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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 2, 1954, Jonches, Yonne:

Reference number for this case: 2-oct-54-Jonches. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Reports:

[Ref. yr1:] "L'YONNE REPUBLICAINE" NEWSPAPER:

>FLYING SAUCERS PASSENGERS?
On Saturday, two strangers were observing the Auxerre airfield

WHO HASN'T SEEN HIS FLYING SAUCER?

Without any doubt, the nonbelievers will read the headline with such comment.

In any case, and whereas the public authorities (1) did still do nothing to clarify the various opinions of forty million French, we will continue to inform our readers as information reaches us.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON
NEAR AUXERRE

It was 06:45 P.M. - 7 P.M. approximately when Mr. Robert Cuffaut (son of the special assistant of Jonches, Mr. Emile Cuffaut), who worked with his tractor at the location named "Croix-aux-Moines," between Jonches and Egriseilles, saw two individuals at a few hundreds of meters, two individuals dressed of almost clear white color, who looked in his direction, i.e., that of the airfield. From this place Auxerre is also very well visible.

Mr. Cuffaut continued to drive, and after three turns around the field without leaving the individuals from sight they continued to look in the same direction. After that, having undoubtedly supposed that this tractor driver had perhaps seen them, the individuals went away behind a hedge to continue their probable inspection. Mr. Cuffaut, continued to work. He was alone. He is well balanced and did not alarm the hamlet for so little. Leaving his field at 07:15 - 07:30 P.M., he continued to work with his headlights on until nearly nine hours.

It is only at 08:45 very precisely, Mr. Cuffaut noted it, that he saw an apparatus of amber color coming from the direction from where the individuals were precisely, that slipped by at an increasingly extraordinary speed in the direction of Ligny-le-Chatel, towards the North-East roughly.

- In 4 or 5 seconds, it was already gone.

Here are the facts strictly as Mr. Robert Cuffaut described them.

The field: a waste land belonging to Mr. Girard, of Auxerre, surrounded by undergrowth on all the sides or almost. Easy to locate because of a pond. Large of two hectares and placed in a deserted place, excellent panoramic point of view.

Several inhabitants of Jonches, among them Mr. Thomasain, rural policeman, went on the area of Croix-des-Moines" and did not see any trace in the waste land.

Mr. Cuffaut cannot tell us of any noise because his tractor was producing noise, it could not judge that. He thinks that the machine measured 4 to 5 meters length. "But this is only an estimate I give. It was so quickly gone."

We will probably never know more about it.

Note: the other cases mentioned in the newspaper article are dealt with in their appropriate case files.

[Ref. jv5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

193 -003.58920 47.82600 02 10 1954 (JONCHES.AUXERRE) F 021 G

[Ref. jv1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

The author indicates that on October 2, 1954, in Jonches, close to Auxerre, two humanoids were seen on the ground and two hours later a red luminous object was observed at the same place at very low altitude.

[Ref. jv2:] JACQUES VALLEE:

178

Oct. 02, 1954, Jonches (France).

Two creatures were seen on the ground, and two hours later a luminous red object was observed at the same spot, at very low altitude. (Quincy)

[Ref. jv7:] JACQUES VALLEE - MAGAZINE "HISTORIA":

October 2, 1954. Jonches.

Two creatures were seen on the ground and two hours later a bright red object was observed at the same place, at very low altitude.

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

The two authors indicate that on October 2, 1954 at an unspecified time, in Auxerre, in the department of the Yonne, at the place known as "Jonches", two creatures were seen on the ground. Two hours later, a luminous red object was observed at the same place at very low altitude.

The sources are indicated to be case 178 of the Vallée catalogue, and "Quincy".

[Ref. mf1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

French ufologist Michel Figuet is certain that it was a helicopter.

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

According to these two ufologists, the object was an helicopter or an aircraft related to the nearby airfield.

They complain about the brevity of Jacques Vallée's account and note that he mixed what were probably two different events into one.

They say they talked to the witness who told them that the "creatures" were normal beings, maybe a little taller than a man, they were dressed in light colored clothes, that there were traces on the ground which were like a sort of scale with bars distant of four meters and that his sighting is to be believed since the gendarmes investigated it.

The authors say that the gendarmes denied that there has been an investigation but that they remembered the case and that the trace was "ordinary". The authors note that the trace cannot be associated to an object because none was seen, and that Mr. C., the witness, "admitted that the distance between him and the object was of 300 to 400 meters."

They finally note that the area was near to an airfield, and thus conclude that the case has nothing to do in a flying saucers listing.

[Ref. sa1:] PIER LUIGI SANI:

This Italian ufologist wrote an article to refute the claims by ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker in their book "La Grande Peur Martienne" on the French wave of 1954, and provides examples of what he denounces as fraudulent or unjustified explanations they gave for cases, such as:

2. The case at "Jonches":

A sighting of two beings in light-coloured clothing. Two hours later, a luminous object was also seen, at a low altitude. Traces were left by it, and there was an investigation by the Gendarmeric. Conclusion by B. and B.:

There is an airport in the vicinity, so consequently the UFO hypothesis is at once ruled out.

[Ref. lg1] LOREN GROSS:

Jonches, France. October 2nd.

A brief report mentions two "creatures" at a particular location, and after a period of two hours a low flying, red glowing, object was seen in the same area. 16.

  • 16. Rogerson, Peter. "The Catalogue." MUFOB New Series 2. March 1976. #36 p.7.

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

Jean Sider indicates that according to L'Yonne Republicaine newspaper, of Auxerres, for October 4, 1954, on page 3, Robert Cuffaut plowed his field with his tractor on October 2, 1954, at 06:45 p.m. in Jonches in the Yonne, when he noticed two normal individuals in light clothes who looked in his direction while following his tractor with the eyes, during three tours of the field.

That lasted long minutes and the witness considered that it was weird as his field was in a isolated sector and surrounded by high hedges.

At 08:45 p.m., he observed an apparatus color of ember which seemed to take off behind a hedge of his field, precisely where the individuals came from. The craft went towards Ligny-le-Châtel and was lost from sight in 4 or 5 seconds.

Jean Sider points out that it is not obvious that the individuals and the craft are connected, that Michel Figuet does not give the hours and calls these individuals "beings", which lends to many interpretations.

He notes that the version by Jacques Vallée simply states that two creatures are seen on the ground and that two hours later a luminous object is seen at the same place, flying very low. Jean Sider indicates that this too concise and erroneous version was used as a basis by debunkers Barthel and Brucker to make the incident ordinary, starting by claiming that the main witness is "Mr C...", this indicating that they did not know his identity, not more than Michel Figuet gave it on his page 106.

They make then a boob by talking of their "tiresome research" of which they "spare" their readers, to find the witnesses (plural) of the incident, whereas there was only one witness.

Jean Sider also notes that Mr. Cuffaut did not say it was two "creatures" like Barthel and Brucker do, but spoke about two individuals, and that it was enough to read the journalistic source to realize that and to find the identity of the witness.

Jean Sider notes that Barthel and Brucker claim to have spoken to the witness, who allegedly told them to have found traces on the ground, and that the Gendarmerie made an investigation. Barthel and Brucker refute this then, with the reason that the Gendarmes allegedly told them they did no investigation but remember the case, and according to them the trace was of no interest.

Jean Sider does not believe that the allegations of tiresome investigation of Barthel and Brucker is true. On the one hand they do not seem to know the witness' name, on the other hand, if there were no Gendarmerie investigation, the change of career make improbable that Gendarmes have memories of the case more than 20 years later. Lastly, the Gendarmerie file being centralized in Leblanc in the Indre after ten years, it was not possible to find traces of their investigation locally if there were one.

Jean Sider also notes that in 1988, Joel Mesnard managed to locate the witness' widow in ten minutes although he did not know his name, and that Mrs. Cuffaut informed that her husband had died more than 10 years ago, and that Barthel and Brucker thus claimed to have spoken to a dead man, unless they talked to him before his death.

Lastly, Jean Sider indicates elsewhere in his book that the counter-investigation by Barthel and Brucker on the case is "imaginary."

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

112.

Location. Jonches, France

Date: October 2 1954

Time: unknown

Two humanoid creatures were seen on the ground, and 2 hours later a luminous red object at very low altitude was observed at the same spot. No other information.

Humcat 1954-64

Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia

Type: D

[Ref. dj1:] UFOCAT'S "ON THIS DAY":

On this Day

October 2

[...]

1954 - Two creatures were seen on the ground in Jonches, France. Two hours later a luminous red object was observed at the same spot, at a very low altitude. (Sources: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia, p. 215; Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: Le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochees en France, p. 107).

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

Jerome Beau indicates that on Saturday, October 2, 1954 in Jonches in France, two humanoids were seen on the ground and two hours later, a luminous red object was observed at the same place, at very low altitude.

Jérome Beau indicates that his sources are Quincy, and Vallée, J., case #40, "Rapport sur l'analyse de 200 observations documentées faites en 1954".

[Ref. cm1:] "CA MANQUE PAS D'AIR":

A web page of the TV show "Ca manque pas d'air" on the TV channel France 3 about the UFO topic indicates:

"Case of the observation in Jonches (in the Yonne) on October 2, 1954, with the presence of 2 humanoids."

A link forwards to the present web page on my web site.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Yonne in Auxerre on October 2, 1954 at an unknown hour, at the place known as 'Jonches', two creatures are seen on the ground, two hours later, a luminous red object is observed at the same place at very low altitude.

The source is indicated as "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 2 October 1954 at 18:50 in Jonches, France, "Close encounter with a an unidentified craft and its occupants. One red object was observed for 120 minutes. Two beings were seen. Explanation: Re-entry."

"Two humanoid creatures were seen on the ground, and 2 hours later a luminous red object at very low altitude was observed at the same spot. No other information."

The sources are indicated as Webb, David, HUMCAT: Catalogue of Humanoid Reports; Bowen, Charles, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, FSR, London, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01); Vallee, Jacques, A Century of Landings (N = 923), (in JVallee04), Chicago, 1969; Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Delaire, J. Bernard, UFO Register Volume 7 (1976), Data Research, Oxford, 1976; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002; Rosales, Albert, Humanoid Sighting Reports Database.

[Ref. ud2:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 2 October 1954 in Jonches, France, "Two creatures were seen on the ground, and two hours later a luminous red object was observed at the same spot, at very low altitude. Explanation: Re-entry."

"Two creatures were seen on the ground in Jonches, France . Two hours later a luminous red object was observed at the same spot, at a very low altitude."

"Close encounter with a an unidentified craft and its occupants. One red ball was observed for 120 minutes. Two beings were seen."

The sources are indicated as Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01).

[Ref. pr1:] PETER ROGERSON:

October 2 1954, 1845hrs.

JONCHES (YONNE : FRANCE)

Two creatures were seen on the ground and a couple of hours later a luminous red object was seen in the same spot at low altitude,

Vallee Case 178, citing Guy Quincy.

[Ref. jg1:] JULIEN GONZALEZ:

The author indicates that there was a close encounter of the third kind in Auxerre with the hamlet to Jonches, in the Yonne, on October 2, 1954, at 06:45 p.m. and 08:45 p.m.

Robert Cuffaut was working with his tractor at the locality "Croix-aux-Moines" between Jonches and Egriselles at 06:45 p.m., when he saw at a few hundreds of meters two individuals dressed of almost white color, who were looking in his direction.

He continued his work and noted that the individuals continued to look towards him; which the witness considered odd since his field is surrounded by high hedges and located in an isolated sector.

Suddenly, the two individuals left behind a hedge and disappeared from the sight of the witness who continued to work.

At 08:45 p.m., he saw passing, coming from the direction where the individuals were, an apparatus of ember color which seemed to take off from behind a hedge of its field.

Julien Gonzalez adds that in 1979, in "La Grande Peur Martienne" published by the Nouvelles Editions Rationalistes, Barthel and Brucker had claimed to have found the witness after tiresome research, and he would have told them to have found traces on the ground and that the Gendarmerie investigated.

Then, Barthel and Brucker refute that, affirming to have contacted the gendarmes who told them not to have made an investigation but to have had heard of the affair. According to them, the trace was uninteresting. Barthel and Brucker conclude that "the framework of this observation is located near an airfield, the conditions are met so that these events do not have anything any more to do in the flying saucers file".

Julien Gonzalez adds that in 1988, Joel Mesnard and Roger Chéreau carried out a counter-investigation without knowing the name of the witness, and found his widow in ten minutes. She confirmed to them the statement of her husband, deceased for more than ten years. They managed to note that the observation had proceeded on a hill very far away from the airfield.

He indicates in the end that the article of Yonne Républicaine forOctober 4, 1954, specified that the field where Mr. Cuffaut worked is a wasteland belonging to Mr. Girard of Auxerre, surrounded by undergrowth on all the sides, large of 2 hectares and located in a deserted place, hence the astonishment of the witness at the sight of the two individuals dressed in white. Moreover the article announced that several inhabitants of Jonches, including a guard forrester, Mr. Thomassin, had gone on the spot where the two individuals disappeared and did not find any trace.

The sources are indicated as L'Yonne Républicaine for OCtober 4, 1954; Jean Sider, Le dossier 1954 et l'imposture rationaliste, page 32-34 and 180.

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

*Oct. 2, 1954 - Two creatures were seen on the ground in Jonches, France. Two hours later a luminous red object was observed at the same spot, at a very low altitude. (Sources: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia, p. 215; Michel Figuet & Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: Le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochees en France, p. 107).

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

Location: Jonches, France

Date: October 2 1954

Time: unknown

Two humanoid creatures were seen on the ground, and 2 hours later a luminous red object at very low altitude was observed at the same spot. No other information.

Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia 178

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

This database recorded this case 7 times instead of one:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541002 02.10.1954 Jonches France CE III
19541002 02.10.1954 Jonches France CE III
19541002 02.10.1954 Jonches France
19541002 02.10.1954 Jonches France CE III
19541002 02.10.1954 Jonches France CE III
19541002 02.10.1954 Jonches France CE III
19541002 02.10.1954 Jonches France CE III

Explanations:

Not looked for yet. Possible helicopter.

About the critic of Barthel and Brucker by Jean Sider:

Jean Sider's arguments are not at all convincing, and give the impression that, on this case, he was just as manipulator as Barthel and Brucker supposedly were.

The first point is that Sider claims Barthel and Brucker did not know the name of the witness because they call him "Mr C..." without giving his full name, which he suggested being the same with Michel Figuet on page 106. However, Figuet on page 106 does not even give "Mr. C", but "Mr. XX." From this emerges that in fact, Barthel and Brucker probably knew the full name of the witness and indicated only "Mr. C" probably quite simply not to reveal an identity which they noted Figuet did not publish at all. By calling the witness "Mr. C", they prove by no means that they did not know the full name and thus could not have spoken to him, they prove on the contrary that they knew his name - although that does not prove that they spoke to him. Besides, they explicitly wrote in their text about the case that when the name of a witness was silenced in the ufological sources, they refrain from providing it.

A second point raised by Jean Sider is that there is a lie by Barthel and Brucker since there was one witness only whereas they claim to have had a hard time finding the witnesses (plural). But the argument is rather specious if one considers that several residents of Jonches, among those Mr. Thomasain, rural policeman, went to search for traces in the fields, and thus can also be regarded as witnesses that Barthel and Brucker were right to look for, if only to have their testimonies about these traces or the reputation of Mr. Cuffaut in the village.

A third point is that Jean Sider evokes that Barthel and Brucker claimed to have spoken with a man who was dead since the witness died on a given date as 10 years before Joel Mesnard learned it from the widow in 1988. But thus brings back the year of the death to 1978, and Barthel and Brucker having published their book in 1979, there is really nothing extraordinary with the idea that they would have spoken to Mr. Cuffaut in 1978 or before. Admittedly, after having scoffed about the interview of a dead man, Jean Sider moderates his remark by suggesting that maybe they talked to him before he died. But in the event, it was all the same a useless argument.

Jean Sider criticizes on several occasions Barthel and Brucker for having carried out their investigations by phone instead of going on locations. He does not put out this criticism here; perhaps because Joel Mesnard's conversation with Mrs. Cuffaut was also by phone and the remark would have been ill-placed this time? And why was Mrs Cuffaut, on this occasion, not just asked if her husband actually had met or talked on the phone with Barthel and Brucker, which would have put the a simple answer to the matter of the "invented investigation" of the latter, if such was the case?

Lastly, why does Jean Sider completely conceal the explanation given by Barthel and Brucker, that of a helicopter or plane from the nearby airfield? Is this to have the reader think that Barthel and Brucker's approach would have been to claim the case was a hoax? If there was good sense in recalling that the "beings" were in fact "individuals", was it not just as relevant to recall that Barthel and Brucker confirmed the report but allotted it to a possible aircraft from the nearby airfield?

About the Barthel and Brucker discussion of the case:

The two authors indeed complain about the insufficient data on the case; they reproduce the summary by Jacques Vallée and are ironical by calling it "very precise". The criticism is actually deserved, briefly cataloguing such cases on short sources (Quincy) and without any concern for checking into them was bad ufology.

One can notice that according to Barthel and Brucker, the observation is not a pure fabrication since they write that "one remembers the 'obs' in the country", and that the Gendarmes told them they remembered it.

It is however clear that, as in the whole of their work, their say is rather obscure, badly documented, badly supported. By no means do we get to know with whom exactly they spoke, neither when, neither if they were on the spot or not, nor what the gendarmes exactly said. With regard to the trace for example, the Gendarmes allegedly told them that it was "ordinary", but by no means do we get to know what this meant for the Gendarmes. Was the trace described by Mr. Cuffaut according to Barthel and Brucker invented by Mr. Cuffaut or not? We will not know. But we can note that it does not match helicopter traces.

Barthel and Brucker find that the witness is contradicted by the fact that there was no Gendarmerie investigation. But how would Mr. Cuffaut have differentiated the fact that the gendarmes spoke to him and saw the trace, from an investigation per se? There is nothing astonishing that, telling what he saw to the Gendarmes, and the latter hearing him out and looking at a trace, he deduced that they were investigating and not just merely making the conversation. The Gendarmes possibly did not log anything, but it is useless to suggest that it really contradicts Mr. Cuffaut.

Lastly, it is obvious that while Barthel and Brucker suggests that the explanation lies in the proximity of an airport, they do not seem to have proposed this type of possibility to the witness - by fear of seeing it contradicted? As the newspaper wrote it at the time, "we will probably never learn anything more", quite simply because neither at the time nor since, nobody thought to carry out the least decent ufological investigation of this case.

The case:

The individuals, according to Mr. Cuffaut, were at 400 or 500 meters, well beyond a distance where humans and humanoids can be differentiated - any human looks humanoid and vice versa if it does not have a really strange morphology. It is thus logical that Mr. Cuffaut was hardly moved at the time by these two characters and did not give more detail about them. This by no means excuses the transformations into "beings" or "creatures" found in ufological sources, since it leads readers to think they were actually not human.

In fact, from the little being said, it arises that Mr. Cuffaut was probably not carried to sensationalistic claims or exaggeration. He points out that he cannot claim an absence of noise from the craft since his tractor could have covered it. He makes a remark of prudence about his size estimate of the craft. It precisely notes the hour of its passage in the sky. All this makes very regrettable that there was nobody to correctly approach his testimony, whereas the opportunity was there, instead of putting out misleading "summaries" and criticisms of ufologists by ufologists exclu^sively on their general failure.

Keywords:

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

Jonches, Yonne, object, luminous, red, low, occupants, helicopter, gendarmes, trace, humans, clothes, light

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 27, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross February 27, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lc1], [ud1], [ud2].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 20, 2010 Addition [jv5].
1.2 Patrick Gross August 13, 2013 Addition [pr1].
1.3 Patrick Gross September 28, 2014 Additions [sa1], [ni1], [ta1].
1.4 Patrick Gross December 13, 2016 Additions [lg1], [jg1], [ub1].

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