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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 3, 1954, Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, Pas-de-Calais:

Reference number for this case: 3-Oct-54-Ablain-Saint-Nazaire. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


Around 2017, "skeptical" ufologist Dominique Caudron, based in the Nord, cataloged sightings in the Nord region for October 3, 1954, neglected by ufologists, including many that were previously unpublished, and mostly explainable by a red moon whose appearance was altered by clouds.

One of these observations was reported in the regional newspaper La Voix du Nord, Lens issue for October 5, 1954, on page 6:

In Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, in the Pas-de-Calais department, at 09:30 p.m., witnesses reportedly saw a saucer land between two haystacks.



In the North of France, it was the mining country which was, in 1954, the seat of a great activity of the "M.O.C." [Mysterious Celestial Objects]. Yet only Ablain-Saint-Nazaire is actually located on a fault, Valenciennes being only on the edge of the mining basin. It is little indeed to justify such an activity! But everything becomes clear to us when we learn that the earthquake of June 11, 1938, took place at 25 kilometers deep between Lille and Courtrait! As in Normandy, an uneventful surface on a dislocated basement.

(Ufologist Fernand Lagarde believed UFOs are linked to faults in the crust of the Earth.)


The weekend of October 2-3 appears on all graphs as the maximum-maximorum of the 1954 wave. Although the work of counting the press of the time is not yet finished, the 118 various issues of newspapers and magazines I have been able to analyze for this period gives us an almost complete overview, in any case very broadly representative of the regional observations which were reported in the press for Sunday, October 3. I included the observations of the Somme which seemed to me inseparable from those of Nord - Pas-de-Calais and which also appear in the chapter entitled "Zigzag on the mining country" of the book by A. Michel: "Mystérieux Objets Célestes."

I count, as one case, each observation made by an independent group of witnesses. The astonishing quantity of observations reported below, shows once again the interest of thoroughly searching the newspaper archives.

OCTOBER 3, 1954:

36) 09:30 p.m. ABLAIN-ST-NAZAIRE _52_: witnesses reportedly saw a saucer land between too haystacks. (VdN-Lens, p.5, 5/10)


Dominique Caudron drew up an inventory of observations in the Nord on October 3, 1954, containing 51 reports, including this one:

The Fabulous day of October 3, 1954


Chronology of the observations of October 3.

We give here only a summary of what was published in the press of the time, for the nord region, regardless of what the ufologists could later say. We have numbered all these observations, the first of which have nothing to do with the setting of the moon, in order to be able to study them globally in a table. Some are already the subject of a special file.

[... other cases...]

36) 09:30 p.m., ABLAIN-ST-NAZAIRE (62)

- Witnesses reportedly saw a saucer land between two haystacks.

(La Voix du Nord-ed. Lens 5/10 page 6)

[... other cases...]

All this is only a compilation of the information given by all newspapers of the time, including local editions, and of which ufologists only used a part.

We will see that the analysis of this information makes it possible to eliminate the hypothesis of a flying saucer, in favor of those of multiple observations of the moon, whose image was reddened and deformed by clouds, which also gave it a illusory apparent movement.


Analysis of the observations of October 3, 1954

[... other cases...]

36) 09:30 p.m., ABLAIN-ST-NAZAIRE (62)

Same apparent behavior than the moon.

[... other cases...]


In Liévin and Ablain-St-Nazaire, two other moon saucers

La Voix du Nord gives a detailed version.


A flying saucer was seen in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, in the evening of Sunday October 3, by Mr. Louis Lherbier, general insurance agent, rue Marcel Lancino. The latter, being in his court, was intrigued by the presence of a small reddish ball, seeming to move in the air, towards Villers-aux-Bois. He focused his attention on this ball which moved towards Ablain and grew rapidly. He then called his wife, as well as Mr. Robert Mairesse, an employee of the Mines, and his wife.

The four people saw very well the thing which ultimately took the shape of a pot turning on itself. Then after a few minutes, this strange object rose quickly in the air and disappeared at the sight of the people above.

On the other hand, one of our correspondents informs us that several people, on Sunday evening, around 9 p.m. 30, were able to realize the presence of "craft" of unknown type. Residents of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire claim to have recognized a saucer which landed between two millstones.

Mr. J.-B. Lecocq, of Liévin, distinguished in the sky, around the lighthouse of Lorette, a luminous craft having the shape of a crescent which oscillated slightly. He stopped several people to make them see the merits of what he was afraid of being only a vision.

From this oblong-shaped machine, the lower part detached, and descended to the ground and came to resume shortly after its position against the upper part. A black line appeared for a moment on the border of the two parts.

The saucer then descended into the valley behind the high places of Lorette, to reappear soon after before spinning towards the horizon.

(La Voix du Nord, Lens issue, October 5, 1954, page 6)

The other sources are Nord Matin 10/5 page 10, La Croix du Nord-Arras issue 10/5 page 2, Libre Artois 10/6 page 3, Le Journal de Doullens 10/6 page 1, who say nothing more.

At Ablain-St-Nazaire we have two observations. For one, we have the description and the direction, but not the time. For the other, we have the time, but no other details.

Making the reasonable assumption that this is the same phenomenon, one observed around 9:30 p.m., a reddish object in the southwest, which changed in size and shape, and eventually disappeared as if it were landing, that is, lowering itself on the horizon.

This is indeed the behavior that the other witnesses attributed to the moon, that evening, and the hypothesis of the moon is therefore largely possible.


Insufficient information, possible moon. The hour is compatible with the moonset.


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

Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, Pas-de-Calais, saucer, landing, haystacks, multiple


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross May 28, 2019 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross July 6, 2019 Addition [fle1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 22, 2020 Addition [dcn6], [dcn5].

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This page was last updated on January 22, 2020.