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The 1954 French flap:

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

May 1954, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes:

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

Reports:

[Ref. hj1:] HENRI JULIEN:

The author notes on February 18, 1974 a case whose witness is Mr. R., trader, almost in his fifties, "vigorous, quiet," whom "through work, created a 'comfortable situation'" and whom by fear of the ridicule remained silent during twenty years.

The author indicates that on the place where he saw a surprising luminous phenomenon, he lives again a few unforgettable minutes of his life:

"It was in May 1954. I spent my holidays in Cannes. I saw a gleam, three fingers-width wide above the mountain. It started to grow bigger while taking an orange color. I thought of an illusion of cloud and I looked around me. There was no cloud; the sky was perfectly pure. That occurred between 19:30 and 19:45, after sunset."

"I saw this gleam arriving opposite me, at the height of this large tree, and moving above this thicket. It went down slowly. Intrigued, I went to get binoculars. I then realized that it was a craft propelled with two different flames, a dark red and another very blue like a dart of a blowtorch. The machine had the shape of a cylinder. One of its ends was in rounded warhead. The blue dart started edge to edge from the cylindrical part and formed an angle of 90° backwards. Flames scintillated immediately afterwards; they were two to three times the length of the craft and changed from the blue to the white, then to the orange red color. Let's admit that if in the binoculars, the object had an apparant length of ten centimetres, the flames were some more than thirty. The craft was matt, uniform, brown color. The blue was azure blue, like the sea. From the moment when I saw the gleam until its disappearance behind the mountains, ten minutes ran out. The contours of the object were parallel and clear. On the site of this blue light, it was cut at right angle compared to its parallel edges. I saw it as if one put an army rifle bullet in the air and that it is propelled. Without the binoculars, I would not have distinguished anything. Apparently, it moved gently."

The luminosity of the sky was very pure. There were no stars: it was not late enough. The sun had laid down on the right, a good quarter of an hour ago. In front of the warhead, there was no gleam. The trajectory was a downward curve. Before disappearing, the machine was vertical, the warhead downwards; it appeared propelled from above. It was to be huge; in my opinion, several hundreds of meters. It was very far behind the mountain which is at more than eight kilometers. I saw it as large as my small finger at arm's length in the binoculars which enlarged approximately six times. It had to pass very far from the Earth. I saw it only because of the extraordinary clearness of the sky. It had the shape of a cigar. I saw it distinctly, but without being able to give other details. The craft never did an ascending curve. I saw it moving horizontally, then go down before disappearing..."

The author comments on that there is no reason to think that the witness lies, that there is not terrestrial machine of several hundreds of meters, if one accepts measurements of the witness, "although they were vague". The author, wondering what was seen, comments on that "good old Menzel would surely have found an 'highly probable' explanation to this celestial phenomenon."

Explanations:

Not looked for yet. Possible meteor. The meteor of October 14, 1954, at 18:15?

Keywords:

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

Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, anonymous, late, night, shell, flame, red, white, orange, blue, distance, luminous, gleam, weather, descent, machine, cylinder, blowtorch, flame, binoculars, warhead

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross March 19, 2010 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 19, 2010