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The 1954 French flap:

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October 3, 1954, Heyrieux, Isère:

Reference for this case: 3-Oct-54-Heyrieux.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.




Martians are normal men:
they pet dogs...

Limoges, 7. -- A farmer from Chaleix (Dordogne), Mr. Garreau said on honor that he had seen a "flying soup tureen" land on his property. Mr. Garreau stated that two perfectly normal men, dressed in khaki overalls, got out, shook his hand, and spoke to him in an unknown language. Mr. Garreau, amazed, did not respond. The two men petted his dog and climbed back into their craft; which flew away silently at a dizzying pace.

At the place indicated by Mr. Garreau, it was found that the grass had been trampled.

... and have fun swinging...

La Rochelle, 7. -- A mason living on the Ile de Ré, Mr. Simonetti, said he saw a luminous sphere of 12 meters in diameter approximately which oscillated at about fifty meters from the ground.

The sphere, he said, turned red, turned blue, and rose vertically very quickly.

Two other residents of the Ré Island said they had witnessed the same phenomenon.

Two Parisians on vacation in the town of Mouchamps Mr. and Mrs Laroche, claimed to have seen, at nightfall, a incandescent sphere.

... and tear off the lawn

Dijon, 7. -- Mrs. Thérèse Fourneret, 23 years old, living in Poncey-sur-l'Ignon (Côte d'Or), saw, Monday evening, a craft land in a meadow not far from her home. She said that she was frightened and had been careful not to observe this phenomenon any longer and had taken refuge with neighbors. The gendarmerie revealed very clear traces on the ground at the indicated place. Clods of earth were allegedly torn off and thrown off on a four-meter radius.

Fantastic ray

Rouen, 7. -- Mr. Landrin, a water attendant in Duclair (Seine-Inférieur) who was walking with his wife, was blinded by a beam of light. When he opened his eyes, he said, he saw a ball that disappeared a few minutes later.

Things are flying...

Finally, saucers, cigars, discs, crowns, balls, lights, luminous streaks of various colors and all other objects were seen in Saint-Etienne, in several villages of the Eure et Loir, in Heyrieux (Isère), Dieulanvallon (Côtes du Nord), Ajort (Calvados) and in Biarritz.

A denial for
some observers

The flying saucer is not (always) a weather balloon

Melun, 7. -- Mr. E. Farnier, member of the Society of Civilian Engineers of France declares to have seen, above his property in Jouy-sur-Morin, a large disc of 8 to 10 meters in diameter "rotating on the spot letting red-purple gleams escape, with a hissing sound reminding a bit of the arrival of a jet plane. The craft was about 400 meters high and hovered more than 20 minutes above me, said Mr. Farnier, so I had the opportunity to examine it carefully. The craft then disappeared in the direction of Coulommier."

Mr. Farnier specifies: "Former commissioner of the the Aero-Club of France, having served in aviation, I was not the victim of a hallucination and this machine was not a sounding balloon but a thick circular wing hovering on the spot and moving at very high speed gradually increasing its height."


This newspaper simply mentioned on October 8, 1954 that flying saucers, cigars, crowns and all other objects were seen, indicating Heyrieux in Isère as one of the places.


This newspaper simply mentioned on October 11, 1954 that flying saucers, cigars, crowns and all other objects were seen, indicating Heyrieux in Isère as one of the places.


The two authors indicate that the newspaper "Le Dauphiné Libéré" for October 7, 1954, published this article:

At 9 p.m., Mr. Paul Cerf, aged 53, farmer, assistant of the Mayor of Heyrieux had his attention drawn by an "object" which rose behind the hill of the Mas, which overhangs the municipal stadium of Heyrieux. He saw being formed a "large orange section", he claimed to us, like 3 or 4 times the full moon, it was of orange color.

The form which reflected on its top only one white clearness had exactly the shape of a section of an orange and moved slowly from West to East. At the end of ten minutes, the orange section thinned on top to grow bigger in its lower part and to take the shape of a pear. One moment later, the form was divided in 3 sections and disappeared from the left to the right as if a curtain had been drawn in front of this vision.

Barthel and Brucker comment that "a bit of investigation and reasoning" shows that the object was the moon playing with the clouds and giving the illusion of a object changing shape.


On october 3, 194, the deputy mayor of the town of Heyrieux, Mr. Cerf, saw a "section of orange" with a size like three or four times that of the moon and of an orange color, with "on top, only a white clearness." That came from behind the hill of Le Mas (the Farmhouse) which overhangs the sports field of Heyrieux. They say the source is "an article in the Press".

[Ref. pls1:] PIER LUIGI SANI:

This Italian ufologist wrote an article to refute the claims by ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker in their book "La Grande Peur Martienne" on the French wave of 1954, and provides examples of what he denounces as fraudulent or unjustified explanations they gave for cases, such as:

7. Cerf Case

Sighting of an object shaped "like a segment of an orange" which then assumed the form of a "pear", and finally split into three parts, which vanished, as though behind a curtain. Explanation by B. and B.:

"Only a minimum of rationality is required to know that it was the Moon, seen through clouds”.


3928: 1954/10/03 00:00 1 5:04:00 E 45:37:00 N 3333 WEU FRN ISR 7:7


Ref# 30 FIGEUT[sic]&RUCHON: OVNI: Le 1er Dossier Page No. 115 : TOWN &CITY


Godelieve van Overmeire indicates that in 1954, on October 3 in France in Heyrieux (Isère), Mr. Cerf saw forming, coming from behind the hill of the farmhouse which overhangs the stadium, a large orange section like three or four times the moon and of an orange color. With only a white clearness above.

The source is indicated as M. Figuet / J.L. RUCHON: "Ovni, Premier dossier complet..." Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 115.

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in Isère in Heyrieux on October 3, 1954 at an unknown hour, the witness, deputy mayor of Heyrieux, sees appearing, coming from behind the hill from the Farmhouse which overhangs the stadium of Heyrieux, a "section of orange" like three or four times the moon and of an orange color, with only one white clearness on top of it.

Luc Chastan indicates that the source is "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website only says: "3 October 1954 : Heyrieux, France".

The sources are indicated as Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

[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
19541003 03.10.1954 Heyrieux France



It may have been the red moon behind moving clouds. The witness does not say anything of a flying saucer.


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

Heyrieux, Isère, deputy, mayor, Cerf, orange, large, white, luminous


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross May 5, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 9, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [vmr1], [goe1], [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross October 17, 2016 Addition [fas1].
1.2 Patrick Gross December 8, 2016 Additions [pls1], [ubk1].
1.3 Patrick Gross February 28, 2020 Additions [nnm1], [lhh1].

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This page was last updated on February 28, 2020.