France 1954 -> Homeclick!

Cette page en françaisCliquez!

The 1954 French flap:

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

October 3, 1954, Dunkerque, Nord:

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

Summary:

Heading "Saucer? Balloon? Moon?", the regional newspaper Le Nouveau Nord Maritime for October 7, 1954, recalled that there had been many observations in the Nord department on October 3, 1954, and that the phenomenon had also been seen in Dunkirk:

On Wednesday morning a young lady, wife of a shipping interpreter, and living on the quai des Hollandais, had come to see them to tell them about her observation. She still seemed deeply emotional, and told them that around 8:10 p.m., as she returned home accompanied by her two children, 12 and 10 years old, and as she was on rue des Bassins, heading towards the quay, her little boy suddenly exclaimed: "Look mom, what is that?"

There was something vaguely oval, motionless, ranging in color from dark red in the center to orange-red around the edge and crossed like by a handle in the middle.

The mother replied that it was the Moon, but the child did not agree. The mother then looked at it more closely, and found that this moon did indeed have a bizarre shape. Suddenly it turned into something vertically elongated, "as if it were a soft body. Inside this outline, resembling that of a cigar, there were "things", blackish reflections, navy blue."

The lady hurried on, joined her home, called her husband and when he came outside, he also saw the thing, cigar shaped but which seemed to have moved away towards the West.

The husband's first thought was "But it's a barrage balloon!", explanations that his wife rejected with authority.

A few moments later, there was a new transformation: the "cigar" split into two rounded parts and everything disappeared in the backgournd of the sky.

The evening was calm and mild, the sky was fairly clear and a few stars were visible; the whole thing had lasted maybe five or six minutes, and without any accompanying noise, nor any kind of smoke.

The newspaper noted that the lady was nervous, easily influenced, and had been deeply impressed. The newspaper explains that they share the opinion of Antoine Bonte, professor of applied geology at the Faculty of Lille, who had already explained that this phenomenon of that Sunday evening in the region, which he had also observed, was simply the Moon, whose brightness was made reddish by a misty area and whose image had been distorted several times by the play of clouds, to be eventually divided in two by a stratus cloud.

Reports:

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

Scan

Saucer? Balloon? Moon?

The phenomenon observed on Sunday evening in the
Lille and Cambrai regions,
in Boulonnais, was also seen in Dunkirk

The saucers follow each other and resemble each other to a certain extent, and when a phenomenon is reported in several regions, around the same time and described in similar terms, it cannot be accused of creating the collective mind or hallucination. But several concordant testimonies are not enough either to give an absolutely irrefutable "explanation", we have never claimed to give a meaning to the various phenomena classified under the term "saucer", leaving this care to scientific authorities and waiting for a precise and materially controllable fact that would make it possible to solidly support one of the various theses involved. For now, it is wiser to objectively record the statements of people who claim to have observed any phenomenon, without claiming that they could not have been the subject of an error.

***

We gave yesterday the report made by a person worthy of faith, of a phenomenon observed above Bray-Dunes on September 2. We also indicated that a curious fact had been observed in the evening of Sunday last October 3, above the Boulonnais. It was a rounded object, in shades ranging from orange to dark red and which had deformed, lengthening vertically, in the shape of a cigar, then dividing into two parts and disappearing.

The regional daily newspapers reported on Monday a similar phenomenon which had been observed by many people, including gendarmes, in the regions of Lille and Valenciennes, in particular in Armentières, in Marcoing, in Noyelles-sur-l'Escaut, in Escaudoeuvres, etc...

The times indicated vary between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; it was probably one and the same phenomenon observed throughout the northern region and this hypothesis is confirmed by the visit we made this Wednesday morning to a young lady, wife of a shipping interpreter, and residing on the quai des Hollandais.

This person, who still seemed to be deeply moved, told us that Sunday, around 8:10 p.m., when she was returning home and accompanied by her two children, 12 and 10 years old, and that she was in rue des Bassins, heading towards the quay, her little boy suddenly exclaimed: "Look at this mom, what is it?"

"It" was something vaguely oval, motionless, a color ranging from dark red in the center to orange-red around the edge and crossed like by a handle in the middle.

"-But it's the Moon!"

"-Have you ever seen a flat moon?"

Looking more closely, Mrs. X. found that this moon did indeed have a bizarre shape; then suddenly it inexplicably turned into something vertically elongated, as if it were a soft body. Inside this outline, resembling that of a cigar, there were "things", blackish reflections, navy blue. Mrs. X hurried on to reach her home and to called her husband, who had returned a little before her; when he went out, the latter also saw the thing, cigar-shaped but which seemed to have moved away towards the West. The husband's first reaction was "But it's a barrage balloon!", explanations that his wife rejected with authority.

And then, a while later, a new transformation: the cigar split into two rounded parts and everything disappeared in the background of the sky.

The evening was calm and mild, the sky was fairly clear and a few stars were visible; the whole thing had lasted maybe five or six minutes, and without any accompanying noise, or any kind of smoke.

***

Nervous, easily influenced, our interlocutor seemed to us to have been deeply impressed; such phenomena, however great the uncertainty may be in them, should not, however, frighten us, and we reasonably believe that in none of the cases reported they could have been manifestations of beings from other worlds.

We are not far from the opinion of Professor Antoine Bonte, professor of applied geology at the Faculty of Lille who thinks that 90% of cases can be explained: asked about the phenomenon of Sunday evening that had also observed, Mr. Bonte declared that it was simply the Moon, whose brightness was made reddish by a misty area and whose image had been distorted several times by the play of clouds, to be finally divided in half by a stratus.

The thesis seems very admissible and perhaps the witnesses of the phenomenon, including our compatriot on the quay of the quai de shollandais will recognize, on reflection, that it could have been the moon.

The controversy can be fueled as far as the eye can see and saliva, and it is certain that in the era of atomic experiments, and supersonic planes, the tormented sky is the seat of more and more varied and curious phenomena.

But we will conclude by affirming, like the apprentice blacksmith who had just his his knuckles: "there is really nothing to knock on."

[Ref. dcn3:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

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...]

13) 08:10 p.m., DUNKERQUE (59)

- A young woman saw an oval object, red-orange at the ends, dark red in the center, barred like by a handle, which she first took for the moon. The object deformed and took the shape of a cigar with dark spots. Back home, she alerts her husband who sees the object further west. The cigar split into two parts and disappeared in the background of the sky.

(Le Nouveau Nord Maritime 10/7 page 2)

[... 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.

[Ref. dcn4:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

Analysis of the observations of October 3, 1954

[... other cases...]

13) 08:10 p.m., DUNKERQUE (59)

First identified as the moon, same apparent behavior than the moon.

[... other cases...]

Explanations:

Dominique Caudron is right: the woman at first did recognize that the thing was the Moon, and what happened next is quite similar to other cases of that night when the Moon had taken these disconcerting appearances, being a crescent red moon deformed by clouds in the field of vision.

Scan

Keywords:

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

Dunkerque, Nord, young woman, husband, night, red, oval, red, orange, barred, cigar, dark, spots, split

Sources:

[----] indicates sources which I have not yet checked.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross May 28, 2019 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross june 14, 2020 Addition [nnm1].

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict



 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on June 14, 2020.