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The 1954 French flap:

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

August 30, 1954, Sens, Yonne:

Reference for this case: 30-Aug-54-Sens.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


In 1957, in an article for the US Fate magazine, the pioneering ufologist Aimé Michel mentioned that in "the days following" July 24, 1954, there were sightings in France in several places including Sens; which only the local newspapers had mentioned.

He did not give sources or any other information about this sighting in Sens.

In the 1950s, Guy Quincy noted in his ufology catalog an observation on August 30, 1954, around 9 p.m. in Sens in the Yonne, of a luminous ball.

He had doubtless rightly suspected that it was one of the observations of a meteor over 15 departments and Paris that day at 8:20 p.m.


[Ref. aml2:] AIME MICHEL:

But during the days that followed [July 24, 1954] similar observations [as the sighting in Talence] were made at [... other cases...] Sens, [... other cases...] and other places. The remarkable thing was that only the local papers made mention of these sightings. As a consequence the witnesses had no way of knowing that other persons in other places were having the same experiences.

[Ref. gqy1:] GUY QUINCY:


August 30 [1954]

08:20 p.m.: Seine/Seine-et-Marne/Yonne and 15 other departments: luminous body + trail sparks + explosion on Paris. (meteor)

about 9 PM: Sens (Yonne): luminous ball (same observation?)

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 30 August 1954 at 21:00 in "Sens-Theil.Vanves", France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed by several witnesses."

The source is indicated as "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".

[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
19540830 30.08.1954 Sens Theil Vanves France 21.00 NL



The 30 August 08:20 p.m. meteor.

Note on the meteor for that day:

As soon as 1958, Aimé Michel published [am1] very interesting pages on the observations for August 30, 1954: it was a meteor, and he uses this example of a meteor event to show the similarities and differences between UFO reports and meteor reports. He notes that this meteor was reported by hundreds of witnesses in more than 20 departments. It was seen finally exploding by a witness at La Porte des Lilas in Paris.

It however appears that except Aimé Michel, almost none of the authors of the other later sources publishing these sightings took care to give the explanation. Yet these other authors are generally aware of Aimé Michel's book, which they sometimes quote for other cases, as if they had a quite selective reading method... or as if they chose to use the poorest sources instead...

Neither did they understand the descriptions of the sightings. They call "UFO" what was obviously a meteor, and let their readers believe in an unexplained observation.

The sighting places for the matching cases are:

Le Coudray-sur-Thelle49.305-2.124

The plotted sighting places:

The case files and their sources for this meteor event:

Sens, Yonne.21:00
Buxerolles, Vienne.20:30
Le Coudray-sur-Thelle, Oise.~20:30
Angers, Maine-et-Loire.20:20
Creil, Oise.20:00

Note on the sighting times: it would be silly to mistake the given hours for stop watch measurements, like some ufologists did in some cases (For example Charles Garreau...). People did not inevitably walk around with a wristwatch then, did not inevitably look at a clock, did not think inevitably of asking or checking the hour. The press was then satisfied enough to write things like "at about 08:30 p.m.". The most probable hour is "approximately 08:20 p.m."; it is the less "rounded at half an hour".

What the witnesses said, when it is known:

Sens, Yonne.?
Buxerolles, Vienne.Luminous
Le Coudray-sur-Thelle, Oise.glowing ball seeming to fall.
Angers, Maine-et-Loire.Fast brown disc surrounded of green gleams. Shining disc-shaped light followed of a rather short tail, very fast, sems to fall.
Paris.Luminous circular flying object.
Creil, Oise.?

These descriptions are concise, they are the ordinary words of ordinary people, noted by newspapermen subjected to brevity rules, they are not scientific descriptions. What is clear is that there is no strangeness at all in the reports, no "impossible manoeuvers", no "humanoid occupants", no beams, no landings etc.


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

Sens, Yonne


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross March 23, 2010 First published, [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross October 30, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sources. Explanation changed from "Probably the meteor of that day" to "The 30 August 08:20 p.m. meteor.". Addition of the "Note on the meteor for that day".
1.2 Patrick Gross March 3, 2021 Additions [gqy1], Summary.
1.2 Patrick Gross April 14, 2022 Additions [aml2]. In the Summary, addition of the information of [aml2].

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This page was last updated on April 14 2022.