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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, Liévin, Pas-de-Calais:

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


The regional newspaper Le Méridional for October 6, 1954, reported that "Sunday evening" so on October 3, 1954, at 09:30 p.m., "a craft which, this time, had the shape of a crescent was seen in the sky at Liévin, and after having hovered for a few minutes, the crescent split in two, the upper part remaining motionless while the other landed in a field between two millstones, from where it flew away soon after to join the part that had stayed in the air."

In the newspaper L'Est Républicain for October 6, 1954, there is mention of a "crescent" which has disturbed the tranquility of a large number of northerners, including one in the sky of Liévin, that hovered a few minutes, before splitting in two, then the upper part remaining still, the other part landed in a field between two millstones, then suddenly flew off to join the part that had remained in the air.

In the years 2017's, from two local press sources, La Voix du Nord in their Lens issue for October 5, 1954, page 3, and Nord-Matin for October 5, 1954, on page 10, ufologist Dominique Caudron completed this by indicating that the witnesses were Mr. J. B. Lecocq and several other peoeple; that they had observed towards the lighthouse of Lorette a luminous crescent which oscillated slightly, whose lower part went down towards the ground then returned gradually to take up its position against the upper part, with a black line separating the two parts for a while, the object descended into the valley.

From the 1958 book by Aimé Michel on - which reports the sighting without giving sources - the observation will be published many times in the ufological literature; only Figuet and Ruchon would give the explanation in 1979; which Dominique Caudron has given since the 1970s with reason: like many other observations of this date in this region, this was the Moon.



are multiplying in the sky

LYON. -- Several people stated to have seen in the area of Epinac-les-Mines (the Saone-and-Loire), a kind of large luminous ball evolving slowly in an odd way in the sky. Puzzled motorists stopped on the road and could observe this ball during several minutes before seeing it disappearing suddenly for Le Creusot.

A similar phenomenon was observed in Ain and the north of the department of the Rhone, towards the collar of Echarmeaux, as well as in the Isère, close to Morestel.

Near Le Havre

LE HAVRE. -- Mr. André Lefebvre, taxi driver, who stationed around 8 p.m., on the harbour, saw an incandescent disc which, at the West of Deauville, went up in the sky, leaving behind itself a phosphorescent trail and a light smoke. This phenomenon, which was visible during ten minutes, had also as witnesses several sailors regaining their boat.

In the Haute-Loire

LE PUY. -- Mr. and Mrs. Teyssier, of St-Etienne, who camped in Aurec-sur-Loire (the Haute-Loire) saw in the sky a luminous object giving the impression of a large headlight which moved at a fast pace at approximately 2.000 meters of altitude. The machine emitted a ray of light of orange red color, and followed a North-South trajectory. When it had disappeared, a second machine similar to the first and appearing to follow it appeared, followed the same direction and disappeared too.

Approximately at the same moment several people saw, above the bell-tower of Aurec, similar craft, which after having become motionless one moment crossed the sky at a fast pace in direction of the South-west.

A crescent splits in two

LENS. -- Sunday evening, around 09:30 p.m., in Ablain-St-Nazaire, a craft which had the shape of a pot and which rotated was seen in the sky by two people. It released a reddish gleam and quickly moved.

At the same hour, a craft which, this time, had the shape of a crescent was seen in the sky in Liévin. After having hovered during a few minutes, the crescent split in two. The higher part then remained motionless, while the other landed in a field, between two haystacks, from where it flew away little afterwards to go to reattach to the part that had remained in the air.

In the Charente

ANGOULEME. -- Sunday evening, at approximately 11:15 p.m. on the Montecreau-Ville-Bois-Lavalette road (Charente), Mr. Jean Allary, aged 22, saw very clearly, in the gleam of the headlight of his motorcycle, a kind of barrel high of approximately 1 m. 80, spread of gilded nails, which was oscillating on the edge of the road. When Mr. Allary had passed the mysterious machine, he turned back at a distance of approximately ten meters, but he did not see anything anymore.

Witnesses saw, at the very spot indicated by Mr. Allary, traces of approximately seven meters length in the grass which borders the road.

In addition, the same night, Mrs. Bellanger, resident of Cognac, saw at an altitude of approximately 300 meters, a machine in the shape of cigar, of orange color, moving slowly above the city.

On Clermont-Ferrand

CLERMONT-FERRAND. -- Residents of Clermont saw, around 7 p.m., in the sky, a luminous point of the dimension of a large star, which frequently changed color, passing from the white to the green while tainting itself of orange. The luminous point appeared animated of a rotary movement. While disappearing it left behind itself an orange plume.


To mystify his compatriots

A prankster built flying saucers

Lille, 5 October. - A retired mine worker of Beuvry-les-Bethune, known in his commune as a prankster, did not miss the opportunity offered to him by the mystery of the flying saucers to amuse himself at the expense of the inhabitants of the neighboring localities.

Inspired by the hot air balloon system, the happy retired man built machines that were three meters in diameter. The envelope consisted of sheets of gray paper, strongly glued together. At the base of the "saucer" was a small receptacle in which lay a tuft of tow impregnated with a flammable liquid. It was then enough to ignite the tow to see the machine rise and disappear at the winds, surrounded by yellowish and orange reflections.

It was after the discovery of one of these devices near a stack of straw, to which it had almost set fire, that the gendarmes were led to suspect the retired man. In fact, there were many models of "flying saucers" at his place, prototypes that their inventor was preparing to launch in the sky of the Nord.

The mystifier claimed that he had already built and launched more than a thousand of these devices. The ex-mine worker will no doubt be sentenced to fines for dangerous amusement.

Those who have seen...

Le Havre. -- Mr. André Lefèvre, a taxi driver, who was parked yesterday evening at 8 p.m. on the harbor, saw an incandescent disk which rose to the west of Deauville, leaving behind a phosphorescent trail and a slight smoke. This phenomenon, which was visible for ten minutes, was also witnessed by several sailors returning to their boat.

The Puy. -- Mr. and Mrs. Teyssier, of Saint-Etienne, who camped at Aurec-sur-Loire (Haute-Loire), saw in the sky a luminous object giving the impression of a large headlight moving at a rapid pace at about 2000 meters altitude. The craft emitted an orange-reddish light beam and followed a north-south trajectory. When it had disappeared, a second apparatus, similar to the first, appeared to follow it, in the same direction, and disappeared in its turn.

At about the same time, several persons saw above the bell-tower of Aurec similar machines which, after being immobilized for a moment, crossed the sky at a rapid pace towards the south-west.

Lens. -- Sunday evening, around 9:30 p.m., in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, a machine that had the shape of a pot and which rotated on itself was seen in the sky by two people. It emitted a reddish glow and moved quickly.

At the same time, a craft which, this time, had the shape of a crescent, was seen in the sky of Liévin. After hovering for a few minutes, the crescent split in two. The upper part then remained motionless, while the other landed in a field between two haystacks, from which it took off shortly afterwards to join the part that was in the air.

Angoulême. -- Sunday evening, around 9:15 p.m., on the road from Montmoreau to Villebois-Lavallette (the Charente), Mr. Jean Allary, 22, saw very clearly, in the light of his moped's headlight, a sort of barrel high of about 1.50 meters, studded with gilded nails, which swayed on the side of the road. When Mr. Allary had passed the mysterious machine, he looked back, at a distance of about ten yards, but he saw nothing.

Witnesses saw, yesterday afternoon, at the very place indicated by Mr. Allary, traces about seven meters long in the grass that borders the road.

Autun. -- Several people said they saw in the region of Epinac-les-Mines (the Saône-et-Loire), a kind of large luminous ball moving slowly in a bizarre manner in the sky.

A similar phenomenon has been observed in the Ain and in the north of the Rhone department, towards the Col des Echarmaux, as well as in the Isère, near Morestel.

Nevers. -- In Chateau-Chinon, five persons whose sincerity could not be doubted, saw a phenomenon which occurred several times before their more astonished than frightened eyes.

At 9 o'clock a luminous spot of oval shape, seemingly motionless at a very high altitude, appeared in the sky. At one point the spot began to rotate at full speed, changing color several times. Then all went out, but after a few minutes the luminous spot reappeared, split again, and began to rotate.


Saucers - cigars and fireballs

After the flight of saucers over the White House the investigation revealed that radar sets were mistaken.

Thousands of people have actually seen the "bright objects" wander in the sky in a puzzling manner. Certainly, on September 28, the "saucer" seen above Mt. Revard by Dr Martinet and fifteen other people was a flock of starlings. The good doctor admitted his mistake the next day when an aviator, Michel Guyard, came to reveal that he also was intrigued by this glittering whirl, but that as he approached it with his plane he merely frightened peaceful birds - as a result, the perfect disc they formed was disrupted.

It is impossible, however, to explain other reports of observed phenomena as collective hallucination... although it is fair to note at first that these "saucers" appeared with extremely diverse aspects.

In the few hundred and fifty cases we have been cataloged in France, they looked round or oblong balls of fire, matt or bright, big or small, blue, green, red, yellow or white, naked or surrounded of a ring, noisy or silent, producing sparks (or smoke) or leaving no wake, when they did not have the form of discs, cigars or half cigars.

They were seen day and night, although their occupants preferred the troubled hours of dusk. They were especially seen evolving in every manners: slowly or quickly, horizontally or vertically, in a straight line or in a broken line.

How to sort all this?

The jet fighters hunted in vain

Could there be so many different saucers with so many different origins? If they come to us from outer space, are there so many other inhabited worlds... and who are interested in us?

In truth, nothing precise could be learned of the reported sightings and often witness of the same phenomenon does not agree among themselves as to the size, shape and color of the object. So we are at the same step as the Americans in 1952, when the new radar set installed just a few days ago in Washington detected flying "saucers", finally placing the matter in the field of science. This device could not be wrong and played the role of arbitrator in an unexpected but worrying manner.

Specialists on duty assured the survey in their new premises, when one fine morning the watchman was startled: a luminous echo appeared on the screen although no aircraft was reported. They first thought - it had happened - that a commercial aircraft had violated regulations of air navigation and was flying over the forbidden zone of the White House. They alerted "Shooting Star" squadrons, which took off immediately. But the "object" fainted before the arrival of the jet fighters. Thus the thing had fled at such an unimaginable speed, showing by that the existence of these objects zigzaging at thousands of kilometers an hour before dissolving in the sky. The emotion climbed and it was officially decided to strengthen monitoring devices. The order was not useless, because a few days later, a new alert was given.

Jet fighters take off and rush at the full power of their reactors to the spot of the sky indicated by their radio, but arrived there, they announced again: - The sky is empty.

"For God's sake, do not shoot on the saucers!"

This time radar men jump on their feet. The bright spot is on their screen, indisputable and provocative. The small spots of the "Shooting Star[s]" come close to covering it. Saucers, cigars and fireballs.

- Attention, you are in contact, scream the radar experts. But the fighters rush at 800 km/h in a still desert sky, with perhaps at this place a slightly milky transparency.

Are the famous "objects" merely ectoplasm?

Once again public opinion is moved. Letters reach the U.S. Air Force to ask "not to irritate the visitors." "For God's sake, do not shoot at the saucers" implores a correspondent. Technicians, of course, do not believe in ghosts. A new commission is appointed. For six months, aerodynamic engineers, astronomers, meteorologists and scientists of all disciplines having some possible connection with the "saucers" study dozens of cases. And their conclusion sudden bursts, amazing but indisputable, freeing America of a part of its fear, by revealing the radar, too, was wrong. Each time a ghost image scored the fighters, meteorologists found in altitude, the presence of a layer of cold air between two layers of warm air. The density (and index of refraction) of air varying with the temperature, this "sandwich" had acted like a mirror to the radioelectrical airwaves and airplanes were guided, after a descent as fast as the rise, towards sheds or metal structures on the ground. The phenomenon can also reflect the sun in the day and the moon and the lights of a city at night. Often, the picture is double or triple, each separation surface playing a distinct role; "Saucers in pairs."

Certainly temperature inversions do not explain everything. But US experts feel that they were responsible for nearly 80% of the reported luminous apparitions beyond the Atlantic, and many mysterious machines seen in France can probably be allotted to them.

It may be noted, in chronological order, two parallel gleams in Antibes, in August 1949, two silver balls in Poitiers, May 10, 1952, two white discs at Roche-sur-Yon, twelve days later, "numerous red saucers" flying in zigzag, two by two, on October 17, 1952 in Oloron-Sainte-Marie (the radar of Mont-de-Marsan perceives its echo like its American brothers). Many other cases could be cited to the most recent: last September 24 three oval objects were reported in Bayonne, three in Charente-Maritime and six "cigar" evolving two by two in Lantefontaine, Lorraine.

Cases of isolated phenomena are even more numerous. - What! cry the disappointed "pro-saucerists", so, it was only this? Honestly see that we find in this category of events most characteristics reported by the "witnesses": blurry lights, sometimes surrounded by a halo, appearance and disappearance (with the complicity of clouds or because of the fading of lighting conditions) and above developments as capricious as fast. The surface of separation of two air layers are not still, of course; it empties and oscillates under the influence of currents in the atmosphere and the image is rejected from one corner of the sky to another.

Very thin cosmic dust

It is regrettable that comments are usually too vague to allow the technician to decide with authority; but only immaterial manifestations may be gifted the dizzying, instantaneous speeds, lent to "saucers" in which most cases. Whatever their origin, terrestrial or extraterrestrial visitors, they would be subject to the laws of the universal gravitation (and consequently the acceleration), that all the planets in all galaxies undergo. Whatever the power of their machinery and engineering, "Saucers" could not overcome their own weight. And all the magnetic currents or other cosmic rays they are deemed to use may make immaterial beings. But the meteorologists still have in their arsenal the noctilucent clouds that Vestine and Störmer think to be composed of very fine cosmic dust from outer space. These meteors are at 75 or 80 kilometers high, becoming brighter as the night goes on and present their maximum brightness at about midnight. The very serious "International Atlas of clouds "indicates that they may be driven by the powerful air currents prevailing in these altitudes, at speeds of 50 to 250 meters per second, or 180 to 900 kms. Let's recall in our turn that it only takes a small cumulus, although classic, but hidden in the night, so that the "saucer" vanishes and reappears.

- But, protesting the "pro-saucerists" you still have demolished only simplistic and disappointing sightings with this argument. They can rest assured there are other answers, more varied and also safe, to the most amazing events.

Barrels, discs, pots, headlights and flying balls are on the verge of dethroning the saucers and other cigars.

The time is gone, by far, when an ordinary "saucer" crossed the blue sky at high pace and disappeared over the horizon leaving a bluish trail. Since then, there were "cigars" which, together with their shape, generally took shimmering colors allowing witnesses not be wrong.

All this is outdated, if we judge by the recent observations made in France by people whose good faith may not be in doubt. The mysterious craft that arouse so much controversies and are poised to discord in many families between those who believe and those who disbelieve it, now take extremely varied and pleasing forms. As to colors, they turn from red to yellow through orange to any possible colors and halftones. Thus we have seen over the last twenty-four hours in the sky of France, several discs, a large headlight, a big ball, a pot, a crescent, and a barrel, a big star, not to mention the "saucers" and other "cigars" whose enumeration would be too long.

From Normandy...

The disks attracted the attention both of a Le Havre taxi driver, over Deauville, and a Lyon journalist south of the Basilica of Fourvière. In both cases, they were red-orange colored and shiny. They disappeared after ten minutes. The big headlight was moving over Aurec-sur-Loire (Haute-Loire) at high speed by issuing a orange-red light beam also. "When it disappeared", witnesses, Mr. and Mrs. Teyssier, of Saint-Etienne, said, "a second craft, similar to the first and appearing to follow it disappeared in the same direction."

In Epinac-les-Mines (Saône-et-Loire), drivers, puzzled, stopped at the roadside to follow the slow and graceful maneuvers of a big ball of light whose color, unfortunately, is not specified.

... to the Auvergne

The pot and the crescent troubled the tranquility of many northerners. The first, in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, turned on itself and freed a reddish glow. The second, in the sky of Lievin, hovered for a few minutes before splitting in two. That is when the upper part was standing still as the other landed in a field between two haystacks, then suddenly flew to join again the part remained in the air!...

It was night in Montecreau -Villebois-Lavalette (Charente) when Mr. Jean Allary, 22, saw by the light of the headlight of his motorcycle, a kind of 1.80-meters-high barrel and nails of golden nails! It swung on the roadside and fled when the witness approached. The next day, at the place indicated by Mr. Allary, witnesses spotted traces of about seven meters in length in the grass by the roadside.

It is the Clermont-Ferrand residents who, today, had the last word with the big star changing from the white to green and yellow to red, which, driven by a rotary movement, left behind an orange plume Monday night at 7 p.m. in the sky of Clermont-Ferrand.

Scientific controversies...

These celestial phenomena result, we have said it, in heated controversy. Thus a Professor of the University of Bonn, Joseph Meurès, said during a conference: "The book by American author Key Hoc [sic, Keyhoe] on flying saucers is not even worth the paper on which it is printed." Mr. Duneau Fletcher, vice president of the Astronomical Association of Kenya has another opinion: "The existence of saucers" is not to question, he believes, very experienced observers have seen them across the globe. And Mr. Fletcher gives his little idea on the question: "Visitors from another world observe the Earth and probably map it."

And merry pranks

These scholarly remarks do not prevent pranksters have fun with it at the expense of their fellow citizens. The police came and ended the hobby of a pensioner of Beuvry-les-Bethune who made gears three meters in diameter with sheets of paper very carefully glued and fitted at their base of a small receptacle containing a clump of tow soaked with a flammable liquid. Once he set fire to the tow, the "saucer" was in the sky and disappeared with the wind with yellow, orange and red lights. Alas! the truth was discovered when a gear began to set fire to a haystack...

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel indicates that in Liévin, on October 3st, 1954, Jean Lecoq, an inhabitant of this city, saw a luminous object of elongated shape, but rounded on the top, which was hovering with slight oscillations in the direction of the South, above the plate of Lorette, at low altitude in the sky. The object seemed to be at a distance of one kilometer.

Jean Lecoq stopped several people to make them also observe what he was looking at. Soom there was a group of a hundred people looking at it.

Something was then suddenly detached from the bottom part of the observed phenomenon, which descended rather quickly towards the ground, remained there a few seconds and went up again to its starting point. At this time the object left towards the South and was lost sight of while it went down in the valley.

[Ref. aml2:] AIME MICHEL:

In an article in 1963, Aimé Michel adds:

b) a low-size object that witnesses saying their were close describe 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, sometimesappears 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).


The author indicates that on October 3, 1954, according to Aimé Michel pages 188 to 196, many witnesses, in Marcoing, Liévin and Ablain, see a strange saucer with dissociation: its lower part separates from the higher part, oscillates, goes down and goes up. The sighting lasted a few seconds. The witness was named Lecoq.

[Ref. rhl1:] RICHARD HALL:

Richard Hall listed that on October 3, 1954, in Lievin and Ablain-St. Nazaire, France, many witnesses in two independent groups reported that a parent object, elongated and luminous, hovered, and that something detached from the bottom, descended to the ground, rose and rejoined the hovering object.

[Ref. jve7:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Jacques Vallée indicates that on October 3, 1954, ten minutes after the Armentières sighting, Jean Lecoq of Lievin observed an elongated object swinging slightly in the sky at low altitude above the plateau of Lorette. He called other people and soon 100 witnesses were watching the phenomenon. They saw part of the object detach itself from the bottom of the rounded UFO, and this little object descended rapidly to the ground, remained a few seconds in contact with it, and rose again. After this maneuver the main object, reunited, took off toward the south.

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

224 -002.76740 50.42160 03 10 1954 21 30 105 (LIEVIN-P DE C) F 1416 C *195

[Ref. gni1:] GNEOVNI:


10/3/1954 - LIEVIN 62 type I

9:30 p.m. Mr Lecoq and several people saw in the sky at low altitude, a luminous object of elongated shape but rounded above which swung slightly. It appeared to be about a kilometer away. Soon a hundred people were watching. Suddenly "something" detached itself from the lower part, descended fairly quickly to the ground, remained there a few seconds and went back up to fix itself at its starting point. The object then started south and descended into the valley where it disappeared.

M.O.C. Aimé Michel page 146)


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:

37) 9:30 p.m., LIEVIN _62_ Mr. J.B. Lecocq and several people observed towards the Lorette Lighthouse a luminous crescent which oscillated slightly. The lower part descended towards the ground then came gradually to resume its position against the upper part. A black line separating the two parts for a moment, the object descended into the valley. (10/5: VdN-Lens, p.3; N.M., p.10)

Dominique Caudron explains in details that on this date at this hour, the Moon was setting on the Southwest horizon, that it was barred by a cloudaccording to Mr. Bonte, that other cases in thr region that night resembled this one, and he concludes:

The cases of Ablain, of Liévin, Marcoing, Chéreng and Annoeulin are prbably about the same phenomenon: an extra-atmospherical, and extraterrestrial, (yes, yes!) object, 3400 km wide! In other wordsthe MOON!


The authors indicate that in Liévin, on October 3, 1954, at 9:30 p.m., Jean-Bernard Leccoq and other people observe towards the Lorette lighthouse, a luminous crescent which oscillates slightly. Mr. Lecocq alerts passers by and soon a hundred witnesses is there. Suddenly a "something" is detached from the lower part of the object, goes down quickly towards the ground, remains a few seconds there, and goes up to reattach to the "mother" object; which departs towards the south and goes down in the valley where it disappears.

The lower part took off again and joined the part that had stayed in the air. The two gathered parts started to move and disappeared quickly.

The authors indicate that in reality the observation is the same as the one in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, and the same, with different words, as in Marcq-en-Baroeul, Fleurbaix, Marcoing and Chéreng, 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 is not worth as objection because the distance is not known.

The authors indicate that the sources 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.



Lens - Sunday evening, around 9:30 p.m., at Ablain St Nazaire, a craft in the form of a pot that turned on itself was seen in the sky by two people. It had a reddish glow and quickly moved. At the same time, a craft, which this time had a form of a crescent, was seen in the sky of Liévin. After having hovering for a few minutes, the machine split in two. The upper part remained motionless, while the other landed in a field between two millstones from where it took off soon after to join the part that had remained in the air.

The source is said to be the newspaper Le Bien Public.

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

Lievin, France. (9:25 p.m.)

A spindle-shaped object hovered low in the sky near Lievin and was under observation long enough to attract scores of witnesses. Those that watched the object said they could see a smaller body "detached itself" from the larger and then dive down to a quick touchdown on the plateau of Lorette. The small body then rose to rejoin its "parent." Once reunited, this odd phenomenon headed south out of sight. 32.


3950: 1954/10/03 21:30 2 2:42:00 E 50:23:40 N 3333 WEU FRN PDC 7:C


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

[Ref. lhh2:] LARRY HATCH:

! 1954/10/03 CHERENG + MARCOING + QUEND + LIEVIN ++, FRANCE: Close Encounters with the Moon!


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 Liévin pdc".

[Note: the problem here is of course not at all that of "much doubts as to their credibility", but that these totally credible sightings are explaned by the Moon!]


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 #529 of "various forms" of October 3, 1954, in Liévin, an "Unknown Flying Object was at low altitude."

Dominique Caudron says that at 09:30 p.m., in Lievin, 62, several witnesses saw at the top of the plate of Lorette a luminous crescent which oscillated, its lower part seemed to be detached, then took again its position.

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 this case 6 times instead of one:

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 Lievin France 21.25 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Lievin France 21.30 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Lievin France 21.30 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Lievin France 21.30 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Lievin France 21.30 CE I
19541003 03.10.1954 Lievin France CE I


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...]

37) 21 h 30, LIÉVIN (62)

- M. J.B. Lecocq et plusieurs personnes ont observé vers le Phare de Lorette un croissant lumineux qui oscillait légèrement. La partie inférieure descendit vers le sol puis vint reprendre peu à peu sa position contre la partie supérieure. Une ligne noire séparant un moment les deux parties, l'objet descendit dans la vallée.

(La Voix du Nord-ed. Lens 5/10 page 3, Nord Matin 5/10 page 10)

[... 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...]

37) 09 : 30 p.m., LIÉVIN (62)

Same aspect than the Moon that night, same direction than the Moon, same apparent beahavior than the Moon, same mode of disappearance.

[... other cases...]


In Liévin and Ablain-St-Nazaire, two other moon saucers

La Voix du Nord gives a detailed version.


A flying saucer was seen in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, in the evening of Sunday October 3, by Mr. Louis Lherbier, general insurance agent, rue Marcel Lancino. The latter, being in his court, was intrigued by the presence of a small reddish ball, seeming to move in the air, towards Villers-aux-Bois. He focused his attention on this ball which moved towards Ablain and grew rapidly. He then 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 shape of a pot turning on itself. Then after a few minutes, this strange object rose quickly in the air and disappeared at the sight of the people above.

On the other hand, one of our correspondents informs us that several people, on Sunday evening, around 9 p.m. 30, were able to realize the presence of "craft" of unknown type. Residents of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire claim to have recognized a saucer which landed between two millstones.

Mr. J.-B. Lecocq, 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 see the merits of what he was afraid of being only a vision.

From this oblong-shaped machine, the lower part detached, and descended to the ground and came to resume shortly after its position against the upper part. A black line appeared for a moment on the border of the two parts.

The saucer then descended into the valley behind the high places of Lorette, to reappear soon after before spinning towards the horizon.

(La Voix du Nord, Lens issue, October 5, 1954, page 6)

The other sources are Nord Matin 10/5 page 10, La Croix du Nord-Arras issue 10/5 page 2, Libre Artois 10/6 page 3, Le Journal de Doullens 10/6 page 1, who say nothing more.

At Ablain-St-Nazaire we have two observations. For one, we have the description and the direction, but not the time. For the other, we have the time, but no other details.

Making the reasonable assumption that this is the same phenomenon, one observed around 9:30 p.m., a reddish object in the southwest, which changed in size and shape, and eventually disappeared as if it were landing, that is, lowering itself on the horizon.

This is indeed the behavior that the other witnesses attributed to the moon, that evening, and the hypothesis of the moon is therefore largely possible.


The Moon.

As for other observations, it was a crescent of a "Red Moon" about to set below the horizon; the "separation in two" and the "joining" again of the lower part are the result of the passage of a cloud in front of the crescent.


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

Liévin, Pas-de-Calais, Jean Lecoq, Jean Lecocq, luminous, object, elongated, landing, multiple


Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 9, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 9, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [mcs1], [fru1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 21, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 6, 2010 Additions [rhl1], [jve7], [gni1].
1.3 Patrick Gross October 14, 2016 Addition [dcn1].
1.4 Patrick Gross December 16, 2016 Additions [lgs1], [ubk1].
1.5 Patrick Gross December 30, 2016 Addition [prs1].
1.6 Patrick Gross February 10, 2017 Addition [ler1].
1.6 Patrick Gross December 7, 2019 Additions [via1], [lhh2], [dcn3], [dcn4], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."
1.7 Patrick Gross January 22, 2020 Additions [gni1], [dcn6], [dcn5].

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