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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 16, 1954, Mailly-la-Ville, Yonne:

Reference number for this case: 16-Oct-54-Mailly-la-Ville. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Reports:

[Ref. gqy1:] GUY QUINCY:

Scan.

October 16 [1954]

09:30 p.m. (approximately): Center-East and East of France, Orly (Seine), Metz (Moselle), Montmirey (Jura), Hurecourt (Hte.Saône), Mailly-la-Ville (8 km 500 SSW. Vermenton--Yonne), Moulin? (Allier),: big luminous ball with a tail (slow meteor, speed=3.000 km/h?)

[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. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

The author of the database indicates that in Mailly-la-Ville in the Yonne, on October 16, 1954 at 09:30, there was an observation of a large luminous ball followed with a trail of the same intensity.

The source is indicated as "Alerte dans le ciel by Garreau Charles ** Alain Lefeuvre 1981".

Explanations:

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

Map.

The idea that it would be a "slow meteor" moving at the speed of 3000 km/h advanced, with a question mark, by Guy Quincy, explains as follows:

That October 16, 1954, around 9:30 p.m., it was indeed a large meteor which had caused this series of observations. Ufologist Aimé Michel admitted it in his 1958 book, but in 1956, he and the other pioneer of ufology Charle Garreau had made the mistake of taking the hours of observation reported as being precise to the minute. Taking the earliest and the latest hours, they had thought fit, by applying them to the extreme spots of the trajectory of the "object", to deduce that it had moved at 3,000 km/h, noting that such slowness excluded a meteor.

Michel opposed this reasoning to the explanation by a meteor which would have been given by the Air Force. According to Michel, the Air Force had explained that the witnesses' watches "had broken" (I think they had more wisely explained that the writwatches were not necessarily all set precisely to the minute).

Keywords:

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

Mailly-la-Ville, Yonne, ball, luminous, trail

Sources:

[----] 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 27, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross February 25, 2021 Addition [qgy1], Summary. In the explanations, addition of "The idea that it would be a 'slow meteor'..." and what follows.

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This page was last updated on February 25, 2021.