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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 13, 1954, Trévoux, Ain:

Reference number for this case: 13-oct-54-Trévoux. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

In his 1958 book on the French wave of 1954, pioneer ufologist Aimé Michel told that on October 13, 1954, at about 04:50 p.m., Claudius Bennier, insurance agent, was driving on the National Road RN 433 from Trévoux to Parcieux, at approximately 40 kilometers north from Lyon, when his attention was drawn by an extremely brilliant object which was in the East of his position and seemed to lose altitude rather slowly.

Aimé Michel reported the account by Mr. Bennier:

"Suddenly, the object, which had arrived at an altitude that I evaluated as being approximately 1000 meters above the area of Saint-Jean-de-Turigneux and of Rancé, in the Dombes, illuminated itself violently, launching multiple fires of orange color, perfectly distinct. At the same time, it accelerated in a striking manner and disappeared."

Reports:

[Ref. aml1] AIME MICHEL:

French ufologist Aimé Michel notes that on October 13, 1954, at about 04:50 P.M., an insurance agent named Claudius Bennier was driving on the national road RN 433 from Trévoux to Parcieux, at approximately 40 kilometers in the North of Lyon, when his attention was drawn by an extremely brilliant object which was in the East of his position and seemed to lose altitude rather slowly.

Aimé Michel reports the account by Mr. Bennier:

"Suddenly, the object, which had arrived at an altitude that I evaluated as being approximately 1000 meters above the area of Saint-Jean-de-Turigneux and of Rancé, in the Dombes, illuminated itself violently, launching multiple fires of orange color, perfectly distinct. At the same time, it accelerated in a striking manner and disappeared."

Aimé Michel gives no source for this case. He counts 9 cases at this date (I count 15 si far, not counting the case just dated "October") and says that 3 of the 9 cases are aligned, this one and that of Cortevaix (actually dated October 12, 1954) and that of Romans.

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

325 -004.87251 45.96480 13 10 1954 16 50 101 (RANCE-ENE TREVOUX) F 3011 C 285

[Ref. fru1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The authors indicates that on October 13, 1954, at an unknown hour, in Rance on the secondary road D1 at 7 km from Trévoux, Claudius Bernier, insurance agent in Trévoux, observed the vertical descent of a UFO close to the ground, its tremendous acceleration and its disappearance.

The source is indicated as "Quincy".

[Ref. mft1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

CASE Nr CLASSIFICATION DATE HOUR PLACE ZIP CODE CREDIBILITY SOURCE
192 CE0 13 10 1954 hnp [= hour not specified] Rance 01390 D1 RS [= sparse information], (Quincy) OVNI: p. 158

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

4094: 1954/10/13 16:50 1 4:52:00 E 45:58:00 N 3333 WEU FRN AIN 6:6

RANCE,01,FR:EXTREMELY BRITE OBJ SLOWLY DROPS:FLASHES+SHOOTS OFF/IDIOTIC SPEED

Ref# 30 FIGEUT[sic]&RUCHON: OVNI: Le 1er Dossier Page No. 158 : MOUNTAINS

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Ain with Rancé on October 13, 1954 at 16:50 hours, a motorist driving on the road from Trévoux to Parcieux, his attention drawn by an extremely bright object in the East of his position and [which] seemed to lose altitude rather slowly. "Suddenly, the object, which had arrived at an altitude that I evaluated as approximately 1,000 meters above the area Saint-Jean-de-Turigneux and of Rancé, in the Dombes, illuminated itself violently, launching perfectly distinct multiple fires of orange color. At the same time, it accelerated tremendously way and disappeared."

Luc Chastan indicates that the sources are "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... par Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979" and Le Dauphiné Libéré.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 13 October 1954 in Trevoux, France, an unidentified object was sighted, that had an unusual appearance or performance. One object was observed by one witness for over one minute (Bennier).

The sources are indicated as "Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002".

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

This database recorded this case three times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541013 13.10.1954 Trevoux Parcieux France 16.50
19541013 13.10.1954 Trevoux Parcieux France 16.50
19541013 13.10.1954 Trevoux France 16.50

[Ref. lde2:] WEBSITE OF THE NEWSPAPER "LE DAUPHINE LIBERE":

THE WEB GOES BACK IN TIME

Sunday story: Flying saucer alert!

Every Sunday, the Dauphiné delves into its archives and makes you relive an event from the past. This weekend, back in 1954, when the South East saw aliens everywhere...

By Sylvaine ROMANAZ - August 11, 2019 at 06:05 - updated on Apr 18, 2020 at 11:07 - Reading time: 4 min

In public gardens, on café terraces, on sidewalks, thousands of motionless people staring up at the sky. On this October 14, 1954, alert in Grenoble: a flying saucer crosses the sky. No doubt for the most informed, the Martians are coming!

In the afternoon, the switchboard of the Dauphiné Libéré is overwhelmed by calls. And at 6 p.m., at the exit of the factories and offices, the crowd increases again in the streets. "But I'm telling you it's a weather balloon!" a passerby shouts. Wasted effort. Not one convinced witness.

Better still, the collective hallucination of the Grenoblois spreads. From Chambéry to Gap, from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to Faucigny, same stories. "A large vertical cigar" for some, flaming red or green and gray, orange or shiny, an unidentified object travels the South-East.

In Fontaine de Vaucluse, the case is growing. This white disc which hovers above the city, here is something strange nevertheless... The witnesses who observe it with binoculars go there for their details: the disc is surmounted by a spherical cap, and looks like a silver bowler hat. And to describe in the Dauphiné Libéré, a "lower circular border which intermittently carries powerful lights, varying from white to purplish through red". The object begins to intrigue so much that around 2 p.m., two jet planes take off from Caritat air base. But the "saucer" goes too fast, and disappears in the sky ..

So, Martians or not Martians? The answer comes very down to earth... from the prefecture of the Isère. They receive a message from a Mr. Polvani, director of the Institute of Physics in Milan: "We are asking for assistance in identifying and recovering a stratospheric balloon loaded with scientific material, passed in France." The device is intended for studying cosmic rays. End of the craze? Not at all.

Because the scientists are offering a bonus of 20,000 francs to anyone who will help recover the balloon by calling "Odéon 99-17". What push everyone to scan the sky again and again. Moreover in Grenoble, on the airfield, specialists try to locate it and estimate its height when the object passes over their heads.

It is hard to miss, the ball is 28 meters in diameter and weighs 110 kilos. Being able to climb up to 33,000 m, it is however very difficult to chase...

The Grenoblois hardly look up that it is at Bourg-Saint-Maurice or Modane , then further in the Ubaye, that the gendarmes are alerted by citizens more or less frightened, more or less curious. And when everyone begins to agree with to the scientific explanation, blam, a second craft is seen simultaneously. This time the witnesses rather report a "ball of fire". But still no Martians. The Saint-Michel observatory near Digne is formal, that's a meteor. And for the first one, same certainty, it is a balloon.

Yet two appearances at the same time is too suspicious for many minds. So the tongues are loosened. And one cross-checks all the testimonies from the four corners of the country.

In the Dombes it is an insurance salesman who remembers having seen "a very short machine which descended slowly." In Moulins, it is a teacher and his class who saw in a field "a metallic-looking craft" with around it "three shapes which seemed to be the passengers of this apparatus." What do aliens look like? "An almost normal human trunk with two arms ending in a hook. A single leg ending in a spherical base". And the head? "Conical with three eyes in a triangle". As for the clothes, one of the children was very precise: they wore the same leather jacket as Louison Bobet! No need to ask us for the photo, this invasion has never been immortalized. Martians are not photogenic enough or too shy...

More timid in any case than the witnesses who throughout the 50's and 60's seem happy to be filmed or to be questioned by journalists to describe what they saw...

So many stories that snowballed to the point that the debate eventually reached the Assembly. Ignoring the scientific balloon (which continued its route in the Rhone valley, in particular above Crest then the Ardèche), the deputy of Ariège Mr. Dejean addressed a question to the President of the Council to know whether "a service was created in charge of gathering the existing documentation and studying the nature and origin of the said devices." Service that exists today.

The Geipan is very officially responsible for looking into unidentified aerospace phenomena. If during your Sunday walk the aliens say hi to you, you can contact them. Be careful though. In October 1954, workers at a construction site near Naples said loud and clear: seeing a saucer could be dangerous. The Pekingese dog who was with them at the time of the apparition looked at the saucer, barked... and fell dead.

Explanations:

Map.

In 1954, the RN 433 national road connected Saint-Germain-du-Plain to Lyon. After 1972, the part of the road in the Ain was downgraded to RD 933.

Mr. Bennier was according to the indications of Aimé Michel somewhere on the road along the red line on this map (RD 933 aka "Route de Lyon"):

The observation direction range (blue line) is therefore between 34° and 82° with an average of 56° (Northeast).

Between Trévoux and Parcieux, the trip by this road is about 4 to 5 km. The view in the direction of observation overlooks hills.

This occurred in broad daylight, and the Moon did not rise until 06:20 p.m. There was no obvious astronomical body in the range of the viewing direction. The observation remains unexplained for me, but of moderate strangeness.

Keywords:

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

Trévoux, Ain, Claudius Bennier, object, luminous, descent, light, orange, fast, acceleration

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross June 20, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 29, 2008 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [fru1], [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 29, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.2 Patrick Gross February 23, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 24, 2019 Additions [mft1], [lhh1], Summary.
1.4 Patrick Gross March 17, 2021 Addition [lde2].

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This page was last updated on March 17, 2021.