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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, Fleurbaix, Pas-de-Calais:

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

Summary:

In 1978, the "skeptical" ufologist Dominique Caudron, based in the Nord, cataloged sightings in the Nord region for October 3, 1954, neglected by ufologists, including many that were previously unpublished, and mostly explainable by a red moon whose appearance was altered by clouds.

One of these observations was recorded by the GNEOVNI ufology group:

Between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., in Fleurbaix, Miss Rohart, traveling by car as a passenger, saw at the cemetery a motionless yellow-orange crescent, with a dark central region, which a dozen witnesses were already observing. The lower part went down to the ground and after a few minutes, resumed its initial position. When the car left, the object followed it on its right to Fauquissart where it left in the direction of Ablain-St-Nazaire where it seemed to stop at low altitude, then it was lost from sight.

In 1979, ufologists Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon wrote about the series of misinterpretations caused by the Moon in the Nord region of France that October 3, 1954, citing Dominique Caudron and mentioning the Fleurbaix case.

Reports:

[Ref. dcn6:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

The weekend of October 2-3 appears on all graphs as the maximum-maximorum of the 1954 wave. Although the work of counting the press of the time is not yet finished, the 118 various issues of newspapers and magazines I have been able to analyze for this period gives us an almost complete overview, in any case very broadly representative of the regional observations which were reported in the press for Sunday, October 3. I included the observations of the Somme which seemed to me inseparable from those of Nord - Pas-de-Calais and which also appear in the chapter entitled "Zigzag on the mining country" of the book by A. Michel: "Mystérieux Objets Célestes."

I count, as one case, each observation made by an independent group of witnesses. The astonishing quantity of observations reported below, shows once again the interest of thoroughly searching the newspaper archives.

OCTOBER 3, 1954:

15) Between8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., FLEURBAIX _62_: Miss Rohart, driving by car as a passenger, saw, at the level of the cemetery, a motionless crescent with a yellow orange color, with a dark central region, that some ten witnesses were already observing. The lowe part came down to the ground and after a few minutes, resumed it initial position. when the car was started again , the object followed it on its right until Fauquissart where it departed in the direction of Ablain-St-Nazniro where it seemed to become motionless at low altitude, then it was lost from sight. (GNEOVNI Archive; the indication of Ablain St-Nazaire as direction is likely an interpretation of the investigator)

He explains that the barred central part was an "optical illusion" caused by the fact, reported by Mr. Bonte, that on that evening, the Moon was barred by a stratus cloud.

Now we know that that evening, at 9:30 p.m. the crescent Moon was setting in the Southwest [...]

Disaster! This collection of suspicion casts a total discredit on this magnificent series of observations, one of the most beautiful that we have ever found. We will have to check certain data, the direction of certain observations, the weather conditions but already the doubt is too big, to allow to classify these observations as UFO.

He concludes by explaining that these observations of the evening were for the most part really an extraterrestrial object: the Moon.

[Ref. dcn8:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

In a new article, Dominique Caudron continued his work on the observations of October 3, 1954, on the North of France. For the Fleurbaix case, he noted:

15) 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., FLEURBAIX, 62 - probable moon.

Et:

It is funny to note that in Armentières, the object goes towards Fleurbaix and indeed, in Fleurbaix there is precisely an observation where the object disappears towards ABLAIN! What a pity that the observation of Fleurbaix took place an hour before that of Armentières! [*]

[*] Dominique Caudron jokes for the following reason: in his 1958 book, Aimé Michel said that the object of La Chapelle-d'Armentières went in the direction of Fleurbaix. However, Aimé Michel had not asserted this continuity of observation for the simple reason that he had not published anything about an observation at Fleurbaix.

[Ref. fru1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The authors indicate that the sighting in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, on October 3, 1954, at 9:30 p.m., was the same as others including the one in Fleurbaix, 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 for those sightings 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.

[Ref. dcn3:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

Scan

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...]

15) Between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., FLEURBAIX (62)

- Miss Rohart, traveling by car as a passenger, saw at the cemetery a motionless yellow-orange crescent, with a dark central region, which a dozen witnesses were already observing. The lower part went down to the ground and after a few minutes, resumed its initial position. When the car left, the object followed it on its right to Fauquissart where it left in the direction of Ablain-St-Nazaire where it seemed to stop at low altitude, then it was lost from sight.

(GNEOVNI Archive)

the indication of Ablain St-Nazaire as direction is likely an interpretation of the investigator

[... 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.

[Ref. dcn4:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

Analysis of the observations of October 3, 1954

[... other cases...]

15) Between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., FLEURBAIX (62)

Same appearance as the moon that night, same direction as the moon, same apparent behavior as the moon that night.

[... other cases...]

Explanations:

Scan

There are four cemeteries in Fleurbaix; which does not allow locating the correct one.

Scan

Fauquissart is at a bit more than 5 km from Fleurbaix.

There is no doubt that this observation was indeed the Moon; it was a reddish moon barred by a cloud, about to set in the Southwest.

I do not know why Dominique Caudron assures that the Ablain-Saint-Nazaire direction must to be an interpretation of the investigator - as if this direction was incorrect - since it is indeed in the direction of the Moon.

Nothing is known about that investigator; as an investigation is mentioned, the case was likely not reported in the press at the time (Aimé Michel does not speak about it, nor anyone else, Dominique Caudron is the first to report it to my knowledge) -it was likely late reported to a member of GNEOVNI.

Keywords:

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

Fleurbaix, Pas-de-Calais, Rohart, car, cemetery, motionless, yellow, orange, crescent, dark, split, stop, low

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross June 6, 2019 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross January 22, 2020 Addition [dcn6], [dcn8]. Explanations changed, were "The Moon." In the Summary, 1st paragraph, change of "Around 2017" to "In 1978". In the Summary, "In 1979, ufologists Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon had already dealt with the series of misinterpretations caused by the Moon in the Nord region of France that October 3, 1954. They mentioned Fleurbaix as one of the cases, and said they had learned via Mr. Bonte, I.D.N. engineer, that on that night the Moon was barred by a stratus, and thus those observations were observations of the Moon barred by a stratus." changed to "In 1979, ufologists Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon wrote about the series of misinterpretations caused by the Moon in the Nord region of France that October 3, 1954, citing Dominique Caudron and mentioning the Fleurbaix case.".

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