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The 1954 French flap:

The index page for the 1954 French flap section of this site is here.

October 3, 1954, Chéreng, Nord:

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

Reports:

[Ref. am1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel indicates that there was a sighting ong October 3, 1954, in Chéreng, 10 kilometers East of Lille, at 07:20 p.m..

At another page, he indicates that the Chéreng, on October 3, 1954, sighting took place at 7:20 p.m. and was the first of a series in that evening.

He tells that Chéreng is on National Road 41 between Lille and Tournai, at about 10 kilometers from Lille, that the villagers were celebrating their "ducasse" village feast, that the weather was nice and clear and the sky cloudless.

At 7:20, people walking a bit in the West of the village saw an oblong an luminous shape come very fast at low altitude. The object came at the level of the small bridge that crosses river Marque, stopped, seems to produce some sparks, and came down towards the ground.

The witnesses run to the bridge to see what it was, but as they got closer, the object rose again, fast, and went away just as it had come.

The sighting lasted only about 10 seconds and all was in silence.

The investigation showed that numerous people in the vicinity had witnessed either the arrival, or the departure, of the object.

[Ref. jv7:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Jacques Vallée indicates that on October 3, 1954, inhabitants of Chereng, in the department of Nord, observed an object that flew at low altitude and great speed toward the Marque River, where it stopped, emitted what seemed to be sparks and descended. As the numerous witnesses ran toward the point at which it seemed about to land, the object gained altitude, still without making any sound.

[Ref. jv5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

206 -003.20940 50.61150 03 10 1954 19 20 1 (CHERENG-NORD) F 0012 G

[Ref. jv1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

184

Oct. 03, 1954, 07:20 P.M., Chereng (France).

The crowd at a fair saw a luminous object arrive very fast in the sky, stop in flight, emit sparks, and come down to ground level. As witnesses rushed to the spot, it took off again. (M 113)

[Ref. jv2:] JACQUES VALLEE:

The author indicates that on October 3, 1954, the crowd at the fair of Chereng saw a luminous object arriving very quickly, to stop in its flight, emit sparks and go down towards the ground. It flew away again when the witnesses rushed towards the scene.

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

The two authors and ufologists initially briefly indicate that on October 3, 1954, at 07:20 p.m. in Chéreng, about fifty people, among them the schoolmaster Mr. Fiolet, saw a moon crescent at low altitude.

They then specify that the observation took place by beautiful weather whereas the village celebrated its employers' festival "La Ducasse." The observation is then indicated as that of an orange luminous object at low altitude which evolved slowly in direction of the footbridge of la Marque, then "the UFO in the shape of crescent moon moves away towards Sainghin-in-Mélantois."

They comment then in connection with the "tempest" of such cases which resemble each other too much in the same area and of which the observations time are not sure, with "according to the versions, thirty minutes to one hour variations". They say that the observation in Chéreng is identical to others and would be that of a "sphere which split into two cigars and takes its original shape again" but that in Chéreng "we know that the object did not change into a cigar and that this is an optical illusion: the central part of the object being cleared up and darkening" according to the bulletin number 3 of the G.N.E.O.V.N.I. in which the counter-enquiry of Dominique Caudron was published.

They add that "we know from Mr. Bonte, I.D.N. engineer that the Moon was deformed and barred by a stratus that evening", that in Chéreng, people described it as resembling the Moon and that in Lille the Moon was actually recognized.

In addition, witnesses in a car had the illusion to be followed by the Moon, which stopped when they stopped and moved again when they moved again, and in a certain number of these cases the object was indicated as being in the south-west and that it is known that this evening there at 09:30 p.m. the Moon was in the shape of crescent and lay down in the south-west, this corresponding to accounts of landings. Also, the witnesses would have had to see both the Moon and the UFO, but there were only description of the UFO without indication of presence of the Moon or reference to its position compared to the Moon, so there is hardly doubt that the UFO was the Moon itself.

The press sources are indicated as "Nord Matin", page 10, for October 5, 1954; "Nord Eclair", page 2, for October 6, 1954; "La Voix du Nord", page 6, for OCtober 6, 1954 and "Libre Artois", Arras, page 3, fort October 6, 1954, which copies the article in "Nord Matin" for October 5, 1954.

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

French ufologist and author Jean Sider learned in an article from the newspaper "Libre Artois", of Arras, page 3, for October 6, 1954, that on October 3, 1954, at 07:20 p.m. during the party "la Ducasse" which was taking place in Chéreng, a small village not far from the city of Lille, several residents have seen a "cigare" land at the footbridge of la Marque.

This landing was achieved without noise and was preceded by a rain of sparks, but the machine disappeared before the arrival of the witnesses.

The merry mood of the festival letting believe in a joke, many people did not believe in the account of the witnesses, but the observation was confirmed on the next Monday.

Jean Sider notes that Michel Figuet, on page 657 of his book, talks about a confusion with the moon, while referring to "the so-called works of one Mister Caudron, a silly rationalist," [it is Dominique Caudron] who "trusted the wild imaginings of a Mister Bonte," an engineer about whom Jean Sider had given his negative opinion in his book.

Jean Sider comments on finally: "How the Moon can produce a cigar landing on a road is a mystery even more impenetrable than the UFO mystery..."

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

Godelieve van Overmeire indicates that in 1954, on October 3 in France in Chéreng at 19:20, the crowd gathered at the fair saw, arriving at high speed in the sky, a luminous object which, suddenly, stopped, threw sparks and went down towards the ground. It set out again as soon as the witnesses started to run towards it.

Godelieve van Overmeire thanks Wim van Utrecht and indicates that "in reality it was a close encounter with the Moon!" according to Larry Hatch, dec. 2003.

[Ref. jt1:] JOSEPH TRAINOR:

On his web site UFOroundup, Joseph Trainor noted:

One of the biggest European UFO flaps of all time took place nearly half a century ago in France. Sunday, October 3, 1954, was the high water mark of this outbreak of UFO sightings.

There were more than 30 good sightings that day. Almost all of them occurred between 7:20 and 9:30 p.m., and they were grouped largely in two relatively small areas on the map.

The first sighting was reported at Chereng, a country village between Lille and Tournai," on France's border with Belgium, "some six miles (10 kilometers) east of Lille. The weather was clear, the sky cloudless.

Suddenly, at 7:20 p.m., strollers a little to the west of the village saw in the sky a kind of luminous shape, traveling at a low altitude and at full speed. When it reached the height of the footbridge spanning the little Marque River, the object stopped, emitted what seemed to be sparks, and descended.

The witnesses broke into a run and headed for the bridge. But, at their approach, the object immediately gained altitude and disappeared just as it had arrived. The whole scene had lasted scarcely more than ten seconds, in total silence.

At 8 o'clock, Mlle. Anne-Marie Perrut, daughter of a policeman at Marcoing, 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Chereng, was looking out of her window when her attention was drawn to a strange spectacle. Several hundred yards (meters) from the police station, above the Gouillet woods, a luminous object hung motionless in the air. It was circular and orange-red in color. A little below this immobile object, and as though suspended from it, she saw a small spot of light with a kind of see-saw movement.

Mlle. Perrut watched for a moment, distrusting her own eyes; then she called her father, who at first refused to be disturbed. After several minutes, as the object was still there, Anne-Marie begged so insistently that her father finally consented to come. Then it was the policeman's turn to ask himself if he were seeing things, for there was the object, just as his daughter had been telling him. M. Perrut routed out his colleages, policemen Faucambergue, Delande and Bleuzot and their families; soon there were twenty witnesses.

After a moment, while the strange visitor continued to remain motionless above the Gouillet woods, the policemen sought other witnesses. They stopped bicyclists who passed the police station. All could see the same spectacle. The luminous ball did not take off; but it was seen from time to time to rise or descend somewhat, apparently in a vertical line.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., the object underwent a sudden transformation; the spot of light suspended below it disappeared, while the ball itself assumed a shape like that of a cigar, or a disk viewed edgewise. According to the police, it was then possible to estimate its altitude at 1,800 to 2,000 feet (540 to 600 meters). Almost immediately after its metamorphosis, the object moved away horizontally in the shape of a crescent, as if the disk had bent over; it then returned to the same spot, remained there for a few moments, and finally took off at great speed in the direction of Villiers-Plouich, about three and a half miles (6 kilometers) to the south of Marcoing; there, as it disappeared, it threw out a beam of light so intense as to illuminate the sky several seconds after the object itself had disappeared. The time was 8:45 p.m.

[etc]

[Ref. ta1:] "THINK ABOUT IT" WEBSITE:

3 October. Chereng, France (7:20 p.m.)

Witnesses broke into a run.

Michel wrote.

"The first sighting was reported at Chereng, a country village between Lille and Tournai, some six miles east of Lille. The weather was clear, the sky cloudless. Chereng was celebrating its 'ducasse,' the day of its patron saint."

"Suddenly, at 7:20, strollers a little to the west of the village saw in the sky a kind of luminous oblong shape, traveling at a low altitude and at full speed when it reached the height of the footbridge spanning the little Marque River, the object stopped, emitted what seemed to be sparks, and descended."

"The witness broke into a run and headed for the bridge. But at their approach the object immediately gained altitude and disappeared just as it had arrived. The whole scene had lasted scarcely more than ten seconds, in total silence. Investigation also revealed that numerous other persons in the vicinity had witnessed either the arrival or the departure." (xx.)

(xx.) Michel, Aime Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery pp. 113-114.

[Ref. lh1:] LARRY HATCH:

Larry Hatch included this case in his listing of discredited sightings:

! 1954/10/03 CHERENG + MARCOING + QUEND + LIEVIN ++, FRANCE: Close Encounters with the Moon!

[Ref. ge1:] LE SITE INTERNET DU GERU:

The GERU website gives information on the September 30 case in Chéreng but mentions also that on Sunday, October 3, 1954 at approximately 20:00, about fifty people who took part in the festival of the hamlet of Autour in Chéreng have see in the sky a reddish oblong shape which after investigation proved to be probably the first crescent of the moon. The teacher, Mr. Fiolet spoke about this observation in his class on the following Monday morning and that made the other sighting of September 30, 1954, in Chéreng, known.

[Ref. dj1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

On this Day

October 3

[...]

1954 - At 7:20 p.m. the crowd at a fair in Chereng, France saw a luminous object arrive very fast in the sky, stop in flight, emit sparks, and come down to ground level. As witnesses rushed to the spot it took off again. (Sources: Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 113; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 216).

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

Jérôme Beau indicates that on Sunday October 3, 1954, at 19:20 in Chereng (France), the crowd gathered at the fair sees arriving at high speed in the sky a luminous object which suddenly, stops, throws sparks and goes down towards the ground. It sets out again as soon as the witnesses start to run towards it.

Jérôme Beau indicates that his source is Vallée, J., case #47, "Rapport sur l'analyse de 200 observations documentées faites en 1954".

[Ref. ri1] "RIGOROUS INTUITION" BLOG:

[... Other cases ...]

At around 7:30 pm, a crowd at a fair in Chereng saw a fast luminous object in the sky suddenly stop, give off sparks, and descend to ground level. As people ran to the spot, the object took off again. (Dolan)

[... Other cases ...]

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 3 October 1954, at 19:20, in Chereng, France, "a luminous object stopped in flight, emitted sparks, and come down to ground level. Explanation: Moon."

The website adds: "The crowd at a fair saw a luminous object arrive very fast in the sky, stop in flight, emit sparks, and come down to ground level. As witnesses rushed to the spot, it took off again."

The sources are noted Guieu, Jimmy, Flying Saucers Come from Another World, Citadel, New York, 1956; Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Bowen, Charles, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, FSR, London, 1966; 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); Vallee, Jacques, Anatomy of a Phenomenon, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1965; Vallee, Jacques, A Century of Landings (N = 923), (in JVallee04), Chicago, 1969; Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Del Valle, Pierre, Pierre Del Valle investigation files, Bordeaux; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002; Hatch, Larry, internet data.

[Ref. dj2:] DONALD JONHSON:

Donald Johnson says that on October 3, 1954, at 7:20 p.m. the crowd at a fair in Chereng, Nord, France saw a luminous object in the sky that arrived very quickly, stopped in flight, emitted sparks, and finally came down to ground level. As witnesses rushed to the spot it took off again.

The sources are noted as "Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 113; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 216)."

[Ref. gn1:] "GNEOVNI" UFOLOGY GROUP:

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 "3-10-54 Chéreng nord".

[Ref. vn1:] "LA VOIX DU NORD" NEWSPAPER:

UFO: "These mysterious traces that I have observed Chéreng in 1954 marked my life"

Published on 10/19/2013 - Updated 10/19/2013 at 10:06 p.m.

Marie Vandekerkhove

Jean-Luc Bésengez was only a child when he witnessed a strange phenomenon: with his school principal and two other comrades, he noted webbed feet footprints in a field. His classmate claimed to have seen a flying saucer ... as fifty Chérengeois of the time! The only certainty is the size and layout of these footprints did not correspond to anything known. They remain unexplained, almost 60 years later. Only survivor, he returned to an ultra adventure publicized at the time, who influenced his life.

Photo

[Caption:] In a field opposite the castle Chéreng, Jean-Luc Bésengez shows where he spotted the traces of webbed feet there almost 60 years.

Affable, elegant, Jean-Luc Bésengez is not a visionary. This sprightly septuagenarian, now retired, led a successful career in the printing industry. trade repro, he also participated in animated films for television. This native of Chéreng has now left the town. But it is still in the field, in front of the castle, it places the source of his professional destiny. He is sure: "What I saw that day has increased tenfold my sense of observation."

We are on Monday, 4 October 1954. Jean-Luc Bésengez 11 years, he is enrolled in public school Chéreng. The day before, fifty people think I saw a flying saucer during the Ducasse of around (see below). "We talked about it in class because our teacher had also witnessed this phenomenon. This is where Jean-Claude Delmotte spoke of" his "appearance" recalls the septuagenarian. Jean-Claude, 10, enjoys biking in the field adjacent to the castle, the small stone path that makes squealing wheels. This is a class header, not one to tell nonsense. And especially not to the schoolmaster. Jean-Claude recounts seeing a sphere of 3 m in diameter, brown, and orange and bright, floor-standing, Thursday 30 September. He said he then spotted footprints forming a circle.

"At lunch hour, Marcel Lison, Jean-Claude Delmotte and I went to see the traces, still visible. And went to seek the principal," recalls Jean-Luc Bésengez. "Mr. Fiolet" realizes, with his students, the incongruity of these traces. They are arranged in circles. Each is 16 cm. "We first thought to animals, but the direction has made us doubt," Jean-Luc Bésengez tip. "I regret that the teacher did not think to make casts or preserve traces", plague the former student, who draws in detail the footprint on the blackboard on the way in the classroom.

All the excitement of their discovery, Chérengeois also forget to count the traces. In the evening, the press rushed into the field: the "flying saucers" (the term UFO has not been invented yet) agitate the columns of all the newspapers that year. But when the journalists arrived, the rain and plowing have erased the footprints. More webbed feet. In their place, horse hooves dug their groove.

The next day the gendarmes of the Forest-sur-Marque brigade arrive to investigate. They ask the children, the school principal. Other investigators are there: the precursors of GNEOVNI, a group of enthusiasts of unexplained phenomena an engineer, Eugene Sorez "I was a little sucks," recalls the scholar. The press relays the location of a possible landing of "beings". "I think even remember what I did the One of France Soir", thinks Jean-Luc Bésengez which still keeps the impression that gave little credit to his childhood speech.

The observation, restlessness around this mystery, have shaped his life. His sister married a journalist who came to interview him. Jean-Luc Bésengez never ordered his sketches and made the Fine Arts. Later, his first color animated film, spent on regional television, around 1975, evoked a journalist abducted by aliens. Its title: Extrapoll. The "witness" runs the UFO literature for 60 years. He saw Hollywood draw webbed feet to little green men, "perhaps through my drawing." But never found reason to what he saw in this field in 1954. "The logic does not explain it but it was real." Fiolet, Lison and Delmotte died. He remains alone with his questions.

When the village sees saucers

Residents who attended the celebration of the Hamlet of Around, Sunday, October 3, hear a buzzing, around 19 h 20. They see on the horizon a reddish machine semblance rest on the ground that one stroke s' student and moves horizontally. Other testimonies suggest rather "two flying cigars".

Mr. Fiolet, director of the boys' school, is present. It describes very precisely the "appearance" in one of our colleagues, "I found them in the sky, towards South-West, an oblong-shaped device which emanated a powerful reddish glow We could. said a crescent moon rounded down. the central part of the machine, slightly swollen, seemed more enlightened. All of a sudden, the bulging part died. then I had the impression of see two cigars. The craft which evolved slowly turned and disappeared."

The next day, Mr. Fiolet talking in class. And raises the testimony of Jean-Claude Delmotte, resumed Leave the a by the press (see below against an extract of Nord Eclair of 5 October 1954, with Jean-Luc Bésengez photo on the lower, first to the second row on the left , cut brush). Due respect to fans of unexplained: this vision would actually be astronomical origin. The villagers were frightened by the reddish moon, according to the "experts" regional ufology (discipline that is interested in UFOs). But traces of webbed feet remain, they officially unexplained. Mr. VDK.

Image

[Caption:] Reconstitution of the sketch by Jean-Luc Bésangez.

Image

Image

Image

Image

[Caption:] Three newspapers of the time (La Voix du Nord, Nord Matin et Nord Eclair) echoed surprizing visits in a field opposite the castle.

[Ref. ni1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

*Oct. 3, 1954 - At 7:20 p.m. the crowd at a fair in Chereng, France saw a luminous object arrive very fast in the sky, stop in flight, emit sparks, and come down to ground level. As witnesses rushed to the spot it took off again. (Sources: Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 113; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 216, case # 184).

[Ref. ta1:] "THINK ABOUT IT" WEBSITE:

Location: Chereng, Nord, France

Date: September 30 1954

Time: afternoon

10-year old Jean Claude Delmotte is walking along a path at the edge of the Chereng forest when he suddenly sees a dark spherical object about 300 meters away, which soon becomes yellow-orange in color. The yellow light becomes more intense and bright. The sphere then takes off on a vertical flight path emitting a weak noise and emitting sparks. Later the witness and two friends find strange prints on the ground at the site of the observation, described as resembling those of “webbed feet” about 16cm in length. The ground was soon trampled by horse carts.

Source: Figuet/Ruchon Dossier Ovni 1979

[Ref. dc1] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

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.

Santos wrote that for this case #526 of October 3, 1954, in Chéreng, 59, there had been an Unknown Flying Object at low altitude: at 07:20 p.m. or 8 p.m., about fifty people "saw an object which seems to be divided into two half-cigars and to land, then swivelled and disappeared".

Dominique Caudron indicates that this was actually 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?"

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

This database recorded this case 9 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 Chereng France 19.20 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Chereng France 19.20 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Chereng France 19.20 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Chereng France 19.20 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Chereng France 19.20 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Chereng France 19.20 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Chereng France CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Chereng France CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Chereng France

Explanations:

Not looked for yet. The moon?

Keywords:

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

Chéreng, Nord, Ducasse, party, festival, landing, cigar, sparks, multiple, crescent, Orange

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross January 9, 2009 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 9, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [am1], [go1], [jb1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 28, 2010 Addition [dj2].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 21, 2010 Addition [jv5].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 6, 2010 Additions [jv7], [gn1], [ri1].
1.4 Patrick Gross October 3, 2014 Addition [ni1].
1.5 Patrick Gross October 14, 2016 Addition [dc1].
1.6 Patrick Gross December 21, 2016 Additions [vn1], [lg1], [ta1], [ub1].

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