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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 2, 1954, Montaren, Gard:

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

Summary:

In the regional newspaper Le Provençal for October 9, 1954, we learn via their press correspondent in Uzès that "Last Saturday", therefore on October 2, 1954, around 8 p.m., Mr. Court, farmer at Le Mas Blanc, near Uzès, when closing the gate of his house, saw an oval, orange, incandescent mass, which shone with a very bright glow.

It was approximately between Montaren and Cerviers, about 1 km from Le Mas Blanc and seemed slightly raised above the ground, appearing as an elongated mass which had an oscillating movement.

The witness quickly called his wife, who, after seeing the phenomenon, in turn called Doctor Fabre, city councilor, and his family, who was having dinner at that moment.

The doctor, Ms. Fabre, and her young daughters, Catherine and Claude, observed the phenomenon.

As Doctor Fabre was about to call the gendarmerie, the orange shape diminished and "disappeared in the distance."

In the 1960s, the ufologist Jacques Vallée catalogued this case as a "near landing" by a brief summary, mistakenly dating it of Saturday, October 9, 1954, correcting the mispell "Cerviers" to Serviers, but without any indication of source, and this will be repeated many times by others without further information.

Reports:

[Ref. lpl1:] "LE PROVENCAL" NEWSPAPER:

BETWEEN MONTEUX AND ALTHEN-LES-PALUDS

A farmer affirms to have seen an unknown and phosphorescent craft in a field

Avignon (C.P.).

Thursday around 02:30 p.m. Mr. Rene Margaillon, 40 years old, living in the community of Monteux (Vaucluse), district of Pourpiasse, went to his agricultural occupations with his cart. Suddenly, at approximately a hundred meters in a field, he saw a mysterious craft. Keeping all his coolness, he stopped his cart, blocked the brake and advanced in direction of the machine. This craft, in his opinion, measured 2 m 50 in height and it was phosphorescent. All of a sudden, he did not see anything anymore and remained breathless during a few seconds.

Telling his adventure to whom wanted to hear it, Mr. Margaillon was the subject of jokes in particular from friends that came to see him. But the farmer is formal in his statement. He really saw a mysterious machine which did not leave any trace.

What is it? We do not know.

In any event, this adventure caused great fuss in the vicinity.

An incandescent oval mass on the area of Uzès

Observed by several people

Uzès (C.P.).

UZES (C.P.). -- Last saturday, around 8 p.m., Mr. Court, farmer at Le Mas Blanc, close to Uzès, saw when he was closing the gate of his house a mass, oval, orange, incandescent, which shone of a very sharp glare. It was roughly between Montaren and Cerviers, at 1 km approximately of Le Mas Blanc and seemed slightly elevated above ground-level.

This lengthened mass was subject to an oscillatory movement.

[illegible] called his wife in all haste. The latter, after having seen the phenomenon, called in her turn Doctor Fabre, city council man, and his family, who was having dinner at this time.

The doctor, Mrs. Fabre, and her girls, Catherine and Claude, realized of the reality of the phenomenon. At the time when Doctor Fabre was on the verge of phoning to the gendarmerie, the orange shape reduced in size and disappeared in the distance.

A cigar in the sky of Saint-Menet

Saint Menet.

"It was exactly 02:16 p.m., I was with my wife in the caretaker's lodge of the Nestlé factory, in Saint-Menet, when the craft appeared to me." Thus expresses Pascal Panzani, caretaker the said factory. And Mr. Panzani who swears on his honor of former gendarme of saying all the truth adds: "Of cylindrical form, the object which seemed made out of aluminium was very brilliant. After its appearance above Saint-Menet and Millière at approximately 500 meters altitude, it disappeared in a few seconds in the direction of the hills of Cassis."

[Ref. jve1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

214) October 09, 1954, Montaren (France):

Between this village, and that of Serviers, at 1 km of the "Mas Blanc," Dr. Fabre, Mr. Court, and six other people saw an oval object of orange orange oscillating in mid-air. It was very bright and "fiery." It came down at low altitude. (Personal).

The catalog from which this entry comes is preceded by this warning, in a previous issue, by Jacques Vallée:

We do not believe that we have to apologize for the inclusion of testimonies which may justifiably appear incredible or grotesque. We do not claim that there exists in this Catalog a single observation of a physical event of an unknown nature.

We are not publishing a table of experimental results obtained in the laboratory, but only a general guide to facilitate the study of the abundant literature which has accumulated on an astonishing topic.

It would therefore be dishonest and a serious misunderstanding of our design, to treat all the cases of this catalog as if they had the same level of validity, or to affirm that the presence of this or that particular case reinforces or destroys by itself the degree of confidence that one can place in another case. WE CANNOT ACCEPT LIABILITY FOR ERRORS FROM THOSE WHO IGNORE THIS WARNING.

[Ref. jve2:] JACQUES VALLEE:

The author indicates that on October 9, 1954, between Montaren and Uzès, within one kilometer of the farm the farmhouse Le Mas Blanc, a doctor, a farmer and six other people saw an orange object, ovoid, "oscillating" in the air, at a small distance from the ground. It was very shining and "on fire". No structure was distinguished.

[Ref. fru1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors indicate that on October 9, 1954, between Montaren and Serviers in the department of the Gard, at 1 kilometer of the "Mas Blanc" (the "White Farmhouse"), eight people, among them Doctor Fabre and Mr. Court, saw an object of orange color and oval shape, which oscillated, very shining and "fiery." It descended at low altitude.

The authors indicate that their sources are the Vallée catalogue and "V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A."

[Ref. mft1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

CASE Nr CLASSIFICATION DATE HOUR PLACE ZIP CODE CREDIBILITY SOURCE
152 CE0 10 09 1954 hnp [= hour not specified] b Montaren and Serviers 30700 E4 RS (VERONICA) OVNI : p. 135

[Ref. prn1:] PETER ROGERSON - "INTCAT":

389 9 October 1954

MONTAREN (FRANCE) Between Monteran [sic] and Serviers, l km from 'Le Mas Blanc', Dr Fabre, M. Court and 6 others saw an orange, oval object oscillating in mid-air. It was very bright and "fiery" and it came very low. (M214)

[Ref. rsd1:] RAY STANFORD:

Ray Stanford indicates that on 9 October 1954, between Montaren and Uzes, France, a doctor and a farmer, plus six other persons, saw a brilliant ellipsoidal object 'oscillating' in the air at a short distance above the ground.

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH - "*U* COMPUTER DATABASE":

3905: 1954/10/02 00:00 5 4:23:00 E 44:01:40 N 3331 WEU FRN GRD 6:9

MONTAREN+UZES+SERVIERS,FR:8 OBS:ORG OVOID WOBBLES/LO ALT:right date/LDLN#345

Ref# 30 FIGEUT[sic]&RUCHON: OVNI: Le 1er Dossier Page No. 135 : PASTURE

[Ref. goe1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates in her catalogue that in 1954, on October 9, in France, in Montaren, Serviers, "At 1 km from the Mas-Blanc" Dr. Fabre, Mr. Court and six other witnesses saw an oval object of orange color oscillating at a half height. It was very brilliant and fiery. It went down at low altitude."

The source is indicated as "Jacques Vallée: 'Chronique des apparitions ET' - DENOEL 1972 - COLL. J'AI LU - p. 272."

[Ref. mcn1:] MARK CASHMAN:

Montaren (France).

10/9/1954

Between Montaren and Serviers, 1 km from "Le Mas Blanc," Dr. Fabre, Mr. Court, and six others saw an orange oval object oscillating in midair. It was very bright and "fiery, " and it came very low.

[Ref. djn1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

On this Day

October 9

[...]

1954 - Between Montaren and Serviers, France, 1 kilometer from "Le Mas Blanc," Dr. Fabre, Mr. Court, and six others saw an orange oval object oscillating in midair. It was very bright and "fiery," and came very low to the ground. (Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia, p. 221).

[...]

[Ref. jbu1:] JEROME BEAU:

Saturday, October 9, 1954

[...]

Between the village of Montaren (France) and that of Serviers, at 1 km of the "Mas Blanc", Doctor Fabre, Mr. Court and 6 other people see 1 oval object of orange color oscillating at middle height. It is very shining and "fiery". It goes down at low altitude.

[...]

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Gard in Montaren on October 9, 1954, at an unknown hour, "Between Montaren and Serviers, at 1 kilometer from the 'Mas Blanc', eight witnesses see an object of orange color and oval form, which oscillates, it is very shining and 'fiery'. It goes down at low altitude."

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

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 9 October 1954 in Montaren, France, "An orange oval object oscillating in mid-air". "Between Montaren and Serviers, France , 1 kilometer from 'Le Mas Blanc,' Dr. Fabre, Mr. Court, and six others saw an orange oval object oscillating in midair. It was very bright and 'fiery,' and came very low to the ground."

The website adds: "Between Montaren and Serviers, one kilometer from 'Le Mas Blanc,' Dr. Fabre, Mr. Court, and six others saw an orange oval object oscillating in mid-air. It was very bright and "fiery," and it came very low."

And: "A hovering object was observed. One orange oval object was observed by several witnesses in a town."

The source is indicated as "Vallee Magonia Database".

[Ref. nip1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

*Oct. 9, 1954 - Between Montaren and Serviers, France, 1 kilometer from "Le Mas Blanc," Dr. Fabre, Mr. Court, and six others saw an orange oval object oscillating in midair. It was very bright and "fiery," and came very low to the ground. (Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 221, case # 214).

[Ref. ubk1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

This database recorded this case four times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541009 09.10.1954 Montaren France CE I
19541009 09.10.1954 Montaren France
19541009 09.10.1954 Montaren France CE I
19541009 09.10.1954 Uzes Le Mas Blanc France

[Ref. prn2:] PETER ROGERSON - "INTCAT":

October 9 1954. 2000hrs.

MONTAREN (GARD : FRANCE)

A farmer, Mr Court, at Mas Blanc between Montaren and Uzes was closing his farm gate when he saw a luminous oval orange mass just above the ground 1km away. It was oscillating from side to side. He called a neighbour Dr Fabre, a councillor, and his family, also saw the object. They were about to call the police when it faded away.

Evaluation - Astronomical + autokinesis?

Note: "Gross 1954" is supposed to indicate my web page on this case; no link was provided and my page was certainly not just "citing Le Provencal 9 October 1954. citing C. P."

Explanations:

A map of the naed locations helps:

First observation: Vallée summarized the case with an imprecision which can make believe that the witnesses were between Montaren and Serviers at 1 km from the "Mas Blanc", whereas it was the phenomenon which had been located by Dr. Fabre between Montaren and Serviers, the witnesses being at Le Mas Blanc; which is not between Montaren and Servier.

This correction makes it possible to understand that the direction of the observation was approximately 250° (West-South-West).

Second observation: an object which seems close to the ground but distant, with "1 km" given as the estimated distance, did not allow to claim it was a "quasi landing". At this distance a phenomenon may be really high, and much more distant than estimated. It is obvious that it was necessary to check if the thing could have been the Moon, which does not "land" but can pass behind the horizon. No one did this basic check.

Third observation: the case appeared in the newspaper on Saturday October 9, 1954, with the observation date given as "last Saturday" and at "8 p.m." Therefor the date of observation cannot be the date of the publication of the newspaper article, and it is obvious that "last Saturday" meant the preceding Saturday, that is, October 2, 1954.

The position of the Moon from this place on this date and hour was:

Azimuth = 223 ° 57 '

Height = 3 ° 50 '

It is therefore the right direction, and the low height also corresponds to the testimony. The Moon is setting, which is why the "luminous mass" weakens and disappears at the end of the observation.

The Moon was in its last crescent, with 27.4% of its surface lit by the sun.

There is the question of the "oscillation"; which Peter Rogerson interpreted as what happens with a star. But the Moon can also appear to "oscillate", if air masses with strong thermal gradient just above the ground are agitated.

The orange color is actually the key to understanding the misinterpretation: it is a "Red Moon". It is not a star, none of which can appear orange (and the planet Mars was then too high in the sky). There were probably clouds coming to partially hide the crescent shape. We are told of an "elongated mass", "oval", but it might have been elongated vertically.

This "quasi UFO landing" was therefore most likely a misinterpretation of a red moon.

Keywords:

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

Montaren, Gard, Serviers, Le Mas Blanc, Fabre, Court, multiple, orange, oval, object, oscillations, bright, fiery, low

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 26, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 8, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [rsd1], [goe1], [djn1], [jbu1], [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross October 9, 2014 Addition [ta1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 9, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.3 Patrick Gross December 24, 2019 Additions [prn1], [mft1], [lhh1], [prn2], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."

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This page was last updated on December 24, 2019.