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The 1954 French flap:

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

August 25, 1954, Elesmes, Nord:

Reference number for this case: 25-Aug-54-Elesmes. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

Jean-Marie Bigorne, veteran of the French ufology, published in 2014 his field investigator memories.

He told in it that on August 25, 1954, in the department of the Nord, he had seen a "reddish cigar, surrounded by waves of heat"; which passed silently above his commune, and suddenly disappeared.

This had strongly intrigued him, and he had vainly tried to understand what it was.

He did not give the hour, nor the name of his commune, just stating that it was within 30 kilometers in straight line from Quarouble, place of the famous alleged encounter two weeks later: which had also puzzled him.

Then, in 2014 and 2019, Mr. Bigorne was the topic of articles on the website of the regional newspaper La Voix Du Nord; in which we learn he was 10-year-old then, the town was Elesmes, the hour approximately 07:30 p.m., that his brother and mother saw it too, and that the tips of the "cigar" were rectangular.

Reports:

[Ref. jbe1] JEAN-MARIE BIGORNE:

This ufologist wrote that on August 25, 1954, a reddish cigar, surrounded by waves of heat, passed silently above the town, and had suddenly disappeared; which had greatly intrigued him.

He had unsuccessfully "tried to understand" what it was.

Jean-Marie Bigorne does not give the name of the town where the observation took place, but he says it was 30 kilometers in straight line from Quarouble, place of the famous sighting report two weeks later; which had also puzzled him.

[Ref. lvd1:] "LA VOIX DU NORD" NEWSPAPER:

MAUBEUGE: Jean-Marie Bigorne UFO hunter in Maubeuge and elsewhere... for 40 years!

By La Voix du Nord | Posted on 06/13/2014

Some probably take him for a visionnary one. But in his field, Jean-Marie Bigorne would rather be a specialist. An investigator who says he has "both feet on the Earth". Yet for forty years, it is indeed what happens above our heads that intrigues him. Jean-Marie Bigorne is a "UFO hunter". Or rather a unter of traces left by them after their passage.

Investigating UFOs, an obvious fact for Jean-Marie who claims to have himself been confronted with several experiences. "The first time, I was 10-year-old, I saw a big red cigar in the sky then suddenly disappeared." It was at Elesmes in 1954. First research, first uncertainties.

[Ref. apl1:] "ACTIVITE PARANORMALE" WEBSITE:

This Website quotes the next day, the article of La Voix Du Nord above in [lvd1].

[Ref. lvd2:] "LA VOIX DU NORD" NEWSPAPER:

Maubeuge
Jean-Marie Bigorne, UFO hunter by passion and to understand

Jean-Marie Bigorne lives in Maubeuge. This former customs officer spent his life learning about Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).

In 1954, with his mother and his brother, he saw in the sky of Elesmes a cigar with rectangular ends. "It was about 7:30 p.m. Fifteen days later there was the case of Quarouble, the landing on the tracks of the Houillères. Then, we remembered what we had seen. In straight line from here, Quarouble is 34 km away."

[The rest of the article concerns the observation of Maubeuge in 1954.]

Explanations:

Now we know what led Jean-Marie Bigorne to become a ufologist, a well-known field investigator for so long.

Unfortunately he does not give much information on this observation, no place, but also: no hour, no duration, no angular size and speed etc., and it is unclear whether he saw it himself, or if it has been reported by others in the community.

So this is unfortunately a case with insufficient data, and as it is presented, it could even have been a meteor.

Update on August 19, 2019:

The new version appeared in La Voix Du Nord [lvd2], which was not yet published when I wrote the previous explanations, gives a place and an approximate hour to the case.

There is also one more element of strangeness, the "rectangular tips" of the "cigar". This is starting to make a lot of oddities for a meteor. But there is still a lack of observation duration, angular elevation, angular velocity, directions, angular size...

Keywords:

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

Elesmes, Nord, cigar, red, silent, heat, disappearance, rectangular, multiple

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross October 17, 2014 First published, [jbe1].
1.1 Patrick Gross December 20, 2016 Addition of the Summary.
1.2 Patrick Gross August 19, 2019 Additions [lvd1], [apl1], [lvd2]. In the Summary, addition of the paragraph "Then, in 2014 and 2019...". In the Explanations, addition of the "Update on August 19, 2019" part.

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This page was last updated on August 19, 2019.