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The 1954 French flap:

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October 3, 1954, Bénestroff, Moselle:

Reference number for this case: 3-oct-54-Benestroff. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspapers "Le Lorrain" and "L'Est Républicain" for October 5, 1954, had reported among the observations in the region, that a large green disk had been seen on Sunday October 3, 1954, in the area of Dieuze in the Moselle, landing near Bénestroff.

These newspapers indicated that at exactly 08:17 p.m., Pierre Laplace, 19, an electrician at the Kuhlmann Establishments in Dieuze, and living in Vergaville, saw in the sky a large luminous disc of green color, at the height of the woods of Brides, between the village of Vergaville and Kerprich.

He said that this voluminous point was at about 3000 meters. Mr. Laplace, having stopped, followed the maneuvers of the craft.

It was initially stationary, then suddenly threw glittering lights of ultra-violet rays, and then moved at such a speed that the jet planes of that time would have seemed, in comparison, motionless.

The craft stopped at the height of the Paquis of Guébling, it traveled the distance between Guébling and Kerprich three times, always at a crazy pace, but, extraordinary thing, it always stopping at the same place.

Suddenly, the machine launched new gleams, seeming to check out the ground, and went down to about 600 meters from the ground. It then flew a semi-circle, very slowly, descended more and more and finally, seemed to land at the Côte-des-Vignes, located a short distance from Bedestroff.

Mr. Laplace, like the passers-by whom he had stopped, had assured that it was indeed a flying saucer. Thirty people, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, had followed with great interest the maneuvers of the saucer.

Witnesses among the inhabitants of the region were Mr. Lucien Victorien; Mr. Primon, masonry contractor in Vergaville; Mr. Kinowsky, a shoemaker; Mr. Claude Renfort, of Bassing; and the manager of Ecos de Vergaville and his family.

Mr. Laplace and some other spectators had wanted to go on a motorcycle to the landing site, but the saucer once again took off and disappeared behind a curtain of trees, at 9 p.m.

In 1979 also, "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker reported that all the cases of 1,2 and 3 October 1954, in the vicinity of Dieuze, Kerprich, and that of Benestroff, were due to the fall of a high voltage power line cable near the forest of Brides, according to memories of certain inhabitants of one of the villages; which they said they heard through the intermediary of the town hall employee; whereas nobody in the village council remembered any alien visit to these places.

Reports:

[Ref. ll1:] "LE LORRAIN" NEWSPAPER:

Admired in various places, not without emotion

The ballet of the "Flying Saucers"
continues in the sky of Lorraine

In the Moselle, mysterious machines attracted the glances.

Last Friday, at about 11 p.m., several residents of Bassing, among whose MM. Romain and Renfort, saw, above the area of Vergaville and Bidestroff, a luminous object of 2 to 3 meters length, showinf the shape of an ellipse and which moved at very variable speeds. The witnesses heard a gentle humming of engine. Sometimes the alleged flying saucer slowed its travel down to the of being motionless, then it went up with a vertiginous pace. The same phenomenon was observed Saturday, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., by Mr. Remy Rousselle, of Blanche-Eglise, and Mr. Baumann, of Bassing.

A large green disc

In its turn, the sky of the area of Dieuze saw a flying saucer evolving. It was Sunday evening. It was exactly 08:17 p.m. when Mr. Pierre Laplace, aged 19, electrician with the Kuhlmann Establishments, in Dieuze, and residing in Vergaville, saw in the sky a large luminous disc of green color, at the height of the wood of Brides, between the villages of Vergaville and Kerprich. The bulky point, he said, was at approximately 3000 meters. Mr. Laplace, having stopped, followed the evolutions of the machine. When he saw it for the first time, it was motionless. Suddenly, specifies the electrician, the machine launched sparkling lights of the color of ultraviolet rays; it then moved at a speed such as nowadays' jet airplanes, seeming, close to him, to hover.

The flying saucer, because that's what it is, said the observer, as well as the passers by that Mr. Laplace had stopped and who are positive, stopped at the height of the Paquis of Guéblin; it crossed the distance between Guéblin and Kerprich three times, always at a tremendous pace, but extraordinarily, always stopping in the same place.

Suddenly, the machine launched new gleams, seeming to locate the ground, and went down until approximately 600 meters from ground. Then, making a U turn, very slowly, it went down more and more and finally, seemed to land at the level of the Côte-des-Vignes, located at a little distance of Bedestroff. About thirty people, cyclists, pedestrians, motorists, followed, extremely interested, the evolutions of the saucer. Mr. Laplace and some other spectators having wanted to on motorbike to the spot of landing, the saucer took height again and disappeared behind a curtain of trees. It was 9 p.m. at this time. The inhabitants of the area who saw the saucer are M.M. Lucien Victorien, Primon, building contractor in Vergaville; Mr Kinowsky, workman in shoes, Claude Renfort of Bassing, as well as the manager of the Ecos of Vergaville and his family.

Amazingly, at 11:45 p.m., several unknown people stationing on the road as well as Mr. Domant, a garage workman residing in Guéblin, and Mr. Glicher, of the same village, looked with attention, but without daring to approach it, a disc of green color which was in the fields, at a small distance of the road. Let us finally report that Saturday, between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Mr Rothfuss of Dieuze, had also seen, circulating in the airs, between the farm of Boule and Maizières-les-Vic, a luminous disc whose details correspond exactly to those given by Mr. Laplace.

[Ref. er1:] "L'EST REPUBLICAIN" NEWSPAPER:

Admired in various places not without emotion...

The ballet of the flying saucers continues in the Lorraine sky but the mysterious machines remain elusive

The "flying saucers" seem to engage in a ceaseless round in the eastern sky and elsewhere. Their passage is reported in a hundred places each day. We lack space here for us to echo all the news reaching us about it. Suffice to mention a few of the last and main stories related to this.

In Remiremont, Sunday at 11 am, a hundred people were able to see, from the enclosure of the Pomological fair of the Campus Martius, what is believed to be a flying saucer or a cigar or a disc, which let loose a trail of smoke in its wake, when rising or descending, turning around the sun. People skeptical of saucers stories told us to have observed the phenomenon very well.

The "saucer" remained ten minutes suspended in the atmosphere and disappeared. Two to three meters in length...

In the Moselle, mysterious machines attracted attention

Last Friday, around 23h, several residents of Bassing, including Mr. Romain and Mr. Renfort, saw, above the region between Vergaville and Bidestroff, a luminous object of 2 to 3 meters in length, having the shape of an ellipse and which moved at variable speeds. Witnesses heard a slight engine roar. Sometimes the alleged flying saucer slowed its course up to the point to rest, and then went back at breakneck speed.

The same phenomenon was observed on Saturday between 21h and 22h by Mr. Remy Rousselle, of Blanche-Eglise and Mr. Baumann of Bassing.

A large green disk

In turn, the sky of the region of Dieuze saw evolve a flying saucer.

It was Sunday night. It was exactly 8:17 p.m. when Mr. Pierre Laplace, aged 19, electrician at the Etablissements Kuhlmann in Dieuze and living in Vergaville, saw in the sky a large bright green disk, at the hieght of the wood of Brides, between the village of Vergaville and Kerprich. The large spot was, he said, at about 3,000 meters. Laplace stood, and followed the moves of the machine. When he saw it for the first time, it was motionless. Suddenly, says the electrician, the machine threw glittering lights of the color of ultraviolet rays, it then moved at a rate such that current jet planes appear motionless in comparison. The flying saucer, because this is what it was, said the witness, as well as passers by Mr. Laplace had stopped and who are formal, stopped at the height of the Paquis of Guéblin, it flew the distance between Guéblin and Kerprich three times, always at breakneck speed, but, extraordinary thing, it always stopped at the same place.

Suddenly the craft launched new gleams, seemingly locating the ground, and went down at about 600 meters of the ground, then making a semicircle, very slowly, it got more and more close to the ground and finally, seemed to land on the hill of the Vines, located not far from Bedestroff. Thirty people, cyclists, pedestrians, motorists followed, extremely interested, the changes in the saucer. Laplace and some other spectators having wanted to go on a motorcycle at the landing place, the saucer again took off and disappeared behind a curtain of trees.

It was 9 p.m. then.

The locals who saw the saucer are Mssrs Lucien Victorien and Primon, entrepreneurs in masonry in Vergaville, Kinowsky, shoemaker in Bataville, Claude Ronfort of Bassing and the manager of the Eco in Vergaville and his family.

Curiously, at 23:45, several unknown parked on the road, and Mr. Domant, mechanic in Guéblin and Mr. Gilcher, of the same village, watched attentively but without daring to approach it, a green disc which was in the fields, a short distance from the road.

Finally, let's note that on Saturday between 20 and 21 hours, Mr. Rothfuss, of Dieuze, had also seen circulate in the air between the farm of the Boule and Maizières-les-Vic, a luminous disc whose details are exactly those given by Laplace.

[Ref. la1] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

Scan


Flying saucers in Ivory Coast

The chief administrator of Danane submits an official report to the governor of the territory

Abidjan, 5 October

Flying saucers were seen in Ivory Coast. The news was known by an official report addressed to the governor of Ivory Coast by Mr. Vernhet, chief administrator of the subdivision of Danane, city located at 500 kilometers in the North-East of Abidjan.

The facts go back to September 19, but they were made official only yesterday following precise information and an investigation.

In addition to the population, the chief of the gendarmerie station, the chief consultant of the medical centre, Reverend Father Vyard, of the missions of Lyon, Mr. Vernhet, chief of the subdivision and his wife, joined together in the court of the residence, saw on 19 September from 08:30 p.m. to 09:05 p.m. a machine corresponding exactly to those observed in France, but which did not land.

It was a luminous point, surrounded by a halation which initially grew quickly, moving while approaching or deviating from the horizon. The witnesses saw the machine light a powerful headlight, sometimes directed up, sometimes down. The machine, of ovoid shape, was surmounted by a cupola and luminous beams seemed to move on each side.

When it disappeared, after having moved half an hour, the witnesses clearly saw two luminous halations, of oval shape, formed on the supposed place of the machine. The latter moved without any noise.

Administrator Vernhet joined to his report a detailed sketch of the various observed phases as well as of the shape of the apparatus.

The same day, in Soubre, 250 km in the North-West of Abidjan, and in the same direction, similar phenomena were observed. The chief

(Continued on page 3)


Scan


Flying saucers

(continued from page 1)

The subdivision of Soubre confirmed the existence of the phenomenon which he witnessed.

The epidemic goes on...

In the Territory of Belfort, Mr. Lucien Bourgeois, 58 years old, reamer at the DMC factories was Monday towards 06:45 p.m. in front of his dwelling in Grandvillars. Suddenly his attention was drawn by a sharp gleam in the sky, produced by a luminous machine of lengthened form which moved slowly towards the west. Mr. Bourgeois alerted at once several of his neighbors who managed, during half an hour, to observe this weird phenomenon.

In the Moselle a 19 year old young man, Mr. Pierre Laplace, electrician at the Kuhlmann Co in Dieuze (the Moselle), saw Sunday evening at 08:07 p.m. a large luminous disc, of green color, at the level of the wood of the Brides, between Vergaville and Kerprich (the Moselle).

The machine which emitted sharp gleams lands near Benestroff. About thirty passers by which had stopped on the road to follow the evolutions, formally confirm Mr. Laplace's statements. Several witnesses tried to go by motorbike towards the supposed landing spot of the craft, but then, the apparatus took height again and definitively disappeared at 9 p.m.

In the Nord, a hundred people saw moving in the sky between Annoeuillin and Provins, Sunday evening, three "flying crescents", during 25 minutes.

In Lyon, a journalist claims to have observed using a binocular, above the Sainte-Foy hill, an orange red luminous disc, followed by other brilliant, smaller discs. The phenomenon lasted approximately 20 minutes.

A little everywhere saucers, cigars, discs, balls and other "flying" objects were seen, in particular in Chancelade (Haute-Vienne), Willer (Haut-Rhin), Gouesnach, close to Quimper, Bautignecourt, Ambazac (Haute-Vienne), Dijon, Marcoing, near Cambrai, Pommier (the Indre), Rouen, Ajaccio, La Rochelle, Quimper, Cholet and Vannes.

A "saucers manufacturer" is discovered

Lille, October 5. -- A retired miner, of Beuvry-les-Béthune, known as a prankster, did not miss the opportunity the flying saucers offered to him, to have fun at the expense of the residents of the nearby localities.

Inspired by the Montgolfier principle, the merry pensioner manufactured machines three meters in diameter. The envelope was made of strong gray paper sheets, carefully glued. At the base of the "saucer", there was a small receptacle in which a tuft of packing soaked with a flammable liquid rested. It was then enough to ignite the packing to see the machine rise and disappear with the liking to the winds, surrounded by yellowish and oranges reflections.

It is after the discovery, close to a haystack in which one of these machines had almost set fire, that the gendarmes were brought to suspect the pensioner. In addition, many models of "flying saucers" were found at his home, prototypes which the inventor was getting ready to launch in the sky of the Nord.

The mystifier claims that he already built and launched more than one thousand of these machines, but as he is a prankster he perhaps brags. As for his "saucers", they of course follow the direction and the speed of the wind and they thus cannot comparare with the usual machines which move at high speed in all the directions, stop short, etc...

Anyway, the prankster will be sentenced for dangerous fun.

[Ref. jv5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

208 -006.78870 48.84840 03 10 1954 20 17 115 BIDESTROFF P.DIEUZE F 0016 C** 169

[Ref. gl1:] CHARLES GARREAU AND RAYMOND LAVIER:

Indicating that their sources are newspaper clipping and personal files, the authors submit a report of an observation of October 3, 1954 in Bénestroff in the Moselle.

They indicate that at approximately 08:15 P.M.,the young motorcycle rider Pierre Laplace saw a large luminous disc of green color appearing in the sky above the wood of Brides, between Vergaville and Kerprich. The machine immobilized and remained motionless a few minutes.

Pierre Laplace reported that suddenly then, "it starts to launching gleams, sort of ultraviolet rays, and flees at a tremendous speed, such as a jet aircraft would seem to be motionless in comparison."

Pierre Laplace stopped passers by, and these new witnesses observed in awe a strange ballet, seeing the machine making three times and at an "incredible" speed the flight from Guébling to Kerprich, while stopping each time at the same place.

Then, the machine emitted new gleams, as if it wanted to explore the ground.

The witnesses considered his altitude as being of 600 meters.

They saw the machine flying very slowly in a half-circle, like a plane making a landing approach, then they saw it land close to Bénestroff.

Everyone then rushes towards the place of the apparent landing, which seemed to be two kilometers away from them, but before they got anything near that place, the machine took off and was quickly lost form sight.

According to Pierre Laplace, the observation took lated from 08:17 P.M. to 09:04 P.M..

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors and ufologists indicate that on October 3, 1954 at 08:17 p.m., in Kerprich in the department of Moselle, a green disc was seen by several witnesses, among those Pierre Laplace, a motorcycle rider.

The object was at the the vertical of the forest of Bride, in the north of Kerprich. Initially motionless, it suddenly threw a gleam of dark purple color, started and transported itself in a few seconds at the vertical of Guebling, made a new stop, with a change of color; three times, the object crossed the Kerprich-Guebling way, in an identical manner and by reproducing the same phenomena.

At 09:00 p.m., the same disc seen a little earlier in Kerprich passed above Guebling. This time, it did not return to its starting point, but launched new gleams and descended at ground level, very slowly, describing a half-circle. At a few hundreds of meters of Bidestroff, it disappeared behind the trees and seemed to have landed on the ground. At once, a "rush" started in the nearby villages. Alas, the first witnesses arrived on location had only the time see the machine leaving at high speed.

The authors indicate that the sources are case 181 of the Vallée catalogue, Aimé Michel in "A propos des soucoupes volantes" p. 132-133; Quincy; and Le Journal u Centre for October 6, 1954.

[Ref. bb1: ] GERALD BARTHEL AND JACQUES BRUCKER:

The two authors say that all the cases of October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, 1954, in the surroundings of Dieuze, Guébling, Kerprich are due to the fall of a high-power cable in the edge of the forest of Brides, according to memories "of certain inhabitants of the village" [Kerprich?] that they say to have gathered via via the employee of the town hall, while nobody within the town council remembered an extraterrestrial visit there.

[Ref. mf1:] FRANCAT - MICHEL FIGUET:

In an extract of his Francat catalogue, Michel Figuet recorded that the case of Bidestroff [sic] as well as Guébling and the forest of Brides was a confusion with "an electrical phenomenon short-circuit on high power wires fallen on the ground" and a meteor.

[Ref. lg1] LOREN GROSS:

Biderstroff, France. (9:00 p.m.)

Emitting lights of a purple and green hue, "something" moved about in the night sky over Biderstroff area. At one point it swooped close to the earth as i£ to land in a stand of trees, but as it other cases nothing much happened because when a witness rushed to the spot the thing left in a hurry. 30.

  • 29. Michel, Aime. Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p.115.
  • 30. Ibid p. 104.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

Godelieve van Overmeire indicates that in 1954, on October 3 in France in Bénestroff (the Moselle), towards 20:17, cyclist Pierre Laplace sees a large luminous disc of green color appearing in the sky above the wood of Bride. Pierre Laplace stops the passers-by. Flabbergasted the witnesses observe a strange ballet. Other witnesses saw a green disc in a field. This disc then moved towards Guebling.

The source is indicated as M. Figuet / J.L. Ruchon: "Ovni, Premier dossier complet..." Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 111.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Moselle in Bidestroff on October 3, 1954 at 21:00 hours, the same disc seen a little earlier in Kerprich passes above Guebling, this time, it does not return to its starting point, but throws new gleams and goes down to the level of the ground, very slowly, in a half-circle. At a few hundreds of meters of Bidestroff, it disappears behind the trees and seems to land on the ground. At once, a "rush" starts in the nearby villages. Alas, the first witnesses arrived at the place had only the time to see the craft leaving at high speed.

Luc Chastan indicates that the source is "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 3 October 1954, at 23:45, in Bidestroff, France, "an object was sighted that had an appearance and performance beyond the capability of known earthly aircraft. One object, about 5 feet across, was observed by six witnesses at a coal mine for over 15 minutes (Domant; Laplace). Explanation: Re-entry."

The sources are indicated as Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01); Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

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

This database recorded the case 8 times:

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 Bidestroff France 21.00 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Bidestroff France 23.45
19541003 03.10.1954 Bidestroff France 20.17 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Bidestroff France 21.00 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Vergaville France 20.17 NL
19541003 03.10.1954 Vergaville France 20.17 NL
19541003 03.10.1954 Vergaville France 20.17
19541003 03.10.1954 Bataville France 20+ NL

[Ref. bl1:] "BLL ARCHIVES" WEBSITE:

UFO wave in Metz and its region

Comments »0

Spheres, luminous cones or cigars, discharging of batteries, dancing colors, etc., between the 1st and the 21st of October 1954, some twenty testimonies and observations of UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) were collected in the Moselle, the more particularly in the communes of Vergaville, Bidestroff, Kerprich, Guebling, Morsbach, Moncourt, Saint-Avold, Saint-Quirin and Jouy-aux-Arches. In Pournoy-la-Chétive, near Metz, two children declared that they had seen an alien with a hairy face come down from his flying saucer to come and speak to them in an incomprehensible language.

Notes:

Below: map of the mentioned villages locations. The distance in straight line between Benestroff and Blanche-Eglise is about 13 kilometers. Though these villages are cited in the reports, the exact locations of the observers is generally not known.

Map

For this case we have an initial position: "at the height of the woods of Brides, between the village of Vergaville and Kerprich." This would place it at the level of the red circle, if Mr. Laplace was on the road between these two villages; which is rather likely. This red circle gives an approximate direction, since the object can be at any distance.

The craft then left and "stopped at the height of the Paquis of Guéblin". This is at the green spot, on the road to the Paquis.

It "crossed the distance between Guébling and Kerprich three times, always at a crazy pace, but, extraordinary thing, always stopping in the same place." This is the blue line. This line is a direction of observations, not a position.

It "went down about 600 meters from the ground."

It "then performed a semi-circle, very slowly, came down more and more".

It "seemed to land at the height of the Cote-des-Vignes, located a short distance from Bénestroff." There is a "Rue des Vignes" leaving Bénestroff by the South, it is the red dot.

It "again took off and disappeared behind a curtain of trees."

Map

From Bénestroff to Kerprich, there are almost 10 kilometers in a straight line. From Guébling to Kerprich, the distance is about 5.5 kilometers. From these landmarks, it seems difficult to admit as obvious an immobility of the phenomenon which would have been the fall of a high-tension power line according to Barthel and Brucker.

Explanations:

Not looked for yet.

Keywords:

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

Bénestroff, Bidestroff, Moselle, Guébling, Pierre Laplace, Vergaville, Kerprich, craft, object, hovering, manoeuvers, fast, green, purple, forest, wood, multiple, ray, landing, lenghty

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 5, 2007 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 9, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 3, 2010 Addition [la1].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 21, 2010 Addition [jv5].
1.3 Patrick Gross November 23, 2016 Additions [er1], [ub1].
1.4 Patrick Gross December 16, 2016 Additions [lg1].
1.5 Patrick Gross Fabruary 11, 2017 Additions [bl1].

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