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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, Leval, Nord:

Reference number for this case: 3-Oct-54-Leval. 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sightings in the Nord region for October 3, 1954, neglected by ufologists, including many that were previously unpublished, and mostly explainable by a red moon whose appearance was altered by clouds.

One of these observations was reported in the regional newspaper Nord Matin, in the edition of Avesnes for October 8, 1954:

At 08:45, p.m. on the National Road 359 near Leval which is in the Nord department, Mr. Fabien Bermeja was driving in his taxi going to Taisnière-en-Thiérache.

He saw above the forges of Leval-Aulnoye a luminous crescent, the center of which projected a white glow. "It" (or "he"?) was heading towards Maroilles.

The witness then lost sight of it, but saw it again at the exit of Leval.

Caudron explained this sighting 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...]

20) 20 h 45, RN 359 près de LEVAL (59)

- Mr Fabien Bermeja, driving in his taxi, goes to Taisnière-en-Thiérache. saw above the forges of Leval-Aulnoye a luminous crescent whose center projected a white glow. He was heading towards Maroilles. The witness lost sight of it but saw it again at the exit of Leval.

(Nord Matin-ed. Avesnes 8/10 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

[... other cases...]

20) 08:45 p.m., RN 359 near de LEVAL (59)

Same aspect than the moon that night, same apparent behaviour as the moon.

[... other cases...]


The Moon from Leval (50° 10' 49'' North 3° 49' 51'' East) at the time of observation is at the azimuth 222° 51' (Southwest), and the elevation of 3° 6' conducive to misinterpretations, and in its last crescent (the witness does speak of a bright crescent) with 36.5% of its surface lit by the sun. It will set behind the horizon at 9:15 p.m.

As a result of the 1972 reform, the National Road RN 359 was downgraded to Departmental Road D 959 (see It is on the map the "Rue d'Aulnoye" and after Leval the "Grand Rue".

Going from Leval to Tasinières-en-Tiérache, the witness was north of Leval (since he sees the phenomenon again when he came out of Leval), descending to the Southwest.

When he sees the phenomenon above the forges of Aulnoyes-Leval, he must be on the D959 before Leval, and the phenomenon, the Moon, is in front of him.

He always has the moon almost straight before him before and after the crossing of Leval. The moon being very low, it is normal that he cannot see it when he crosses the streets and houses of Leval.

Maroilles is a little lower than the map, southwest of the witness; it is therefore equally natural that he should have the impression that the phenomenon was moving towards Maroilles; it is the classic illusion of movement of the Moon when it is actually the car that moves.


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

Leval, Nord, Fabien Bermeja, Aulnoye, crescent, taxi, road, direction, luminous, gleam


[----] 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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This page was last updated on May 25, 2019.