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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, Poligny, Jura:

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


The newspaper La Republique for January 12, 1954, reported that on January 9, 1954, in Poligny, three young hunters hunting near the bridge of La Ferté suddenly saw a red fireball seeming to rotate on itself while projecting sparks and leaving a bluish trail. This "craft" coming from the direction of Mont Sous Vaudrey went towards Saint-Cyr. The three hunters had time to observe the phenomenon for 5 to 7 seconds without hearing any noise.

Charles Garreau, then journalist of La Bourgogne Républicaine and already a flying saucers enthusiast, had put 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 granted the hours quoted, giving 07:50 a.m. to the Poligny sighting, whereas most of them were, of course, only approximate hours. It is because of this that some still speak of a "sudden change of course" of 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".




In Poligny, three young hunters hunting near the bridge of La Ferté were surprised to suddenly see a ball of red light seeming to rotate while projecting sparks and leaving a bluish trail. This machine coming from the direction of Mount Sous Vaudrey moved towards Saint-Cyr. Our three hunters had the time to observe the phenomenon during 5 to 7 seconds without hearing noise.

In addition, Mr Formet, a salesman, who was being among the group of hunters, reports that by delivering a cooker to Molain, Saturday afternoon, the residents told him about the same phenomenon observed the morning towards 8 a.m.



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 according to him a sighting of some sort occurred on January 9, 1954, at 07:50 a.m. in Poligny.


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 testimonys coming from other countries.

[Ref. lg1] LOREN GROSS:

[... Other cases...]

France too.

Similarly, a UFO was reported wandering about over the countryside of France. The thing put on quite a show for two hours 6-8 a.m. on January 9th.

According to an investigator of the French civilian UFO group Ouranos, Charles Garreau, the sky object in question appeared first over the community of Luneville where it was seen glowing a brilliant scarlet. The same object was then over Nancy glowing yellow, and then above Montigny-le-Roy and two other towns, Langres and Gemeaux, where the object appeared red with green stripes. Finally, the thing was visible moving over Poligny showing a yellow-red color and leaving a blue trail behind it. Garreau makes no mention of the color of the UFO when it passed over two more towns but did say something about the object's maneuvers. As the thing sped over Chaumont it changed course while under observation, making a sharp turn and when arriving at Lons-le-Saulnier the thing hovered for a bit before speeding away leaving behind a huge red plume of smoke. Generally, the UFO's speed varied as did the altitude as indicated by witnesses statements, and the apparent size ranged from an orange to the full moon. 43.

[... Other cases...]

  • 43. Guieu, Jimmy. Flying Saucers Come From Another World, p.148.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indique que dans le Jura à Poligny on January 9, 1954, at 07:50 "Observation of a discoïdal object of a dazzling red yellow luminosity with trail. Direction North South."

The source is indicated as "Les soucoupes volantes viennent d'un autre monde by Guieu Jimmy ** Fleuve Noir 1954".


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


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

Poligny, Jura, multiple, la Ferté, hunters, ball, fire, red, rotation, sparks, blue, trail, duration, fast, silent


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross October 5, 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 [lg1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 26, 2019 Addition du Résumé.

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This page was last updated on January 26, 2019.