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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.


[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.


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. 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. 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.


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".


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


Not looked for yet.


(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


[----] 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], [gni1].
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].

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This page was last updated on February 2, 2017.