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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, Le Coudray-sur-Thelle, Oise:

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

Reports:

[Ref. om1:] "L'OISE-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

DIABOLIC CROCKERY

in the sky of Oise where flying saucers are announced

The appearances of unknown machines moving at considerable speeds multiply under all skies.

From Coudray-en-Theille to Innsbruck while passing by Béthisy-Saint-Pierre, Madrid and Compiegne, the "diabolic crockery" upsets the spirits and feeds for information.

In Coudray-en-Thielle it was two inhabitants, perfectly healthy of mind, Mr. and Mrs. Diéval, which saw, Monday evening, towards 8:30 p.m., an incandescent disc crossing the sky.

This ball which they estimate to have been about of the size of the moon which [...]respondant appeared to fall suddenly and disappeared.

A third testimony was collected in the same locality.

In Béthisy-St-Pierre, it is Mr. Jean-Pierre Mouret, and other people worthy of faith, who see in the sky of the valley what they estimate to be the famous luminous plates.

In Hardivillers in the canton of Froissy, two inhabitants observe an identical phenomenon: A luminous machine moving quickly.

Let's cross our borders. In Austria, testimonys are collected in Voralberg and the Tyrol.

A pink disc, there too, of the size of the moon but evolving slowly, was observed on September 1 between 11 h. and midday by a guide and his two children, near the mount Habicht, in the south of Innsbruck.

That did not have anything comparable with a weather-balloon found at the same place the next day.

In the Voralberg, it is "a large silver plated body like a ball".

If one believes the correspondent of the newspaper of Madrid "Arriba", the flying saucers are machines manufactured in the United States.

According to our Spanish colleague, they are directed projectiles, planes without pilots and supersonic rockets used by the American armed forces.

It is possible, adds the correspondent of "Arriba", that some of these so-called saucers are manufactured in U.R.S.S.

The Spanish journalist does not give the source of his information. He promises however for soon a technical description of "these diabolic instruments."

A testimony, not less serious, comes us from Compiegne. It emanates from an engineer of the E.D.F., which during several minutes could, in company of some friends to observe an identical phenomenon.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 30 July 1954 at 20:40 there was a sighting in "Coudray.Thelle", France.

The source is indicated as "National Investigations Committee Aerial Phenomena, NICAP investigation files".

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

The database recorded this case twice, once with a wrong day and month.

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540831 31.08.1954 La Coudray Thelle France 20.40 NL
19540730 30.07.1954 Coudray Thelle France 20.40

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.)

Coudray-sur-Thelle, Oise, multiple, Diéval, evening, disc, incandescent, glowing

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 25, 2005 First published, [om1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 2, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross October 30, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sources. Explanation changed from "Not looked for yet" to to "The 30 August 08:20 p.m. meteor". Addition of the "Note on the meteor for that day".
1.2 Patrick Gross November 28, 2016 Addition [ub1].

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This page was last updated on November 28, 2016.