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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, Vanves, Hauts-de-Seine:

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


[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 30 August 1954 at 21:00 in "Sens-Theil.Vanves", France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed by several witnesses."

The source is indicated as "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".

[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 Sens Theil Vanves France 21.00 NL


Aimé Michel, who had explained that the sighting that day was that of a meteor, resided in Vanves at least in 1959, so maybe also in 1954.

There is a possible location isue with this case, however. I wonder whether the case was in Vanves as is seems from [ub1], or if this was Theil-sur-Vannes, with [ud1] mispelling "Theil.Vanves", the "." meaning "-sur-" or "-la-" in this sources's syntax.


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:

Le Coudray-sur-Thelle49.305-2.124

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
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.


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

Vanves, Hauts-de-Seine


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross March 23, 2010 First published, [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 "Probably the meteor of that day" to "The 30 August 08:20 p.m. meteor.". Addition of the "Note on the meteor for that day".

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This page was last updated on October 30, 2011