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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, Doullens, Nord:

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


Around 2017, "skeptical" ufologist Dominique Caudron, based in the Nord, cataloged sightings in the Nord region for October 3, 1954, neglected by ufologists, including many unpublished cases, and mostly explainable by a red moon whose appearance was altered by clouds.

One of these observations was reported in the regional newspaper Le Journal de Doullens for October 9, 1954:

At 08:50 p.m., in Doullens, department of the Nord, two young people from Doullens, 18-year-old and 17-year-old, had seen behind the trees of the road, at the horizon, between the Grand Cavalier of La Citadelle and the wood of Brétel, a bright glow in the shape of a triangle with the tip at the top, included in a slightly less luminous oval. Their observation lasted 10 minutes.

The newspaper added that in another district, other people had seen the same phenomenon.

Caudron explained these sightings as a misinterpretation of the moon, as the object was in the same direction than the moon, and behaved like the Moon.



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...]

26) 08:50 p.m., DOULLENS (80)

- Two young residetns of Doullens 18 and 17 years old. have seen behind the trees of the road, at the level of the horizon, between the Grand Cavalier of la Citadelle and the wood of Bretel, a bright glow, in the shape of the triangle pointed upwards, included in a slightly less lighted oval. The obscrvation lasted 10 minutes.

(Le Journal de Doullens 10/9 page 1)

27) 20 h 50, DOULLENS (80)

- In another district, people saw the same phenomenon.

(Le Journal de Doullens 10/9 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.


Analysis of the observations of October 3, 1954

[... other cases...]

26) 08:50 p.m., DOULLENS (80)

Same direction as the moon, same apparent behaviour as the moon.

27) 08:50 p.m., DOULLENS (80)

proximity with the other identifiable case of Doullens.

[... other cases...]


We are at Doullens, 50° 09' 27'' North, 2° 20' 28'' East, on October 3, 1954, at 09:50 p.m.

The moon is then at the azimuth 222° 38' 5.9'' (Southwest) and the very low elevation of 3° 14' 51''. It goes down and is behind the horizon at 09:21 p.m.. It is in its last crescent with 36.6% of its surface lit by the sun.

We do not know exactly where the two young people were, but we can assume that they were in a district of Doullens since the newspaper speaks of other witnesses in "another district".

The map below shows a situation compatible with the Moon. If the young people were somewhere in Doullens, the phenomenon said to be between the Cavalier of la Citadelle and the wood of Brétel is indeed in a sector compatible with the 222° direction:

The observation is very probably that of the Moon. It should be noted that the young people did apparently not talk of a craft, flying saucer or cigar, but of a bright glow.

The shape of "triangle point up" correlates well with the upper part of the crescent moon, comprized "in a slightly less luminous oval"; which is explained by the diffusion of the moonlight on a cloud or mist. The observation time of 10 minutes is also explained since the moon sets and is behind the horizon at 09:21 p.m. - obviously on the spot the obstacles to the sight can make it lose from sight 10 minutes after 08:50 p.m.


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

Doullens, Nord, multiple, gleam, triangle, oval, young, duration


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross May 25, 2019 First published.

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