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The 1954 French flap:

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October 31, 1954, Colmar, Haut-Rhin:

Reference number for this case: 31-Oct-54-Colmar. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace for November 3, 1954, reported an observation in the sky of Colmar on October 31, 1954:

Around 06:45 p.m., several people had seen a "flying cigar". A group of five children aged 10 to 12 was in the Koïfhus square, next to the Schwendi monument, when suddenly one of the children shouted and looked eastward over the houses of the Rue des Tanneurs. There was a "shiny, elongated object, yellow-red at the front and white-yellow at the back", which was moving slowly and lower and lower towards the Koïfhus.

The panic-stricken children fled, shouting, except for one, young Christiane R, 12, whose parents lived in the Grand Rue. Like rooted on the spot and hypnotized, she stared at the luminous disc which was descending more and more.

The girl suddenly felt "a slight hit on the left shoulder", while at the same time, a luminous ball was visible near the disc. The girl could not move and it was only when the disc climbed above the Decker house that she recovered the use of her limbs.

Mrs. A. and Mrs. H., both living in the Koïfhus Square, had heard the shouts of the children and also saw the luminous disk, which was heading westwards. They took care of young Christiane, who was not at all a nervous child, and took her to her parents'. Deeply impressed and trembling all over her body, she could not eat and it was only the next morning, when she was a bit calmed, that she was able to tell her father the event of the day before.

The newspaper people say they managed to talk with the other children, and that their reports are in line with that of little Christiane. They had also spoken with Mrs A. of the Koïfhus square.

Given the children's cries, she and Mrs. H., who was in her apartment, saw the yellowish-colored disc, and then taking a red color, rising above the Decker house and move away in a westerly direction. According to her, the disc was more like a barrel and moved noiselessly, whereas other witnesses said they heard a whistlinf sound, like the sound of air slowly escaping from a tire.

In November 2004, it was journalists from "L'Alsace" who reported having found two of the five children who had witnessed the event: Christiane Hofmuller - called Christiane R. in the newspaper at the time - and her sister Danièle Binder.

They agreed to talk about their memories of this event, rememberinf they were on the Koïfhus square with the group of neighborhood children, at am hour when they should have been back home.

Christiane Hofmüller said that the object had appeared above the market hall, and had moved towards the children by going along the Rue des Tanneurs, at rooftops height. She was paralyzed by fear, and still cannot explain what had happened to her.

She was later nicknamed "the saucer" by the neighborhood's children, but mockery and flying saucers were forgotten with the passing of time, and she acknowledges that the subject never worried her.

She talked about it to her husband much later, but her children and grandchildren did not know about it until the last few months. She did not think it could be important for them.

She finds today, however, that she, her sister, and their comrades, had experienced something extraordinary, without her being able to define it, and expressed the hope that one day her granddaughters would know what they had seen.

Reports:

[Ref. dn1:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES D'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:


Paralyzing celestial balls?

A flying cigar
above Colmar

"I felt a light hit on the left shoulder and I could not move away from the place", a young girl of 12 years old explained to us.

The enigma surrounding the mysterious saucers and the cigars continuous. Last Sunday, at approximately 06:45 p.m., several people observed a cigar flying in the sky of Colmar. At that time, a group of five children of ages rangeing from 10 to 12 were on the place of the Koïfhus, beside the Schwendi monument.

All of a sudden, one of the children shouted and looked at in the direction of the east, above the houses of the street of the Tanners [rue des Tanneurs]. There, one could see an apparition about which much has been written already. A shining object, of elongated shape, yellow-red color at the front and white-yellow at the back, moved slowly and descended more and more towards the Koïfhus. The children, seized with panic, fled while shouting, except one, the little Christiane R..., aged 12 years, whose parents live the Main street [Grand-Rue]. As glued on the spot and hypnotized, she stared at the luminous disc which went down more and more.

A luminous disc

Suddenly the young girl felt a light schock in her left shoulder. At the same time, a luminous ball was visible close to the disc. The young girl could not move any more and it is only when the disc went up above the Decker house, that she had control of her members again.

Mrs. A. and Mrs. H., both resident of the place of the Koïfhus, having heard the cries of the children also saw the luminous disc, which moved at this time in the direction of the west. They dealt with little Christiane, who besides was not at all a nervous child and they took her along to her parents. Deeply impressed and trembling of all her body, she could not eat and it is only in the morning of the next day, when she was calmed a little, that she could tell to her father the event as it had happened the day before.

We had the opportunity to talk with the other children and their accounts agreed with that of little Christiane. We also spoke with Mrs. A. from the place of the Koïfhus.

Alerted by the shouting of the children, she saw, as well as Mrs. H. who was in her housing, the luminous disc of yellowish color and chaging to red afterwards, to rise above the Decker house and to move away in the direction of the west. According to her, the disc had rather the shape of a barrel and was moving without noise, while other witnesses are said to have heard a whistling sound, as the air escaping slowly from a tire.

[Ref. dn2:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES D'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER'S WEBSITE:

On the site newspaper's website, an article was headlined "Who remembers a cigar flying in the sky of Colmar?"

The article sicusses the case that occurred in the town center, it gives the circumstances and descriptions and calls for additional witnesses, the newspaper however having already found two of the five children who had been witnesses, Christiane Hofmuller - Christiane R. in the newspaper at the time - and her sister Danièle Binder.

Both agreed to tell their memories of the event, seeing themselves again on Koïfhus square with the group of the children of the district, at one hour when they should have been back home.

Christiane Hofmüller specifies that the object had appeared above the market hall, and had moved towards the children while engaging along the street of the Tanners - rue des Tanneurs - at the level of the rooftops. She was paralysed by fear, and is still unable to explain what had occurred.

She was thereafter nicknamed "the saucer" by the children of the district, but the mockery just like the flying saucers were forgotten with the passage of time, and she admits that the matter never worried her.

She spoke about it much later to her husband, but her children and grandchildren did not know anything about it until these last months. She did not think that it could matter to them.

Nowadays she finds that her, her sister, their comrades, had lived something extraordinary, without being able to define it, and she expresses the wish that one day her grand-daughters would know what had been seen.

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

The magazine article by Christian Valentin offers the same information as the newspaper Dernière Nouvelles d'Alsace's website and those of the article of that time in the same newspaper, with in addition a current photograph of the witnesses on the square of Colmar where the observation took place, as well as the following elements:

The witnesses were five children from ten to twelve years old at the time of the facts, Sunday, October 31, 1954, among those Christiane Hofmuller and Danièle Binder (current names) who are still residents of Colmar. Christiane Hofmuller was twelve years old, her parents lived on Grand-Rue.

Explanations:

Not looked for yet.

Here are the locations for the October 31, 1954 reports:

The places may suggest that the whole of the observations are that of the same meteor. The hours and descriptions suggest it for some of the reports, but not for all.

Dossier:Notes:
Arry, Somme.Aucune description, aucune information.
Yssingueaux, Haute-Loire.Description n'un météore, sauf durée trop longue. Heure donnée comme vers 21:00.
Colmar, Haut-Rhin.Description peu claires, témoins enfants. Vu vers l'Est. 18:45.
Meyreuil, Bouches-du-Rhône.Description de type météore, vu allant du Sud vers le Nord. 18:30.
Nimes, Gard.Description de type météore, vu allant du Sud-Ouest vers nord. 18:15.
Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin.Heure totalement différente. 04:00.
Lézoux, Puy-de-Dôme.Lune rousse possible. direction inverse, durée 30 minutes, heure non connue.
Corrompu, Somme.Direction inverse, observation de 30 minutes trop longue. 21:00.

It appears that for this day, the observations in Meyreuil and Nimes are probably that of a meteor of going roughly from the South towards the North at approximately 18:15 - 18:30. Perhaps the observation in Arry has the same explanation, no information confirms or denies this.

The observation in Yssingeaux could be that of this meteor only if the newspaper had badly understood the hour as well as the duration; in Corrompu, the duration and the direction would both be false.

For Lézoux, nothing matches with the 18:15 meteor. For Colmar, the initial direction would be false, if it is reliable - it is given by a child. The direction according to the adult would correspond.

For the Colmar sighting report, the hour fits. The description is confused, no angular size, it is not known wether the UFO really flew into the streets of Colmar or if it was distant in the sky. The initial Eastern direction does not correspond to the meteor of 18:15 - 18:30 but it is given by a child, the Western direction given by an adult matches I thus do not think I can totally exclude the meteor.

Keywords:

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

Colmar, Haut-Rhin, children, multiple, place, city, Koifhus, Christiane Hofmuller, Daniele Binder, hit, fear, paralysis, cigar, swell, effect, yellow, red, white, slow, descent, disc, luminous, ascending

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 3, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 14, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross October 31, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sources. "Explanations" changed from "Not looked for yet" to the paragraphs on the sightings reports for that day.
1.2 Patrick Gross March 28, 2017 Addition of the Summary.

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