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The 1954 French flap:

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October 16, 1954, Damparis, Jura:

Reference for this case: 16-Oct-54-Damparis.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The ufologist and journalist Charles Garreau, in his book of 1951 or 1981, apparently reported an observation in Damparis in the Jura, on October 16, 1954, at 09:30 p.m., during which a witness reportedly observed a very luminous body that seemed much faster than an airplane, and was followed by a long trail of intense green blue color, for 4 seconds. The object seemed to move faster than a plane.

This perfectly matches the meteor seen in France at this time, but everyone did not understand it.


[Ref. aml7:] AIME MICHEL:

[... other cases...]

The object [of October 16, 1954] began then to cross Cote-d'Or. It was observed in Damparis, then in Dijon.

[... other cases...]

The French Air Force Inquiry Commission, after studying the case [of the October 16, 1954 sightings in the night], concluded that the object was a "slow meteor." The Commission did not take into account the change of direction of the last Paris sighting. To the several witnesses who saw the UFO halt in the sky, the Commission answered: "Optical Illusion," and since this time differentials reported suggested a meteor traveling at an impossibly slow speed (2400 miles per hour), the Commission supposed that the witnesses' watches had broken.

[... other cases...]

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel wrote about the October 16, 1954, 09:30 p.m. meteor:

THE TEST OF THE METEOR. October 16, as if it was purposely, a splendid meteor crossed the north of France towards 09:30 p.m.. It was observed on a score of departments by thousands of people, from the Allier to Lorraine and from the Swiss border to Paris. Naturally many witnesses believed to have seen a Flying Saucer and said so. The newspapers printed "Flying Saucer in Orly", or "in Montididier", or "in Metz." But once again the description made by all these weak brains appeared of a remarkable honesty.


The innumerable gathered testimonys show indeed that even when the witnesses called "Flying saucer" the observed object, their description is identical on 200.000 square kilometres where the visible phenomenon was visible: an "orange ball followed by a trail", a "large luminous ball with a tail", a "flying egg followed by a trail", a "bottle's bottom with a trail of thirty times its diameter", etc. The same phenomenon is uniformly described.


[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

October 16th [1954]

[...other cases...]

More "meteor" sightings

[...other cases...]

At 9:25 p.m. residents of Salins, France, noticed something coming out of the southeast sky from the direction of northern Italy. As the thing passed overhead it appeared as a dull-glowing lenticular shape trailing a luminous stream of smoke. Moments later the lenticular body passed over the cities of Dole and Montmirey still on a northwest trajectory. The elongated form was then spotted at Damparis and Dijon. The object was at a high altitude since observers some distance to the right and left of the object's course could see the thing travel from horizon to horizon. At 9:35 p.m., continuing in a straight line, the lenticular body appeared over Paris, causing some concern at Orly airport which put all air traffic on hold while the phenomenon was in sight. Some people in the French capital claimed they saw the object come to a stop while others even asserted the object made a turn to the west.

The French Air Force Inquiry Commission looked into the case and concluded that a "slow meteor" was responsible, and that those who said they had seen a course change had merely suffered from an optical illusion. To explain the duration of the object's passage, the French Commission suggested that witnesses' timepieces were not set properly.

Aime Michel thought more of the case than the military because he had knowledge of a sighting near St. Malo, a town that lies west of Paris on the coast of Brittany. The time of this sighting was not known but there may have been a connection with the "slow meteor." What was seen at St. Malo, however, did not resemble the supposed meteor. According to the witness two objects raced across the sky and a third object was seen intercepting the first two at a right angle. This new formation of three objects sped away leaving a thin vapor trail behind them. 138.

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

The author of the database reports that in Damparis in the Jura, on October 16, 1954, at 09:30 p.m., a witness observed a very luminous body, followed by a long trail of an intense green blue. The observation lasted 4 seconds. The object seemed to go much faster than an airplane.

The sources in indicated as "Alerte dans le ciel par Garreau Charles ** Alain Lefeuvre 1981".



The meteor of October 16, 1954, at 09:30 p.m.


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

Damparis, Jura, night, object, luminous, trail, blue, green, fast, duration


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 14, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 21, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross December 15, 2019 Addition of the Summary.
1.2 Patrick Gross February 26, 2021 Additions [aml7], [lgs1].

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This page was last updated on February 26, 2021.