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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 31, 1954, Yssingeaux, Haute-Loire:

Reference number for this case: 31-Oct-54-Yssingeaux. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

An A.F.P. (Agence France Presse) newsbrief published in the press on November 2, 1954, indicated that a merchant from Yssingeaux had seen "Sunday" - thus on October 31, 1954 - around 9 p.m., in the sky, a big ball ended with a tail producing sparks.

The "craft" descending at a vertiginous pace, the witness had thought it was a plane falling in flames, but suddenly, it paused its race, went away and disappeared.

It is said that this phenomenon lasted from 10 to 15 minutes.

This case wwas later noted succinctly by Jacques Vallée in his computer catalog, it seems.

Reports:

[Ref. lpl1:] NEWSPAPER "LE PROVENCAL":

BALLS ...

Yssingeaux (A.F.P.). A tradesman of Yssingeaux saw, Sunday evening towards 9 p.m., in the sky, a large ball finished by a tail producing sparks. The machine going down at a vertiginous pace, the observer believed that it was a plane falling in flames. But suddenly, it suspended its race, moved away and disappeared. The phenomenon had lasted from 10 to 15 minutes.

... AND FLYING CRESCENTS

Clermont-Ferrand (A.F.P.).
Inhabitants of Lézoux (Puy-de-Dome) saw an orange "crescent" moving without noise in a north-western to south-eastern direction. The phenomenon could be observed half an hour approximately.

[Ref. cpd1:] "LE COURRIER PICARD" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

A flying saucer carried
the serial number "3 R-X MARS"

BRUSSELS, November 1st. - A flying saucer from Belgium landed yesterday in Limel, near Maastricht, in Limburg, last night.

It is a small unmanned saucer, about 60 centimeters in diameter, bearing a license plate "3 R-X Mars" and whose structure is of great simplicity, enough for shaming the experts.

It is made up of a wicker circle covered with tinfoil and suspended in the air by four large toy balloons. In a sort of basket, attached to the wicker circle, a Belgian-made flashlight lights up the saucer, giving this machine a disturbing appearance at night.

Flying saucers are sometimes balls...

A merchant of Yssingeaux saw, in the sky, a large ball ending in a tail producing sparks. The craft descended at a dizzying pace, the observer believed that it was a plane falling in flames. But, suddenly, the ball stopped its course, moved away and disappeared.

... sometimes crescents

Residents of Lézeux [sic] (Puy-de-Dôme), saw an orange "crescent" moving noiselessly towards northwest - southeast. The phenomenon could be observed for about half an hour.

[Ref. nll1:] "NORD LITTORAL" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

THE FLYING SAUCERS
ARE SOMETIMES BALLS...

Yssingeaux, November 1.

A merchant of Yssingeaux saw last night, around 9 p.m., in the sky, a large ball ending in a tail producing sparks.

As the craft descended at a dizzying pace, the observer believed that it was a plane falling in flames. But suddenly it stopped moving, went away and disappeared. The phenomenon lasted 12 to 15 minutes.

Sometimes crescents

Clermont-Ferrand, Nov. 1

Residents of Lezoux (Puy-de-Dôme), saw yesterday, an orange "croissant" moving silently in direction North-West South-East. The phenomenon could be observed for half an hour.

A "saucer" captured at last

The Hague, November 1.

A flying saucer from Belgium landed in Limmel near Maastricht in the Kimburg last night.

It is a small unmanned saucer of about 80 centimeters in diameter carrying a license plate "3 R-X Mars" and whose structure is brilliantly simple, enough for shaming experts.

It is made up of a wicker circle covered with silver paper and suspended in the air by four toy balloons. In a kind of basket, attached to the wicker circle, a Belgian-made flashlight lights up the saucer, giving this craft a disturbing appearance at night.

[Ref. lon1:] NEWSPAPER "L'OISE-MATIN":

Scan.

Balls, crescent or wickerwork circle...

FLYING SAUCERS
NEW MODEL

according to fertile imaginations

Last Friday, around 11 p.m., a resident of Saint-Just busy preparing the midday meal, saw a saucer near the bell tower; calling her children she pointed to the object. But all three soon realized that it was the sun reflecting in a skylight of the church steeple and with the light fog that remained gave the impression of a fireball suspended in the air.

In Yssingeaux, a merchant saw around 9 p.m., in the sky a large ball ending in a tail producing sparks. The craft descending at a dizzying pace, the observer believed that it was a plane falling in flames. But suddenly, it stopped its course, moved away and disappeared. The phenomenon lasted about 15 minutes.

A saucer
"captured"

But Holland is where the tastiest story comes from. Indeed, a flying saucer from Belgium landed in Limmel, near Masstricht [sic, Maastricht], in Limburg, during the last night.

This is a small unmanned saucer of about 80 centimeters in diameter bearing a number plate: "3 RX Mars" and whose structure is brilliantly simple, such as to shame experts.

It actually consists of a wicker circle covered with silver paper and held in suspension in the air by four large toy balloons. In a kind of basket, fixed to the wicker hoop, a Belgian-made flashlight illuminates the saucer, giving this craft a disturbing appearance at night.

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

403 -004.12380 45.14400 01 11 1954 21 00 1 YSSINGEAUX F 301 A

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 31 October 1954 at 21:00 in Yssingeaux, France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed by one witness for ten minutes. Explanation: Planet."

The sources are noted Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01); Newspaper Clippings.

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

This database recorded this case three times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541101 01.11.1954 Yssingeaux France 21.00
19541101 01.11.1954 Yssingeaux France 21.00 NL
19541031 31.10.1954 Yssingeaux France 21.00

Explanations:

Carte.

Here are the locations for the October 31, 1954 reports:

The places may suggest that the whole of the observations are that of the same meteor. The hours and descriptions suggest it for some of the reports, but not for all.

Dossier:Notes:
Arry, Somme.Aucune description, aucune information.
Yssingueaux, Haute-Loire.Description n'un météore, sauf durée trop longue. Heure donnée comme vers 21:00.
Colmar, Haut-Rhin.Description peu claires, témoins enfants. Vu vers l'Est. 18:45.
Meyreuil, Bouches-du-Rhône.Description de type météore, vu allant du Sud vers le Nord. 18:30.
Nimes, Gard.Description de type météore, vu allant du Sud-Ouest vers nord. 18:15.
Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin.Heure totalement différente. 04:00.
Lézoux, Puy-de-Dôme.Lune rousse possible. direction inverse, durée 30 minutes, heure non connue.
Long, Somme.Direction inverse, observation de 30 minutes trop longue. 21:00.

It appears that for this day, the observations in Meyreuil and Nimes are probably that of a meteor of going roughly from the South towards the North at approximately 18:15 - 18:30. Perhaps the observation in Arry has the same explanation, no information confirms or denies this.

The observation in Yssingeaux could be that of this meteor only if the newspaper had badly understood the hour as well as the duration; in Long, the duration and the direction would both be false.

For Lézoux, nothing matches with the 18:15 meteor. For Colmar, the initial direction would be false, if it is reliable - it is given by a child. The direction according to the adult would correspond.

Thus, for Yssingeaux, I estimate that the probable explanation is a meteor, but it is less probable that it would be the meteor at 18:15.

Keywords:

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

Yssingueaux, Haute-Loire, tradesman, ball, tail, trail, sparks, descent, fast

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 6, 2007 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 5, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross July 1, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 31, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sources. "Explanation" changed from "Probable meteor" to the paragraphs about the sightings that day.
1.3 Patrick Gross January 6, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.3 Patrick Gross November 1, 2019 Addition of the Summary.
1.4 Patrick Gross February 1, 2020 Addition [cpd1].
1.5 Patrick Gross April 8, 2020 Addition [nll1].
1.6 Patrick Gross May 7, 2021 Addition [lon1].

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