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The 1954 French flap:

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

May 1953 or 1954, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes:

Reference number for this case: May-53-54-Cagnes. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Reports:

[Ref. fj1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND ERIC JULIEN:

The authors indicate that in May 1954 or perhaps 1953, M.C., about fifty years old, returned home after having finished his work, pushing his bicycle and collecting snails.

He suddenly saw in front of him at a short distance a shining cigar in the sky, of orange color with spangles around, a tail lost in its wake, in a total silence, a few seconds of an "surprising and splendid display."

Disconcerted, the witness stayed some times to think, perplexed and anxious he gave up his profitable harvest and decided to leave the place, but then he had the confused feeling he was not alone.

He looked around automatically and finally saw a face above a hedge, strange, very pale, with a perfectly bald cranium, large friendly eyes, a kind of thin and happy smile. The body was hidden by the hedge.

There were no apparent hostility, no call, no gesture, but the witness became frightened, climbed on his bicycle and fled at fille speed down Ziem avenue, which is extremely known in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

The next day, he came back to the spot and noted that the hedge was only 90 cm high.

Two weeks later, he spoke about his mishap to friends, and one of them told him that the same night at the same hour, from a nearby but different observation place, he had seen at short distance the same luminous phenomenon.

The witness was reassured and convinced himself that he had not dreamed. He kept for a long time the memory of "the moon-faced with shining eyes" of the small being who had watched him collecting snails.

The authors conclude that probably this "extraterrestrial" was unaware that in Provence, "one eats snails with tomato sauce, much of garlic, 'pébrette' and bits of lard..."

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN LOUIS RUCHON:

The authors indicate that in May 1953 or May 1954, at 00:30 a.m., in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Mr. P. Cavallo, projectionnist, after his work, returned home by the Ziem avenue which was deserted, and covered with hedges and undergrowth on the low sides. He took the opportunity to pick up snails.

As he would later remember very well that he was able to spot the snails, it is deduced that the moon must have been in the sky.

He was suddenly surprised by the appearance of a shining cigar in the sky, with blue "spangles" inside, which went from the South to the North in a time from 20 to 30 seconds, leaving behind a "tail of orange sparks", the whole in complete silence.

He stayed on the spot, disconcerted, during forty seconds, and then felt a presence on his right. He turned the head, saw a face which seemed human to him, although very strange. Its expression resembled "a happy smile." The face was of an extreme paleness, with blue eyes and a perfectly naked cranium.

Mr. Cavallo was unable to see the body of the character, as it was in the undergrowth.

He remained with his bicycle in the hand, observing the unknown character and not knowing what to do, wondering who he was confronted to and if it were some lunatic, but he was quickly overtaken by fear, climbed on his bicycle and sped away down the Ziem avenue.

During all the time where the character and him were looking at each other, the character did not move and none of them said a word.

The authors comment that a confusion is always possible, that Mr. Cavallo could have been disturbed by the UFO he had just seen and then deformed his vision of some character squatted in the hedge, that the astonishing thing that he had been able to see that the eyes of the character were blue, but that "we" lengthily insisted about that with the witness who was adamant in ensured them that the eyes of the character were indeed really blue.

The authors indicate that the source is an investigation by Christian Hylcnar and Eric Zurcher, Centre Ufologique Niçois, in July 1977.

[Ref. ez1:] ERIC ZURCHER:

Ufologist Eric Zurcher constituted a small catalogue of about thirty previously unpublished French cases, among which this one:

Cas 018. Mai 53 ou 54.00 h 30. Cagnes 106). Mr Pierre Cavallo.

Observation of a luminous and ovoid object and appearance of a small being with a whitish face, with round eyes, blue and probably luminous. The terrified witness flees.

Source: Personal investigation. See la revue des Soucoupes Volantes No 2 and Figuet/Ruchon catalogue p 645/646.

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

Albert Rosales indicates in his catalogue that in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Alpes Maritimes, France, in May 1953 at 03:00 a.m., Pierre Cavallo, 50, a cinema projectionist, was walking home, pushing his bicycle, and collecting snails, when he was surprised by the apparition in the sky of an orange luminous cigar with blue spangles in its interior. This passed silently in 20-30 seconds, leaving a trail of orange sparks. Astounded, Mr. Cavallo remained where he was for about 40 seconds. Then he sensed a presence near him, and, turning his head, saw a face of extreme pallor, with blue eyes, the head perfectly bald, and the mouth mixed in a "sanctimonious smile." A hedge only 3 feet high hid the body. After staring for some seconds, Cavallo jumped on his bicycle and sped away.

The sources are indicated as "Humcat 1953-12 Source: Christian Hycnar and Eric Zurcher."

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that in May 1953 at 00:30 in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, "Orange luminous cigar with blue spangles passed silently through sky, left trail orange sparks. Sensed presence, pallid face with blue eyes, bald head, 3' tall, 'sanctimonious smile.'"

And: "Close encounter with a an unidentified craft and its occupants. One orange cigar-shaped object was observed by one male 50-year-old witness on a road (Cavallo). No sound was heard. One 3-foot-tall pallid being was seen."

The source is indicated as Webb, David, HUMCAT: Catalogue of Humanoid Reports.

[Ref. ud2:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that in May 1953 at 00:30 in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Alpes Maritimes, France, "Pierre Cavallo, 50, a cinema projectionist, was walking home, pushing his bicycle, and collecting snails, when he was surprised by the apparition in the sky of an orange luminous cigar with blue spangles in its interior. This passed silently in 20-30 seconds, leaving a trail of orange sparks. Astounded, Mr. Cavallo remained where he was for about 40 seconds. Then he sensed a presence near him, and, turning his head, saw a face of extreme pallor, with blue eyes, the head perfectly bald, and the mouth mixed in a "sanctimonious smile." A hedge only 3 ft high hid the body. After staring for some seconds, Cavallo jumped on his bicycle and sped away."

The source is a broken link.

[Ref. ez2:] ERIC ZURCHER:

The CRUN website indicates that their page on the case is an investigation by Eric Zurcher and Christian Hycnar in 1976. Eric Zurcher is then quoted as saying that personally it is most hilarious field investigation he remembers because of the extraordinarily sympathetic personality of the witness, and that the investigation was published at the time in Michel Moutet's La Revue des Soucoupes Volantes and that he communicated it to François Gardes, aka Henri Julien, the president of the ADEPS, an important regional association. He indicates that H. Julien used it as it was in his book OVNI en Provence published in 1993 and that it is at his knowledge the only more or less accessible source where one can find this story.

He notes that it is obviously only a "story" since the witness was heard more than twenty years after the facts, and although is can be classified as a CE3, it does not have the "gloss" of more famous cases, and that in addition, the possibility of a misinterpretation is not completely to exclude, as he will show.

It is work colleague of Christian, who knew the witness and had heard him report this story, that the contact with the witness was made.

The witness, "Mr. C", is described as a man who lived quietly at the bottom of a known small valley of Cagnes-sur-Mer, living in a kind of hut built of recovered material in an environment of a market-gardening ground where he cultivated all kinds of vegetables, living very happyly there in spite of the somehow marginal side, "reflection and result of a life rich in events."

He had done a little bit of everything in his life and obviously had fun to do it, having even been an actor, second grade, saying "my face is known, huh?! But nobody knows my name!"

Zurcher confirms that his face evoked to them something already seen and even well-known, but they remembered neither the circumstances nor a name.

He is described as "a colourful character, with a facundity typical of the Provence. It was not only the accent, but also the expressions and faces he made when he told us many episodes of his life. In short, a somehow Pagnol-styled character [Marcel Pagnol, French witer who depicted the Provence and its colorful people], with relents of Blaise Cendrars [French writer], and who was immediately sympathetic to us. We had a total confidence in his sincerity."

The observation is dated May 1953 or 1954 - the witness did not remember the exact year very well - as he returned home, his work completed, towards midnight and a half, under a clear and luminous night. He was pushing his bicycle and walked along the Ziem avenue, very known today in Cagnes-sur-Mer, skirting hedges and undergrowth soaked of dew, collecting snails which he liked a lot, which suggests a probable full moon.

Suddenly, at approximately 100 meters of the intersection with the way of the val Fleuri, he noticed in front of him and according to his estimate at a short distance of 300 m, a shining cigar in the sky, of orange color, with blue spangles inside and around. This cigar moved on an axis going from the South to North in an absolute silence and close enough to the ground as he saw it on the eye-level whereas he was at the top of the final descent of the Ziem avenue. The display was really splendid, the more so as a blue luminous tail persisted in its wake.

The observation lasted some 20 seconds and the witness never managed to determine a speed.

The witness was disconcerted and remained petrified a few moments, vaguely anxious, and finally decided to leave the place, giving up his profitable harvest. He then had the vague feeling he was not alone, and he looked around him, to finally see a face at the top of a hedge, a strange figure of a great paleness with an entirely bald cranium, who looked at him with large, friendly, and blue eyes. These blue eyes were the characteristic which he remembered best. He had a kind of happy smile, lips extremely thin and his body invisible, hidden by the hedge.

The investigators wonder "How, considering it was at night, was he sure of the color of the eyes? Because they shone he answered." The individual did not speak, did not move, did not express apparent hostility, the witness saying "This chap looked first of all idiotic, a nice doofus head!"

However, touched by the strangeness of the situation and not very reassured, he climbed on his bicycle and fled by descending at full speed the Ziem avenue. The next day, he when back to the place of the encounter and noted that the hedge made 90 cm in height. Two weeks later, he told about his nocturnal mishap to friends, and one of them said to him that the same night, at the same hour, from a different but nearby observation spot, he had seen at short distance the same luminous phenomenon. This reassured the witness and convinced him that he had not dreamed.

In 1976, he had still not forgotten this moonface and this beautiful expression of "village idiot" which had prevented him from finishing his snail gathering, and Henri Julien added with his usual humour that probably this "extraterrestrial" was unaware that in Provence, one eats snails with tomato sauce, with much garlic, "pébrette" and bits of lard.

It is then commented on that if the affair has a funny side, it is perhaps not so funny, that it is not the first time that "wanderers" busy picking mushroom, plants or snails in this case, are stopped in their activities by the irruption of the unfathomable, and that the portrait of the observed being also reminds of the small humanoids of Valensole.

It is added that one cannot however exclude here a mistake explicable by the passage of a fireball, for the relation of the air phenomenon suggests this, and the coincidence of somebody squats behind the hedge, with a weird head, which can happen. Nothing is sure however, and the witness "now took with him what he expereinced, that only this narrative preserves for the posterity. It is the magic of the words..."

It is specified that the text was re-written by Eric Zurcher in 2009.

Note:

There is no wonder in the investigators having the feeling to have already seen the witness: Pierre Cavallo, indeed a minor actor, had played in the middle of the 1960's the part of "Georges" in the very famous television serial "Belle et Sebastien", and played in 1975 in the movie "Les Grands Moyens".

Explanations:

The "UFO" in this case is described exactly as someone would describe a meteor if they did not know that it was a meteor.

Though one source comments that the blue eyes were "probably" luminous, there is no reason why they should and thus they were probably not luminous.

There is no obvious connection between the UFO/meteor and the character with the blue eyes.

The solution about this character could very well be the solution suggested by the witness himself: a madman. There is no reason at all to think that this character was not just a human.

Keywords:

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

Cagnes, Alpes Maritimes, Pierre Cavallo, object, luminous, egg shaped, ovoid, occupant, small, face, white, eyes, blue, round, landing

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross August 27, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross August 23, 2008 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross October 19, 2009 Addition [ud1].
1.2 Patrick Gross March 17, 2010 Additions [fj1], [ud2], [ez2], "Note".

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This page was last updated on March 17, 2010