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The 1954 French flap:

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

August 27, 1954, Salomé, Nord:

Reference number for this case: 27-Aug-54-Salomé. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

A French ufologist had found and kept a clipping from the regional newspaper Le Nouveau Nord Maritime, which reported on page 3 for August 31, 1954, what they called a "strange phenomenon" in the region of Lille on August 27, 1954:

"Lille, 30. -- Friday, around 4:30 p.m., the inhabitants of Salomé, near La Bassée, heard a noise like a thunder roll."

"A few moments later, slowly came from the direction of Marquilles, an elongated cloud of vaguely conical shape, the point of which was constituted by a grayish ball of 1 m. in diameter."

"For one or two minutes, the tin sheets of several hangars were torn off, carried away by the immense whirlpool and they fell back with a crash. A sheet metal roof was completely dismantled."

"The cloud, dragging birds and spreading a strong smell of sulfur, projected the sheaves of wheat several tens of meters high. It took about a quarter of an hour to cover three kilometers..."

"It moved towards the canal and lifted bundles of water some twenty meters high. The phenomenon then moved towards La Bassée."

Reports:

[Ref. nnm1:] "LE NOUVEAU NORD MARITIME" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

STRANGE PHENOMENON IN THE LILLE REGION

Lille, 30. -- Friday, around 4:30 p.m., the inhabitants of Salomé, near La Bassée, heard a noise like a thunder roll.

A few moments later, slowly came from the direction of Marquilles, an elongated cloud of vaguely conical shape, the point of which was constituted by a grayish ball of 1 m. in diameter.

For one or two minutes, the tin sheets of several hangars were torn off, carried away by the immense whirlpool and they fell back with a crash. A sheet metal roof was completely dismantled.

The cloud, dragging birds and spreading a strong smell of sulfur, projected the sheaves of wheat several tens of meters high. It took about a quarter of an hour to cover three kilometers...

It moved towards the canal and lifted bundles of water some twenty meters high. The phenomenon then moved towards La Bassée.

Explanations:

Obviously a tornado. Negative case.

The reasons such as story appears in my catalogue are:

  1. The press clipping [nnm1] was collected by a French ufologist and forwarded to me by another French ufologist.
  2. As a negative case, it shows how a newspaper can report a commonplace weather phenomenon. Indeed, another tornado was really called a "flying cigar" with "a saucer" that year.

Keywords:

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

Salomé, Nord, negative case, ball, tornado

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross February 17, 2020 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 17, 2020.