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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 26, 1954, Croix de Nivollet, Savoie:

Reference number for this case: 26-sep-54-Croix-de-Nivollet. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Reports:

[Ref. dl1:] "LE DAUPHINE LIBERE" NEWSPAPER:

SUNDAY AT 05:15 P.M.

Dr Martinet of Chambéry
and about fifteen people
observed above the Nivolet

THE MANEUVERS
OF A "FLYING SAUCER"

Chambery, September 28. --

To date, Dr. Martinet, dermatologist in Chambery, attached no importance to the "flying saucers, cigars" and other devices of the same kind.

Methodical, and careful observer, he did not believe!

But as recently as last week, a social worker stated that told him she had seen in the sky of Bourg-Saint-Maurice a superb flying saucer, he answered with a shrug!

It is well annoyed of his disbelief today as he was able, Sunday between 5:18 p.m. 5:15 p.m., to watch over the cross of the Nivollet and Mont Revard, the maneuvers of a mysterious machine having striking similarities with the said saucers...

Former artillery observer, Dr Martinet conducted his observation objectively and knowingly and the report he proposes to submit to the prefecture will be more detailed.

The Doctor is not the only one to have observed the phenomenon, his wife and three students from the airbase of Bourget-du-Lac, and the occupants of three cars, a total of about fifteen people who can corroborate the evidence; which moreover, given the personality of the Doctor and his great habit of observation, is not questionable...

But here are the facts: "It was around 5 p.m., we were returning by car from the Col du Chat, when suddenly saw above the Croix du Nivollet at around 2000 meters and on the edge of the hazy area, a dark grey aluminum mass. Having exceeded the air base, I stopped my vehicle. Three other cars did the same, and we followed with our eyes the maneuvers of the saucer.

First I thought of a rainstorm, but the wind blew from the Northwest and the phenomenon came from the south!

30 seconds later, when we were fifteen people to observe the machine, it went down like a dead leaf, then appeared in the form of a soup plate, whose relief was facing up, then upfront as a perfect disc.

We observed that a clearer area occupied the center of the disc, and dark spots were all around.

After that, the saucer came directly below the cable car station of Revard, went down a little, then suddenly disappeared like lightning!

According to the observation angles, it changed color from aluminum gray to a very dark to lighter gray.

At 5:19 p.m., it disappeared, the phenomenon lasted a little over four minutes, which allowed me to set on a notebook, the various steps of its maneuvers, and minute it..."

The Doctor then presents the diagram of the tormented path that the saucer followed, and let's not say anymore to Dr. Martinet and the fifteen witnesses who observed the phenomenon that the saucers are just fluff!

[Ref. lm1:] "LE MERIDIONAL" NEWSPAPER:


Carrousel of "saucers" in the sky of Dauphiné

LYON. -- In the departments of the Rhone, Isère, Drôme and Savoy, many people claim to have seen, these last days, with more or less clarity, craft having either the shape of cigars, or those of discs.

In the area of the Arbresle, one of these witnesses, director of a music-hall, stated to have filmed one of these mysterious apparatuses which evolved at a height estimated by him as of approximately 700 meters. One will thus know, after development of the footage, if it was or was not an optical illusion.

Close to Feyzin (the Isère) a young man is said to have seen in the countryside, not far from the ground, a machine having the shape of a dome from where spouted out a very sharp light. The witness had compared it with that caused by the combustion of magnesium. The craft, suddenly, went up vertically while leaving a shower of sparks and disappeared.

Inhabitants of Chabeuil stated to have seen a flying saucer evolving above the countryside.

Lastly, in Savoy, close to the lake of Le Bourget, above Mount Revard, several motorists, on the whole about fifteen people, simultaneously saw an apparatus having the shape of a disc, that evolved during approximately four minutes, to then disappear suddenly.

One of the witnesses, a doctor of Chambéry, is a former artillery observer. He carefully wrote up the observations and drew a diagram reproducing the travel of the mysterious apparatus.

A "SAUCERS" FOLLOWS A TRAIN IN THE ILLE-ET-VILAINE...
The drivers gets ill

REDON (Ille-et-Vilaine). -- Misters Gérard, mechanic, and Paroux, driver, who operated a wildcat engine coming from Nantes, saw, whereas they passed at the locality "La Butte Rouge", community of Saint-Nicolas-de-Besson (Ille-et-Vilaine), a machine which rose from the nearby marshes.

This craft, of a certain length, which was followed of a luminous trail, flew during ten second above the machine and disappeared in the sky.

While the mechanic preserved all his calm, the driver, on the other hand, was so frightened that he fell sick and had to pass a medical examination yesterday morning.

DUTCH TESTIMONYS ON AERIAL PHENOMENA

LA HAYE. -- The aerial phenomena which currently appears above Europe did not fail to visit the Netherlands.

Among the recently reported testimonies on the passage of flying saucers above the Dutch territory, it is necessary to quote that of a citizen of Schiedam (an important center of juniper production) which claimed to have seen a rather large object, circular and luminous, moving towards the west. Its fiancée who accompanied him corroborated his statements.

Less recent but more impressive, is the account of the captain of "Grote Beer" Mr J.-P. Boshoff, of the Holland - United States line.

The object detected on the open sea and observed by himself and his five officers using all the optical equipment on board, was the "size of a half-moon" and also circular and luminous.

The captain adamantly excluded the possibility that it can be a weather balloon.

Initially motionless, the disc, after a few moments, moved towards the west to disappear behind the clouds at an altitude of approximately 14.000 meters.

[Ref. lp1:] "LE PROVENCAL" NEWSPAPER:


Flying saucers

Continued from the first page

Mr. L..., who gave us this statement, added: " At the beginning, I did not want to talk about it, but with the news which appeared these last days in the Press, it seems to me that it could contribute to add one more testimony to the "flying saucers" file."

It seems, indeed, that we are again in the presence of one of these mysterious craft which would have been posed a few moments (in what intention?) on the plains of the area of Aigues-Mortes.

The really disconcerting testimony of a doctor and fifteen people

Doctor Martinet, dermatologist in Chambéry, saw a flying saucer evolving above the cross of Nivollet.

- "About fifteen people, he states, can testify of that."

The doctor and his wife returned by car from the col du Chat [pass of the Cat], when they saw over the cross of Nivollet, 2.000 meters of altitude approximately, "a dark aluminum gray mass". The doctor stopped his vehicle, to follow the evolutions of the machine. Three other cars also stopped.

- "I observed my watch, said the doctor. It was 17. 8 ' 40 ". At 17:16 whereas it was presented its face, i.e. in the form of disc, I distinguished a clear zone in the center of the machine and dark spots around. The machine went down right above the teleferic station from the Revard, then disappeared suddenly at the speed of a lightning."

Meanwhile, about fifteen people had grouped around Doctor Martinet and made the same observations he did.

In the departments of the Rhone, Isère, Drôme and Savoy, many people claim to have seen, these last days, with more or less clearness, craft having sometimes the shape of cigars, sometimes of discs.

The divers of the sky are cherishing

In the Vienne, a 28 year old farmer, Mr. Yves David, living in Brouloux, community of Vouneuil-sur-Vienne, met, on the road of Cenon to Vouneuil, a kind of "diver". The latter "caressed" his arms, emitted inintelligibles sounds then moved towards a machine that Mr. David cannot describe, and which rose without noise vertically, then disappeared at full speed.

[Ref. er1:] "L'EST REPUBLICAIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan


This time the Savoy people no longer shrug their shoulders...

(Continued from the first page)

An extremely precise report from Chambéry

Doctor Martinet, a dermatologist in Chambéry, considered to be a methodical, observant and balanced mind, did not believe until last week in the existence of flying saucers. And he shrugged every time he was told about these mysterious machines.

Former observer of artillery, with the rank of captain, the physician has just been struck by an observation of which he entrusted us in detail. He also sent a copy of the report which will follow, with evem more details, to the prefecture of Savoy.

Here are the facts:

"It was about 5:12 p.m. last Sunday (September 26).

"My family and I were returning by car from the Col du Chat, above Aix-les-Bains, when suddenly I caught sight at the Croix du Nivollet, about two thousand meters of altitude, at the limit of the foggy zone, of a gray aluminum mass.

"I stopped my vehicle, and three other cars followed me did the same and we followed the evolutions of the "saucer." It was then 5 hours 14 minutes 30 seconds p.m..

"First of all, I thought of a whirlwind, but the wind was blowing from the northwest and the phenomenon came from the south.

"Thirty seconds later, when we were about fifteen people watching the saucer, it came down in "falling dead leaf" manner and then presented itself in the form of a hollow plate whose relief was turned upwards.

"At last, at 5:16 p.m., when it presented itself from the front, that is to say, in the form of a perfect disc, we could see that the lighter part occupied the center of the whole and that dark spots were all around.

"After that, the saucer came in line with the station of the Revard cable car, descended a bit then suddenly disappeared like a flash.

"According to the angles under which we observed it, it changed color, going from the dark gray to the lighter gray.

"It was exactly 5 hours 18 minutes 40 seconds p.m. when it disappeared.

"The phenomenon lasted a little more than four minutes, which allowed me to record on a notebook the different steps of its maneuvers and to timing them."

The doctor made a sketch of the tormented trajectory the saucer followed. A sketch he communicated us with his descriptions.

[Ref. er2:] "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 zigzaging 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 radioelectrical 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 cosmis 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. be1:] "BRIDGETON EVENING NEWS" NEWSPAPER:

Scan


French Saucers

Flying saucers stories originated in the United States, spread to Canada, and have now burst out in France. The French saucer tales have a Gallic quality that adds to their fascination.

For instance, a French farmer claims that he was walking along a lonely road, a creature came up to him, caressed his arms, and made inintelligible noises. Then it moved off in a waiting saucer says the farmer, which could not see because he was blinded and temporarily paralyzed by a green ray directed at him. (Only in France would a creature from outer space caress a man who chanced upon him on a lonely road.)

Then a former artillery observer in France reported he saw a dark-gray object hovering over some mountains at about 6000 feet. As he stopped his car to look, the mass suddenly "shot away like lightning and disappeared". The element of romance is missing here, but not that of wonder.

It's impossible to say that flying saucers don't exist; certainly stories about them appear universal. But so, at one time, did stories of witches and fairies come from all over the world. What is universal today is the jitters. It may be these, along with the fantastic devices assembled by science, that cause people to see things in the sky which exist only in their imaginations.

[Ref. hw1:] HAROLD T. WILKINS:

The author indicates that in 1954 in France, a doctor from Chambery and 15 witnesses say they saw a "flying saucer circus" in the skies over Lyons. Wilking notes that the expression presumably means a fleet of UFOs. The doctor said what he saw was a dark grey mass hovering over a 6,000 feet high mountain. When it lost height, it looked like an inverted plate, light in color with darker patches.

The author indicates further in his book that that in September 1954, in the Savoie, on the Franco-Swiss frontier, fifteen persons watched for five minutes a saucer maneuvering in the sky.

[Ref. ou1:] INVESTIGATIONS REPORTS IN "OURANOS":

In the Ouranos report on the case in Chabeuil on the same day, this case is mentioned as maybe related to the Chabeuil case. Underneath are the extracts of the related Ouranos report. The witness of Chabeuil, Mrs Leboeuf, heard of the case and mentions it in her statement, and the authors of the Ouranos report specify that it was later in the afternoon (02:30 P.M. versus 05:12 P.M.).

"A doctor of Chambéry is said to have seen a flying saucer 5 minutes afterwards, coming from the direction of Chabeuil, it could thus be the same one." (1)

  • (1) This is about Dr. Martinet, dermatologist. But it is only at 05:12 P.M., therefore a little later than Mrs. Leboeuf thinks, that he saw the saucer, above Croix de Nivollet, whereas he was driving back from the Cat pass. He observed the evolutions of the saucer, as well as about fifteen other people, during four minutes, and evaluated its altitude to be about 2000 meters approximately (the witness is a former artillery observer), before it started to go downwards with a falling leaf movement, then disappeared suddenly at the vertical. Like the F.S. from Chabeuil, this one was convex with the higher part of gray color.

[Ref. am1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel indicates that the witnesses were Doctor Martinet, dermatologist of Chambery and formerly artillery observant, his wife, three trainees of the air base of Le Bourget-du-Lac, and the occupants of three car, the whole group amounting to about fifteen people.

Aimé Michel provides the following account by Doctor Martinet, indicate that the account was summarized in the daily press:

"It was approximately 05:12 P.M.. We were returning by car from the col du Chat [pass of the Cat], when suddenly I saw at an apparent location of above la croix du Nivolet, at an altitude which I evaluated of 2000 meters, at the limit of the foggy zone, an aluminium gray body. Having driven past the air force base of Le Bourget, I stopped my vehicle, the three others did stop too, and we followed the evolutions of the object. It was then 05:14:30 P.M.."

"First of all, I thought of some atmospheric phenomenon, such as a cloudburst etc. But the wind blew from the North-West, and the phenomenon came from the South. Thirty seconds later, whereas we were about fifteen people to observe this object, it started to go down in a falling leaf manner, offering the aspect of a plate whose relief had been turned upwards. At 05:16 P.M., it suddenly presented itself upfron in the shape of a perfect disc. After that, it came to the apparent vertical location above the cablecar station of Revard, went down a little, then suddenly accelerated and disappeared as fast as a thunderflash. It was exactly 05:18:40 P.M."

"Depending on the angles of observation, the object went from a dark gray aluminum to a clearer gray. The phenomenon had lasted a little more than four minutes, during which I noted all his complicated moves on my note-book."

[Ref. lo1:] CORAL AND JIM LORENZEN:

These American authors note that on September 26, 1954, in France, half an hour after Madame Leboeuf's encounters, witnesses at Col du Chat, 65 miles northeast of the place of her sighting in Chabeuil, saw an object arrive at that location.

[Ref. ob1:] OTTO BINDER:

September 26, 1954, Col du Chat, France. Fifteen people saw a disc like an "inverted plate" that was descending "like a falling leaf."

[Ref. bb1:] GERARD BARTHEL AND JACQUES BRUCKER:

The two authors indicate that Doctor Martinet told:

"It was approximately 05:12 p.m., we were returnin from the Pass of the Cat (Col du Chat) when I suddenly saw above Croix du Nivollet, at an altitude of 2000 meters, at the limit of the foggy area, an aluminum gray body. After the Bourget air base, I stopped as well as the occupants of the other cars, it was 105:14 30 seconds p.m.; thirty seconds later, the object started to go down like a falling leaf, offering the aspect of a plate whose convex side had been turned upwards. At 05:16 it was facing us, in the shape of a perfect disc. In the center of the machine, a clearer zone and dark spots around. Then it went down suddenly, accelerated and disappeared in a split second. Depending on the observation angle, the object changed from dark gray to clear gray."

The two authors comment:

"This testimony is one of most precise there is. Its narrator, whose good faith and the perfect operation of the wristwatch cannot be questioned, the significant number of witnesses result that in this case we have to the perfect elements to analyze this UFO..."

Further in the book, they add that according to France-Soir for October 1, 1954, "a balloon was indeed observed".

[Ref. mf2:] MICHEL FIGUET:

[... Other information...]

About the sighting by Dr Martinet, it is really 05:12 p.m., 05:14 p.m. or 05:18 p.m. according to the different newspapers of the time.

[... Other information...]

[Ref. bb2:] GERARD BARTHEL AND JACQUES BRUCKER:

These authors indicate in criticism of an article by Michel Figuet that Dr. Martinet made his observation at 05:12 p.m. or 05:14 p.m. or p.m. 05:18 p.m. according to France Soir of October 1, 1954 and their investigation on the location on February 20, 1977.

The authors say that the explanation is that he had seen a balloon, also seen in many departments such as Savoy and Drôme in cases which they investigated.

They add that France Soir of October 1, 1954, dates the case as September 29, 1954, and that this case is variously located depending to the sources as at "col du Chat", "croix de Nivolet", "Challes les Eaux".

[Ref. lg1:] LOREN GROSS:


1? October. ?Chambery, France. (no time)

This incident was mentioned briefly on page four of the history monograph UFOs: A History 1954, October, page 4. Here is some additional detail: "Dr. M. Martinet, of Chambery, a former artillery observer, backed up by 15 witnesses, said he saw a dark gray mass hovering over mountains about 6,000 feet up. When it lost height it appeared 'in the shape of a plate, bottomside up."' (xx.)

(xx.) Auckland, New Zealand. Star. 1 October 54. (N.Z.P.A.- Reuter)

[Ref. dj1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

Encounter With Aliens On This Day

September 26

[...]

1954 - A disc-shaped object maneuvered around the sky and then hovered over a radio station on a mountain peak in Col-de-Chat, Savoie department, France at 5:14 p.m. There were 15 witnesses, and the sighting lasted at least 4 minutes. A photograph was taken. (Sources: Thomas M. Olsen, The Reference for Outstanding UFO Reports, case 50; Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 81).

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in Savoy in Le Bourget du Lac on September 26, 1954 at 17:12, "The witnesses are Doctor Martinet, dermatologist of Chambéry and former artillery observant, his wife, three pupils of the air base of Le Bourget-du-Lac, and the occupants of three cars, the whole group amounting to about fifteen people."

"'It was approximately 17:12. We returned by car from the Pass of Le Chat, when suddenly I saw at the apparent zenith of the cross of Nivolet, at an altitude I evaluated as 2000 meters, at the limit of the misty zone, a gray aluminum body. Having exceeded the air base of Le Bourget, I stopped my vehicle, the three others did the same, and we followed the maneuvers of the object. It was then 17:14 mn 30 s.'"

"'Initially, I thought of some atmospheric phenomenon, such as a cloudburst etc. But the wind blew from the Northwest, and the phenomenon came from the South Thirty seconds later, whereas we were about fifteen people to observe this object, it started to go down in falling leaf motion, offering the appearance of a plate whose bump had been turned upwards. At 17:16, it suddenly presented its front in the shape of a perfect disc. After that, it came to the apparent zenithof the cable car station of Revard, went down a little, then suddenly accelerated and disappeared like a thunderflash. It was exactly 17:18 mn 40 s. Depending on the angles of observation, the object passed from a dark gray aluminium to a clearer gray. The phenomenon had lasted a little more than four minutes, during which I noted all its complicated displacements on my notebook.'"

The sources are indicated as "UFOs at Close Sight by Gross Patrick ** http://ufologie.net" and "M.O.C. by Michel Aimé ** Arthaud 1958".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 29 September 1954 at 17:15 in Chambery, France, "Hovered. A hovering object was observed. A daytime disc was observed by 15 witnesses for over four minutes."

The source is indicated as Del Valle [sic, Delval], Pierre, Pierre Del Valle investigation files, Bordeaux.

[Ref. ud2:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 29 September 1954 at night in Lyon, France, "Doctor incident." And: "Fleet of large dinner-plate shaped discs, silver with dark spots on sides. A flying disc was observed. One silver disc was observed by over 16 witnesses in a city."

The source is indicated as Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

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

*Sep. 26, 1954 - A disc-shaped object maneuvered around the sky and then hovered over a radio station on a mountain peak in Col-de-Chat, Savoie department, France at 5:14 p.m. There were 15 witnesses, and the sighting lasted at least 4 minutes. A photograph was taken. (Sources: Thomas M. Olsen, The Reference for Outstanding UFO Reports, case 50; Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 81).

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

Date: September 26 1954

Location: Challes Airport, Savoie, France

Time: 05:18:40 P.M.

Summary: Doctor Martinet. “First of all, I thought of some atmospheric phenomenon, such as a cloudburst etc. But the wind blew from the North-West, and the phenomenon came from the South. Thirty seconds later, whereas we were about fifteen people to observe this object, it started to go down in a falling leaf manner, offering the aspect of a plate whose relief had been turned upwards. At 05:16 P.M., it suddenly presented itself upfron in the shape of a perfect disc. After that, it came to the apparent vertical location above the cablecar station of Revard, went down a little, then suddenly accelerated and disappeared as fast as a thunderflash. It was exactly 05:18:40 P.M.” “Depending on the angles of observation, the object went from a dark gray aluminum to a clearer gray. The phenomenon had lasted a little more than four minutes, during which I noted all his complicated moves on my note-book.”

Source: “Mystérieux Objets Célestes”, book by Aimé Michel, Seghers publisher, France, pp 115-117, 1958.

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

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540926 26.09.1954 Croix Nivollet France 17.14 NL
19540929 29.09.1954 Chambery France 17.15

Notes:

The comment of debunkers Bartel and Brucker is quite stunning. The totality of their book is devoted to the idea that there is strictly nothing of interest or truth in the entire French UFO flap of 1954.

It is particularly telling that whereas they repeatedly claim that ufologists that they call "gullible" do not document the sightings properly, omitting the sources and the dates, they themselve here and elsewhere also do not provide anything more than Dr. Martinet's say. They provide no date, no source, and none of the other information which makes indeed this case very interesting.

Lastly, isn't it frankly amazing that, since they estimate that we "have the perfect elements to analyze this UFO" they provide nothing else as an analysis than the "..." which follows this statement, and, further in the book, their judgement that it was a balloon, as in two other quite different cases with different dates.

Explanations:

Not looked for yet. It has been suggested it might habe been a flock of birds.

Keywords:

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

Croix de Nivollet, Savoie, Col du Chat, Dr. Martinet, multiple, saucer, grey, altitude, manoeuvers, falling leaf, convex

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 8, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 6, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 8, 2010 Addition [be1].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 7, 2010 Addition [ud2].
1.3 Patrick Gross September 13, 2014 Addition [lg1].
1.4 Patrick Gross November 15, 2014 Additions [ni1], [ta1].
1.5 Patrick Gross October 20, 2016 Additions [dl1], [bb2].
1.6 Patrick Gross January 19, 2017 Addition [er1].
1.7 Patrick Gross February 9, 2017 Addition [ub1].
1.8 Patrick Gross February 10, 2017 Addition [er2].

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This page was last updated on February 10, 2017.