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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, Mont Ventoux, Var:

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




A flying "cylinder" spotted by the Mont Ventoux Observatory

But it is believed to be a remote-controlled survey craft

AVIGNON (C.P.) - A mysterious device appeared above the sky of Vaucluse in the afternoon of yesterday, and was seen by the observatory of the Mont Ventoux National Meteorological Office.

The machine was of unusual shape among all those seen in recent weeks.

It was neither a saucer nor a cigar, but a cylinder terminated at both ends by a cone, and one of the cones bore something resembling an antenna.

The flying cylinder moved vertically and about 4,000 meters above sea level (about 2,000 meters above the Ventoux), going from west to east. It disappeared towards the Alps around 4:45 p.m.

Mr. Batard, a meteorologist observer at the Ventoux, himself saw the mysterious machine and described it to us. It seemed at times to be transparent and of an undefinable material.

"What do you think it is?" We asked him.

- Probably a remote-controlled sounding machine.

"Coming from where?" From the earth?

- This is my opinion.

"Do you believe in the Martians, Mr. Batard?"

- Personally not at all, until proven otherwise.

Another probe balloon in the high alpine sky

GAP (C.P.) - We reported on Thursday the arrival in the Hautes-Alpes of an



Remote controlled crafts

Continued from page 1

Italian sounding-balloon, that contrary currents had diverted. The residents of Gap and, in general, all the High Alps residents who saw the craft felt an understandable emotion, still thinking of the stories of flying saucer currently on the agenda. When, on the morning of yesterday, a new balloon was seen, it did not arouse the same curiosity. It was, however, a fair day at Gap. One looked at this machine only with a disillusioned face, as if to reproaching it for not being a flying saucer...

Early in the afternoon, the balloon, pushed by a more violent wind, was heading east. It was possible to see it from Briançon, Aiguilles and Barcelonnette. It seemed to ascend the valley of the Queyras.

At 6 p.m. it was no longer seen from Gap, and Dr. Dieulot, a medical adviser to the Social Safety, who had already observed the craft on Thursday, noticed that it was the same balloon.


Marignane, October 16 -. the observatory of Mount Ventoux announces that since this morning 07:30 A.M., in the east north-east, in the direction of Orange, an unknown apparatus is hovering in the sky.

This machine has the form of an ovoid with two superimposed cones connected by a kind of antenna.



An unknown machine located
in the sky by the observatory
of the Mount Ventoux

Orange (C.P.)

The observatory of the Mont-Ventoux announces that since this morning 8 a.m. in the East - North - East, in the direction of Orange, an unknown craft passes in the sky.

This apparatus has all the form of an ovoid with two superimposed cones connected by a kind of antenna.

It appeared to evolve/move very slowly at a 4.000 meters height, at approximately two kilometers from the station.

It is thought that it is a sounding device; which one could observe with leisure until 5 p.m.

After what it disappeared.

In addition, many farmers occupied with the agricultural work, between Camaret and Serignan, stated to have seen a "shining object" in the sky. They were unable to identify it.

The object had a lengthened form and seemed to change color, passing from the red to the green and conversely.

This appearance could be the same one as that announced by the military observatory of the Mont-Ventoux to the airport of Marignane.



Thousands of residents
of Tulle saw
the meteorologists saucer

Mysterious craft continue to haunt the sky of France, The testimonies accumulate, coming every day, bringing some new details, either on the saucers, or on the flying cigars.

In Le Puy, a bright object was observed between 5:50 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. by the Chadrac weather station. The craft appeared like a straight olive with a sort of black antenna at the top. The station chief said he thought he was in the presence of the planet Jupiter, but the sudden disappearance of the object showed that he had made a mistake. The same phenomenon was seen by the meteorological center of Rueyres (Cantal). We can compare these testimonies to that of thousands of residents of Tulle who at around 3:30 p.m., saw in the sky, in a South-South-East direction, a big bright and motionless dot. It appeared transparent and had the shape of a cylinder whose two ends were conical.

A witness claims to have
almost hit "the craft"

Above Cannes, several people observed a luminous apparatus of yellow color with a green tail. But the most interesting testimony was brought by an employee of the municipal recipe of Antibes, Mr. Casella, living in Bio [sic] who, returning home in the evening, found himself "nose to nose with a huge mechanical machine measuring 7 to 8 meters in diameters [sic] posed in the middle of the road". The witness who was on a bicycle approached the craft until almost touching it, but then it rose vertically and disappeared in the sky with a slight hissing sound.

In the Provence sky, in Venergues, several grape pickers have seen a craft elongated like a cigar, said one of them, and white and blue, said a second. A third picker said the rocket appeared to be emitting luminous rays.

A saucer lands in Italy

Many mysterious craft were also seen in the sky of Italy. One of these machines landed near Rovigo, in the Po Di Gnocca area, where several people observed it. The craft of circular shape after having slowly hovered, landed on the ground without noise, after a few minutes of immobility, it resumed vertically its silent flight, but at the place where it took off, there is now a fairly deep crater six meters in diameter. Six poplars that stood nearby were also charred. Authorities will travel to the place to verify the authenticity of the witnesses' accounts.

In the Modane region, a trader saw an incandescent "flying cigar" flying over the countryside at an altitude of around two hundred meters. After a short stop, the craft reportedly headed to the northwest. This observation was confirmed by other witnesses.

The Mont Ventoux observatory
spots a saucer

The Mont Ventoux observatory reports that since yesterday morning 7:30 a.m., East-North-East, in the direction of Orange, an unknown object hovers in the sky.

This object of ovoid shape has two superimposed cones connected by a kind of antenna.

The size of an egg

A resident of Pont-à-Marcq, who wishes to remain anonymous, told our reporter:

"Thursday evening at 10.45 p.m., I saw, in a westerly direction, going horizontally towards a very bright star, a luminous object the size of an egg moving quickly and fading at the very moment when I recorded, in the vertical direction, a trail drawing on pink by describing several curves; I do not believe in flying saucers coming from another planet, but from what I saw at such a high height, I am convinced that somewhere on our globe, tests of launching of long-range rockets are under way."

A red-orange disc
in Wignehies

Friday evening around 9 p.m. Mr. Paul Caulier, living in Hirson, was coming to visit his parents on rue F. Boussus in Wignehies, when, arriving near Quatre Bras, road from La Capelle to Hirson, a crowd made him decide to get out of the car. Several people were watching the move of a flying saucer which was visible at a distance estimated at approximately 800 m. of height. This saucer appeared in the usual red-orange disc shape. Mr. Paul Caulier then headed for Wignehies where on the road from Fourmies to Wignehies, at the place called Le Pont Pagnier, he was still able to see this saucer in the sky.




... and the carousel continues

Contrary to what happened last week, the "flying saucers" did not respect the Sunday rest and showed themselves everywhere, say many testimonies, in Italy, in France where a motorist, mistaken for a Martian, narrowly avoided a discharge of buckshot. It was a farmer from Sinceny, near Chauny, in Aisne, Mr. Maurice Ruant, who almost fell victim to this unfortunate mistake.

He was busy, late in the evening, troubleshooting his car in a meadow near his home when two shots from a shotgun were fired in his direction. The pellets crashed into the body of the vehicle, not far from the head of Mr. Ruant, who lodged a complaint.

The investigation established that the author of these shots was a neighbor, Mr. Faisan, who declared, protesting of his good faith: "I believed, seeing a figure moving in the light of two headlights, being in the presence of a Martian repairing his flying saucer. I went to get my rifle, and, I fired."

To this incident, which annoyingly illustrates the psychosis of fear created in certain quarters by the "saucers", we must add the many reports indicating these in: Rome, where, it is said, a flying cigar was seen by many inhabitants of the St Jean de Latran district; Metz, where a witness saw his statements confirmed by a sentry at the air police station, at Paramé, in the Ile-et-Vilaine [sic], at the Mont Ventoux observatory, at the Issoire-le-Broc airfield where the observation of a saucer was made, one says, for almost two hours by ground staff and Chief Pilot Habau [sic], who was in flight.

Finally, again in Italy, reports of saucers have come from Varese, near Milan, Turin and Messina.

For Professor Antonio Eula, holder of the aerodynamics department at the University of Rome, "saucers" cannot be piloted by Martians.

"We do not know the mysteries of our solar system thoroughly, he told "Giornale d'Italia." Astronautics when it can be put into practice, will perhaps allow us to penetrate them "But we already know that beings similar to us cannot exist on the planets currently known. If there are, they can only be profoundly different. So it is absurd to speak of Martians capable of human activity."

In response to another question, Professor Eula said, he does not believe he is authorized to exclude, absolutely, that they can be "experimental devices intended for military use, and protected by impenetrable secrecy." In conclusion the professor declared: "If this last assumption corresponds to reality, the moment will come when the secret will be revealed, because no secret of a technical nature can be preserved indefinitely."


The two authors indicate that on October 16, 1954 starting at 8 in the morning the observatory of the Ventoux Mount observed an object whose which description could make think of aweather balloon.

The two authors also indicate that in Bedoin in the Vaucluse, on October 16, 1954, at 08:00 a.m., the personal of the weather station observed an object of metallic and spherical aspect.

[Ref. css1:] C.I.S.U:

Clear Skies Code Day Month Year HH MM SS Exact Location Municipality Province/State Country Geogr. Coord. AS/AF Eyewitness Clear Skies Class. Minimal distance D/N INT INS Level of Identification Causes Notes CISU General Catalogue
251 F 1954 16 10 1954 12 0ca Observatory Mont Ventoux Haute Provence France 44.100, 5.170 AS Berthier, P.; Mévolhon, R. 1 75000 D TEL PH 3 Stratospheric balloon

[Ref. lpt1:] ANONYMOUS:

One "GDM7" wrote that on October 19, 1954 "'Ufos' were said to have been seen in Bedoin... (Source: Ventoux Magazine)".

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

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541016 16.10.1954 Marignane France



The high altitude balloon that day.

One or more stratospheric balloons to study cosmic rays were launched from Milan, Italy, as a project of the Padova University, and floated in the French sky on October 14, 15 and 16, 1954; this photograph was taken from the observatory of Haute-Provence:



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

Mont Ventoux, Var, object, machine, apparatus, cylinder, cone, antenna, observatory, Batard, vertical, high, duration


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 24, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 28, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [fru1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 27, 2010 Addition [css1].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 13, 2016 Addition [lpl1].
1.3 Patrick Gross February 2, 2017 Additions [lml1], [ubk1].
1.4 Patrick Gross April 10, 2020 Additions [nmn1], [vau1].
1.5 Patrick Gross May 16, 2021 Addition [lon1].

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