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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 1, 1954, Avignon, Vaucluse:

Reference number for this case: 1-Oct-54-Avignon. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper Le Provençal for October 2, 1954, reported via their press correspondent in Avignon that the "presence of an unidentifiable bolide" over Avignon was reported to them the day before at the beginning of the afternoon by several people who saw it from the hillside of Bellevue on the right bank of the Rhone river.

The journalist(s) went to the site and found that an unknown object "affecting the shape of a refracting spheroid appeared at a constant distance from [...] and that it remained [...]".

Observed with the binoculars, he alternately "affected the apparent shape of a domed disc in the center and a cone from which a reddish trail escaped from the base."

The phenomenon began to be observed around 1 p.m. and it still lasted at 04:30 p.m.; the "saucer" slowly moved from east to west on about 45 degrees.

The newspaper wondered if it was an aircraft, a balloon, or a new satellite.

Later, ufologists Charles Garreau and Raymond Lavier added an interesting detail: the witnesses had very quickly noticed that the phenomenon was near the Moon and maintained at a constant distance from the Moon, perfectly visible in broad daylight. The object accompanied the Moon in its path during the day, and disappeared with it to the west. It made them comment that "for thirty-six hours a spy from space had watched the Earth turn below."

Reports:

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

Scan.

A saucer above Avignon?

Avignon (C.P.).

The presence of an unidentifiable bolide was announced to us above Avignon yesterday, at the beginning of the afternoon by several people who saw it from the slope of Bellevue on the right bank of the Rhone.

We went to the site and could note that an unknown object having the shape of a refringent spheroid appeared at a constant distance from [...] and that it remained [...]

Observed with binoculars, he time after time took the apparent shape of a disc with a curvature in the center and a cone from where a reddish trail escaped by the base.

This curious phenomenon started to be observed around 01:00 p.m. and it still lasted at 04:30 p.m..

The "saucer" (since it became common to call that way any object unknown to a non-specialist observer) slowly moved from the East to the West on 45 degrees approximately.

Aircraft, weather-balloon, new satellite?

The question is opened.

A GREEN FLYING SAUCER IN VEYNES

Veynes (C.P.).

[...] Louis and Mr. Curri Baptiste, were hasting at a sharp pace on the road. They were very surprised to see, between the Saint-Luc post and the wood of the Pignon, a ball of a very apparent green color, which moved rather quickly, leaving a red trail behind. It disappeared towards Aspremont. The two witnesses, who could admire it during at least thirty seconds, are convinced that it is a flying saucer.

Ballet of "saucers" in the sky of Ardeche

Grenoble (A.C.P.).

Mr. Joseph Habrat, farmer in the district of Perrets, in Lemps, not far from Tournon (the Ardeche), observed in the sky, last night, a true ballet of "flying saucers".

He had first of all noticed a green light moving slowly in direction of Valence. Then the luminous craft started to evolve at full speed in various directions and ended up being immobilized.

The farmer then called his daughter, Yvette, who up to now had refused to believe in the flying saucers.

Like her father, Yvette managed to observe the luminous object which advanced, it seemed to them, up to 500 meters of them approximately. A little later ten machines joined the first, and outlined with it a true ballet before disappearing in the direction of the East.

Little afterward, three craft appeared again then disappeared in the same direction as the previous ones.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel reports that there was a sighting on October 2, 1954, in Avignon, France.

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

178 -004.82000 43.04700 02 10 1954 AVIGNON F 151 C** 170

[Ref. ldl1:] "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE:

Editor's note. - The four straight lines are about the network of October 2, 1954. The first includes the places of: Jeumont, Dijon, Louhans, Morestel (On this straight line are also located: Chevigny en Valière (on 10/14/54), and Le Pin (on 9/16/54). The second includes the places of Poncey-Pellerey, Bourg (on this straight line are also located: Meursanges (on 10/14/54). The third includes the places of Saint-Brieuc, Saint-Paulien (on this straight line are also located: Angers (on 9/1/54). The fourth includes the places of Aiguillon, Avignon (on this straight line is also located: Fontaine de Vaucluse (on 10/14/54).

[Ref. pis1:] "PHENOMENES INCONNUS" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

This ufology bulletin indicated that there was a case on October 2, 1954, in Avignon; which was a part of a "network" of aligned cases of that day, in their opinion.

[Ref. pis2:] "PHENOMENES INCONNUS" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

In this ufology bulletin, Alain Barbe stated that the cases of October 2, 1954, including that of Avignon, formed a geometrical shape including parallele lines with growing spacing, which, he thought, could not cased by mere chance. He published this diagram, comprizing however only 8 of the 61 cases or more for that date:

He also published a second map with more cases (but far from the 61 cases), including that of Avignon:

[Ref. gal1:] CHARLES GARREAU AND RAYMOND LAVIER:

The authors indicate that on October 2, 1954, there was an observation in the sky of the South of France. When an object appeared above Avignon, the witnesses very quickly noticed that it was staying at a constant distance from the Moon, perfectly visible in full day. The object accompanied the Moon in its trajectory during the day and disappeared with it towards the west.

The authors comment on that during thirty-six hours, a spy that came from space had looked at the Earth rotating under it.

[Ref. vau1:] "VAUCLUSE UFOLOGIE" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

SATURDAY OCTOBER 2, 1954 - All day long

AVIGNON

Reference 3

On October 2, 1954, a bright luinous dot with a very pronounced blue glow is observed in the midday sky. This point was moving in broken line, by jerks.

When it appeared over Avignon, the witnesses noticed that it was staying at a constant distance from the Moon.

Perfectly visible in broad daylight, it accompanied our satellite in its trajectory during the day and disappeared with it towards the West.

The next day, it reappeared above the Briançonnais, still accompanying the Moon. At the beginning of the afternoon, it found itself in the same place as the day before in the sky. It disappeared on the evening of October 3rd, behind the mountain range of Montbrisson.

The first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. No misunderstanding can be explained, as to this observation, with a brilliant point crossing the sky, as we can see so much in the evening, nowadays, at the passing of these satellites.

"Reference 3" refers to: "Face aux Extraterrestres - CHARLES GARREAU and RAYMOND LAVIER".

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Database Nr: 1285

No known official investigation

Place of observation: Avignon

Department: Vaucluse (84)

Lat. 43.95 Long. +4.816

Date of observation: 02 October 1954

Time: 01:15 p.m.

Type of observation: Visual: Distant

Number of Witnesses: undetermined number

At about 01:15 p.m. an object shining of a sharp glare is observed above the right bank of the Rhone. It remained at a constant distance from the Moon seeming to evolve in connection with it. Observed with binoculars, it seemed to change shape from a disc embossed in its center to a very elongated oval, from where escaped at the base a sort of reddish trail. It remained visible until 04:30 p.m., fading as the night fell. During the observation it had moved of 45° in the sky going from east to west.

Number of object: 1

Type of object: Oval with dome

Undefined color

Observed luminosity: Reflects the light

Presence of a Trail

No weather indication

Physical Effect: No

Effects on the witness: No

Presence of entities: No

Sources: by **

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

This database recorded this case 4 times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541002 02.10.1954 Avignon France 13.00 DD
19541002 02.10.1954 Avignon France 13.00 DD
19541002 02.10.1954 Avignon France 13.00 DD
19541002 02.10.1954 Avignon France 13.00 DD

Explanations:

Map.

At 1 p.m. that day in Avignon, the Moon was at the 143° 10' azimuth and the low elevation of 13° 29'. And Venus was just a little above and a little to the right of the Moon, at the azimuth 149° 0' and the elevation of 17° 1'.

Of course, Venus accompanied the Moon; at 4 p.m. the apparent distance between the two bodies has hardly changed, except that Venus has "joined" the apparent height of the Moon, which was then at the azimuth 191° 40' and the elevation of 21° 20; which corresponds to the report saying that 45° of the sky were crossed by the object.

That day, only a third of Venus was illuminated by the Sun; but the planet was quite close to the earth, at "only" 72.20 million km. (Minimum 42.5 million km, maximum 256 million km).

One may believe that Venus is not visible in the middle of the day, but it is. Not much, of course, but a first witness could have just watched the moon; which made him notice Venus next to it. And then, binoculars were used, which is quite logical.

So I think that the "extraterrestrial spy" of Charles Garreau and Raymond Lavier was probably Venus.

Keywords:

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

Avignon, Vaucluse, shining, round, elongated, center, bump, oval, trail, red, slow, duration, moon, binoculars, multiple, disc, day, duration

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross May 12, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross February 12, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross February 11, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 20, 2019 Additions [ldl1], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Possible reflection of the moon on a cloud layer."
1.3 Patrick Gross August 10, 2019 Addition [vau1].
1.4 Patrick Gross November 13, 2019 Additions [pis1], [pis2].

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