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The 1954 French flap:

The index page for the 1954 French flap section of this site is here.

January 5, 1954, Saint-Martin-de-Crau, Bouches-du-Rhône:

Reference number for this case: 5-Jan-54-Saint-Martin-de-Crau. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Reports:

[Ref. lp1:] "LE PROVENCAL" NEWSPAPER:

IS IT THE "MYSTERIOUS CRAFT" OF MARIGNANE?

Four motorists of Marseilles were overflown, Tuesday evening, in Crau by a "flying saucer"

Our information of yesterday relating to the mysterious round and luminous seen by a fireman of the airport of Marignane, brought us many phone calls... and a visit. That of a Marseilles personality well-known in the circles of the sports and affairs.

The account of this person comes to bring a confirmation to the fact that we reported yesterday. Here it is:

"I was driving by car on the road of the Crau, Tuesday evening, at approximately 10:45 (i.e. the day after "the appearance" of Marignane)., coming back from Arles towards Marseilles. In the car, in addition to myself, were my wife and two other people. I add that the night was very dark. Suddenly, as we had just exceeded the agglomeration of Saint-Martin-de-Crau, we saw in the sky, on the left of the road, a large ball of reddish color, similar to an incandescent fire.

"That lasted a few seconds, and the ball disappeared, giving the impression to have slipped by at a vertiginous speed in a direction perpendicular to our, and to have crossed us."

"It remained of the passage of the object only a kind of luminous trail comparable to the gleam of the headlight of car, which floated in the sky a moment before dissolving."

Could the four travellers have undergone a collective hallucination? On the contrary, the account which was made to us recommends itself by its preoccupation with precision and its objectivity.

"Arrived to Marseilles, concluded our visitor, we initially thought to let know of the strange vision which we just had, but we were afraid not to be believed. However, the revelations of "La Provence" coincide so much with our own observations that our apprehensions fell. The "flying saucer" which was seen yesterday evening in Marignane could very well renew its mysterious evolutions during the next night, evolutions of which we were witnesses."

We deliver this new part to the file, which besides remains open.

Constant VAUTRAVERS

[Ref. jg1:] JIMMY GUIEU:

French Science-Fiction writer and ufologist Jimmy Gieu indicates that on January 5, 1954, at 10:45 P.M., a sighting occurred to a trustworthy industrialist of Marseilles, who gave Jimmy Guieu the following statement:

"I was going back from Arles, by car, Tuesday evening, in the company of my wife, one of my collaborators and a fourth person when, at about 10:45 P.M., whereas driving travelling towards Salon we came to go further than Saint-Martin-of-Crau, we suddenly saw, in the sky, on our left, a large reddish ball, like a glowing hearth."

"This lasted two or three seconds and the ball disappeared, giving us the impression to have slipped by at a vertiginous speed in a direction perpendicular to ours. Strange fact, after it so vanished, the object left in the sky a sort of luminous ray similar to a car's headlight of which floated there during a few seconds and also disappeared."

[Ref. hd1:] HENRI DURRANT:

The author indicates that in 1954, on January 5, in France in the area of Marseilles, a Marseilles industrialist returned from Arles by car towards 22:45 in company of his wife, of one of his collaborators and a fourth person. When they had just exceeded St-Martin de Crau and drove towards Salon, they suddenly saw in the sky, on the left of the road, a large red ball, ike an incandescent hearth. It lasted two or three seconds and the ball disappeared, giving the impression to them that it slipped by at a vertiginous speed in a direction perpendicular to theirs. "Strange fact after having disappeared like that, the object left in the sky a kind of luminous beam similar to a car's headlight which floated during a few seconds and disappeared too."

The author indicates that the source is Jimmy Guieu pp 140-141.

[Ref. cp1:] CLAUDE POHER, UFO RESEARCH GROUP "GEPA":

In 1968-1969, before the official GEPAN ufology effort started, its future head Dr Claude Poher was a member of the unofficial GEPA ufology group, and gathered a computer coded listing of more than 700 UFO reports on which multiple factors statistical computation could be run. In the file were a number of 1954 French UFO reports, among those this one.

For readability, a decoded interpretation of the data is provided here under the original 80 character encoded string. Decoding was done according to the original indications, the code number and its generic meaning is given. Please not that the generic meaning of each code is a predefined category, not the real specific details of the case. For example, if the main witness' age was 33, the coding would result in a number "3" which corresponds to a category "Adult from 21 to 59 years."

Original code:2642590401195222451IA4003400201012ZZZZ020140100000000000000000000000000000000000
Location:St Martin de Crau - France
Case number:2642
Source code:59
Nature of the source:J. Guieu: Les soucoupes volantes viennent d'un autre monde
Day:04
Month:01
Year:52
Hours:22
Minutes:45
Type of Time:1 = local time
Number of witnesses:4 = 4
Main witness named:0 = name is not indicated
Main witness age:0 = no indication
Main witness occupation:3 = workman, truck driver, employee, craftsman, nurse, musician, writer, businessman
Official investigation:0 = no indication
Weather:0 = no indication
Duration:2 = from 1 to 9 seconds
Minimal distance witness - phenomenon:0 = no indication
Method of observation:1 = naked eye
Number of "objects" observed simultaneously:01 = 1
Shape of the "object" (terminology of witness(es)):2 = round, circular, bowl
Dimensions of the phenomenon:ZZZZ = no indication
Color of the observed phenomenon:02 = red
Luminosity of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Lights or projectors on the phenomenon:1 = projectors, lights, headlights, "portholes"
Moving speed of the phenomenon:4 = "dazzling" speed and equivalent adjectives
Acceleration of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Trajectory of the phenomenon:1 = straignt line or very wide curve
Sounds perceived during observation:0 = no indication
Maximum angular height of observation (horizon = 0°):0 = no indication
Nature of the landing place:0 = no indication
Number of contact points with ground:0 = no indication
Traces of landing:0 = no indication
Observation of "occupants":0 = no indication
Height of the occupants observed:0 = no indication
Garment of the occupants:0 = no indication
Garment:0 = no indication
General behavior of "occupants":0 = no indication
Interaction of "occupants" with witness:0 = no indication
Head, hair:0 = no indication
Voice, breathing, chin:0 = no indication
Skin:0 = no indication
Eyes:0 = no indication
Mouth:0 = no indication
Various details:0 = no indication
Thermal effects:0 = no indication
Luminous effects:0 = no indication
Magnetic effect (or electromagnetic):0 = no indication
Odor perceived by witness:0 = no indication
Physiological effects on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Psychological effect on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Effects on animals:0 = no indication
Other effects reported:0 = no indication
Nebulosity:0 = no indication
Oscillations, emission of matter:0 = no indication
Spin, formation flight:0 = no indication
Immediate disappearance:0 = no indication
Halo surrounding the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Interaction witness / phenomenon (complement to the other rubrics):0 = no indication
Drawing or photo:0 = no indication
Structural details observed:0 = no indication

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on January 5, in France in the area of Marseilles, a Marseilles industrialist returned from Arles by car towards 22:45 in company of his wife, of one of his collaborators and a fourth person. When they had just exceeded St-Martin de Crau and drove towards Salon, they suddenly saw in the sky, on the left of the road, a large red ball, ike an incandescent hearth. It lasted two or three seconds and the ball disappeared, giving the impression to them that it slipped by at a vertiginous speed in a direction perpendicular to theirs. "Strange fact after having disappeared like that, the object left in the sky a kind of luminous beam similar to a car's headlight which floated during a few seconds and disappeared too."

The source is indicated as "Henry DURRANT: 'Le dossier des OVNI' - Laffont 1973 - p. 145-146".

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Bouches du Rhône in St Martin de Crau on January 5, 1954, at 10:45 p.m., "Four witnesses circulating in the same vehicle coming from Arles observed little after having left the town of St Martin de Crau, a large round ball of red color on the left of the road. The observation lasted two to three seconds and the ball disappeared, giving the impression to have slipped by at a vertiginous pace in a direction perpendicular to that followed by the vehicle. There remained only a kind of luminous ray similar to a car's headlight which floated a few seconds before disappearing in its turn."

The source is indicated as "Les soucoupes volantes viennent d'un autre monde by Guieu Jimmy ** Fleuve Noir 1954".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 7 January 1954 at 22:45 in "St Martin.Crau, France", "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object, about 300 feet across, was observed by four witnesses for over one minute."

The source is indicated as "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".

[Ref. ub1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

[Ref. ub1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
N° de cas Nouveau N° de cas Enquêteur Date d'observation CP Lieu d'observation Pays d'observation Heure d'observation Classification Commentaires Identification
19540107 07.01.1954 St. Martin Crau France 22.45 NL

Explanations:

Obvious description of a meteor.

Keywords:

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

Saint-Martin de Crau, Bouches-du-Rhône, ball, red, multiple, night, road, anonymous, trail, fast, duration

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross July 19, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 19, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross November 30, 2016 Additions [ub1].

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This page was last updated on November 30, 2016.