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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, Bassing, Moselle:

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

Summary:

The regional newspapers Le Lorrain and L'Est Républicain of October 5, 1954 indicated that "last Friday", so on October 1, 1954, around 11 pm, several inhabitants of Bassing, including Mr. Romain and Mr. Renfort, had seen above from the region of Vergaville and Bidestroff, a luminous object 2 to 3 meters long, of the shape of an ellipse, and which moved at very variable speeds.

The witnesses had heard a slight whirring of the engine. "Sometimes" the thing "slowed down to the point of coming to a stop, then back to a vertiginous pace."

Aimé Michel will give the same account in his 1958 book on the wave of 1954, explaining that engine noise could be explained by the proximity of a tight road network; he suggests that one could also think of a helicopter.

He added that the witnesses "stood on their doorstep", that the sighting lasted a few minutes, and that the witnesses had said that the object had then "disappeared".

In 1979, the "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Bartehl and Jacques Brucker affirm that all the observations in this sector on October 1, 2, and 3, 1954, were due to the fall of a cable of a high-voltage line in the vicinity of Brides Forest, according to memories of some "village" [Kerprich?] inhabitants whom they claim to have collected through the mayor's employee, while "no one in town council would remember a visit of extraterrestrials in the places. "

In the 2000s, there was briefly a web page titled "UFOs in Lorraine", which indicated that on 1 October 1954 in Vergaville / Bidestroff, Mr. Romain and Mr. Renfort had observed at 23 hours a "luminous object of elliptical shape very bright (magnesium), between the communes of Vergaville and Bidestroff south-east direction. In a first time and for several minutes the machine remained motionless in the sky, before descending like a dead leaf, and then fly away quickly."

This Web page, which did not give its source, published this sketch of the observation:

Reports:

[Ref. lln1:] "LE LORRAIN" NEWSPAPER:

Admired in various places, not without emotion

The ballet of the "Flying Saucers"
continues in the sky of Moselle

In the Moselle, mysterious machines attracted the glances.

Last Friday, at about 11 p.m., several residents of Bassing, among whose MM. Romain and Renfort, saw, above the area of Vergaville and Bidestroff, a luminous object of 2 to 3 meters length, showing the shape of an ellipse and which moved at very variable speeds. The witnesses heard a gentle humming of engine. Sometimes the alleged flying saucer slowed its travel down to the of being motionless, then it went up with a vertiginous pace. The same phenomenon was observed Saturday, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., by Mr. Rémy Rousselle, of Blanche-Eglise, and Mr. Baumann, of Bassing.

A large green disc

In its turn, the sky of the area of Dieuze saw a flying saucer evolving. It was Sunday evening. It was exactly 08:17 p.m. when Mr. Pierre Laplace, aged 19, electrician with the Kuhlmann Establishments, in Dieuze, and residing in Vergaville, saw in the sky a large luminous disc of green color, at the height of the wood of Brides, between the villages of Vergaville and Kerprich. The bulky point, he said, was at approximately 3000 meters. Mr. Laplace, having stopped, followed the evolutions of the machine. When he saw it for the first time, it was motionless. Suddenly, specifies the electrician, the machine launched sparkling lights of the color of ultraviolet rays; it then moved at a speed such as nowadays' jet airplanes, seeming, close to him, to hover.

The flying saucer, because that's what it is, said the observer, as well as the passers-by that Mr. Laplace had stopped and who are positive, stopped at the height of the Paquis of Guéblin; it crossed the distance between Guéblin and Kerprich three times, always at a tremendous pace, but extraordinarily, always stopping in the same place.

Suddenly, the machine launched new gleams, seeming to locate the ground, and went down until approximately 600 meters from ground. Then, making a U turn, very slowly, it went down more and more and finally, seemed to land at the level of the Côte-des-Vignes, located at a little distance of Bedestroff. About thirty people, cyclists, pedestrians, motorists, followed, extremely interested, the evolutions of the saucer. Mr. Laplace and some other spectators having wanted to on motorbike to the spot of landing, the saucer took height again and disappeared behind a curtain of trees. It was 9 p.m. at this time. The inhabitants of the area who saw the saucer are M.M. Lucien Victorien, Primon, building contractor in Vergaville; Mr Kinowsky, workman in shoes, Claude Renfort of Bassing, as well as the manager of the Ecos of Vergaville and his family.

Amazingly, at 11:45 p.m., several unknown people stationing on the road as well as Mr. Domant, a garage workman residing in Guéblin, and Mr. Glicher, of the same village, looked with attention, but without daring to approach it, a disc of green color which was in the fields, at a small distance of the road. Let us finally report that Saturday, between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Mr Rothfuss of Dieuze, had also seen, circulating in the airs, between the farm of Boule and Maizières-les-Vic, a luminous disc whose details correspond exactly to those given by Mr. Laplace.

[Ref. ler1:] "L'EST REPUBLICAIN" NEWSPAPER:

Admired in various places not without emotion...

The ballet of the flying saucers continues in the Lorraine sky but the mysterious machines remain elusive

The "flying saucers" seem to engage in a ceaseless round in the eastern sky and elsewhere. Their passage is reported in a hundred places each day. We lack space here for us to echo all the news reaching us about it. Suffice to mention a few of the last and main stories related to this.

In Remiremont, Sunday at 11 am, a hundred people were able to see, from the enclosure of the Pomological fair of the Campus Martius, what is believed to be a flying saucer or a cigar or a disc, which let loose a trail of smoke in its wake, when rising or descending, turning around the sun. People skeptical of saucers stories told us to have observed the phenomenon very well.

The "saucer" remained ten minutes suspended in the atmosphere and disappeared. Two to three meters in length...

In the Moselle, mysterious machines attracted attention

Last Friday, around 23h, several residents of Bassing, including Mr. Romain and Mr. Renfort, saw, above the region between Vergaville and Bidestroff, a luminous object of 2 to 3 meters in length, having the shape of an ellipse and which moved at variable speeds. Witnesses heard a slight engine roar. Sometimes the alleged flying saucer slowed its course up to the point to rest, and then went back at breakneck speed.

The same phenomenon was observed on Saturday between 21h and 22h by Mr. Remy Rousselle, of Blanche-Eglise and Mr. Baumann of Bassing.

A large green disk

In turn, the sky of the region of Dieuze saw evolve a flying saucer.

It was Sunday night. It was exactly 8:17 p.m. when Mr. Pierre Laplace, aged 19, electrician at the Etablissements Kuhlmann in Dieuze and living in Vergaville, saw in the sky a large bright green disk, at the height of the wood of Brides, between the village of Vergaville and Kerprich. The large spot was, he said, at about 3,000 meters. Laplace stood, and followed the moves of the machine. When he saw it for the first time, it was motionless. Suddenly, says the electrician, the machine threw glittering lights of the color of ultraviolet rays, it then moved at a rate such that current jet planes appear motionless in comparison. The flying saucer, because this is what it was, said the witness, as well as passers by Mr. Laplace had stopped and who are formal, stopped at the height of the Paquis of Guéblin, it flew the distance between Guéblin and Kerprich three times, always at breakneck speed, but, extraordinary thing, it always stopped at the same place.

Suddenly the craft launched new gleams, seemingly locating the ground, and went down at about 600 meters of the ground, then making a semicircle, very slowly, it got more and more close to the ground and finally, seemed to land on the hill of the Vines, located not far from Bedestroff. Thirty people, cyclists, pedestrians, motorists followed, extremely interested, the changes in the saucer. Laplace and some other spectators having wanted to go on a motorcycle at the landing place, the saucer again took off and disappeared behind a curtain of trees.

It was 9 p.m. then.

The locals who saw the saucer are Messrs Lucien Victorien and Primon, entrepreneurs in masonry in Vergaville, Kinowsky, shoemaker in Bataville, Claude Ronfort of Bassing and the manager of the Eco in Vergaville and his family.

Curiously, at 23:45, several unknown parked on the road, and Mr. Domant, mechanic in Guéblin and Mr. Gilcher, of the same village, watched attentively but without daring to approach it, a green disc which was in the fields, a short distance from the road.

Finally, let's note that on Saturday between 20 and 21 hours, Mr. Rothfuss, of Dieuze, had also seen circulate in the air between the farm of the Boule and Maizières-les-Vic, a luminous disc whose details are exactly those given by Laplace.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel notes that this observation begins on October 1 at approximately 11:00 P.M., when Messrs Romain and Renfort, inhabitants of Bassing, stood on their doorstep. Their attention was drawn by a luminous object flying in the sky in the South-east relative themselves.

The object had the shape of an ellipse and moved in a whimsical manner around a point which for the witnesses was visually between the villages of Vergaville and Bidestroff which are at 6 or 7 kilometers of Bassing.

The witnesses explained that the object was sometimes motionless, sometimes it went up and went down, or moved on a short distance at a tremendous pace.

The witnesses evaluated the size of the object as being a few meters according to their subjective estimate of the distance.

The witnesses also said to have believed of hearing an engine noise, but Michel remarks that the proximity of a tight road network could explain the engine noise by the simple passage of a car, while it suggests that it may also have been a clue that the saucer was a helicopter. The observation lasted a few minutes, Michel indicating that the witnesses say that the object then "disappeared".

[Ref. bbr1: ] GERARD BARTHEL AND JACQUES BRUCKER:

The two authors say that all the cases of October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, 1954, in the surroundings of Dieuze, Guébling, Kerprich are due to the fall of a high-power cable in the edge of the forest of Brides, according to memories "of certain inhabitants of the village" [Kerprich?] that they say to have gathered via via the employee of the town hall, while nobody within the town council remembered an extraterrestrial visit there.

[Ref. fru1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors indicate that on October 2, 1954 at 09:30 p.m. in Bassing in the department of Moselle, the same object as that seen in Dieuze and Blanche-Eglise this same day was also seen.

[Ref. fru1:] FRANCAT - MICHEL FIGUET:

In an extract of his Francat catalogue, Michel Figuet recorded that the case of Bidestroff [sic] as well as Guébling and the forest of Brides was a confusion with "an electrical phenomenon short-circuit on high power wires fallen on the ground."

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

1 October. Bassing, France. (about 11:00 p.m.)

Shifted in a fantastic fashion.

Aime Michel rells us:

"M. Romain and M. Renfort ... were standing on their doorstep when their attention was attracted to a luminous object, flying through the sky toward the southeast. It was elliptical in shape, and it shifted in fantastic fashion around a point apparently situated between the two villages of Vergaville and Biderstroff. At one moment the object was motionless, at the next it descended or rose, at another it traversed a brief span at dizzying speed. At the distance estimated (subjectively) by the witnesses, the object appeared to be at least several yards in diameter. Furthermore, the witnesses believed they heard the sound of a motor, so that at first one might have thought the object a helicopter. It must, however, be pointed out that with Bassing situated between two national highways in a close network of roads, and with the object sufficiently far off, the attribution of sound to the object is subject to the same caution as the observer's estimate of its actual distance from them.

"The object disappeared in a few minutes, and that was all for that night." (xx.)

(xx.) Michel, Aime. Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery. Criterion Books: New York, N.Y., 1958. p.103.

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH - "*U* COMPUTER DATABASE":

3899: 1954/10/01 23:00 3 6:48:20 E 48:52:20 N 3333 WEU FRN MSL 6:7

BASSING,MOSL,FR:ELLIPSE>SE:STOPS TURNS RISES FALLS+MNVRS/minutes:/r138#9

Ref# 49 MICHEL,Aime: FS & STRAIGHT LINE TH: Page No. 103 : OIL & COAL

[Ref. ool1:] "LES OBSERVATIONS D'OVNIS EN LORRAINE":

October 1, 1954

Place: Vergaville/Bidestroff. It is 11 p.m., when Mr. Romain and Renfort observed a luminous object of elliptic shape, very shining (magnesium), between the communities of Vergaville and Bidestroff, South-eastern direction. Initially and during several minutes, the machine remained motionless in the sky, before going down again like a falling leaf, for then flying away quickly.

Drawing of the sighting:

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Moselle in Bassing on October 1, 1954 "Towards 23 hours, two witnesses, standing on their doorstep. Their attention was drawn by a luminous object flying in the sky in their South-East. The object had the shape of an ellipse and moved in a whimsical manner around a point which was visually for the witnesses between the villages of Vergaville and Bidestroff which are at 6 or 7 kilometers. The witnesses explained that the object was sometimes motionless, sometimes it went up and went down, or moved on a short distance at a vertiginous pace. The witnesses evaluated the size of the object as a few meters only according to their subjective estimate of the distance. The witnesses also said they thought they heard an engine noise, but the proximity of a tight road network, could explain the engine noise by the simple passage of a car. The observation lasted a few minutes, the object then 'disappeared'"

The source is noted: "Les OVNI vus de près par Gross Patrick ** http://ufologie.net" [The old URL of my website home page.]

[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
19541001 01.10.1954 Bassing France 23.00

Explanations:

Unidentified, possible helicopter.

In 1979, Barthel and Brucker announced their explanation by "the fall of a high power cable near the Brides Forest".

Other cases in this sector, cited by Barthel and Brucker as having this same explanation, are:

This "general" explanation of all these cases, however, seems dubious to me; the observation period would extend over 3 days, and no power outage was reported as far as I know although it would be a high-power line, thus feeding a little more than one or two hamlets. And most importantly, the viewing area would extend on 13 kilometers, with witnesses completely out of the visual range of sparks caused by a fallen cable. Also, the descriptions of movements made by other observers (see here for example) seem to totally exclude something fixed like an electrical phenomenon due to the fall of a cable.

On January 7, 1978, at 4:50 a.m. a Mr. Masson who was returning from work on a motorcycle on the road from Vergaville to Guébling, the D229, had suddenly seen three white lights side by side but separated in a meadow at approximately two kilometers to the right of the road, near a disused railway line and an electrical transformer. The lights seemed to be on the ground, or suspended just above the ground. As soon as he noticed the lights, one of them had risen quite high, turned towards him, and joined him in 30 seconds to hover over his head.

There was search by the brigade of Gendarmerie de Dieuze, without result; an article in Le Républican Lorrain for January 10, 1978, and an investigation report of Bernard Wagner and Gilles Bretelle in LDLN #173 and #176.

This tells us of the presence of a railway, and at least one power transformer, in this sector.

If the witnesses were "on their doorstep," they were at Bassing, and if the phenomenon was between Vergaville and Bidestroff, it was in a direction between 204° and 232°; roughly to their southwest, towards Dieuze which is about 9 km away. There is a railway, and a road in this direction, orthogonal to the direction of observation and 500 meters from Bassing. Along the railway, there is (2019) an electrical installation connected to the railway, in the direction of 162° from Bassing therefore outside the indicated direction range. But there is also, around 201° and 500 meters from Bassing, another electrical installation feeding the railway, with pylons:

It is therefore not excluded that for this observation, there was some fire of electrical origin there; which concerned only the SNCF national railway co; but the correspondence with the description of the "maneuvers" is not really good, and the helicopter is not excluded.

Note that the forest of Brides "in the edge of" which the fall of the cable would have occurred according to Barthel and Brucker, if it is almost in the right direction (234° to 274°), is not between Vergaville and Bidestroff, and is no less than 11 kilometers from the witnesses at Bassing.

Keywords:

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

Bassing, Lorraine, Moselle, Romain, Claude Renfort, object, luminous, ellipse, manoeuvre, fast, engine, noise, sound, star, helicopter, multiple, road

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross June 18, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 31, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross September 13, 2014 Addition [lgs1].
1.7 Patrick Gross November 23, 2016 Additions [ler1], [ubk1].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 20, 2019 Additions [lhh1], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Unidentified, possible helicopter."

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