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The 1954 French flap:

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End November, 1954, Drugeac, Cantal:

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

Summary:

The newspaper L'Auvergnat de Paris for November 27, 1954, reported on page 5 that Mr. Madelrieu, farmer at Frugères, and his son-in-law Mr. Dabertrand, had discovered a "saucer" gently posed in a field, near the place called "La Belle Violette".

Very intrigued at the sight of a huge ball, blackish in color, placed on the ground, they had approached slowly, armed with large sticks to defend themselves against a possible attack by the "Martians".

But the "saucer" turned out to be a rubber balloon to which were suspended, by a string, a battery and a light bulb which still lit dimly. The balloon hung on some branches, deflated quickly and was taken to the town hall.

Reports:

[Ref. lap1:] "L'AUVERGNAT DE PARIS" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

[Drugeac section:]

- Who hasn't seen "his" saucer? The newspapers mention numerous testimonies of reliable people who claim to have seen these mysterious craft. But many residents of Drugeac can rightly flatter themselves, not only having seen it, but touched it. Indeed, Mr. Madelrieu, farmer in Frugères, and his son-in-law, Mr. Dabertrand discovered one, posed very delicately in a field, near the place called "La Belle Violette". Very intrigued at the sight of a huge ball, blackish in color, placed on the ground, they approached slowly, not without having previously had the necessary weapons, in this case, large sticks, to defend against a possible attack by the "Martians". But the "saucer" was, in reality, only an ordinary rubber balloon, inflated with hydrogen, probably, and to which was suspended, by a simple string, an accumulator battery fitted with a light bulb which was still weakly lit. The balloon which had hung on some branches, deflated quickly and the saucer was carried to the town hall, without difficulty. Is this discovery tangible proof of the non-existence of flying saucers? Certainly not, but in any case, it is quite certain that many people are impressed by these sounding balloons which are, in reality, quite harmless.

Explanations:

Negative case, balloon.

Because there is a contradiction in the story which says on the one hand that the balloon hung on branches and on the other hand that it was posed in a field, one could envisage that the story was made up for "educational" purpose by this or another newspaper.

Such inventions are often betrayed by the inexistence of the surnames given so as not to cause protests from real people involved in fables; but here, I was able to verify that there are many "Madelrieu", in the Cantal precisely, and "Dabertrand" also, and also especially in the Cantal.

However, there are in principle no black colored weather balloons in use, they are white to reflect sunlight and not to heat up too quickly, which would cause them to explode prematurely. So, maybe this balloon was built to make a joke.

Keywords:

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

Drugeac, Cantal, Frugères, La Belle Violette, Madelrieu, Dabertrand, balloon, black, landing, lamp, battery, string, prank, weather balloon, negative case

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross January 13, 2020 First published.

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This page was last updated on January 13, 2020.