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The 1954 French flap:

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October 1, 1954, Sailly-Labourse, Pas-de-Calais:

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

Summary:

The local newspaper - probably weekly - The Guetteur de Lillers, from Lillers, in the Pas-de-Calais, reported on page 1, on October 8, 1954, that at Sailly-Labourse, by night, a "saucer" had landed in a pasture, which revealed to be only a "small balloon."

Scoffing at the credulity of the public with the saucers with which they are entertained in the Press, the newspaper showed that they knew the origin of the balloon, by indicating that one Mr. "Dollivera" must have laughed a lot.

The newspaper - probably also weekly - of the next day, October 9, 1954, L'Avenir d'Auchel, from Auchel, in the Pas-de-Calais, reported for its part that in Sailly-Labourse, "on the night from Friday to Saturday", passers-by were intrigued by "an illuminated object crisscrossing the sky."

The rural guard was alerted and saw the "phenomenon" which "tended to approach the earth to come and land in a pasture belonging to Mr. Monvoisin farmer at Sailly-Labourse." Everyone went on the spot, where as a flying saucer, there was just a 1.20 meters jigh paper balloon.

The newspaper then explained that Mr. "Dollivera", retired, 60 years old, living on the Route Nationale in Buevry [sic] spent his leisure hours making paper balloons, some of which sometimes reach 6 and 7 meters in length. He had placed in this balloon asbestos soaked in petroleum that he had lit, according to the pricipe of the hot air balloon.

The newspaper added that before the last war, Mr. "Dollivera" already made these kinds of balloons for the national day of July 14.

The most detailed version of the incident is likely that of the refional newspaper Nord-Matin for 6 octobre 1954:

Last Monday, September 27, around 10 a.m., Mrs. Irma Hennebelle, who lives in rue de Béthune, in Sailly-Labourse, very close to Beuvry, went about her business in the courtyard at her house. The sky of this autumn evening was slowly declining towards the night and, suddenly, high in the clouds, Mrs. Hennebelle saw appear an illuminated machine, blazing red, which seemed to throwing to the earth an indiscreet glance. What would you have done in place of Mrs. Hennebelle? Probably like her: she immediately thought it was a saucer... One talks about them so much these days!

Worried, the housewife called her husband, André, and her daughter, Ghislaine. Then one went to get the uncle, who lives two doors away, Mr. Olivier Dubois. He came with his daughter. Five pairs of eyes then turned towards the dark sky that the curious apparatus pierced with an unusual light.

The saucer - since it had to be called by that name - had the shape of a long cigar flying vertically. It launched red reflections and, as if by transparency inside, one could see the moving shapes of three bizarre shadows.

Mrs. Hennebelle and her family probably thought they were only passing witnesses of an unknown phenomenon. No doubt indeed, the craft was going to continue its route towards the direction of its choice. So go find out more about such a mysterious object that freely moves 300 meters high?

But - oh stupefaction - the luminous craft suddenly lost height and came slowly to the ground, a few meters from the quintet who were watching it.

On the other side of the national road which runs alongside the Hennebelles' house, is a meadow belonging to Mr. Monvoisin, farmer: it is the tender grass of this enclosure that the craft had chosen for its landing.

MM. Hennebelle and Dubois ran across the road and approached the "saucer."

Alas! The whole thing was just a craft made of paper - ordinary wrapping paper - which seemed to have deflated like a balloon. An iron circle formed an orifice at one end and, inside, a tow finished burning.

No mistake, however, this modest object, one meter high, 30 centimeters wide, had a mysterious appearance in the sky!

In the evening, while drinking coffee, one talked about it at length. A few days later, Mr. Hennebelle, worried all the same by this story, went to warn Mr. Raoul Fourgnies, the guard of the commune. The latter told the case to the police station of Beuvry. A peacekeeper was dispatched to return the burlesque remains of a failed saucer to the station.

Its landing could have been dangerous: the tow, as we have said, was consuming itself and the craft had fallen three meters from a haystack. One wondered what would have happened to this haystack if the tow had reserved its last sparks for it?

Rapid deductions and observations made by residents of Beuvry left no doubt: the author of this disturbing farce was none other than a Beuvry resident, Mr. Victor d'Oliveira, Portuguese subject, retired from the electric power plant, living with his daughter, grocer, national road, in Beuvry.

The regional newspaper Nord-Matin for October 7, 1954, commented that the "hot air balloon" of Mr. D'Oliveira who had landed at Sailly-Labourse had started to burn, three meters of a haystack. This would quickly bring worldwide fame to its manufacturer...

Regarding the UFO literature, I did not find the slightest mention of this particular incident, ignored or forgotten. There is almost no mention either of Mr. d'Oliveira's activities in general, and many witnesses - which is not surprising - but also ufologists will still mistake flying lanterns for extraterrestrial craft in the following decades.

Reports:

[Ref. nmn1:] "NORD-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

A resident of Beuvry
launched thousands of
flying saucers
- in paper! -
in the Nord sky

(From our regional editor Fernand VARLET)

[Photo caption:] On the threshold of his garage-arsenal Mr. D'Oliveira comments to our editor on the ascensional technique of his device (Nord-Matin photo)

MODEST neighboring city of Béthune, Beuvry was highlighted, a few days ago, by the birth of a writer-miner who hit the headlines and monopolized the airwaves. A news item, very different from this revelation, having just exploded like a bomb, risks carrying the name of this small town beyond our borders: we discovered in Beuvry a brave Portuguese pensioner who, making balloons and launching them into the sky, brought living water to the mill with flying saucers.

He indulged in this kind of sport for his sole pleasure, like an illuminated balloon maniac, having once, in his distant country, been the neighbor of a pyrotechnician who had opened the secret of his art to him.

Thus, from Beuvry, on evenings when the wind was blowing favorably, paper machines flew away, crisscrossing the sky, taking on the appearance of mysterious saucers!

Unknown shadows in a brilliant craft!

Last Monday, September 27, around 10 a.m., Mrs. Irma Hennebelle, who lives in rue de Béthune, in Sailly-Labourse, very close to Beuvry, went about her business in the courtyard at her house. The sky of this autumn evening was slowly declining towards the night and, suddenly, high in the clouds, Mrs. Hennebelle saw appear an illuminated machine, blazing red, which seemed to throwing to the earth an

Read more on the last page
under the title:

SAUCERS

[Photo caption:] Test on a reduced model: this miniature saucer seeks to leave its owner for the sky! (Nord-Matin photo).

Scan.

SAUCERS

indiscreet glance. What would you have done in place of Mrs. Hennebelle? Probably like her: she immediately thought it was a saucer... One talks about them so much these days!

Worried, the housewife called her husband, André, and her daughter, Ghislaine. Then one went to get the uncle, who lives two doors away, Mr. Olivier Dubois. He came with his daughter. Five pairs of eyes then turned towards the dark sky that the curious apparatus pierced with an unusual light.

The saucer - since it had to be called by that name - had the shape of a long cigar flying vertically. It launched red reflections and, as if by transparency inside, one could see the moving shapes of three bizarre shadows.

Mrs. Hennebelle and her family probably thought they were only passing witnesses of an unknown phenomenon. No doubt indeed, the craft was going to continue its route towards the direction of its choice. So go find out more about such a mysterious object that freely moves 300 meters high?

But - oh stupefaction - the luminous craft suddenly lost height and came slowly to the ground, a few meters from the quintet who were watching it.

On the other side of the national road which runs alongside the Hennebelles' house, is a meadow belonging to Mr. Monvoisin, farmer: it is the tender grass of this enclosure that the craft had chosen for its landing.

MM. Hennebelle and Dubois ran across the road and approached the "saucer."

Alas! The whole thing was just a craft made of paper - ordinary wrapping paper - which seemed to have deflated like a balloon. An iron circle formed an orifice at one end and, inside, a tow finished burning.

"I launched
thousands of them!"

No mistake, however, this modest object, one meter high, 30 centimeters wide, had a mysterious appearance in the sky!

In the evening, while drinking coffee, one talked about it at length. A few days later, Mr. Hennebelle, worried all the same by this story, went to warn Mr. Raoul Fourgnies, the guard of the commune. The latter told the case to the police station of Beuvry. A peacekeeper was dispatched to return the burlesque remains of a failed saucer to the station.

Its landing could have been dangerous: the tow, as we have said, was consuming itself and the craft had fallen three meters from a haystack. One wondered what would have happened to this haystack if the tow had reserved its last sparks for it?

Rapid deductions and observations made by residents of Beuvry left no doubt: the author of this disturbing farce was none other than a Beuvry resident, Mr. Victor d'Oliveira, Portuguese subject, retired from the electric power plant, living with his daughter, grocer, national road, in Beuvry.

The man did not deny organizing his flights. He welcomed us yesterday with good humor to explain his technique to us. He throws hot air balloons in the air like others raise pigeons or bees! And he said with a smile:

"I've already made thousands of them!"

Hot air balloon arsenal

The shop run by the "manufacturer's" daughter is a stone's throw from the calvary. A small garden succeeds it, itself closed by a garage. It is in this garage and in the attic that overlooks it that Mr. D'Oliveira operates. He led us there, very much regretting that the stubborn rain prevented him from indulging in an experience in front of us in the best conditions. Mr. D'Oliveira has a balloon craze. It dates back a long time. As a teenager he was, in Portugal, a neighbor of a fireworks artist. It was there that he learned to make his machines.

Since then, he has made them in all sizes, from 1.20 m. to 5 meters high. The attic of his garage still reveals a meticulously prepared supply. Mr. D'Oliveira unfolded a huge one in front of us. And you can believe that one easily imagines the impression reserved for the passer-by who sees moving in the sky a thing of such size, shining with all its fires.

Making hot air balloon is a game of patience for Mr. D'Oliveira. He cuts his strips of paper, carefully adjusts them, glues them, then closes his device around a frail iron frame and opens, thanks to a circle, an orifice at one end.

He spends long hours on this delicate task and, passionate about this original kind of sport, admires his achievements with the satisfaction of a job well done.

The craft made, suffice to inflate it and to deliver it to the secrecy of the sky.

For his climbs, Mr. D'Oliveira chooses the evenings when the wind is calm, without whirlpool. So, with the help of his wife, he hung one of the ready-made machines - one day a small one, one day a large one - on a beam in his garage.

Friend readers, you can easily do the same, the operating technique is elementary.

The balloon suspended, Mr. D'Oliveira, very seriously, places under it, just in front of the orifice, a good old democratic flowerpot. He piles up paper there (newspaper paper, please!) And set it on fire in peace. You guessed it: the paper ignites and gives off a smoke which, in the narrow garage, makes your eyes unpleasantly tickle.

This smoke rises, of course, rushes into the paper balloon which, at an extraordinary speed, swells like a weird balloon.

These gestures, Mr. D'Oliveira repeated them so often that it takes him a few seconds to accomplish them. His balloon inflated, he hangs on the inner rods a tow of asbestos more or less large. He soaks it in oil and set it on fire. This slow combustion keeps the air in the balloon at a temperature which makes this gas lighter than air. This is strictly the principle of the hot air balloon.

Such a crafte, provided with rather substantial tows, can, in favorable wind, fly very long, very far and very high.

If Mrs. Hennebelle and her parents saw shadows on the false saucer and could have thought that they were human beings, it is because there were really shadows: those of the stems of the frame, projected by the flaming tow onto the paper.

Mr. D'Oliveira takes particular care in the manufacture of its devices. Sometimes even, he hangs on the opening circle wicks supporting candles!

We guess the disturbing reflection of such a luminous battery strolling at night in the sky. Quite a few people may have believed in the passage of "saucers", especially since these days the Portuguese pensioner has launched some.

A neighbor even told him, being aware of this aerial craze: "People are going to mistake your stuff for saucers!", which made him laugh.

False alarm in 1939!

The problem of saucers may not have been solved, however, because Mr. D'Oliveira's machines have certainly never been able to reach Sweden or Spain. But Mr. D'Oliveira's practices undoubtedly explain many of the various appearances in the Nord region.

As we said: the inventor of the system is generous. In recent years, he launched thousands of hot air balloons in the skies of Beuvry. Quite a few must have been found in the surrounding fields that the changing atmospheric circumstances had stopped in their facetious enterprise. But many must have intrigued the earthlings, on the other hand, during their curious ballads.

Mr. D'Oliveira started his work many years ago, under the Portuguese sun. His passion for picturesque fireworks had followed him to France. And in 1939, it almost cost him the worst of mishaps.

In August 1939, he was on vacation in Calais. Some evening, he had released one of his "phenomena" to the wind. The craft, shining with all its lights, followed the coast of the North Sea, taking the direction of an agitated Germany, a few days before the war. At the semaphores, one saw the curious flying "cigar". We weren't talking about modern saucers at the time. The atmosphere was about spying and war secrets. It was supposed that the paper hot air balloon could contain important messages and Mr. D'Oliveira was in trouble for a while because, in Calais, it had been established that he was at the origin of this suspicious ascent.

He quickly managed to justify himself. But the mishap did not stop him and he resumed his experiences again.

It's his hobby. He is neither a musician nor a player. He is a "sauceristicer". A genre like any other. He broods his machines with love after having built them in fever. hehas red, blue, yellow, cream and white ones, in wrapping paper or silk paper. They are almost his children.

It would be a great pity if he were forbidden such a fantasy. However, this is what will happen to him. At the very least, the local police will reward him with a fine.

But Mr. D'Oliveira wonders where the crime is and what it is.

"We have the right, he said, to fly one's dragon. Even if it is in the shape of a balloon built in thousands of copies."

And if we mistake it for a saucer?...

[Ref. ner1:] NEWSPAPER "NORD-ECLAIR":

Scan.

FROM MYSTERY TO FARCE
PAPER "SAUCERS"
were launched into the air
by a retiree from Beuvry (P.-d.-C.)

Hundreds of locals have seen these strange things

WAS THE mystery of flying saucers, discs and cigars, just been clarified by the discovery made yesterday in Beuvry-les-Béthune of this brave Portuguese man who spent the best of his time making huge balloons in paper for the pleasure of making them go up in space according to the same principle which gave birth to ballooning?

Without doubt the dozens of hot air balloons that he has thus "shipped" in recent times can be counted among those that the inhabitants of our region took for saucers or flying cigars. But they cannot give, it seems, a satisfactory and complete explanation for all the luminous objects which could have been observed in regions other than ours.

Can we say, in fact, that they are everywhere hot air balloons made by the hands of an "earthman".

In any case, a burst of laughter will not fail to resound in the northern region when everyone will read today in their newspaper that some of these saucers or cigars seen by the people of our area, were only vulgar balloons made with great care and art by a Portuguese of Beuvry-les-Béthune.

"I made thousands of them..."

Like many journalists from the Nord and Paris, we ran towards Beuvry when, yesterday morning, the news reached us. In the back of a small grocery store on Route Nationale, we found the friendly and cheerful "responsible" there. He received us with kindness, offering to answer all our questions and willingly agreed to our requests for experiments!

This is Mr. Victor d'Oliveira, 40, former worker at the Beuvry power station. A Portuguese veteran, he participated in the fights of La Couture where each year his compatriots came in number to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of the Lys. After the war he returned to his homeland and returned to France in 1922 to settle in Beuvry.

Cheerful as all Portuguese are of course, he participated in all the local festivals. He excelled in making paper balloons, which he sent out on ducasses or on the feast day of July 14. Orders poured in.

"I made thousands, he told us and they were never mistaken for saucers... It must be said that one did not talk about saucers at the time. I made them in all sizes, 3 meters and even 6 meters high. One July 14th, I made some superb, blue, white, red, of the most beautiful effect.

In his little "shack" Mr. d'Oliveira shows us a hot air balloon folded like an accordion, almost ready for flight. At our request, he shows us how it works and agrees to inflate it. In a pot of earth, he placed some newspapers which he set on fire and the balloon soon inflated. It quickly took the shape of an oval or a cigar. He stops there his experiments because he did not intend, he told us, to make new ones. There have been enough like that, he says laughing.

At the base of each "saucer" was a small receptacle in which rested a tuft of tow soaked in a flammable liquid. Sufficed to ignite the tow to see the craft rise and disappear with the winds, surrounded by yellowish and orange reflections...

Mystery cleared

We still have to say how the joker was discovered.

A few days ago, Mrs. Hennebelle, residing on rue de Béthune, in Sailly-la-Bourse, saw in the sky, at 300 meters high about a luminous craft on the walls of which loomed three shadows. She called her husband and daughter as well as her neighbor who in turn noticed the presence in the sky of this mysterious craft. They followed it a few moments with their eyes when the fireball having gone out, they saw a dark mass fall vertically in a neighboring meadow. The two men rushed towards the spot of the fall and saw that it was a huge paper balloon containing inside a bundle of three wires to which hung a tow made of rags.

The country keeper was notified and the Beuvry police station informed. There was only one man in the region specialized in hot air balloons, it was Victor d'Oliveira. He will certainly be prosecuted for... dangerous amusements.

J. P.

[Ref. lcd1:] NEWSPAPER "LA CROIX DU NORD":

Scan.

THE INVASION OF SAUCERS AND CIGARS, IN OUR REGION
FIND AN EXPLANATION IN BEUVRY-LEZ-BETHUNE AND LILLE

1. Our special correspondent participated in the launch of a
"flying cigar"

one of the 5,800
hot air balloons
sent by Mr. Oliveira

above the rooftops
de Beuvry-l.-Béthune

The unfortunate combination of circumstances which had until now deprived journalists of hanging, them too, "their" saucer or "their" cigar in the register of various facts and personal memories have just been swept away by the wind. I saw a flying cigar which, at night, shows the famous red glow... I felt it from every angle and even participated in the launch of one of these craft that some claim to be coming from another planet. This is neither a crazy story, nor even a debauchery of the imagination after reading some anticipatuin novel. There is no need to pinch yourself to be convinced of the reality of the thing. The clarity of the evidence would have struck the most skeptical minds and those most reluctant to the hypothesis of an exploration of the earth by some space travelers.

It is a long, a very long story whose starting point is in Portugal at the beginning of this century. H.C. [sic, G.] Wells, the author of "The War of the Worlds" did not yet have the slightest awareness of his advance on the Future... In fact of flying machines, Clément Ader and the Wright brothers were only trying to give practical application to the theories of "heavier than air"...

In a small Portuguese village, when the light wind coming from the sea subsided, a young boy, Victor Oliveira, made "hot air balloons" which he then inflated with hot air... The well-known principle of the lighter than the air made fly these graceful envelopes, which drifted according to the whims of the wind.

Arrived in France shortly before the 1914 war, Mr. Oliveira bravely fought and took part in the battle of La Couture. After a short stay in Portugal, he settled in 1922, in Beuvry-les-Béthune. Until his retirement last December, he held the post of burner operator at the Beuvry Power Station.

However, the favorite pastime of his younger years did not suffer from the well-known phenomenon of disaffection that stamp collections suffer, for example, in adolescence. Married, surrounded

Read more on the last page, under the title: "CIGARS"

2. A professor from the Faculty of Sciences
de Lille shows that last Sunday
the flying saucer was only a lunar phenomenon

Mr. Antoine Bonte, I.D.N. engineer, professor of applied geology at the Faculty of Sciences of Lille, kindly provided us with a scientific explanation of the phenomenon observed by dozens of people on Sunday evening in our region. He writes to us: "I was impatiently awaiting this morning's newspaper and I took great pleasure in reading the accounts of your correspondents, because on Sunday evening I also saw the 'flying saucer'."

"The descriptions given of it agree in every way with my personal observations. I only disagree with their interpretation because, in this case, it was simply a moonset.

"Sunday, at nightfall, the moon shone on a clear day first in the form of a crescent. Later it disappeared into the hazy area above the horizon, only to reappear for a few moments, reddish is distorted - which is normal at this height - and crossed out with a line when passing behind a stratus. Finally, it faded definitively when entering again in the clouds.

"So, in this particular case, it is quite a trivial phenomenon that our fathers would not have even paid attention to.

"Moreover, in most of the other cases, it is about analogous phenomena as I could note it several times. The psychosis of the flying saucers is a phenomenon of collective hallucination which responds to a natural need for the marvelous maintained by a large-run press and fed by a whole category of illustrations for children or... adults. The descriptions of the so-called Martians are so close to Tintin-style spacesuits that we cannot stop smiling.

Continued on last page,
in the sixth column, under the title
"SAUCERS"

Scan.

The flying saucers

"If the Martians - assuming they existed - were really to visit us, do you think they would have exactly our physical looks, that they would use devices and clothing similar to those designed by our engineers or who only saw the light of day in the overflowing imagination of the authors of anticipation novels: do you believe above all that the nature and the degree of their scientific evolution can be analogous to ours. improbabilities!

"Happy journalists who haven't seen your flying saucer! Take comfort in thinking that, for serious readers, this is a guarantee of honesty and objectivity. But do more, by welcoming only with undisguised skepticism the testimonies of correspondents whom-we-can-be-trusted, in good faith or who prefer to remain anonymous. It is even your duty to fight against this weakening of critical thinking which characterizes our era of culture, universal, but far too superficial."

90% OTHERWISE 99% OF CASES
CAN BE EXPLAINED

In a study that he was kind enough to share with us, Mr. Bonte also examines several cases of celestial phenomena reported in recent years and gives an explanation for each of which we will appreciate the strength. He demonstrates that the majority of alleged flying saucers are natural phenomena that occur at high altitude. He observed and photographed in particular, in the region of Lons-le-Saulnier, "a luminous trail that was red orange and stood out clearly against the dark background of the sky. This trail came from a dot which moved slowly from the south to the south - north in the western part of the sky of Lons-le-Saulnier.

"Witnesses of this display would have gladly seen in this meteor a manifestation of a flying saucer; they unhesitatingly rallied to my explanation.

A JET PLANE

"This was the wake of a jet plane moving at great altitude and at great distance, hence the apparent slowness of the luminous trail and the lack of the characteristic roar. The red in the wake was simply due to the altitude of the aircraft which was still lit by the sun, although it had been set down for a long time. Everyone saw stratus clouds colored in red above the horizon after the disappearance of the sun, which obviously corresponds to the same phenomenon."

"... There are also other phenomena which, unknown to the uninitiated or even to specialists, have credited the legend of the flying saucers... The Director of the Algiers meteorological station has revealed that the alleged saucers observed in this region were none other than sounding balloons equipped with a luminous device; the currents prevailing in the upper atmosphere made these devices move in an apparently disconcerting manner.

CLOUDS

"The illumination of clouds by powerful light sources can also give rise to bewildering maneuvers of shiny objects. The intersection of the light beam with the surface of a cloud can give images of all shapes from the circle up to more or less elongated ellipses, the images being able to be uniformly bright or, on the contrary, dark in the center, and brightly lit at the edges. This phenomenon could explain the extraordinary speed of certain "saucers" and their instantaneous changes of direction, characteristics reported by some observers.

A POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCE
OF NUCLERAR
EXPERIMENTS

"Recently, an American physicist, Mr. W, Scott, demonstrated that it was possible to artificially produce meteors similar to flying saucers in the laboratory, as spheres surrounded by shiny rings. This is not unlike the rings that occur when puffs of smoke are passed through a circular hole, and all smokers have had fun "making circles" with their mouths. Atomic experiments may not be unrelated to the formation of previously unknown meteors.

"Scott's experiment has been criticized by Professor G. Ray Watt, of the Carnégie [sic, Carnegy] Institute in Washington, who claims that the conditions necessary for the formation of these rings do not exist in upper atmosphere. Meteorology is, however, a very young science to authorize such assertions: the normal atmosphere is already not so well known, let alone the upper atmosphere.

THROUGH THE SAUCERS

"The most important argument to demonstrate the inanity of flying saucers is certainly this information which comes to us from America. A formation of flying saucers having been reported in the skies of Washington, Andrews Air Force bases and of Ballingfields are ordered to intercept them at all costs. Courageously, the jets rushed at 1,000 an hour, one can say "in the fog", and cross without suffering the slightest damage, their supposed adversary who was nothing else than kinds of clouds.

"What then to think of certain disturbing testimonies emanating from informed observers such as airplane pilots, professor of scientific institutions, etc.? Let us first recall that the phenomena which occur in the atmosphere are far away to be all known, even from specialists. On the other hand, critical thinking is sometimes lacking even in respectable scientists. Finally for those who know the atmosphere of certain military circles, the mystification is not excluded vis-à-vis of some more naive comrades.

"Meteors have been observed all along, but they weren't given the same attention as today when everyone wants to see their flying saucer. This is a trivial case of collective illusions from which scientific circles themselves are not exempt.

NEW AIRCRAFT

"It is possible, however, that new aircraft sometimes cross the sky. There is no doubt that the Americans and the Russians, each on their side, are seeking to develop new weapons and some of the flying saucers are perhaps a reality. But both sides have an interest in ensuring that their research is ignored by the adversary, hence the flood of contradictory news.

"It is announced, for example, in America, that the flying saucers are a myth; the next day a craft of the same name is discovered in Spitsbergen and its measuring devices bear inscriptions in Russian language. As if by chance, the drop-off point is in an uninhabited region.

"Depending on the circumstances, we feign ignorance or, on the contrary, we boast of an unbeatable superiority. We know too much, to have suffered from it, of the misdeeds of propaganda to be influenced by information that is lacking impartiality. If there really are new aircraft, there will always be enough time to worry about them when they are used, if they are ever used. There is absolutely no need to worry beforehand.

"In conclusion, it can be said that 90%, if not 99%, of the alleged flying saucers are due only to incomplete observations of natural phenomena and are a matter of pure imagination. Some are undoubtedly attributable to meteors of known or new origin. Finally, in a few special cases, they may be new aircraft being tested.

"As for the extraterrestrial origin of the flying saucers, it is not based on anything positive and we could sleep soundly if we had only this apprehension. We have, alas, more to fear from our neighbours than from Martians."

Cigars

of his children, Mr. Oliveira continued to glue paper and inflate his hot air balloons. Somewhat surprised at first, his neighbors were quick to put this little dangerous distraction into the realm of normal things. Mr. Oliveira? Ah! yes, the one who makes hot air balloons? "Some breed pigeons, assures Mr. Oliveira, others train roosters for fights. I do this..."

Of medium height, mischievous eye behind large-rimmed glasses, tanned complexion, wearing a gray jacket and patched knee-length pants, lively despite his sixties (he looks barely forty) Mr. Oliveira seems completely surprised by this sudden entry into the news. Sometimes he wants to send journalists and photographers to hell and barricade himself in the shed cluttered with paper from packing cases, which serves as his manufacturing workshop.

He lives in fact with his children, Mr. and Mrs. Lenfant, who run a food house, route de Béthune, in Beuvry.

Spread over a few crates, the carcass of one of the machines awaits inflation. Something to inspire the imagination of some people in need of flying saucers and contact - at a distance - with the Martians or other neighbors of our planet, since it now seems accepted that the "evening visitors" can come from another system as that where the Earth continues its eternal gravitation.

Applications
of hot air

The appearance of the hot-air balloon immediately reveals the primary character of a technique that dates back several centuries. The one that will serve as experience and testimony is about three to four meters. It takes the shape of a diamond very swollen in the center and made of simple wrapping paper, thin and resistant. A circular opening, reinforced with a thin wire, serves as a base. Apart from the frame itself, Mr. Oliveira has a tripod of wire which holds a large piece of tow soaked in petroleum, gasoline or oil. The fuel issue is hardly a problem.

Now let's tackle the "launch" part of the balloon. It is kept in the vertical position. Under the opening, Mr. Oliveira has some newspapers in a baste [sic] terracotta pot... We are far from the ramps of V1, V2 and others... Under the action of the hot air, the carcass inflates rapidly and tends to undertake its upward movement. Mr. Oliveira then inflames the gasoline rag, hangs the tripod on the wire which keeps the opening rigid and... the machine begins its course which can be prolonged very far if it encounters favorable winds; which gives it very few jerks. During an experiment made in the morning, the hot air balloon lay down and caught fire about ten meters above the ground.

Beware of illusions

Spirits beiieving in the probability of flying saucers will smile. Those who claim to have seen one of these craft in their exploration of the earth's crust will shrug their shoulders in a gesture of generous commiseration. The fact remains that, in the dark, the red glow given off by the flaming rag, combined with the reflections which it makes dance on the paper, can abuse the most reasonable. It would also be necessary to possess a critical mind and a very extraordinary amount of modesty not to proclaim oneself the witness of the phenomenon that one automatically assimilates to the "incomprehensible."

Since 1922, Mr. Oliveira has launched nearly 5,800 hot air balloons. No one in the area is moved by it anymore. But outside of this small circle, some people are likely to be troubled and their certainty of not being the victim of a hallucination further strengthens their intransigence. To such an extent that a person from Sailly brought back to the Beuvry police station a hot-air balloon spotted on the inside with drops of oil and blackish marks. Everyone laughs and the carcass, with burnt shreds, does not even constitute evidence.

What begins almost like a fairy tale can end like a fable dear to La Fontaine. How to disentangle the illusion from reality? The difficulties encountered by this concern for accuracy and truth only make the problem more complex. But it also serves as a reassuring argument for those who fear an interplanetary invasion.

We do not believe that we are authorized, because of this personal experience, to settle the debate. Let us only wish that this report inspires more measure and restraint to some people. Flying saucers and cigars get really bulky. There are jokes that should not be prolonged too much beforehand.

[Photo caption:] Mr. OLIVEIRA had a lot of fun reading, in a sensational weekly, a report on flying saucers.

Jean MAERTEN

AN AMANDINOIS
CLAIMS TO HAVE SEEN
TWO DWARFS
UNDER CELLOPHANE

The region of Saint-Amand-Nivelle would also have had its flying saucer, at least according to the words of young Marcel Sénéchal, 20, living in Saint-Amand at a place called La Pannerie.

It was in the night from Saturday to Sunday, around 1 a.m.

That evening, Marcel Sénéchal had, as usual, spent the evening with his fiancée in Hauterive-Nivelle. He then returned by bicycle to Saint-Amand along the course of the Scarpe.

Arrived at the level of the "Vandeville pasture" he suddenly heard a conversation in an unknown language, which came from his right.

Turning his head quite naturally in this direction he then saw to his great agitation, a luminous mass in the shape of a haystack and two 1.20 meter-tall human in shining garment. A ray of light came out of the mysterious craft.

The frightened young man pedalled away at full speed to return to his home where quite upset he reported these facts to his family and neighbors.

Informed by public rumor, the commissioner of Saint-Amand, Mr. Gravet and two inspectors in charge of the Air Police, attached to the Lesquin aerodrome, went to the scene yesterday and proceeded to research. They could not find any trace.

[Ref. lib1:] NEWSPAPER "LIBERTE":

Scan.

The secret of the
"FLYING SAUCERS"
WOULD BE IN BEUVRY

(See our information, on page 6).

Could the secret of the flying saucers be in Beuvry? The story we tell, on page 6 suggests this and its hero, Mr. D'Oliveira, retired miner, known as a joker in the town, has just lifted a veil of the mystery that has surrounded for some time the "flying objects." Rest assured, Mr. D'Oliveira is not an astrologer; the famous saucer seen in recent days, in the northern sky, was simply made by him...

A joker, that is!

Scan.

A Beuvry (joker) resident uncovers the secret
his flying saucers
He made them himself!..

From our private correspondent: Georges CARPENTIER

Would the mystery of saucers, cigars, discs, pots, croissants, barrels... phew!... and other flying objects be clarified? This is a very annoying little story for journalists in need of sensation on off-peak days.

Just yesterday, an impressive quantity of dispatches made mention of a surprising appearance in the skies of France, all the more mysterious since no one had yet been able to detect its origin.

24 hours ago, a journalist from Lyon claimed to have observed using binoculars, above the hill of Sainte-Foix, south of the basilica of Fourvière, (admire the precision) a bright, red disc orange. This, he said, was followed by other, smaller brilliant discs.

Our region also had its saucers. Why not? Who does not remember the excitement caused in the Valenciennes region Reims, barely a month ago and expertly exploited by a regional weekly. And the waltz of the saucers and its congeners would have continued six ... here begins our story.

A few days ago a brave woman from Beuvry (near Béthune) Mrs. Hennebelle, was going about her household chores, when a strange object crisscrossing the sky caught her eye. Calling her daughter Ghislaine, the two women observed with amazement the extraordinary craft, which had neither the shape of a cigar nor of a saucer, moving at some 300 meters in height get down suddenly in the middle of a field. Guided by a strange light and after a frantic race, the witnesses arrived just in time to extinguish the start of a fire that a trunk of straw had indeed involuntarily caused.

The mysterious flying object was just a balloon, for now, miserably deflated.

The envelope consisted of sheets of dark gray paper, carefully glued. At the base of the saucer was a small receptacle in which rested a tuft soaked in a flammable liquid. It was enough to ignite the tuft to see the craft rise and disappear with the winds, surrounded by yellowish and orange reflections. We had to learn it later, the inventor of these prototypes was inspired by the hot air balloon system.

Because immediately alerted, the gendarmerie helped by Raoul Foulquier, municipal guard, began an investigation not very easy from the start. To the great disarray of the constabulary... and specialized journalists, the delinquent, the maker of flying saucers was found. The latter one, a good brave man, retired miner, known in the commune as a cheerful joker did not have any difficulty to confess.

Because Mr. D'Oliveira, a Portuguese national, living with his daughter, has a mania, a passion... he loves making balloons...

Already in his native country, a few decades ago, Mr. D'Oliveira delighted his fellow citizens by organizing spectacular releases in the village square. In France his commune employed him at the festivities, this is how in 1939, he experienced his first adventure.

On vacation in Calais, his hobby took on again and he launched, on a beautiful summer night, a magnificent balloon. It took height and went straight over Germany. It was a few days before the declaration of war. spotted, this first saucer triggered the judicial system. The case was not followed up.

Such is Mr. D'Oliveira, a cheerful, very nice guy who, smiling, did launch into the northern sky, more than a thousand of these machines. It would even appear that he would be tempted very soon by the Martians... Thus, the mystery would be completely cleared up.

But like any farce it has its bad side, Mr. D'Oliveira will no doubt be fined for dangerous amusement. It was worth the trouble.

[Ref. nmn2:] "NORD-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

The waltz of the saucers
continues

A BAKER
OF THE FINISTERE
CLAIMED TO HAVE MEET
A "MARTIAN"
WITH THE FACE COVERED WITH HAIR

Around 4 a.m. yesterday morning, M. Pierre Lucas, a baker in Loctudy (Finistère) who was busy fetching water from the bakery courtyard, suddenly saw a machine in the shape of a 2 m saucer overnight. 50 to 3 meters in diameter. He saw an individual about 1 m tall come out of it. 20 who approached him and tapped him on the shoulder, articulating unintelligible words. The worker-baker managed to keep his cool by going back to the bakery where the individual followed him.

In the light Mr. Lucas was able to stare at the visitor: he had an oval face, all covered with hair and eyes the size of a crow's egg. The young man called his boss but, before he had time to come down, the stranger had disappeared as well as the saucer of which no trace was found.

A Concarneau beer merchant stated that he saw in the sky two luminous discs in the shape of round tables extended of a kind of tail. One of the disks was stationary while the other was moving nearby. The two discs disappeared after ten minutes after launching a rocket.

Saucers ... everywhere

Two saucers were seen on Tuesday around 6:45 p.m. near Clermont-Ferrand, the first, 10 kilometers from Beaumont. The witnesses declared that the object approached them and became less and less brilliant. When it was only 150 meters away, they felt a "curious feeling" and were frozen on the spot. At that time there was a smell of nitro-benzine. As soon as the craft moved away, the discomfort ceased and the "saucer" disappeared.

The other saucer was seen above the Chanturgue hill, near Clermont. It moved vertically and was bright white.

A saucer was also seen in Billom by a group of 30 people.

- Several residents of Saint-Brieuc saw on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, a flying saucer which took the shape of a cigar before disappearing. They were able to observe it for over an hour.

The same phenomenon was observed in Trégueux where a cyclist returned home frightened by what he had seen.

- Several people from Thouare-sur-Vie (Vendée) also saw in the sky a dozen luminous objects having an elongated shape and passing at a very high speed and at high altitude.

IN THE REGION

White glow... in Dunkirk

Last Monday, around 8:10 p.m. while he was maneuvering the American S8, doctor Leven, in the airlock of the Watier lock in Dunkirk, captain Emmanuel Dubois, 20-year-old, 34 rue Carnot in Mers-les-Bains saw a white glow that ran along the coast, heading from East to West.

Observing this phenomenon for several seconds, he suddenly thought of the flying saucers and called his crew to make them check out what he saw. But when the first sailor arrived, the glow had suddenly disappeared.

Reddish disc... in Cassel

Yesterday around 10:15 a.m., while waiting for the bus, 3 residents of Cassel, MM. Guy Ver[?]ghe, 27, Grand-Place, Romain Scheerf, rue de Lille and Guy M[?] rue Constant Moncelay, saw a reddish disc in the shape of a saucer which moved a few hundred meters above their heads.

After observing the phenomenon for a good minute, they saw it suddenly disappear on the horizon.

... and orange in the Picard sky

In the evening of Sunday an orange "disc" moving at near ground level was seen and observed at length by several residents of Boves and Demuin near Amiens. The statements of these individuals, collected separately, are absolutely consistent. The "orange disc" followed almost at ground level, a west-east direction.

Another testimony confirms the presence of this saucer in the Picardy sky. It is a baker from Moreuil, this time, who reports it. Mr. and Mrs. Dedier, indeed returned from Moreuil, with their children Mr. and Mrs. Quenneben, when, around 9:15 p.m., between Foucaucourt and Estrées, they saw the luminous object.

Same description as that given by previous witnesses, same observations on the direction of travel.

Amazing story
from a shopkeeper from Amiens

But the most astonishing tale is that of a shopkeeper from Amiens, Mrs. Nelly Mansart, grocer, 8 rue de la Mari[]e who, Sunday returned from Hérissart. Mrs. Mansart was accompanied by neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Delaf[?]rée.

Motorists had just left Hérissart when they saw a bright ball in the sky which, when better observed, then appeared to them like a rim of a bright orange mushroom. The diameter was about 6 to 8 meters. The "mushroom" let escape from its upper part, flames turning from purple to greenish, while some kind of cables hung below.

Mrs. Mansart, who was driving the car, was frightened, all the more so since the "saucer" seemed to follow the progress of the car, standing at a distance of about 130 meters and flying at low speed.

When we crossed a village, Mrs. Mansart said, the craft bypassed it and reappeared at the exit, It followed us like this for ten kilometers approximately.

When I left Pierregot, I stopped. The saucer stopped and waited, turning in a spiral for three or four hundred meters. As I restarted, it followed us again.

It was only in Raineville, near Amiens, that the craft left us definitively, heading west to get lost in infinity at a prodigious speed."

You will agree that this is an impressive story. We must also add that of a butcher of Rue (Somme), Mr. Galland who with his wife and son, was returning from Berck by car. They too were followed, for a time, by a mysterious craft of elongated shape and orange in color.

The object was flying at low altitude at a speed not exceeding 30 per hour. It finally disappeared in the direction of St-Quentin-en-Tourmont, towards the sea.

Other people also observed the phenomenon, always at the same time, around 9 p.m., Sunday evening.

Did the facetious resident of Beuvry
who had not planned
THE SAUCERS PROBLEM
commit Code violations?

The discovery of generous distributions of (fake) saucers by a Beuvry retiree caused a stir and the police, like the gendarmerie, endeavored to seek yesterday the disturbances which could have been caused by the persistent joke of Mr. D'Oliveira.

How many people have mistaking the paper balloons, cleverly adjusted by the Portuguese, for mysterious spacecraft from Mars? We will probably never know.

It was possible that the numerous Sunday appearances throughout northern France were caused by the Beuvry resident. But no, we have to find another explanation for these. Because, that Sunday, Mr. D'Oliveira had not devoted to his favorite pastime. This point could be quickly verified. What could have troubled the brave Santennese?

Certainly, if one of these craft had struck against a haystack, it caused the risk of causing a fire. Mr. D'Oliveira protested moreover forcefully: he uses, as he says, asbestos, thus taking all precautions. And yet the hot air balloon landed at Sailly-Labourse was indeed starting to burn, three meters from a haystack by the way.

And that's why Mr. D'Oliveira will "benefit" from a fine. Could this be the end of his invention? An old law of May 31, 1924, rules the use of aircraft, establishing that they can only be launched into the sky with the authorization of the prefect, on the advice of the mayor.

And the legal requirements define that any object capable of rising in the air must be considered as an aircraft.

These are therefore 5,000 aircraft that Mr. D'Oliveira has delivered to the clouds!

Rest assured that he will not be a fined for all of them, he began his exploits before 1918, at a time when that law did not exist. And there is prescription for crimes prior to 1931.

This being stated very seriously, of course.

[Ref. gus1:] "LE GUETTEUR DE LILLERS" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

Between us...

A GOOD PRANK...

One entertains the public with flying saucers. And the public ends up buying it. And even more and more.

As in Sailly-Labourse. In a pasture, where the saucer has landed. At night.

It was just a small balloon.

I know someone who must have laughed.

Didn't you, Mr. Dollivera?

[Ref. lal1:] "L'AVENIR D'AUCHEL" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

SAILLY
LABOURSE

THE FLYING SAUCER
WAS ONLY SMALL BALLOON...

In the night from Friday to Saturday, passers-by were intrigued by an illuminated craft; which crisscrossed the sky. Alerted, the rural guard noticed this phenomenon which tended to get closer to the ground to come and land in a pasture belonging to Mr. Monvoisin, cultivator at Sailly-Labourse. All the folks went on the spot, and found as flying saucer, a simple paper balloon with a height of 1.20 meter.

What was it about?

A brave retiree, Mr. Dollivera [sic], 60, living on the Route Nationale in Buevry [sic] spends his spare time making paper balloons, some of which are sometimes 6 and 7 meters long. He had placed in this balloon asbestos soaked in petroleum that he had lit! In short, he was using Montgolfier's process...

Before the last war, Mr. Dollivera already made these kinds of balloons for the national day of July 14.

That's enough to feed the Daily Press hungry for flying saucers!

Explanations:

Negative case, Chinese lantern.

See much more information of the fire balloons aka Chinese lanterns built by Mr. D'Oliveira here.

This incident is the one that triggered the search and the identification of Victor d'Oliveira, artisanal manufacturer of "Chinese lanterns". We see in [nmn1] that there was the mention of moving shadows inside the craft which would have been interpreted as "occupants", this making this case a "close encounter of the third kind" caused by a Chinese lantern. On the other hand, this newspaper told us that the witnesses "could have thought they were human beings", in the conditional, leaving a doubt about this interpretation which could have been invented by the journalist. I therefore adopt a classification "close encounter of the third kind" but with this reservation.

Keywords:

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

Sailly-Labourse, Pas-de-Calais, Irma Hennebelle, André Hennebelle, Ghislaine Hennebelle, Victor D'Oliveira, Dubois, Monvoisin, occupants, Beuvry-les-Béthune, paper, Chinese lantern, negative case, multiple, crash, debris, rural guard, pasture, landing

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross April 7, 2020 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross April 14, 2020 Addition [nmn2]. In the Summary, addition of the paragraph "The regional newspaper Nord-Matin for October 7, 1954..."
1.2 Patrick Gross April 24 2020 Addition [nmn1]. In the Summary, addition of the information from [nmn1], and the paragraph "Regarding the UFO literature..." In the Explanations, addition of the paragraph "This incident is the one..."
1.3 Patrick Gross June 18, 2020 Addition [ner1].
1.4 Patrick Gross June 23, 2020 Addition [lib1].
1.5 Patrick Gross February 23, 2021 Addition [lcd1].

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