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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 17, 1954, Amigny-Rouy, Aisne:

Reference number for this case: 17-Oct-54-Amigny-Rouy. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


By ufologists Thibaut Alexandre or Eric Maillot, in 2015, we learned that the primary media source of this case was the local newspaper La Dépêche de l'Aisne for October 21, 1954, reporting that Mr. Déspres, chief warrant officer of gendarmerie in retirement in the hamlet of La Grande in Saint-Gobain, was returning from Chauny by car accompanied by his wife when, at the level of the village of Amigny-Rouy, he saw a large ball of fire which seemed to him to land at the edge of the wood at a place called "Fay-de-Servais", about 200 meters from the road.

In the ufology literature, the case first appears with ufologist Jacques Vallée in 1966 in his computer listing, but the place is written "Armigny" instead of Amigny-Rouy, and the only information given were the date and time.

In their 1975 book, "Face aux Extra-terrestres", ufologists Charles Garreau and Raymond Lavier were more talkative, reporting that on October 17, 1954, around 10:30 p.m., in Amigny-Rouy in the Aisne department, according to the report of the gendarmerie and their personal files, Mr. Gaston Desprez, retired adjutant of gendarmerie, was driving by car on the National Road 7, coming from Chauny, and arriving at level of Amigny, where a calvary stands, he saw a very large ball of fire, which seemed to hover above the village. These authors reported his words as follows:

"As I advanced, the ball seemed to recede. But after crossing the junction, I see it land at the edge of a wood, at a place called La Faye-de-Servais, about 200 meters from the roadway. Continuing to drive, I lose sight of it. Immediately, I make a U turn. When I return to the wood, I see the ball rise and disappear in the direction of Beautort-la-Fère. This ball was about 4 meters in diameter. I observed it for 3 to 4 minutes."

Mr. Desprez would have told this the next morning to his former colleagues from the La Fère gendarmerie brigade, but "no trace was found on the spot."

This version will be copied as is in 1979 by Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon in their voluminous "Dossier des Rencontres Rapprochées en France". The authors introduce a misprint: "Beautort-la-Fère" becomes "Beaufort-la-Fère"

In 1981, Jean-François Gille lists the case in the context of a study on "Isocelia" alleged by J. C. Fumoux, a theory claiming that UFO observations are mapped on isosceles triangles such as chance cannot account for it. Charles Garreau on his side used the idea of the Australian pilot, UFO witness, and ufologist Bruce Cathie, who thought he found out that UFO sightings occur on a grid-shaped network, made of squares of 33 nautical miles (61.1 km) of side (see his 1971 book "Harmonic 695"): Garreau assures that this case is on this grid he renamed "Harmonic 33"; which he believes to be made of squares of 43.2 km per side.

In his "Francat" listing of 1985, obviously lesser known than the 1979 book, Michel Figuet gave the explanation: it was a misinterpretation caused by the Moon... And Figuet indicated to have learned this by a communication from Dominique Caudron.

The case then appeared in the Circulaire du CNEGU, the bulletin of this ufology group, in #5 for March 1987, among the "explained cases of Francat", in the form "10/17/54: Amigny Rouy (02)".

But this seems to have escaped "convinced" ufologists, such as Luc Chastan, but also some "skeptical" ufologists who then apparently, for some at least, found this explanation by themselves.

In 2010, appeared on a skeptical web board and as a PDF file, a document probably written by Eric Maillot, recalling the version of Garreau and Lavier of this case, noting that "Beautort-la-Fère" is actually the two communes of Beautort and La Fère, and describing how on the occasion of a CNEGU session in November 2015, a group of several CNEGU members drove again in two cars on the route taken by the witness, at a date and time when the Moon was in the same positions as during the 1954 observation: the concordance turned out to be perfect, the Moon then was in the same positions and appearances of movement, hovering, landing, takeoff, in the places indicated by the witness at the time. The CNEGU group took photos of these steps, published and explained in the document.

This document also recalled that the case took place very close to Sinceny, where on October 4, 1954, before the observation of the former gendarme, there had been the highly publicized mistake of Mr. Faisan who had shot a motorist that he had mistaken for a Martian: the retired gendarme must have heard of it and therefore surely had the "flying saucers" in mind the day of his observation.

In 2011, "Bob Rekin" explains, using the Stellarium skychart software and maps, the case as being the Moon; photos taken on site will further reinforce the explanation.

Also in 2011, via the same Web forum, Dominique Caudron, a "skeptical" ufologist based in the Nord, realizes that in his copy of the book by Garreau and Lavier, he had noted 33 years earlier on the margin of the case, "astronomical object" - he must have forgotten to have told Michel Figuet that the precise cause was the Moon. He had dealt with the case no further, he said, for lack of an ephemeris and views of the places that were well usable at the time. But he did so in 2011, and found, or rather found again, that the Moon was absolutely at the right place to explain the case.

In 2015, Thibaut Alexandre, "with the participation of Eric Maillot", published on the case in "Les Dossiers de Sceptique OVNI" N° 6. He (or rather Eric Maillot, maybe) tells that on reading about the case, he thought it may be the Moon, checked the positions, studied the places he knows well, and found the explanation by the Moon.

He notes the usual problems in the previous "recopies": the place called "La Faye-de-Servais" is sometimes "Fay-de-Servais", and especially the direction towards "Beautort-la-Fère" given by Garreau and Lavier becomes "Beaufort-la-Fère" in Figuet and Ruchon's version, and then in Chastan's version on the Web, whereas this was two different municipalities, one being Beautor, and the other being La Fère.


[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

369 17 10 1954 22 30 1 ARMIGNY F 0011 E


The two ufologists report that on October 17, 1954, at approximately 10:30 P.M., in Amigny-Rouy in the department of the Aisne, according to the report of the gendarmerie and their personal files, Mr. Gaston Desprez, adjutant of gendarmerie in retirement, circulated by car on the National Road RN 7, coming from Chauny.

While arriving at level of Amigny, where a martyrdom is, he saw a ball of fire of very large dimension, which seemed to hover above the village. The authors report his explanations:

"As I advanced, the ball seemed to back off. But after having crossed the crossroad, I see it land at the edge of a wood, at the locality Faye-de-Servais, approximately 200 meters away of the roadway. Continuing to drive, I lose sight of it. All so immediately, I make a half-turn. When I return towards the wood, I see the ball rising and disappearing in the direction of Beautort-la-Fère. This ball was approximately 4 meters in diameter. I observed it during 3 to 4 minutes."

Mr. Desprez told all this the next day in the morning to his former colleagues of the gendarmerie squad of La Fère. No trace was not found on the premises.


The two authors indicate that on October 17, 1954 at 10:30 p.m., a person coming from Chauny, while arriving at height of Amigny Rouy in the department of the Aisne, where a martyrdom is, saw a ball of fire of approximately 4 meters in diameter which seemed to hover above the village:

"As far as I advanced, the ball seemed to draw back."

After having crossed a crossroads, he saw the object land at the edge of a wood, at the locality "Faye-de-Servais," at approximately 200 meters of the road. The witness lost sight of the machine, and made a half-turn.

Again at the level of the wood, he saw the luminous object rising and disappearing in the direction to Beaufort-la-Fère.

The source is given as Face aux ET by C. Garreau and R. Lavier, pages 199-200.


This ufologist noted that the case "Amigny-Rouy (Aisne 17/10/54)", which he classifies as being a "landing", is on what he imagines to be a "vertical corridor" of places of UFO sightings, and at the same time on a "circle" of other UFO sightings.


100 1720 AMIGNY-ROUY RF02 54 10 17 369

[Ref. mft1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

Nr of the J. C. Fumoux list Nr of the Francat list Localization Date Class Credibility Sources Number of W
100 228 Amigny-Rouy 17/10 CE0 E [= Explained] conf Lune [= misinterpretation of the Moon] comm. D.C. [=communicated by Dominique Caudron] 2-p. 1981. 1 T

[Ref. mft2:] MICHEL FIGUET:

228 CEl 17 10 1954 22.30 Amigny-Rouy 02700 B4 E [= Expained], moon OVNI: p. 181 [=[fru1]]


This cas appears in the Circulaire du CNEGU #5 Series 1 for March 1987 in a list of the "Francat explained cases", as: "10/17/54 : Amigny Rouy (02)" (bottom right):

[Ref. fbn1:] FABRICE BONVIN:

Fabrice Bonvin notes:

Case #023: 17/10/1954, p. 181 (Amigny-Rouy)

[Ref. fbn2:] FABRICE BONVIN:

In a table, Fabrice Bonvin notes selected cases of the 1954 French flap, including this one:

Case Nmbr witnesses Hours Type objects
Amigny-rouy 1 4 1


4184: 1954/10/17 22:30 4 3:18:00 E 49:37:00 N 3333 WEU FRN ASN 7:6


Ref# 30 FIGEUT[sic]&RUCHON: OVNI: Le 1er Dossier Page No. 182 : TOWN &CITY


[... other cases...]

On October 17 [1954] at 10:30 p.m., a retired gendarmerie warrant officer saw a ball of fire which landed then took off again near Amigny-Rouy (02).

[... other cases...]

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Aisne in Amigny Rouy on October 17, 1954 at 22:30 hours, "The witness comes from Chauny, while arriving at the level of Amigny where there is a martyrdom statue, he sees a ball of fire approximately 4 meters in diameter which seems to hover above the village: 'as I advanced, the ball seemed to move back', he says."

"After having crossed a crossroads, he sees the object land at the edge of a wood, ate locality 'La Faye-de-Servais', approximately 200 meters of the road. The witness loses sight of the apparatus, and made a half-turn. Again at the level of wood, he sees the luminous object rising and disappearing in direction of Beaufort-la-Fère."

The source is indicated as "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".


I just looked in my Garreau-Lavier. I see that I noted in the margin: astronomical object.

But it must have been 33 years ago. At that time I was working with an HP 25 calculator, and ephemeris, and that's why I did not try to learn more. The computer came next, and today we have Google maps, Google Steet and Stellarium

With Google maps, we position ourselves in Amigny-Rouy then with Google street, we move on the D7 to Amigny-Rouy until you find a Calvary

Then we go on until the horizon is no longer masked by the ground movement from the Calvary (the village is left behind the tree bouquet. Sight is oriented northeast

We reconstruct the sky with Stellarium for this place, date, hour, and orientation

And that's it, the Moon throned above the village. As the witness did not see the moon and does not locate the object relative to the moon, there was thus only one object. it was the moon

Cherry on the case, a few hundred meters further, Google Street allows us to discover the Quarouble Martians, that were not seen again for a week.

We live fantastic times.

[Ref. emt2:] ERIC MAILLOT:

Reconstruction of the Amigny-Rouy case (02)

The 112th session of the CNEGU, which was held for the first time in Aisne on October 31 and November 1, 2015, was the opportunity to field test an astronomical explanatory hypothesis of a case of UFO belonging to the great wave of the autumn of 1954. Indeed, several factors played positively: geographic proximity, celestial mechanics and good weather.

As the organizer of the 112th session of the CNEGU, I decided in the summer of 2015 to do it at my home for practical logistical reasons (timetable, birth of my daughter on August 31, etc.). The week before the session, I was interested in a very specific astronomical news: an asteroid of 400 m in diameter, named 2015 TB145, had passed less than 500,000 km from Earth on October 31 and became, for only a few hours, theoretically bright enough to be observable with amateur astronomer instruments. Checking which constellations were to be crossed by the asteroid, I quickly realized that 2015 TB145 was going to cross the Big Dipper in the early evening, which made it, once again, theoretically observable. The observation would not be easy, however, because the star would be low, culminating at around twenty degrees of angular height. That was not all: it was necessary to check whether the Moon would not come to play the spoilsport, because being then in gibbous phase (between the Full Moon and the Last Quarter), its strong luminosity could hide a lot of landmarks. Checking done, it turned out that the Moon was going to rise at 9:05 p.m., at the azimuth 62°... Immediately, this azimuth put me on alert: I indeed always keep at the bottom of my memory the possibility of restoring on the location the hypothesis of the lunar misinterpretation for the case of Amigny-Rouy (02) of October 17, 1954, for which it is necessary to have the Moon close to the rising in the North-East. The brilliant idea of ??being able to make an onsite reconstruction during a CNEGU session was therefore in motion, especially since the places are in the immediate vicinity: the hillock from which the UFO had appeared to the witness is practically visible from my home. A trip of just a few minutes by car, and one can be there: it would be a shame to deprive oneself! In addition, the case of Amigny-Rouy is one of those that I detail in my new file UFOs in the moonlight, released only two weeks earlier: the opportunity to demonstrate that my writings are correct was therefore within reach of hand.

First of all, remember the content of the case. The most "complete" description I could find is given in the book Face aux Extra-Terrestres, by Charles Garreau and Raymond Lavier, on pages 206 and 207:

"Amigny-Rouy (Aisne), October 17, 1954, around 10:30 p.m. References: gendarmerie report, personal files.

Mr. Gaston D, retired gendarmerie warrant officer, drives a car on the R.N. 7, coming from Chauny. Arriving at Amigny, where there is a calvary, he sees a very large ball of fire, which seems to hover above the village:

"As I advanced, the ball seemed to recede. But after crossing the crossroads, I see it land at the edge of a wood, at a place called La Faye-de-Servais, about 200 meters from the road. Continuing to drive, I lose sight of it. Immediately, I make a U turn. When I return to the wood, I see the ball rise and disappear in the direction of Beautort-la-Fère. This ball was about 4 meters in diameter. I observed it for 3 to 4 minutes."

This is what Mr. D tells the next morning to his former colleagues from the La Fère gendarmerie brigade. But, on the spot, there is no trace."

Two errors crept into the text: the witness was not traveling on the RN7, but on the D7, and the town of Beautort-la-Fère does not exist. It should be understood that the UFO disappeared in the direction of the cities of Beautor and La Fère, that is to say phonetically Beautor / La Fère. Note in passing: this second error will later be taken up and modified in other UFO works, becoming Beaufort-la-Fère.

A simple general map of the places is enough to understand the geography of the case:


A more precise map of the places clarifies the understanding of the case even more:


As we can see on the two maps, the village of Amigny-Rouy seen from Calvary, the edge of the wood seen from the crossroads or even Beautor / La Fère seen from Amigny-Rouy are always towards the Northeast. However, when we look at the sky map at the time of the observation, it is in this direction that the Moon is located, not cited by the witness, more precisely at 3.3 ° angular height and at an azimuth of 60 °, all half an hour after the rising of the Moon. The hypothesis of the lunar misinterpretation is not chosen at random, since the whole of the description agrees with it: ball of fire of large diameter, displacement parallel to that of the witness and landing then take-off while the witness makes a U turn.

A final note in passing: the D1 and 1032 on the general map did not exist in 1954. To get an idea of ??the state of the roads in the area at the time of the observation, you have to go on the "geological map" option of Géoportail, the local geological map having been drawn up at the end of the 1960s:


On October 31, 2015, the position of the Moon was almost similar: half an hour after the rising of the Moon, that is to say at 9:35 p.m. Local Time, the Moon is at 3.5 ° in height angular and at an azimuth of 67 °. This offset of 7 ° in azimuth is generally observed during Saros reconstructions! This is why the reconstruction on the ground was worth trying. Obviously, it was not a pure Saros reconstruction, since the 61-year interval does not correspond to anything in particular. In addition, the lunar phase was not entirely identical: in 1954, the Moon was on the eve of the Last Quarter, with a lunation of 20.9 days. In 2015, the Moon is three days from the Last Quarter, with a lunation of 18.8 days. However, this difference of two days is not prohibitive: the appearance of the Moon really remains within the norms.

On the evening of October 31, with good weather, no less than 8 participants go to the starting point of the reconstitution route, arbitrarily fixed in the parking lot of the Carrefour Market in Autreville, just leaving the town of Chauny. Indeed, not knowing the exact starting point of the witness at Chauny in 1954, it was necessary to find the point of the most practical and closest route to Chauny to meet and take stock for all the participants. The witness's journey in 1954 is relatively simple: N37 (downgraded since in D937) from Chauny to Autreville, then D7 from Sinceny to St-Gobain, via Amigny-Rouy. In the parking lot, I give the last instructions to the participants because we were in two different cars.

The departure takes place at 9:25 p.m. We leave a few minutes before the scheduled reconstitution time because we planned to make some stops along the way to take photos, which the witness obviously did not do in 1954, since he was simply going home, in St-Gobain. Interesting detail: it's already been 20 minutes since the Moon was theoretically lifted, but is not visible, due to the presence of houses along the road.

(photo 1)

After 700 meters on the road, we arrive at the start D937 / D7. We must therefore turn left towards Amigny-Rouy and St-Gobain. The Moon is still not visible.

(photo 2)

We were driving on a North-South axis, here we are now on a West-East axis. The Moon, which was theoretically on our left side, should now be almost opposite. However, it is still not visible, due to the relief: the D937 / D7 crossroads practically at the bottom of the Oise valley (altitude of 50 m), and the D7 rises to an altitude of 90 m in the heart of the village of Sinceny.

After the castle of Sinceny, just before the exit of the village, suddenly... a familiar shape appeared from behind the large wall of a neighboring farm: the Moon! It is then 9:29 p.m. I did not expect such an early appearance of our natural satellite, which was yellow-orange in color. However, this demonstrates one thing: at the time indicated by the witness, the Moon was indeed present in the sky.

(photo 3)

Just after the Sinceny cemetery, shortly before the D1 roundabout, we stop to photograph the panorama in front of us. The Moon is very present in the sky, just above the North hill of Rouy, the same one where the calvary mentioned in the description is located. Note in passing that the Moon is not very high compared to this mound, on the photo below taken at 9:31 pm: a lunar diameter only. Knowing that the Moon is located at this time at 2.95 ° angular height, this therefore places the top of this hillock at 2.5 ° maximum. It would have taken very little time for the Moon to be still invisible during our passage on this section of road: the calculations show that an angular height of 2.5 ° was reached at 9:27 p.m. The time given by the witness ("around 10:30 pm") is therefore very probably overestimated by only a few minutes. On October 17, 1954, the Moon became visible from this section of the road from 10:23 p.m.

(photo 4)

After crossing the D1 roundabout which, let us remember, did not exist in 1954, the Moon disappears behind the hill. It does not reappear on the horizon until we arrive at the top of the South Butte of Rouy (altitude of 109 m). Note in passing that in the two photos below, taken at 9:33 p.m. and 9:34 p.m. (Moon at 3.2 ° angular height), the Moon is to the right of the telephone antenna located next to Calvary but is not at - above the relief present on the left. Now, remember that during this reconstruction, the Moon is 7 ° to the right of its 1954 position: it therefore made it still invisible when the witness passed this place, all the more so since the observation most likely took place a few minutes before the time indicated. Our stop in front of the only house in the area was sure to attract the attention of its occupants, who were watching us through the French window.

(photo 5)

(photo 6)

We hit the road again. Once the hill crossed, the landscape facing us opens wide. The Moon is unmissable, just above the village of Amigny-Rouy. But what did the description of the case say? Oh yes: "arriving at Amigny, where there is a cross, he sees a large ball pf fire, which seems to hover above the village". As for the fact that "the ball seemed to recede" as the witness advanced, it is simple enough to drive to realize the phenomenon: following ball effect guaranteed!

(photo 7)

It is then 9:38 p.m. (Moon at 3.96 ° angular height). In any event, the witness could not fail to see the Moon during his passage through Amigny-Rouy. Why did he not take it as a remarkable landmark, instead of rather vague landmarks at night (village of Amigny, on the edge of a wood, etc.)? Most certainly because the UFO and the Moon are one, especially since the color of the Moon is reminiscent of that of fire!

(photo 8)

So far, the Moon meets all the criteria of the description, and it's not over! Let us not forget that just after the crossroads cited by the witness (crossroads D7 / D53), the UFO is supposed to "land on the edge of a wood". Guess what? Right after leaving the village of Amigny, this is exactly what the Moon does, or almost, by effect of perspective. The first branches of the forest quickly appear in shadow at the bottom of the Moon, and you only have to advance a few meters for the latter to be hidden by the trees.

(photo 9)

Just at the entrance to the St-Gobain forest, a forest path to the right of the road allows us to make a U turn. Obviously, since we are now making the journey in the opposite direction, the Moon reappears after a few moments, seeming to take off from the forest. Before the entry of Amigny, the Moon is clearly visible in the sky... in the luminous halo of the cities of Beautor and La Fère.

Exactly what the witness described!

(photo 10)

The journey of the reconstitution being finished, we can return serenely at home, to continue our session.

Conclusion: throughout our reconstruction journey, we were able to relive one by one the elements of the observation of October 17, 1954, thanks to the Moon. The explanatory hypothesis proposed therefore proves to be correct and entirely satisfactory. It is normal that the witness did not recognize the Moon at the time: its sudden appearance along the way and its color reminiscent of that of fire are elements allowing to be mistaken. Nor should we forget the local context of the time: the day before the observation, in the village of Sinceny (crossed by our witness), a man had shot with a rifle at what he believed to be a Martian coming out of his flying saucer, but who was none other... than his neighbor repairing his car! Fortunately for him, he missed the bullets. The witness of Amigny-Rouy being a retired gendarme, he must certainly have heard of this affair. What reinforce the effect of surprise when the Moon appears? Our reconstruction showed that the sighting certainly took place a few minutes earlier than the schedule indicated by the witness. According to Charles Garreau, a gendarmerie report was written at the time. Despite some research, I could not find it. In a few months, the GEIPAN must put on line a good number of police reports drawn up during the 1954 wave. If we are lucky, the case of Amigny-Rouy could be part of the lot, thus offering us a description even more complete of the case.

Annex: for a better understanding of the route followed and the location of the photos taken, here is a detailed plan.


[Ref. emt1:] "BOB REKIN":

To obtain additional information on GEIPAN UAPs to confirm whether certain assumptions regarding C [unidentified] UAPs, I just got the book OVNI : Le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochées en France by Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon.

Out of curiosity, I took a look at a few cases observed in the Aisne (what a funny idea, because I live there! [Laughing]). One case in particular caught my attention, because at reading, I suspected an astronomical mistake. This is the case of Amigny-Rouy, dated October 17, 1954.

The case is described on pages 181 and 182:

"October 17, 1954 10:30 p.m. Duration: 3 to 4 minutes Amigny-Rouy N7 02700 B4.

WITNESS. Gaston D. (retired gendarmerie sergeant)

OBSERVATION. A fireball of about 4 meters in diameter, which hovers, lands and takes off.

EVENTS. The witness comes from Chauny, arriving at the height of Amigny where there is a Calvary, he sees a ball of fire that seems to hover above the village, "as I advanced, the ball seemed to recede", he said.

After crossing an intersection, he saw the object land on the edge of a wood, at a place called "La Faye de Servais", about 200 meters from the road. The witness lost sight of the craft, and makes a U turn. Back to the level of the wood, he sees the luminous object rise and disappear in the direction of Beaufort la Fere.


NOTE. The witness recounted his adventure the next morning, to his colleagues at the police station in La Fere, but no trace was found at the scene.


SOURCES. C. and R. Garreau Lavier Face aux E.T., p. 199-200 "

The description (brief) of the phenomenon suggests a misinterpretation of the Moon, especially when it rises or sets: large luminous ball of a large diameter ("about 4 meters in diameter"), orange or red ("fireball ").

The astronomical possibility is enhanced by the classical syndrome of the follower ball: the witness approaches a wood and the UFO rises there; the witness makes a U turn, the UFO takes off again. Better still, the description given by the witness is very characteristic: "as I advanced, the ball seemed to recede." Try to chase the Moon that faces you while you're on the road: it will seem to always recede as you try to approach. [Wink]

The orientation of the phenomenon is not shown, but you can easily find it by the geographical indications. The Calvary is visible on Geoportal, which is a great help. Here is the site plan:

[Map published on ImageShack not accessible at this time.]

Seen from the Calvary, the village of Amigny-Rouy (and the UFO) is visible approximately in the north-east.

Note two geographical inaccuracies:

- It is written that the witness is on the "N7". In fact, it is the D7, a small axonaise country road, connecting the cities of Chauny and Laon, through the forest of Saint-Gobain.

- During the last phase of the phenomenon, the UFO is described as heading to "Beaufort la Fere." This is definitely a mistake, because I see no Beaufort la Fere on the available maps. However, also in the Northeast, we can find (off the map), nearby locations Beautor and La Fere (ie Beautor-La Fere).

It remains to verify the Moon misinterpretation hypothesis. The UFO was seen to the northeast, and if this is a misinterpreation of the Moon, we would have here to deal with a rising Moon.

So I go to my favorite website Calsky (, placing my cursor in the town of Amigny-Rouy, by setting the date to October 17, 1954, 10:30 p.m. (official time). Then I go to the Moon section ("Moon") to obtain its celestial coordinates at the time of observation ("Apparent View / Data").

The result is very eloquent:

- The Moon is at 3.56° high at 59.57° azimuth (North-East).

It got up at 9:57 p.m.. We are on the eve of the Full Moon, and it is 60% lit.

With such an angular height, no wonder the UFO (which is seen in the direction of the Moon... [Wink]) appears to hover above the village and then disappear in a wood, due to the movement of the witness. The Moon moreover appears tilted 45° on its axis. Combined with its red or orange hue (low height), the probably tired witness (it's late) and the fact that he drives (his attention is not 100% focused on the UFO), are all factors to explain that the witness was unable to recognize the moon: which was rising. [Smiley]

[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
19541017 17.10.1954 Armigny [sic] France 22.30 CE II



Amigny-Rouy (02), October 17, 1954

Description of the case: on October 17, 1954 around 10:30 p.m., W1 (retired from the gendarmerie) returned from Chauny towards Saint-Gobain by taking the D7. Arrived at the calvary overlooking the village of Amigny-Rouy, he sees a large fireball seemingly hovering above the village. W1 continues on his way and the UFO seems to retreat. Arrived at a crossroads (junction D7 / D53), W1 sees the UFO landing on the edge of a wood, at a place called La Faye de Servais, then he loses sight of it. W1 immediately makes a U turn. The UFO then rises and disappears in the direction of "Beaufort-la-Fère" (we will come back to this name). The next day, W1 tells his observation to his former colleagues from the La Fère gendarmerie. A press article appeared in La Dépêche de l'Aisne for October 21, 1954:

For more than twenty years, the case will remain at the back of the ufologists' drawers.

The story only emerged in 1975, with the release of the book Face aux extra-terrestres by Charles Garreau and Raymond Lavier. The book serves as a reference for Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon for their famous complete file of close encounters in France, released in 1979. It was by buying this book in June 2011 that I discovered the case: living in the department of Aisne, I was then curious about the cases indicated therein. The description of the phenomenon and a glance at Stellarium allowed me to immediately make a connection with the Moon. The results of my research are visible on the UFO Scepticisme forum here: http://ufo-

Tri-Weekly "LA DEPECHE DE L'AISNE" (LAON, 02) from Thu 10/21/54 p.2:



Several people from the Chauny, La Fère, Saint-Gobain region saw, some say Saturday, others Sunday - between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., a luminous object crossing the sky. We reported this in our last issue. * We are including an interesting testimony, that of Mr. Déspres adjutant chief of gendarmerie in retirement in the hamlet of La Grande in St-Gobain.

He was returning from Chauny in a car accompanied by his wife when, at the level of the village of Amigny-Rouy, he saw a large ball of fire. The unidentified craft appeared to him to land at the edge of the wood at a place called "Fay-de-Servais", about 200 meters from the road.

* issue is missing at the National Library



In 2013, the case is cited in the book Les Mystères de l'Aisne by Jean-Claude George.


- OVNI : Le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochées en France by Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon, pages 180 et 181.

- Facing the aliens of Charles Garreau and Raymond Lavier, pages 206 and 207.

- Alerte dans le ciel by Charles Garreau (1981 edition), pages 316 and 320.

- La Dépêche de l'Aisne of October 21, 1954

- Base Ovni France

- Les Mystères de l'Aisne by Jean-Claude George, page 184

- A gendarmerie report was probably writtenat La Fère, dated October 18, 1954

Analysis: despite a fairly succinct account (testimony of just a few lines), it is nevertheless possible to examine this case in more detail. However, care should be taken with place names, as several errors have crept into the various stories reported in the press. Thus, the route taken by the witness is not the N7, but the D7. The shell appeared in 1975 in the book by Garreau and Lavier and has since been shamelessly copied (Figuet-Ruchon catalog and Base Ovni France website). The rest is fairly easy to understand when you have a detailed map of the area. We know that the UFO appeared when the witness was at the height of the calvary dominating the village of Amigny-Rouy. This calvary is located at the top of an old witness mound (very eroded) of the Saint-Gobain massif, dominating the Oise valley, at a height of 146 m. The UFO seemed to hover above the village of Amigny-Rouy, that is to say towards the North-East. The crossroads where the witness saw the UFO land at the edge of the forest is



the 07 / D53 junction, about 1.5 km from the calvary. The UFO was seen towards the place called La Faye-de-Servais (or Fay-de-Servais according to the sources}, small hillock marking the northern part of the national forest of Saint-Gobain. This locates the UFO towards the East or North-East. To better find your way, here is a map of the places:


The direction of departure of the UFO poses a problem however: the majority of known sources speak of Beaufort-la-Fère. Garreau and Lavier's book, however, talks about Beautort-la-Fère.

Anyway, it turns out... this town just doesn't exist. And moreover never existed. In place of a hypothetical village glued to the city of La Fère, it should be read that the UFO left in the direction of the municipalities of Beautor and La Fère! Phonetically, this gives "Beautor - La Fère", transcribed in "Beautort-la-Fére" in the book by Garreau and Lavier. Copying the case without visibly checking the configuration of the place, Figuet and Ruchon therefore offer us a "Beaufort-la-Fère" making a nice misspell (another one!). And it is this name that is taken up by Luc Chastan on his Base Ovni France website. This false name is again used in



2013 by Jean-Claude George for his book Les Mystères de l'Aisne. To top it all off, to the extent that the book is intended to be an account of local stories (we can nevertheless emphasize that Mr. George is not originally from the Axonais region). It must be believed that in 40 years, nobody thought of checking the place, just copying the case go as you may.

Anyway, this indicates that the UFO was visible frankly in the Northeast, at an azimuth close to forty degrees:


Although the testimony is short, several clues point towards the track of an astronomical object at sunrise. We know that the UFO was low on the horizon (hovering above a village, landing at the edge of the forest). If it is indeed an astronomical misinterpretation (hypothesis posed but not yet verified at this stage of the text), it is even normal that the witness did not see the object before the calvary of Amigny: I know the place well because I live a stone's throw away and I can tell you that the mound-witness on which this calvary thrones masks the eastern horizon from Chauny. For the same reasons, it is perfectly normal that the witness could not have seen a possible star on rising on the last part of its course (from the entrance of the forest to the old hamlet of La Grange - where he lives - and which is located below the



famous old glassworks of St-Gobain), because the terrain is very hilly in addition to being very wooded.

The color of fire is very characteristic of a star on rising (we are in the Northeast}, in particular of the Moon.

Last point of detail and not least: the UFO seems to advance at the same time as the witness ('as I advanced, the ball seemed to move back') and 'takes off' when the witness makes a U turn. This is very characteristic of a follower ball syndrome...

The astronomical hypothesis being posed and a priori, very credible, it only remains to check it on Stellarium. By taking a precaution of use however: by default, the Stellarium software applies the summer time to all the years according to the current system (namely from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October}. In 1954, daylight saving did not exist in France and the French legal time was then at TU + 1 all year round. For a reconstruction on Stellarium, it is necessary to make "as if" daytime saving existed and therefore look at the appearance of the sky for October 17, 1954 at 11:30 p.m.:



Bingo! The Moon, then close to the Last Quarter, was in the process of rising, only 4° in angular height. This is enough to explain the fire color of the UFO. In addition, the azimuth of the Moon, then at 60°, is close to the expected value for the direction of Beautor / La Fère.

It was not possible to find the local weather archive for the date of the observation any more than the possible gendarmerie report. Nevertheless, the track of a misunderstanding with the moon is not in doubt here: color, shape, direction and behavior of the UFO stick perfectly with the Moon.


The case of Amigny-Rouy is part of the great wave of autumn 1954, where hundreds of UFO sightings have been recorded in France. There are few cases in the department of Aisne, but one is quite symptomatic of the particular atmosphere of this wave: the D7 borrowed by the witness from Amigny-Rouy passes through the town of Sinceny. Only 48 hours before the observation we have just studied, an unusual fact occurred in Sinceny. A farmer in the town was busy repairing his car in a meadow when two blows of gunshots broke out and two bullets narrowly missed him. His neighbor, seeing a silhouette moving in the light of the headlights, had simply believed in the arrival of a Martian and had immediately taken down his gun!

The case of Amigny-Rouy is listed by Charles Garreau in his oh so naive system of orthotheny 'Harmonic 33’, where UFOs are supposed to land on very specific corridors spaced 43.2 km apart. An incredible precision unfortunately spoiled by a very large number of questionable cases (eg the case of Prémanon (39) of September 27, 1954; which was in fact a child's prank...). Amigny-Rouy is part of the vertical corridor and the so-called exploration circle centered on point nr 3 located between Emanville and Beaumont-le-Roger, in the Eure.

We can note that the incredible precision of Harmonic 33 is in fact of variable geometry, because from the pen of Charles Garreau, the diameter of the exploration circle concerned is "380 km, fairly close to 43, 2 x 9, or 388 km". "Fairly close" is far from being a significant measure!




- Authors of UFO works often do not bother to recheck all the data of a case, mostly happy to just copy the stories. The slightest error that slips in can distort all or part of the initial testimony.

- The Stellarium software is a great tool, but you always have to be careful when you want to reconstruct the sky for years before 1996, when the current system of the transition to daylight saving time (from the end of March to end of October) was implemented. As a reminder, do not hesitate to read this very useful topic on the UFO Scepticisme forum:



October 17 1954. 2230hrs.


A retired gendarme Gaston Deprez was driving on the RN7 from Cauny [sic], when at a place called "La Faye-De-Servais" he saw a huge fiery globe, 4m in diameter, motionless above the village. He was at the Cavalry area, and when he tried to approach the light it went away, but after the cross roads in landed just in front of a wood some 200m from the road. He returned with his car to see the object taking off in the direction of Beautort-la-Fere. The event lasted two to four minutes.


In Saint-Quentin, yes, UFOs exist but the rest...

Don't expect revelations about the potential arrival of aliens. Thibaut Alexandre, member of the Saint-Quentin Astronomie association, has still not proven their existence. "By definition, yes, unidentified flying objects, UFOs, exist but there is always an explanation." At least, that is what the Axonais resident strives to demonstrate during his investigations. "Yes, we can call them that because there is a real verification process."

Thibaut Alexandre became very passionate about astronomy and stargazing. Since 2009, he has been particularly interested in ufology (the study of phenomena related to UFOs). "There had been a wave of UFOs in the region, that is to say people who had observed phenomena. It was necessary to answer the questions and by dint of finding solutions, it became a pleasure."

The ufologist analyzes everything. "It's a golden age for us: all the new tools are on the Web. We can reconstruct the flight of planes, the weather, the trajectory of satellites depending on the time and location." Suffice to say that the sight of a light in the sky is far from signifying the arrival of an alien invasion.

A ball of fire for the Moon

He cites a case from 1954 which made the front page of the Axonais newspapers of the time. A retired gendarme had seen a fireball above Amigny-Rouy, near the Saint-Gobain forest. The fireball appeared to take off in the direction of La Fère. A case that remained unexplained. Thibaut Alexandre, with other enthusiasts, repeats the route of the gendarme under the same conditions. "It was a moonrise. It can take a red tint depending on the conditions! There is nothing abnormal." Case solved.

[... other cases...]


Misintepretation, the red moon.


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

Amigny-Rouy, Aisne, police, gendarme, official, Gaston Deprez, Gaston Dépres, retired, car, road, Faye-de-Servais, red, ball, hover, fast, landing, duration


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 31, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 2, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross December 31, 2009 Addition [lcn1].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 30, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 9, 2010 Addition [fbn2].
1.4 Patrick Gross October 16, 2014 Addition [emt1], [dcn1]. Explnations changed from "Not looked for yet" to "Confusion, the red Moon."
1.5 Patrick Gross January 21, 2020 Additions [cgu1], [mft1], [mft2], [cnu1], [lhh1], [ads2], [prn2], [cpd1], [emt2], [tae1].
1.6 Patrick Gross February 5, 2021 Addition [ubk1].

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