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The 1954 French flap:

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

January 9, 1954, Colmar, Haut-Rhin:

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

Summary:

The regional newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin for January 10, 1954, had reported several of the observations of January 9, 1954, including this one in Colmar:

"In Colmar also, the phenomenon was observed. Young Jacques H., who along with several comrades, crossed the street, made the following communication: according to him, it was a round ball about 25 cm in diameter and orange color that moved at a high speed towards the south to Rouffach dragging behind it a long luminous tail disappearing rapidly. In all likelihood, it would be a meteor of exceptionally great magnitude but some argue that it would be a flying saucer."

Reports:

[Ref. dn1:] NEWSPAPER "LES DERNIERES NOUVELLES DU HAUT-RHIN":

A curious appearance in the sky

COMET OR METEOR?

A curious celestial apparition was seen yesterday morning around 8 a.m. by children going to school but also by several adult people going to their work. This would be a ball or luminous disc which moved with great rapidity in the N-S direction.

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines

Saturday morning around 7:48, a ball of great luminosity trailing behind it a long tail crossed the sky in the N-S direction. This odd phenomenon was observed for ten seconds over the Chaumes of Lusse until it disappeared in the direction of the Trois Baus. It was a great gleam with a blue-green edge. You could hear a slight hissing sound. The long, bright tail decreased gradually until it disappeared completely.

Bergheim

The same comes from Bergheim. Children going to school suddenly saw like a luminous disc resembling a large inflamed paper with an appendix shaped like a fish tail moving at high speed toward the south to Colmar. The night watcher of Bergheim, Mr. George B., observed the same phenomenon and claims that it had some resemblance to an observation made recently in Dieppe except that over there, there was like an explosion.

Colmar

In Colmar also, the phenomenon was observed. Young Jacques H., who along with several comrades, crossed the street, made the following communication: according to him, it was a round ball about 25 cm in diameter and orange color that moved at a high speed towards the south to Rouffach dragging behind it a long luminous tail disappearing rapidly. In all likelihood, it would be a meteor of exceptionally great magnitude but some argue that it would be a flying saucer.

Observation made in the Bas-Rhin

It was 7:45 a.m. Saturday morning when several residents of Bourgheim near Barr, suddenly saw a bright ball in the sky trailing behind a long line of blue and red color and heading south and rapidly disappearing over the horizon.

The Observatory of Strasbourg did not record this. At that time, a thick fog covered the city. The weather station of Entzheim made no comment either.

According to residents of Bourgheim, it would be one of those balls of light that massively cross the sky, especially in August, but it could also be seen in winter.

In Saverne, the same phenomenon also observed and there was talk of flying saucer. But this is not the case, as that ball was of intense brightness and also ran from north to south.

[Ref. cv2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a very interesting book telling the story of UFO sightings, flying saucers sightings, in Alsace, from the beginning to 1980.

In this book, he reports that on Saturday, January 9, 1954, shortly before 8 a.m., a bright ball of a size comparable with that of the Moon and followed by a long tail crossed the sky of Alsace and Lorraine from North to South, seen by numerous witnesses. He noted that the interpretations by the press and by witnesses in the press have been various, although it was likely the entry of a celestial body in the atmosphere.

He provides the text of the article of the newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin for Sunday, January 10, 1954:

A curious appearance in the sky

COMET OR METEOR?

A curious celestial apparition was seen yesterday morning around 8 a.m. by children going to school but also by several adult people going to their work. This would be a ball or luminous disc which moved with great rapidity in the N-S direction.

SAINTE-MARIE-AUX-MINES

Saturday morning around 7:48, a ball of great luminosity trailing behind it a long tail crossed the sky in the N-S direction. This odd phenomenon was observed for ten seconds over the Chaumes of Lusse until it disappeared in the direction of the Trois Baus. It was a great gleam with a blue-green edge. You could hear a slight hissing sound. The long, bright tail decreased gradually until it disappeared completely.

BERGHEIM

The same comes from Bergheim. Children going to school suddenly saw like a luminous disc resembling a large inflamed paper with an appendix shaped like a fish tail moving at high speed toward the south to Colmar. The night watcher of Bergheim, Mr. George B., observed the same phenomenon and claims that it had some resemblance to an observation made recently in Dieppe except that over there, there was like an explosion.

COLMAR

In Colmar also, the phenomenon was observed. Young Jacques H., who along with several comrades, crossed the street, made the following communication: according to him, it was a round ball about 25 cm in diameter and orange color that moved at a high speed towards the south to Rouffach dragging behind it a long luminous tail disappearing rapidly. In all likelihood, it would be a meteor of exceptionally great magnitude but some argue that it would be a flying saucer.

Observation made in the BAS-RHIN

It was 7:45 a.m. Saturday morning when several residents of Bourgheim near Barr, suddenly saw a bright ball in the sky trailing behind a long line of blue and red color and heading south and rapidly disappearing over the horizon.

The Observatory of Strasbourg did not record this. At that time, a thick fog covered the city. The weather station of Entzheim made no comment either.

According to residents of Bourgheim, it would be one of those balls of light that massively cross the sky, especially in August, but it could also be seen in winter.

In Saverne, the same phenomenon also observed and there was talk of flying saucer. But this is not the case, as that ball was of intense brightness and also ran from north to south.

Explanations:

Rouffach is at 198° from the center of Colmar, approximately in the south-south-est.

This is one of the numerous observation of the meteor that was seen aboveLorraine, l'Alsace, and beyond, that day at 07:48 a.m.

Keywords:

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

Colmar, Haut-Rhin, ball, round, orange, children, trail, fast

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross October 29, 2014 First published, [dn1], [cv2].

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