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UFOs in the daily Press:

The 1954 French flap in the press:

This article was published in the daily newspaper Le Provenšal, France, page 12, on October 14, 1954.


A strange sphere remains during three hours in the beam of a projector of the army

The military governor of Metz studies the report by the commander who observed the mysterious craft

Metz (A.C.P.)

General Navereau, chief of the 6th Region, and governor of Metz, received yesterday morning the report by commander Cottel, specialist in the anti-aircraft terrestrial forces, about the mysterious craft which, during three hours last Sunday, remained in the beam of a powerful projector of the army, in the middle of the sky of Metz.

No information was communicated on the contents of this report, but one imagines with which careful sagacity the commander Cottel must analyze a "phenomenon" that had several tens of witnesses.

A strange sphere

The army, indeed, had set up an exhibit at the Fair of Metz. It is there that, at the fall of the night, a powerful projector functioned without stop, sweeping [illegible line] projector "captured" in its beam a strange sphere, motionless:

"You would have said a Christmas tree ball", stated commander Cottel thereafter.

Initially, it was believed it could be a weather balloon. Soon, a dozen military experts surrounded the commander. They all agreed:

"It cannot be a weather balloon: its diameter is fifty meters at least."

The radar set is helpless

All kinds of hypothesis were then emitted, the specialists not really daring to put forth that of a flying saucer. It was decided to clean the glass and to even change the coals of the projector. But when it was lit again, the "thing" was still there. It remained there up to 11 p.m., hour when one resigned to turn off the projector. During this time, the radar set, that had not stopped to scan the sky, failed to detect the mysterious craft.

Numerous witnesses

"The 'thing', commented on a technician, is undoubtedly not metallic, that is why the radar set was unable to detect it".

Many curious passer-by who had grouped around the projector managed to observe, too, the "ball of Christmas tree". Some residents of the suburb of Sablon were to claim the next day, that they too noted the phenomenon.

Case file here.

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