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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 20, 1954, Ham, Somme:

Reference number for this case: 20-Oct-54-Ham. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

On October 23, 1954, the national newspaper Paris-Presse mentioned without any details a sighting of a "flying saucer" in Ham, dated "yesterday" but among sightings essentially of October 20, 1954.

In the 1970s, Dr. Claude Poher, future leader of the official group of UFO research in France GEIPAN, had prepared a synthetic computer listing of observations from witnesses who were officials or cases having been a matter of official investigations.

He had noted an observation for October 20, 1954, at 9:30 pm, in Ham, in the Somme department, with 8 witnesses, having been officially investigated.

It was about a luminous or fluorescent object, round or circular, of several colors or changing colors, producing "flames", or "sparks", and moving at a speed between 1500 and 2500 km/h.

Reports:

[Ref. ppe1:] "PARIS-PRESSE" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

A yellow ball going at 10,000 km.-hour in the sky of Seine-et-Marne

VERY numerous witnesses, residents of the communes of the regions of Bray-sur-Seine, Lagny, Moret, Thomery declared to have seen, at nightfall, a strange phenomenon: an oval shaped object, of orange yellow color, measuring more than twenty meters, at 300 or 400 meters of altitude.

One of the witnesses, Mr. André L ..., weather specialist, who lives in Thomery, estimates that its speed was of bout 10,000 kilometers per hour.

"I am absolutely certain, because I know this question well, that it is neither an airplane nor a weather balloon," he said.

In Melun itself, several young girls coming out of an evening class, claim to have seen in the sky an almost similar machine which, after having stopped for ten minutes, would have risen very quickly in the sky.

Also, a luminous ball resembling a car headlight would have appeared, six times, to two industrialists from Melun who were traveling on the Melun-Rubelles national road. The appearance of this luminous source would have caused each time a very large flash illuminating the region.

Other "flying saucers" were seen yesterday. One near Luzy, the second on the RN 393, near Turquestein; the last ones finally near Ham, in Lorient and in Chevenon.

Near Altkirch, a motorist thought he had seen one too, but it was only the moon.

[Ref. cpr1:] CLAUDE POHER, UFO RESEARCH GROUP "GEPA":

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

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

Original code:0642552010195421301JA8000310000012ZZZZ132480000000000000000000000000000000000000
Location:Ham (Somme) - France
Case number:0642
Source code:55
Nature of the source:Reports from official French sources : Police, Gendarmerie, Army, Pilots
Day:20
Month:10
Year:54
Hours:21
Minutes:30
Type of Time:1 = local time
Number of witnesses:8 = 8
Main witness named:0 = name is not indicated
Main witness age:0 = no indication
Main witness occupation:0 = no indication
Official investigation:1 = an official investigation was made
Weather:0 = no indication
Duration:0 = no indication
Minimal distance witness - phenomenon:0 = no indication
Method of observation:0 = no indication
Number of "objects" observed simultaneously:01 = 1
Shape of the "object" (terminology of witness(es)):2 = round, circular, bowl
Dimensions of the phenomenon:ZZZZ = no indication
Color of the observed phenomenon:13 = several colors, changing color
Luminosity of the phenomenon:2 = luminous, fluorescent
Lights or projectors on the phenomenon:4 = "flames", "sparks"
Moving speed of the phenomenon:8 = 1500 to 2500 km/h
Acceleration of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Trajectory of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Sounds perceived during observation:0 = no indication
Maximum angular height of observation (horizon = 0°):0 = no indication
Nature of the landing place:0 = no indication
Number of contact points with ground:0 = no indication
Traces of landing:0 = no indication
Observation of "occupants"0 = no indication
Height of the occupants observed:00 = no indication
Garment of the occupants:00 = no indication
Garment:0 = no indication
General behavior of "occupants":0 = no indication
Interaction of "occupants" with witness:0 = no indication
Head, hair:0 = no indication
Voice, breathing, chin:0 = no indication
Skin:0 = no indication
Eyes:0 = no indication
Mouth:0 = no indication
Various details:0 = no indication
Thermal effects:0 = no indication
Luminous effects:0 = no indication
Magnetic effect (or electromagnetic):0 = no indication
Odor perceived by witness:0 = no indication
Physiological effects on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Psychological effect on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Effects on animals:0 = no indication
Other effects reported:0 = no indication
Nebulosity:0 = no indication
Oscillations, emission of matter:0 = no indication
Spin, formation flight:0 = no indication
Immediate disappearance:0 = no indication
Halo surrounding the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Interaction witness / phenomenon (complement to the other rubrics):0 = no indication
Drawing or photo:0 = no indication
Structural details observed:0 = no indication

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Somme in Ham on October 20, 1954 at 21:30 hours, "Eight witnesses observed a round object with changing colors emitting showers of sparks and flying at a speed estimated from 1500 to 2500 km/h."

The source is indicated as "Les Universons by Poher Claude ** http://www.premiumwanadoo.com/universons/".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 16 October 1954 at 21:30, in Ham, France, "Nocturnal lights were reported on a road."

The source is indicated as "Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002".

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

This database recorded this case twice:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541019 19.10.1954 Ham France NL
19541020 20.10.1954 Ham France 21.30

Explanations:

The description fits a meteor.

There is at least one other almost identical observation of what would be this meteor at the same time in Arras in the Pas-de-Calais department, 60 km in the North-Northwest of Ham.

Carte

Keywords:

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

Ham, Somme, official, duration, multiple, bowl, luminous, flames, color, fast

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 6, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 24, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross March 6, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross April 19, 2019 Addition of the Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."
1.3 Patrick Gross August 23, 2019 Explanations changed, were "Probable meteor."
1.4 Patrick Gross January 3, 2020 Addition [ppe1]. In the Summary, addition of the paragraph "On October 23, 1954..."

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This page was last updated on January 3, 2020.