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The 1954 French flap:

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

November 9, 1954, Le Cateau, Nord:

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

Reports:

[Ref. nm1:] "NORD MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

A luminous globe makes an appearance on the road from Le Cateau to Inchy

Tuesday, around 6 a.m., Mr. Antoine Lefebvre, a 29-year-old merchant, 58, rue de la République at Le Cateau, went with his van to the Cambrai market. At his side, was his father, Maurice Lefebvre, grocer, vegetable dealer, 65 years old, residing at 14, rue Paul Delplanche, at Le Cateau.

It was about 6:05 p.m., while they were a little beyond the house located at the place of the Pont des Quatre Veaux, in the suburb of Cambrai, at the crossroads of the road Brunehaut and the National Road from Cambrai to Le Cateau, he suddenly perceived a block of fire of a very great force, which, according to him, had a diameter of about 25 to 30 m. The globe, of a very dark red, appearing to be made of fire, illuminated all the surroundings. It was about 300 to 400 m in front of him, very low, but not touching the ground. It came from the direction of Inchy, in the direction of Le Cateau, towards the driver, who was very afraid, as well as his father.

He stopped his vehicle and the phenomenon stopped at about 3 to 400 m for one or two seconds and retreated in the opposite direction, always horizontal and low. Soon after, the driver turned on his vehicle, and as soon as he arrived at the end of the hill he again perceived the globe of fire, which appeared to be behind Mr. Marchand's house, Le Hateau, between Le Cateau and Inchy, and between Neuvilly and Troisvilles.

Curiously enough, the globe disappeared suddenly, without leaving any trace, without having ascended vertically.

M. Lefebvre and his father had been dazzled by the gleam which emanated from this globe.

At the beginning of the apparition, they had seen a cyclist standing in front of them, who seemed to throw himself into the ditch, but in their panic, when they got back on the road, they no longer thought of the cyclist, who had remained lying in the ditch.

The father-in-law of M. Lefebvre, who is name M. Emile Sapin, a farmer in the Rue de Baillon au Cateau, who was milking his cows at the same hour in the Rue de Fesmy, saw a bright glow in the sky, as well as other people.

Mr. Lefebvre told his story at the Cambrai market, which he put into a state of agitation. It is probably a meteorological phenomenon.

Credit for the clipping: see [dc1].

[Ref. cn1:] "NORD MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

Tuesday at dawn...
A GLOBE OF FIRE
ROLLING AT NEAR-GROUND LEVEL
DAZZLED TWO
AUTOMOBILISTS OF THE CATEAU

Other witnesses
also saw
the phenomenon.

Tuesday, around 6 a.m., Mr. Antoine Lefebvre, a 29-year-old merchant, 58, rue de la République at the Cateau, went with his van to the Cambrai market. At his side was his father, Maurice Lefebvre, a 65-year-old greengrocer, residing at 14, rue Paul Delplanche, at Le Cateau.

It was about 6:05 p.m. while they were a little beyond the house located at the place known as the "Le Pont des Quatre Veaux", in the suburb of Cambrai, at the intersection of the road Brunehaut and the National Road from Cambrai to Le Cateau, they suddenly perceived a "globe of fire," having, according to them, a diameter of about 25 to 30 m. The globe, of a very deep red, illuminated all the surroundings. It was about 300 to 400 m in front of them, very low, but not touching the ground. It came from the direction of Inchy, in the direction of Le Cateau.

The driver, who was very afraid, as was his father, stopped his vehicle and the "phenomenon" stopped at about 300 to 400 m, for a few seconds, then withdrew in the opposite direction in the direction of Inchy, always in horizontal and flush direction. The driver turned on his vehicle, and as soon as he reached the top of the hill he saw the globe of fire, disappearing behind the house of Mr. Marchand, vinery owner at the place known as "Le Pendu," between Le Cateau and Inchy and between Neuvilly and Troisvilles.

Curiously enough, the "globe" suddenly disappeared, leaving no traces.

Mr. Lefebvre and his father had been dazzled by the bright light. They had seen at the beginning of the apparition a cyclist standing in front of them, who had thrown himself into the ditch; but in their panic, when they set out again, they no longer thought of him. He must have remained hidden in the ditch during their passage.

Mr. Lefebvre's father-in-law, M. Emile Sapin, a farmer, Rue de Baillon, who was milking his cows at the same hour in the Rue de Fesmy, certifies that he saw a bright light in the sky, as well as others.

Mr. Lefebvre told his story at the market of Cambrai

Credit for the clipping: see [dc1].

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

French ufologist and author Jean Sider found this case in the newspaper "La Croix du Nord" for November 11, 1954 and reproduced the contents of the article.

Antoine Lefèbvre, greengrocer, aged 29 and living on 58, rue de la République in Le Cateau, was in company of his father, Maurice Lefèbvre, grocer and greengrocer aged 65, living on 14, rue Paul Delplanche in Le Cateau. They were going together to the market of Cambrai.

When they arrived at location known as Le Pont des Quatres Veaux, at the crossraods of the Brunehat Roadway and the National Road RN29, they saw a sphere of fire of which they evaluated the diameter as being of 25 or 30 meters. The phenomenon was distant of 300 or 400 meters, it was of sunk red color, and it illuminated all the landscape around. The phenomenon was very low but was not posed on the ground.

At the beginning of the observation, a cyclist who was riding in front of the witnesses' van was seen throwing himself in a ditch.

The phenomenon moved from Inchy Le Château in a horizontal course very near to the round level. The driver stopped his vehicle under the effect of a strong fright. At this time there, the phenomenon went in the opposite direction of Inchy. The driver started his vehicle and resumed his trip and the two men saw the sphere disappearing behind a house in the locality of Le Pendu. The phenomenon disappeared without leaving traces.

The article indicates that other people saw at that same time a sharp gleam in the sky.

[Ref. jd1:] JEAN-PIERRE D'HONDT:

This ufologist indicates that on November 9, 1954, between Le Cateau and Cambrai, in the Nord, according to the newspaper "la croix du nord" for 11-11-54 page 5, towards 6 o'clock, Mr. Antoine Lefèbvre, 29 years old, greengrocer, 58 street of the Republic, Le Cateau, in company of his father Mr. Maurice Lefèbvre, grocer and greengrocer, 65 years old, 14 street Paul Delplanche, Le Cateau, went to the Cambrai market.

At the locality Le Pont des Quatre Veaux, at the crossing of the Roadway Brunehaut and the RN29, the two men saw a sphere of fire of an evaluated diameter of 25 or 30 meters. The phenomenon, distant of approximately 300 or 400 meters, was of a dark red, and highly lighted all the landscape around, very low but not posed on the ground. It moved from Inchy towards Le Cateau in a horizontal course and at near ground level. The driver stopped his vehicle under the spell of a strong fright.

At this time, the phenomenon retreated in opposite direction towards Inchy. The driver started his vehicle again and the two men could see the sphere disappearing behind a house at the locality Le Pendu. Oddly, the phenomenon disappeared without leaving traces.

At the beginning of the appearance, a cyclist travelling in front of the van of the witnesses had thrown himself in the ditch. Other people saw at the same hour a sharp gleam in the sky.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Nord in Le Cateau in Cambrésis on November 9, 1954 at an unknown hour, "In the early morning, two witnesses drive by car to go to the Cambrai market. At the place "Le Pont de Quatre Veaux" at the crossing of the roadway of Brunehaut and the main road towards Cambrai, they then see a sphere with a diameter estimated as of 25 to 30 meters which flies at near ground level coming from Inchy in an horizontal trajectory. Its color is red. The object is at 200 or 300 meters of the witnesses. On the road a cyclist who sees this phenomenon jumps in the ditch. The driver stops his vehicle, the object sets out again then in an opposite direction. The two men start again, the object dissapears behind a house at the place "Le Pendu". Other witnesses reprtedly saw a strong luminosity."

The source is indicated to be my website at "http://ufologie.net"."

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 9 November 1954 at 06:00 in Inchy, France, "25m diameter disc tilts, 50m over field. Rises vertically and vanishes as witnesses approach. A hovering object was observed. It departed by rapidly flying straight up until lost to sight. One disc, about 80 feet across, around 100 feet away, was observed by two witnesses in a pasture for two minutes."

The source is indicated as "Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002".

[Ref. dc1:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

This ufologist of the Nord wrote a file on this case, "Close encounter with the moon at 'Le Pendu'".

He indicates that the case of November 9, 1954, at the place known as "Le Pendu", whose witnesses were at the place known as "Le pont des quatre vaux", is one of those cases where the object is located in the axis of the road, moreover with a low elevation, which makes it easy to find the azimuth of the object since it is sufficient to locate the azimuth of the road on the map, all the easier as the road is rectilinear. He points out that it is an ancient Roman road, which overlaps another ancient Roman road some kilometers further east. He will show that it is therefore easy to retrieve the direction of the object according to the statements of the witnesses.

He cites as source the newspaper Nord Matin, edition of Cambrai, for November 10, 1954, page 4:

A luminous globe makes an appearance on the road from Le Cateau to Inchy

Tuesday, around 6 a.m., Mr. Antoine Lefebvre, a 29-year-old merchant, 58, rue de la République at Le Cateau, went with his van to the Cambrai market. At his side, was his father, Maurice Lefebvre, grocer, vegetable dealer, 65 years old, residing at 14, rue Paul Delplanche, at Le Cateau.

It was about 6:05 p.m., while they were a little beyond the house located at the place of the Pont des Quatre Veaux, in the suburb of Cambrai, at the crossroads of the road Brunehaut and the National Road from Cambrai to Le Cateau, he suddenly perceived a block of fire of a very great force, which, according to him, had a diameter of about 25 to 30 m. The globe, of a very dark red, appearing to be made of fire, illuminated all the surroundings. It was about 300 to 400 m in front of him, very low, but not touching the ground. It came from the direction of Inchy, in the direction of Le Cateau, towards the driver, who was very afraid, as well as his father.

He stopped his vehicle and the phenomenon stopped at about 3 to 400 m for one or two seconds and retreated in the opposite direction, always horizontal and low. Soon after, the driver turned on his vehicle, and as soon as he arrived at the end of the hill he again perceived the globe of fire, which appeared to be behind Mr. Marchand's house, Le Hateau, between Le Cateau and Inchy, and between Neuvilly and Troisvilles.

Curiously enough, the globe disappeared suddenly, without leaving any trace, without having ascended vertically.

M. Lefebvre and his father had been dazzled by the gleam which emanated from this globe.

At the beginning of the apparition, they had seen a cyclist standing in front of them, who seemed to throw himself into the ditch, but in their panic, when they got back on the road, they no longer thought of the cyclist, who had remained lying in the ditch.

The father-in-law of M. Lefebvre, who is name M. Emile Sapin, a farmer in the Rue de Baillon au Cateau, who was milking his cows at the same hour in the Rue de Fesmy, saw a bright glow in the sky, as well as other people.

Mr. Lefebvre told his story at the Cambrai market, which he put into a state of agitation. It is probably a meteorological phenomenon.

He then cites the newspaper La Croix du Nord, for November 11, 1954, page 5:

Tuesday at dawn...
A GLOBE OF FIRE
ROLLING AT NEAR-GROUND LEVEL
DAZZLED TWO
AUTOMOBILISTS OF THE CATEAU

Other witnesses
also saw
the phenomenon.

Tuesday, around 6 a.m., Mr. Antoine Lefebvre, a 29-year-old merchant, 58, rue de la République at the Cateau, went with his van to the Cambrai market. At his side was his father, Maurice Lefebvre, a 65-year-old greengrocer, residing at 14, rue Paul Delplanche, at Le Cateau.

It was about 6:05 p.m. while they were a little beyond the house located at the place known as the "Le Pont des Quatre Veaux", in the suburb of Cambrai, at the intersection of the road Brunehaut and the National Road from Cambrai to Le Cateau, they suddenly perceived a "globe of fire," having, according to them, a diameter of about 25 to 30 m. The globe, of a very deep red, illuminated all the surroundings. It was about 300 to 400 m in front of them, very low, but not touching the ground. It came from the direction of Inchy, in the direction of Le Cateau.

The driver, who was very afraid, as was his father, stopped his vehicle and the "phenomenon" stopped at about 300 to 400 m, for a few seconds, then withdrew in the opposite direction in the direction of Inchy, always in horizontal and flush direction. The driver turned on his vehicle, and as soon as he reached the top of the hill he saw the globe of fire, disappearing behind the house of Mr. Marchand, vinery owner at the place known as "Le Pendu," between Le Cateau and Inchy and between Neuvilly and Troisvilles.

Curiously enough, the "globe" suddenly disappeared, leaving no traces.

Mr. Lefebvre and his father had been dazzled by the bright light. They had seen at the beginning of the apparition a cyclist standing in front of them, who had thrown himself into the ditch; but in their panic, when they set out again, they no longer thought of him. He must have remained hidden in the ditch during their passage.

Mr. Lefebvre's father-in-law, M. Emile Sapin, a farmer, Rue de Baillon, who was milking his cows at the same hour in the Rue de Fesmy, certifies that he saw a bright light in the sky, as well as others.

Mr. Lefebvre told his story at the market of Cambrai

Dominique Caudron pointsout that the text of the second article was virtually identical to that of the first with only a few variations, bringing nothing more. He thinks that either the same journalist wrote the two articles, or La Croix du Nord copied the Nord Matin article, with its mistakes.

He indicates that the road is actually the RN 39, then RN 43, and now D 643. The place is called "Pont des Quatre Vaux", not "Veaux". He shows that all these places are easily found on the IGN Map, of which he gives a copy.

He indicates, with a screenshot, that the Stellarium software shows that at that time in the sky, near the horizon, at azimuth 290.3 °, was the Moon.

He specifies that the time is in Universal Time and corresponds to 6H 2mn 32 s, therefore just between the indicated hours of 6 and 6:05 a.m., that the moon was in the axis of the road, where the witnesses discovered the object, and that the diurnal motion made it move slightly to the right so that it soon placed itself behind Mr. Marchand's house, just like the description of the witnesses said.

He publishes a reconstruction in image of the aspect of the Moon.

He concludes that the quasi-rigorous identity of the direction, movement and description with the moon leaves no doubt, that it was indeed the moon, almost full, red, straight in the axis of the road.

He indicates that one can judge of the behavior of the witnesses in front of the moon, and of their way of describing it:

The moon shone brightly in the neighborhood, and even dazzled the two motorists. But it is obviously false since the globe was described as a "very dark" red. The moon frightened two motorists and panicked a cyclist who threw himself into a ditch. The moon stopped when the vehicle stopped, which is the classic "tracking" syndrome.

This observation of the moon had excited the market at Cambrai, and other persons certify that they had seen it, which is scarcely a great prodigy. And finally, according to the journalist, the moon would be a meteorological phenomenon!

He comments that there is, moreover, other cases in which the moon produces astonishing behavior in the witnesses, and that it is important to remember this whenever the confusion with the moon is certain, in order to not allot to the object, but to the witness, the physiological effects of observation.

He adds that some ufologists superbly ignoring all the lessons learned from lunar confusion, "will proclaim the authenticity of a UFO sighting, based on the fear of the witness", tingling sensations, vehicle followed by the UFO, and sometimes even on the infallibility of witnesses.

He gives as an example Jean Sider in "Le dossier 1954 et l'imposture rationaliste", chapter IV, page 129-130, which makes the imposture to affirm that witnesses could not have mistaken the moon for a saucer, even when a high-school professor after having observed it recognized it was the moon, which for Jean Sider is, he quotes, only a "lucubration".

He concludes: "According to Jean Sider, the witnesses are infallible and the phantasmagoria they describe are real. Those who demonstrate, with proof, that a witness only saaw the moon, are called "stupid rationalists!".

Explanations:

The Moon.

The coordinates of the place are 50° 46' N, 3° 30' E. The Route Départementale D 643 followe by the two main yitnesses is in the direction 290°.

The azimuth of the Moon at the time of the observation is 290° 42', its elevation is 1° 31', and it is indeed a full moon, phase 0.96859 with 96.9% of its surface lighted.

Keywords:

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

Le Cateau, Nord, Le Cateau, Nord, Antoine Lefèbvre, Maurice Lefèbvre, grocer, mercheant, bicycle, van, globe, orb, fire, low. red, illumination, light, luminous, manoeuvre

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 24, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross May 25, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [jd1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross March 2, 2017 Additions [nm1], [cn1], [dc1]. Explanations changed, were: "Not looked for yet".

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