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UFOs in the daily Press:

The 1954 French flap in the Press:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper Le Courrier Picard, France, page 3, on October 6, 1954.


Flying saucers in the Picardy sky

including that of an Amiens motorist
who made a "fantastic trip" on Sunday evening

It will one day be necessary for scientists, these worthy gentlemen who know so much and who are ultimately only fifty or one hundred years ahead of the average citizen, to explain the celestial mysteries that intrigue us today.

It is not sufficient to say "The flying saucers do not exist and to leave in ignorance people in good faith who, every day, see incomprehensible phenomena.

Of course! There are the incorrigible pranksters, around 50%, including the manufacturer of hot air balloons whose odyssey will be read elsewhere. These are probably the ones who give the most details: Martians without arms, with a special radar antenna and webbed feet. There, we laugh, and that's normal.

But "apparitions" like those on Sunday evening were checked by many people, all trustworthy and whom we were able to interview separately before they had practically time to get in touch.

So there is "something". It is the opinion of many people. Weather balloons? unmanned vehicles? interstellar ship? No one knows.

The orange disc

Yesterday we talked about the passage on Boves and Demuin of an orange disc which probably moved at low altitude. A third testimony had been collected by our informant from Moreuil before the publication of "Courrier Picard" bearing the date of October 5. Too scrupulous, our correspondent was afraid of transmitting a hoax and it was only yesterday that he noticed, on reading his newspaper, the disturbing coincidence with ours, of the statements collected by him.

These were, in this case, observations made in the evening, by a Moreuil resident, Mr. Julien Bédier, baker, rue Thibeauville.

He was returning, with his wife and children, Mr. and Mrs. Quenehen, butchers in Péronne, by car, on the Amiens-Saint-Quentin road when, between Foucaucourt and Estrées, he saw, towards 9:15 p.m., a luminous object moving at ground level, in the direction of Montdidier, at a distance it was, it will be understood, impossible to assess.

The shape, the size (apparent) of a "four pound bread" (sic) curved on the top, the "thing", the color of minium, was motionless, and the occupants of the car, after stopping, could observe it at leisure, while making the most diverse assumptions. A dark vertical bar, occupying about 1/5th of its width, appeared in the middle of the luminous spot, and stayed there for the duration of the observation, about 10 minutes.

Having resumed their travel, our travelers lost sight of the craft, after having, at Warfusée, taken the Marcelcave road.

M. and Mme Bédier are careful not to draw conclusions. They saw a luminous, strange object, at ground level, and that's it. It was not the moon. On this point, Mr. Bédier is formal: "Well, at the age of 65, we know what a quarter of the moon is, anyway."

Other people also confirmed the passage of the orange disc in the Picardy sky, and in particular M. and Mrs. Bielecka and Miss Janine Boitel who, returning from Paris by car, noticed the "object" all along the road from Saint-Just to Boves, passing through Montdidier and Moreuil.

A coach driver, Mr. Caron, who drove the Roye-Amiens line on Sunday evening, had his attention attracted by a child sitting not far from him and who suddenly exclaimed "Oh, the funny moon!". But a good driver watches his route, and Mr. Caron could only take a quick glance, sufficient nevertheless to assess the diameter of the mysterious craft: about three meters. But how far was it?

Did the saucer
come from the seaside?

It will be understood that it is impossible for us to search for witnesses and to interrogate them in all the villages of the Somme overflown by the alleged saucer. It would first be necessary to be able to reconstruct the "flight line".

From Boves to Santerrre, it is pretty much done. Before, we find a passage on a suburb of Amiens: Montières (witness also trustworthy) and on Dreuil, passage controlled by a peacekeeper.

Did the saucer come from the seaside? It is quite possible since, shortly before it was seen in Picardy (about 20 minutes) a Boulognes engineer, Mr. Marcel Thiebaut noticed, while driving in the car on the Tingry plateau, halfway between Boulogne and Montreuil, two moving red discs. Many motorists also stopped to scrutinize the firmament carefully.

Between Tingry and Dreuil, there was obviously a "hole", but yesterday at the end of the evening, we collected an interesting statement which allows us to complete at least the itinerary of one of the mysterious craft. We will therefore read with interest the following wird statement.

An Amiens motorist
followed by a saucer
between Hérissart and Rainneville

A shopkeeper from Amiens, Mrs. Nelly Mansart, grocer, 6 rue de la Morlière, lived, indeed, on Sunday evening, pathetic minutes whose simple evocation once again moved this young woman, yesterday afternoon, when she told us about the event she witnessed.

Mrs. Mansart had gone to spend the afternoon at her parents' home in Hérissart and around 9:00 p.m., she was returning by car to Amiens, in the company of neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Delarouzée who live at 5, rue de la Morlière.

While driving and leaving the village of Hérissart, Mrs. Mansart saw on the right a bright ball in the sky. This ball actually was roughly the shape of a mushroom collar and was bright orange in color. Its diameter was around 6 to 8 meters.

Jokingly, Mrs. Mansart said to her friends: "Look, it looks like a flying saucer!..." Then, observing the glow with more attention, Mrs. Mansart noticed, as well as her passengers, that this "mushroom" let out flames turning from purple to greenish at the top, while some kind of cables hung below.

But, let Mrs. Mansart speak: "This strange orange-colored mushroom verging on a fire color impressed me and my friends very much. I admit that I was afraid. It makes you feel funny and I was in a hurry to come gome.

"The "saucer" followed us for ten kilometers, it was flying low, about 150 meters from us and its gleam was reflected in the windows of my car, so much so that Mr. Delarouzée opened the door to better observe it. When we crossed a village, the craft bypassed it and reappeared at the exit. After Rubempré, the scarlet ball went on the hamlet of Septenville then joined us at the top of the hill of Pierregot. At that moment we had the impression that the "saucer" was diving towards us and I was very scared.

I kept on driving in an indescribable state of excitement and I had all the trouble in the world to control myself. The craft did not emit any noise and no doubt it was watching us. At the exit of Pierregot I stopped at the last houses. The "Saucer", which had bypassed the village, was waiting for us and stood still then it moved away as I restarted. It began to spiral for three or four hundred meters and the "mushroom" changed shape to take that of an elongated crescent and overturned with a ball in fusion at the upper horn. We were followed to Rainneville and being at the height of terror, I slowed down at the exit of this country. I was followed, at that time, by a 2 CV that I prevented from bypassing us because I was so afraid. At this moment, the "Saucer" accentuated its gyration then moved away towards the west of Amiens, to get lost in the infinity, in the space of a few seconds, at an incomparable speed."

As soon as she came home, Mrs. Mansart gave her impressions to her husband who remained skeptical but Mrs. and Mr. Delarouzée corroborated her statements. And the next morning the little girl of Mrs. Mansart, three years old, who was part of the fantastic trip and had also seen the phenomenon, said to her mother as she awoke; "Mom, did you see the big moon" and saying that the little girl took a towel to which she gave the shape of the craft seen the day before...

Other events
of unknown craft

Two workers, working in Amiens, but domiciled in Pont-Remy, also claim to have seen a saucer distinctly in the latter locality, Monday evening, around 10:30 p.m.

These are MM. Serge Hetru, radio repairman, at Mr. Van Béghin's, and André Cahon, laborer.

The craft, which was in the countryside, at ground level, apparently, had the shape of a disc swollen in the center and surrounded by a strange blue violet glow. The two men estimated that it was a hundred meters from them and that it had - seen from this distance - about three meters in diameter. It rose noiselessly, diagonally, but along a line closer to the vertical than the horizontal.

We smiled while listening to Mr. Serge Hetru's words and he seemed very upset by that. Besides, his boss did tell us later that he was an excellent worker, serious and incapable of making a joke of this magnitude.

Finally, the last testimony for today, that of a young Amien resident who wrote to us, signing, to tell us that he saw on Monday, around 1 p.m., while he was on the road from Doullens to Amiens, two kilometers from the latter city, a metallic craft spinning at around 1,000 meters of altitude.

Blue-gray color; Oval shape; no noise.

"I think I can tell you that it was a flying saucer", writes our correspondent whose name we do not mention because it was in vain that we tried to reach him yesterday, to make him confirm by voice the terms of his letter.

We would have liked, in conscience, to be as assertive as he is...

In the district of Abbeville

The district of Abbeville, even though thousands of inhabitants do not notice it, is currently the center of mysterious apparitions of flying saucers and cigars - since everyone calls them that - which hit the headlines by generating the most diverse comments.

A cigar on the go
from Berck to Rue

Mr. Georges Galland, butcher on rue Gaston-Caudron in Rue, returned by car from Berck on Sunday evening with his wife and son. All three were followed well before Rue by a mysterious craft which had the shape of a cigar.

Legitimately worried, the driver slowed down the speed of his vehicle and stopped twice. The closer and closer object was still there.

It was a big ball, we were told yesterday evening on the phone, but elongated and orange in color.

From Pont-à-Cailloux to Herre-les-Quend, Mr. Galland, his wife and son, who were starting to worry about the aftermath of the adventure, clearly saw the cigar-saucer which did not move any more, they declared, than 50 km an hour, their car not rolling, to allow them to see the mysterious machine better, more than with 20 or 30 per hour.

The occupants of the car finally saw the craft disappear in the direction of Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont, towards the sea.

Another detail to note: Mr. Georges Savary, from Rue, working for Mr. Savreux, transporter, saw the same day around 9:15 p.m., a machine resembling a brightly colored spinning top which landed about 400 meters from his home. He wanted to approach it but the mysterious craft took off gently in the direction of Le Crotoy. He climbed vertically at breakneck speed.

Mrs. Savary also noticed the phenomenon, as did Mr. Maurice Véron, truck driver.

A saucer
in Millencourt-en-Ponthieu

Two other appearances of flying saucers, a story we hold from reliable people, were noted Monday evening, around 7 p.m., in the triangle formed north of Abbeville by the municipalities of Millencourt-en-Ponthieu, Agenvillers and Saint-Riquier.

An owner of Caours-l'Heure, who only wanted to entrust his adventure to his children domiciled in Abbeville, saw, at the top of the Millencourt hill, a huge illuminated mass. First he thought it was a heavy truck driven by people he mistook for cattle thieves...

He stood guard for a few minutes, saw nothing but was dazzled. Suddenly feeling tired, he turned around and tried to find his bicycle. The bike had been put down in a usual place, but he did not find it until after ten minutes of search, somewhat upset by the light which came from from the machine, which he had seen shortly after above the wood of Saint-Riquier.

These luminous demonstrations in the sky of the district of Abbeville leave perplexed all those who, over the days, do not claim to be victims of hallucinations.

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