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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 6, 1954, Origny-en-Tiérache, Aisne:

Reference number for this case: 6-sep-54-Origny. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Reports:

[Ref. ci1:] CIA:


INFORMATION FROM
FOREIGN DOCUMENTS OR RADIO BROACASTS

COUNTRY: Non-Orbit   DATE OF INFORMATION: 1954
SUBJET: Military - Unidentified flying objects  
HOW PUBLISHED: Dail[y] newspaper   DATE DIST.: 29 oct 1954
WHERE PUBLISHED: As indicated   NO. OF PAGES: 5
DATE PUBLISHED: 31 Jul - 20 Sep 1954  
LANGUAGES: Various   SUPPLEMENT TO REPORT NO.:
[Blackened out] [Blackened out]   THIS IS UNEVALUATED INFORMATION
SOURCE: As indicated  

SIGHTINGS OF UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS,
31 JULY - 20 SEPTEMBER 1954

WESTERN EUROPE

[... (Reports from other countries) ...]

France

[... (Previous reports)]

"FLYING DISK" SIGHTED IN AISNE DEPARTEMENT -- Paris, Le Parisien Libéré, 14 Sep 54

At about 0030 hours on 7 September, Robert Chovel and his wife and father in law were driving home from the theater in Hirson, Aisne Departement, when they saw a luminous, red-orange "disk" flying above the railway track. The "disk" stopped suddenly across the road, 300-400 meters from the ground. It

- 2 -

seemed to have on its upper side a small luminous tail forming an integral part of the object.

When the travelers reached the bridge at Buire, they saw what they believed to be a "flying saucer" increasing its altitude; as soon as the car lights beamed on it, the object started flying at great speed towards La Herie, 3-4 kilometers away, and disappeared.

[... (Next reports)]

[Ref. ns1:] JOURNAL "NEWARK STAR-LEDGER":

The article underneath has been published in the daily newspaper The Newark Star-Ledger, New York, USA, on September 24, 1954.


THE RAGE IN FRANCE

'Saucer' buzzes Napoleon tomb

To be anybody at all in France these days you practically have to have seen a flying saucer, preferably one of the iridescent ones that change color like a juke box.

Being able to down gallons of champagne, or owning a slightly rundown château or even attending an opening at a theater hardly counts.

Flying saucers, and now flying cigars, are "sighted" practically daily by witnesses who are upstanding citizens, model of probity and sobriety and pillars of the community.

Latest to report the phenomena was movie star Michèle Morgan who said she sighted a luminous disc hovering over the dome of Les Invalides, where Napoleon is buried.

"An old man near me also saw it," Miss Morgan said. "But he ran away."

Rainbow flying saucers are the rage in central France where draughtsman Jean Besse said he watched one Friday night through powerful binoculars. He said it changed color three times in a few seconds.

At Le Puy, west of here, hotel owner Marcel Maillet said he saw an iridescent saucer changing color like a juke box.

Louis Moll, a railway crossing guard at Oberdorff said he saw a saucer "land" last Sunday.

"It was about 7:15 P.M.," he said. "My eyes were blinded by a great luminous mass which seemed to touch the ground near the village of Tromborn. As it neared the earth, the color changed in what looked to me like Neon tubes. It was the shape of a small bus.

"IT TOUCHED the ground for about 40 seconds ...

Finally it flew off, straight up in the air, lighted by an orange glow which changed to red. I heard nothing."

At Origny - en Tierache, Robert Chovet, his wife and brother-in-law were driving along tuesday night when, he said, they practically ran down a flying saucer.

"It hovered several meters in front of us," he said. "An enormous orange disc at just about tree level. It was immobile for several seconds and then awooshed straight upward with dizzy speed."

[Ref. ts1:] "THE AUCKLAND STAR" NEWSPAPER:

Scan


AND NOW THE "FLYING BUS"

PARIS, Friday. -- A Rural Guard, M. Louis Moll, said yesterday he had seen a "flying bus" bedecked with "neon lights" descend from the night sky and land near the Lorraine village of Tromborn.

"A great light came down out of the sky. It had the form of a little bus and seemed to have neon tubes around it. There seemed to be little black objects moving around in the lighted machine. After 40 seconds it took off vertically and disappeared trailing orange jets. During all the time I heard no sound."

Another report in the recent series of stories of strange sights in the sky over France came from the town of Origny en Thierache in the north.

M. Robert Chovel, an industrialist, said he and two of his relatives "suddenly found ourselves looking at an enormous orange disc which seemed suspended a few hundred mètres above the trees."

He said it remained still for a time "then disappeared."

At Chateauroux two policemen said they saw a luminous machine hovering at an altitude of about 5000 feet then two other machines of a greenish color at a greater height.

In the Southern Department of Herault several witnesses reported seeing what appeared to be a "flying cigar" towing a fiery red ball at a high speed.

Michelle Morgan the actress claimed she saw two flying saucers over Les Invalides, in the centre or Paris.

A French Deputy has submitted a written question to the Secretary of State for Air asking whether the aerial phenomena are being studied so that the public can be told "what is going on". -- N.Z. P.A. - Reuter.

[Ref. am1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel reports that on September 6, 1954, in Origny in Aisne, three people, Mr. Robert Chovel, his wife and his father-in-law were witnesses of a phenomenon which Mr. Chovel with described as follows:

"On the evening of September 6, we had all three been driving to go to the movies at Hirson. We were returning in Origny when, at about 00:30, while arriving at the top of the coast of the Fort, on main road 363, we saw a sort of luminous disc which dazed towards the west while skirting the railway. I initially believed that it was the moon, but I quickly noted that its movement was obviously a real movement, for it changed direction suddenly, went up, and remained motionless at an apparent altitude of 300 to 400 meters. We could then examine it with leisure. It was an orange red disc, featured, on the side opposed to its direction of displacement, with a kind of luminous brush."

"Arrived at the height of the bridge of Buire, we saw it taking altitude once again and hover again. While operating, I was then able to direct my headlights on it. It departed again at once at a vertiginous speed in the direction of La Hérie, still towards the West, and disappeared behind a height. Instead of stopping in Origny, we decided to go up to the top of the hill of the Chaudron in the hope to re-examine it on the other pouring. But we saw only one red gleam which disappeared in direction from Vervins, in the south-west. All that occurred in what it is necessary in time to make approximately fifteen kilometers by car."

[Ref. rh1:] RICHARD HALL:

September 7, 1954, Origny, France.
Hovering luminous disc fled when lights were shone at it. [II]

[Ref. jv5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

118 -004.09230 49.91940 13 09 1954 00 30 1 HIRSON GARE TRIAGE F 301 A

[Ref. ob1:] OTTO BINDER:

September 7, 1954, Origny, France. Seeing a disc maneuvering up and down, then hovering low over the ground, a motorist turned his headlights on it, whereupon the UFO took off at terrific velocity.

[Ref. ld1:] "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT" MAGAZINE:

Within the frame of an article of a UFO sighting in Hirson in 1973, the editors of the magazine remind that in 1954, at the southern exit of Hirson, on national road 363, three witnesses in a car had lengthily observed a red-orange disc, according to the book "A propos des SV" by Aimé Michel, Planète publisher, page 50.

[Ref. bb1:] JACQUES BARTHEL AND GERARD BRUCKER:

The authors indicate that four days before the Dewilde cas in Quarouble, Mr. Chovel, resident of Origny en Tiérache, had made a statement at the Gendarmerie following the strange observation which he had made on the national road RN 363. When the Dewilde case appeared in the Press, Mr. Chovel had tried to contact Marius Dewilde, persuaded to have seen the same object. Dewilde had agreed to meet him only when Mr. Chovel had slipped under his door a sketch of the said saucer. Mr. Chovel ensures that Marius Dewilde had told him to have boarded the saucer.

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two ufologists and authors indicate that on September 7, 1954, at 00:30 hours, in Origny in Thiérache in the Aisne, "a luminous disc skirts the railway." The authors wonder whether that could have been a train.

[Ref. fg1:] LAWRENCE FAWCETT AND BARRY GREENWOOD:

The authors say that the CIA collected many sightings through normal intelligence channels, something which they had supposedly fought to block with the Robertson Panel inquiry, and it included this one:

"FLYING DISK" SIGHTED IN AISNE DEPARTEMENT -- Paris, Le Parisien Libéré, 14 Sep 54

At about 0030 hours on 7 September, Robert Chovel and his wife and father in law were driving home from the theater in Hirson, Aisne Departement, when they saw a luminous, red-orange "disk" flying above the railway track. The "disk" stopped suddenly across the road, 300-400 meters from the ground. It

seemed to have on its upper side a small luminous tail forming an integral part of the object.

When the travelers reached the bridge at Buire, they saw what they believed to be a "flying saucer" increasing its altitude; as soon as the car lights beamed on it, the object started flying at great speed towards La Herie, 3-4 kilometers away, and disappeared.

[Ref. lg1:] LOREN GROSS:

"We were able to examine it at our leisure."

A major French case now appears in the UFO record. Others will follow with increasing frequency as the European flap builds to a frenzy. The principals in this case were three citizens of the town of Arigny [sic], M. and Mme Robert Chovel and their father-in-law. They testified:

"The night of September 7 we all three had gone by car to the movie in Hirson. We were on our way back to Origny when upon arriving at the summit of Fort Hill at about 12:30 we saw a sort of luminous disc which was going toward the west following the railroad tracks. I thought at first it was the moon but I soon saw that its movement was very real because it suddenly changed direction, climbed and stayed immobile at an apparent altitude of 300 to 400 meters. We were then able to examine it at our leisure.

"It was a red-orange disc, adorned with a sort of luminous plume on the opposite side of its flight direction.

"When we arrived at the height of the Bridge of Buire we saw it again. Again it went up and came to a stop. By maneuvering I was able to pin point my headlight on it at which time it threw off at a tremendous speed in the direction of La Herie to the west. It disappeared behind the clouds very soon.

"Instead of stopping at Origny we decided to go up to the summit of Chaudron Hill in hopes of seeing it from the other side. But we saw only a red glimmer was disappearing in the direction of Vervins, to the southwest. All this took place in the length of time it takes to do 15 kilometers by car." 37.

  • 37. Michel, Aime" "Flying Saucers in Europe." Fate, ed.: Marv Fuller. Vol. II, No.l. January 1958. pp.34-35.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on September 7 en France in Origny "At 00:30 Robert Chovel, his wife and his father-in-law returned by car to Origny. Arrived at the top of the hill of the Fort on main road 363, they see a kind of luminous disc which slips by towards the west while skirting the railway. It suddenly changed direction, went up, remained motionless ar 300 or 400m of altitude: it was red orange, provided on the side opposed to the vehicle's displacement, of a kind of luminous brush. At the point of Buire it took altitude again and was immobilized. By manoevrant the witness managed to direct his headlights at it, it went again at once at a vertiginous speed towards the west. All that occurred in the time necessary to drive about fifteen kilometers."

The sources are indicated as "Aimé Michel: "M.O.C." - Seghers pub. - p. 52".

[Ref. ni1:] NICAP WEBSITE, CHRONOLOGY:

September 7, 1954 -- Origny, France.
Hovering luminous disc fled when lights were shone at it. [II]

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

0:30: Robert Chovel, his wife and his stepfather return on their premises deom the theatre of Hirson (Aisne) when they see a luminous red-orange "disc" flying above the railway. The disc suddenly stops, in the middle of the road, at 300 or 400 m of the ground. It seems to have at its top a small luminous aileron constituting a part of the object. When the motorists reach the bridge of Boire, they see what they think is a "flying saucer" gaining altitude; as soon as the headlights of the car point at it, the object starts to fly at high speed towards La Hérie, 3 or 4 km from there, and disappears [a "flying disc" observed in the department of Aisne, Le Parisien Libéré, September 14, 1954].

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Aisne in Origny en Thiérache on September 7, 1954, at 00:30 hours, "Three people (among them a couple) return on their premises when they see a luminous red-orange 'disc' flying above the railway. The disc stops suddenly, in the middle of the road, 300 or 400 m of the ground. It seems to have at its top a small luminous winglet constituting part of the object. When the motorists reach the bridge of Boire, they see what they think to be a "flying saucer" taking altitude; As soon as the headlights of the car point at it, the object starts to fly at high speed towards Hérie, 3 or 4 km from there, and disappears."

The sources are noted as "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979" and "RR0 ** http://www.rr0.org".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 7 September 1954 at 00:30 in "Origny.Thierache, France", "Orange-red disc with luminous plume opposite side direction of movement above railroad tracks. Changed direction suddenly, rose, hovered, went west."

And: "A flying disc was observed. One orange disc was observed by three witnesses on a railroad (Chovel)."

The sources are indicated as Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Binder, Otto, What We Really Know About Flying Saucers, Fawcett T1863, Greenwich, 1967; Hall, Richard H., The UFO Evidence, NICAP, Washington, 1964; Haines, Richard F., CE-5: Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind, Sourcebooks, Naperville, 1998, ISBN:1-57071-427-4; Hall, Richard H., UFO Reports from the Files of the CIA, Fund for UFO Research, Washington; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

[Ref. ud2:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 13 September 1954 at 00:30 in "Hirson Gare Triage, France" "One object was observed. "

The sources are noted as Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01).

[Ref. ni2:] NICAP WEBSITE:

Sept. 7, 1954; Origny, France

12:30 a.m. Robert Chovel and his wife and father-in-law were driving home from the theater in Hirson, Aisne Department when they saw a luminous, red-orange "disk" flying above the railroad tracks. The "disk" stopped suddenly across the road, 300-400 meters from the ground. It seemed to have on its upper side a small luminous tail, forming an integral part of the object. When the travelers reached the bridge at Buire, they saw what they believed to be a "flying saucer" increasing its altitude. As soon as the car lights beamed on it, the object started flying at great speed towards LaHerie 3-4 kilometers away and disappeared. (CIA information sheet. Headline: Flying Disk Sighted In Aisne Department; UFOE, II)

[Ref. ni1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

(109) Sep. 7, 1954 - At 12:30 a.m. three members of the Chovel family saw an orange-red disc with a luminous plume coming from the opposite side of its direction of movement above some railroad tracks in Origny-en-Theirache, Aisne department, France. It changed direction suddenly, rose, then hovered, and finally flew off to the west. (Sources: Aime Michel, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, p. 38; Michel Figuet & Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: Le Premier Dossier Complet des Rencontres Rapprochees en France, p. 73).

[Ref. ta1:] "THINK ABOUT IT" WEBSITE:

Date:

Location:

Time:

Summary: Sept. 7, 1954; Origny, France

12:30 a.m. Robert Chovel and his wife and father-in-law were driving home from the theater in Hirson, Aisne Department when they saw a luminous, red-orange “disk” flying above the railroad tracks. The “disk” stopped suddenly across the road, 300-400 meters from the ground. It seemed to have on its upper side a small luminous tail, forming an integral part of the object. When the travelers reached the bridge at Buire, they saw what they believed to be a “flying saucer” increasing its altitude. As soon as the car lights beamed on it, the object started flying at great speed towards LaHerie 3-4 kilometers away and disappeared. (CIA information sheet. Headline: Flying Disk Sighted In Aisne Department; UFOE, II)

Source:

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

This database recorded this same case several times instead of once:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540907 07.09.1954 Origny Thierache France 00.30 NL
19540907 07.09.1954 Origny Thierache France NL
19540907 07.09.1954 Origny France Night NL
19540907 07.09.1954 Origny France NL
19541007 07.10.1954 Corigny France
19540906 06.09.1954 Hirson France 00.30 NL

Explanations:

Not looked for yet. Possibly the moon.

Note about the possible explanation by the Moon:

On June 9, 2009, a reader emailed to me:

Hello Patrick,
I'm now browsing the 1954 reports section of your website. For Origny, you mentionned a possible mistake with the Moon during 15min from a car. This indeed matches the duration of this family's trip the road, south-western direction. You were right, according to Stellarium, people would have to note the presence of the Moon in front of them, close to the horizon. It's a pity that the weather of the evening isn't known. I thus send you these screenshots for this case.

The attached Stellarium software screenshots:

Début
Fin

Keywords:

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

Origny, Aisne, Robert Chovel, road, car, disc, luminous, railway, train, manoeuvres, still, hovering, altitude, red, orange, close

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross May 12, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross June 11, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions: "Note about the possible explanation by the Moon", [rh1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross December 25, 2009 Addition [fg1].
1.1 Patrick Gross January 5, 2010 Addition [go1].
1.3 Patrick Gross February 10, 2010 Addition [ud2], [ni2].
1.4 Patrick Gross June 17, 2010 Addition [jv5].
1.5 Patrick Gross October 18, 2014 Additions [ni1], [ta1].
1.6 Patrick Gross November 25, 2016 Additions [lg1], [ub1].
1.7 Patrick Gross February 25, 2017 Addition [ts1].

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