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The 1954 French flap:

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

December 29, 1954, Bru, Dordogne:

Reference number for this case: 29-dec-54-Bru. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The case initially appeared in the regional newspaper "Sud-Ouest", of Bordeaux, for December 31, 1954. A Mr. Gamba, resident of Bru, close to Gardonne, in the Dordogne, saw on December 29, 1954, at 09:00 p.m., a red, oval object, at about fifty meters of him. He told:

"I wanted to get closer, but I felt as paralyzed very quickly however this paralysis disappeared. Then, I left, running to seek my brothers. All together, we returned towards the craft. It was surrounded by a kind of white light, which gradually became red. It left the ground and rose in direction of the east. On the whole, it had remained there a good quarter of an hour. We went on the location. It looked like the soil had been turned over. At the edge of the river, small trees had been damaged, as if some of their branches had been cut with a knife."

Michel Figuet indicated in 1979 that it was on the following day that the three witnesses went on the spot and discovered these strange traces and cut shrubs, on the path. The story was largely republished, but it seems that no no other source has anything more to say about it.

Reports:

[Ref. jv5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

200, Dec. 29. At 21.00, a man who was going to Gardonne (France) saw in the vicinity of Bru an oval, red object fifty metres away from him. When he tried to approach it, he found he was unable to move. When this 'paralysis' subsided he ran to the house where his brothers lived, 300 metres away, and came back with them. When they approached, the object became white, then red, rose and flew away towards the East. It had been on the ground for 15 minutes at last. Strange traces were found at the site, as if the ground had been dug up, and small trees near the river were found cut, apparently with a knife.

[Ref. jv1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

358

Dec. 29, 1954, 09:00 P.M., Bru (France).

Near Gardonne, Mr. Gamba saw an oval red object 50 m away. When he tried to approach it, he found he was unable to move. As soon as this "paralysis" subsided, he ran to get his brothers and came back to the craft, which turned white, then red. It rose and flew away toward the east. It had been on the ground for at least 15 min. Strange traces were found, as if the ground had been dug up. Small trees near the river were found damaged, as if they had been cut with a knife. (103) (Sud-Ouest, 29 Déc. 1954).

[Ref. cg1:] CHARLES GARREAU:

Charles Garreau indicates that on December 29, 1954 in Bru near Gardonne in France, Mr. Gamba saw an oval red thing land at approximately 50 meters of him, and he approached, but, he said, he felt paralysed.

As soon as this paralysis disappeared, he ran to seek his brothers and they returned close to the apparatus, which became white, then red.

It then rose and flew away towards the east.

Strange traces were discovered, as if the ground had been turned over, and the small trees of the edge of the river were damaged as if they had been cut with a sharp object.

[Ref. gl1:] CHARLES GARREAU ET RAYMOND LAVIER:

The two authors provide the statement of an inhabitant of the hamlet, Mr. Gamba who declares that in Bru, close to Gardonne, on December 29, 1954 at 09:00 p.m., he saw a red, oval object, at about fifty meters of him:

"I wanted to get closer, but I felt as paralyzed very quickly however this paralysis disappeared. Then, I left, running to seek my brothers. All together, we returned towards the craft. It was surrounded by a kind of white light, which gradually became red. It left the ground and rose in direction of the east. On the whole, it had remained there a good quarter of an hour. We went on the location. It looked like the soil had been turned over. At the edge of the river, small trees had been damaged, as if some of their branches had been cut with a knife."

The two authors indicate Jacques Vallée's catalogue and LDLN magazine for February 1970 as sources.

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two ufologists and authors indicate that on December 29, 1954 at 09:00 p.m., Mr. Gamba went to Gardonne while skirting the Dordogne river on a small way. Arrived close to Bru, he saw an oval and red object. When he tried to approach it, he found himself unable to move.

When this "paralysis" stopped, he run to two brothers who were farm workers 300 meters from there.

Returned on the spot, they noted the phenomenon and when they tried to approach, the object became white, then red, rose vertically and flew away towards the East.

It had remained on the ground for at least 15 minutes.

The next day, the three witnesses went on the spot and discovered strange traces on the way as if the ground had been dug. Shrubs close to the river had been cut as with a knife.

The two authors indicate Vallée, Garreau, and the newspaper Sud-Ouest for August 7, 1974, as sources.

[Ref. lg1:] LOREN GROSS:

December 29th. Bru, France. (9:00 p.m.)

A mysterious red-glowing, oval, mass was seen by a Frenchman by the name of M. Gamba. When first spotted, the crimson body on the ground about 40 yards away and unmoving, so M. Gamba walked toward it to get a better look. As he drew near, a strange paralysis stopped him in his tracks. This immovability was temporary, and when M. Gamba regained enough feeling, he ran to get other witnesses, returning to the scene minutes later. The UFO was still there, but was showing some activity, turning color. The thing turned white and then back to red, after which it vaulted into the air and travelled east. Where the object had rested, the soil was found distrubed and trees in the area had some limbs slathed. 185.

  • 185. 185. Sud-Quest. 31 December 54.

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

Jean Sider indicates that on December 29, 1954 to 21:00, Mr. Gamba was along the Dordogne [river] going towards Gardonne, when close to Bru he sees a red oval object, approaches, and feels paralysed. When he was able to move he rushed to get his two brothers 300 meters from there, and the three return and note that the phenomenon is still there. When they try to get closer, the object becomes white, then red again, takes off and moves away towards the East.

The nest day, the witnesses discover strange traces on the spot, as if the ground had been dug, and of the shrubs close to the river are cut clear as if with a knife.

Jean Sider indicates that the source is "Figuet p.214."

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on December 29, in France, in Bru, in the Garonne, Mr. Gamba saw a red object, oval, 50 m of him. When he wanted to approach he noted that he like was paralysed. As soon as this paralysis disappeared he ran to seek his brothers, who returned with him close to the apparatus, which became white, then red. It rose and flew away towards the east. It had remained on the ground at least 15 minutes. At the place of its landing the ground had been turned over. The small trees at the edge of the river were damaged, as if they had been cut with a knife.

Geneviève van Overmeire indicates that the source is Jacques Vallée: "Chronique des apparitions ET", Denoël 1972 - Coll. J'Ai Lu, p. 293.

[Ref. tp1:] TED PHILLIPS:

Case 099: December 29th, 1954. FRANCE, Bru. Time: 21.00

A Mr. Gamba saw an oval red object 175 ft. away. When he tried to approach it, he found he was unable to move. As soon as this "paralysis" subsided, he ran to get his brothers and came back to the object, which turned white, then red. It rose and flew away toward the east. It had been on the ground at least 15 minutes. Traces were found, as if the ground had been dug up. Small trees near the river were found damaged, as if they had been cut with a knife. (VALLEE III)

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

Jérôme Beau indicates that on December 29, 1954 at 9 p.m. in Bru, "Mr. Gamba sees a red oval object, at 50 m of him. When it tries to approach, it noted that he is like "paralyzed." As soon as this paralysis disappears, he runs to get his brothers and returns close to the apparatus which became white then red, rises and flies away towards the east. It remained on the ground at least 15 mn. Strange traces are discovered as if the ground had been turned over. The small trees at the edge of the river are damaged, as if they had been cut with a knife."

Jérôme Beau indicates that his source is "Sud-Ouest, December 31, 1954."

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Dordogne in Coux and Bigaroque on December 29, 1954, at 9:00 p.m., the witness saw a red oval object 50 meters away. "I wanted to get closer, but I felt as paralyzed very quickly however this paralysis disappeared. Then, I left, running to seek my brothers. All together, we returned towards the craft. It was surrounded by a kind of white light, which gradually became red. It left the ground and rose in direction of the east. On the whole, it had remained there a good quarter of an hour. We went on the location. It looked like the soil had been turned over. At the edge of the river, small trees had been damaged, as if some of their branches had been cut with a knife."

Luc Chastan indicates that the sources are "Magonia list of cases by Jacques Vallée" and "UFOs at Close Sight by Gross Patrick ** http://ufologie.net". [The old URL of my ufology website home page.]

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 29 December 1954, at 21:00 in Bru, France, near Gardonne, Mr. Gamba saw an oval red object 50 meters away. When he tried to approach it, he found he was unable to move. As soon as this "paralysis" subsided, he ran to get his brothers and came back to the craft, which turned white, then red. It rose and flew away toward the east. It had been on the ground for at least 15 minutes. Strange traces were found, as if the ground had been dug up. Small trees near the river were found damaged, as if they had been cut with a knife.

The website comments that "An object was observed. Physiological effects were noted. Traces found. One red oval object, around 100 feet away, was observed by more than three male witnesses on a river for over 15 minutes (Gamba)."

The sources are indicated as Bowen, Charles, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, FSR, London, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, A Century of Landings (N = 923), (in JVallee04), Chicago, 1969; Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Phillips, Ted R., Ted Phillips investigation files; Phillips, Ted R., Physical Traces Associated with UFO Sightings, CUFOS, Chicago, 1975.

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

*Dec. 29, 1954 - At 9:00 p.m. a red oval-shaped object was seen on the ground near a river in Bru, near Gardonne, Gironde, France, 50 meters away from witnesses. The main witness, a Mr. Gamba, tried to approach it but was unable to move. The object rose up into the air, and as it did it changed color from white to red. Traces found at the site showed that the ground had been dug up, and some small trees had been cut. (Sources: Jacques Vallee, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, p. 20; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, case 358, citing Sud Quest, December 31, 1954).

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

This same case is recorded 5 times in this online database, with as only information that it was in France, in Bru, at 09:00 p.m. on December 29, 1954, and that it is a case of the "close encounter of the 2nd kind" type.

Explanations:

Unidentified, the Moon may be a low-probability explanation.

On this date, hour and place, the moon was at the azimuth 247° and a rather low elevation of 9°54', setting down. The moon, a red moon perhaps, partly hidden by scattred clouds, could thus constitute the "less worse explanation" if one does not want to hear about anything less ordinary.

It is a fact that the traces, apparently noticed the following day, cannot qualify as good evidence. There was no investigation, obviously the Sud-Ouest newspaper article is the only source of information.

On the other side, I am not very convinced with the notion that three people could be misled at the same time apparently during "a good quarter of hour". The "paralysis" is not very convincing, but it does not help a Moon explanation. And especially, the witness indicates that the thing "left the ground" and "rose towards the East", therefore a rise, whereas the moon was setting down towards the West.

Keywords:

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

Bru, Dordogne, Gamba, object, red, oval, close, paralyzed, effect, craft, white, landing, lengthy, traces, trees, ground

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 19, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 26, 2008 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [js1], [go1], [ud1], [lc1].
1.1 Patrick Gross July 7, 2010 Addition [cg1].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 18, 2014 Addition [ni1].
1.3 Patrick Gross October 20, 2016 Addition [ub1].
1.4 Patrick Gross December 22, 2016 Addition [lg1].
1.5 Patrick Gross December 1, 2016 Addition of the Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."
1.6 Patrick Gross January 21, 2017 Addition [jv7].

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