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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 7, 1954, Octeville, Manche:

Reference number for this case: 7-Oct-54-Octeville. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The regional newspaper Le Nouveau Nord Maritime reported on page 9, on October 10, 1954, that in Cherbourg, on October 9, 1954, it was reported that "Thursday evening", therefore October 7, 1954, around 9 p.m., a resident of Octeville, Mr. Maurice Crestey, draftsman at the Arsenal, and several of his neighbors, had seen in the sky, at a fairly high altitude, a luminous sphere which, after having stopped above the city, disappeared to the south.

The same information was given in Le Courrier Picard for October 11, 1954.

In 1958, ufologist Aimé Michel indicated that on October 7, 1954, in Cherbourg, according to the Paris-Presse newspaper for October 10, 1954, "luminous globes were seen!" Paris-Presse, indeed, did not tell more than this about it.





Cherbourg, 9. -- Thursday evening, around 9 p.m., a resident of Octeville (Manche), Mr. Maurice Crestey, designer at the Arsenal, and several of his neighbors saw, in the sky, at a fairly high altitude, a luminous sphere which, after having stopped above the city, disappeared towards the South.

Quimper, 9. -- Mr. François Cariou, itinerant fish merchants [sic] in Plozevet (Finistère), his wife and two daughters saw a bright glow in the sky which seemed to be surrounded by dense smoke. This glow, initially motionless, directed towards them, at an altitude of about ten meters it had the appearance of an orange sphere.

Frightened, the Cariou family returned to the house.

Several fishermen who were about to set sail at the same time confirmed these statements.

... to half ball...

Mulhouse, 9. -- Mr. René Ott, 35, from Jettingen, an SNCF employee, said he saw in a field on his way to work, an aluminum-colored semi-spherical dome, lit from the inside, which was about three meters from the road and one meter from the ground.

Frightened, Mr. Ott fled. He had, however, he said, time to notice that a door opened in the craft. The latter moved above him on a distance of 800 meters before disappearing the gendarmes did not detect any trace.

... and stop the cars

Le Mans, 9. - Mr. Alexandre Tremblaix, milk collector, said that the truck he was driving had suddenly stopped, for an unknown reason yesterday morning, on a small departmental road near Saint-Jean d'Asse and that its headlights had gone out. He got out of his cabin and saw a luminous red and blue flying cigar pass over him, about a meter long.

The machine disappeared on the horizon a few minutes later, the truck's engine started to function again and the headlights came on. Isn't that somewhat... chilling? [untranslatable joke about the witness name]



The Martians have not been idle
during the weekend

Many saucers and cigars have still been seen in various regions

From all the regions of France still arrived, during the weekend, a lot of information signaling the "passage" of saucers, domes, spheres, cigars or other flying machines.

We learn from Mulhouse that Mr. René Ott, 35, from Jettingen, an S.N.C.F. employee, claimed to have seen, in a field, on his way to work, a semi-spherical, aluminum-colored dome illuminated from the inside, which was about three meters from the road and one meter from the ground.

Frightened, Mr. Ott fled. He had, however, he said, time to notice that a door opened in the craft. It moved above him for a distance of 800 meters, before disappearing.

Continued on 2nd page, under the title




(Continuation of the 1st page)

Near Le Mans, a bizarre phenomenon has been observed. Mr. Alexandre Tremblaix, milk collector, said that the truck he was driving had suddenly stopped, for an unknown reason, on a small departmental road near Saint-Jean-d'Asse and that his headlights had gone out. He got out of his cabin, and saw passing over him, a luminous flying cigar, red and blue, about a meter long. The machine disappeared on the horizon for a few minutes, the headlights turned on again and the engine could be started again.

Also, a resident of Octeville (Manche), Mr. Maurice Crestey, draftsman at the arsenal, and several of his neighbors, saw in the sky, at a fairly high altitude, a luminous sphere which, after having stopped above the city, disappeared towards the south.


CHATEAUROUX, October 10. -- Mr. Alfred Rabany, 62, resident of Chasseneuil, who had stopped at the side of the road, heard a whistling sound: looking up, he saw a gray machine immobilized about 100 meters above of the ground. The craft left at a very fast pace, leaving a sort of fog behind it.

Also, Mr. Julien Soulas, 25, from the same commune, said that on returning from the village of Ligeaud, he had seen a luminous pale orange-red machine moving in a north-south direction.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

In his pages relating sightings for October 7, 1954, Aimé Michel briefly mentions some additionnal sightings without providing the details, among them a sighting in Cherbourg.

In an article for the magazine "Science et Vie", he specified only that it was the sighting of luminous globes.

[Ref. aml2:] AIME MICHEL:


As of 2 October, the number of daily observations is increasing dramatically. On October 3, there are hundreds, and probably thousands of "witnesses". And the places of observation continue to line up, forming very characteristic networks whose layout evokes a spider's web, with a sort of star-shaped center from which most of the straight lines radiate. A large proportion of cases are also located on several different alignments (at their intersection).

An example of this complex and rigorous provision is offered by the observations of October 7 (see map).

That day, on the territory of France, hundreds of "testimonies" make it possible to plot 23 observation places, of which only one is erratic, in the area of ??Toulouse. The other 22 are organized in 17 alignments:

- One seven spots line: Cherbourg; La Ferte-Macé; Saint-Jean-d'Assé; National 23, east of Le Mans; Lavenay; Montlevic; and finally Cassis.

- Three lines of four spots:

a) Marcillac; Puymoyen; Montlevic; Corbigny.

b) Isles-sur-Suippe; Montlevic; Bournel; Montpezat.

c) Saint-Savinien; Saint-Plantaire; Montlevic; Jettingen.

Finally, thirteen alignments of three spots. One can, at first glance, wonder whether three-spot alignments require an explanation other than chance. But on reflection, chance turns out to be insufficient. Indeed:

  1. On the map to the millionth used for this study, the accuracy of the alignments is of the order of a millimeter, equivalent to one kilometer, for distances sometimes exceeding 1000 kilometers;
  2. But above all, it must be emphasized that most of the spots are at the same time on several alignments (At their intersections): when one plots two spots on a surface, one gets a straight line; if four points are plotted, one gets six lines (the sides of a quadrilateral and its diagonals), determining, in addition to the four primitive spots, three spots of intersection at most; therefore, if one plots three new spots at random, what is the chance for these spots to intersect? Virtually none. The realization by chance of such a provision is therefore highly improbable. If coincidence happens regularly every day for weeks, the chance explanation becomes almost impossible.
  3. Finally (and this is perhaps the most troubling part of the case), how can it be explained by chance that this provision lasts only 24 hours?

In-depth analysis of all these alignments is beyond the scope of an article. A glance at the corresponding map is more eloquent than a long speech. We discover this feature, which I have tentatively called "orthoteny" (2), until further studies allow, if necessary, to relate it to some phenomenon already known and provided with a name existing in the dictionary.

Provisionally, therefore, the "orthoteny" is the rectilinear disposition, generating networks, of the vast majority of flying saucer observations of the Fall of 1954. This arrangement is so surprising that one must, a priori to adopt a systematic distrust about it. Before recognizing it for a real event, one must consider every possible means to reject it.

On October 7, 1954, France is furrowed with observations in a straight line

1. CHERBOURG ...One saw luminous globes! (Paris-Presse - 10-10-1954)

2. DUCLAIR ...Mr. X, blinded y a luminous beam, reopened the eyes, saw a ball that disappeared in a few minutes. (Parisien Libéré - 9-10-54)

3. ISLES-SUR-SUIPPES ...on the edge of the road, an object of more than 3 m in length like a big shell pierced with portholes... (Paris-Presse - 10-10-54)

4. PLOZEVET gleam, dense smoke... (France-Soir - 10-10-54)

5. SAINT-BIHY ...luminous globes... (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

6. LA FERTÉ-MACÉ ...a mysterious craft, which was rising vertically, leaving behind itself a white trail... (Black out sur les soucoupes volantes, Jimmy Guieu, Fleuve Noir publishers)

7. HENNEZIES ...A "spaceship" and its occupants seen by two children... Egg-shaped object, red, the top pointed at the yky... (Black out sur les soucoupes volantes, Jimmy Guieu, Fleuve Noir publishers)

8. SAINT-ÉTIENNE ...three craft produced a violent white light; - one of the craft was round like a saucer, the two other elongated like cigars. (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

9. SAINT-JEAN-D'ASSÉ ...a gleam of an intense blue color.. (Aurore - 9-10-54)

10. BALLON ...stars as big as the Moon (sic!). (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

11. LAVENAY ...a flying egg... (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

12. DORDIVES ...a weird object... (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

13. CHALETTE oval-shaped luminous craft. (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

14. LES AUBIERS ...a red disc... (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

15. CORBIGNY Craft of cylindrical shapes, emitting red-orange gleams when they were horizontal and of a dazzling white when they rose vertically. (Aurore -8-10-54)

16. BERUGES ...a lighted mushroom... (France-Soir - 10-10-54)

17. SAINT-SAVINIEN ...a luminous disc. (Sud-Ouest - 14-10-54)


19. MONTLEVIC ...saucers, cigars, luminous globes and flying discs... (Paris-Presse - 9-10-54)

20. JETTINGEN ...a half-spherical cupola. (France-Soir - 10-10-54)

21. PUYMOYEN ...A the place where a saucer had landed, twelve samll heaps of ash in the middle of a 1,50 m circle and, among the ashes, small sticks... (Paris-Presse - 9-10-54)

22. MARCILLAC ...shape of inverted funnel. (Combat - 12-10-54)

23. BOURNEL ...circular shape... (Combat - 12-10-54)

24. MONTPEZAT ...a luminous circle, orange-colored... (Combat - 12-10-54)

25. BEAUVOIR ...a mysterious craft flying at a rather slow pace. (Parisien Libéré - 9-10-54)

26. MONTEUX ...a phosphorescent craft and of 2,50 m height... (local Press - oct. 54)

27. BOMPAS ...a formation of saucers... (Black out sur les soucoupes volantes, Jimmy Guieu, Fleuve Noir publishers)

28. CASSIS ...the object, which seemed to be in aluminum, was very shiny. (Provençal)

Alignments exist. What do they mean? This is a mystery...

The case file is not faked

First question to ask: Is it true that the observation spots are aligned as this article claims?

To check this, just look for the spots in question on a chosen map in such a way that the lines of the map correspond as exactly as possible to the great terrestrial circles in the considered place. For France, it is the millionth map, Bonne projection, in the trade by Michelin (Michelin map nr 989). Ones locates the spots by looking for them in a dictionary of the communes, for example that of Berger-Levrault.

Second question: did the author invent all or part of these observations in order to find alignments? To enable researchers to answer this question, I have used in my research only observations that were already made public.

Third question: Did the author choose the observations that are aligned, creating a phenomenon that would not exist if other unreported observations restored the disorder of chance?

Of course, I cannot hope to know all the sightings because many of the witnesses did not say anything. But I used in my work all observations made public, as one can check by studying my book. To prepare the maps, I therefore only used published cases, and I used them all. There was no invention, no selection. Anyone can completely redo the work I did: one only needs to consult the collection of newspapers of the time, taking care though, however, of dates, not of the newspapers publication of course, but of the reported phenomena.

We come to the most delicate aspect of the problem posed by these strange alignments. What do they mean?

I have shown in detail the results of my research to several prominent scientists, including two Masters of Research at the C.N.R.S. It is very unfortunate that orthotenia is linked to the "saucer phenomenon", so discredited, because all these scientists, whom I cannot name, are now convinced that the alignments show a real and original phenomenon.

Real, that is, objectively taking place in space, not in the imagination of the witnesses.

Original, that is, not related to anything known so far. Neither airplanes, sounding balloons, sundogs, meteors, lightning bolts, nor hallucinations, lies, and facetious inventions are observed along lines forming networks. It is something else. What is it?

In my opinion, we are not close to knowing it. But perhaps the demonstration of the geometric superstructure revealed by the wave of 1954 will finally incite a greater number of scientists to worry about it. Allow me to express the wish here. Personally, the discredit that is attached to this research begins to put me down. It is overwhelming in the long run to have my curiosity viewed like a sin.

Aimé Michel


[Ref. aml3:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel explained that since December 1957, he was convinced that the "alignments" of cases on straight lines, such as those of October 7, 1954, are inexplicable, or more exactly, that they can only be explained "by the reality of the flying saucers", and that his opinion "is also that of a large number of scientists, among whom several are world-renowned."

He published a map of these alignments for this date, indicating that all the observations of October 7, 1954, are reported there:

For the case of this file, he noted:

1. CHERBOURG: one saw luminous globes. (Paris Presse for 10-10-54)

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

250 +001.622278 49.63950 07 10 1954 CHERBOURG F 153 C** 241


This ufology bulletin published a map supposed to show alignements of cases of October 7, 1954, and it included a cas in Cherbourg:

The magazine added another mapfor the 7 october 1954 cases, also includng the case of Cherbourg:


The author indicates that on October 7, 1954, luminous discs, landing or not landing, were reported among other places in Cherbourg.

The author says that the 28 places of observations [The author indicates 9 of them] formed all spots that were aligned "along a line with a precision of one millimetre." He further adds that these observations spread on "straight lines, which while crossing, drew curious geometrical star figures", and that "alignments seemed to begin around one hour in the morning, covering our areas of a tight network of investigations of unknown origin."


3997: 1954/10/07 00:00 1 1:38:00 W 49:38:00 N 3331 WEU FRN MNC 6:5


Ref# 49 MICHEL,Aime: FS & STRAIGHT LINE TH: Page No. 141 : TOWN &CITY

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Manche in Cherbourg on October 7, 1954, at an unknown hour, there was an "Observation of luminous spheres."

Luc Chastan indicates that the source is "Science et vie".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 7 October 1954 at 21:00 in Cherbourg, France, "Three luminous discs seen. At northwest end of line from Montlevic going toward Cassis. Flying discs were observed. Three luminous discs were observed by several witnesses in a city for over one minute."

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); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002".

[Ref. ubk1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

This database recorded this case 5 times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541007 07.10.1954 Cherbourg Octeville France 21.00 NL
19541007 07.10.1954 Cherbourg Octeville France 21.00 NL
19541007 07.10.1954 Cherbourg France Daytime DD
19541007 07.10.1954 Cherbourg France
19541007 07.10.1954 Cherborug [Sic, Cherbourg] France


Totally insufficient information.


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

Cherbourg, Manche


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 19, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross May 1, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 28, 2010 Addition [jpr1].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 22, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.3 Patrick Gross February 20, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.4 Patrick Gross October 9, 2019 Additions [aml2], [aml3], [pis1], [lhh1], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."
1.5 Patrick Gross February 15, 2020 Addition [nnm1].
1.6 Patrick Gross March 3, 2020 Addition [cpd1]. In the Summary, addition of the paragraphs "he regional newspaper Le Nouveau Nord Maritime..." and "The same information was given...", and addition of "Paris-Presse, indeed, did not tell more than this about it."

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