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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 3, 1954, Demuin, Somme:

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


In his 1997 book on the 1954 wave in France, Jean Sider indicated that according to the newspaper La Tribune d'Albert for October 9, 1954, page 3, people from the village of Demuin "had noticed the craft" seen at Boves, which according to Mr. and Mrs. Deslandes looked like a sort of phosphorescent lampshade, which moved noiselessly and "was trying to land." These witnesses tried to alert neighbors but the craft was gone.

Two websites would note the sighting, with no specific source.

In 2017, the "skeptical" ufologist Dominique Caudron dated and summarized the same case from five other newspapers sources, of which he gave the references.

He indicates that on October 3, 1954, at 09:15 p.m. in Demuin in the Somme, Mr. and Mrs. Deslandes observed towards Montdidier a sort of phosphorescent lampshade that moved without noise and seemed to want to land.

Dominique Caudron explained since the 1970s that there had been in the region a series of misintepretations caused by the Moon. In 2017, analyzing again these cases, he showed that it is possible this one was also cause by the Moon.


[Ref. jsr1:] JEAN SIDER:

French ufologist and author Jean Sider learned in an article from the newspaper "La Tribune" from Albert for October 9, 1954, on page 3, that people of the village of Demuin had noticed the machine seen in Boves, which according to Mr. and Mrs. Deslandes resembled a kind of phosphorescent lamp-shade, which moved without noise and "sought to land." These witnesses tried to alert neighbors but the machine had disappeared.

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Somme in Demuin in October 1954 at an unknown hour "At the beginning of the month the same day and probably to the same hour as the observation of Boves, a couple observed an object resembling a kind of phosphorescent lamp-shade moving without noise and seeming to try to land."

The source is noted as "Lumières dans la Nuit".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that in October 1954 in Boves, France, "Lampshade shaped disc glows, maneuvers as if about to land."

And: "An unusual object was sighted, that had unconventional appearance and performance. One luminous disc was observed by several witnesses in a town for two minutes."

The sources are indicated as "Lumieres dans la Nuit, Lumieres dans la Nuit; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002."


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...]

32) 21 h 15, DEMUIN (80)

- M. et Mme Deslandes ont observé vers Montdidier une sorte d'abat-jour phosphorescent qui se déplaçait sans bruit et semblait vouloir atterrir.

(Le Courrier Picard, 5/10 page 3, La Voix du Nord-ed. Somme 6/10 page 6, Nord Matin 6/10 page 10, Le Journal du Santerre 9/10 page 5, Les Tablettes de Péronnes 9/10 page 3)

[... 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.


Analysis of the observations of October 3, 1954

We saw a list of 50 observations from the northern region for October 3, 1954. This was just a compilation of information from the newspapers

[... Other cases...]

32) 21 h 15, DEMUIN (80)

Même mode de disparition que la lune ce soir là.

[... Other cases...]

Matrice de test pour l'identification avec la lune

Nr Identification Possible identi[fi]cation
certain first
idea of the
samebr />direction same
proximity and
iindentical with
identified case
oy yes
[... Other cases...]
32 yes 1 possible
[... Other cases...]

[... Other cases...]

15 observation[s] where it was possible that it was the Moon: [... Other cases...] Demuin, [... Other cases...]

[... Other cases...]


Possible Moon.

The direction of observation from Demuin to Montidier, which the witnesses gave, is almost due South, 172° 5'. Montdidier is the first village from Demuin that fits to landmark this direction, located quite far, at 17 km.

On October 3, 1954, at 09:15 p.m., seen from Démuin, the Moon was in direction 227° 33', setting ("landing") and almost already under the visual horizon of the witnesses, at 0° 5 elevation only.

Now, 227° 33', direction of the Moon, is not towards Montdidier. And as in this direction of 227° 33', there is a village, Moreuil, 6 kilometers only from Démuin, it is surprising that if the witnesses had misinterpreted what was actually the Moon, thes did not logically tell that it was "towards Moreuil" and preferred as a landmark a village three times more distant than the fitting village and in the wrong direction with 55° of error.

It could have been argued that we do not know that these witnesses were at their home in Demuin. But this seems pretty obvious since we are told they tried to alert neighbors, during the observation.

While this direction discrepancy is not "fatal" for an explanation by the Moon, as we are not dealing with perfectly assessed data from a thorough investigation. But I think it deserved to be mentioned.

To be clear: in the column "same direction" of his table [dcn2], Dominique Caudron should have noted "no". I do not understand why this cell was left empty whereas the witnesses did give a direction of observation.

On the other hand, I would like to remind that Sider, Chastan and UFOdna did not check anything at all, even though the many Moon misinterpretations cases of that evening in thare are known, for example via Figuet and Ruchon 1979, source and context known at least from Sider and Chastan.


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

Demuin, Somme, Deslandes, craft, phosphorescent, lampshade


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross October 15, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 5, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross November 24, 2019 Additions [dcn2], Summary. Case date changed from "Beg. October" to "October 3". Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."

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This page was last updated on November 24, 2019.