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The 1954 French flap:

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

May 23, 1954, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône:

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


The regional newspaper Le Provençal for May 28, 1954, reported that on May 23, 1954, several people had seen a mysterious machine around 06:45 p.m. over the Marseilleveyre mountain, when, after covering, the sky was cleared under the effect of the wind.

The craft appeared about 30° above the horizon, it had a rounded shape, an orange color, with metallic reflections on the edges. It was movcing by "waving" edge to edge, at a speed that observers estimated did not substantially exceed that of conventional airplanes.

The sighting lasted nearly five minutes, then the mysterious craft was hidden from the sight of the witnesses by the mountain.



A flying saucer seen Sunday evening above Marseilleveyre


Eyewitnesses reported to have seen a new "flying saucer" in the sky of Marseilles.

According to the account that they made, this mysterious craft was seen around 06:45 p.m., Sunday, above the mounts of Marseilleveyre. It was the moment when, after having been clouded, the sky was cleared under the effect of the wind.

Appearing at about 30 degrees above the horizon, the apparatus had a round shape and an orange color, with metallic reflections on the edges. It advanced "undulating" edge on edge, at a speed that the observers estimated not to exceed appreciably that of the traditional planes.

The observation of the witnesses lasted nearly five minutes, at the end from which the mysterious machine disappeared, hidden by the hill.

A private specialist in the question in the flying saucers, Mr. J. Guieu, author of several books and corresponding with other observers, in particular the American Desmond Leslie, endeavors to collect further details on this appearance.

From where do the saucers come from?

According to him, flying saucers would be of extraterrestrial origin. Do they come from the planet Mars? Certain technicians wonder about that and even suggested that the appearances of saucers would multiply between June and August 1954, time when due to the planetary revolutions Mars and the Earth are the closest. On this assumption, at a rate of 30.000 km-hour - speed evaluated following several observations of saucers in flight, notably by American radar bases - it would not take more than three months for the Martian saucers to reach our planet.

Is the strange craft observed Sunday a kind of scout?

People who may have observed the phenomenon of last Sunday or other similar ones are invited to share their testimonies which we will collect well readily.

C. V.


The "flying saucers" continue to visit Marseilles

They were seen at Marseilleveyre at l'Estaque and above Pointe-Rouge

After the "flying saucer" seen last Sunday on the mounts of Marseillevyre, around 06:45 p.m., two other testimonies come to confirm the presence in the sky of Provence of a mysterious craft.

A truck-driver of Estaque, Mr. Guy M... stated that he had seen a "phosphorescent gleam"; in the shape of a disc, in the night from Sunday to Monday, towards 01:40 in the morning, whereas he was on the Northern motorway.

He managed to observe this appearance during approximately two minutes, the disc being motionless during this lapse of time above same the motorway, then suddenly, after a turn of 40 degrees approximately, it disappeared at a vertiginous speed in the direction of the sea.

Yesterday an architect reported to us that he had seen, Wednesday around 12:30, a "flying saucer": "I was with the top of the Michelet boulevard, when an orange disc, coming from West-East [!?] slipping by towards Pointe Rouge, appeared in the sky. I could observe this disc during three minutes approximately, its apparent diameter was that of a soccer ball. It went at a pace moderated while oscillating slightly, its edge was of a darker color, and I roughly estimated its altitude between 2.5500 and 3.000 meters. Suddenly, its pace accelerated, the luminosity increased clearly and the disc disappeared".

[Ref. gep1:] UFOLOGY GROUP "GEPO":

05 23 54 (01) Marseille(13) 1083X2AC 10m

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Bouches du Rhône in Marseilles on May 23, 1954 at 01:40 hours "A truck-driver at the steering wheel of his truck was dazzled by a round gleam having the glare of an electric arc, emerged in the sky. Stopping his truck, he put his headlights on night lighting and goes down from the latter. He then distinguishes a thing of ovoid form showing the aspect of an ebonite plate which surrounded this gleam. The object was moving very slowly while crossing the expressway then it was immobilized. Its luminosity increased and it reached a maximum during three minutes. All of a sudden, it moved at a rather great speed, titled on itself and left at a vertiginous pace."

The source is noted "Black-out sur les Soucoupes volantes by Guieu Jimmy ** Fleuve Noir 1956 omnium 1977".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 23 May 1954 at 01:40 in the north of Marseille, France "An unidentified object was sighted, that had an unusual appearance or performance. One object was observed by one male witness for over three minutes."

The source is indicated as Guieu, Jimmy, Flying Saucers Come from Another World, Citadel, New York, 1956.

[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
19540523 23.05.1954 Marseille France NL
19540523 23.05.1954 Marseille France CE II



The Marseilleveyre mound is South of the city center of Marseille.

I wondered if the Moon could explain this, but it was below the horizon since 09:50 a.m. and would not rise until midnight.

A plane remains a possibility.

We have the metallic reflections, the compatible speed, and the sun almost setting at 286° and the height of 12° could have colored a plane - or a helicopter for that matter - in orange.


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

Marseille, Marseilleveyre, Bouches-du-Rhône, object, round, orange, metallic, oscillations, duration


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

Historique du document:

Version: Créé/changé par: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 8, 2007 First publishing.
1.0 Patrick Gross February 25, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross March 19, 2010 Addition [uda1].
1.2 Patrick Gross February 5, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.3 Patrick Gross June 14, 1954 Addition of the Summary. Explanations changed, was "Not looked for yet. The moon?"
1.4 Patrick Gross March 31, 2022 Addition [gep1].

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This page was last updated on March 31, 2022.