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The 1954 French flap:

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October 18, 1954, Cambrai, Nord:

Reference for this case: 18-Oct-54-Cambrai.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


In 1968-1969, before the official ufology effort of GEPAN was put in place, its future leader Dr. Claude Poher had been a member of the unofficial ufology group GEPA, and had coded on computer reports of UFO sightings from official witness (police or military personal).

One of the records said that on October 18, 1954, at 9:20 p.m., in Cambrai, in the Nord, three witnesses had observed a luminous or fluorescent round or spherical object, of a size estimated - we are not told how - as "like a melon", or "10 to 12 cm."



In 1968-1969, before the official GEPAN ufology effort started, its future head Dr Claude Poher was a member of the unofficial GEPA ufology group, and gathered a computer coded listing of more than 700 UFO reports on which multiple factors statistical computation could be run. In the file were a number of 1954 French UFO reports, among those this one.

For readability, a decoded interpretation of the data is provided here under the original 80 character encoded string. Decoding was done according to the original indications, the code number and its generic meaning is given. Please not that the generic meaning of each code is a predefined category, not the real specific details of the case. For example, if the main witness' age was 33, the coding would result in a number "3" which corresponds to a category "Adult from 21 to 59 years."

Original code:0639551810195421201JA3000010000012AA0D002000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Location:cambrai - France
Case number:0639
Source code:55
Nature of the source:Reports from official French sources: Police, Gendarmerie, Army, Pilots
Type of Time:1 = local time
Number of witnesses:3 = 3
Main witness named:0 = name is not indicated
Main witness age:0 = no indication
Main witness occupation:0 = no indication
Official investigation:1 = an official investigation was made
Weather:0 = no indication
Duration:0 = no indication
Minimal distance witness - phenomenon:0 = no indication
Method of observation:0 = no indication
Number of "objects" observed simultaneously:01 = 1
Shape of the "object" (terminology of witness(es)):2 = round, circular, bowl
Dimensions of the phenomenon:AA = angular size, 0D = "like melon" (10 to 12 cm)
Color of the observed phenomenon:00 = no indication
Luminosity of the phenomenon:2 = luminous, fluorescent
Lights or projectors on the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Moving speed of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Acceleration of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Trajectory of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Sounds perceived during observation:0 = no indication
Maximum angular height of observation (horizon = 0░):0 = no indication
Nature of the landing place:0 = no indication
Number of contact points with ground:0 = no indication
Traces of landing:0 = no indication
Observation of "occupants":0 = no indication
Height of the occupants observed:00 = no indication
Garment of the occupants:00 = no indication
Garment:0 = no indication
General behavior of "occupants":0 = no indication
Interaction of "occupants" with witness:0 = no indication
Head, hair:0 = no indication
Voice, breathing, chin:0 = no indication
Skin:0 = no indication
Eyes:0 = no indication
Mouth:0 = no indication
Various details:0 = no indication
Thermal effects:0 = no indication
Luminous effects:0 = no indication
Magnetic effect (or electromagnetic):0 = no indication
Odor perceived by witness:0 = no indication
Physiological effects on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Psychological effect on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Effects on animals:0 = no indication
Other effects reported:0 = no indication
Nebulosity:0 = no indication
Oscillations, emission of matter:0 = no indication
Spin, formation flight:0 = no indication
Immediate disappearance:0 = no indication
Halo surrounding the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Interaction witness / phenomenon (complement to the other rubrics):0 = no indication
Drawing or photo:0 = no indication
Structural details observed:0 = no indication

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in Nord in Cambrai on October 18, 1954 at 21:20 hours "Three witnesses observed a fluorescent spherical object, whose size was from 10 to 12 cm (estimated). "

The source is indicated as "Les Universons by Poher Claude **".

[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
19541018 18.10.1954 Cambrai France 21.20


Dominique Caudron tells me by email having just completed a study of the October 18, 1954, meteor, and having found corrigenda to do in my catalog. For this case, he indicates to me that there is "No case in the newspapers in Cambrai itself, for the whole flap."



The data available to me for now is so meager, and does not mention any strangeness, so that I cannot give a proper evaluation. I just venture to point out the possibility that this was a meteor, for example.


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

Cambrai, Nord, official, multiple, round, luminous


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross January 22, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross June 6, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross March 9, 2017 Addition [lcn1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 19, 2019 Addition of the Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."
1.2 Patrick Gross September 7, 2021 Addition [dcn1].

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This page was last updated on September 7, 2021.