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The 1954 French flap:

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September 23, 1954, Gulf of Gasconny:

Reference number for this case: 23-Sep-54-GolfeDeGascogne. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper Var-Matin - République and the regional newspaper Le Nouveau Nord Maritime for October 3, 1954, indicated that it was reported from Brest, that Mr. Arsène Stephan, second in command of a freighter ship that stopped over at Brest, declared that during the night of the 23rd to the 24th of September 1954, while the boat was in the Bay of Biscay, at 44° 48' North and 4° 50' West, he had seen a star four times larger than the others.

Two of his sailors, who were at his side, had seen the same thing. With the binoculars, they had noted that it was an object in which appeared, at times, green reflections.

In his 1958 book, ufologist Aimé Michel said that the witnesses were two watchmen, who warned the second in command Arsène Stéphane, who observed the object with the binoculars.

Michel says that the object appeared as a red disk animated with various movements like rotations, but which always remained in the same place. The bright green reflections appeared from time to time on the edges of the object which remained visible for long minutes.

Canadian ufologist Henri Bordeleau quoted in 1969 a news brief of the national press agency AFP of the time, published in the press - he did not give the date, It was the same report as that of Michel.

Reports:

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

Scan.

NEAR MEAUX...

ROAD MENDER
saw a "saucer"
posed on crutches

If, in Saint-Hilaire-les-Cambrai, three workers claim to have seen, around 6 a.m. yesterday, in the sky, a strange luminous craft which trailed a white light, the "star testimony" of the day is that of roadmenders of the Seine-et-Marne.

They were half a dozen to work, in the rain, along the Coulommiers-Meaux road, not far from the airfield of Quincy-Voisins, when they saw a "flying saucer."

One of them, Mr. Bernard Goujon, 30, said he saw in a field, to the left of the road, about 200 meters from him, at the foot of a poplar bush, a strange oval craft, measuring about 3 meters in diameter, and 2 m. 50 high. 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 about 150 meters away, he was tingled as if an invisible electric beam was aimed at him.

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

There were traces of about ten centimeters depth on the ground.

It will be noted that the traces discovered in Quarouble, on the wooden sleepers of the railway track also seemed to have been made by crutches.

SAUCERS ABOVE
THE ATLANTIC

For his part, Mr. Arsène Stephan, second in command of a freighter which called at Brest, stated that during the night of September 23-24, 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, also made the same observation. Using binoculars, they noticed that it was a moving disc on which green reflections appeared at times.

In addition, last Thursday, at dusk, a sailor who was at the helm of the tanker "Port-Lyautey" saw, less than 500 meters from him, a saucer-shaped object of red color grazing the surface of the water, then quickly ascend vertically and disappear, leaving a red flame.

[Ref. vmr1:] "VAR-MATIN-REPUBLIQUE" NEWSPAPER:

Flying saucers (continued)

"A roadmender sees a strange apparatus posed on the ground, with assistance of crutches! But when he approached of the craft, he is paralyzed by an invisible ray."

Melun, October 2.

Several roadmenders of the Bridges and Road who worked under the rain at the edge of the Coulommiers-Meaux road, not far from the Quincy-Voisin airfield, stated they saw a flying saucer.

One of them, Mr. Bernard Goujon, 30 year-old, claimed to have seen in a field, on the left of the road, at approximately 200 meters of him, at the foot of a group of poplars, a strange apparatus of oval form, measuring approximately three meters in diameter and of a height of 2,50m. "It was, he said, posed on the ground with the assistance of three rather high crutches. Its higher part comprised a small translucent cupola that seemed made of plastic. The whole of the craft was of a metal shining like aluminum."

Mr. Goujon told that he had wanted to approach the craft but when he arrived at approximately 150 meters, he felt tickling as if "an invisible electric ray" were aimed at him.

"I felt, he said, paralyzed, and my sight was slightly scrambled. I then saw the saucer rise very slowly, without noise, in the manner of a falling leaf up to 25 meters of the ground. It was motionless one moment, then, still without noise nor any luminous trail, it disappeared at sharp pace."

On the ground, traces of approximately 10 cm depth were found.

A shining ball.

Quillant. -- Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Saboureau, bar owner in Belestre (the Ariège), saw in the sky, a brilliant ball. The craft machine which moved rather slowly and without noise, was followed, he said, of a trail of gray smoke.

A strong whistling sound.

Montceau-les-Mines. -- Two bricklayers, Misters Romain Sebastiani and Buratte, both cyclists racing with the velocipedic union of Roanne, stated to have seen at the edge of the road of Blanzy, in Montceau, a machine taking off with a strong whistling sound. The craft, they said, was cigar-shaped, of very dark yellow color, of three meters in length and a diameter of approximately 60 to 85 cm.

Sailors report their sightings.

Brest. -- Mr. Arsène Stephan, second in command of a cargo ship which made a stopover in Brest, declared that during the night from September 23 to 24, whereas the boat was in the Bay of Biscay, at 44° 48' north and 4°50', he had seen a star four times larger than the others. Two of its sailors, who were at his sides also made the same observation. With the binocular, they noted that it was an object in which the green reflections appeared at times.

Last Thursday, at dayfall, a sailor who was conducting the tanker "Port Lyautey" saw, within less than 500 meters of him, a craft in the shape of a saucer and red in color skim the surface of water, to then go up fast and vertically, and to disappear while leaving a red flame.

An aerial blowtorch.

Caudry. -- Three workmen of St Hilaire les Cambrai claimed to have seen, this morning at 6, a strange luminous machine which trailed in its continuation a white gleam comparable with that of a blowtorch.

[Ref. nnm1:] "LE NOUVEAU NORD MARITIME" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

A flying saucer
lands near Melun

Its three crutches leave 10 cm deep marks in the ground

Melun, 2. -- Several road workers from Ponts-et-Chaussées who were working 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, said he saw in a field, to the left of the road, about 200 meters from him, at the foot of a poplar bush, a strange oval craft, measuring about 3 meters in diameter, and 2 m. 50 high. It was said to have been posed on the ground on three rather high crutches. Its upper part had a small translucent dome that appeared to be made of plastic. The whole thing was made of a metal shiny like aluminum.

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

Monceau-les-Mines, 2. -- Two mason workers, MM. Romain Sebastiani and Buratto, both cyclists at the Union Vélocipédique 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, in the shape of a very dark yellow cigar, three meters long and about 60 to 80 centimeters in diameter.

***

THE TESTIMONY OF THE COMMANDER IN SECOND OF A CARGO SHIP

Brest, 2. -- Mr. Arsène Stephan, second in command of a freighter ship which stopped at Brest, stated that during the night of September 23-24, when the boat was in the Bay of Biscay, by 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 by his side also made the same observation. Through binoculars they noticed that it was a moving disc on which green reflections appeared at times.

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

***

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

[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. lcx1:] NEWSPAPER "LA CROIX":

Scan.

A "SAUCER" WOULD HAVE PLACED
NEAR THE AVIATION GROUND
OF QUINCY-VOISINS (Seine-et-Marne)

Several road mender from the Ponts et Chaussées, who worked along the Coulommiers-Meaux road, not far from the Quincy airfield, saw a flying saucer.

One of them, Mr. Bernard Goujon, 30, claimed to have seen in a field, about 200 m. from him, at the foot of a group of poplar trees, a strange oval-shaped craft, measuring about 3 meters in diameter, and 2.50 m. high. "It was, he said, posed on the ground with the help of three rather high crutches. Its upper part had a small translucent dome which seemed to be made of plastic. The whole craft was made of metal, shiny like aluminum."

Mr. Goujon said that he had wanted to approach the craft, but when he arrived at about 150 meters, he was seized with tingling as if an invisible electric beam was darted on him. "I felt paralyzed, and my eyesight was slightly blurred. I then saw the saucer rise very slowly, silently, like a 'dead leaf', up to 25 meters above the ground. It stopped for a moment then, still silently and without any luminous trail, disappeared at a brisk pace."

Traces about 10 centimeters deep were noted on the ground.

A "cigar" takes off in the Saône-et-Loire

Two masonry workers, MM. R. Sébastiani, and Buratto, both cyclists, at the Cycling Union of Roanne, declared having seen, on the edge of the road from Blanzy to Montceau, a craft taking off with a strident whistling sound. The craft was, they said, shaped like a very dark yellow cigar, three meters long and about 60 to 80 centimeters in diameter.

Mr. Arsène Stephan, second in command of a cargo ship that called at Brest, said that, during the night of September 23 to 24, while the boat was in the Bay of Biscay, at 44° 48 North and 4° 30, he had seen a star four times larger than the others.

Two of his sailors, who were at his side, also made the same observation. Using binoculars, they noticed that it was a moving disc, on which appeared, at times, green reflections.

At nightfall, a sailor who was at the helm of the tanker Port-Lyautey, saw, less than 500 meters from him, a saucer-shaped craft of red color touching the surface of the water, then quickly rise vertically and disappear, leaving a red flame.

[Ref. ads1] "L'ARDENNAIS" NEWSPAPER:

THE "SAUCERS" LEFT TRACES NEAR MEAUX

MELUN. -- Several roadmakers of the Bridges and Roads who worked in the rain along the Coulommiers-Meaux road, not far from the Quincy-Voisins airfield, said they had seen a flying saucer. One of them, Mr. Bernard Goujon, 30, said he saw in a field, to the left of the road, about 200 meters from him, at the foot of a poplar bush, a strange oval-shaped apparatus, measuring about three meters in diameter and a height of 2 m. 50. He was, he said, placed on the ground with three high crutches. Its upper part consisted of a small translucent dome, apparently made of plastic material. The whole thing was a shiny metal like aluminum.

Mr. Goujon said that he wanted to approach the machine, but arrived at about 150 meters, he was seized by tingling as if an invisible electric beam was darted at him. I felt, he said, paralyzed, and my vision blurred slightly.

I then saw the saucer rise very slowly, noiselessly like a "dead leaf", up to 25 meters from the ground. It froze for a moment, then still without noise and without any luminous trail, it disappeared at a brisk pace. On the ground, traces of about 10 centimeters have been found.

CAUDRY. -- Three workers of Saint-Hilaire-les-Cambrais said they saw, Saturday morning, at 6 o'clock, a strange luminous machine which dragged after it a white glow comparable to that of a blowtorch.

MONTCEAU-LES-MINES. -- Two mason workers, MM. Romain Sebastiani and Buratto, both cyclists at the Roanne Vélocipédique Union, said that they saw a machine taking off along the road from Blanzy to Montceau with a shrill whistling sound.

The apparatus had, they said, the shape of a very dark yellow cigar, of a length of three meters and a diameter of about 60 to 80 centimeters.

Saucers on the sea

BREST. -- Mr. Arsène Stéphan, second in command of a freighter ship who stopped over at Brest, said that during the night of September 23 to 24, while the boat was in the Bay of Biscay, he had seen a star four times larger than the others.

(See more on page 5)

Flying saucers...

(Continued from the first page)

Two of his sailors who were at his side also made the same observation. With the binoculars, they noticed that it was a disc in movement on which green reflections sometimes appeared.

Last Thursday, at dusk, a sailor who was at the helm of the tanker "Port-Lyautey" saw, within 500 meters of him, a saucer-shaped craft and of red color graze the surface of the water, then go up quickly vertically and disappear leaving a red flame.

[Ref. hws1:] HAROLD T. WILKINS:

The author says that in the Bay of Biscay, seamen on a freighter saw a moving disc with a green glow.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel reports that on September 23, in the night, two men on nightwatch on a cargo which was at 44 degrees 48 minutes north and 4 degrees 17 minutes west in the Bay of Biscay [Golfe de Gascogne in French] saw a kind of disc of red color, slightly luminous, motionless above the sea at a rather low angular altitude.

The two men alerted the second in command, Arsene Stéphane, who observed the object with binoculars.

Michel says that the object appeared as a red disc animated with varied movements such as rotations but which always remained at the same place. Sharp green reflections appeared from time to time on the edges of the object which remained visible during long minutes.

[Ref. gqy1:] GUY QUINCY:

Scan.

September 23, 1954

Night: 44°48'Lat.N.-4"17'Long.W.(French cargo, Golfe de Gascogne, about 290 km W. of Bordeaux): reddish luminous disc

[Ref. hbu1:] HENRI BORDELEAU:

Case No. 19

Brest 2 (AFP) (1) - The commander of a cargo ship that made a stopover in Brest yesterday, stated to have seen, on the night of September 23 to 24, while the freighter was in the Bay of Biscay a star four times greater than the others.

Two of his sailors who were with him also made the same observation, but with binoculars, they found that it was a moving disc on which at times appeared green hues.

On the other hand, the day before yesterday, at nightfall, a sailor who was at the helm of the "Port Lyautey" tanker, saw, within 500 meters of him, a saucer-shaped craft and of red color scratch the surface of the water, go up vertically and disappear, leaving a red flame.

Henri Bordeleau indicates that the source is "the 1954 Press".

[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. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in an unknown place in the Bay of Biscay on September 23, 1954 at an unknown hour, "the men on duty of a cargo liner see a kind of slightly luminous disc of reddish color, motionless above the sea at a low altitude. They then inform the second in command who observing using the binoculars and then observes a disc having from time to time very sharp green reflections. The object was visible during long minutes."

The source is indicated as "M.O.C. by Michel Aimé ** Arthaud 1958".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 23 September 1954 in the "Pre-dawn", in "Golfe.Gascogne, France", "A flying disc was observed. One disc was observed by three witnesses on the ocean for ten minutes. Explanation: Planet."

The sources are indicated as "Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Newspaper Clippings."

[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
19540000 00.00.1954 Gulf Gascony France

Explanations:

Important indications are missing, such as the angular size. Confusion with a star low on the horizon seen through atmospheric perturbations. (Venus was not visible.)

Below: position of the ship:

Keywords:

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

Gulf of Gascogne, Bay of Biscay, cargo liner, boat, sea, low, red, green, motionless, movements, luminous, multiple, night, reflections

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 24, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 24, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 22, 2010 Addition [hws1].
1.2 Patrick Gross November 5, 2016 Addition [hbu1].
1.3 Patrick Gross February 5, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.4 Patrick Gross May 10, 2019 Addition of the Summary. In the Explanations, additions of the map and "(Venus was not visible.)"
1.5 Patrick Gross July 20, 2019 Addition [ads1].
1.6 Patrick Gross February 13, 2020 Addition [nnm1]. In the Summary, addition of "and the regional newspaper Le Nouveau Nord Maritime"
1.7 Patrick Gross April 8, 2020 Addition [nll1].
1.8 Patrick Gross April 28, 2020 Addition [ner1].
1.9 Patrick Gross January 10, 2021 Addition [lcx1].
2.0 Patrick Gross March 14, 2021 Addition [gqy1].
2.1 Patrick Gross March 16, 2021 Addition [lgs1].

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