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The 1954 French flap:

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

August 11, 1954, Gérardmer, Vosges:

Reference number for this case: 11-Aug-54-Gérardmer. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

In a 1966 book, Jacques Vallée evoked without details or source an observation on August 11, 1954, in Gérardmer.

A catalog of cases in the Vosges by François Diolez, in the ufology magazine Lumière Dans La Nuit #261-262 of March - April 1986, tells more:

According to "handwritten notes of Mr. J.D. of the time transmitted to the Cercle," Wednesday, August 11, 1954 at 05:30 p.m., Carmen D. "listened to the radio when strange parasites literally cut the show several times. She turned off the radio, annoyed, and realized that the compass permanently placed on the radio set was "beating the countryside quickly (NW-N-NE)." It lasted five full minutes. She went out but saw nothing, the sky was very cloudy and full of rain clouds.

François Diolez indicates that this was the entirety of the notes, and that a counter-investigation carried out by Claude Fleurance on September 24, 1983, did not bring anything more.

Reports:

[Ref. jve1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Jacques Vallée indicates that on August 11, 1954, there were already four sightings including one in Gerardmer in the Vosges.

[Ref. fdz1:] FRANCOIS DIOLEZ:

F. Diolez of the French ufology group CNEGU set up a catalogue of cases in the Vosges, in November 1984, with the help of ufologist François Lagarde.

The catalogue indicates that according to "handwritten notes of Mr. J.D. of the time transmitted to the Circle", on Wednesday, August 11, 1954 at 05:30 p.m. local time, Carmen D. "listened to the radio strange parasites literally interrupted the broadcast on several occasions. She shuts off the radio and realizes that the compass (that we placed permanently on the radio) was literally beating around the bushes fast (NW-N-NE). That lasted five minutes in the whole. She went outside but does not see anything. The sky was very low full with clouds of rain."

The author of the catalogue indicates that this is the entirety from the notes, and that a counter-investigation carried out by Claude Fleurance on September 24, 1983, did not bring anything more, and that this is a matter of a detection on an amateur detector without a sighting.

(The "Cercle" mentioned here is the ufology group "Cercle Vosgiens Lumières Dans La Nuit".)

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

UFO researcher/author Jacques Vallee noted a marked increase in French activity as early as August 11th when reports came in from eastern France at the towns of Serezin, Remiremont, Contrexéville and Gerardmer.

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH - "*U* COMPUTER DATABASE":

3700: 1954/08/11 12:00 0 6:35:00 E 48:01:00 N 3330 WEU FRN VSG 6:9

REMIREMONT,FR+3 SEP.TOWNS:COMPASSES SPIN:EME/ALL TYPES:START OF WAVE?:/r3p151

Ref#194 LUMIERES dans la NUIT.(LDLN France) Issue No. 262 : PASTURE

[Ref. djn1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

Encounters with Aliens On this Day

August 11

[...]

1954 - At three o'clock in the morning a compass started spinning wildly and other types of EM effects occurred in Remiremont, France and two other towns when at least one UFO briefly flew over. (Source: Jacques Vallee, Challenge to Science, the UFO Enigma, p. 129, citing Jimmy Guieu).

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website says that on 11 August 1954 at 03:00 in Remiremont, France, "Compass deflection case. Compasses spin, all types of electromagnetic effects in three separate towns."

And: "At three o'clock in the morning a compass started spinning wildly and other types of EM effects occurred in Remiremont, France and two other towns when at least one UFO briefly flew over."

And: "Objects were observed. Electromagnetic effects were noted. More than one object was observed by numerous witnesses in a pasture briefly."

The sources are noted as "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Lumieres dans la Nuit, Lumieres dans la Nuit; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002".

[Ref. ubk1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

This database recorded this case twice:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540811 11.08.1954 Gerardmer France
19540811 11.08.1954 Gerardmer France

Explanations:

Another case of the same catalogue shows that "Carmen D." is the wife of "J.D.", that both "are interested in UFOs" and that a few days before Carmen D. made a "UFO sighting", a motionless dot in the sky "similar to a star", which actually has all the characteristics of an astronomical confusion without any strangeness.

It must be noted, though, that is seems there were visual sightings in the Vosges that day, possibly of a meteor; which can induce radio interferences and magnetic perturbations.

Keywords:

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

Gerardmer, Vosges

Sources:

[----] indicates sources which I have not yet checked.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 26, 2007 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross August 23, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross November 20, 2016 Additions [lgs1], [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 31, 2019 Additions [lhh1], [djn1], Summary.

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This page was last updated on July 31, 2019.