the cabin. Without any noise the two groups of propellers started to turn, but in opposite directions. The machine took off vertically at about 100 meters and then disappeared quickly towards the north. The two men were similar to humans, Caucasian, between 1.70-1.75m in height.

Source: Jean Sider

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

*Oct. 24, 1954 - In Saint Etienne de Baigorry, Pyrenees-Atlantiques, France at around 3:00 p.m. a shepherd watching his flock on a mountain peak called “Moumboa”, located at about 800 meters, reported seeing two “men” standing on the slope opposite him, looking around. At first he thought they were excursionists, but he soon noticed a brown craft shaped like a large shell between them, so he did not dare approach. It was three to four meters in diameter and a little more than a meter in height. In the center there was a small cabin, and at the two ends he could distinguish a number of small propellers. He said he did not notice any portholes. At the broad back end there was a bent tripod. After awhile the two men approached the machine, which they then placed upright on the tripod. The witness supposed that the machine must have been made out of some very light weight material. One of the men then opened a narrow door and both individuals disappeared into the cabin. Without any noise the two groups of propellers started to turn, but in opposite directions. The machine took off vertically to an altitude of about 100 meters, and then flew off quickly to the north. The two men were similar to humans, Caucasian in appearance, and between 1.70-1.75 meters tall. (Sources: Jacques Vallee, computerized catalog (N=3073), case 1793, citing Jimmy Guieu; Albert S. Rosales, Humanoid Contact Database 1954, citing Jean Sider).

[Ref. ub1:] "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
19541024 24.10.1954 St. Etienne Baigorry France 15.00 CE III
19541024 24.10.1954 St. Etienne France 15.00 CE II

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

October 24 1954. 1530hrs (or 0330hrs)

SAINTE ETTIENNE DE BAIGGORY [sic] (PYRENEES ATLANTIQUE : FRANCE)

A shepherd tending his sheep at 800m on Mount Moumboa saw two strange Caucasian men 1.7-1.75m tall, and some 50m away, a devise like a horizontal shell 3-4m long, 1m diameter on the ground. The milky coffee coloured object had a central cabin and propellers at either end. At the rear was a sort of tripod. The two men approached the machine and put it upright on the tripod. They opened a narrow door in the craft and entered. The propellers turned in opposite directions, without making a sound, and the thing took off vertically for 100m, then disappeared to the north.

Gross URECAT citing Sider 1997 p217 citing an anonymous letter in L'éclair Pyrenees 3 November 1954. p2

Evaluation - If this is not another hoax, as seems likely, it may be another fantastic description of a helicopter and its crew.

Note: The source reference "Gross URECAT" is my file as it appears in my CE3 catalogue URECAT; the file content is the same as this page of my France 1954 catalogue. No link is provided and my content is not properly reflected.

Explanations:

Invention by the shepherd or the newspaper.

Keywords:

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

Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, shepherd, craft, propellers, tripod, occupants, human, landing, takeoff, field, mountain, daylight

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross May 1, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 2, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross March 24, 2009 Addition [ki1].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 10, 2014 Addition [ta1].
1.3 Patrick Gross October 24, 2014 Addition [ni1].
1.4 Patrick Gross March 6, 2017 Addition [ub1].
1.5 Patrick Gross December 23, 2018 Additions [pr2], Summary.

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This page was last updated on December 23, 2018.