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UFOs in the daily Press:

The January 8, 1954, meteor over Dieppe, France:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper Ouest-France, France, on January 8, 1954.


A fireball explodes
in the Dieppe sky

DIEPPE, 7. - This morning, between 4:30 a.m. and 5:15 a.m., nearly 70 dockers of the Dieppe harbor saw in the sky a blinding gleam [sic], followed four minutes later of a tremendous explosion that opened a large number of doors and broke the windows of the houses in the city.

Most of the Dieppe residents were awakened by the deafening noise. It does not seem that this may be an hallucination because testimonies are numerous and agree on almost all points. Only some discrepancies among the witnesses are recorded in regard to the direction of the light; which according to some came from the north, and for some others from the west.

The mail car that ensures the traffic between Dieppe and Rouen was around the first of these two towns when the light occurred. But according to the two occupants of the vehicle, the explosion would have occurred eight minutes after the glow.

The Dieppe semaphore contacted that of Fécamp and those of all the small harbors along the coast. All agree to say that the phenomenon was seen in these points. However, the semaphore of Le Havre did not notice anything.

However, several witnesses from the Mailleraye locality at about 80 kilometers south of Dieppe, are adamant that they saw the glow coming from the Dieppe area.

This morning, a railways employee took his duty at the station of Orchies (Nord) and saw a disc of fire that moved horizontally at a dizzying speed. A luminous trail followed the glowing disc in its path.

The same phenomenon was seen at about the same time in Arras (Pas-de-Calais). A witness said he saw the disc motionless in the sky for a moment. But he did not have time to contemplate it. It immediately resumed its course and disappeared over the horizon.

Finally, it should be emphasized that about a week ago, a fishing boat arrived at Dieppe all riddled with small holes that might have been caused by a fireball.

The Institute of Astrophysics of Paris believes, however, that the phenomenon was no other than a meteor. The very hour that made this observation - shortly before sunrise - concurs to support this opinion [!]. But, they add, such explosions are not very rare, and one was able to record many others of them across the globe.

We know that the fireballs are bodies whose origin and composition are unclear and that, moving in the sky extremely quickly, warm up when they come to meet the Earth's atmosphere because of the resistance thereof. Then they become incandescent.

Sometimes they go without other signs than a luminous trail. Sometimes they break silently, sometimes noisily. It also happens that they fall to the earth's surface, whole or fragmented: this is the origin of fireballs falls.

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