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The 1954 French flap:

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August 30, 1954, Angers, Maine-et-Loire:

Reference for this case: 30-Aug-54-Angers.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The Press, from September 2, 1954, and following days, had widely reported an observation in Angers. The newspapers gave a news dispatch of September 1, 1954, one of them specified that the sighting took place "Tuesday", therefore August 30, 1954.

The reports said that Miss Claire Cordier, living rue Bressigny, "in Angers, declared to have seen from her window, at 8:20 p.m., in the sky, a brown disc haloed with green lights, which flew at high speed to the north. As the disc passed through the sky, she heard a low humming sound."

And: "A roofer, living in the same street, Mr. André Greffier also witnessed the scene which he saw from his garden where he had been attracted by the green lights which crossed the glass roof of his kitchen."

In his 1958 book on the 1954 French wave, Aimé Michel indicates that "on September 1, 1954", there were five cases including three cases in France, of particular interest, including one in Angers at 08:20 p.m..

Mrs. Claire Cordier, nurse, was at home "rue Brétigny" (sic, in reality rue Bressigny) when she was drawn to the window by an unusual glow. She looked up and saw a luminous disc of a reddish-brown color haloed with light green reflections that was moving at high speed, faster than a jet plane but not as fast than a shooting star, going towards the north.

While the city was quiet, Ms. Cordier strained her ears and heard a low purr, but she wasn't sure whether it was to be attributed to the object.

As Mrs. Cordier was heading towards her window, Mr. Aimé Greffier, living in the same street in Angers, was in his kitchen and saw strange reflections in the glass roof of the room. He walked out into the garden and saw the same object, saying it was circular in shape, luminous red with green hue, and quickly moved to the north. He did not report any noise.

Aimé Michel argues that since the object had been seen around the same time 45 km away, it was too fast to be a plane. He adds that the witnesses in Angers being inside their house and having had enough time to get outside, it was not a meteor.

Subsequently, the case was taken up by others in brief summaries, often with a false date of September 1, 1954, or even September 27, 1954, a date error introduced by Figuet and Ruchon in 1979.

Reports:

[Ref. nll1:] NEWSPAPER "NORD LITTORAL":

Scan.

A brown disk
haloed of green
gleams in the sky
of Angers

Angers, September 1st. -- A resident of Angers, Miss Claire Cordier, living on rue Bressigny, in Angers, declared that she saw from her window at 8:20 p.m., in the sky, a brown disc surrounded by green gleams, which flew at high speed towards the North. During the passage of the disc in the sky, she heard a slight purring sound.

A roofer, living on the same street, Mr. André Greffier, also witnessed the scene he saw from his garden where he had been attracted by the green gleams which crossed the glass roof of his kitchen.

[Ref. inf1:] NEWSPAPER "L'INFORMATION FINANCIERE, ECONOMIQUE ET POLITIQUE":

Scan.

FROM EVERYWHERE. -- HELLO! SAUCERS. Two residents og Angers saw last night at 8:20 p.m., a brown disc haloed with green lights which flew at high speed towards the North. Four American airmen saw a "large incandescent ball surrounded by crackling sparks", motionless for a few moments above North Day Air Force Base. However, Canada's Deputy Minister of Transport announces the closure of the "flying saucer tracking station" near Montreal because no saucer has been detected for a year since the station has existed.

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

Scan.

A brown disc surrounded by green gleams, in the sky of Angers

Angers, September 1st. - An Angeres resident, Miss Claire Cordier, resident of rue Bressigny, in Angers, declared that she saw from her window at 8:20 p.m., in the sky, a brown disc surrounded by green gleams; which flew at high speed towards the North. During the passage of the disc in the sky, she heard a slight purring sound.

A roofer, living in the same street, Mr. Anfré Greffier, also witnessed the scene he saw from his garden where he had been attracted by the green gleams which crossed the glass roof of his kitchen.

[Ref. lre1:] NEWSPAPER "LA REBUBLIQUE":

Scan.

Brown disc with halo of green gleams in the sky of Angers

Angers. -- A resident of Angers, Miss Claire Cordier, living in Bresigny street, in Angers, has stated that at 08:20 p.m. she saw from her window a brown disc with a halo of green lights, flying at a fast pace toward the north. As it passed she heard a slight humming sound.

A roofer living in the same street, Mr. André Greffier, was also a witness of the occurrence which he saw from his garden, where he had gone on noticing the green lights crossing his kitchen window.

[Ref. cdn1:] NEWSPAPER "LA CROIX DU NORD":

Scan.

VISIONS -- A young woman from Angers said she saw in the sky, around 8:20 p.m. "a brown disc surrounded by green lights which flew at high speed towards the North."

[Ref. ner1:] NEWSPAPER "NORD-ECLAIR":

Scan.

A "saucer" above
Angers?

An Angers resident, Miss Claire Cordier said she saw from her window on Tuesday around 8:30 p.m., in the sky, a brown disc surrounded by green lights, which flew at high speed towards the North. During the passage of the disc in the sky, she heard a slight humming sound.

A roofer, living in the same street, Mr. André Greffier, also witnessed the scene he saw from his garden, where he had been attracted by the green gleams which crossed the glass roof of his kitchen.

[Ref. cia1:] CIA:

Scan.
Scan.

INFORMATION FROM
FOREIGN DOCUMENTS OR RADIO BROACASTS

COUNTRY: Non-Orbit   DATE OF INFORMATION: 1954
SUBJET: Military - Unidentified flying objects  
HOW PUBLISHED: Dail[y] newspaper   DATE DIST.: 29 oct 1954
WHERE PUBLISHED: As indicated   NO. OF PAGES: 5
DATE PUBLISHED: 31 Jul - 20 Sep 1954  
LANGUAGES: Various   SUPPLEMENT TO REPORT NO.:
[Blackened out] [Blackened out]   THIS IS UNEVALUATED INFORMATION
SOURCE: As indicated  

SIGHTINGS OF UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS,
31 JULY - 20 SEPTEMBER 1954

WESTERN EUROPE

[... (Reports from other countries) ...]

France

"FLYING DISK" SIGHTED IN WESTERN FRANCE -- Algiers, Alger Republicain, 4 Sep 54

A disk-shaped object was (no date given) observed by various persons simultaneously at about 2020 hours, flying over Angers and Lion-d'Angers, both in La Maine-et-Loire Department, and over chateau-Gontiers, Mayenne Department. The object was generally described as being brown and emitting a short trail of and odd hue of green. According to Claire Cordier, a nurse in Angers, the object gave off a soft drone, and its glow was reminiscent of the light in neon tubes. The phenomenon was visible for several minutes.

[... (Next reports)]

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel indicates that on september 1st, 1954 at 08:20, Miss Claire Cordier, nurse, was at her home in Bressigny street in Angers in Anjou, when a strange light made her come to her window.

She looked towards the sky and saw a brown red luminous disc haloed by light green reflections which moved at a speed much higher than that of a plane, but not as quickly as a shooting star, to the direction of North.

The city making only low noise, Miss Cordier used her ears and perceived a light humming, but she did not allot it with certainty to the object.

After a little more than one minute, the object disappeared on the northern horizon.

At the same time when Claire Cordier moved towards her window, André Greffier, also residing in Bressigny street in Angers, was in his kitchen. He was also intrigued by odd reflections seen in the glassy canopy of the room.

He went out in the garden and also saw the object, of which he gave a description identical to that by Claire Cordier, that is to say a circular shape, a red brown luminosity with green reflections, fast move towards the north. André Greffier did not report any noise.

Aimé Michel argues that as the objet was seen at roughly the same hour 45 kms further, it was too fast for a plane. Hs also argues that as the witnesses in Angers were inside their houses and had time enough to get out, it was not a meteor.

[Ref. gqy1:] GUY QUINCY:

Scan.

September 1° [1954]

08:20 p.m.: Angers/Le Lion-d'Angers (Maine-et-Loire)

[Ref. am2:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel indicates that among the simultaneous observations in the Anjou on September 1, 1954, there was that of two witnesses in Lion-d'Angers, 22 km to the North of Angers on the road RN 122, which saw the same object as that seen in Angers at the same time at 08:30 p.m., arriving from the south.

The object quickly crossed the sky in direction of North, having been in sight during approximately a minute. It is circular, red brown with green reflections and no noise is heard.

[Ref. ldl1:] "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE:

Editor's note. - The four straight lines are about the network of October 2, 1954. The first includes the places of: Jeumont, Dijon, Louhans, Morestel (On this straight line are also located: Chevigny en Valière (on 10/14/54), and Le Pin (on 9/16/54). The second includes the places of Poncey-Pellerey, Bourg (on this straight line are also located: Meursanges (on 10/14/54). The third includes the places of Saint-Brieuc, Saint-Paulien (on this straight line are also located: Angers (on 9/1/54). The fourth includes the places of Aiguillon, Avignon (on this straight line is also located: Fontaine de Vaucluse (on 10/14/54).

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

The two authors indicate that in Angers on September 27, 1954 a brown disk and a and greenish hue were observed.

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

Scan.

Reports on the rise in Europe.

Sept. 1 [1954]

[...]

UFO sails over the French countryside.

Earlier in the evening at 8:20 p.m. a bright light lit up the house of a Mlle. Claire Cordier, a French nurse who lived on Rue Bressigny in the town of Angers. Drawn to the window by the glare, Mlle. Cordier looked at the black sky and saw, moving north, a glowing brownish-red disc that emitted a greenish aureole.

Mlle. Cordier's neighbor, M. Andre Greffier, was also attracted to the luminous phenomenon and he went out into his garden to watch the UFO as it flew swiftly north, disappearing quickly over the northern horizon.

About a dozen miles north of Angers, citizens of Lion-d'Angers observed the same object pass over, taking about a minute to cross the heavens. Some 14 miles beyond Lion-d'Angers, the circular red-brown thing flashing green light was last seen still flying to the north. 9.

[...]

9. Michel, Aime. Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery. New York, N.Y.: Criterion books, 1958. p.33.

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

3739: 1954/09/01 20:20 3 0:36:00 W 47:29:00 N 3333 WEU FRN M&L 6:B

ANGERS>>ANJOU,FR:MANY OBS/50 MILES:SCR>N:DULL RED W/GREEN AURA:NFD:/r49p32

Ref# 49 MICHEL,Aime: FS & STRAIGHT LINE TH: Page No. 32 : TOWN &CITY

[Ref. goe1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates in her catalogue that in 1953, on September 1, in France at 20:20, "Miss Claire Cordier, nurse, was home street of Bressigny in Angers, when a strange light would attract her towards the window. Having looked up in the sky, she saw a luminous disc of a red brown light haloed of green reflections going fast towards the north. It flew at a speed much higher than that of a plane, but however not as fast as a shooting star (...) After little more than a minute the object disappeared on the northern horizon line. (...) Mr. André Greffier, also living street of Bressigny in Angers was in his kitchen. He also was intrigued by odd reflections appeared in the canopy of the room. He came out in the garden and saw in his turn the object of which he gives a description identical to that of Miss Cordier: circular shape, red brown luminosity with green reflections, fast move towards the north.

The ufologist indicates that her source is: "Aimé MICHEL: 'Apropos des Soucoupes Volantes', PLANETE, pub. 1966, p.44/45.

[Ref. goe2:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on September 27, in France, in Angers, "At 20:20: observation of a brown disc and greenish gleam."

The source is noted "M. FIGUET/J.L. RUCHON: 'Ovni, le premier dossier complet..' - Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 92".

[Ref. jbu1:] JEROME BEAU:

"August 30: [...] but according to Claire Cordier and André Gréfier, 2 natives of Angers, the object disappeared towards the North. Claire Cordier announced a "disc" flying above her city also [see September 4] "

[Ref. jbu2:] JEROME BEAU:

September 1954

01

[...]

20:20 An object in the shape of a disc is observed simultaneously by various people, flying above Angers and Lion d'Angers (the Maine-and-Loire) and above Chateau Gontier (Mayenne). The object is generally described as dark or emitting a trail of smoke of a strange blue or green. According to Claire Cordier, a nurse of Angers, the object released a gentle buzzing sound, and its gleam reminded that of the neon tubes. The phenomenon remained visible during several minutes.

[...]

Jérôme Beau indicates that the source is "Un 'disque volant' observé dans l'Ouest de la France", Alger Républicain, September 4, 1954.

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Maine and the Loire (49) in Angers on September 27, 1954 at 20:20 hours there was an "Observation of a brown disc and a greenish gleam."

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

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 4 September 1954 in Angers, France, "Nocturnal lights were reported in a city. A noise was heard."

The source is indicated as "Hall, Richard H., UFO Reports from the Files of the CIA, Fund for UFO Research, Washington".

[Ref. uda2:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 27 September 1954 at 20:20 in Angers, France, "Neon-lit disc flies east to west, stops for 6 seconds, shoots rapidly to the north."

And: "A flying disc was observed. One disc was observed by three witnesses in a city for several minutes."

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

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

*Sep. 1, 1954 - At 8:20 p.m. a brownish-red colored disc, encircled by green flashes and making a purring sound, was seen between Angers and Anjou, Maine-et-Loire department, France. It flew on a rapid course toward the north. (Source: Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 32-33).

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

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540830 30.08.1954 Angers France 20.20
19540901 01.09.1954 Angers France 20.20 NL

Explanations:

Map.

The 30 August 08:20 p.m. meteor.

The argument of Aimé Michel is not admissible.

On the one hand, Mrs. Cordier did not leave her house, she just went to a window; which window might have been 1 meter away from her, in any event, certainly not that far from her that going to the window would exclude a meteor.

Mr. Greffier was inside and went outside, but there was no reason to think it took a long time. We hear about a kitchen glasshouse, so it iwas likely a kitchen giving to the outside. Maybe it took him only a few seconds to get out.

Knowing that a meteor can be followed sometimes for up to 1 minute 30 or even 2 minutes, it is clear that Aimé Michel was wrong.

The distance in straight line between Angers and Château-Gontier is about 41 km.

Figuet and Ruchon [fru1] have the date wrong, and the error is reproduced by many.

Note on the meteor for that day:

As soon as 1958, Aimé Michel published [aml1] very interesting pages on the observations for August 30, 1954: it was a meteor, and he uses this example of a meteor event to show the similarities and differences between UFO reports and meteor reports. He notes that this meteor was reported by hundreds of witnesses in more than 20 departments. It was seen finally exploding by a witness at La Porte des Lilas in Paris.

It however appears that except Aimé Michel, almost none of the authors of the other later sources publishing these sightings took care to give the explanation. Yet these other authors are generally aware of Aimé Michel's book, which they sometimes quote for other cases, as if they had a quite selective reading method... or as if they chose to use the poorest sources instead...

Neither did they understand the descriptions of the sightings. They call "UFO" what was obviously a meteor, and let their readers believe in an unexplained observation.

The sighting places for the matching cases are:

Vanves48.824-2.289
Buxerolles46.616-0.4833
Le Coudray-sur-Thelle49.305-2.124
Angers47.466-0.550
Paris48.856-2.351
Creil49.258-2.479

The plotted sighting places:

Map.

The case files and their sources for this meteor event:

Vanves, Hauts-de-Seine.21:00
Buxerolles, Vienne.20:30
Coudray-sur-Thelle, Oise.~20:30
Angers, Maine-et-Loire.20:20
Paris.~20:20
Creil, Oise.20:00

Note on the sighting times: it would be silly to mistake the given hours for stop watch measurements, like some ufologists did in some cases (For example Charles Garreau...). People did not inevitably walk around with a wristwatch then, did not inevitably look at a clock, did not think inevitably of asking or checking the hour. The press was then satisfied enough to write things like "at about 08:30 p.m.". The most probable hour is "approximately 08:20 p.m."; it is the less "rounded at half an hour".

What the witnesses said, when it is known:

Vanves, Hauts-de-Seine.?
Buxerolles, Vienne.Luminous
Coudray-sur-Thelle, Oise.glowing ball seeming to fall.
Angers, Maine-et-Loire.Fast brown disc surrounded of green gleams. Shining disc-shaped light followed of a rather short tail, very fast, sems to fall.
Paris.Luminous circular flying object.
Creil, Oise.?

These descriptions are concise, they are the ordinary words of ordinary people, noted by newspapermen subjected to brevity rules, they are not scientific descriptions. What is clear is that there is no strangeness at all in the reports, no "impossible manoeuvers", no "humanoid occupants", no beams, no landings etc.

Keywords:

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

Angers, Lion-d'Angers, Maine-et-Loire, multiple, disc, night, brown, trail, red, hue, light, neon, Claire Cordier, André Greffier, green, humming, noise

Sources:

[----] indicates sources that are not yet available to me.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross June 19, 2005 First published, [lre1], [cia1], [aml1], [am2], [jbu1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 19, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [goe1], [jbu1], [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 8, 2010 Additions [goe2], [uda2].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 30, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sources. Explanation changed from "The meteor of that day" to "The 30 August 08:20 p.m. meteor". Addition of the "Note on the meteor for that day".
1.3 Patrick Gross October 18, 2014 Addition [nip1].
1.4 Patrick Gross November 20, 2016 Addition [ubk1].
1.5 Patrick Gross November 29, 2016 Addition [lgs1].
1.6 Patrick Gross April 20, 2018 Addition [lgs1].
1.7 Patrick Gross August 16, 2019 Addition [ldl1].
1.8 Patrick Gross February 16, 2020 Additions [nnm1], [lhh1].
1.9 Patrick Gross March 10, 2020 Addition [nll1].
2.0 Patrick Gross March 14, 2020 Addition [cdn1].
2.1 Patrick Gross June 18, 2020 Addition [ner1].
2.2 Patrick Gross February 20, 2021 Addition [gqy1].
2.3 Patrick Gross August 21, 2021 Addition [inf1].

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