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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, Neuvelle-lès-Champlitte, Haute-Saône:

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


The newspaper La République for January 12, 1954, indicated among other observations in the region on January 9, 1954, that several residents of Neuvelle-lès-Champlitte, all serious people, had "noticed in the sky a kind of fantastic machine of the kind of the one seen in the northern region these past few days."

Charles Garreau, then journalist of La Bourgogne Républicaine and already a flying saucers enthusiast, had plotted the observations of this day on a map to show that since the thing had zigzagged, it was not a meteor. He had naively taken for exact hours the mentioned hours - 07:20 a.m. for this sighting - whereas for the most part they were, of course, only approximate hours. It is because of this that some then claimed there was a "sudden change of heading" of the Langres phenomenon, but it was not so.

This obvious meteor was explained as such by the "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker in their 1979 book, but some continued to cite the observation as if it were "unexplained".




Neuvelle-les-Champlitte. -- Several residents of the locality, all serious people, noticed in the sky a kind of fantastic machine like that seen in the area of north these last days.



French journalist and pioneer of french ufology Charles Garreau drew the map underneath to plot sightings which all occurred on January 9, 1954, between 06:15 A.M. and 7:50 A.M. in the East of France.

Though no narrative is joined, it is visible on the map that a sighting of some sort occurred on January 9, 1954, at 07:20 A.M., from the city of Neuvelle-les-Champlitte or near to this city.


The authors indicate that the Dépêche du Berry for January 11, 1954 said of the case of Gémeaux at 7:21:

"Several people saw in the sky, during a few seconds, a red ball, surmounted of a triangle. The object, which came from the area of the Is-sur-Tille, passed without leaving of trace and was immobilized on the village before starting out again like a flash in direction of Til Chatel, to disappear at the horizon. About the same hour, the same phenomenon was observed in Neuvelle-les-Champlites and Langres."

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.



[...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. lg1] LOREN GROSS:

[... Other cases...]

"Celestial Phenomenon."

We have no date and time concerning the case, but there was a curious story in a Swiss paper dated January 10, 1954. The CIA collected the following clipping and translated it into English. It read:

"For a few seconds, inhabitants of Gemeaux, Cote d'Or Department, recently observed in the sky a red ball surmounted by a triangle. The phenomenon moved on without leaving a trail. The same observation was reported by several witnesses from Nouvelles-les-Champlitte [sic] and Langras. [sic]" 46.

[... Other cases...]

  • 46. Basel, Switzerland. National Zeitung. 11 January 54.


Godelieve van Overmeire indicates that in 1954, on January 9, in France, à Neuville les Champlitte, "At 07:30: a red gleam throws a reflection of blood on the snow-covered countryside. Very high a rather long object, followed of a glowing trail, flew in a huge arc of circle, it slipped away towards the north. Coincidence: at the same time the area is deprived of electrical power. (Charles GARREAU: 'Alerte dans le ciel: le dossier des enlèvements' Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1981, p. 101)"

[Note: this summary is not about the observation in Neuvelle-lès-Champlittes, it describes the sighting in Besançon!]

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Haute Saône in Neuvelle les Champlitte on January 9, 1954, at 07:20 "Observation of a discoïdal object of a dazzling red luminosity, throwing reflections of blood on snow-covered countryside and leaving a long red trail. Coming from the North East it leaves towards the North. While the object flies over this area, a general power breakdown occurred. The power restored itself at its disparition."

The sources are indicated as "Les soucoupes volantes viennent d'un autre monde by Guieu Jimmy ** Fleuve Noir 1954" and Alerte dans le ciel by Garreau Charles ** Alain Lefeuvre 1981".


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


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

Neuvelle-lès-Champlitte, Haute-Saône, sky


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 25, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 10, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [lc1].
1.1 Patrick Gross November 2, 2016 Addition [lg1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 26, 2019 Additions [vi2], Summary.

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This page was last updated on January 26, 2019.