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The 1954 French flap:

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

Beg. October, 1954, Grand-Laviers, Somme:

Reference number for this case: 3-Oct-54-Grand-Laviers. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


Around 2017, "skeptical" ufologist Dominique Caudron, based in the Nord, cataloged sightings in the Nord region for October 3, 1954, neglected by ufologists, including many that were previously unpublished, and mostly explainable by a red moon whose appearance was altered by clouds.

One of these observations was reportedly in the regional newspaper Abbeville Libre, page 1, for October 6, 1954, as:

"Mr. Carton, Mr. and Mrs. Leconte and two other people saw at 8 or 10 km towards Noyelles-sur-Mer a ball of light twirl and change color. They followed it with the eyes before it disappeared towards Boulogne.



Dominique Caudron drew up an inventory of observations in the Nord on October 3, 1954, containing 51 reports, including this one:

The Fabulous day of October 3, 1954


Chronology of the observations of October 3.

We give here only a summary of what was published in the press of the time, for the nord region, regardless of what the ufologists could later say. We have numbered all these observations, the first of which have nothing to do with the setting of the moon, in order to be able to study them globally in a table. Some are already the subject of a special file.

[... other cases...]

31) Date only probable, 21 h 10, GRAND LAVIERS (80)

- Mr. Carton, Mr. and Mrs. Leconte and two other people saw at 8 or 10 km towards Noyelles-sur-Mer a ball of light twirl and change color. They followed it with the eyes before it disappeared towards Boulogne.

(Abbeville Libre 6/10 page 1)

[... other cases...]

All this is only a compilation of the information given by all newspapers of the time, including local editions, and of which ufologists only used a part.

We will see that the analysis of this information makes it possible to eliminate the hypothesis of a flying saucer, in favor of those of multiple observations of the moon, whose image was reddened and deformed by clouds, which also gave it a illusory apparent movement.


Analysis of the observations of October 3, 1954

[... other cases...]

31) Date only probable, 09:10 p.m., GRAND LAVIERS (80)

Insufficient information

[... other cases...]


The data is indeed meager. However, we can reasonably assume (without making any certainty of that since the newspaper does not appear to show scientific precision) that the witnesses would have seen the thing from Grand-Laviers, and that it was towards Noyelles-sur-Mer, therefore, Northeast, while the Moon on October 3, 1954, at 09:10 p.m. was setting in the Southwest.

In support, the distance of "8 or 10 km". It does not mean anything that can be applied to the thing seen, but it is precisely the distance between Grand-Laviers and Noyelles-sur-Mer. The witnesses thinking that the "thing" was above Noyelles-sur-Mer may have known this distance, or checked it later on a map, for example.

The ball would have "disappeared" in the direction of Boulogne, which is almost to the North. In the days before and after, the moon is obviously never north-west or north.

A "ball of light" that twirls and changes color is more like a star or planet very low whose light is diffracted by a cloud of ice crystals, or altered by observation with binoculars. Venus is not a good candidate here for the same directional reasons as the Moon.

A star would suit: Capella. It was brilliant, at 39° azimuth, 19° elevation, so just above Noyelles-sur-Mer at 09:10 p.m., and actually "going" in the direction of Boulogne more towards the North. But it does not "disappear" behind the horizon, it "rises" in the sky. If Capella was the cause of the observation, then we need a cloud that hid it at the end of observation, which is naturally possible.


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

Grand-Laviers, Somme, Carton, Leconte, multiple, Noyelles-sur-Mer, ball, luminous, twirl, color change, move, Boulogne.


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross May 27, 2019 First published.

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This page was last updated on May 27, 2019.