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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 23, Plombières-lès-Dijon, Côte-d'Or:

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


The ufology group of Côte-d'Or ADRUP reported this case in their bulletin #10-11 of the 3rd quarter of 1982, specifying that the source was the regional newspaper Le Bien Public, of Dijon, for September 25-26, 1954.

According to the ADRUP, this newspaper reported that on September 23rd, 1954, at 9:45 p.m., a kind of luminous disc of 5 cm in diameter and of orange color had been sighted by two gendarmes. This disc seemed very distant, and appeared and disappeared every 10 seconds.

The gendarmes followed it for about 10 minutes, then the disc moved northwest.

The ADRUP reported in their bulletin two years later that the two gendarmes were from the Plombières Brigade, and that another source of the case was the newspaper La Bourgogne Républicaine for September 25, 1954.

In his 1958 book, ufologist Aimé Michel included this case, without giving any source, placing it on the Route Nationale 5, some five kilometers west of Dijon. The gendarmes, driving peacefully, had discovered a large, glowing ball high up in the sky, which jerked away, turning off from time to time. They first spotted the phenomenon to the southeast above the village of Talant, and it made its fanciful evolutions on the spot for ten minutes to quickly disappear over the opposite side of the horizon at 09:55 p.m.

In 2021, I found the primary source, the regional newspaper La Bourgogne Républicaine, of Dijon, for September 25, 1954, on page 9.

In an article titled "Flying saucer?", the newspaper said that "Thursday" therefore on September 25, 1954, indeed, two gendarmes of the Plombières brigade on a night tour had seen around 9:45 p.m., a strange luminous phenomenon, in the direction of Talent:

Fairly high in the sky, an orange ball appeared and disappeared roughly every 2 seconds. Its diameter "was about five centimeters."

The gendarmes observed it for about ten minutes, it moved in jerks towards the North-West, and "despite its increasing distance, its size seemed to remain constant."

I show in this file that Mars was probably that orange-colored disc.




Dijon. -- Thursday evening, two gendarmes from the Plombières brigade, who were on a night patrol saw, around 9:45 p.m., a strange luminous phenomenon, in the direction of Talent.

Fairly high in the sky, an orange ball appeared and disappeared roughly every 2 seconds. Its diameter was about five centimeters.

The gendarmes followed the moves of this ball for about ten minutes. It was moving in jerks towards the North-West. Despite its increasing distance, its size seemed to remain constant.

Did other people see the strange phenomenon? One more piece in file of the unidentified flying objects!

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel reports that two gendarmes of the brigade of this city who were on night patrol on the National Road RN 5 at a few five kilometers west of the town of Dijon, driving peacefully on Thursday, September 23, at 09:45 P.M., discovered a large glowing reddish ball rather high in the sky, which moved by jerks while dying out from time to time. They initially located the phenomenon towards the south-east above the village of Talant, and it made its whimsical evolutions at that location during ten minutes and then quickly went away to disappear high above on the opposite horizon at 09:55 p.m.

[Ref. gqy1:] GUY QUINCY:


September 23, 1954

09:45 p.m.: Plombières-lès-Dijon (Côte d'Or): lum. sph. mov. by jerks lighting and extinguishing alternatively

[Ref. jve1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

Vallée mentions this observation at the same time as the one in Jou for the same day, indicating: "Policemen in Plombieres and several independent witnesses observed the object as it flew erratically over the area for 60 min."


This ufologist, believing he discovered a link between UFOs and geological faults, notes the case of "Plombières" of 1954 reported by Aimé Michel as taking place on a geological fault.



On September 23 at 9:45 p.m., a kind of luminous disc of 5 cm in diameter of orange color, was seen by two gendarmes. This disc seemed very distant, appeared and disappeared every 10 seconds. They followed it for about 10 minutes and then the disc moved northwest.

The source is given as the newspaper Le Bien Public.


54 09 23 / PLOMBIERES / 09:45 P.M. / NL / P /

Two gendarmes of the brigade of Plombières, observed a big red ball, in the sky. It moved jerkily, turning off once in a while. It disappeared around 9:55 p.m.

(Source: Bien Public, 08/25-26/54 - Bourgogne Républicaine, 9/25/54 - M.O.C. Aimé Michel, p. 96 & 97)


This magazine listed this case:

54 09 23 21H45 LN Plombière les Dijon

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:


Jou (cher Department) 9:00 p.m.

"Moved in jerks."

Several miles north of Bourges, France, on Route D-58 (120 miles west of Lux) postal inspector M. Robert Patient and his family were motoring to their destination of Vasselay. Mme. Patient was the first to become aware of something strange. Off to the north, in the direction of the village of Jou, a brilliant, round, object flashed through the air, so bright the witness believed magnesium flares were being lauched. The vivid glare masked details of the UFO but the Patients still saw quite a show:

"It was moving in jerks, and would at times go out at one spot and then lightup again a little to the side two or three seconds later.

"All at once it dropped down toward the ground and disappeared from sight as if it had landed, and imnediately, at the point of the presumed landing, a great reddish hemisphere of luminosity arose, covering an area that I estimate as around fifteen yards in diameter, so far as my subjective calculation of distance can be correct. From the middle of this luminous hemisphere there spouted toward the sky a long incandescent filament, which might be - with the same reservation - about fifty yards long. This sight lasted from twenty to thirty seconds, then all the light went out. An instant later, the ball seen at first was relit, and we were able to see that it had taken to the air again, for it was above the horizon.

"We had stopped on the edge of the road at the beginning of the incident. The night was dark, without moonlight, with a sky half covered by clouds, and a rather low ceiling. When lighted, the object shone more brightly than the moon, illuminating both the countryside and the clouds. It was still above Jou, having resumed its orginal position and behavior, and we had been watching it for some minutes after its landing, when we suddenly had the impression that it was approaching us at full speed. We saw it, in fact, growing larger very rapidly, with increasing luminosity; the shadows that it cast on the ground were moving and converging. I must confess that we didn't feel very happy about it. When it was perhaps two hundred yards away from us, we rushed back into the car and drove without further delay to the nearby hamlet of Fonland, where we had relatives. While we were moving along, my wife was able to see the thing through the trees of the Forest of Villaines; it seemed to be following us, and that lasted for several hundred yards. When we reached Fonland, it was still visible. But a minute later it blacked out and we saw nothing more. It was then about 9:30 p.m." 109.

A few minutes later, a few miles west.

Plombieres police in a patrolcar on Route N-5 noticed a strange reddish ball in the sky to the southeast. The ball blacked out occasionally and moved in a jerky fashion. Over the village of Talaut the object gave the impression it was spinning in place for 10 minutes or so, finally it moved away over the northern horizon at 9:55p.m. 110.

Five minutes later, near Jou. Again the Patient family. The Patient family was driving down N-144 near the village of Jou at 10:00 p.m. still marvelling at the experience they had had earlier when suddenly the family became UFO witnesses for a second time that night. As they watched in wonder, a reddish elongated object flashed across the sky. 111.

The sources are noted as;

108. Michel, Aime. Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery. p.71.
109. Ibid, pp.69-70.
110. Ibid, p. 71.
111. Ibid


3828: 1954/09/23 21:50 10 4:58:00 E 47:21:00 N 3333 WEU FRN CDO 6:8



[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the "Côte d'or" in Plombières lés Dijon on September 23, 1954 at 21:45 hours "Two gendarmes in round on the N5 discover rather high in the sky a large reddish ball moving by jerks while dying out from time to time. The object was towards the South East above Talant making arabesques during ten minutes before quickly disappearing on the opposite side of the horizon."

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

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

This dabase recorded this case 3 times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540923 23.09.1954 Plombieres France 21.45 NL
19540923 23.09.1954 Plombieres France 21.45 NL
19540923 23.09.1954 Plombieres France 21.45

[Ref. aln1:] ALAIN LEQUIEN:

The author indicates that in Plombière-les-Dijon, on September 23, 1954, at 9:45 p.m., two gendarmes on tour on the national road 5 discovered in the sky a large glowing ball moving in jerks, turning off from time to time.

The object was to the southeast, above Talent, and circled for 10 minutes before quickly disappearing on the opposite side of the horizon.

The author indicates that "the investigation carried out recorded the phenomenon."

He indicates as source the book by Aimé Michel [aml1].



The approximate location is 47° 20'15'' North, 4° 58' 14'' East. This happened on September 23, 1954, at 09:45 p.m. This allows checking a possible astronomical misinterpretation, with as "kind of luminous disc of 5 cm of diameter of orange color", planet Mars.

Mars is there: at azimuth 211° 14' (South-East, the initial and longest direction of observation), the low elevation of 10° 41', conducive to misinterpretations. The Mars-Earth distance was at that time 112.16 million kilometers (minimum 56 million kilometers, maximum 401 million kilometers) and Mars was very visible since 85.36% of its surface visible from the earth was illuminated by the sun.

Appearances and disappearances may be due to obstacles for moving witnesses, or scattered clouds. Only incongruity, the "disappearance" towards the horizon opposite to the Southeast. But this may have been a mistake of witnesses moving in road turns, or some other light.

So, Mars is, for me, the probable cause of this report.


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

Plombières, Plombières-lès-Dijon, Côte-d'Or, Gendarmes, police, multiple, ball, glowing, orange, red, manoeuvers, fast, jerky


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 16, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 28, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross January 31, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross May 9, 2019 Additions [via1], [via2], [fle1], [lhh1], Summary. Explanations changed, was "Not looked for yet."
1.3 Patrick Gross January 28, 2021 Addition [bre1]. In the Summary, addition of the information from [bre1].
1.4 Patrick Gross February 11, 2021 Additions [via3], [aln1].
1.5 Patrick Gross March 14, 2021 Additions [gqy1], [lgs1].

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