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The 1954 French flap:

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

August 23, 1954, Brignoles, Var:

Reference for this case: 23-Aug-54-Brignoles.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The regional newspaper Le Provenšal for August 29, 1954, reported on page 4 that "Monday morning" so on August 23, 1954, around 05:45 a.m., Jean Vial drove back from his estate of La Lieue, when, arrived at the top of the small hill of La Rouge, he saw some 500 meters in front of him, flying at a height of about 300 meters, an object of oval shape, quite large, of violently orange and brilliant color, moving from South to North.

By the time he stopped his car and got out of it, the object, which emitted no sound, disappeared behind the hills.

The newspaper notes that at the time of this phenomenon, a violent mistral wind was blowing and if it was a weather balloon, it should have been driven east.

The newspaper added that Mr. Vial gave a statement to the gendarmerie.




Mysterious object in the sky of Brignoles

Brignoles (C.P.)

Monday morning around 05:45, our fellow-citizen Jean Vial returned by car from his domain of La Lieue, when arrived at the top of the small hill of La Rouge, he saw at some five hundred meters in front of him, flying at a 300 meters height approximately, a rather large object of oval form, of a sharply orange and bright color, moving from the South towards the North. By the time he stopped the car and came out, the object, which did not emit any sound, disappeared behind the hills.

At the time when this phenomenon occurred, a violent mistral [wind usually from the North] blew and if it were a weather balloon, it would have being pushed towards the East. Mr. Vial made a statement at the gendarmerie.



La Lieue is located 6 km east of downtown Brignoles, and I found a "La Rouge" 6 km east-southeast of La Lieue, at the entrance of Flassans-sur-Isolles.

On August 23, 1954, at 05:45 a.m. at 43░ 24' 22'' N and 6░ 3' 39'' E, the Moon was at 109░ 35' (East-Southeast), but quite high with an elevation 54░ 24', and crescent-shaped, with 28% of its surface illuminated; a situation not very conducive to misinterpretations and giving a moon with little chance of "disappearing behind the hills". Mars and Venus were not visible.

We are exactly at sunrise, with half of the sun appearing at 75░ on the eastern horizon (considering a clear horizon).

Having no solid explanation, I leave this case unexplained.


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

Brignoles, Var, night, Jean Vial, luminous, oval, orange


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross January 27, 2009 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross July 5, 2019 Addition of the Summary. Explabnations changed, were "Not looked for yet. The Moon?"

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This page was last updated on July 5, 2019.