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The 1954 French flap:

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

January 9, 1954, Auxonne, Côte-d'Or:

Reference number for this case: 9-Jan-54-Auxonne. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

An article in the regional newspaper La Bourgogne Républicaine for January 12, 1954, probably written by Charles Garreau, a journalist of this newspaper interested in flying saucers already at that time, reported that on Saturday morning, thus on January 9, 1954, a resident of Auxonne, who was traveling on the Pont de France, had seen in the north-east direction an "elongated craft" moving towards the East.

At a certain time a part of this "cigar" which until then had appeared of an orange yellow color extinguished, then all light disappeared.

The phenomenon had been observed for a few seconds, and the witness had immediately checked the time: it was 07:45 a.m.

The newspaper quoted many other concordant observations of this obvious meteor elsewhere in the region, but did not understand that it was the same thing, assuring that no one else has yet reported the phenomenon seen in Auxonne.

In 1979, the "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker took a map of the "craft trajectory" which made, according to Charles Garreau, "zigzags" in the region from 07:20 a.m. to 07:50 a.m, Garreau thinking it proved that it was not a meteor; Barthel and Brucker note with good reason that taking the approximate hours indicated by the witnesses as bulletproof hours is absurd.

But even later, at least one website still cite this observation and others, concordant ones, still without realizing that it was the famous meteor largely seen in the region that day.

Reports:

[Ref. br1] "LA BOURGOGNE REPUBLICAINE" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

WHAT WAS THIS STRANGE SKY WANDERER?

New testimonies on the passing of a
fiery bolide above our region

SOME OBSERVATIONS WOULD SEEM TO EXCLUDE
THE METEOR HYPOTHESIS. SO?...

(From our special correspondents)

-- Giant meteorite or "saucer"? The question remains open. In any case numerous witnesses choose the second hypothesis. In the Haute-Marne, in the Jura, and also in the region of Dijon, here is what they saw.

IN THE HAUTE-MARNE

The fiery bolide was seen in Montigny-le-Roy, where several people spotted it at approximately 7:45 a.m..

They gave a description identical to the others.

In Chaumont, a delivery man, Mr. Bourgeois and Mr. Thibaut to whom "appeared a luminous spot in the sky. I followed it with my eyes from 10 to 15 seconds before it disappeared. At its base I recognized the shape of a disc."

In Langres, employees of the Treasury, and Mr. Miche, city councilman and schoolmaster:

Having seen the object he called Mrs. Hanloc, service woman at the School, who had time to run to see an extremely luminous machine, followed by a thin brilliant trail.

IN THE COTE-D'OR

"Saturday morning a resident of Auxonne who circulated on the Bridge of France saw in direction of the North-East, a lengthened machine which moved towards the East.

At a certain time a part of the "cigar" which hitherto appeared of an orange yellow color went off then all light disappeared.

Our compatriot who observed this phenomenon during a few seconds, looked at the hour at once. It was 7:45 a.m.

Did other people see this phenomenon? Up to now, it was not allowed to us to obtain other information."

IN DOLE

At about 7:50 a.m. Saturday morning an entrepreneur of Dôle, Mr. Marcel Girard, was at the intersection of the avenue de la paix and boulevard Wilson.

Looking up, he distinguished in the sky a craft of a weird shape that moved fast in a direction eh said, from Mount Roland to Salins-le-Bains. So the craft crossed boulevard Wilson at about the level of the school.

The vision was very short. Mr. Girard estimates it at approximately three or four seconds; the machine having carried out a very clear deceleration above the Wilson boulevard, as if the occupants (?) intended to look at it more closely.

Here is how Mr. Girard describes the machine: "It is an object whose general form looks like a cigar whose point is of a dazzling blue color; on the other hand the lower part is of orange or red color as if there were sparks at the back: it moved at a very great speed but for lack of reference landmarks neither the speed of the machine nor its height could be evaluated.

First such measurements are very difficult to make even by technicians; then the light was very defective."

In addition an employee of the S.N.C.F. [National railway company], Mr. Maillot, who was on the "Pont de Mouchard" [bridge] saw the machine at the same moment.

In his opinion, it was an object of circular form, which would have moved at a height of 3000 m. (?) The machine moved without any noise and Mr. Maillot could follow it with his eyes during 4 seconds.

In LONS-LE-SAULNIER

Several residents of Lons-le-Saulnier told us that they were also visual witnesses of the strange phenomenon. That's how two people worthy of faith - a P.T.T. employee [Mail worker], and the young daughter of a tobacconist of the city, claim to us that they saw and observed with a quite understandable astonishment Saturday morning, at 07:50 a.m. exactly, a ball that seemed to move slowly at the vertical of the Pannessières Mounds.

"This machine, "a large tangerine" the girl told us, left behind it, at the moment of its acceleration, an enormous reddish plume."

Other information that came from La Marre, Mirebel, Crançot, corroborate all the more the claims of our Lons-le-Saulnier residents.

All the witnesses agree also to report the almost complete immobility of the machine during a few tens of seconds and its rapid start in direction of Switzerland.

WHAT TO CONCLUDE?

With all this information, that to conclude? Much information is still missing such as the exact hour of the passage, the direction of the object, its changes of pace and direction, to be affirmative one way or another.

Let us hope that readers would reveal to be precise observers, and we will communicate their remarks.

Til then, the mystery remains whole...

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

The authors give two sketches, the one on the left is the trip of the flying saucer according to Charles Garreau, the one on the right is the trajectory of the meteor according to them:

The authors fustigate [rightly] the ufologists who like Charles Garreau took the hours of observations given in the newspapers literally [as if people were then provided with stop watches! These hours are generally only approximations made a posteriori] and then believed in a complicated flying saucer travel where a meteor had actually passed.

Barthel and Brucker specify that the North-West to South-East trajectory of the meteor of 7:50 is confirmed by testimonies coming from other countries.

[Ref. vi3:] "VIMANA 21" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE - ADRUP:

This magazine listed this case:

54 01 09 7H49 LN Auxonne

[Ref. vi2:] "VIMANA 21" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

THE METEORS

[...Other cases...]

JANUARY 9, 1954

The aerial object that flew over the Côte d'Or left the door open to various assumptions: meteor, balloon, jet plane or saucer, according to the newspapers! The witnesses describe it as an object at the speed of a (Burgundian) snail, then as a fireball describing an extraordinary journey: Nancy, Neuvelle les Champlittes, Chaumont, Langres, Gemeaux, Besançon. It was reportedly also seen in Dijon, Oisilly and Auxonne. It was also described as a reddish trail or yellow disk, depending on its speed and angle of observation (ref. 21)

[...Other cases...]

The source "ref. 21" is indicated further on, as "21 - Bourgogne Républicaine for 1/13/54, Mystérieux objets célestes by Aimée [sic] Michel, page 96 to 99 -"

[Ref. vi1:] "VIMANA 21" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

54 01 09 / AUXONNE / 7H49 / NL / P /

A resident who was traveling on the pont de France, saw in the North-East direction, an elongated craft that moved towards the east.

(Source: Bourgogne républicaine 1/12/54 and 1/13/54)

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the "Côte d'or in Auxonne" on January 9, 1954, at 07:49, there was an "Observation of a discoidal object of a dazzling red luminosity with trail. Far towards the North East."

The source is indicated as "Les soucoupes volantes viennent d'un autre monde by Guieu Jimmy ** Fleuve Noir 1954". [Note: numerous sighting reports of January 9, 1954, are mentionned in this source, but not this one.]

Explanations:

The January 9, 1954, 07:48 a.m. meteor.

Keywords:

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

Auxonne, Côte-d'Or, yellow, cigar, elongated, orange, luminous, bridge

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross October 3, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 10, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lc1].
1.1 Patrick Gross November 2, 2016 Addition of the article scan for [br1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 25, 2019 Additions [vi2], [vi1], Summary.
1.3 Patrick Gross May 17, 2019 Additions [vi3].

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This page was last updated on May 17, 2019.