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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, Puivert, Ariège:

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

Summary:

The regional newspaper L'Indépendant, of Perpignan, of October 2, 1954, reported that a "brilliant ball" had been seen above Puivert by Mr. Saboureau, lemonade maker in Bélesta, who made the trip from Bélesta to Puivert in a van, the day before, around 5 p.m.

The ball, "very bright like a sun", followed the north-south direction, flying at an altitude he estimated at 2,000 meters, and moving at a relatively low speed, without any noise.

It was followed by a long tail of gray smoke.

Mr. Saboureau had stopped his vehicle to observe better, and after a few minutes, he was able to see "the craft disappear in the direction of Ax-les-Termes." His observation allows him to affirm that it was absolutely not an airplane."

Reports:

[Ref. int1:] "L'INDEPENDANT" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

CIGARS IN A GROUP IN THE HAUT-RHIN...

AND BALLS OF FIRE IN THE ROUSSILLON

MULHOUSE. -- Two people stated to have seen a luminous machine in the sky, in Rixheim. Using binoculars, they noted that it had the shape of a long cigar. A dozen small satellite cigars surrounded it. A railway man on night duty stated to have observed the same phenomenon.

BESSEGES. -- Two residents of the commune of Foussignargues, close to Bessèges, stated to have seen in a meadow, near their house, in the night from Sunday to Monday, a sharp red luminous machine surrounded by vertical stems.

PAU. -- Thursday morning, around 11:45, many people saw in the sky, at a very high altitude, a mysterious machine having the shape of a long and shining balloon. The machine came from the South and moved towards the North-West.

NEVERS. -- Mr. Raymond Deloire, 20 years old, farm laborer in Langeron (the Nievre), who circulated by bicycle on the road of St-Pierre-le-Moutiers, saw in the sky a mysterious object of half-spherical form emitting at the front a sharp orange gleam, flames spouted out from the back. The machine moved without noise at a great speed in direction of the North-East.

PERPIGNAN. -- Mr. Jean-Bertrand Petit, residing at the Conte Farmhouse, close to Perpignan, was sprinkling his salads, around 3:30 in the morning, when he saw a ball of fire in the sky. The display was short and did not leave traces.

In Thuir, Thursday, around 6:15 p.m., a machine having the shape of a haloed barrel of fire was seen by a person worthy of faith. The apparatus, which worked at a slow pace, disappeared in direction of the sea.

In addition, several residents of Perpignan claim to have seen yesterday, at approximately 2 p.m., above the city, a luminous sphere, sometimes red, sometimes white and which moved during several minutes before fainting in the sky.

A luminous sphere remains one hour above Fleury-d'Aude

FLEURY-D'AUDE (C.P.). -- Yesterday evening, from 9 to 10 p.m., the population of Fleury was able to see a luminous sphere, whose color changed from the red to the green, then to the white, moving slowly above the locality. The machine marked times of immobility and it was then possible to detect that it had a rotational movement.

The luminous sphere then moved in direction of Béziers and disappeared.

A brilliant ball above Puivert

PUIVERT. -- Mr. Saboureau, lemonade seller in Bélesta (the Ariège) made the Bélesta-Puivert way in a van, when he saw in the sky, yesterday towards 5 p.m., a very brilliant ball like a sun following the North-South direction, flying at an altitude which he estimates as 2.000 meters, and moving at a relatively reduced speed.

The ball moved without the least noise and was followed of a long tail of gray smoke. Mr. Saboureau having stopped his vehicle for better observing, could see, after a few minutes the machine disappear in the direction of Ax-les-Termes. His observation allows him to affirm absolutely that it was not a plane.

[Ref. nll1:] "NORD LITTORAL" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

The daily chronicle
of the "saucers"

Melun, October 2. -- Several road menders from the Ponts-et-Chaussées who worked in the rain along the Coulommiers-Meaux road, not far from the Quincy - Voisins airfield, said they saw a flying saucer.

One of them, Mr. Bernard Goujon, 30, claimed to have seen in a field, to the left of the road, about 200 meters from him, at the foot of a groupe of poplar tree, a strange craft of oval shape, measuring about 3 meters in diameter, and a height of 2.50 m. It was, he said, posed on the ground with three rather high crutches. Its upper part had a small transparent dome that appeared to be made of plastic. The whole thing was made of a shiny metal like aluminum.

Mr. Goujon said that he wanted to approach the craft, but that when he arrived about 150 meters of it, he was tingled as if an invisible electric beam was aimed at him.

"I felt," he said, paralyzed, and my eyesight blurred slightly. I then saw the saucer rise very slowly silently, like a "dead leaf", until 25 meters above the ground. It stopped for a moment and then, still without noise and without any luminous trail, disappeared at high speed."

Traces of about 10 centimeters deep were found on the ground.

XXX

Quillant, October 2. -- Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Saboureau, lemonade maker in Bélesta (Arière), saw a brilliant ball in the sky.

The object, which moved relatively slowly and silently, was followed, he said, by a trail of gray smoke.

XXX

Montceau-les-Mines, Oct. 2 -- Two mason workers, Mssrs. Romain Sebastiani and Buratto, both cyclists at the Union Vélocipédiste de Roanne, said they saw a craft taking off along the road from Blanzy to Montceau with a shrill whistling sound. The craft was, they said, shaped like a very dark yellow cigar, three meters long and about 60 to 50 centimeters in diameter.

XXX

Brest, October 2. -- Mr. Arsène Stephan, deputy commander of a freighter calling in at Brest, said that during the night of September 23 to 24, while the boat was in the Bay of Biscay, at 44 degrees 48 North and 4 degrees 50 he had seen a star four times larger than the others. Two of his sailors who were at his side were the same observation. Using binoculars, they noticed that it was a moving disc on which green reflections appeared at times.

Last Thursday, at nightfall, a sailor who was at the helm of the Tanker "Port-Lyautey", saw, less than 500 meters from him, a saucer-shaped object, red in color, touching the surface of the water, then quickly ascending vertically and disappearing, leaving a red flame.

XXX

Caudry, October 2. -- Three workers from St-Hilaire-les-Cambrai said they saw this morning, at 6 a.m., a strange luminous craft which trailed after it a white glow comparable to that of a blowtorch.

[Ref. cdn1:] "LA CROIX DU NORD" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

Like in Quarouble

A saucer on crutches
(with "paralyzing ray")
wandering near Melun

One who must be happy is Mr. Marius Dewilde from Quarouble, near Valenciennes. We had smiled - a little too much in his taste - of his story of flying saucers and Martians of 0.95 meters. And now his story has just been renewed - close to Melun this time.

Road workers from the Ponts-et-Chaussées say they witnessed it. As on the sleepers on Marius Dewilde's railway, "crutches traces" were found.

Several road workers who worked in the rain along the Coulommiers-Meaux road, not far from the Quincy-Voisin airfield, said they saw a flying saucer on Friday October 1.

One of them, Mr. Bernard Goujon, 30, said he saw a strange device in a field, on the left side of the road, about 200 meters from him, at the foot of a poplar bush measuring approximately 3 meters in diameter, and 2 m high. 50. It was placed on the ground using three fairly high crutches. Its upper part had a small translucent dome that appeared to be made of plastic. The whole thing was made of a shiny metal like aluminum.

Mr. Goujon said that he wanted to approach the craft, but that when he arrived at about 150 meters, he was panicked as if an invisible electric ray was darted on him.

"I felt paralyzed, and my eyesight blurred slightly. I then saw the saucer rise very slowly, silently, like a dead leaf, up to 15 meters from the ground. It immobilized for a moment then, still without noise and without any light trail, disappeared at high speed."

Traces of about 10 centimeters were found on the ground.

But it's not just Melun...

In the single day of Friday, following the dazzling "spinning top" seen Thursday in the Cambrésis by a carpenter from Saint-Hilaire and a mason from Quiévy, the most diverse craft haunted our sky - a "cigar" near Montceau-les-Mines, a greenish "disc" near Brest, a brilliant "ball" in the Ariège...

Who doesn't have his saucer yet?

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

A front page story.

October 3rd. London's Sunday Dispatch.

So much was happening in France the English press was forced to take note. Actually the story was too big. The London Sunday Dispatch could only print a summary on its front page. With the situation unclear, errors and the lack of detail was inevitable in the reporting. The Dispatch informed its readers:

"Near Grenoble farmer Joseph Habrat saw a luminous engine moving at great speed.

"His daughter, Yvette, said it came to within 600 yards with a gentle snoring sound.

"A little later two thousand people saw a dozen of them 'dancing a ballet' in the sky.

"Two people at Rixheim, near Mulhouse, watched a cigar-shaped luminous engine surrounded by twelve smaller satellite cigars.

"Three holiday-makers on Carry-le-Rouet beach saw a half-cigar over the port. Three women who saw it described it as leaving a trail of smoke.

"A flying mushroom was reported by a lorry-driver and his friend at Faremontiers. It was in a field and had three tripod-like legs.

"'I tried to approach it,' he said, 'but about four hundred feet away I was stopped by a ray. I felt little prickings. My head swam. I had a cold sweat. I could not move.'

"The mushroom then rose slowly and flew off.

"Dr. Martinet, skin disease specialist at Chambery, watched a flying saucer manoeuvring in the sky for four minutes.

"In the gulf of Gascony the mate and two seamen of a cargo boat saw a moving disc with a greenish glow.

"Actress Michele Morgan saw a luminous disc over the Invalides air terminal in Paris.

"There have been three reports of men from another planet landing in France.

"At Vienne a farmer said the visitor, who wore a kind of diving suit, caressed his arm.

"A woman at Drome saw a being about the size of a child and with a human face. He seemed to be wrapped in a transparent sack.'

"Both visitors to France returned to their saucers and took off vertically.

"A little helmeted and booted man with a revolver firing 'luminous and paralysing rays' was seen by the foreman of a quarry at Marcilly-sur-Vienne and six of his workmen.

"A whistling sound drew the attention of two men at Blanzy to a cigar-shaped machine in a freshly ploughed field.

"The men said the machine was about six feet in length. The pointed tip was yellow, the rest of the cigar brown.

"As they approached the machine it rose vertically.

"A policeman, a grocer, and eight other people saw an incandescent 'cigar' at Agen.

"A brilliant ball appeared to a stallkeeper at Belesta. He said it left a trail of grey smoke as it shot through the sky."

The author of the aforementioned account noted that at the same time that day (October 3, 1954) 40 miles away an amazing "sky display" was taking place above a wooded area near the village of Marcoign, France, before 20 witnesses. That so many people at the same moment at different locations should have a similar hallucination boggled the writer's mind, so much so he consulted a psychiatrist assigned to the Law Courts of the Seine, a Dr. Gouriou.

"Is mass "delusion upon this scale possible?"

The above question was put to the mental health expert who replied he had never known a flying saucer to play a role in any of his patient's hallucinations, and that hallucinations were usually sounds rather than visual images. Moreover, when on rare occasions visual disorders did occur, such problems were nearly always due to toxemia or cerebral lesions which would certainly help to rule out the possibility of a "mass visual delusion." 24.

Dr. Gouriou then wisely ended the interview with: "...I for one think that those who maintain that they have seen saucers do so in good faith, unless of course they are trying to hoax us. But we must never forget that whatever a normal human being sees, he, to a considerable extent interprets, and this fact alone renders all human evidence fallible." 25.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

This website indicates that on 1 October 1954 at 17:00 in Belesta, Puivert, France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed by one witness."

The source is indicated as "Vallee, Jacques Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".

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

This catalogue recorded a duplicate for this case:

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 Belesta France 17.00
19541001 01.10.1954 Belesta France 17.00

Explanations:

Possible meteor, or plane.

The duration, the gray color of the trail, and the fact that there are no other reports of the "meteor" type that correspond temporally and geographically as far as I know, are reasons that make me prefer a plane, flying very high, probably.

Keywords:

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

Puivert, Ariège, Saboureau, van, evening, ball, shining, high, slow, silent, trail, smoke, gray

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross October 24, 2011 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross July 22, 2019 Additions [uda1], [ubk1], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."
1.2 Patrick Gross April 8, 2020 Addition [nll1].
1.3 Patrick Gross May 11, 2020 Addition [cdn1].
1.4 Patrick Gross March 16, 2021 Addition [lgs1].

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