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The 1954 French flap:

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

End October or beg. November 1954, Tain-l'Hermitage, Drôme:

Reference number for this case: Oct-Nov-54-Tain-l'Hermitage. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

On November 4, 1954, in Tain-l'Hermitage, a winemaker who saw a silhouette in the dark that seemed "extraordinary" to him thought it was a "Martian". He took a stick and hit the "Martian" with repeated blows.

But he finally realized that the "Martian" was in fact his neighbor, one Mr. Neyret, farmer in Tain-l'Hermitage, who had a detached ear and had to see a doctor.

The "funny" anecdote was told in many French and foreign newspapers, and later in the ufology literature, usually in accurate manner.

There was ufology nonsense all the same. For example, in the 2000s, a website cataloging UFO sighting reports managed to describe the case like this: "Nocturnal lights have been reported."

Reports:

[Ref. bs1:] "BALTIMORE EVENING SUN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

Frenchman Hurt In 'Space War'

Tain-l'Hermitage, France, Nov 5 (Reuter) -- The first casualty in a war between French peasants and "Martians" was reported here today.

A grape picker mistook a fellow worker for a visitor from outer space in the dark last night and attacked him so savagely with a club that one ear was torn off nefore the attacker realized his mistake.

It was the latest in the series of incidents rampant throughout France. Several French peasants have reported seeing flying saucers and spacemen land and a number of pitchfork-wielding peasants have ambushed fellow countrymen.

Until last night either their aim had been bad or the intended victim was able to shout out in passable French in time.

[Ref. re1:] "REUTERS" NEWS AGENCY:

Scan

French Peasant Bags 'Martian', Ear is Trophy

Reuters

TAIN-L'HERMITAGE, France, Nov. 5. -- The first casualty in a war between French peasants and "Martians" was reported here today.

A grape picker mistook a fellow worker for a visitor from outer space in the dark last night and attacked him so savagely with his club that one ear was thorn off before the attacker realized his mistake.

It was the latest in the series of "Martian" incidents rampant throughout France. Several French peasants have reported seeing flying saucers and spacemen land and a number of pitchfork-wielding peasants have ambushed fellow countrymen.

Until last night either their aim had been bad or the intended victim was able to shout out in passable French in time.

[Ref. st1:] "THE STAR TRIBUNE" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

CASUALTY -- The first casualty in a war between French peasants and "Martians" was reported at Tain-l'Hermitage, France. After dozens of flying saucer reports, a grape picker mistook a fellow worker for a visitor from outer space and attacked him with a club so savagely that one ear was torn off.

[Ref. bs2:] "BALTIMORE EVENING SUN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

Careful There

It looks as if the French authorities had better begin instructing their farmers to be cautious in their approach to flying saucers. These delusions have been bedeviling the countryside for some time and not a few rustics have reported seeing not only the saucers but their crews and passengers. Recently a farmer set upon one of these visitors, nearly beat the life out of him and then discovered the invader from space was just a fellow grape picker from across the field.

Any way you look at it restraint seems to be needed. If there aren't any flying saucers (and all along we have suspected there aren't) then any undersized native strolling after dark is in danger of being jabbed with pitchforks, belabored with clubs or maybe shot down with the Gallic counterpart of a squirrel rifle. On the other hand, if there really are saucers over France and tourists from afar taking in the sights of the wine-growing districts, prudence is in order. Nobody knows what happens when an earth-cruising Martian or Venusian is roughed up. The result might be so disastrous that Waterloo and Sedan wouldn't compare.

[Ref. ij1:] "GREENWOOD INDEX-JOURNAL" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

Editorial Comment

CAREFUL THERE

From The Baltimore Evening Sun

It looks as if the French authorities had better begin instructing their farmers to be cautious in their approach to flying saucers. These delusions have been bedeviling the countryside for some time and not a few rustics have reported seeing not only the saucers but their crews and passengers. Recently a farmer set upon one of these visitors, nearly beat the life out of him and then discovered the invader from space was just a fellow grape picker from across the field.

Any way you look at it restraint seems to be needed. If there aren't any flying saucers (and all along we have suspected there aren't) then any undersized native strolling after dark is in danger of being jabbed with pitchforks, belabored with clubs or maybe shot down with the Gallic counterpart of a squirrel rifle. On the other hand, if there really are saucers over France and tourists from afar taking in the sights of the wine-growing districts, prudence is in order. Nobody knows what happens when an earth-cruising Martian or Venusian is roughed up. The result might be so disastrous that Waterloo and Sedan wouldn't compare.

[Ref. ou1:] "OURANOS" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE:

In an article titled "Stay calm, please!" the C.I.E.O. Ouranos ufology group recalled "silly" incidents and gave some advice:

Stay calm please!

The most saddening and stupid incidents have been multiplying for several weeks. In Chauny (Aisne), a farmer shot at a quiet motorist whom he had mistaken for a "Martian".

At Train-l'Hermitage [sic] (Drôme) a peasant savagely hit one of his neighbors who had seemed "extraordinary" to him. Here an entire family barricades themselves at home, terrorized by the passage of a F.S. There a terrified witness must be driven urgently to a psychiatric hospital. Everywhere, strong and well-built men declare to have fled at the approach of a being descended from a F.S. ...

The C.I.E. OURANOS wishes to recall a number of positive facts that must put an end to these dangerous comedies and panics:

1° - It has been centuries since "objects" similar to F.S. have been observed in the Earth's atmosphere. While they are more numerous in recent years, however, there is no reason to suppose that they present a more dangerous character than in the past.

2° - F.S. never attacked an airplane or an individual. It is merely possible that accidents occurred due to the imprudence of some curious.

3° - If the observations of "Uranians" are accurate, it has been noted that the attitude of these beings is peaceful and that their reactions are only defensive.

In these conditions, the simple caution advises to remain in the expectation in case of encounter with "Uranians" and not to provoke them under any pretext. It is at the same time a duty of being civilized. Above all do not run away, nor toward of them. If they noticed you, try to get in touch, verbally or by discreet gestures. And observe them precisely.

Then send, as soon as possible, a detailed and objective report of your observation to the C.I.E.O., 27, rue Etienne Dolet, BONDY (Seine), which centralizes and studies worldwide information on these facts.

Lastly, protest energetically with those newspapers that would have distorted your testimony, and send a copy of your update to the C.I.E.O. (Join a stamped envelope for answer, please.).

One last piece of advice: refrain from hoaxing; it only amuses imbeciles; and it is dangerous.

And stop calling "Martians" beings whose origin we do not know! Simply baptize them, as we did, with the vague and general name of "Uranians", which means: coming from some part of the sky.

The C.I.E.O.

[Ref. gb1] GRAY BARKER:

At Taint-l'Hermitage [sic], Central France, a vineyard worker decided that a neighbor, M. Neyret, looked "extraordinary" in the dusk and beat him severely. Only after he had torn off one of M. Neyret's ears did the worker discover the man was not a Martian.

[Ref. mc1:] MICHEL CARROUGES:

Michel Carrouges indicates that an AFP news release for November 4, 1954, mentions a confusion in Train-l'Hermitage, in the Drôme: in the darkness, a vine grower had seen a silhouette which appeared "extraordinary" to him. He told himself "that's a Martian", and with a stick, he mercilessly struck the pseudo Martian who was Mr. N.. Mr. N. had to call upon a doctor for his ear was torn.

[Ref. vi1] "VIMANA 21" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

WHY 1954?

The French flap of 1954 is today more than controversial.

Thus, A.D.R.U.P. wanted to make a compilation of all the documents published in a Burgundy daily newspaper:

"Le Bien Public".

The interest of this catalogue is triple:

  • A- to get back in the mood of that too famous year -
  • B- recall all the testimonies that appeared in the local press, whether they are good or bad. -
  • C- to be used as references for potential researchers of sociological or UFO character.

[... Other cases...]

- November 5 A "Martian" struck by hits in the Drôme -

[... Other cases...]

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 5: A "MARTIAN" STRUCK BY HITS IN THE DROME

Tain l'Hermitage - The flying saucers made, last night, a victim, Mr. Neyret, farmer in Tain (Drôme), that one of his neighbors had mistaken for a Martian. In the dark, his neighbor, a winemaker, had seen a silhouette that seemed "extraordinary". "It's a Martian," he said to himself. He armed himself with a stick, and knocked down with redoubled blows the poor M. Neyret, who has a detached ear and was obliged to consult a doctor.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

6 Nov 1954 - Tain-l'Hermitage, Rhone-Alpes, France

6 November 1954 Night

Tain-l'Hermitage, Rhone-Alpes, France

Nocturnal lights were reported.

The source is indicated as "Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173)".

[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
19541106 06.11.1954 Tain Hermitage France Night NL
19541104 04.11.1954 Train Ermitage [sic] France CE III

[This database was unable to give the explanation and recorded the ase twice instead of one time.]

[Ref. dc1:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

In Tain-l'Hermitage (Drôme), a vinegrower struck until he took of the ear another "Martian" who was also only one of his neighbors.

Explanations:

Confusion, known as such at the time.

Keywords:

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

Tain-l'Ermitage, Drôme, Martian, darkness, humanoid, confusion

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 18, 2007 First published, [mc1], [dc1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 22, 2016 Additions [re1], [ub1].
1.1 Patrick Gross December 8, 2016 Addition [gb1].
1.2 Patrick Gross May 2, 2018 Additions [st1], [bs1], [bs2], [ij1], [ud1].
1.3 Patrick Gross December 13, 2018 Addition [vi1], Summary.
1.4 Patrick Gross January 22, 2019 Addition [ou1].

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This page was last updated on January 22, 2019.