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The 1954 French flap:

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October 3, 1954, Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, Pas-de-Calais:

Reference number for this case: 3-Oct-54-Ablain-Saint-Nazaire. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


Many French newspapers of October 5 and 6, 1954, reported from Lens an observation on Sunday evening, so on October 3, 1954, around 09:30 p.m., in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire:

A "pot-shaped, spinning machine was seen in the sky by two people, it produced a reddish glow, and moved quickly."

Aimé Michel reported in 1958 that in the valley where this village is located, two inhabitants saw a luminous object arriving from the north, hovering gently, "somewhat" approaching the witnesses, stopping, and splitting in two.

The upper part remained motionless, while the lower part descended and landed in a field between two haystacks, then went up to join the upper part remained in the air. then the whole object went quickly.

The "skeptical" ufologist Dominique Caudron makes thinks clearer, based on the newspaper La Voix du Nord, Lens edition for October 5, 1954, on page 6:

On the evening of Sunday, October 3, 1954, Mr. Louis Lherbier, general insurance agent, rue Marcel Lancino, being outside in his court, was intrigued by the presence of a small red ball, seeming to move in the air, in the direction of Villers-au-Bois. He focused his attention on this ball that was moving towards Ablain and was growing rapidly. He then called his wife and Mr. Robert Mairesse, employee of the Mines, and the wife of the latter.

The four of them saw the thing that ended in the shape of a pot turning on itself, then after a few minutes, rose quickly in the air and disappeared from their view.

The rest, notably the episodes of "split" and "landing" between two millstones, are other observations.



are multiplying in the sky

LYON. -- Several people stated to have seen in the area of Epinac-les-Mines (the Saone-and-Loire), a kind of large luminous ball evolving slowly in an odd way in the sky. Puzzled motorists stopped on the road and could observe this ball during several minutes before seeing it disappearing suddenly for Le Creusot.

A similar phenomenon was observed in Ain and the north of the department of the Rhone, towards the collar of Echarmeaux, as well as in the Isère, close to Morestel.

Near Le Havre

LE HAVRE. -- Mr. André Lefebvre, taxi driver, who stationed around 8 p.m., on the harbour, saw an incandescent disc which, at the West of Deauville, went up in the sky, leaving behind itself a phosphorescent trail and a light smoke. This phenomenon, which was visible during ten minutes, had also as witnesses several sailors regaining their boat.

In the Haute-Loire

LE PUY. -- Mr. and Mrs. Teyssier, of St-Etienne, who camped in Aurec-sur-Loire (the Haute-Loire) saw in the sky a luminous object giving the impression of a large headlight which moved at a fast pace at approximately 2.000 meters of altitude. The machine emitted a ray of light of orange red color, and followed a North-South trajectory. When it had disappeared, a second machine similar to the first and appearing to follow it appeared, followed the same direction and disappeared too.

Approximately at the same moment several people saw, above the bell-tower of Aurec, similar craft, which after having become motionless one moment crossed the sky at a fast pace in direction of the South-West.

A crescent splits in two

LENS. -- Sunday evening, around 09:30 p.m., in Ablain-St-Nazaire, a craft which had the shape of a pot and which rotated was seen in the sky by two people. It released a reddish gleam and quickly moved.

At the same hour, a craft which, this time, had the shape of a crescent was seen in the sky in Liévain. After having hovered during a few minutes, the crescent split in two. The higher part then remained motionless, while the other landed in a field, between two haystacks, from where it flew away little afterwards to go to reattach to the part that had remained in the air.

In the Charente

ANGOULEME. -- Sunday evening, at approximately 11:15 p.m. on the Montecreau-Ville-Bois-Lavalette road (Charente), Mr. Jean Allary, aged 22, saw very clearly, in the gleam of the headlight of his motorcycle, a kind of barrel high of approximately 1 m. 80, spread of gilded nails, which was oscillating on the edge of the road. When Mr. Allary had passed the mysterious machine, he turned back at a distance of approximately ten meters, but he did not see anything anymore.

Witnesses saw, at the very spot indicated by Mr. Allary, traces of approximately seven meters length in the grass which borders the road.

In addition, the same night, Mrs. Bellanger, resident of Cognac, saw at an altitude of approximately 300 meters, a machine in the shape of cigar, of orange color, moving slowly above the city.

On Clermont-Ferrand

CLERMONT-FERRAND. -- Residents of Clermont saw, around 7 p.m., in the sky, a luminous point of the dimension of a large star, which frequently changed color, passing from the white to the green while tainting itself of orange. The luminous point appeared animated of a rotary movement. While disappearing it left behind itself an orange plume.


Saucers - cigars and fireballs

After the flight of saucers over the White House the investigation revealed that radar sets were mistaken.

Thousands of people have actually seen the "bright objects" wander in the sky in a puzzling manner. Certainly, on September 28, the "saucer" seen above Mt. Revard by Dr Martinet and fifteen other people was a flock of starlings. The good doctor admitted his mistake the next day when an aviator, Michel Guyard, came to reveal that he also was intrigued by this glittering whirl, but that as he approached it with his plane he merely frightened peaceful birds - as a result, the perfect disc they formed was disrupted.

It is impossible, however, to explain other reports of observed phenomena as collective hallucination... although it is fair to note at first that these "saucers" appeared with extremely diverse aspects.

In the few hundred and fifty cases we have been cataloged in France, they looked round or oblong balls of fire, matt or bright, big or small, blue, green, red, yellow or white, naked or surrounded of a ring, noisy or silent, producing sparks (or smoke) or leaving no wake, when they did not have the form of discs, cigars or half cigars.

They were seen day and night, although their occupants preferred the troubled hours of dusk. They were especially seen evolving in every manners: slowly or quickly, horizontally or vertically, in a straight line or in a broken line.

How to sort all this?

The jet fighters hunted in vain

Could there be so many different saucers with so many different origins? If they come to us from outer space, are there so many other inhabited worlds... and who are interested in us?

In truth, nothing precise could be learned of the reported sightings and often witness of the same phenomenon does not agree among themselves as to the size, shape and color of the object. So we are at the same step as the Americans in 1952, when the new radar set installed just a few days ago in Washington detected flying "saucers", finally placing the matter in the field of science. This device could not be wrong and played the role of arbitrator in an unexpected but worrying manner.

Specialists on duty assured the survey in their new premises, when one fine morning the watchman was startled: a luminous echo appeared on the screen although no aircraft was reported. They first thought - it had happened - that a commercial aircraft had violated regulations of air navigation and was flying over the forbidden zone of the White House. They alerted "Shooting Star" squadrons, which took off immediately. But the "object" fainted before the arrival of the jet fighters. Thus the thing had fled at such an unimaginable speed, showing by that the existence of these objects zigzagging at thousands of kilometers an hour before dissolving in the sky. The emotion climbed and it was officially decided to strengthen monitoring devices. The order was not useless, because a few days later, a new alert was given.

Jet fighters take off and rush at the full power of their reactors to the spot of the sky indicated by their radio, but arrived there, they announced again: - The sky is empty.

"For God's sake, do not shoot on the saucers!"

This time radar men jump on their feet. The bright spot is on their screen, indisputable and provocative. The small spots of the "Shooting Star[s]" come close to covering it. Saucers, cigars and fireballs.

- Attention, you are in contact, scream the radar experts. But the fighters rush at 800 km/h in a still desert sky, with perhaps at this place a slightly milky transparency.

Are the famous "objects" merely ectoplasm?

Once again public opinion is moved. Letters reach the U.S. Air Force to ask "not to irritate the visitors." "For God's sake, do not shoot at the saucers" implores a correspondent. Technicians, of course, do not believe in ghosts. A new commission is appointed. For six months, aerodynamic engineers, astronomers, meteorologists and scientists of all disciplines having some possible connection with the "saucers" study dozens of cases. And their conclusion sudden bursts, amazing but indisputable, freeing America of a part of its fear, by revealing the radar, too, was wrong. Each time a ghost image scored the fighters, meteorologists found in altitude, the presence of a layer of cold air between two layers of warm air. The density (and index of refraction) of air varying with the temperature, this "sandwich" had acted like a mirror to the radioelectrical airwaves and airplanes were guided, after a descent as fast as the rise, towards sheds or metal structures on the ground. The phenomenon can also reflect the sun in the day and the moon and the lights of a city at night. Often, the picture is double or triple, each separation surface playing a distinct role; "Saucers in pairs."

Certainly temperature inversions do not explain everything. But US experts feel that they were responsible for nearly 80% of the reported luminous apparitions beyond the Atlantic, and many mysterious machines seen in France can probably be allotted to them.

It may be noted, in chronological order, two parallel gleams in Antibes, in August 1949, two silver balls in Poitiers, May 10, 1952, two white discs at Roche-sur-Yon, twelve days later, "numerous red saucers" flying in zigzag, two by two, on October 17, 1952 in Oloron-Sainte-Marie (the radar of Mont-de-Marsan perceives its echo like its American brothers). Many other cases could be cited to the most recent: last September 24 three oval objects were reported in Bayonne, three in Charente-Maritime and six "cigar" evolving two by two in Lantefontaine, Lorraine.

Cases of isolated phenomena are even more numerous. - What! cry the disappointed "pro-saucerists", so, it was only this? Honestly see that we find in this category of events most characteristics reported by the "witnesses": blurry lights, sometimes surrounded by a halo, appearance and disappearance (with the complicity of clouds or because of the fading of lighting conditions) and above developments as capricious as fast. The surface of separation of two air layers are not still, of course; it empties and oscillates under the influence of currents in the atmosphere and the image is rejected from one corner of the sky to another.

Very thin cosmic dust

It is regrettable that comments are usually too vague to allow the technician to decide with authority; but only immaterial manifestations may be gifted the dizzying, instantaneous speeds, lent to "saucers" in which most cases. Whatever their origin, terrestrial or extraterrestrial visitors, they would be subject to the laws of the universal gravitation (and consequently the acceleration), that all the planets in all galaxies undergo. Whatever the power of their machinery and engineering, "Saucers" could not overcome their own weight. And all the magnetic currents or other cosmic rays they are deemed to use may make immaterial beings. But the meteorologists still have in their arsenal the noctilucent clouds that Vestine and Störmer think to be composed of very fine cosmic dust from outer space. These meteors are at 75 or 80 kilometers high, becoming brighter as the night goes on and present their maximum brightness at about midnight. The very serious "International Atlas of clouds "indicates that they may be driven by the powerful air currents prevailing in these altitudes, at speeds of 50 to 250 meters per second, or 180 to 900 kms. Let's recall in our turn that it only takes a small cumulus, although classic, but hidden in the night, so that the "saucer" vanishes and reappears.

- But, protesting the "pro-saucerists" you still have demolished only simplistic and disappointing sightings with this argument. They can rest assured there are other answers, more varied and also safe, to the most amazing events.

Barrels, discs, pots, headlights and flying balls are on the verge of dethroning the saucers and other cigars.

The time is gone, by far, when an ordinary "saucer" crossed the blue sky at high pace and disappeared over the horizon leaving a bluish trail. Since then, there were "cigars" which, together with their shape, generally took shimmering colors allowing witnesses not be wrong.

All this is outdated, if we judge by the recent observations made in France by people whose good faith may not be in doubt. The mysterious craft that arouse so much controversies and are poised to discord in many families between those who believe and those who disbelieve it, now take extremely varied and pleasing forms. As to colors, they turn from red to yellow through orange to any possible colors and halftones. Thus we have seen over the last twenty-four hours in the sky of France, several discs, a large headlight, a big ball, a pot, a crescent, and a barrel, a big star, not to mention the "saucers" and other "cigars" whose enumeration would be too long.

From Normandy...

The disks attracted the attention both of a Le Havre taxi driver, over Deauville, and a Lyon journalist south of the Basilica of Fourvière. In both cases, they were red-orange colored and shiny. They disappeared after ten minutes. The big headlight was moving over Aurec-sur-Loire (Haute-Loire) at high speed by issuing a orange-red light beam also. "When it disappeared", witnesses, Mr. and Mrs. Teyssier, of Saint-Etienne, said, "a second craft, similar to the first and appearing to follow it disappeared in the same direction."

In Epinac-les-Mines (Saône-et-Loire), drivers, puzzled, stopped at the roadside to follow the slow and graceful maneuvers of a big ball of light whose color, unfortunately, is not specified.

... to the Auvergne

The pot and the crescent troubled the tranquility of many northerners. The first, in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, turned on itself and freed a reddish glow. The second, in the sky of Lievin, hovered for a few minutes before splitting in two. That is when the upper part was standing still as the other landed in a field between two haystacks, then suddenly flew to join again the part remained in the air!...

It was night in Montecreau -Villebois-Lavalette (Charente) when Mr. Jean Allary, 22, saw by the light of the headlight of his motorcycle, a kind of 1.80-meters-high barrel and nails of golden nails! It swung on the roadside and fled when the witness approached. The next day, at the place indicated by Mr. Allary, witnesses spotted traces of about seven meters in length in the grass by the roadside.

It is the Clermont-Ferrand residents who, today, had the last word with the big star changing from the white to green and yellow to red, which, driven by a rotary movement, left behind an orange plume Monday night at 7 p.m. in the sky of Clermont-Ferrand.

Scientific controversies...

These celestial phenomena result, we have said it, in heated controversy. Thus a Professor of the University of Bonn, Joseph Meurès, said during a conference: "The book by American author Key Hoc [sic, Keyhoe] on flying saucers is not even worth the paper on which it is printed." Mr. Duneau Fletcher, vice president of the Astronomical Association of Kenya has another opinion: "The existence of saucers" is not to question, he believes, very experienced observers have seen them across the globe. And Mr. Fletcher gives his little idea on the question: "Visitors from another world observe the Earth and probably map it."

And merry pranks

These scholarly remarks do not prevent pranksters have fun with it at the expense of their fellow citizens. The police came and ended the hobby of a pensioner of Beuvry-les-Bethune who made gears three meters in diameter with sheets of paper very carefully glued and fitted at their base of a small receptacle containing a clump of tow soaked with a flammable liquid. Once he set fire to the tow, the "saucer" was in the sky and disappeared with the wind with yellow, orange and red lights. Alas! the truth was discovered when a gear began to set fire to a haystack...


To mystify his compatriots

A prankster built flying saucers

Lille, 5 October. - A retired mine worker of Beuvry-les-Bethune, known in his commune as a prankster, did not miss the opportunity offered to him by the mystery of the flying saucers to amuse himself at the expense of the inhabitants of the neighboring localities.

Inspired by the hot air balloon system, the happy retired man built machines that were three meters in diameter. The envelope consisted of sheets of gray paper, strongly glued together. At the base of the "saucer" was a small receptacle in which lay a tuft of tow impregnated with a flammable liquid. It was then enough to ignite the tow to see the machine rise and disappear at the winds, surrounded by yellowish and orange reflections.

It was after the discovery of one of these devices near a stack of straw, to which it had almost set fire, that the gendarmes were led to suspect the retired man. In fact, there were many models of "flying saucers" at his place, prototypes that their inventor was preparing to launch in the sky of the Nord.

The mystifier claimed that he had already built and launched more than a thousand of these devices. The ex-mine worker will no doubt be sentenced to fines for dangerous amusement.

Those who have seen...

Le Havre. -- Mr. André Lefèvre, a taxi driver, who was parked yesterday evening at 8 p.m. on the harbor, saw an incandescent disk which rose to the west of Deauville, leaving behind a phosphorescent trail and a slight smoke. This phenomenon, which was visible for ten minutes, was also witnessed by several sailors returning to their boat.

The Puy. -- Mr. and Mrs. Teyssier, of Saint-Etienne, who camped at Aurec-sur-Loire (Haute-Loire), saw in the sky a luminous object giving the impression of a large headlight moving at a rapid pace at about 2000 meters altitude. The craft emitted an orange-reddish light beam and followed a north-south trajectory. When it had disappeared, a second apparatus, similar to the first, appeared to follow it, in the same direction, and disappeared in its turn.

At about the same time, several persons saw above the bell-tower of Aurec similar machines which, after being immobilized for a moment, crossed the sky at a rapid pace towards the south-west.

Lens. -- Sunday evening, around 9:30 p.m., in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, a machine that had the shape of a pot and which rotated on itself was seen in the sky by two people. It emitted a reddish glow and moved quickly.

At the same time, a craft which, this time, had the shape of a crescent, was seen in the sky of Liévin. After hovering for a few minutes, the crescent split in two. The upper part then remained motionless, while the other landed in a field between two haystacks, from which it took off shortly afterwards to join the part that was in the air.

Angoulême. -- Sunday evening, around 9:15 p.m., on the road from Montmoreau to Villebois-Lavallette (the Charente), Mr. Jean Allary, 22, saw very clearly, in the light of his moped's headlight, a sort of barrel high of about 1.50 meters, studded with gilded nails, which swayed on the side of the road. When Mr. Allary had passed the mysterious machine, he looked back, at a distance of about ten yards, but he saw nothing.

Witnesses saw, yesterday afternoon, at the very place indicated by Mr. Allary, traces about seven meters long in the grass that borders the road.

Autun. -- Several people said they saw in the region of Epinac-les-Mines (the Saône-et-Loire), a kind of large luminous ball moving slowly in a bizarre manner in the sky.

A similar phenomenon has been observed in the Ain and in the north of the Rhone department, towards the Col des Echarmaux, as well as in the Isère, near Morestel.

Nevers. -- In Chateau-Chinon, five persons whose sincerity could not be doubted, saw a phenomenon which occurred several times before their more astonished than frightened eyes.

At 9 o'clock a luminous spot of oval shape, seemingly motionless at a very high altitude, appeared in the sky. At one point the spot began to rotate at full speed, changing color several times. Then all went out, but after a few minutes the luminous spot reappeared, split again, and began to rotate.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel reports that on October 3, 1954, at 09:30 P.M., in the valley where the village of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire is, two inhabitants of this village made the following observation:

A luminous object arrived from the North gently hovering, approached the witnesses, stopped, and appeared to be splitting in two parts.

Its higher part remained motionless, while its lower part descended and landed in a field between two haystacks, then went up to join the higher part which remained in the sky.

The whole object then departed quickly.

[Ref. aml2:] AIME MICHEL:

In an article in 1963, Aimé Michel adds:

b) a low-size object that witnesses saying their were close describe as like circular, hemispherical on the top, changing aspect in the bottom. In the night and in flight, the object is generally luminous, the reddish, orange or gilded top, the lower part likely to emit green, white, red, purple colors, either separately, or simultaneously; the closest witnesses state that, in this latter case (simultaneous emission of several colors), the sources of light are sort of small verticals rods under the object which were seen appearing, disappearing, exchanging between them their colors and thus giving an impression of whirling (for example, October 3, 1954, in Armentières, in Château-Chinon, in Montbeliard, and other dates a little everywhere in the world). Instead of the small rods, under the main object, sometimesappears a smaller object, very luminous, interdependent of the first but likely to go down vertically below him (for example, this same 3 October, in Marcoing, in Liévin, Ablain-St-Nazaire, Milly, Champigny).


The author indicates that on October 3, 1954, according to Aimé Michel pages 188 to 196, many witnesses, in Marcoing, Liévin and Ablain, see a strange saucer with dissociation: its lower part separates from the higher part, oscillates, goes down and goes up.

[Ref. rhh1:] RICHARD HALL:

Richard Hall listed that on October 3, 1954, in Lievin and Ablain-St. Nazaire, France, many witnesses in two independent groups reported that a parent object, elongated and luminous, hovered, and that something detached from the bottom, descended to the ground, rose and rejoined the hovering object.

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

223 -002.71125 50.39460 03 10 1954 21 30 103 ABLAIN ST NAZAIRE F 1412 C *196


In the North of France, it was the mining country which was, in 1954, the seat of a great activity of the "M.O.C." [Mysterious Celestial Objects]. Yet only Ablain-Saint-Nazaire is actually located on a fault, Valenciennes being only on the edge of the mining basin. It is little indeed to justify such an activity! But everything becomes clear to us when we learn that the earthquake of June 11, 1938, took place at 25 kilometers deep between Lille and Courtrait! As in Normandy, an uneventful surface on a dislocated basement.

(Ufologist Fernand Lagarde believed UFOs are linked to faults in the crust of the Earth.)

[Ref. hdt1:] HENRI DURRANT:

The author notes that in the observation of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire in France on October 3, 1954, the object split in two keeping its radial symmetry.


The authors indicate that in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, on October 3, 1954, at 9:30 p.m., two residents saw, arriving from the north, an object which hovered gently. It stopped and seemed to split in two. Its upper part remained stationary and its lower part descended and landed in a field between two haystacks.

The lower part took off again and joined the part that had stayed in the air. The two gathered parts started to move and disappeared quickly.

The authors indicate that in reality the observation is the same as the one in Liévin, and the same, with different words, as in Marcq-en-Baroeul, Fleurbaix, Marcoing and Chéreng, and as they know from Mr. Bonte, I.D.N. engineer, that evening the Moon was barred by a stratus, and thus these sightings were the Moon barred by a stratus.

They add that the landing of the lower part in the field is not worth as objection because the distance is not known.

The authors indicate that the sources are La Voix du Nord, of Lens, page 3, October 10, 1954; Nord-Matin for October 5, page 10; Aimé Michel in Mystérieux Objets Célestes page 159, and in A Propos des Soucoupes Volantes page 146; "Chronologie d'un dimanche fantastique" by Dominique Caudron in Bulletin du GNEOVNI #5; and Quincy.



Lens - Sunday evening, around 9:30 p.m., at Ablain St Nazaire, a craft in the form of a pot that turned on itself was seen in the sky by two people. It had a reddish glow and quickly moved. At the same time, a craft, which this time had a form of a crescent, was seen in the sky of Liévin. After having hovering for a few minutes, the machine split in two. The upper part remained motionless, while the other landed in a field between two millstones from where it took off soon after to join the part that had remained in the air.

The source is said to be the newspaper Le Bien Public.

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

3 October. Ablain-St-Nazaire, France. (9:30p.m.)

"Divide itself in two?"

Michel wrote:

"In the valley, less than a mile from the Lorette plate, lies the village of Ablain St-Nazaire. And residents of this village at the same hour saw the same phenomenon (as at Lievin).

"Gliding gently through the sky, a luminous object came from the north. When it was rather close it stopped, and seemed to divide itself in two. While the upper part remained motionless, its lower part descended, landed in a field between two haystacks, and soon ascended to reattach itself to the part left in the air. Having regained its initial shape, the object took off and rapidly disappeared." (xx.)

(xx.) Michel, Aime. Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery. p.117.


In "Special notes" of their catalogue, the GNEOVNI group indicates that there exists in several books, such as Aimé Michel's "M.O.C.", Planète publishers in 1966, in which there is a number of observation cases in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais which are not included in their catalogue because there "remains much doubts as to their credibility." One of them is noted "2-10-54 Ablain St Nazaire pdc".


Dominique Caudron indicates that the catalogue of 800 cases published in 1970 by Maurice Santos, is a good example of what one should not do; he indicates to extract from it the list of the cases of October 3, 1954; which he knows well as he had investigated into these cases of his area of Nord. For each case, below the text of the Santos catalogue, he states what should have been written, and the explanation after analysis, when there is one.

For this case #525, Santos wtote that on October 3, 1954, in Ablain Saint-Nazaire there had been a landing: in the evening, 4 people saw a kind of reddish flying pot "towards Villers le bois".

Dominique Caudron indicates that this was actually the moon.

At 09:30 p.m., several people saw a saucer land between two haystacks; which was in fact also the Moon.

He notes that the numbering of the cases by Santos seemed a good idea, but that it prevents the evolution of the catalogue, whose numbering becomes incoherent at the first update: "For example, this catalogue contains only 10 cases for the area of the Nord, whereas we know 48 of them. How to place the 38 others?"

He notes that it should have been said it was an apparent landing, or else we have to admit that the Moon landed twice (in Ablain St Nazaire and Annoeullin), and that it followed two cars (in Rue and Hérissart).

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

This database recorded this case 6 times instead of one:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541003 03.10.1954 Ablain st Nazaire France 21.30 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Ablain st Nazaire France 21.30 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Ablain st Nazaire France 21.30 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Ablain st Nazaire France 21.30 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Ablain st Nazaire France 21.30 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Ablain st Nazaire France 21.30 CE I


Dominique Caudron drew up an inventory of observations in the Nord on October 3, 1954, containing 51 reports, including this one:

The Fabulous day of October 3, 1954


Chronology of the observations of October 3.

We give here only a summary of what was published in the press of the time, for the nord region, regardless of what the ufologists could later say. We have numbered all these observations, the first of which have nothing to do with the setting of the moon, in order to be able to study them globally in a table. Some are already the subject of a special file.

[... other cases...]

05) Evening, hour not specified, ABLAIN-ST-NAZAIRE (62)

Mr. Lherbier saw on Villiers-au-Bois a reddish ball that was moving towards Ablain, growing rapidly. He called his wife and his neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Maires, and all four observed the object which took the form of a pot turning on itself and which after a few minutes rose in the air and disappeared to their sight.

(La Voix du Nord-Lens issue 10/5 page 6, Nord Matin 10/5 page 10, La Croix du Nord-Arras issue 10/5 page 2, Libre Artois 10/6 page 3, Le Journal de Doullens 10/6 page 1)

[... other cases...]

All this is only a compilation of the information given by all newspapers of the time, including local editions, and of which ufologists only used a part.

We will see that the analysis of this information makes it possible to eliminate the hypothesis of a flying saucer, in favor of those of multiple observations of the moon, whose image was reddened and deformed by clouds, which also gave it a illusory apparent movement.


In Liévin and Ablain-St-Nazaire, two other lunar saucers

La Voix du Nord gives a detailed version.


A flying saucer was sighted in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, on the evening of Sunday, October 3, by Mr. Louis Lherbier, general insurance agent, rue Marcel Lancino. The latter, finding himself in his court, was intrigued by the presence of a small reddish ball, seeming to move in the air, towards Villers-aux-Bois. He focused his attention on the ball that was moving towards Ablain and was growing rapidly. He then called his wife, as well as Mr. Robert Mairesse, employee of Mines, and the wife of the latter.

The four people saw very well the thing that ultimately took the form of a cooking pot turning on itself. Then after a few minutes, this strange object rose quickly in the air and disappeared from the sight of the above people.

On the other hand, one of our correspondents tells us that several people, Sunday evening, around 09:30 p.m., were aware of the presence of "craft" of unknown type. Residents of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire claim to have recognized a saucer that landed between two millstones.

Mr. J.-B. Lecocq, of Lievin, distinguished in the sky, in the neighborhood of the lighthouse of Lorette, a luminous machine in the shape of a crescent which oscillated slightly. He arrested several people to make them see the credibility of what he was afraid of being a vision.

From this oblong machine came off the lower part which went down to the ground and came back again soon to its position against the upper part. A black line came for a moment to appear at the limit of the two parts.

The saucer then descended into the valley behind the high places of Lorette, to reappear soon after before spinning towards the horizon.

(La Voix du Nord, Lens issue, October 5, 1954, page 6)

Other sources are Nord Matin 10/5 page 10, La Croix du Nord- Arras issue 10/5 page 2, Libre Artois 10/6 page 3, Le Journal de Doullens 10/6 page 1; which do not say more.

At Ablain-St-Nazaire we have two observations. For one, we have the description and the direction, but not the time. For the other, we have the time, but no other details.

By making the reasonable assumption that it is the same phenomenon, at about 9:30 p.m., a reddish object appeared in the southwest, which changed in size and shape, and finally disappeared as if it were landing, ie by lowering itself on the horizon.

This is the behavior that other witnesses attributed to the moon that night, and the hypothesis of the moon is therefore widely possible.

at Lievin, the hour is only supposed, the journalist reporting several observations to us afterwards. On the other end the direction is that of the moon, the first aspect is that of the moon, and the split into two parts is typical of what observe the other witnesses of the moon, from Chéreng to Milly La Forêt. Lievin's object was therefore probably the moon.


Analysis of the observations of October 3, 1954

[... other cases...]

05) Evening, hour not specified, ABLAIN-ST-NAZAIRE (62)

Same direction than the moon

[... other cases...]


There is a mixture in Aimé Michel between what seems to be two different observations in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire on October 3, 1954:

With a mixture with the sighting in Liévin.

Villers-au-Bois, municipality of the Pas-de-Calais, and not Villers-aux-Bois in the Marne, is indeed southwest of Ablain, so in the direction where the moon goes down.

A red moon with a cloud-altered crescent, as for other sightings of this series, is therefore the probable explanation of this observation.


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

Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, Pas-de-Calais, craft, pot, two, rotation, red, night, Louis Lherbier, small, ball, reddish, move, Villers-au-Bois, Robert Mairesse


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 9, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 9, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [mcs1], [hdt1], [fru1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 21, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 7, 2010 Additions [rhh1], [gne1].
1.3 Patrick Gross October 3, 2014 Addition [lgs1].
1.4 Patrick Gross October 14, 2016 Addition [dcn1].
1.5 Patrick Gross November 20, 2016 Addition [ubk1].
1.6 Patrick Gross December 30, 2016 Addition [prs1].
1.7 Patrick Gross February 10, 2017 Addition [ler1].
1.8 Patrick Gross May 24, 2019 Additions [via1], [dcn2], [dcn3], [dcn4].
1.9 Patrick Gross June 7, 2019 Addition of the Summary. Explanations changed, was "Not looked for yet."
2.0 Patrick Gross July 6, 2019 Addition [fle1]."

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