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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 2, 1954, Saint-Souplet, Nord:

Reference number for this case: 2-Oct-54-Saint-Souplet. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Reports:

[Ref. nmn1:] "NORD-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

According to a astronomer from Kenia

"Visitors from another world
make a map of the earth"

One continues to report everywhere the appearance of mysterious craft that sometimes have the shape of saucers, luminous balls, incandescent discs. But all these testimonies add nothing new to the question. On the other hand, a scientist has just spoken to publicize the result of a personal observation.

Mr. G. Duncan Fletcher, vice-president of the Kenya Astronomical Association, himself recently observed an object flying over Nairobi. He was in his observatory (which is very well equipped), with four friends. It was 7:40 p.m., very low in the East, appeared a great gleam which had nothing to do with astronomy, nor with the planes which had just landed on the airport. The object was at a height of about 700 meters and was stationary. When Mr. Fletcher and his four friends saw it, he emitted a bright orange glow. This glow intensified until light yellow and the object rose, descended and rose again to finally disappear in the clouds.

Mr. Fletcher reports that saucers have been reported by highly experienced observers from all over the world and says "visitors from another world are observing the earth and probably mapping it."

Citing in support of his thesis the opinion of Dr. P. Foyle, professor of astrophysics at Cambridge and that of Sir James Jean, Dr. Fletcher declares that innumerable reasons militate in favor of existence many planets capable of harboring life, but life forms on other planets could be very different from anything we can imagine."

He adds that it may be just a coincidence, but he points out that these beings from other worlds have been interested in terrestrial activities since the first atomic explosion about seven years ago.

"There seems to be no doubt," Mr. Fletcher continues, "that these beings are extremely ahead of us. I think they approach us as we would if we were in their place."

A fireball in Sequedin

In the meantime, other mysterious craft have been reported over our region.

Sunday evening, at 9 p.m., Mr. Ferdinand Millecamps, 21, mason, living in Haubourdin, 22 rue Victor Loridan, on the bridge of Sequedin, saw, about 500 meters, between Sequedin and Hallennes, and on the railway, a ball of light, about the size of a tram. It was 4 or 5 meters above the ground and, after having remained motionless for a while, it set off vertically. Frightened by this fantastic appearance, Mr. Millecamps left the place precipitately, and later, still very moved, told his adventure while arriving at Haubourdin.

Two "Martians"
in St-Amand-les-Eaux

Saturday, Mr. Marcel Sénéchal, 20, living in St-Amand, at the place called "La Pannerie", had as usual spent the evening at Hauteville-Nivelle with his fiancée. He was returning by bicycle to St-Amand along the Scarpe canal, around 1 in the morning.

Arriving at the height of the Vandeville pasture in Nivelle, he suddenly heard a conversation held in an unknown language and seeming to come from his right. He turned his head to this side and to his great agitation then saw a luminous mass in the shape of a haystack as well as two human forms of 1.20 m. approximately in height, covered with a shiny garment. A ray of light came out of the craft.

The mysterious characters were probably unable to see the approach of the young cyclist who was riding in the dark, a breakdown having immobilized his lighting.

The frightened young man, went off with all pedals and returned to his home moved to the extreme and reported these facts to his family and neighbors.

Informed by public rumor, the Commissioner of St-Amand, Mr. Gravet and two inspectors in charge of the Air Police attached to Lesquin aerodrome went to the scene and carried out searches; but they couldn't find any traces.

A strange phenomenon
in the Somme

Residents of Boves in the Somme witnessed a strange phenomenon on Sunday evening.

It was 8:50 p.m., Mr. and Mrs. Dheilly who had visited friends, were going home. As Mr. Dheilly sought in the dark to open his door, Mrs. Dheilly suddenly noticed an orange half-disc, low in the sky, towards the end of the street. She alerted her husband and both could see the disc slowly moving towards a wooded ridge.

Two of their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Quin, in turn warned, could also see the mysterious half-disc which, still slowly, moved away and disappeared behind the trees of the nearby marsh.

Confirmation, in indirect manner, of this "appearance" was given by residents of Demuin, Mr. and Mrs. Deslarides, workers farmers, who claim to have seen around 9:15 p.m., a kind of phosphorescent "flying lampshade" that moved silently and seemed to want to land.

A luminous ball in a
garden in Saint-Souplet

A resident of St-Souplet, in the Cambrai area, received an odd visit during the night from Sunday to Monday.

Awakened by a dry clickink sound, the witness said: "I first thought of a fire in the opposite building, but it was in fact a luminous ball, which rose to the sky. A door window was blown and the glass reduced to hundreds of small pieces was scattered in the adjoining room. At the place where the craft had just left, the vegetables from the garden were all lying in the same direction, a few being uprooted, just where the ball had landed. Apart from the broken glass which can be explained by the movement of air from the craft, no other damage was done to the property."

[Ref. fru1:] MICHEL FIGUET ET JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The authors indicate that in Saint Souplet in 1963 or 1964 at nightfall an anonymous woman was sleeping with the shutters open in spite of the nightfall when she was suddenly awaked by a violent noise and saw a luminous mass of red color which took off of her garden.

She informed her son but as it was dark they decided to go to see in the garden only the next day.

In the morning they noted that the spinach field seems crushed on a circular zone approximately 3 meters in diameter, without apparent burn, nor break but with a kind of fading of each plant. A wire which crossed the zone was neither broken nor slack. The higher pane of one of the window of the woman was broken in a rather regular manner but the projectile which could have done this and the pieces of glass were not found.

They later discovered the pieces of glass projected on the other side of the room behind a piece of furniture, and what was even more abnormal was than this ordinary window glass was broken in small parts as it happns with pyrex glass.

At the time of the investigation a photograph of the time was brought out which showed the hole in the pane.

Another person who slept in the next house heard the violent noise at the same hour and compared it with the amplified noise of a slammed door.

A gendarmerie investigation was made at the time.

The authors indicate that the source is LDLN #153 page 22.

[Ref. gmn1:] TERENCE MEADEN:

The scientist indicates that there was a case of crop circle in France many years ago in St. Souplet in the Nord in which a circle formation in a large patch was coincident with a red ball of light and acoustic noise.

The sources are noted "Anon. 1976, Nord Matin, October 1954".

[Ref. jsr1:] JEAN SIDER:

The author indicates that in the night from October 2nd to the 3rd, 1954, in St. Souplet in the Nord, an anonymous resident was awaked by a slapping sound and saw a luminous ball outside go up in the sky.

A pane of his door was blown away, the glass was spread in hundreds of tiny parts in the contiguous room, and on the site of the takeoff, the vegetables of the garden were lying in the same direction, some even uprooted where the sphere had been posed.

Jean Sider indicates that the source is the local newspaper Nord-Matin, of Lille, for October 6, 1954, page 10.

[Ref. jsr2:] JEAN SIDER:

Jean Sider includes in his 1997 book about the French flap of 1954 1954 book an insert on "side effects", including cases of "Windshield cancer".

He indicates that ufologist Michel Jeantheau, who had searched the Press on this matter, had discovered that these "effects, natural in principle" occurred in large numbers in 1954, but much less before and after, what he found amazing.

At the National Library, Versailles Annex, Jeantheau was mistaken and consulted by mistake newspapers of 1953 instead of 1954, and so he found that the "anomalies" of this kind were mostly of 1954. He then checked for 1955 and 19556 and made the same discovery.

Among the cases of "Windshield cancer" found by Jeantheau, Sider quotes "a door glass in Saint-Souplet" in the Nord.

Jean Sider says he lets the reader "think what he wants" about these occurrences.

[Ref. cir1:] "THE CIRCULAR":

3. 1954, St. Soupplets

Similar to the Premanon account, but some days later, a woman and her son heard strange noises outside their house on the night of October 2nd. They witnessed a red light in the garden, hovering above their vegetable patch, in which spinach were growing. They reported that the light soared away into the sky.

On the morning of October 3rd, they discovered that in the spinach patch was a circle, consisting of 3m of flattened plants. A window in the building had also been broken in the process.

This cas has been reported extensively by Terence Meaden (eg in Circles Effects and its Mysteries, page 52), who interpreted it as evidence for his plasma vortex hypothesis.

[Ref. goe1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVEMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1964 or 1963 in France, in Saint-Souplet (the Nord), "At nightfall Mrs. X sleeps. The shutters are not closed. She is suddenly awaked by a violent noise and sees a luminous mass of red color which takes off of her garden. The next day with her son, she finds the spinach field crushed on a circular zone of approximately 3m of diameter. A kind of fading of each plant, without break. The higher pane of one of the windows of the house is broken in a regular manner, but the pieces of glass or the projectile remain untraceable. Later they will find behind a piece of furniture of the room pieces of glass reduced to very small size. Another person sleeping in the nearby house heard at the same hour a violent noise, that shw compared with a noise of a door violently slammed and very amplified."

The source is indicated as "M. FIGUET/ J.L. RUCHON: "Ovni, Premier dossier complet..." - Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 649".

[Ref. twn1:] TERRY WILSON:

3. 1954, St. Soupplet

Similar to the Premanon account, but some days later, a woman and her son heard strange noises outside their house on the night of October 2nd. They witnessed a red light in the garden, hovering above their vegetable patch, in which spinnach was growing. They reported that the light soared away in the sky.

On the morning of October 3rd, they discovered that in the spinach patch was a circle, consisting of 3m of flattened plants. A window in the building had also been broken in the process.

This case has been reported extensively by Terence Meaden (eg in Circle Effects and its Mysteries, p. 52), who interpreted it as evidence for his plasma vortex hypothesis.

[Ref. amr1:] "ICCA - THE INTERNATIONAL CROP CIRCLE ARCHIVE":

2. St.Soupplets [sic] - 03.01.1954

Report

On the night of October 2, 1954, a woman and her son heard strange noises outside the house. They both had a look out of the window, to see a red light hovering above a patch of spinach. After a while the light "soared away". the next morning they found a flattened circles but otherwise undamaged.

Data II

Circle: 3 m diameter

[Ref. cas1:] COLIN ANDREWS AND STEPHEN SPIGNESI:

The authors say that there were 13 crop circles in France, primarily circles, with the first going back to 1954. One day in 1964, at a certain hour of the early morning two neighbor saw a circle being formed in St souplet. The circle was formed in a back garden and the two neighbors were awaked by a very loud strange noise while a brilliant light moved in the garden. The windows of the bedroom burst into small pieces of glass and were pulverized during this event. The circle which had appeared was reprted to be in spinach seedlings.

[Ref. amo1:] ANNE MORO:

Anne Moro indicates in English that in "St.Soupplets" [sic] on 03.01.1954 "In the night of October 2, 1954, a woman and her son heard strange noises outside the house. They both had a look out of the window, to see a red light hovering above a patch of spinach. After a while the light "soared away". the next morning they found a flattened circles but otherwise undamaged. Data II. Circle: 3 m diameter".

Anne Moro indicates that the source is the database by Andréas Müller "ICCA-The international Crop Circle Archive".

Elsewhere, she indicates:

1954 October 2 77
SEINE ET MARNE
St Soupplets A circle of 3 m in diameter. A woman and her son hear in middle of the night strange noises coming from the outside of their house. While looking by the window they observe a red object hover above a spinach piece. At the end of a while the object goes away and it is the next day that they will observe 2 circles of flattened seedlings.

A scan of an English text says:

3. 1954, St. Soupplet

Similar to the Premanon account, but some days later, a woman and her son heard strange noises outside their house on the night of October 2nd. They witnessed a red light in the garden, hovering above their vegetable patch, in which spinnach was growing. They reported that the light soared away in the sky.

On the morning of October 3rd, they discovered that in the spinach patch was a circle, consisting of 3m of flattened plants. A window in the building had also been broken in the process.

This case has been reported extensively by Terence Meaden (eg in Circle Effects and its Mysteries, p. 52), who interpreted it as evidence for his plasma vortex hypothesis.

[Ref. dcn1:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

May 15, 2003

[...] "souplet street" on October 2, 1954. At least he gives the date, which obviously comes from "Lumières dans la nuit" magazine. It is correct, it was I who gave it to them. As for the place it is St Souplet. As for the sighting the witnesses never saw a red object which hovered. I investigated on this case. The witnesses have heard a noise of explosion, and saw a gleam rise to the sky. A window was smashed and in the little garden, the found a flattened circle of about 3 m. It could have been a prank by the witnesess by the way, he was the forest warden of the village. [...]

Uncle Dom

[Ref. gne1:] G.E.R.U.:

DATE: 1963-1964
PLACE: Saint-Souplet nord
TYPE: DN
REF: LDLN 153 page 22
CIRCUMSTANCE OF OBSERVATION:

About ten years ago, towards the years 1963.1964, Mrs. X..., already old, slept home. The shutters were not closed in spite of nightfall. She was awaked suddenly by a violent noise, and then saw a luminous mass of red color, rise of her garden. She informed her son, and as he grew dark, they décided to go to see in the garden the next day morning.

Their morning examination enabled them to note that the spinach field seemed crushed on a circular area approximately 3 m in diameter. No apparent burn, but a kind of fading of each plant, without break. In the same manner a wire, tended close to the ground, crossed the touched zone and was neither broken, nor slack.

They also noted that the higher pane of one of the windows of Mrs. X... was broken in a rather regular manner, but the pieces of glass remained untraceable. They discovered them, later, projected in the other side of the room, where they had come to fall behind a piece of furniture; what seemed even more abnormal was the fact that the ordinary window glass was pulverized in small pieces (as those which our pyrex glass gives). A photograph of the time was brought out and showed the hole in the pane. Another person, sleeping in a close house, heard, at the same hour, the violent noise, that she compared with a noise of violently closed door, and very amplified.

At the time, an investigation of gendarmerie was carried out.

After this affair, Mrs. X... did not feel well, but she thought that it was the continuations of her fright.

Explanations:

Totally insufficient information.

The windshields "explosions" in 1954, called "window cancer" or "parebrisite" in French, has become an often cited example of "collective illusion" or "mass hysteria". Sociologists and psychologists refer to these incidents in France and in the United States to ensure that "crowds" can easily fall into unfounded collective myths.

And of course, some "skeptical" ufologists explain that the "window cancer" that preceded the wave of "flying saucers" of 1954 proves that the saucers too were only illusions.

None put forward the following point: "collective hysteria" here would in any case concern only the interpretation of the facts, not the facts themselves. And the interpretations were not really "hysterical", they were attempts at rationalization quite understandable and sensible in the context of the time.

All sorts of explanations were advanced at the time for the "window cancer", such as an effect of atomic experiments, Martian activity, or "vandals". In the United States, the police found that the epidemic affected mainly old cars, and it was thought that the windows would explode as a result of their wear.

In the windshield explosions reported in France in 1954, I find "constants": the mention of a light or a flash, blue when the color is mentioned, the lack of sens of the explanations by vandals, Martians, atomic tests, the insistence of the witness(es) that no pebble struck the windshield, the hearing of an explosion sound, the opacity of the window after the explosion.

Some of these characteristics have really no strangeness: an explosion noise is perfectly normal when a windshield breaks. The window becomes opaque because the anti-burst protection layer produced this. The lack of notice of a shock by a pebble or something else can also be explained: the windshield may have been hit and weakened by a hit long before, and then explodes only later when nothing hits it.

Jimmy Guieu linked this mystery to the extraterrestrials, but few ufologists followed him on this path. The Press did it sometimes, but without claiming this "explanation" was serious.

Michel Jeantheau thought such cases often occurred when "flying saucers" were reported in the same area. But here, the date not being indicated, this claim cannot be checked..

Keywords:

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

Saint-Souplet, Nord, night, noise, ball, luminous, landing, blow, effects, glass, trace, garden, vegetation

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 21, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross February 27, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [jsr1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 11, 2010 Addition [amo1], [gne1], [cas1], [gmn1], [goe1].
1.3 Patrick Gross October 20, 2011 Addition [cir1].
1.4 Patrick Gross April 29, 2020 Additions [nmn1].

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