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The 1954 French flap:

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October or beginning of November, 1954, Lomme, Nord:

Reference for this case: Oct-BegNov-54-Santes.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The newspaper Liberté, from the department of the Nord, generally very skeptical about "flying saucers", published on page 5 for November 10, 1954, several stories of saucer pranks.

One of them, like the others undated and without any protagonist name, was that in Lomme, a cafe owner woman "probably wanting to mitigate the bad effect produced on Martians by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape mayor's refusal that the saucers land in his town," (*) said to whoever wanted to listen to her, that "if a Martian entered her cafe, she would offer him her best wine."

The newspaper said that in the evening, a client decided to disguise himself as a Martian, he entered the establishment where the boss was alone.

Horrified, the woman passed out and the prankster had to act as a parammedic.

(*) Lucien Jeune, mayor of this wine town, had a sense of humor: he had published a municipal decree stipulating that if a saucer parked in his town, it would be impounded, but that the Martian would be invited to a wine party. The thing had been published in most of the newspapers in France and many newspapers abroad...




Always stories of saucers...


A prankster used
a beet...


Another joker
disguised himself as a Martian...

Flying saucers and Martians have now become the best jokes around.

A while ago, pranksters just saw saucers; nowadays, they make them. In our region a resident of Beuvry-lez-Béthune had shown the example, mass-producing the mysterious appataruses.

In the Barlin region, saucers and cigars shot out continuously as soon as night fell. Until the day, when a cyclist saw a group of men busy throwing the objects of their manufacture.

But it is actually from Santes and Lomme that the best jokes come to us.

One evening, in Santes, the attention of passers-by was attracted by strange lights, in the middle of a beet field.

No doubt: a saucer had landed there. Taking their courage in both hands, and strong sticks too, our courageous passers-by deployed as skirmishers, advanced with infinite precaution, and suddenly rushed like one man onto the glow.

Blam! and Blam! the sticks fell hard on... a harmless sugar beet.

Because the saucer was only a big beet, hollowed out and garnished with a candle!

In Lomme, the story could have ended badly, and its author was frightened.

A coffee maker, undoubtedly wanting to mitigate the bad effect produced on Martians by the refusal of the mayor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape that the saucers land in his town, said to whoever wanted to listen to her:

"If a Martian walked into my cafe, I would give him my best wine."

In the evening, a customer decided to disguise himself. Resembling like a brother to the Martian who recently kissed a peasant from the Creuse, he entered the establishment where the boss was alone.

Horrified, the latter passed out and, instead of the good bottle he hoped to taste, as the first visitor, to Lomme, from another planet, our prankster had only to take off his Martian clothes and his martial face to become a paramedic.



Last topic of conversation in the "cafes where one chats", the inhabitants of Mars provoked in Lomme, at a generous drinks dealer's, the offer of a good bottle of wine... Enticed by this prospect, a regular of the establishment, imagined donning one evening a Martian outfit, moreover closer to the stage costumes of the extras in a sixth-grade theater than to the scientific visions of fiction magazines... We do not know what this horrific apparition triggered in the mind of the good lady, because she decided to faint without waiting and, our Martian, crestfallen, found himself obliged, in order to be able to treat her, to put down the saucer with which he had worn his hair... also giving up all the saucers he hoped would pile up on the counter.


Prank or journalistic invention.

There is no doubt that such pranks took place in the context of the 1954 saucer flap in France.

But it is not always obvious that these stories of pranks were always real; it is quite possible that some were inventions of journalists, especially in newspapers that had mocked the "flying saucers" from the beginning of the flap.

Here for example, I wonder who told the story to the newspaper: we are told that the owner was alone in her establishment. And there is no date, no name, no details on the disguise (The so-called "Martian" of the "peasant of the Creuse" - in reality from the Corrèze - had been described by this peasant as totally human, wearing a jacket and a helmet. The only "Martian" side of the story according to the peasant is that the man apparently took off in a cigar-shaped silent craft.



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

Lomme, Nord, woman, prank, prankster, Martian, occupant, coffee shop


[----] indicates sources that are not yet available to me.

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1.0 Patrick Gross November 2, 2020 First published.

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