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The 1954 French flap:

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

September 29, 1954, Malo-les-Bains, Nord:

Reference for this case: 29-Sep-54-Malo-les-Bains.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper Le Nouveau Nord Maritime, of Dunkirk, for September 30, 1954, regretted on the front page the absence of "flying saucers" over Dunkirk, then told in a rather casual tone that there had finally been one, but that wasn't one...

"Someone" had told them "with a bit of mystery" that the day before (so on September 29, 1954), around noon, a strange thing was seen in the sky of Malo-les-Bains, towards the sea. The newspaper reports that "the first witness" they heard was not the right one because he had just heard about it, but that the second let himself be "ripped off" a few bits: there had been a "blow more muted than that of thunder" then a kind of mushroom of smoke had risen above the beach of Malo-Terminus, a ball with blurred outlines and indefinable color had come out of it, which after a moment of immobility, "had moved away HORIZONTALLY towards the sea." The witness had added "Others have seen it like me", but "he had not dared to put forward the word saucer and even less that of cigar", "taking the precision for too dangerous an adventure."

A woman then told them that "It was an explosion on the side of Minck", then three men and the owners of a café lost in the dunes said that "The earth shook at 12:15 p.m.".

In the city of barracks from where the "thing" had been seen, one said: "I'm sure it was shooting at sea".

A woman then said, "I heard repeated blows; I came out and saw." and "I saw very far towards the sea a kind of small black balloon - like a child's balloon - which rose in the sky".

The newspaper, hearing talk of a balloon there, decided that there had been no saucer and that the matter would end there.

Reports:

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

Scan.

Cruel disappointment...

A FLYING SAUCER
was finally announced
in the Dunkirk sky

Oh! we thought we were holding our saucer. Or a flying cigar. Or finally - and to console us - one of those many machines that have been haunting, at a frightening pace, our tormented skies for several weeks.

It started off in the most ordinary way. Someone told us, with a touch of mystery: yesterday, around noon, a strange thing was seen in the sky of Malo-les-Bains, towards the sea.

As we expected, as we hoped for this news. And although we have long been prepared to venture - after so many others - into the hallucinating domain of the Martians - or some other strange interplanetary journey - the fever took hold of us.

The first "witness" was the wrong one. He had only "heard about it". Fortunately, the one who did see, with his own eyes, was there. Hope grew in us.

Patiently we tore a few scraps from him and we were able to reconstruct the "thing".

A kind of mushroom smoke, following a clap more muted than that of thunder, had risen above the beach of Malo-Terminus. A ball with fuzzy outlines and indefinable color had emerged from it; after a moment of immobility, it had moved away HORIZONTALLY towards the sea. Our man added: "Others have seen it like me." But he had not dared to put forward the word saucer and even less that of cigar, taking the precision for too dangerous an adventure.

Never mind, there was still a mystery. That was the main thing.

The investigation continued.

Quickly the most varied hypotheses arose.

"It was a blast from Minck’s side,” said one woman. Amazing! Especially since in Dunkirk no one had heard anything.

"The earth shook at 12.15 p.m." affirmed three North Africans at the same time as the owners of a café lost in the dunes. Interesting!

"We heard nothing and we saw nothing" assured the workers of a construction site on the dike. Disappointing.

And then the investigation was cut short in the city of barracks from which the "thing" had been "seen".

"I'm sure it was shooting at sea" explained with technical comments in support one of the inhabitants. Such a statement should have put an end to all our hopes.

Stubbornly, however, we pulled the net and it was only to hear a lady say to us: "I heard repeated blows; I went out and saw." We were emulated to the extreme, literally breathless. The revelation was brutal: "I saw, continued our interlocutor, very far towards the sea a kind of small black balloon - like a child's balloon - which rose in the sky".

From there we stopped our questions for fear of seeing a soap bubble burst.

Too bad! Another month ending and still no saucer for Dunkirk.

It's not for lack of looking for it and scanning the sky.

Perhaps it will be necessary to ask the Syndicat d'Initiative or some other equally influential organization to deal seriously with this question of world interest. We too have the right to our saucer, otherwise Dunkirk will once again feel frustrated.

Couros

See our information
on the "SAUCERS"
on page 7 and 9

Explanations:

Map.

The square of the Minck, Rue de l'Entrée du Port, in Dunkirk, is the historic place of the fish market. Malo-Terminus is Malo-les-Bains.

It is almost impossible to understand the link between the different testimonies given by the newspaper; the black balloon for example may have nothing to do with the smoke mushroom, etc.

While I don't think there was anything that could be called a flying saucer here, but rather indeed a shooting at sea, the newspaper poorly reported the facts.

Carte.

Keywords:

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

Malo-les-Bains, Nord, Dunkirk, Dunquerque, detonation, explosion, mushroom, smoke, Malo-Terminus, fuzzy, ball, immobility, movement, horizontal, multiple, Minck, tremor, tremor, shots, sea, balloon, black

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross March 10, 2022 First published.

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