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The 1954 French flap:

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November 1954, Saint-Waast-la-Vallée, Nord:

Reference number for this case: Nov-54-Saint-Waast-la-Vallée. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


[Ref. in1:] J.-M. BAVAY, J.-M. BIGORNE, P. RAUCHE:

A postman surprized by a M.O.C. [1]

We met Mr. Roland X... agent of the postal services in his residence. After many reservations, because he did not want to speak about it more, he told us the facts which happened 18 years ago, but are still fresh in its spirit. It happened in the community of Saint-Waast-la-Vallée, a few kilometers from Bavay, and practically halfway between Maubeuge and Valenciennes (Department of the Nord).


I was 27 years old at the time, i.e. in November 1954. I was a postman and carried out many professional displacements. That evening, I had gone to visit to my fiancée in Flamengrie, a hamlet of Saint-Waast-la-Vallée. It must have been around midnight, midnight and half. I returned home on my bicycle, taking the road of the Casquette in Saint-Waast, thinking deeply about the young lady that I had just left... The road was deserted, the sky clear, constellated with stars, there was moonlight; it froze; one saw the empty and naked plain as far as the eye can see, towards Bavay and its surroundings. Hardly was I engaged of 800 meters on the main road 49, that the lamp of my bicycle started to flicker strongly, died out, re-ignited, and so on... However the weather was dry and moisture could not be the cause of these electric troubles! I was surprised to see on my left, in the distance of the plain, a small luminous ball of fiery color, which seemed at the level of the horizon. Astonished, I slow down a little in order to be able to look at what that could be, the luminous ball grew noticeably bigger and I realized that it came quickly in my direction; it soon had the size of a small orange and was still darting at me! Frightened, I gave up my bicycle precipitately and jumped in the left ditch - there were no ditch on the right! - to hide. I raised the head to see what occurred... it still advanced, still silent, now large like a full moon, the distance was not easily appraisable: 400 meters? I stood up for better seeing again, and then, it died out suddenly, as when you switch off a lamp in the house!

Amazed, but moved by curiosity, not having anything more to do here, I leave the ditch, trying to understand what occurred, I advance in the meadow of some 6 to 7 m, in the direction of the appearance... Nothing, absolutely nothing! I then return on the road and sit on my bicycle to leave...

Suddenly the ball reappears abruptly, but much nearer and much bulkier, like a large sun at 50 meters approximately. Still with a fiery color, not dazzling, it has small variations of luminous intensity, and I see that it rotates, without being able to specify if it is was right-hand or the left-hand side... Terrified, I jumped down again in the ditch... but to keep it under my eyes! It advances at the level of the ground, at 50 cm or 1 meter, I was never sure. I thought quickly that I cannot perish here, alone in the ditch; it is necessary to act: I stand up, and here it is, fading extremely, becoming luminous again and its size decreasing... Like a balloon which deflates, and in a flash it disappeared as if it moved away right in front of me, slightly going up. One would say it reacted when I stood! Helpless and shaking of fear, I left the ditch in a rush, went on my bicycle again, and pushing with all my forces on the pedals, I moved away from the place taking care not to connect the power generator, and I ride under the moonlight and not to get located by this "thing."

Arriving home, I woke my parents up, they had difficulties believing me and reproached me for not having come to get them... That's a good one!!! I did not sleep this night. Early in the morning, I discreetly told of this very unusual event to my fiancée; I was still shaking about it. I thought of it relentlessly and that disturbed me in my work, I was extremely nervous and remained nervous during several months. I dreamed of this ball and made nightmares of it... I spoke about it and one did not frankly laugh: I was laughed at behind my back. Then I took the resolution not to speak about it anymore and when one sarted with the topic, I denied the phenomenon, claiming that I had been daydreaming or anything so that I was let in peace. Nevertheless I know that I did not dream and that it is the plain truth. I was in full possession of my means and did not read: my fiancée and my work occupied all my time.


Q: We would like some details, if this is possible for you; the trajectory of the UFO?

R: Straight and directly onto me, while coming from the distance in the East, since I saw a fast enlargement on arrival and a fast reducing, but somewhat while going up, at the start. Moreover it always flew near ground level, without following the ups and downs of the ground.

Q: At which height?

R: I don't know. A few meters, but very low, i.e. maybe 1 m, when it was the closest to me, stopped, before departure and disappearance.

Q: How much time did that last?

R: Perhaps 4 minutes in all, with approximately 3 minutes for the arrival and including the time of disappearance, and one minute for the more close reappearance and the final departure.

Q: Do you have additional details: the shape, the color, the movement, etc?

R: It was a sphere, maybe not a perfect sphere, but quite clear, without halation, nor cloud, but with a slightly vague contour. No luminous projection lit the ground or the surroundings. The color was always "fire", i.e. a kind of yellow-orange, with small variations of luminous intensity; at the time of the departure it faded extremely, then took again its luminosity before decreasing. As for the movement, it was to some extent motionless, without swinging or any other swinging during its displacements. No antenna, nothing else...

Q: And the sound?

R: None, from the beginning to the end. And yet it was totally quiet at this hour!

Q: Did you have a watch? How did it behave?

R: I had a watch, but I never noticed anything.

Q: In your humble opinion, what was the diameter of this sphere?

R: I don't know. Several meters. Maybe 3 or 4, or more! (this is perhaps close to the truth, because according to the parameters given thereafter, it was nearing 3.50 meters).

Q: What were the physical and moral consequences?

R: Nothing from the physical point of view, except an excessive irritation during several weeks and even several months. As for the moral, it was never affected.

Q: And official services and gendarmerie?

R: I never said a word of it to them; I wanted to be left in peace and I did not know and still do not know what was this enormous ball, which could have made me beat cycling records, so much I was afraid!


Saint-Waast-la-Vallée is a village built in a picturesque site and which was a Neolithic location. A railway line passes at 900 meters of the observation spot, it is the Valenciennes-Maubeuge line almost parallel with the trajectory of the M.O.C. Important underground water is under the territory of this community and was used by the local breweries. It would seem that the area is vaulted (not checked).

A particular fact to quote: around 1950, two customs officers in night ambush (on the Belgian border) are said to have seen an appearance of Our Lady of Lourdes... Everyone is free to believe or smile... but this fact is said to have happened again, a few years ago, in front of two high-school pupils in Maubeuge... (?).

Bellignies is located in the considered area, at 4 km of Saint-Waast-la-Vallée; in the park of the castle of this community, one discovers the dolmen of "the crust stone" [la Pierre Croûte] (petra cryptae = the stone of the cave). On this dolmen, which must have been used for druidic sacrifices it was believed that engravings were discovered, representing the sun and of the constellations having the shape of the Big Dipper. These engravings would testify to a now forgotten stellar cult, and would explain the traditional respect which this stone enjoyed in ancient times; at 5 km, Houdain, with underground careers where the Romans extracted limestone colithic: stone called "Sarrazine." At 4 km, Bavay, an archaeological center, crossroads of roads since the prehistoric time. The excavations, among the most important of France, which are undertaken there, reveal a state of an extremely advanced civilization of the Gallic period. According to the popular tradition, the "golden calf" is said to be buried somewhere between Gommegnies and Bavay.


We do not doubt the sincerity of the witness. The observation seems simple; according to the size and the particular and quiet evolutions of the MOC: fast arrival, extinction and brutal relighting, horizontal rotation close to the ground, rectilinear displacements towards the witness, without following the unevennesses of the ground, departure at high speed, and as the impression of the postman as this MOC died out or moved away as soon as he stood up... all this makes it possible to suppose that it is neither ball lightning nor a plasmatic formation... It will also be noted, that at 18 km of UFO flight(!), close to Maubeuge, in November 1954 also, two people met a MOC on the ground and glimpsed at a being moving close to the opening. Who can validly solve this observation by a postman in Saint-Waast-la-Vallée?


[1] M.O.C. stands for Mystérieux Objets Célestes, or Mysterious Celestial Objects, a acronym which was more popular although equivalent to U.F.O in France at that time.


These two authors indicate that in one unspecified day of November 1954 at midnight or midnight 30 minutes in Flamengrie close to Saint-Waast-la-Vallée, Roland X, postman, returned from seeing his fiancee in Flamengrie and was riding his bicycle on the road from Casquette to Saint-Waast.

It froze, the sky was clear and full of stars, the visibility on the plain was perfect towards Bavay and its surroundings.

Whereas he was at 800 meters from main road N49, the lamp of his bicycle started to flicker strongly, dying out, being re-ignited alternatively. At this time, he saw a luminous ball of the color of fire which had the apparent dimensions of the full moon and which advanced towards him. It became frightened and threw himself in the ditch.

When the ball was at a distance evaluated as 400 meters of him, it extincted suddenly. When he went up on his bicycle again, it was abruptly re-ignited, "like a large sun", within 50 meters from him approximately. He then again jumped in the ditch.

From there, he observed the luminous ball advance at 50 cm or 1 meter above the ground. He came out of the ditch and at this time the light had strongly dimmed, became again luminous and decreased in size like a deflating balloon, then it disappeared. There had been no sound coming from the ball.

Roland X went up on his bicycle and pedaled of all his forces, having disconnected the dynamo.

The authors indicate LDLN N. 123, pages 8 to 10, as their source.

[Ref. js1:] JEAN SIDER:

The author indicates that at the beginning of November 1954 at 00:30 in La Flamengrie, St Waast-la-Vallée, in the Nord, Mr. Roland X rode a bicycle on the road of Casquette in St. Waast. Within 800 meters of the N49, the lamp of his bicycle starts to strongly flicker, dies out, re-ignites and so on, and he suddenly notices a luminous ball of fire color which comes towards him. Frightened, he hid in a ditch. The ball took the appearance of the full moon, then 400 meters further, turns off and on again to reappear like the sun. The phenomenon evolves 50 meters above the road then disapears opposite the witness who flees on his bicycle.

The source is indicated as LDLN N.123 pages 8 to 10.


The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, in November, in France, in La Flamengrie (St Waast la Vallée), "Between midnight and 0:30 Roland returns from seeing his fiancee and rides by bicycle on the road of Casquette. Within 800m of the N49, the light of the bicycle starts to strongly flicker, dies out, is re-ignited, and so on. At this time he sees a luminous ball of fire color which advances towards him; Frightened, he hides in a ditch, the ball now has the size of the full moon. Within 400m of him, it dies out suddenly. Roland goes up on the bicycle, but here is the ball within 50m of him, like a large sun. Frightened he dives in the ditch again. It advances at 50 cm of the ground. The witness leaves the ditch, sees the ball fading, becoming again luminous, decreasing by size like a deflating balloon and disappearing in front of him. He goes up on his bicycle, pedals of all his strength without turning the dynamo on! (M. FIGUET / J.L. RUCHON: "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... " Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 205)"


Jean-Pierre D'Hondt published the [in1] investigation report; which source is given as Lumières Dans La Nuit #123 for March 1973.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Nord in La Flamengrie in November 1954 at 00:00 hours, the witness returns by bicycle of La Flamengrie under the moonlight. 800 meters from the N49, the lamp of the vehicle dies out, re-ignites and flickered on. At this time, he sees a luminous ball of fire color advancing towards him. The witness hides in a ditch, frightened. The ball now has the apparent dimension of the full moon. At approximately 400 meters of the witness, the object dies out abruptly. The witness goes up on his bicycle, when the object lights again within approximately 50 meters approximately. He dives again in the ditch. The object is approximately 3 to 4 meters in diameter and advances at 50 cm, 1 m of the ground. The witness leaves the ditch, the object fades, becomes luminous again and decreases in size like a balloon that one deflates and disappears.

Luc Chastan indicates as source "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that in November 1954 at 21:00 in La Flamengrie, France, a bicycle lamp flashes, a 4m fireball approaches, shrinks to nothing. An object was observed. Electromagnetic effects were noted. Traces were found. One white ball, about 20 feet across, around 300 feet away, was observed by one witness on a farm for 30 minutes. Witnesses names are said to be Mozin; Pipers.

The sources are indicated as Guieu, Jimmy, Flying Saucers Come from Another World, Citadel, New York, 1956; Bourret, Jean-Claude, The Crack in the Universe: What You Have Not Been Told about Flying Saucers, Neville Spearman, St. Helier, Jersey, 1974, ISBN:85978-029-5; Bonabot, Jacques, Catalog of Belgian Cases; UFO Nachrichten (Veit), UFO Nachrichten (Germany); Delaire, J. Bernard, UFO Register Volume 7 (1976), Data Research, Oxford, 1976; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

[Ref. ub1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540000 00.00.1954 Bavay France NL


[ud1] tells of one witness; which is true, but gives 2 witness names. The second, "Pipers", relates to a different case, described in the catalogue of Belgian cases by Jacques Bonnabot and earlier in 1956 by Jimmy Guieu in "Black-Out sur les Soucoupes Volantes" pp 236-237. The witness is Martial Pipers, a gardener in his forties near Tournai in Belgium, whose clothes were put on fire by a green light on his chest as he rode home on bicycle in the mid of November 1954. As for the name "Mozin" given in [ud1], it also has nothing to do with the case, it relates to the case in Maubeuge on October 16, found by [ud1] in Jean-Claude Bourret's book.


Not looked for yet.


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

Saint-Waast-la-Vallée, Nord, fiery, ball, yellow, orange, diameter, fast, close, road, country, ditch, railway, effects, bicycle, night, weather, duration


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross January 27, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 21, 2008 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [js1], [jd1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross March 8, 2010 Addition [go1].
1.2 Patrick Gross February 5, 2017 Addition [ub1].

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This page was last updated on February 5, 2017.