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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, Plappeville, Moselle:

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

Summary:

The regional newspapers Le Provençal and Le Courrier Picard for October 18, 1954, evoked testimonies of "flying saucers" including that of Metz for October 16, 1954 - actually caused by a meteor. The newspaper considered that this case of Metz was confirmed by that of a sentry from the air police station on duty near Plappeville, in the outskirts of Metz.

Reports:

[Ref. lpl1:] "LE PROVENCAL" NEWSPAPER:

THE SAUCER COURIER (CONTINUED)

An unknown craft gets stationnary at 2 m. of the ground and 100 m of a farmer of Entraigues

A farm labourer also saw the object

Entraigues (C.P.).

Mr. Louis Ollier, farmer in Entraigues, worked, Thursday after midday, in his field, in the district of Malgouverte, with tractor, when, between 17 and 18 hours, he saw a craft appear which seemed to him to have the shape of a lengthened spindle, "which colors, he says, "were clearly those of the rainbow ". The machine, which seemed 8 meters long approximately, was immobilized at a hundred meters of him and at less than two meters of the ground.

Mr. Ollier called a neighbor, domestic at Mr. Poutrot's, who worked not far from there and who also saw the apparatus rising quickly and to move towards Ventoux. They realized at this time that what they had taken for a lengthened spindle was an appreciably circular object. The object besides disappeared quickly.

Metz, Saint-Malo and Issoire overflown by "luminous discs"

Paris (A.C.P.)

The flying saucers once more honoured of their presence the most various areas of France: in Metz, in Saint-Malo, Issoire, the mysterious machines have been seen.

* * *

In Metz, Mr. Hellers claimed to have seen Saturday evening around 09:25 p.m., a luminous machine of oblong form that crossed the sky from East to West at a vertiginous speed. The object, of orange color and the size of a hen egg, slipped silently into space while leaving behind itself an incandescent trail. The witness evaluated the speed of this machine with approximately ten times that of a jet.

This testimony was confirmed by a sentinel of the air police station in faction on the height of Plappeville in the suburbs of Metz.

* * *

In the Ille-et-Vilaine, in Paramé, a plasterer stated to have seen Saturday evening, around 07:45 p.m., two luminous discs which went up and went down in the sky at an extraordinary speed. A third luminous disc seemed to follow a line parallel to the horizon, at a much slower pace than the two others. The discs, while moving away, left behind them a tail similar to that of a comet.

* * *

Lastly, the personnel of the airfield of Issoire-le-Broc and the chief pilot Hebaut, which was in flight, observed a shining craft of circular form which hovered during nearly two hours at very high altitude before moving very slowly towards the West.

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

Scan.

Near Chauny

Believing to be in the presence of a "Martian"

A FARMER FIRED
two gunshots at a neighbor

LILLE, October 17. - M. 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 and other flying objects.

Friday evening, he was busy repairing his car, in a meadow near his home, when two shots from a hunting rifle were fired in his direction. The pellets crashed onto the vehicle body, not far from its head.

Mr. Maurice Ruant complained and the investigation immediately opened made it possible to quickly find the author of the shots, who was a neighbor of Mr. Ruant, Mr. Faisan.

The latter told the police.

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

Despite his good faith, Mr. Ruant will be prosecuted.

Cigars and saucers

The flying saucers once again honored of their presence the most diverse regions of France: in Metz, in Saint-Malo, in Issoire, in particular, mysterious craft have been seen.

In Metz, Mr. Hellers claimed to have seen an oblong luminous craft cross the sky from East to West at breakneck speed. The object, orange in color and the size of a chicken egg, glided silently through space, leaving behind an incandescent trail. The witness estimated the speed of this craft to be approximately ten times that of a jet plane.

This testimony was confirmed by an air police station sentry on the height of Plappeville, in the suburbs of Metz.

In the Ille-et-Vilaine, in Paramé, a plasterer, said he saw two luminous discs going up and down in the sky at an extraordinary speed. A third luminous disc seemed to follow a line parallel to the horizon, at a much slower pace than the other two. The discs, moving away, left behind a tail like that of a comet.

Finally, the staff of the Issoire-le-Broc airfield and the chief pilot Hébaut, who was in flight, observed a brilliant craft of circular shape which hovered during nearly two hours at very high altitude before moving slowly towards the West.

The opinion of an Italian scientist

ROME, October 17. - Many Italians having observed "disks", "saucers", "cigars" etc... flying in the sky of the peninsula, the "Giornale d'Italia" interviewed professor Antonio Eula, holder of the aerodynamics chair at the University of Rome.

This eminent scientist about the possible origin of the so-called spacecraft from other planets, said in particular: "We do not fully know the mysteries of our solar system. Astronautics, when it can be put in practical use, will perhaps allow us to penetrate them. But we already know that beings similar to us cannot exist on the currently known planets. If they exist, they can only be profoundly different. Thus is it absurd to speak of Martians capable of human-like activities."

In response to another question, Professor Eula said he did not believe he was authorized to exclude, in an absolute manner, that it could be "experimental craft intended for military use, and protected by an impenetrable secret." In conclusion, the professor said: "If this last hypothesis corresponds to reality, the time will come when their secret will be revealed, because no secret of a technical nature can be preserved indefinitely."

[Ref. aml7:] AIME MICHEL:

[... other cases...]

But simultaneously [as in Dijon on October 16, 1954] people saw it at Hurecourt in Haute Saone, that is to say at a point several dozen miles to the right of the trajectory outlined by the preceding sightings, and even at Metz and Plappeville, some 100 miles to the right. Instead of talking of disks, the witnesses evoked a very elongated form.

[... 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...]

Explanations:

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

Map.

Aimé Michel's arguments in his 1956 article are not valid:

Around 9:30 p.m., what passed in the sky was described by witnesses as having the appearance of a meteor, as Michel understands it two years later.

His too slow speed argument consisted in taking the first hour and the last hour given in this series of observations, to imagine that the first hour is at the beginning of the seen trajectory and the last at the end, to imagine that these hours are precise to the minute. It was the Air Force that was right - except that I doubt that they said that the witnesses' watches "broke" as Michel said, I think they rather considered them to be sometimes not precisely set.

The argument based on the hours presented in 1956 by Aimé Michel is as erroneous as that of another pioneer of ufology, Charles Garreau, whom Michel knew. In 1958, Michel undoubtedly realized that it made no sense, and he gave up this argument. Garreau on his side never renounced to this error.

Keywords:

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

Plappeville, Moselle, air police, police, sentry

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross February 7, 2020 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross February 25, 2021 Addition [aml7]. In the Explanations, addition of the part about Aimé Michel's arguments.

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This page was last updated on February 25, 2021.