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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, Marcoing, Nord:

Reference number for this case: 3-Oct-54-Marcoing-2. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper La Voix du Nord, for October 5, 1954, reported on page 3:

Transforner craft in Marcoing, under the eyes of about forty people, including the entire gendarmerie

Sunday between 8:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., Miss Anne-Marie Pérut, 20 years old, daughter of a gendarme of the Marcoing brigade, saw through the window of her bedroom a very bright glow. She approached and noticed that less than a kilometer from the gendarmerie, above the Couillet wood, a very large ball of fire to which was suspended a second ball in the shape of a nacelle, which swayed, remained motionless in the sky.

She immediately alerted her father who refused to believe her. Mr. Pérut finally resolved to come and see the "thing", and to make sure he was not the victim of a hallucination, he warned all his colleagues and their families.

More than twenty people were soon to contemplate the phenomenon. The gendarmerie allowed itself to stop the cyclists coming from Masnières and going to Marcoing. More than thirty spectators attended the show. For more than a quarter of an hour the two fireballs remained almost immobile at around 500 to 600 meters above sea level, moving vertically at times.

Suddenly, they turned into an elongated shape that we readily call a cigar. The latter then moved horizontally almost as far as the eye could see and returned to the same place in the form of a spinning top. When the latter disappeared definitively in the direction of Viller-Plouich, that is to say Southwest, a rather bright gleam persisted for quite a long time in the sky.

The 30 or 40 spectators, including all the gendarmes of the Marcoing brigade, tried in vain to consider themselves hallucinated. They were all the more disturbed because the place where the saucer was seen is considered to be a strategic spot. Their emotion was at its height when a few minutes later a plane circled this area.

Note that the phenomenon was seen by several people of Marcoing, of Noyelles-sur-Escaut and by cyclists traveling between Iwuy and Escaudières.

In the regional newspaper Le Nouveau Nord Maritime for October 6, 1954, it was reported on page 2 that in Marcoing, all the gendarmes of the brigade had seen two balls of fire, at 500 or 600 meters of altitude, sometimes stationary and sometimes moving vertically. They had brutally taken "the shape of cigars, then of tops, before disappearing."

Ufologically, the case was first reported by Aimé Michel in his 1958 book.

He reported that in Marcoing, 60 kilometers south of Chéreng, 50 kilometers south of Lille, on October 3, 1954, at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. elsewhere in his book), Miss Anne-Marie Perrut, daughter of a gendarme of the Marcoing brigade, was at her window at the gendarmerie when she noticed a luminous object, motionless in the sky, a few hundred meters from her, above the Bois de Couillet. It was an orange circular object. Slightly below this object, as if hanging from it, there was a small luminous spot that oscillated.

Miss Perrut watched it for a moment, doubting what she saw, then called her father, who at first refused to come. After several minutes, as the object was still there, Anne-Marie Perrut insisted so much that her father finally came and also began to wonder if he had hallucinations because he also saw the object. Mr. Perrut alerted his colleagues, constables Faucambergue, Delande and Bleuzet, and their families, and soon there were 20 witnesses.

After hesitating, but as the object was still above the Bois de Couillet, the Gendarmes sought more witnesses, and stopped cyclists in front of the gendarmerie and the small village of Masnières, 3 kilometers east. All observed the same phenomenon.

The luminous ball did not leave, it only sometimes seemed to go up and down slightly vertically, and it was, according to the gendarmes, at an altitude of 600 or 700 meters.

After 8:30 p.m., the object suddenly changed: the light hanging under the ball disappeared and the ball took an elongated shape, like a disc or a cigar seen by the edge. Then almost immediately, it left horizontally for the first time, taking on a crescent shape as if the disc had tilted, then it returned to its original location, remained there for a short time, and then left at high speed towards Viller-Plouich, a village 6 kilometers in the south-west, where it disappeared while throwing a strong light which still illuminated the sky several seconds after it disappeared. It was now 8:45 p.m.

It was not until 1978 that ufologist Dominique Caudron, from this region, gave a large number of press sources references and showed that it was in fact the Moon, in the process of setting, and barred by a cloud at times.

There remains a doubt for me: in 2005, I was contacted by one of the Gendarmes from the Marcoing brigade who had witnessed the phenomenon. I will not reveal the name of the gentleman, but I can declare that his name was slightly misspelled in the press sources of the time and naturally the error was reproduced in all ufological sources; this is how I knew this gentleman really was who he said he was.

From his statements, it appeared that the description of the event by the Press and Aimé Michel would be conform to his personal memories, and that according to him it was not the moon at all, because the object was really moving fast at times, over angular distances far too great for it to be the Moon. But his can be explained too, and the Moon seems to be the correct explanation to me.

Reports:

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

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Transforner craft in Marcoing,
under the eyes of about forty
people, including the entire gendarmerie

Sunday between 8:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., Miss Anne-Marie Pérut, 20 years old, daughter of a gendarme of the Marcoing brigade, saw through the window of her bedroom a very bright glow. She approached and noticed that less than a kilometer from the gendarmerie, above the Couillet wood, a very large ball of fire to which was suspended a second ball in the shape of a nacelle, which swayed, remained motionless in the sky.

She immediately alerted her father who refused to believe her. Mr. Pérut finally resolved to come and see the "thing", and to make sure he was not the victim of a hallucination, he warned all his colleagues and their families.

More than twenty people were soon to contemplate the phenomenon. The gendarmerie allowed itself to stop the cyclists coming from Masnières and going to Marcoing. More than thirty spectators attended the show. For more than a quarter of an hour the two fireballs remained almost immobile at around 500 to 600 meters above sea level, moving vertically at times.

Suddenly, they turned into an elongated shape that we readily call a cigar. The latter then moved horizontally almost as far as the eye could see and returned to the same place in the form of a spinning top. When the latter disappeared definitively in the direction of Viller-Plouich, that is to say Southwest, a rather bright gleam persisted for quite a long time in the sky.

The 30 or 40 spectators, including all the gendarmes of the Marcoing brigade, tried in vain to consider themselves hallucinated. They were all the more disturbed because the place where the saucer was seen is considered to be a strategic spot. Their emotion was at its height when a few minutes later a plane circled this area.

Note that the phenomenon was seen by several people of Marcoing, of Noyelles-sur-Escaut and by cyclists traveling between Iwuy and Escaudières.

[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. 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. nmn2:] "NORD-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

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MARCOING

These gendarmes saw a mysterous craft

The gendarmes of the Marcoing brigade all saw the luminous and singular appearance which took on three different aspects, Sunday evening above the "Couillet" wood.

(Photo Nord-Matin)

[Ref. ppe1:] "PARIS-PRESSE" NEWSPAPER:

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After saucers and cigars

A newcomer in the sky: the
"flying barrel"

AFTER the saucers, cigars, spheres, pots, here is the flying barrel. It was in the Charente that it was "seen" by a motorcyclist, Mr. Jean Allary. It was "studded with golden nails" and was swinging by the side of the road.

In Annoeullin, near Lille, a worker who was smoking a cigar (a real one) in his garden, saw a luminous object in the shape of a crescent landing twenty meters from him. At his shouts, ten billiards players came running from a nearby cafe; the saucer had taken off, but a dozen "luminous dots" were moving above them.

Saucers, cigars, discs, balls and other "flying" objects were spotted in Chancelade (Haute-Vienne), Willer (Haut-Rhin), Gouesnach, near Quimper, Bautignecourt, Ambazac (Haute-Vienne), Dijon, Marcoing, near Cambrai, Pommier (Indre), Rouen, Ajaccio, La Rochelle, Quimper, Cholet, Vannes, Lyon and Le Havre. A la Combe-au-Chèvres, in the Haut Jura, also, but it was just a rain gauge.

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

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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. ads1:] "L'ARDENNAIS" NEWSPAPER:

The flying objects saraband

(Continued from the first page)

[...]

Saucers, cigars, discs, balls and other "flying" objects were seen at Chancelade (Haute-Vienne), Willer (Haut-Rhin) [Sep. 30.], Gouesnach, near Quimper [Oct. 2], Beutignecourt, Ambazac (Haute-Vienne) [Oct. 1], Dijon [Oct. 2], Marcoing near Cambrai, Pommier (Indre) [Oct. 3], Rouen [Oct. 3], Ajaccio, la Rochelle [Oct. 2], Quimper [Oct. 2], Cholet [Oct. 2] and Vannes [Oct. 2].

[...]

[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. rdr1:] "RADAR" MAGAZINE:

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[Caption for the photograph on the top left:]

Miss Perrut was leaning out of this window when she saw "the object".

[Caption for the photograph on the top right:]

Young cook Serge Pochet glimpsed "2 mysterious shadows". [This sighting has its own file.]

[Caption for the photograph of the bottom:]

Col. Roux, from Lille, interrogates the gendarmes who saw the saucer.

The inhabitants of Marcoing, close to Cambrai, ensure that they were not dreaming. A saucer evolved for 10 minutes in their sky, the other evening, starting at 08:45 p.m.. The main witness cannot be suspected. It is Miss Perrut, aged 20, the daughter of gendarme Perrut. At once, she warned her father who alerted his colleagues. Thus the sergeants Faucambergue, Delande and Bleuzet also transfer an orange luminous object which, depending to its speed, had the shape of a plate, then of a cigar.

[Ref. jgu1:] JIMMY GUIEU:

Jimmy Guieu reports that on October 3, 1954, at 08:45 PM., in Marcoing, Miss Anne-Marie P., daughter of one of the gendarmes of the brigade of Marcoing, saw a very sharp gleam through the window of her bedroom.

She noted that within less than one kilometer of the gendarmerie, above the wood of Couillet, there was a "very large ball of fire" below which there was another "ball" of a smaller diameter.

The ball underneath was swinging under largest like a nacelle, the whole remaining at a fixed position in the sky.

Miss P. then alerted her father the gendarme, who initially refused to believe her, but ended up accepting to come to check in person.

To check that he was not victim of a hallucination, he then alerted his colleagues and their families. Twenty people then contemplated the phenomenon in bewilderment.

The gendarmerie then alerted cyclists who came from Masnières and went to Marcoing and it was then more than thirty people who observed the phenomenon.

The two balls remained almost motionless during a quarter of an hour at approximately 500 or 600 meters of altitude while moving vertically every now and then.

Suddenly, they changed into a kind of elongated cigar shape. The elongated shape then moved horizontally almost until it was lost from sight, then returned to the initial location, now offering the silhouette of a spinning top.

The phenomenon then definitively disappeared towards the South-west in the direction of Villers-Plouich and a sharp gleam persisted for quite a time in the sky.

Jimmy Guieu adds that the thirty five to forty witnesses were all the same puzzled that ten minutes afterwards, a plane came to fly in circles above the sector, of which he says it is considered a strategic sector.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel notes a sighting in Marcoing, 50 kilometers South of Lille, on October 3, 1954, at 08:30 p.m..

Further in his book, he explains that in Marcoing, 60 kilometers in the south of Chéreng, on October 3, 1954, at 8 p.m., Miss Anne-Marie Perrut, daughter of a Gendarme of the Marcoing squad, was at her window at the Gendarmerie house when she noticed a luminous object, motionless in the sky, at a few hundred meters from her, above the Couillet wood.

The object was circular and of orange color. Slightly below this object, as if it were suspended to it, there was a small luminous patch, oscillating.

Miss Perrut watched it for a while, doubting what she was seeing, then called her father who first did not want to come. After several minutes, as the object was still there, Anne-Marie Perrut insisted so much that her father finally came. He too started to wonder whether he was hallucinating because he too was seeing the object. Mr. Perrut alerted his colleagues, Gendarmes Faucambergue, Delande and Bleuzet, and their families, and soon there were 20 witnesses.

After hesitating, but as the object was still above the Couillet wood, the Gendarmes looked for more witnesses, and stopped people riding bicycles in front of the Gendarmerie house and the small village of Masnières 3 kilometers in the East. All watched the same phenomenon.

The luminous ball did not go away, it only sometimes appeared to move slightly up and down vertically.

After 08:30p.m., the object suddenly changed: the light suspended in [sic, below?] the ball disappeared and the ball took an elongated shape, like a disc or a cigar seen from a side. Then almost immediately, it moved away horizontally a first time, taking a crescent shape as if the disc had bent, then it came back at the initial position, stayed there a little while, then moved away at high speed towards Viller-Plouich, a village 6 kilometers in the South-West, where it disappeared while throwing a strong light that still illuminated the sky several seconds after it had disappeared. It was now 8:45 p.m.

The investigation by the Gendarmes showed that the object was seen by numerous witnesses at the time when it had arrived, from Iwuy, Escaudoeuvres and Noyelles-sur-L'Escaut, three villages located on a line in the north-north-east of Marcoing, at respectively 16, 13 and 3 kilometers away from Marcoing.

The object came from the North, the direction of Chéreng, 60 kilometers away, where the 7:20 p.m. sighting had occurred.

Aimé Michel insists that the interest of the case rests with the large number of witnesses in several independent groups who all gave the same details, and the great care of the Gendarmes in their report, as they are used to report precise facts without subjectivity. Among the details was: the object, depending on its moves and position, presented shapes of a circle, of a cigar, of a plate, and its luminosity had changed according to its speed.

The gendarme said the object had been at an altitude of 600 or 700 meters.

[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).

[Ref. mcs1:] MICHEL CARROUGES:

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.

[Ref. jve7:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Jacques Vallée indicates that on October 3, 1954, 40 minutes after the Chereng sighting, a person living at Marcoing, 35 miles south of Chereng, saw a luminous object hanging motionless in the air above Gouillet Woods:

"It was circular, and red-orange in color. A little below this immobile object, and as though suspended from it, she saw a small spot of light with a kind of see-saw movement."

The father of the witness, a policeman at Marcoing, several other policemen and their families, in all, 20 witnesses, continued to watch this phenomenon until about 8:30 p.m. when the object underwent a sudden transformation, the little spot of light vanishing while the ball took the shape of a cigar and left horizontally.

Police estimates the altitude of the object at that time as about two thousand feet. Later investigation disclosed the fact that the phenomenon had been observed over a fairly large area at the moment of its arrival.

Jacques Vallée comments that these reports, exceptionally consistent, led to the belief that the object had come from the direction of Chereng, and was possibly the very cause of the sighting reported there a half-hour earlier, and that "all these cases were carefully checked during our four-year investigation of the European files, and there is no question as to the genuine character of these reports. Consultation of collections of French newspapers or direct inquiry to the local authorities will show that we are indeed faced here with original reports that have not been distorted by specialized journals or groups of enthusiasts."

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

210 -003.17430 50.12100 03 10 1954 20 30 1 MARCOING P.CAMBRAI F 301 C 186

[Ref. gni1:] GNEOVNI:

Scan

3/10/1954 - MARCOING 59 type 3

Towards 8:00 p.m. Miss Perut, the daughter of a gendarme, saw a very bright light through her bedroom window. She saw above the Couillet wood, less than a kilometer away, a very large ball of fire from which was suspended a second ball in the shape of a swinging basket. Many witnesses looked at these two balls which moved vertically at times. Suddenly, they turned into a cigar which then moved horizontally almost as far as the eye could see to return to the same place in the form of a spinning top. When it disappeared towards the South-West, a rather bright gleam persisted for a long time in the sky. This phenomenon was also seen in Noyelles-sur-Escaut, Iwuy and Escaudoeuvres.

(Archives GEOVNI)

[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:

[... other cases...]

17) 08:30 p.m. to 08:45 p.m., MARCOING _59_ : Miss Anne-marie Pérut, 20, having discovered in the sky two strange luminous balls, alerted he father, gendarme of the brigade of Marcoing, who alerted the gendarmes and their family, so a score of people, who were able to observe the object seeming to be at 500 or 600 m of altitude, in the direction of the Couillet wood. The object, similar to the Moon, but a little bigger, seemed at first to be made of two balls, one smaller than the other and located below, seeming to swing like the nacelle of a ballon. The object then took the shape of a cigar moving horizontalement far from sight to reappear in the shape of a crescent. It finally disppeared towards Villers Plonich while leaving a gleam that stayed for quite a long time in the sky. Several minutes later, a plane made some rounds in the area. (5/10: V.N, [=Voix du Nord] p. 3 and N.M. [Nord-Matin] p.3 - 6/10: N.M. [=Nord Matin] Cambrai, p.3, Croix du Nord p.8, Nouveau Nord Maritime, p.2, Libre Artois, p.3 - 10/10: La Bailleuloise, p.1)

[... other cases...]

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!

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

These ufologists publish a chapter concerning the observations of October 3, 1954 in the North of France, explained by the Moon by ufologist Dominique Caudron.

These ufologists indicate that at Marcoing, on October 3, 1954 at 8:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. one saw an object similar to the Moon which took the form of a cigar and disappeared on the horizon in the form of a crescent.

These ufologists indicate that the witnesses were Miss. Perut, 20 years old, her father, gendarmes of the brigade of Marcoing and about twenty other people.

They give the sequence as follows:

Miss. Perut discovers two strange luminous balls which move in the sky, she calls her father, gendarme of the Marcoing brigade, who in turn alerts the other gendarmes and their families. A dozen people then observe in the direction of the wood "Couillet" an object similar to the Moon and having two balls, one smaller than the other and located below, which seems to swing like the basket of a balloon. The object then takes the form of a cigar moving quickly and horizontally as far as the eye can see to reappear in the form of a crescent, and which eventually disappears in the direction of Villers-Plouich, leaving a gleam which persists for quite a long time in the sky.

[Ref. goe1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

Godelieve van Overmeire indicates that in 1954, on October 3 in France, in Marcoing (Nord), between 8 p.m. amd 8:45 p.m., forty witnesses saw two motionless balls of fire in the sky at 500 m of altitude, moving vertically per moment. Suddenly they transformed into a kind of cigar flying then horizontally to return almost as far as the eye can see to the initial place in the form of a spinning top. Long enough after their final disappearance a sharp gleam persisted in the sky.

The source is indicated as Jimmy Guieu: "Black-out sur les S.V." - Fleuve Noir 1956 - p. 182.

Godelieve van Overmeire indicates that the other version is that "actually at 21:30 the crescent Moon lay down in the south-west. Optical illusion caused by a stratus layer", the source being M. Figuet / J.L. Ruchon: "OVNI, premier dossier complet..." Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 657 to 660.

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

October 3rd. London's Sunday Dispatch.

So much was happening in France the English press was forced to take note. Actually the story was too big. The London Sunday Dispatch could only print a summary on its front page. With the situation unclear, errors and the lack of detail was inevitable in the reporting. The Dispatch informed its readers:

[... other cases...]

The author of the aformentioned account noted that at the same time that day (October 3, 1954) 40 miles away an amazing "sky display" was taking place above a wooded area near the village of Marcoign [sic], France, before 20 witnesses. That so many people at the same moment at different locations should have a similar hallucination boggled the writer's mind, so much so he consulted a psychiatrist assigned to the Law Courts of the Seine, a Dr. Gouriou. "Is mass delusion upon this scale possible?"

The above question was put to the mental health expert who replied he had never known a flying saucer to play a role in any of his patient's hallucinations, and that hallucinations were usually sounds rather than visual images. Moreover, when on rare occasions visual disorders did occur, such problems were nearly always due to toxemia or cerebral lesions which would certainly help to rule out the possibility of a "mass visual delusion." 24.

Dr. Gouriou then wisely ended the interview with: "...I for one think that those who maintain that they have seen saucers do so in good faith, unless of course they are trying to hoax us. But we must never forget that whatever a normal human being sees, he, to a considerable extent interprets, and this fact alone renders all human evidence fallible." 25.

The "delusion" at Marcoing (also at 8:00 p.m.)

A UFO was seen by people over a wide area as it approached the Gouillet [sic] woods outside the village of Marcoing where it hovered above the trees. One might assume the UFO was the same object seen earlier at Chereng 35 miles to the north. The press quoted a woman witness at Marcoing: "It was circular, and red-orange in color. A little below this immobile object, and as though suspended from it, she saw a small spot of light with a kind of seesaw move ment." 26. A curious fact about the 20 witnesses at Marcoign was that they consisted entirely of the local police force and theif families. According to these people the UFO remained in place over the wood until 8:30 p.m. when some changes occurred, the circular UFO taking on a spindle shape (perhaps it rotated) while the small spot of light below it disappeared. After this transformation, the UFO moved away in the direction of Amiens. 27.

The sources are listed as:

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH:

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

[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 #534 of October 3, 1954, of "Various Forms" there had been in Marcoing 40 gendarmes observing a luminous cigar.

Dominique Caudron says that towards 08:30 p.m., in Marcoing, 59, the gendarmes of the brigade and their family observed an object changing shape above the Couillet wood, which disappeared towards Villers-Plouich. Dominique Caudron indicates that it was in fact 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 4 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 Iwuy France
19541003 03.10.1954 Iwuy France
19541003 03.10.1954 Escaudoeuvres France 20.00
19541003 03.10.1954 Noyelles France

[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...]

17) 08:30 p.m. to 08:45 p.m., MARCOING (59)

- Miss Anne-Marie Pérut, 20-year-old, having discovered in the sky two strange luminous balls, called her father, gendarme of the brigade of Marcoing, who alerted the other gendarmes and their family, about twenty people, who could observe the object appearing to be 500 or 600 m of altitude, in the direction of Couillet wood. The object, similar to the Moon but a little bigger, seemed at first composed of two balls, one smaller than the other and located below, seemed to swing like the basket of a balloon. The object then took the form of a cigar moving horizontally as far as the eye could see and reappearing in the shape of a crescent. It eventually disappeared towards Villers Plouich leaving a glow that persisted for quite long in the sky. A few minutes later, a plane made a few rounds in this area.

(La Voix du Nord 5/10 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)

(The analysis of the data shows this it was quite simply the Moon)

[...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.

Explanations:

Scan

In 2005, I was contacted by one of the Gendarmes of the Marcoing squad who had witnessed the phenomenon. I will not disclose the gentlemans' name, but I can state that his name was slightly mispelled in the Press sources of the time and of course the mispell was reproduced in all ufology source; this is how I knew the gentleman really was who he said he was.

From his statements, it appeared 1) that the description of the event by the Press then Aimé Michel would be in conformity with his memories; 2) that it was not the moon at all: the object had definitely moved fast at times, on angular distances totally impossible for the Moon.

This casts some doubts on the Moon explanation, but does not suffice to discard it because:

I checked these features:

From Marcoing on October 3, 1954 at 8 p.m., the Moon was in the direction 213°, at the elevation of 7° 35 '. It set at 09:18 p.m.

The sighting here ended at 08:45 p.m. not 09:18 p.m. but it must be remembered that the line sight to the horizon is certainly not totally clear. Here we have a wood at 1 to 4 km in front of the Moon, so it was lost from sight before 09:18 p.m. It also fits with the "gleam" that was left from some time after the "disappearance".

It was in its last crescent with 36.2% of its surface lit.

The landmarks are as follows:

The witnesses were initially at the Gendarmerie of Marcoing (official accommodation), they wouls later stop cyclists in Masnières. The yellow line indicates the visual direction in which the Moon was setting at 8 p.m. It is also the direction of Villers-Plouich, where witnesses locate the disappearance of the "object".

Its displacement, visually for the witnesses, is a descent to their right.

We can see that the Moon matches exactly to what appears in the reports, that there is no reported landmark allowing to demonstrate that there was any angular displacement which would be significant enough to discard the Moon.

A possible explanation of the apparent discrepancy between this and what the gendarme told me in 2005 is that there was also an airplane which made "rounds" shortly after the disappearance of the Moon; it is quite possible that with the passing of time, my witness thought that the plane was also "the object", or even, that it would be other gendarmes who identified it as a plane while he would not have known that.

This is why I strongly believe that the witnesses of Marcoing have indeed been the victims of a misinterpretation caused by a "red" Moon, low, therefore appearing "too big", with an altered shape during part of their observation by the famous cloud that barred the Moon that evening.

Keywords:

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

Marcoing, Nord, Perrut, Delande, Faucambergue, Delande, Bleuzet, multiple, gendarmes, ball, cigar, balls, manoeuvers, change, vertical, cyclists, spinning top, strategic

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. Additions [mcs1], [goe1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 21, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.2 Patrick Gross 6 juillet 2010 Addition [jve7].
1.3 Patrick Gross October 14, 2016 Addition [dcn1].
1.4 Patrick Gross February 12, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.5 Patrick Gross February 10, 2020 Additions [nmm1], [ppe1], [ads1], [gni1], [dcn6], [fru1], [lgs1], [dcn3], Summary. Explanations chnaged, was "Not looked for yet. UFO reports debunkers generally say it was the moon."
1.6 Patrick Gross March 13, 2020 Addition [lbl1].
1.7 Patrick Gross March 18, 2020 Addition [nmn2].
1.8 Patrick Gross April 20, 2020 Additions [vdn1], [cdn1]. Ine the Summary, addition of the information from [vdn1].
1.9 Patrick Gross April 23, 2020 Addition [nmn1].
2.0 Patrick Gross June 20, 2020 Addition [las1].

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