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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, La Chapelle-d'Armentières, Nord:

Reference number for this case: 3-oct-54-La-Chapelle-d'Armentières. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

Many newspapers in the Nord had reported that on October 3, 1954, from 9 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., rue Fleury in La Chapelle d'Armentières, in the Nord department, residents, one of whom owned binoculars, were able to observe for a long time an object in the shape of a half-moon of golden color barred in the center by a greenish line, which "suddenly disappeared" in the direction of Fleurbaix.

In his 1958 book, ufologist Aimé Michel said that at 9:15 p.m., at La Chapelle d'Armentières, 10 kilometers from Lille, many people were still outside in the rue de Fleury. A passerby looked up and saw a perfectly still luminous object. He showed it to others, a gathering occurred with people looking at the object and discussing the phenomenon. One witness used binoculars and observed the object for a long time, then passed the binoculars on to the others.

Michel added that the object seen with the naked eye was a kind of dome, a mushroom according to some, a half-moon according to others. The color was gold-yellowish or orange, with some sort of greenish patch. After standing still for several minutes, the object suddenly sped away at a huge speed in a south-southwest direction, towards Fleurbaix.

In 1978, ufologist Dominique Caudron, who is from this region, shows that this observation is one of those that took place in this region that evening that was in reality a misinterpretation of the Moon barred by a cloud.

Although Caudron's undisputed findings were also presented in 1979 Barthel and Brucker's book and more widely in Figuet and Ruchon's book, other UFO researchers continued to publish the case as if it were without ordinary explanation.

Reports:

[Ref. cdn1:] "LA CROIX DU NORD" NEWSPAPER:

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If you see landing
a
SAUCER
bring us the Martians

- Oh! A saucer!

- No, it's a balloon.

- And I tell you it's a saucer!

... I would have liked him to be right, because, you will believe me if you want, I have never had the chance to see a single saucer, a flying saucer of course. But alas, it was really a balloon.

It gets really annoying, everyone sees flying saucers, or at least cigars imbued with indecisive gleams, everyone... except us, the journalists!

And they come to me at the newsroom.

- I, Sir, saw last night around nine o'clock, near the door of Bethune, "something that emitted a red glow"...

- You're lucky, I wish it was me...

- Laugh, laugh, don't you believe me?

- But I just want to believe, show me your "something" with its "red glow", so I also can see what it looks like.

- You can imagine that "it" is gone, since Sunday evening, but I can introduce you to someone who saw the occupants come out of the "thing".

- Huh! ...

And here we go, going to the witness'.

The "witness" saw nothing, but it was his son... This boy returned to the local school, telling that the teacher had seen, Sunday evening, a saucer land, from where came out little men no higher than that, dressed in shiny spacesuits...

All this, of course, is the kid's say.

But I will end up believing, me, in these saucer stories! If you find one, bring it to me, we have it examined and if you find it too heavy, at least bring the Martian.

The next day, we will make you a paper like that, in the newspaper and with a convincing photo, moreover.

A SAUCER
ON JEUMONT

Fashion is with flying saucers and cigars. These mysterious craft disturb the most balanced minds and often fanciful comments mark the appearance of these flying "machines."

In the evening from Saturday to Sunday, two residents of Jeumont wishing to remain anonymous, but whose good faith cannot be doubted for those who know them, stated to have seen while they were driving on rue de Solre-le-Château, in Jeumont, a strange-shaped craft in the sky; this saucer-shaped object, after having moved for a few seconds above the city, went up to vertically and was soon out of sight.

... AND IN
THE CAMBRESIS

Sunday, around 8:30 p.m., Miss Anne-Marie Pérut, 20, saw from her bedroom window in Cambrai, above the Couillet wood, a large fireball accompanied by another smaller one below.

She warns her father, a gendarme at the Marcoing brigade, who was very incredulous.

Shortly after, having left the house, he saw the same phenomenon which could be examined by his colleagues, their families and passers-by.

Originally, the fireballs had a spherical then elliptical shape. After a quarter of an hour, they disappeared, came back to disappear definitively in the form of a crescent.

Note that the same phenomenon was observed, at the same time, between Iwuy and Escaudoeuvres.

A GILDED HALF-MOON
IN
ARMENTIERES

Sunday, around 9:30 p.m., a mysterious machine was seen a few kilometers from Armentières.

The object appeared in the form of a golden half-moon, crossed in the center by a greenish line. It hovered above rue Fleury, at la Chapelle d'Armentières.

It was widely observed by the inhabitants of this district, one of whom provided himself with binoculars to better examine the contours of the "saucer."

But, soon, the luminous form disappeared in the direction of Fleurbaix (Pas-de-Calais).

[Ref. vdn1:] "LA VOIX DU NORD" NEWSPAPER:

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A kind of beehive
posed on the road,
near Abbeville,
and a disturbing
dwarf spacesuit

Two young people, Bernard Devoisin and René Condette, domiciled in Vron, working at the Enterprise Delpierre, had just left Friday around 6:45 p.m. a building site in Lugescourt [sic] and returned home by bicycle.

Four kilometers from Lugescourt, they saw about 150 meters in front of them, placed on the tarmac road, a mass of orange color in the shape of a hive, with a pointed roof, which could be two meters high and which held the entire width of the road, about three meters.

Devoisin, who pedaled head on, even saw something moving on the left. He took it from afar for an animal, but which seemed to be clothed in a diving suit. It happened very quickly, and we can understand that in their turmoil, the young people did not have time to realize.

In any case, at their approach, the mysterious being, small in size, disappeared from their sight by circumventing the saucer, which set off immediately about 70 meters from the cyclists.

The craft disappeared quickly, without noise, and the two witnesses returned upset "pale as sheets" a mechanic said. Add that these are serious young people, well regarded by all, and their teacher considers them incapable of bluffing.

Multicolored half-moon
in Armentières

The sky of the Armentières region has also been visited by a flying saucer.

The thing happened on Sunday between 9 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. A flying object, a sort of golden half-moon, marked in its center by a greenish bar, stopped above rue Fleury, at Chapelle-d'Armentières.

All the inhabitants observed at length "the thing". It was, moreover, one of them who, using binoculars, was able to specify its shape. Suddenly the saucer moved away, after gaining altitude, in the direction of the Pas-de-Calais.

Almost everywhere

Also, it is reported in Beauchamp that the saucers were seen as red disks moving above the forest of Eu and above the wood of Auxi-le-Château.

***

In addition, an industrialist from the Vimeu, returning from a hunting trip in the Pas-de-Calais, also saw, an orange disc that he was able to follow for a while.

***

Finally, on Saturday evening, two residents of Jeumont who remain anonymous but whose good faith cannot be doubted saw a bizarre saucer-shaped object above the city before climbing vertically and disappearing.

[Ref. nmn1:] "NORD-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

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Mysterious craft
crisscross the sky
of our region

Flying saucers, flying cigars, other mysterious craft continue to appear everywhere. During the last weekend, the presence of strange craft was reported in the skies of Côte d'Ivoire, in the Finistère, in the Deux Sèvres and in the Indre.

Many people, including the officers of the High Mountain School, said they saw for more than an hour a brilliant machine moving between Mont Lachat and Mont Blanc.

The pilot Guiron indicated that, flying at an altitude of about 2,000 meters, he saw a craft which, he said, said, had no resemblance to a normal plane. Moreover, the direction followed at high speed by this craft excluded the hypothesis of a sounding balloon.

Our region has not been spared either, and there were numerous reports of bizarre craft.

Weird object in the Somme...

Bernard Devoisin and René Condette, 18 years old, two young men from Vron, in the district of Abbeville, saw a mass right in the middle of the roadway.

Rolling at full pedals, to cover the few 150 meters that separated them from the apparatus, they saw it fly away while they were still 70 meters away.

Bernard Devoisin, who was pedaling at the head, saw a man dressed like a sort of diver, who bypassed this craft, which left immediately.

As for the orange "saucer", it was shaped like a beehive, with a pointed roof. It was about the width of the road, about three meters.

... and above Jeumont

In the evening from Saturday to Sunday, two resedents of Jeumont stated that they had seen, while driving around Solre-le-Château, a saucer-shaped object which, after having moved a few seconds above the City, rose vertically and disappeared.

Many witnesses near Cambrai

Miss Anne-Marie Perut, 20 years old, whose father is a gendarme at the Marcoing brigade, a few kilometers from Cambrai, told the following story:

"Sunday around 8:30 p.m., going to the window, I saw two large luminous balls: a large one and below a smaller one. It seemed slightly swinging from right to left, like a balloon basket.

"I called my father who laughed at me. I insisted and, finally, he came to see and it was then that he alerted the other gendarmes present in the barracks. The families joined us and so around twenty people could see what we had seen.

"For a quarter of an hour we saw this luminous appearance comparable to the moon, but larger. Round, the object took the form of a cigar, then a crescent. It set off towards Villers-Pouich, then came back to disappear for good."

The gendarmes who confirmed this fact to us declare that this luminous ball could be at an approximate altitude of 6 to 700 meters.

Appearance near Armentières

Sunday, between 9 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., a craft, in the shape of a golden half-moon, barred in the center by a greenish line, hovered above rue Fleury, in La Chapelle d'Armentières. All the residents observed the craft for a long time. One of them used binoculars to better define its contours, then suddenly the saucer disappeared in the direction of Fleurbaix.

Landing of a cigar
near Lille

Sunday was the ducasse in Chéreng, a small town not far from Lille. At 07:20 p.m., a few locals saw a cigar landing on the Marque footbridge. The landing, preceded by a shower of sparks, was made without noise, but the craft disappeared before the arrival of the witnesses. With the joyous atmosphere of the party suggesting a joke, many people did not believe the witnesses' story - but the confirmation was made on Monday.

A saucer on the plate
of Lorette

Sunday around 9:30 p.m., several people were aware of the presence of unknown type of craft on the Lorette plateau.

Mr. Lecoq J-Bte. of Liévin, distinguished in the sky around the lighthouse of Lorette, a luminous craft having the shape of a crescent which oscillated slightly. He stopped several people to make them note this apparition. From this oblong-shaped craft, the lower part was detached and descended towards the ground and came to resume shortly after its position against the upper part. The saucer then descended into the valley.

A flying pot
in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire

A saucer was seen in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, on Sunday evening, by Mr. Louis Lherbier, general insurance agent, rue Marcel Lancino. The latter being in his yard, was intrigued by the presence of a small reddish ball seeming to move in the air. He called his wife, as well as Mr. Robert Mairesse, an employee of the mines and his wife. The four people saw very well the thing which ultimately took the form of a pot turning on itself. Then after a few minutes, this strange object rose quickly in the air and disappeared.

[Ref. nnm1:] "LE NOUVEAU NORD MARITIME" NEWSPAPER:

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And the saucers fly...

The craft that we used to call flying saucers have not stopped flying in the skies, during the last twenty-four hours. We saw them everywhere and in all shapes: saucers, cigars, discs and balls, spinning tops, pots, etc... There were red ones, green and orange ones, luminous and matt, static and others who streaked like stars.

There are many testimonies. If you put together a list of all those who have been reported for three or four years, a twelve-page journal would be insufficient to contain it.

Of course, many "visionaries" have retracted - the pranksters. Others may have been deceived by weather balloons, helicopters, planes, meteors or atmospheric phenomena. But the others?

Well for others and for those who have seen nothing, the mystery remains. Whether they come from Mars or Venus - which is doubtful - whether they are a secret weapon, developed by a foreign power, flying saucers exist.

And we would like to know why they come to taunt us like this...

Two craft reportedly landed

Lille. 5 - Sunday evening, many inhabitants of the Lille region saw one or more flying saucers flying in the sky.

In Annoeuillin, Mr. Gaston Lecoeuvre, a miner, saw one land in a garden. It had the shape of a dome, three meters high, surmounted by a small dome. The object is said to have disappeared while Mr. Lecoeuvre was looking for neighbors.

In Marcoing, all the gendarmes of the brigade saw two balls of fire, at 500 or 600 meters of altitude, sometimes motionless and sometimes moving vertically. Suddenly they took the form of cigars, then tops, before disappearing.

At La Chapelle d'Armentières, several people saw a golden half-moon marked in its center by a greenish bar.

Near Abbeville, two young men, trustworthy, one adds, saw a kind of hive placed on the road. A creature dressed in a diving suit, small in size, hid at their approach, behind the craft which disappeared.

"A barrel studded with golden nails..."

Angoulême, 5. - Sunday evening, around 11:15 p.m., on the road to Montmerceau Villebois-Lavalette (Charente), Mr. Jean Allary, 22, saw clearly, in the light of the headlight of his moped, a kind of barrel about 1 m 80 high, studded with golden nails swaying on the side of the road. When Mr. Allary had passed the mysterious object, he looked back at about 10 meters away, but saw nothing anymore.

Witnesses saw, yesterday afternoon, at the very place indicated by Mr. Allary, traces of about 7 meters in length in the grass which borders the road.

Read on the other hand: a Dunkirk resident claims to have seen a saucer above Bray-Dunes.

[Ref. las1:] NEWSPAPER "LIBRE ARTOIS":

Scan

Mysterious craft
crisscross the sky of our region

Flying saucers, flying cigars and other mysterious craft continue to appear everywhere. During the last weekend, the presence of strange craft was reported in the skies of Ivory Coast, in the Finistère, in the Deux-Sèvres and in the Indre.

Many people, including officers from the High Mountain School, said they saw for more than an hour, a brilliant craft moving between Mount Lachat and Mount-Blanc.

Pilot Guiron indicated that, flying approximately 2,000 meters above Faverges, he saw a craft which, he said, had no resemblance to a normal aircraft. In addition, the direction followed at high speed by this craft excluded the hypothesis of a sounding balloon.

Our region has not been spared either, and there have been numerous reports of bizarre craft appearing.

ODD MACHINE IN THE SOMME...

Bernard Devoisin and René Condette, 18 years old, two young people from Vron, in the district of Abbeville, returning from their work by bicycle, saw a machine in the middle of the road.

Rolling with all pedals, to cover the 150 meters that separated them from the craft, they saw it fly away while they were still about 70 meters away.

Bernard Devoisin, who pedaled at the front, saw a man dressed like a kind of diver, who bypassed his craft, which left immediately.

As for the orange-colored saucer, it was shaped like a beehive, with a pointed roof. It was about the width of the road, about three meters.

... AND ABOVE
JEUMONT

In the evening from Saturday to Sunday, two Jeumont residents stated that they had seen while driving on rue de Soire-le-Château, a saucer-shaped object which, after having moved a few seconds above the city, rose vertically and disappeared.

MANY WITNESSES
NEAR CAMBRAI

Miss Anne-Marie Perrut, 26 years old whose father is a policeman at the Marcoing brigade a few kilometers from Cambrai, told the next story:

"Sunday, around 8:30 p.m., going to the window, I saw two large luminous balls: a large one and below a smaller one. It seemed to move slightly from right to left, like a gondola balloon.

"I called my father who laughed at me. I insisted and, finally, he came to see and it was then that he alerted the other gendarmes present in the barracks. The families joined us and so around twenty people could see what we had seen.

"For a quarter of an hour we saw this luminous appearance comparable to the moon, but larger. Round, the object took the form of a cigar, then a crescent. It set off towards Villers-Plouich then came back to disappear forever."

The gendarmes who confirmed this fact to us declare that these luminous balls could be at an approximate altitude of 600 to 700 meters.

APPEARANCE
NEAR ARMENTIERES

Sunday, between 9 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., a craft, in the shape of a golden half-moon, crossed in the center by a greenish line, hovered above rue Fleury, in La Chapelle d'Armentières. All the residents observed the object for a long time. One of them brought binoculars to better define its contours, then suddenly the saucer disappeared in the direction of Fleurbaix.

LANDING OF A CIGAR
NEAR LILLE

Sunday was the ducasse in Chéreng, a small town not far from Lille. At 07:20 p.m., some residents saw a cigar which landed on the Marque footbridge. The landing, preceded by a shower of sparks was made without noise, but the craft disappeared before the arrival of the witnesses. With the joyous atmosphere of the party suggesting a joke, many people did not believe the accounts of the witnesses - but the confirmation was made on Monday.

A SAUCER
ON THE PLATEAU
DE LORETTE

Sunday, around 9:20 p.m., several people were able to realize the presence of unknown type of vehicles on the Lorette plateau.

Mr. Lecocq J.-B., of Liévin, distinguished in the sky around the lighthouse of Lorette, a luminous machine having the shape of a crescent which oscillated slightly. He stopped several people to make them notice this apparition. From this oblong-shaped craft, the lower part detached and descended towards the ground and came to resume shortly after its position against the upper part. The saucer then descended into the valley.

A FLYING POT
IN ABLAIN-SAINT-NAZAIRE

A flying saucer was seen in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, on the evening of Sunday, by Mr. Louis Lherbier, general agent of insurance, rue Marcel Lancino. The latter being in his yard, was intrigued by the presence of a small reddish ball seeming to move in the air. He called his wife, as well as Mr. Robert Mairesse, an employee of the mines and his wife. The four people saw very well the thing which ultimately took the form of a pot spinning on itself. Then after a few minutes, this strange object rose quickly in the air and disappeared.

[Ref. lbl1:] "LA BAILLEULOISE" NEWSPAPER:

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- There are numerous reports of "flying saucers and cigars" at Marcoing, Annoeullin, Abbeville, La Chapelle d'Armentières, etc... All the testimonies are consistent. At Marcoing the whole gerndarmerie observed the phenomenon.

- There are reports of the appearance of numerous saucers in the Rhône Valley and the Perpignan region. A woman is said to have been accosted by a small being who appeared to be dressed in a kind of cellophane. An observer reportdedly filmed a saucer and awaits the development of the photo.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel indicates that at 09:15 p.m., in La Chapelle d'Armentières, 10 kilometers from the city of Lille, many people were still outside in rue de Fleury (street). A passer by looked up and saw a luminous object perfectly motionless. He shows it to other people, and a gathering occurs with people looking up and discussing the phenomenon. One witness used binoculars and observed the object lengthily, and passes the binoculars to the other people. Michel says the object viewed with the naked eye was a sort of cupola, a mushroom according to some, a half-moon according to other. The color is golden-yellowish, with some sort of greenish patch. After being still for several minutes, the object suddenly buzzed away at a tremendous speed in the south-south-westerly direction, towards Fleurbaix, at 09:20 P.M.

At another page he mentions a sighting in Armentières, 10 kilometers East of Lille, at 09:30 p.m.

Further, he adds that an explanation by a a helicopter would deny main features of the case: the observation with binoculars, the precise descriptions of the shape of mushroom or half-moon by a large number of witnesses, the colors, etc.

[Ref. aml2:] AIME MICHEL:

In an article in 1963, Aimé Michel adds:

b) a low-size object that witnesses saying they were close of described as like circular, hemispherical on the top, changing aspect in the bottom. In the night and in flight, the object is generally luminous, the reddish, orange or gilded top, the lower part likely to emit green, white, red, purple colors, either separately, or simultaneously; the closest witnesses state that, in this latter case (simultaneous emission of several colors), the sources of light are sort of small verticals rods under the object which were seen appearing, disappearing, exchanging between them their colors and thus giving an impression of whirling (for example, October 3, 1954, in Armentières, in Château-Chinon, in Montbeliard, and other dates a little everywhere in the world). Instead of the small rods, under the main object, sometimes appears a smaller object, very luminous, interdependent of the first but likely to go down vertically below him (for example, this same 3 October, in Marcoing, in Liévin, Ablain-St-Nazaire, Milly, Champigny).

[Ref. jve7:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Jacques Vallée indicates that in the evening of October 3, 1954, in the north of France, reports involved mostly objects in the shape of a "mushroom" or "half-moon", and such a motionless object was seen at 9:15 p.m. at Armentieres by dozens of witnesses.

[Ref. gni1:] GNEOVNI:

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10/3/1954 - LA CHAPELLE D'ARMENTIERES 59 type 3

9:45 p.m. a flying object, a sort of golden half-moon, marked in its center by a greenish bar, stopped above rue Fleury. Many witnesses including one with binoculars could specify the forms. After several minutes the object starts at lightning speed and disappears.

(M.O.C. Aimé Michel page I45)

[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:

29) 9 to 9:20 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., LA CHAPELLE D'ARMENTIERES _59_ "rue Fleury": The residents, one of whom had binoculars, were able to observe at length an object in the shape of a half-moon of golden color barred in the center by a greenish line. It suddenly disappeared in the direction of Fleurbaix. (All the newspapers already quoted from 5,6, 7 and 10/10)

Dominique Caudron dealt with the whole set of cases of that night in the region, and explained that it was actually the Moon, speifying for this case that we again have the object "split in two, by a darker line" (by a cloud) as in other cases, and that it ws described as a half-moon in this case like in other cases.

He concludes:

Several witnesses describe the disappearance of the object as if it were falling on the horizon, on or below.

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

Disaster! This collection of suspicions 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 doubts are too big, so that we cannot classify these observations as UFO.

[Ref. dcn7:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

Dominique Caudron rédige une présntation des écrits d'Aimé Michel dans son livre de 1958 [aml1] afin de montrer le point de vue "pro-soucoupique" sur les événements de la soirée du 3 octobre 1954 dans le nord de la France. Il cite pour ce cas:

Armentières, 9:15 p.m.

... here is our psychosis [*] in action at La Chapelle-d'Armentières, about 10 kilometers west of Lille. The rue de Fleury was still very busy at this time. And now a stroller, looking up at the sky, discovers there a perfectly motionless luminous object. He shows it to his neighbors. One stops. One gathers. And soon the whole neighborhood watches, comments and exchanges their impressions. The object is still motionless. A curious person takes binoculars, studies it at length, then passes them to his neighbors. With the naked eye, one sees a kind of dome, a mushroom, some say, a half-moon say the others. It is yellow orange, or golden in color, with a kind of elongated greenish spot. The binoculars confirm this description. The contemplation continues for several minutes then, suddenly the object until now motionless starts at a lightning pace and disappears towards the south-southwest, in the direction of Fleurbaix. It is 9:20 p.m.

Aimé Michel was ironic here, presenting the "skeptics" point of view as being that saucers are a "psychosis". Some "skeptics" t the time, such as Pr. Heuyer, did think so. Aimé Michel of course did not.

[Ref. bbr1:] GERARD BARTHEL AND JACQUES BRUCKER:

The two authors quote an article of the newspaper La Voix du Nord for of October 5, 1954, about the case of "La Chappelle d'Armentières between 9 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.":

"A flying machine, sort of 1/2 gilded moon marked in its center by a greenish strip stopped above the "Chappelle d'Armentières". All the residents lengthily observed "the thing". Besides, it is one of the witnesses who could specify the shape, using binoculars. Then all of a sudden the machine sprang in the direction of the Pas-de-Calais."

They say that they had had a presentiment, without daring to admit it, that this case explains as the moon, as shown by Dominique Caudron in the GNEOVNI bulletins #3-4-5.

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

These ufologists quote in their book the findings and arguments given by Dominique Caudron a year earlier [dcn6], crediting the latter, in a section devoted to the misinterpretations caused by the Moon on October 3, 1954, in the North of France.

For this case, they write:

In La Chapelle d'Armentière [sic], the object is cut in two by a darker line.

[...]

The object is often described as a crescent, [...] a half-moon in La Chapelle-d'Armentière [sic] [...]

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

3 October. Armentieres, France. (9:20 p.m.)

A "kind of cupola?"

Michel wrote:

"Rue de Fleury in Armentieres was still very much alive at that hour (9:20p.m.), when a pedestrian, looking up in the sky, discovered a perfectly motionless luminous object. He showed it to those around him. Everyone stopped. Soon the whole neighborhood was looking at it, commenting on it, and exchanging impressions. The object remained perfectly still. One man produced a pair of field glasses, examined the distant object at length, then passed the glasses around among others nearby. With the naked eye one could see a kind of cupola, 'a mushroom,' some said, while others called it a 'half-moon.' It was yellow-orange, or golden, in color, with a sort of elongated greenish spot. The binoculars confirmed this description. Observation from the ground continued for several minutes, when suddenly the object, till then motionless, cut loose at lightning speed and disappeared toward the south-southwest in the direction of Fleurbaix." (xx.)

(xx.) Michel, Aime. Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery. p.117.

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH - "*U* COMPUTER DATABASE":

3948: 1954/10/03 21:20 5 2:53:00 E 50:43:00 N 3333 WEU FRN NRD 7:B

ARMENTIERES,FR:DOZENS/BINOCS:MUSHROOM-CAP SCR HVRS STILL:THEN >SSW:/r138#9

Ref# 49 MICHEL,Aime: FS & STRAIGHT LINE TH: Page No. 117 : TOWN &CITY

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 3 October 1954 at 21:15 in Armentieres, France, a "hovering object was observed. One object was observed by numerous witnesses in a town for five minutes."

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, Anatomy of a Phenomenon, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1965; Del Valle, Pierre [sic, Pierre Delval], Pierre Del Valle investigation files, Bordeaux; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

[Ref. gni2:] "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 La Chapelle d’Armentières nord".

[Ref. dcn1] 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 #530 of "various forms" of October 3, 1954, with Vault-in Armentières consisted of an "Unknown Flying Object in half-sphere."

Dominique Caudron says that at 9 p.m. pr 09:30 p.m., in "la Chapelle-d'Armentières, 59, witnesses saw a kind of half-moon barred of a greenish feature."

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. ubk1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

This database recorded the case 6 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 Armentieres France 21.15 NL
19541003 03.10.1954 Armentieres France 21.15 NL
19541003 03.10.1954 La Chapelle France 21.15 NL
19541003 03.10.1954 La Chapelle France 21.00 NL
19541003 03.10.1954 Armentieres France 21.15 NL
19541103 03.11.1954 Armentieres France NL

[Ref. dcn3:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

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...]

29) 21 à 21 h 20 ou 21 h 30, LA CHAPELLE D'ARMENTIÈRES (59), "rue Fleury"

- The residents one of whom owned binoculars were able to observe for a long time an object shaped like a half-moon of gilded color barred in the center by a greenish line. It then suddenly disappeared in the direction of Fleurbaix.

(La Voix du Nord 10/5 page 3, Nord Matin 10/5 page 10, La Croix du Nord 10/5 page 8, Le Nouveau Nord Maritime 10/6 page 2, Libre Artois 10/6 page 3, La Bailleuloise 10/10 page 1, l'Armentiérois 10/9 page 8)

[... 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...]

29) 9 to 9:20 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., LA CHAPELLE D'ARMENTIÈRES (59), "rue Fleury"

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

[... other cases...]

[Ref. dcn5:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

October 3, 1954: Lunar orthoteny

Orthhoteny is, according to Aimé Michel, the alignment of observations of flying saucers. But when the so-called flying saucers turn out to be only the moon, we must speak of lunar orthotenia.

On October 3, 1954, Aimé Michel invokes an alignment of 6 points, from La Chapelle d'Armentières to Pommiers, extending over 500 km. This alignment is on Jean Latappy's map

But on examination the observation spots widen more and more when one goes down to the south: 26.5 km apart at Milly-La-Forêt. Obviously Aimé Michel was wrong in the position of the village of Pommiers. To restore the agreement, we must forget Pommiers and end the alignment to Milly-la-Forêt.

But we will see that all the observations thus aligned are observations of the moon.

La Chapelle d'Armentières, the first lunar saucer in the lineup

Nord Matin gives the most complete version.

Appearance near Armentières

Sunday between 9 p.m. at 9:20 p.m., a craft, in the shape of a golden half-moon, crossed out in the center by a greenish line, parked above rue Fleury, in La Chapelle d'Armentières. All the inhabitants observed the object for a long time. One of them provided binoculars to better define its contours, then suddenly the saucer disappeared in the direction of Fleurbaix.

(Nord Matin, October 5, 1954, page 10)

The other sources are La Voix du Nord 5/10 page 3, La Croix du Nord 5/10 page 8, Le Nouveau Nord Maritime 6/10 page 2, Libre Artois 6/10 page 3, La Bailleuloise 10/10 page 1, l'Armentiérois 9/10 page 8. But none of them says more.

On analysis, the object had the same appearance as Professor Bonte had seen on the moon that evening [= barred by a cloud], the same direction as the moon, and the same mode of disappearance. So it was probably the moon.

Explanations:

Scan

The object left towards Fleurbaix, the direction is 250° at more or less 10°, West-South-West, and not South-South-West as Aimé Michel wrote.

Scan

There is no "rue Fleury" or "rue de Fleury" in La Chapelle-d'Armentières, it was actually "rue fleurie", (direction 218° for a good part, 224° right next to the intersection with the main village road, there are slight bends) renamed later "Avenue du Président Kennedy", it is the red line on my map. Fleurbaix is about 4.5 km away. The terrain is flat.

The Moon was at 9 p.m. precisely at 224° 59' and the low elevation of 1° 40', conducive to both a "Red Moon" phenomenon and a misintepretation - the Moon seems bigger when it is low. It sets at 9:16 p.m.

The famous cloud that blocked it, causing the impression of a "split" in many cases that evening, obviously contributes to the incapacity of the witnesses to recognize its crescent (36.6% of its surface is lit.)

Initially the Moon was on the axis of the street where the witnesses are located, a street which could have been free of visual obstacles at the time, and it then moves visually to the right of the witnesses to set. This is indeed the direction "towards Fleurbaix". Michel tells us of an "enormous speed", Caudron cites a "lightning pace", but this is explained, as follows: the vertical crescent of the Moon gradually disappearing below the horizon, the "size" of the object appears to be decreasing, and witnesses must have interpreted this as a rapid departure in the distance.

Aimé Michel had given 09:15 p.m. as the hour of observation. The time of 21:45 given by the GNEOVNI initially was undoubtedly false, Dominique Caudron gave just a bit later the hour as 9 p.m. with end of observation at 09:20 p.m. or 09:30 p.m.

This case is therefore effectively explained by the Moon.

Keywords:

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

La Chapelle-d'Armentières, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, multiple, object, luminous, still, motionless, cuppola, mushroom, moon, balloon, yellow, orange, green, fast, strip

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross January 17, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 9, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross July 6, 2010 Additions [jve7], [gni2].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 4, 2014 Addition [lgs1].
1.3 Patrick Gross October 14, 2016 Addition [dcn1].
1.4 Patrick Gross February 2, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.5 Patrick Gross January 21, 2020 Additions [gni1], [dcn6], [dcn7], [fru1], [lhh1], [dcn3], [dcn4], [dcn5], Summary. Explanations changed, was "Not looked for yet."
1.6 Patrick Gross 10 février 2020 Addition [nmm1].
1.7 Patrick Gross March 13, 2020 Addition [lbl1].
1.8 Patrick Gross April 20, 2020 Addition [cdn1].
1.9 Patrick Gross April 21, 2020 Addition [vdn1].
2.0 Patrick Gross April 23, 2020 Addition [nmn1].
2.1 Patrick Gross June 20, 2020 Addition [las1].

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