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The 1954 French flap:

The index page for the 1954 French flap section of this website is here.

October 10, 1954, Lys-lez-Lannoy, Nord:

Reference number for this case: 10-Oct-54-Lys-lez-Lannoy. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper Nord-Eclair, of Roubaix, reported on page 10 for October 12, 1954, that in Lys-lez-Lannoy, about fifty people had seen "Sunday" - therefore on October 10, 1954 - a phenomenon of the "flying saucer" kind:

Around 8:15 p.m., Mr. René Duhaut hurriedly returned to the cafe run by Mr. Fernand Risselin, 139, rue du Colisée, shouting: "Come see a flying saucer!"

Thirty consumers rushed outside and saw an orange ball in the sky coming from the direction of Lille and heading towards Leers-Nord in Belgium, gradually swelling to then gradually diminish during its move.

According to concordant statements by several people, the phenomenon had lasted two minutes.

But this regional newspaper reported a richer version under the pen of Marcel Lecercq, on pages 1 and 2 for October 15, 1954, that "last Sunday", therefore on October 10, 1954, in the evening, a group of people were gathered in the room of the coffee shop managed by Mr. Fernand Risselin, 139, rue du Colisée, in Lys-lez-Lannoy. These people chatted about "Martians", lights in the night, mysterious craft, atmospheric phenomena.

Around 8:15 p.m., a man rushed into the cafe, shouting:

"- Come see, a flying saucer!"

About thirty consumers rushed outside abd saw an orange ball in the sky, coming from the direction of Lille and heading towards Leers-Nord, gradually swelling and then diminishing as it moved in the sky.

The phenomenon, according to the corroborating statements of several people, had lasted several minutes.

The newspaper comments that it "could not have been a collective hallucination" since "many people had seen - with their eyes seen - the mysterious apparition". "The fact was undeniable: a flying saucer had passed there..."

The next morning, the newspaper continued, early in the morning, young Robert Helveinstein, who lives on avenue des Combattants, in Pecq, went to work at the Water Department in Estaimbourg, where he is a warehouse keeper.

His attention was caught by an unusual and bulky object, which seemed to flutter in the fields, at ground level.

He had said to himself, "Oh, a flying saucer!"

Intrigued, he had approached and found at his feet "a strange balloon, if we can give that name to a motley collection of strings and balloons." It was a kind of hot-air balloon made from wallpaper, and inside a dry cell battery powered three small bicycle light bulbs, which still glowed faintly. To lift everything, a group of small balloons had been hung all around, some of which, in the shape of stick figures, bore the mark of a big shoe factory: PAPILLON-BONTE, 167, rue de Lannoy, in Roubaix.

The newspaper thinks that the device probably floated in the air all night, then the balloons became flabby so that the device now made only small leaps at ground level.

The young man, disappointed to see what a flying saucer was, picked up the device, handed the balloons to kids, and threw the rest in a corner of the water service of Estaimbourg.

The newspaper pridiously commented that it was obvious that it was not absolutely proven that this "saucer" is the one that had been seen on Sunday evening, but that it was probable, and that they even heard say that the prankster launched two identical devices, one of which, unbalanced, had fallen near its departure area, and had gone unnoticed.

The newspaper concluded:

"And it is certain that this strange construction, dimly lit by the small bulbs with which it was fitted must have struck the imagination, especially at this time when "saucers" are seen everywhere! Especially since several of the balloons that provided its lift - those of the Papillon-Bonte shoes - vaguely has human shapes. Seen from afar, under "the obscurity of the stars", should they not immediately be identified as Martians? By getting them, we do not know how, the "builder" of the saucer knew what he was doing!"

"Does this mean that all the "saucers" are, like this one, only the product of a mystification? We will be careful not to take a stand! But a conclusion is essential, however: let us be circumspect, and do not immediately mistake bladders for lanterns, nor a balloon of the "PAPILLON-BONTE" shoes for a Martian!"

Reports:

[Ref. ner1:] "NORD ECLAIR" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

THE CHRONICLE OF THE SAUCERS

Many Lys residents
attended Sunday evening
to a strange phenomenon

THE FLYING SAUCERS swirled on Sunday in the Mediterranean basin, above Cameroon, Germany, and of course, France. Near us, it is in Lys-lez-Lannoy, that about fifty people saw, Sunday evening, a phenomenon of this kind.

Indeed, around 8:15 p.m., Mr. René Duhaut, rushed back to the cafe run by Mr. Fernand Risselin 139, rue du Colisée, shouting: "Come see, a flying saucer!"

Thirty consumers rushed outside and attended an unusual show. In the sky, an orange ball coming from the direction of Lille and moving towards Leers-Nord (B) swelled gradually to diminish then progressively in its celestial course.

The phenomenon - according to the concordant statements of several people - lasted two minutes.

Around the world

Authorized testimonies also arrive from Yaounde, where the director of hygiene services, the hospital chief doctor, the adviser of the territorial Assembly of Cameroon, and the deputy mayor saw a huge disc violently illuminated, stationary at an altitude of about six hundred meters. The apparition lasted fifteen seconds.

In Beirut, a salesman and a journalist saw a red ball moving in the sky.

In Alexandria, a mysterious craft stayed in the air for an hour above the control tower of Muzha airfield.

Mr. Gibbons of Nelson (New Zealand) took a series of photographs of three saucers that appeared as cylindrical objects with a sort of dark kernel on the telephoto lens.

A broken saucer

Saturday evening, Mr. Hoge, a film operator, was returning home, near Munster, in Westphalia. He saw a blue light in a field, sixty meters from the road.

This came from an object shaped like a cigar.

Four men about 1.20 meters tall, in rubber overalls, were working under the apparatus. None of them said a word. Mr. Hoge, seized with fear, watched the work for ten minutes, of the little men who had a strongly developed torso with a big head, while their lower limbs were small and thin. Finally the four "men" returned to the cigar with a kind of ladder. A few meters after taking off the cigar took the form of a saucer, projecting a dazzling light.

Near Frankfurt, thirteen gliding enthusiasts, including former Luftwaffe pilots, formally claim to have seen a "silver disc" at an altitude of three thousand meters.

Other craft were also seen near Angoulême, Carcassonne, Limoges and Poitiers.

[Ref. ner2:] NEWSPAPER "NORD-ECLAIR":

Scan.

Was the Lys "saucer"
the work
of a prenkster?

Scan.

A worker from Pecq (B.) discovered
in a field a craft formed by
balloons and an illuminated hot air balloon

Is it the "flying saucer"
seen by Lys residents on Sunday?

It was last Sunday, in the evening... a certain number of people were gathered in the room of the cafe run by Mr. Fernand Risselin, 139, rue du Colisée, in Lys-lez-Lannoy. What were these people talking about? "Martians", you bet, lights in the night, mysterious craft, atmospheric phenomena.

Suddenly, around 8:15 p.m., a man hurriedly entered the cafe, shouting:

- Come see, a flying saucer!

Thirty consumers rushed outside and attended an unusual display. In the sky, an orange ball coming from the direction of Lille and moving towards Leers-Nord (B.) swelled gradually to diminish then progressively in its celestial course.

The phenomenon - according to the concordant statements of several people - lasted several minutes.

This could not have been a collective hallucination. Many people saw - with their own eyes saw - the mysterious appearance. The fact was undeniable: a flying saucer had passed by there...

The next morning, early in the morning, young Robert Helveinstein, who lives on avenue des Combattants, in Pecq (B.), went to work at the waters Service, in Estaimbourg, where he is a storekeeper.

The young man's attention was drawn to an unusual, bulky object, which seemed to hover in the fields, level with the ground.

- Oh, a flying saucer!

Intrigued the young man approached and found at his feet a strange aerostat, if however one can give this name to a motley assembly of strings and balloons. The body of the craft consisted of a kind of hot air balloon, made with wallpaper. Inside the sphere a dry battery was placed, powering three small light bulbs, used for lighting bicycles. And to lift it all, a crowd of balloons had been hung all around, some of which, in the shape of little men, bore the mark of a large shoe factory: PAPILLON-BONTE, 167, rue de Lannoy, in Roubaix.

Presumably the craft had held the air all night. The light bulbs still glistened weakly and as the balloons became flaccid, they only supported the whole with difficulty, and only succeeded in making it make small leaps close to the ground.

- That's it, a flying saucer! said the young man, disappointed.

He picked up the craft, distributed the balloons to the kids on the way, and threw what was left of the plane into a corner of the Estaimbourg water department.

So ended, pitifully, what could have been the "flying saucer" of Lys-lez-Lannoy...

This "saucer!" is certainly the work of a prankster who wanted to play a good trick on his fellow citizens.

Obviously, it is not absolutely proven that this "saucer" is the one that aroused the curiosity of many Lys residents on Sunday evening. But the thing is likely. We even understand that the said joker dropped two identical aerostats. The other, unbalanced, would fallen near its departure area, and would therefore have gone unnoticed.

And it is certain that this strange construction, dimly lit by the small bulbs with which it was fitted must have struck the imagination, especially at this time when "saucers" are seen everywhere! Especially since several of the balloons that provided its lift - those of the Papillon-Bonte shoes - vaguely has human shapes. Seen from afar, under "the obscurity of the stars", should they not immediately be identified as Martians? By getting them, we do not know how, the "builder" of the saucer knew what he was doing!

Does this mean that all the "saucers" are, like this one, only the product of a mystification? We will be careful not to take a stand! But a conclusion is essential, however: let us be circumspect, and do not immediately mistake bladders for lanterns, nor a balloon of the "PAPILLON-BONTE" shoes for a Martian!

Marcel LECLERCQ

Explanations:

Negative case, prank with illuminated balloon.

Map.

Keywords:

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

Lys-lez-Lannoy, Nord, René Duhaut, cafe, Fernand Risselin, 139 rue du Colisée, saucer, multiple, ball, orange, direction, Belgium

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross April 9, 2020 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross October 28, 2020 Addition [ner2]. In the Summary, addition of "But this regional newspaper reported a richer version..." and the following paragraphs. Explanations changed, were "The information as it stands is not enough to get a sure idea of the explanation for this observation, but one can obviously think that it may have been a meteor. It seems, however, that it would have been seen only from this city, which is somewhat odd."

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