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The 1954 French flap:

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

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

Reference number for this case: 30-Aug-54-Angers. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Reports:

[Ref. lr1:] "LA REBUBLIQUE" NEWSPAPER:

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. co1:] "LE COURRIER DE L'OUEST" NEWSPAPER:

The Lionese have their flying saucer too!

As we reported yesterday, the residents of Angers finally had their flying saucer. But the Lionese have had theirs, too, undoubdedly the same one. On Monday, at about 08:20 p.m., Mrs Poirier, who lives near the church, was in her courtyard with a neighbour, Mr. Sanson, when they saw in the sky a brilliant light in the shape of a disc followed by a rather short tail.

This light seemed to come from a great height and to be approaching the earth rapidly. Suddenly the tail disappeared, the brightness changed, and the disc dropped vertically and disappeared.

The speed seemed to the witnesses to be much greater than that of a jet airplane, but slower than a shooting star.

No sound was heard. The phenomenon (or craft) was travelling from south to north.

[Ref. ci1:] CIA:

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. am1:] 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.

[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. fr1:] 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. lg1] LOREN GROSS:

September 1st.

[... Other cases...]

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. Corddier [sic] 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.

[... Other cases...]

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

[Ref. go1:] 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. jb1:] 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] "

"September 1 [... 20. 20: An object in the shape of disc is observed simultaneously by various people, flying above Angers [...] 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 emitted a light buzz, and its gleam reminded of that of neon tubes. The phenomenon remained visible during several minutes."

[Ref. lc1:] 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. ud1:] "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. ni1:] "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. ub1:] "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
19540901 01.09.1954 Lion Angers France 20.20 NL
19540901 01.09.1954 Lion Angers France 20.20 NL

Notes:

Figuet and Ruchon [fr1] have the date wrong, and the error is reproduced by [go1], [lc1], [ud1].

Explanations:

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

Note on the meteor for that day:

As soon as 1958, Aimé Michel published [am1] 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:

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 which I have not yet checked.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross June 19, 2005 First published, [lr1], [co1], [ci1], [am1], [am2], [jb1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 8, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [fr1], [go1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross October 30, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sourcesExplanation 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".
1.2 Patrick Gross October 18, 2014 Addition [ni1].
1.3 Patrick Gross November 20, 2016 Addition [ub1].
1.4 Patrick Gross November 29, 2016 Addition [lg1].

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This page was last updated on November 29, 2016.