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The 1954 French flap:

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October 14, 1954, Hardinval, Somme:

Reference number for this case: 14-Oct-54-Hardinval. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

An information sheet of the National Gendarmerie of 1954, published by the GEIPAN around 2014, indicated that on October 14, 1954, around 5 p.m., four witnesses who appeared sincere saw "in the hamlet of Hardinval RN.25 in the southwest direction, very large speed, height 40 meters, a spherical device making no noise, color of the rainbow."

GEIPAN would classify the case "C", i.e. unidentified due to lack of information.

The regional newspaper Le Courrier Picard for October 16, 1954, had reported the incident on page 2:

Maurice Niquet, aged 17, farmer in Hardinval, a hamlet in the commune of Hem, near Doullens, was "Thursday" - this on October 14, 1954 - in the afternoon, busy beating barley in a field at a place called "Derrière les Haies" ("Behind the Hedges"), not far from the houses and about two hundred meters from the national road nr 25.

At around 5 p.m., he was hailed by Mr. Percheval, farm worker, who was picking beets in a nearby field, and whose 8-year-old son had just seen a kind of green disc which was moving at very high altitude. In his turn, Mr. Niquet saw the object very clearly, while Mr. Percheval, who did not want to be taken for a "joker", rushed to the road to stop a possible motorist who could serve as witness.

Maurice Niquet remained on the spot, to hold his horses, who also looked at the craft and seemed rather frightened.

The disc, which rotated on a vertical plane, began to descend slowly. During this descent, it had stopped its rotation; which resumed gently when it came to hover about thirty meters above the ground, just above trees near the resort and about two hundred meters from Maurice Niquet, who told to the newspaper:

"It was a ball which, from green, had changed to white, without being excessively luminous. But the strangest thing is that on all sides, like jets of vapor of all colors came out, which lit the ground, my horses and myself. Sometimes we were pink, sometimes purple, or even red, yellow, etc... The spectacle was magnificent, but I was nevertheless quite frightened by this vision."

The ball or disc remained like this for ten minutes, totally motionless, then, it started its rotation very quickly again, always on a vertical plane, and it left first in oblique, then straight up to the sky.

Mr. Percheval, who was waiting on the road, did not see the object as it was hidden from him by the trees.

Mr. Niquet told his parents about his adventure, and his father interrogated the neighbors, and thus learned that Mr. and Mrs. Oncle, who were much further from the place of observation of Maurice Niquet, had noticed, at the same hour, color changes above the trees.

Reports:

[Ref. cpd1:] "LE COURRIER PICARD" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

The Courier of the Somme

A mysterious craft moves
for ten minutes
in the sky of the Doullenais

It seems that we have not finished talking about the "saucers" and other mysterious craft which, daily, cross the sky in many places.

Certainly, there was in many people, an excess of imagination which leaves skeptical a number of minds. However, it seems obvious now that there really are strange craft.

So let's leave aside the more or less fanciful statements and attach our attention to serious testimonies. One of these is particularly noteworthy. It is that of Mr. Maurice Niquet, farmer in Hardinval, annex of the town of Hem, near Doullens. Mr. Niquet, 17 years old, was Thursday afternoon, beating barley in a field at a place called "Behind the hedges", not far from the houses and about two hundred meters from the national road nr 25.

It was around 5:00 p.m. when he was hailed by Mr. Percheval, an agricultural worker, who was harvesting beets in a nearby field, and whose 8 years old son had just seen a kind of green disc moving at very high altitude. In his turn, Mr. Niquet saw the object very clearly, while Mr. Percheval, who did not want to be taken for a "joker", rushed on the road to stop a possible motorist who could serve as witness.

As for the young farmer, he stayed in place to hold his horses, who were also looking at the craft and seemed quite frightened. A strange display was then offered to his sight. The disc, which rotated on a vertical plane, began to descend slowly. during this descent, the gyration had stopped. It only resumed gently when the object came to rest about thirty meters from the ground, just above trees near the town and about two hundred meters from Mr. Niquet.

"It was", the later would say, "a ball which, from green, had turned to white, without being excessively luminous. But the strangest thing is that on all sides, like jets of vapor of all colors came out; which lit the ground, my horses and myself. Sometimes we were pink, sometimes purple, or red, yellow, etc... The spectacle was splendid, but I was all the same frightened enough by this vision."

The ball thus remained ten minutes completely motionless. Then, it started to rotate again very fast, always on a vertical plane and it went away first in oblique, then straight in the sky.

Mr. Percheval, who was waiting on the road, could not see the craft which was hidden from him by the trees.

As one may guess, Mr. Niquet told his adventure to his parents. His father inquired at the neighbors. This is how Mr. and Mrs. Oncle, who were much further from the indicated place, noticed, at the indicated time, color changes above the trees; which suggests that the appearance was not caused by the imagination of the young farmer.

But another testimony also came to us from people just as reliable. It is that of Mr. and Mrs. Dumeige, cattle dealers, in Domart-en-Ponthieu, and of Mr. Lourdel, cattle broker, in Condé-Folie, who, Thursday, around 9 p.m., were traveling by automobile truck on the road from Domart to Condé-Folie. These three people, in fact, saw not far from the farms of La Folie, a very bright glow which seemed to land in a meadow not far from the road.

Mr. Dumeige, who was driving, stopped his vehicle and got out with his wife and Mr. Lourdel. It was then that they saw clearly, near the light, six or seven small beings who were advancing one after the other. They were so frightened that they quickly set off again, leaving the craft and its occupants there.

[Ref. jpc1:] NEWSPAPER "LE JOURNAL DU PAS-DE-CALAIS ET DE LA SOMME":

Scan.

Having mitaken his neighbor for a
Martian, a cultivator shoots
two gunshots at him

Lille, 17. -- Mr. Maurice Ruant, farmer in Sinceny, near Chauny (Aisne), almost fell victim to the panic that is caused to some people by the appearance of saucers or other flying objects.

Last night, he was busy repairing his car in a meadow near his home, when two shots were fired in his direction. The pellets crashed onto the vehicle body, not far from his head. Mr. Maurice Ruant complained and the investigation, immediately opened, made it possible to quickly find the author of the two shots: a neighbor of Mr. Ruant, Mr. Faisan.

The latter said to the police:

"I thought, seeing a silhouette moving in the light of two headlights, to be in the presence of a Martian repairing his flying saucer. I went to get my gun and I fired."

IN THE SOMME

Mr. Percheval, an agricultural worker employed in the harvesting of beets, near Amiens, clearly saw a disc which turned on a vertical plane and which began to descend slowly. When the craft was 30 meters above the ground, that is, less than 200 meters from the location of another farmer, Mr. Nicket, the craft, which was in the shape of a ball, stopped. Jets of steam of all colors came out on all sides, which lit up the sky, sometimes purple and even red and yellow. The spectacle was said to be magnificent. The ball remained motionless for ten minutes, then began to spin quickly, rose at full speed, and disappeared.

Also in the Somme department, livestock brokers, Mr. and Mrs. Dumeige, and Mr. Lourdel, were driving in an automobile truck when they saw a very bright gleam which seemed to land in a meadow, not far from the road. Mr. Dumeige, who was driving the truck, stopped his vehicle and went down on the road, with his wife and Mr. Lourdel. The trio then saw very clearly near the craft six or seven small beings who advanced in line. The spectacle frightened the stockbrokers so much that they immediately got back into their cars and continued on their way at full speed.

[Ref. abt1:] NEWSPAPER "L'ABEILLE DE LA TERNOISE":

Scan.

Flying Saucers...

Like it or not, there is a problem with the flying saucers, the matter seems to be getting serious.

Whereas, at the beginning, many newspapers scoffed (and L'Abeille, like the others), it became obvious, even to the most skeptical "that there is something".

To take only examples close to here and officially noted by the gendarmeries and the security services of the territory, how to admit that in Hem-Hardinval, the mysterious craft which intrigued several farmers, known for their seriousness, and which frightened their horses, is a product of the imagination? At a distance of 100 meters, people still could not dream... As could not dream the inhabitants of Domart-en-Ponthieu who saw a saucer land near their car, and strange beings get out of it.

In the Ternois, people are more discreet, and if we know that some saw bizarre craft (a miner from Linzeux, a Buneville farmer woman, etc.) they were careful not to advertise too much what they saw.

Other residents of the Ternois also saw strange objects in the sky: an industrialist from Saint-Pol returning in the evening by car, farm workers returning from work. Monday evening a dozen Saint-Pol residents saw around 8:30 p.m. a luminous object, followed by a dazzling tail which took the direction of Ramecourt. The object was clearly seen by a city councilor, a doctor and various other personalities.

We also talked about strange objects seen in Frévent, in Auxi, in Wavrans, etc...

What should we conclude from this? It would obviously be very difficult to say.

Be that as it may, we find ourselves in the presence of two very distinct phenomena: luminous objects in the sky and objects of metallic appearance posed in the countryside, or landing there.

Some objections immediately come to mind. Why would the occupants of these objects come to land in hollow paths, in the deserted plains, etc. If they really come from other planets and are on an observation mission, it would make more sense for them to come near factories, big cities, ports. Given their power and the influence of their so-called paralyzing beam, what would they risk?

L'Abeille obviously does not claim to provide its readers with the solution to this problem which, to be honest, seems really frightening. However, we thought it would be interesting to publish extracts from a letter that a prominent Swiss personality, Mr. Alfred Nahon, professor of philosophy and psychology in Lausanne, just sent to the newspaper L'Express.

Here's what he writes:

"I was surprised the other day to find that you seem to deal with the so-called "flying saucer" issue lightly.

Studying the questions and information relating to "flying saucers", I have been perfectly aware for seven years, of everything that has been said or written on this matter. I am a member and general correspondent for Switzerland of the International Investigation Commission "Ouranos".

It follows from my information, intersected by the turn of certain important diplomatic facts, that these craft come from several planets and that their occupants have advised the main governments to have to stop their atomic and military policies in general.

It is a long time since the population should have been honestly informed of the truth: the extraterrestrial nature of these apparatuses, the peaceful mission of its other humanity, the possibility of several landings in the immediate future, details on the past landings in 1948 and 1952 in the United States, 1952 and 1954 in France, etc.

In recent days, identical phenomena multiplied, in France in particular, and the public, who once laughed, seems to be worried today.

This concern is not justified. It is due to the ignorance in which the population was kept on all the phases and particularity of these prodigious forewords to the interplanetary era.

Consequently, I think that it is necessary, without delay, to train the public in the idea of this reality, to inform them of all the historical aspect of the question, of our own preparations with a view to going to nearby planets and provide directions for contact or simple unsuccessful landing.

Alfred Nahon
Professor of Philosophy
and Psychology

Lausanne

[Ref. jds1:] "LE JOURNAL DE DOULLENS" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

ALWAYS THE SAUCERS

Last week, Thursday, around 5 p.m., MM. Maurice Niquet, 17, farmer; Georges Percheval, 33, agricultural worker; and Emile Oncle, 55, a farmer, were in the fields at Hardinval, near Doullens.

They were busy grubbing up the beets, when their attention was drawn to a brilliant craft, located in the sky at a great height, vertically above the hamlet of Hardinval, south of the national road Abbeville-Doullens.

The spherical craft, with a diameter of about 10 meters, emitted gleams of all colors which were reflected towards the ground and on the two horses led by Mr. Niquet; the horses got scared and had to be untied in a hurry and held by the bridle.

The craft descended gently; on the descent, the gyration of the craft stopped. The saucer came to a stop some 30 meters from the ground, and 200 meters from the place where Mr. Percheval was. Colored jets of steam came out of the craft and lit the ground. The ball remained motionless for ten minutes, then spun and jumped straight into the sky.

Even more amazing spectacle than the one noticed by Mr. and Mrs. Dumeige, cattle brokers, in Domart-en-Ponthieu, and Mr. Lourdel, also a livestock broker, in Condé-Folie. These people saw a bright saucer landing in a flagpole, not far from the road where they were.

Mr. and Mme Dumeige and Mr. Lourdel got out of their vehicles and saw six or seven little beings near the light, advancing in single line. The three Earthmen were so frightened that they got back in the car and left the place as quickly as possible.

A Fienvillers farmer also told us that when she was in the fields, she saw an elongated, very shiny object descending and going up vertically.

She did not believe in it either and yet when one sees these mysterious craft one has to face the facts, added this cultivator.

***

So we just hear about saucers every day.

Will we finally be able to discover the secrets of these mysterious craft?

[Ref. lau1:] "L'AUTHIE" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

HEM-HARDINVAL

An unknown object in the sky. - Thursday October 14, around 5 p.m., MM. Maurice Niquet, 17 years old, farmer; Georges Percheval, 33 years old, agricultural worker; and Emile Oncle, 55 years old, a farmer, were in the fields.

They were busy either cutting down barley or pulling out beets, when their attention was drawn to a brilliant object in the sky, at a great height, vertically above the hamlet of Hardinval, towards the south of the national road Abbeville-Doullens.

The craft, spherical in shape, moved slightly vertically and descended to a height of 50 meters. It might have a diameter evaluated at 10 meters, emitting gleams of all colors like a rainbow, these were reflected towards the ground and on the two horses led by Mr. Niquet. The horses, seized by fear, had to be uncoupled and held by the bridle.

The craft oscillated and it turned on the vertical plane first slowly then, the rotation increasing in speed, it took altitude obliquely in the direction of the South-West, went up to a very great height and disappeared, all this without any noise.

The three witnesses were amazed at this phenomenon which lasted more than 20 minutes.

The Doullens gendarmerie wrote up a report of the facts.

[Ref. gen1:] GENDARMERIE NATIONALE:

Scan.

INFORMATION

On 9th of October around 8 p.m. 3 farmers of Le Crotoy observed an orange disc in the sky at an undetermined distance, in the shape of an inverted plate that moved for 45 minutes before disappearing northwest.

On October 14, 1954 around 5 p.m. 4 witnesses appearing sincere saw in the hamlet of Hardinval RN.25 in the south-west direction, very high speed, height 40 meters, a spherical apparatus making no noise, color of a rainbow.

[Ref. cpr1:] CLAUDE POHER, UFO RESEARCH GROUP "GEPA":

In 1968-1969, before the official GEPAN ufology effort started, its future head Dr Claude Poher was a member of the unofficial GEPA ufology group, and gathered a computer coded listing of more than 700 UFO reports on which multiple factors statistical computation could be run. In the file were a number of 1954 French UFO reports, among those this one.

For readability, a decoded interpretation of the data is provided here under the original 80 character encoded string. Decoding was done according to the original indications, the code number and its generic meaning is given. Please note that the generic meaning of each code is a predefined category, not the real specific details of the case. For example, if the main witness' age was 33, the coding would result in a number "3" which corresponds to a category "Adult from 21 to 59 years."

Original code:6010801410195417001JA70020104400121000131020610000000000000000000000000001100000
Location:RN25 Hardinval (Oise) - France
Case number:6010 [sic, probably 0610]
Source code:80
Nature of the source:Observation published in several sources and regrouped
Day:14
Month:10
Year:54
Hours:17
Minutes:00
Type of Time:1 = local time
Number of witnesses:7 = 7
Main witness named:0 = name is not indicated
Main witness age:0 = no indication
Main witness occupation:2 = farmer, docker, navy, housekeeper
Official investigation:1 = an official investigation was made
Weather:0 = no indication
Duration:4 = from 1 to 19 minutes
Minimal distance witness - phenomenon:4 = from 151 to 999 m
Method of observation:0 = no indication
Number of "objects" observed simultaneously:01 = 1
Shape of the "object" (terminology of witness(es)):2 = round, circular, bowl
Dimensions of the phenomenon:1000 = 10 meters of diameter
Color of the observed phenomenon:13 = several colors, changing color
Luminosity of the phenomenon:1 = glow, low luminosity
Lights or projectors on the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Moving speed of the phenomenon:2 = "very rapid"
Acceleration of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Trajectory of the phenomenon:6 = motionless close to the ground
Sounds perceived during observation:1 = no noise, total silence, object noiseless
Maximum angular height of observation (horizon = 0°):
Nature of the landing place:0 = no indication
Number of contact points with ground:0 = no indication
Traces of landing:0 = no indication
Observation of "occupants":0 = no indication
Height of the occupants observed:00 = no indication
Garment of the occupants:00 = no indication
Garment:0 = no indication
General behavior of "occupants":0 = no indication
Interaction of "occupants" with witness:0 = no indication
Head, hair:0 = no indication
Voice, breathing, chin:0 = no indication
Skin:0 = no indication
Eyes:0 = no indication
Mouth:0 = no indication
Various details:0 = no indication
Thermal effects:0 = no indication
Luminous effects:0 = no indication
Magnetic effect (or electromagnetic):0 = no indication
Odor perceived by witness:0 = no indication
Physiological effects on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Psychological effect on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Effects on animals:0 = no indication
Other effects reported:0 = no indication
Nebulosity:0 = no indication
Oscillations, emission of matter:1 = "undulating" movement, oscillations "like dead leafs"
Spin, formation flight:1 = rotation "like a top"
Immediate disappearance:0 = no indication
Halo surrounding the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Interaction witness / phenomenon (complement to the other rubrics):0 = no indication
Drawing or photo:0 = no indication
Structural details observed:0 = no indication

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his data base that in the Somme in Hem-Hardinval on October 14, 1954 at 17:00 hours, "Seven witnesses, farmers, observed during less than twenty minutes and at less than a thousand meters a round object. Its diameter was estimated as 10 meters. It was of changing color, slightly luminous. It remained stationary close to the ground before moving away very fast, without any noise. It had an undulating movement and was in fast rotation."

The source is noted: "Les Universons by Poher Claude ** http://www.premiumwanadoo.com/universons/".

[Ref. gei1:] "GROUPE D'ETUDES ET D'INFORMATIONS SUR LES PHENOMENES AEROSPATIAUX NON IDENTIFIES":

HEM-HARDINVAL (80) 10/14/1954
Observed on: 10/141954
Region: Picardie
Department: Somme
Class: C
Summary: Observations of a luminous phenomenon of the color of the rainbow: not enough information.
Description:

On October 14, 1954, around 5 p.m., four witnesses saw towards the SW and at a height of 40m a spherical apparatus moving silently but at very high speed. The object has the colors of the rainbow.

GEIPAN received a brief fact sheet without witness testimony. The description of a spherical object at very high speed and multicolored makes one think of a meteor.

This too brief case is classed C for lack of information.

Report: None.

Details of the testimony
Witness
Date of the observation 14-10-1954
Document number
Age Not specified
Profession Not-Specified
Sex Male
Reaction Active Curiosit
Crédibilité Nornal Credibility
Conditions
Environment Departmental ways, Roads
Weather conditions Not-Specified
Hour of the observation Numbered: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Reference frame Not-Specified
Distance between phenomenon and witness Not-Specified
Start of the observation Start of observation by witness
End of the observation Not defined
Localization
Angle du site Not-Specified;Not-Specified
Direction of observation South-West
Heading South-West
Trajectory Not-Specified;Not-Specified;Not-Specified
Nature of the observation Descriptive terms (lights, etc)
Characteristic of the observation Single
Global shape Roind, circular, ball
Color Several colors or multicolored
Apparent size Not-Specified
Apparent speed Fast, high, quick
Noise No noise
Effect on the environnement Not-Specified
Number: 1

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

This database recorded the case four times instead of one:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541014 14.10.1954 Hem France 17.00
19541014 14.10.1954 Doullens France
19541014 14.10.1954 Doullens France 17.00

Explanations:

The National Road RN 25 connected Le Havre to Lille; it was renamed during the 1970s "RD 925" between Le Havre and Doullens on the one hand, and between Carvin and Lille on the other hand, while the section from Arras to Carvin was taken over by the current National Road 17.

Hardinval is indeed a hamlet, 1.5 km southwest of Hem-Hardinval, a village in the Somme department, the RN 25 passed 500 meters north of Hem-Hardinval.

What is problematic for me is the fact that on October 14, 1954, a big meteor was reported (as being a "craft" or "flying cigar" most of the time) on France, passing around 06:13 p.m., often described as green, or with the colors of the rainbow.

The direction of observation, Southwest, would correspond, but in Hardinval, we are about 250 km away of the trajectory of this meteor, it seems. So, either it was something else - I do not know what - that meteor was quite huge and high.

But almost all the other reports related to this meteor are distant from its trajectory of only 150 km at most, it seems. And as it arrives from the South, it must have been lower and therefore less visible from the North of France, especially since it moved towards the East of France, last seen above Germany.

I wondered if there had been an error of location, especially since Claude Poher placed Hardinval in the Oise department. But the RN 25 was really in the Somme, and I did not find any Hardinval in the Oise.

So I do not know what to make of this observation for the moment, like GEIPAN did I would classify it as unidentified for lack of information; but I cannot help but think that it was maybe nevertheless the 06:13 p.m. meteor.

Additions on January 9, 2020:

With the article from Le Courrier Picard for October 16, 1954, I just obtained, things are much less of the order of "insufficient information" than what GEIPAN indicated.

We get witnesses names, and a maneuver that does not fit a meteor: high up, going doen, hovering, going up in oblique then straight up.

A crucial point is obviously that the observation would have lasted 10 minutes. It is out of the question that it is so approximate that it would be reduced to the usual observation duration of a meteor, from a few seconds to 1, or 2 minutes at the very most. The meteor does not fit, except to assume that the newspaper or the witness had invented the duration.

I double-checked the 6:13 p.m. meteor observation area. It was generally the Rhône valley, or from the South-East to the North-East of France, with extremities in the Bas-Rhin in Alsace and Antibes in the Midi; we are therefore far too distant from Hardinval for the object to have been this meteor.

In the light of the information from the Le Courrier Picard, I see no well-founded trivial explanation, I see a case of high strangeness, and I think this was perhaps an extraterrestrial craft.

Keywords:

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

Hardinval, Hem, Somme, Maurice Niquet, farmer, afternoon, daytime, fields, Percheval, worker, disc, green, object, high, horses, animal reaction, rotation, descent, hover, low, motionless, trees, green, white, jets, vapor, multicolor, pink, purple, red, yellow, frightened, oblique

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross January 10, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 8, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross January 24, 2017 Additions [gen1], [gei1].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 17, 2019 Addition of the Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet.."
1.4 Patrick Gross January 9, 2020 Addition [cpd1]. In the Summary, addition of "The regional newspaper Le Courrier Picard..." and what follows. In the Explanations, addition of the part "Additions on January 9, 2020".
1.5 Patrick Gross March 31, 2020 Addition [lau1].
1.6 Patrick Gross June 22, 2020 Addition [abt1].
1.7 Patrick Gross June 28, 2020 Addition [jpc1].
1.8 Patrick Gross February 1, 2021 Addition [ubk1].

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