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UFOs in the daily Press:

The 1954 French flap in the Press:

This article was published in the daily newspaper La Suisse, of Geneva, Switzerland, on October 10, 1954.


We will end up being jealous: whereas in France, there is now a daily rain of saucers, cigars, barrels and other flying machines which, from mysterious, become almost familiar, while one also sees from time to time one or the other of these celestial vagrants in our counties, our sky in Geneva offers only planes - many planes besides, but without anything intriguing - and, these days, a splendid moon, but which could not produce an effect of surprise.

It is understood, our territory is not very large, but ultimately, when you consider that French newspapers have difficulties to make place in their columns to all the records of these "unidentified flying objects" which furrow their departments as cars furrow the roads on a sunny Sunday, one wonders what holds these machines back from making a short tour between the Salève and the Jura. The least saucer, the smallest cigar, the most modest barrel, would bring us an unquestionable pleasure.

We do not even ask that it lands in a meadow and that some affectionate Martian came out of there to hug us, and to whom our first words would be "when will you take off again?" No, we would be happy just to see these vehicles of a new class evolving, which would give us the reassuring impression to be as "fashionable" as our neighbors.

Or maybe, all at our concerns, is it that we do not observe the sky enough and we miss these flyovers by keeping the nose obstinately lowered? It is possible. However, our [control] tower of Cointrin [Geneva's airport], whose mission is precisely to scan the vault of the heavens, never reports the approach of one of these visitors. Perhaps it jealously keeps the result of its observations, but it would be quite astonishing all the same that it keeps us away from its discoveries, if any.

One can still imagine that some of our fellow-citizens had the favour of these celestial appearances, but fearing the mockery, he informed nobody.

In any case, you come to almost wish that there is among us, as that just happened in France, a happy prankster who manufactures flying saucers with paper and a plug of packing soaked with alcohol. This montgolfiers producer will be brought in court, not because he mystified his fellow citizens, but because his machines put or almost put fire at haystacks while landing. The fact remains that it might have made many people happy, as they are now persuaded that they had "their" saucer and at their satisfaction will last longer than a haystack fire.

Lastly, it is clear that the sky of Geneve could not remain so resolutely closed to the saucers, cigars, barrels and other luminous apparatuses of this sort of Venetian festival which parties in sky of France from the north to the south and the east and the west. With the approach of the elections, one should at least see some ballot boxes walking here, dazzling. Thus we would be ensured not to miss lights.


The real French flap, as opposed to wishful thinking, is documented here.

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