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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, Lille, Nord:

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




Sequedin and Haubourdin had
their "Sunday saucers"...

This time, we get it! The canton of Haubourdin can record in its annals the appearance of its first saucer... and a Sunday saucer moreover.

It is not a hallucination, because it has been seen, more or less distant, by dozens of pairs of eyes.

Let's get to the facts.

Sunday evening, several municipalities in the region, which do not have much opportunity to be talked about, were brought to the attention of the press by the appearance of saucers.

In Lille, a large group of walkers could attend, at the Canteleu bridge, the exhibitions of a flying machine successively taking the shape of a sphere, magnifying visibly, to split into two cigars, and return to its original shape.

The most astonished of the inhabitants of the canton of Haubourdin was, without question, Mr. Ferdinand Millecamps, 21, mason, living at 22, rue Victor Loridon. Passing Sunday, around 8 p.m., on the Sequedin bridge, he saw, some five hundred meters from him, a large luminous object placed on the rails, between Hallennes and Sequedin. The object rose vertically, and Mr. Millecamps came to tell Haubourdin people of the event. Residents of Sequedin confirmed Mr. Millecamps' statements.

At around the same time, a group of inhabitants of "P'tit Belgique" could, in this populous district, witness the evolutions of a mysterious luminous craft moving in the sky.

The facts are there. More than one resident promised to explore the sky in the evening to witness an identical fact. The future chronicle of "Flying saucers" may bring us other revelations at short notice.


The good town of Marcq was beginning to look poor among the communes which had the honor of receiving the visit of the Martians. Since the saucers crisscross the skies of France, they seemed completely unaware of the existence of Marc-en-Baroeul!

Let the Marcq residents console themselves, the honor is safe, because the city has finally seen its flying saucer. It appeared in the sky on Sunday, around 8 p.m., seeming to come from the direction of the Citadel of Lille.

Mr. Lucien Lemaire, head of department at Marcq's town hall, was at the time on rue des Lilas, in the company of other people. He saw very clearly the round-shaped object, which emitted orange gleams. At some time a second disc detached from the first, lit up and then resumed its place.





Nevers (from our Press Correspondent.). -- According to the testimonies of five people, whose sincerity cannot be doubted, a flying saucer crossed the sky of Château-Chinon on Sunday evening, around 9 p.m. The strange apparition took place around 9 pm. This time, it is a luminous spot, of oval shape, appearing motionless at a very high altitude. At one time the spot appeared to separate into two parts, and each of the formed discs began to turn at full speed, changing color several times. Then everything went out. At the end of a few minutes, the first light spot reappeared, before splitting again and turning. The same phenomenon repeated several times under the more amazed than frightened eyes of the five residents of Chateau-Chinon.

Is it the same machine that was seen at Santenay at approximately the same hour? In any case, the testimony of the residents of Santenay is confirmed by that of the Lille residents who, a few moments earlier, saw three luminous "croissants" above the region.

The "Sauceritis" continues its ravages

Morez (from our special correspondent). -- In the Upper Jura where the statements of the children of Prémanon affirming that they had stoned a saucer, the minds are heated.

The other day, a resident of Les Rousses (whose name is not given) announced that a saucer had landed at the "Combe aux Chèvres" in a small clearing in the forest of the Massacre.

In fact, the many curious (20 cars at least) who drove there, did see a metallic object resplendent in the sun.

In addition, police roadblocks had been installed on all roads. It was learned later that the police were hunting more for Baranès, whose passage to Switzerland was feared, than for the Martian, for the saucer of the forest of the Massacre was only a rain gauge installed there for years!


Saturday, 10 pm. 30 and 23 h. 45, a group of four people from Savigny-les-Beaune saw a very bright "ball of fire" followed by a long green trail, which crossed the sky at a dizzying pace.

Two other people who were in a different place also noticed the phenomenon.

It is therefore not a hallucination... but is it really a "saucer"?


In this ufology bulletin, Alain Barbe published a map with cases (but not all the 61 cases or more) for October 2, 1954, including that of Lille, which he, like Aimé Mcichel did, thooght to often be "aligned" beyond mere chance:


In Lille, professor Antoine Bonte recognizes the moon

On the evening of October 3, 1954, dozens of groups of witnesses, probably totaling more than a hundred people, witnessed the moves of a mysterious craft, which many identified as a flying saucer. Very few thought of the moon, and there are even children among them. Professor Antoine Bonte is one of these witnesses there (not among the children, no)

Let's read La Croix du Nord for October 6

A professor from the Faculty of Sciences
of Lille demonstrates that last Sunday

the flying saucer was
but a lunar phenomenon

Mr. Antoine Bonte, I.D.N. engineer, professor of applied geology at the Faculty of Sciences of Lille, kindly provided us with a scientific explanation of the phenomenon observed by dozens of people on Sunday evening in our region. He writes to us:

"I impatiently awaited the newspaper this morning and I found great pleasure in reading the stories of your correspondents: because, on Sunday evening, I also saw the "flying saucer."

"The descriptions given here are in complete agreement with my personal observations. Only I do not agree with their interpretation because in this case, it was simply a moonset.

Sunday, at nightfall, the moon shone on a clear day in the form of a beautiful crescent. Later, it disappeared in the misty zone which surmounted the horizon, only to reappear for a few moments, reddish and deformed - which is normal at this height - and crossed out in a line as it passed behind a stratus. Finally it faded definitively on returning to the clouds again.

It is therefore, in this particular case, a completely ordinary phenomenon and to which our fathers would not have even paid attention."

(La Croix du Nord, October 6, 1954, page 1)

La Voix du Nord publishes about the case with humor.

It is not known whether Professor Bonte had also written to other newspapers, but at La Voix du Nord it was kept in writing. All the saraband of October 3 that the newspaper had reported in its editions of October 5 and 6, was therefore only an illusory phantasmagoria.

take us seriously...

Go pretend that the orange disc spotted by Mr. Julien Bédier, Mr. and Mrs. Quennehen was not a saucer; go pretend to Mrs. Nelly Mansart that she was not literally chased on the road to Hérissart, in Amiens by a dazzling ball which followed her car, bypassed the villages, chased her when they left, stopped when the car stopped, started again at the same time as it, that her terrors were vain... Might as well promise the moon.

Note [from Dominique Caudron]: We see that the journalist is well aware of the illusion of "the follower ball" that Jean Sider seems to ignore.

(La Voix du Nord, October 7, 1954, page 4)

After this memorable mistake, La Voix du Nord preferred to relegate the observations of flying saucers in its local pages.

Jean Sider rejects the lunar explanation.

Note in this case that it would have been a Moon of elongated shape which moved [sic] at ground level, able to turn to spin in another direction... A nice performance for our old Selene!

Note [by Dominique Caudron]: The ignorance of Jean Sider is painful to see. He wants to forget that all these changes of direction were only signaled by witnesses driving in cars, and for which the movements of the object were only changes of perspective due to their own changes of direction.

Figuet, for his part, trusts the "work" of one Mr. Caudron, who "explains" all these zigzags in the mining country through confusion with the Moon, but by calling on a geology professor, Antoine Bonte, from the Faculty of Sciences of Lille.

Note [by Dominique Caudron]: This is false and Sider seems to have not read the articles that Michel Figuet had read. The identity with the moon was based, after analysis, on considerations, appearance, time and direction, and not on the authority of Professor Bonte.

This university student would have deserved long-term leave without pay for having informed the press of his time that the testimony of October 3 (including that of two gendarmes!) was "selenography."

Note [by Dominique Caudron]: more and more arrogant, Sider demands a sanction for a professor guilty of having observed the moon and of having recognized it as such. But he did not read Professor Bonte's communication, which never spoke of selenography. And he did not even read the local newspapers which specify that it was all the gendarmes present that evening at the brigade who saw a mysterious machine, and not just two.

These ramblings can be found in La Croix du Nord for October 6, 1954, pages 1 and 8.

Note [by Dominique Caudron]: Sider speaks here as if Professor Bonte had written to the newspapers without having observed anything himself. This is completely false. It was because he had made a more complete observation than the other witnesses that he had been able to recognize the moon before his image began to be distorted by the clouds.

(Jean Sider, Le dossier 1954 et l'imposture rationaliste, Ramuel 1997, page 54)

Jean Sider makes it worse.

Note [by Dominique Caudron]: Sider is furious with Michel Figuet, because in his catalog of UFO closer encounters, he committed the sacrilege of devoting 32 pages to explained observations, for 605 pages of unexplained ones. However for Jean Sider, there are no explanable observations: The witnesses do not lie and are never mistaken.

He refers to the "work" of one Sir Caudron, stupid rationalist, who relies on the elucubrations of a Sir Bonte, an engineer whose narrowness of his conceptual universe I already mentioned in the previous chapter.

Note [from Dominique Caudron]: Let us repeat that the "stupid rationalist" did not rely on the assertions of Mr. Bonte, but on his own analysis, and that Mr. Bonte was a witness too, but more competent.

How the moon can produce a cigar on a road is an even more impenetrable mystery than that of UFOs...

Note [from Dominique Caudron]: Note: There is no mystery for those who know the matter: These are journalists who are too eager to turn the moon into a cigar landing. The object had been described as resembling the moon, which then split into two "cigars". The main witness clarified that the landing of the lower cigar was an optical illusion, but all of this appears only in local editions of the newspapers.

(Jean Sider, Le dossier 1954 et l'imposture rationaliste, Ramuel 1997, page 94)

Who was professor Antoine Bonte?

Wikipédia tells us

Antoine Bonte, born March 6, 1908 in Lille, died February 24, 1995 in Gruson is a French geologist. Engineer of the Institut industriel du Nord (Lille Central School - IDN 1932), in General Mechanics section, Doctor of Science (Faculty of Sciences of Lille-1941), he devoted his whole life to fundamental and applied geology, to the teaching and expert work until 1979. Naturalist curious about all geological phenomena, excellent teacher, rigorous scientist, he was esteemed and loved by his students. He is the author of "A Qui la Terre" [Whose Earth?], a testament book which advocated, more than thirty years ago, sustainable development, respect for the environment and safeguarding the Earth our common heritage.


Collaborator at the Service of the geological map of France, A. Bonte carried out the surveys of many maps at 1/50,000th: Rethel, Besançon, Renwez, Quingey, Cambrai, Marquise, Boulogne [Which one?] and Givet, supplemented by several publications in collaboration with J. Ricour between 1948 and 1951, on the stratigraphy of Givétien de Givet and the fault of Charlemont.

A Qui la Terre?, his testament book, prefaced by Commander Cousteau, is based on ecology. It is the work of a precursor, ahead of his time, which recalls the rules essential to global balance, protection of natural resources, fight against pollution, in short we would say nowadays that he advocated sustainable development, respect for the environment, in order to protect the mineral, plant, animal and human heritage, located at the end of the chain of life.

That's it for the man with the "narrow conceptual universe" who "wandered."

Now what is meant by "elucubrations"?

If a modern dictionary is to be believed, it would be a "laboriously constructed, absurd or pointless reflection." And it is undoubtedly in this sense that Jean Sider uses it.

But according to the dictionary of the French academy of 1878:

ELUCUBRATIONS. s.f. It is said of a work composed by dint of watches and work. It is hardly used except in the plural and to designate works of scholarship.


After such a display of ignorance and dishonesty, we would be tempted to call Jean Sider's book: "A staggering sham"


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...]

08) Evening, hour not specified, LILLE (59)

- Pont de Canteleu: Numerous people could observe a flying object taking the shape of a sphere visibly growing to split in two cigars and retrieve its original shape.

(Nord Eclair 6/10 page 10)

09) Evening, hour not specified, LILLE (59)

- Mr Antoine Bonte, professeur of applied geology at the faculté des sciences of Lille, observed that the moon first in the shape of a nice crescent, disappeared in the fog to reapper reddish and distorted, and barred of a line while passing behind a stratus before disappearing again in the clouds.

He wrote to La Croix du Nord that he had much enjoyed the reading of the different reports, because he too saw the "flying saucer", but he explained that it was only a moon set.)

(La Croix du Nord 6/10 page 1)

Two other witnesses, including a schoolteacher, (case nr 47) actually recognized the moon that same night.

[... 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...]

09) Evening, hour not specified, LILLE (59)

Identified as the Moon by the witness

[... other cases...]


The Moon.


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

Lille, Nord, multiple, crescent, luminous, three


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross January 18, 2017 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross June 19, 2020 Addition [ner1].

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