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The 1954 French flap:

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

January 4, 1954, Marignane, Bouches-du-Rhône:

Reference number for this case: 4-jan-54-Marignane. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Reports:

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

Did a luminous flying saucer land in Marignane?

A strange apparatus was seen on the track where metallic remains were found

(From our special correspondent Constant VAUTRAVERS)

Swept by an icy mistral [cold wind of the area] under a sky amazingly clear, the runway of the airport of Marignane is really the last place where one could be the subject of an hallucination. It is sufficiently cold there so that one remains awaken, even during the nights of guard.

And yet...

However, a certain number of members of the personnel of the airport wonder whether they did not dream. Did a flying saucer land one moment on the track? Nobody, of course, can give an unquestionable answer to this question which we asked many times during our investigation.

Furthermore, each one keeps a careful reserve. And we even had to play hide-and-seek to manage to supplement our information.

What happened?

Read the rest in Las Minutes under the headline FLYING SAUCERS

Flying saucers

The fireman on duty

Monday evening around 9 p.m., consequently in middle of the night, a moonless night since the new moon began the next day, fireman Chesneau was of guard at the large Boussiron hangar.

In the sort of quadrilateral that the airport and its tracks are forming, and the edge of the pond of Berre, the Boussiron hangar occupies the most distant angle towards the West; its giant doors look "transversely" at the main track.

The fireman was standing at the entry, all the more attentive since Boussiron houses a new transportation craft, the Hurel-Dubois prototype with wings of very great lengthening. From where he was, leaned on the concrete walls, the fireman, well sheltered from the mistral which blew looked at multicolored clearness of the track.

A round and luminous craft

Suddenly, he saw, coming from the South, "a round and luminous craft" which went down at moderate speed in what he judged to be the direction of the track. The machine soon touched the ground, rebounded slightly a few times.

However one does not await a plane at that hour, in Marignane. Perhaps this was a mislaid airplane, some private plane deprived of on-board radio? This happened once with an English plane.

By professional consciousness, the fireman alerted the tower telephonically. But while he phoned from the inside, the craft had to disappear. The calls of the tower of control remaining without answer the duty officer was alerted. Left by car, all headlights lit, he crossed the section of track and its surroundings in all directions without finding anything.

Assumptions

The night proceeded while assumptions were made. Was this a weather balloon? The apparent shape and the whiteness that could have been mistaken for a vague luminosity could incline towards this answer. But the characteristic of a balloon is to follow the wind. However the wind (mistral) blew from the North-West, and the object came from the south...

Was this a meteor? In this case its fall would have been at the same time more vertical, faster, and the shock on the ground would have been felt, as a so little distance.

It wasn't an airplane. So?

The gendarmerie, guardian of the airport, had been alerted. And during their night rounds, the patrol had carried out searches too. Without success.

The following day morning, on board a jeep, an investigator returned on the spot. No upheaval of the ground, no meteor crater. No trace of balloon either.

A score of metallic debris

On the other hand one was to collect, scattered on the track, a score of metallic debris among which several small long stems of about fifteen centimeters bent at an end and finishing at the other end by a ball, a little larger than a marble. Yellow metal traces, contrasting with the blackish gray color of the ball, let think that this one was like brazed on the stem.

We could not learn which to whom these remains whose nature and source remain to be explained were entrusted. According to some of our interlocutors they could be ends of plans of antenna, a kind of mass to ensure the tension of an cable-antenna of plane. Others do not recognize this origin.

The "mystery" remains

"So... Is it a saucer?"

Nobody answered our question. Maybe it is, maybe it ain't! "Let's imitate of Conrart the careful silence."

... But let us recall all the same that two years ago, in this sky of Marignane where in this moment, after a twin-engine of transport, a flotilla of "Mystères" [jet fighters] with sweptback wings, evolves while whistling, a customs officer ensured to have seen a flying saucer land, at night, and fly away a few moments later.

Constant VAUTRAVERS

[Ref. bre1:] NEWSPAPER "LA BOURGOGNE REPUBLICAINE":

Scan.

IT HAPPENED IN THE MIDI...

Did
A FLYING SAUCER
land on the Marignane airport?

And that would be a "repeat"!

Marseille, 8 (A.C.P.). -- Strange facts to say the least were recorded on the airport of Marignane; which make it possible to ask the question: did a flying saucer land?

These facts go back to Monday evening, and there is only one witness: the firefighter on duty, Chesneau.

One dark night, a little after 9 p.m., Chesneau was on duty at the Boussiron hangar.

Suddenly, he saw, coming from the south, "a rounded and luminous craft" which descended at moderate speed in what he judged to be the direction of the strip. The craft soon touched the ground, bounced slightly a few times...

However, one did not expect a plane at that time in Marignane. Maybe it was a lost aircraft, some private plane without an onboard radio?

Out of professional consciousness, the firefighter phoned the tower. But, while he called from inside, the craft must have disappeared because the calls from the control tower remained unanswered.

Continued on page 12, under the title
FLYING SAUCER

Scan.

FLYING SAUCER

A car inspected the track, all headlights on, but found nothing. The same was true of all the night patrols carried out by the gendarmerie patrols, who guard the aerodrome.

METAL "DEBRIS"

When the day broke, more careful research revealed, scattered on the strip, about twenty metallic debris, among which several small rods about fifteen centimeters long, curved at one end and ending at the the other by a ball a little bigger than a marble. Traces of yellow metal, contrasting with the blackish gray hue of the ball, suggest that it has been soldered to the rod.

As usual, the greatest caution is required when it comes to flying saucers. However, the various hypotheses put forward to explain the event were discarded. If it had been a meteor, it would have fallen vertically [!], and the debris would be different. It cannot be an airplane. A balloon? Then its course would have followed the wind direction, while the "thing" was heading in the opposite direction.

Already, two years ago, it was reported that a "flying saucer" had landed and left Marignane. The witness was then a customs officer.

[Ref. bre2:] NEWSPAPER "LA BOURGOGNE REPUBLICAINE":

Scan.

The greatest mystery
of all times!

WHAT ARE THEY?
WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

III. FOR THE SECOND TIME, A FLYING SAUCER
LANDS IN MARIGNANE

by Jimmy Guieu

If we are to believe the authorities at Marignane airport (1), the night of Monday January 4, 1954, would have been a night like all the others, a little colder however, because of the icy wind which swept the strip. However, that evening, at 9 p.m., it was no longer a customs officer, but a fireman - Mr. Chesneau - who witnessed a stunning display.

While he was leaning against the Boussiron hangar (far west of the grounds), firefighter Chesneau saw a weird discoidal craft come down from the sky, radiating a white light. The lenticular apparatus, at low speed, descended on the runway, touched the ground, bounced three or four times like a conventional airplane, then came to a stop, illuminating this portion of the runway with a strange light.

Worried by the unexpected arrival of this "evening visitor", Chesneau rushed into a neighboring building to make a phone call. But, as he called the control tower, then a duty officer, the lenticular craft silently disappeared. Of course, just like the customs officer Gachignard, the firefighter Chesneau was put in the category of the hallucinated and the visionaries... However, the next morning, an investigator found metal rods flanked by a small ball at one end, as well as by other metal debris, exactly where the flying disc landed!

(1) See the journal for January 9.

Indeed, scattered on the track, a hundred metallic "debris" which should not have been there had just been discovered. The largest of them were stems about an inch long. Curved into a small circle, incompletely closed at one end, they carried, at the other end, a kind of ball about a centimeter in diameter.

What happened to those fragments left on the ground? No one - in principle - knows...

Before this astounding news was released to the public by the press, I learned that one "Mr. X." got this information from a certain "Mr. Z.", technician at the airport. I immediately called "Mr. Z." The latter, not without hesitation, admitted to me that indeed, this "tip" was correct.

- But, he added, you would do well to contact "Mr. Y.", who will give you better information than I...

Continued on page 8, under the title
SAUCERS

Scan.

SAUCERS

(I specify that "Mr. Z." was fully aware of the "incident" he had reported to my informant).

So I called "Mr. Y." The latter, hesitating, whispers a few words to one of his colleagues, remains silent for a moment, then agrees to answer me:

- I'm not quite sure what you mean. Instead, consult "that" service. There, "one" will inform you.

Annoyed by this series of evasions, I contacted the indicated service... to hear myself say:

- I'll pass "Mr. N." He, will inform you.

Probably voiceless, "Mr. N." listened to me... and simply hung up!

In less than an hour, I was making eleven phone calls that each brought me to a wall of silence. A "voice" even insinuated that there was no firefighter named Chesneau in Marignane... Whereas my colleague and friend, journalist Constant Vautravers, spoke with him for a moment the next morning! This interview, too brief, did not allow Vautravers to gather many details. So he made an appointment with firefighter Chesneau for the afternoon.

At the appointment time, the journalist and his photographer heard the "eyewitness". Not seeing him arrive, they questioned a firefighter on duty. The latter explained to them that Chesneau was currently in that building.

Vautravers and his photographer therefore walked towards the said building. Looking back mechanically, the photographer remained stunned: the interrogated firefighter was heading towards an office at the airport!

The motive for this very discreet rush was very clear. When our friends arrived (the last) at the indicated building, firefighter Chesneau was no longer there.

We do not believe that this evasion was an initiative of the witness or his colleague. This apparently followed an order. All the people, all the services Vautravers turned to then sent him... elsewhere. Everywhere he noticed the same reluctance, the same hesitations and the same instructions that I had encountered. No one could tell him what had happened to the metal fragments left on the ground by the flying disc.

Another journalist friend of mine also experienced the same unsuccessful tribulations.

All airport staff seemed to have been instructed to remain silent.

When questioned, the airport police issued a statement: the phenomenon of January 4 was caused by a "classic rocket." (Statement broadcast by Radio-Marseille during the broadcast of January 8, 1954).

A classic rocket? Does that mean a friendly firecracker... Or a V-2 type remote-controlled vehicle?

In both cases, the "rocket" would not have exploded... silently, and would not have left on the track a hundred curled rods. As for the V2 version it is inadmissible. A formidable detonation would have signaled it and the crater, at its point of impact, could not have gone unnoticed.

Some went so far as to want to prove that the metal fragments discovered were nothing more than the clappers of bells, the claps of bells rattling around the necks of goats! Obviously, this suggests that hundreds of goats and sheep graze peacefully on the runways!

Starting off, we can expect to see the herds moving to the Marignane aerodrome one day...

The reality is quite different. After much cross-checking we can advance the following facts:

a) Technicians meticulously searched the place where the craft landed.

b) They took samples from the ground and found traces of the craft.

c) The metallic elements discovered would be studied in a laboratory.

And if, in the end, it was all just a story put together from start to finish, to what end was the wall of silence erected? Why did one take such precautions while taking these conspirators faces?

Contrary to appearances, would the Air Ministry be "discreetly" interested in "unidentified aerial objects"?

We believe, at the International Commission of Investigations, that the flying saucers are neither hallucinations, nor weather balloons, nor optical illusions, nor secret weapons, nor American or Russian projectiles or prototypes or others, neither meteors, nor ball lightning and other implausible explanations that astronomers and supporters of sacrosanct scientific dogmas want at all costs to make us admit... sacrosaints but not eternal.

The world will live, in the not very distant future, the most fantastic adventure that humanity has ever experienced.

Whatever one says or writes about flying saucers, we would like to affirm that people who witness such "phenomena" do not dream. These craft really exist.

They have nothing in common with what has already been seen in the field of "aerial" vehicles... in the very broad sense of the term.

If you ever see a lenticular apparatus in the sky or on the ground one day - or one night, don't panic. Immediately call the nearest aerodrome or notify the police or the gendarmerie and immediately send a detailed report of your observation to the International Commission of Investigation, 27, rue Etienne-Dolet, Bondy (Seine) which will respect your anonymity if you stipulate it.

The United States Air Force has 75 observation bases around the world, specially designed for the study of flying saucers. The US government is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars investigating these lenticular craft. They maintain fighter squadrons ready to take off 24/24 and even uses intelligence agents in its investigations.

England, Denmark and Canada have formed commissions of investigation to elucidate the mystery of the flying discs. The French Air Ministry probably did not lag behind...

Do you believe that such means of action, such precautions would be taken, everywhere and in almost all countries, to chase away... sounding balloons and meteors?

To answer in the affirmative would be to show an inconceivable naivety, a blindness, above all, perfectly unjustified.

JIMMY GUIEU

Director of the Investigation Service
of the International Commission.

Copyright by Jimmy Guieu.

Tomorrow: GHOST SAUCERS

First article: every day, the French weather forecast launches more than 150 "jokes and tricks of all kinds" into the sky, by Ch. GARREAU.

[Ref. cia1:] CIA:

CLASSIFICATION [Blackened out]

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
INFORMATION FROM
FOREIGN DOCUMENTS OR RADIO BROACASTS

  REPORT NO. 00-W-29903
  CO NO.: ..
COUNTRY: Denmark, Dahomey (French West Africa), France, Sweden, West Germany, Pakistan, Union of South Africa   DATE OF INFORMATION: 1953-1954
SUBJET: Military; Scientific - Unidentified flying objects  
HOW PUBLISHED: Daily newspaper   DATE DIST.: 20 Apr 1954
WHERE PUBLISHED: As indicated   NO. OF PAGES: 4
DATE PUBLISHED: 2 Nov 1953 - 27 Jan 1954  
LANGUAGES: French, German, Afrikaans, Swedish   SUPPLEMENT TO REPORT NO.:
[Blackened out] [Blackened out]   THIS IS UNEVALUATED INFORMATION
SOURCE: As indicated  

SIGHTINGS OF UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS

[... (Reports from other countries and France) ...]

UNIDENTIFIED AIRCRAFT AT MARIGNANE AIRFIELD -- Nice, Nice-Matin, 9 Jan 54

Shortly after 2100 hours on 4 January, a round, luminous machine, coming from the south, landed at the Marignane airfield in Bouches-du-Rhône Department. There was only one witness present at the field. The machine disappeared while he was telephoning the control tower. Careful scrutiny of the runway in the morning turned up a few pieces of metallic debris. The witness' story was confirmed by that of a Marseilles resident who, driving from Arles to Marseilles saw a large, round, reddish, fiery ball in the sky, but placed the time at 2245 hours.

[... (Next reports)]

[Ref. gqy1:] GUY QUINCY:

Scan.

January 4, 1954

09 : 00 p.m.: Marignane (B. du Rhône): brief landing of a discoid luminous craft

[Ref. tbr1:] TED BLOECHER - C.S.I.:

Jan. 4, 1954- Marignane airport, France. Brief landing of luminous sphere;
peculiar metallic debris allegedly left behind. (Guieu, op. 134-5.)

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel notes that this case is "quite uncertain."

[Ref. gft1:] GEORGE FAWCETT:

January 4, 1954- At Marigname [sic] airport in France Fragments Were Left by a reported cigare-shaped UFO, which landed on the airport runway.

[Ref. jve2:] JACQUES VALLEE:

123) Jan. 04, 1954 2100 [09:00 P.M.]. Marignane Airport (France).

Mr. Chesneau, fireman, saw a round luminous object slowly coming down and called the control tower to report it. When he came out again, the object had disappeared (Guieu).

[Ref. jve1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

January 4, 1954 09:00 p.m.. Marignane Airport (France):

Mr. Chesneau, fireman, saw a round luminous object slowly coming down and called the control tower to report it. When he came out again, the object had disappeared (Guieu).

[Ref. ldl1:] UFOLIGY MAGAZINE "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT":

"123 1/4/54 Marignane" is noted by the magazine as one of the 1954 Frnech cases that their investigators should investigate again.

[Ref. prn1:] PETER ROGERSON:

290 4 January 1954 2100 MARIGNANE AIRPORT (FRANCE)

M. Chesneau, fireman, saw a round luninous object slowly coming down and called the tower to report it. When he came out again the object had disappeared.

Alleged traces were found.

(M 123; Guieu I, 40)

[Ref. jve3:] JACQUES VALLEE:

The author indicates that on January 4, 1954, a fireman of the airport of Marignane saw a luminous round object which went down slowly. The fireman called the control tower to submit his report, and when he came out of the tower, the object had flown away. Bowen notes that the same airport had already been the scene of a landing on October 27, 1952.

[Ref. cpr1:] CLAUDE POHER, UFO RESEARCH GROUP "GEPA":

In 1968-1969, before the official GEPAN ufology effort started, its future head Dr Claude Poher was a member of the unofficial GEPA ufology group, and gathered a computer coded listing of more than 700 UFO reports on which multiple factors statistical computation could be run. In the file were a number of 1954 French UFO reports, among those this one.

For readability, a decoded interpretation of the data is provided here under the original 80 character encoded string. Decoding was done according to the original indications, the code number and its generic meaning is given. Please not that the generic meaning of each code is a predefined category, not the real specific details of the case. For example, if the main witness' age was 33, the coding would result in a number "3" which corresponds to a category "Adult from 21 to 59 years."

Original code:2641590401195421001IA1104001031012ZZZZ001000710031100000000000000000000000000000
Location:Aerodrome de Marignane - France
Case number:2641
Source code:59
Nature of the source:J. Guieu: Les soucoupes volantes viennent d'un autre monde
Day:04
Month:01
Year:54
Hours:21
Minutes:00
Type of Time:1 = local time
Number of witnesses:1 = 1
Main witness named:1 = name(s) indicated
Main witness age:0 = no indication
Main witness occupation:4 = army, police, fireman, constable
Official investigation:0 = no indication
Weather:1 = beautiful weather, clear sky, no clouds
Duration:0 = no indication
Minimal distance witness - phenomenon:3 = from 21 to 150 m
Method of observation:1 = naked eye
Number of "objects" observed simultaneously:01 = 1
Shape of the "object" (terminology of witness(es)):2 = round, circular, bowl
Dimensions of the phenomenon:ZZZZ = no indication
Color of the observed phenomenon:00 = no indication
Luminosity of the phenomenon:1 = glow, low luminosity
Lights or projectors on the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Moving speed of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Acceleration of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Trajectory of the phenomenon:7 = landing followed by long period on the ground then takeoff
Sounds perceived during observation:1 = no noise, total silence, object noiseless
Maximum angular height of observation (horizon = 0°):0 = no indication
Nature of the landing place:3 = close to isolated houses, on a road, on an airstrip
Number of contact points with ground:1 = 1
Traces of landing:1 = traces observed
Observation of "occupants":0 = no indication
Height of the occupants observed:00 = no indication
Garment of the occupants:00 = no indication
Garment:0 = no indication
General behavior of "occupants":0 = no indication
Interaction of "occupants" with witness:0 = no indication
Head, hair:0 = no indication
Voice, breathing, chin:0 = no indication
Skin:0 = no indication
Eyes:0 = no indication
Mouth:0 = no indication
Various details:0 = no indication
Thermal effects:0 = no indication
Luminous effects:0 = no indication
Magnetic effect (or electromagnetic):0 = no indication
Odor perceived by witness:0 = no indication
Physiological effects on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Psychological effect on the witness(es):0 = no indication
Effects on animals:0 = no indication
Other effects reported:0 = no indication
Nebulosity:0 = no indication
Oscillations, emission of matter:0 = no indication
Spin, formation flight:0 = no indication
Immediate disappearance:0 = no indication
Halo surrounding the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Interaction witness / phenomenon (complement to the other rubrics):0 = no indication
Drawing or photo:0 = no indication
Structural details observed:0 = no indication

[Ref. hdt1:] HENRI DURRANT:

"Henri Durrant" indicates that on January 4, 1954, at abour 9 p.m., a round and luminous machine lands on a track of the aerodrome of Marseilles-Marignane in the department of the Bouches-du-Rhône. Mr. Chesneau, fireman on duty at the Boussiron hangar, sees the machine. While he alerts the control tower by phone, the machine takes off and disappears. The alerted authorities investigate and discover a hundred metallic remains, among which several small long stems of about fifteen centimeters, bent at an end and finishing at the other end by a ball, a little larger than a marble.

The author indicates Jimmy Guieu's book as source.

[Ref. gal1:] CHARLES GARREAU AND RAYMOND LAVIER:

The two authors briefly mention the case of January 4, 1954, in Marignane, indicating that fireman Chesneau who was on guard duty and the Boussiron hangar at the western angle of the airfield, saw a rounded and luminous craft coming from the south and descending at moderate speed in the direction of the tarmac.

The fireman alerted the control tower by phone, but in the meantime the craft had disappeared.

[Ref. tps1:] TED PHILLIPS:

Case 662: January 4th, 1954. FRANCE

Marignane Airport. Time: 21.00 Witness saw a round object landing, trace found. (MUFOB)

[Ref. lpl2:] "LE PROVENCAL" NEWSPAPER:

THE FILE

Thirty years ago
the flying saucers

[...]

January 4, 1954:

In Marignane, Mr. Chesneau, fireman of his state, guard in a hangar of the airport, see a a craft going down at moderate speed in direction of the strip. It landed then took off. When the day came, 15 cm length bent rods were discovered)... The affair was covered up!

[...]

Gérard LE MAOUT.

Note: full article and scan here.

[Ref. fru1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors indicate that on January 4, 1954 at 09:00 p.m. on the airport of Marignane, Mr. Chesneau, fireman, "saw a UFO descending at moderate speed until reaching the ground."

The witness alerted the control tower immediately, and when the duty officer arrived, the object was not there.

The next day, at the place indicated by the witness, a score of metal debris, several of them being small stems of about fifteen centimeters length ending in a broad ball like a pinhead, were found.

The authors note that these debris could be aeronautics parts without relationship with the observation, that on October 27, 1952, the observation of customs officer Gachignard had taken place at the same airport, and that it is said that a counter-investigation has established without the slightest doubt than this testimony is a hoax, but that they received no information about this counter-investigation.

The authors indicate as source the newspaper "L'Echo Républicain" of Chartres for January 9, 1954, Vallée's catalogue and Jimmy Guieu's book.

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

Second "landing" at Marignane?

What made Marignane field "so different?" There were thousands of airfields in the world so why would Marignane in southern France be singled out for two "UFO landings," assuming of course the incidents are true.

The first such "landing" took place back on October 27, 1952 and was supposed to have been witnessed by French custom agent Gabriel Gachignard. It was now the evening of January 4, 1954. At Marignane field the air was cold and there were gusts of wind. The sky was moonless. Outside the great Boussiron Hanger adjacent to the main runway was M. Chesneau on fireguard. The fellow huddled in a corner out of the blasts of chilly air, nonetheless from his position he could still see much of the airfield, and as one can imagine he was easily distracted from his boring duty by aircraft traffic. The time was 9:00 p.m. and no aircraft was expected, yet out of the southern sky came a luminous ball that approached the airstrip at moderate velocity. The "plane" touched down, bounced a few times, and stopped. Astonished, M. Chesneau ran to a phone to alert the control tower and Marignane field's Officer-in-charge.

An immediate search of the area in the darkness discovered no "airplane" or anything unusual. The thing, if it had landed, must have departed leaving no trace. With the light of day, however, there was a discovery on the runway. Strange metallic fragments, dense, dark-gray, spheres with six inch stems with curled ends; were scattered about on the tarmac. The stems looked as if they had been subjected to heat, "soldered" onto the spheres. The forementioned information was gathered by French reporter Constant Vautravers of the newspaper Le Provencal.

Gueiu investigates.

When French UFO investigator Jimmy Gueiu [sic] learned of the "landing," he made numerous inquiries over the phone but didn't get anywhere. People either refused to speak about the supposed incident or referred him to someone else, and those who he was referred to, likewise had nothing to say. It was the all too familar "runaround." It was even denied that UFO witness even existed.

The reporter Vautravers eventually managed to contact Chesneau and set up an interview, but the UFO witness never kept the appointment.

Airport police were questioned by radio reporter Pierre Cordelier, but the lawman brushed off the incident as the "display of an experimental rocket." 26.

[...]

26. Guieu, Jimmy. Flying Saucers Come From Another World. London: Hutchinson, 1956. pp.l40-l43.

[Ref. fgd1:] LAWRENCE FAWCETT AND BARRY GREENWOD:

The authors say that the CIA collected many sightings through normal intelligence channels, something which they had supposedly fought to block with the Robertson Panel inquiry, and it included this one:

Unidentified Aircraft at Marignane Airfield France

Shortly after 2100 hours on January 4, 1954 a round luminous machine, coming from the South, landed at the Marignane airfield In Bouches du Rhone Department. There was only one witness present at the field. That machine disappeared while he was telephoning the control tower. Careful scrutiny of the runway in the morning turned up a few pieces of metallic debris. The witness story was confirmed by that of a Marseilles resident who driving from Aries to Marseilles saw a large, round, reddish fire ball in the sky, but placed the time at 2245 hours.

[Ref. mft1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

This ufologist noted:

CASE Nr CLASSIFICATION DATE HOUR PLACE ZIP CODE CREDIBILITY SOURCE
46 CEl 04 01 1954 21.00 Marignane 13700 D4 E, OVNI: p. 68

[Ref. goe1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on January 4, in France in Marseilles-Marignane around 21 hours, "A round and luminous machine lands on a track of the aerodrome of Marseilles-Marignane (and it was not the first time!) Mr. Chesneau, fireman on duty at the Boussiron hangar, sees the machine. While he alerts the control tower by phone, the machine takes off and disappears. But the alerted authorities make a research and discover a hundred metal remains among which several small long stems of about fifteen centimeters, bent at one end and finishing at the other end by a ball, a little larger than a marble. (Henry DURRANT: "Le livre noir des S.V." - Laffont 1970 - p.117-118)".

[Ref. djn1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

On this Day

January 4

[...]

1954 - Mr. Chesneau, a fireman at the Marignane Airport in France, saw a round luminous object slowly coming down and called the control tower to report it. When he came out again, the object had disappeared. (Source: Jimmy Guieu, Les SV Viennent d'un Autre Monde; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia, p. 205).

[Ref. yre1:] "L'YONNE REPUBLICAINE" NEWSPAPER, RAOUL FOIN:

[...]

A large scale investigation by Raoul Foin. Retired teacher, Mr. Raoul Foin, from Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, who is besides a local correspondent for l'Yonne Républicaine, is, it may be said, a UFO expert. Introduced among scientific circles who study these matters, speaker at many conferences and author of a book "Les Mystères qui nous entourent" [the mysteries that surrounds us], published in 1968, M. Raoul Foin is impassioned with those UFOs. He has gathered an extraordinary documentation from which he compiled the series of articles we start publishing today. Whatever the reader's opinion on the subject is, one cannot not be interested in his account, in which abound many puzzling details.

[...]

4th case: It was on January 4, 1954, on the Marseille-Marignane airfield. At about 9 P.M., fireman Chesneau was on survey duty near the Boussiron hangar. He saw, coming from the south, a small ball, which landed on the track, without any noise. Since no airplane was expected, he wanted to phone to the control tower, but the phone call had no answer. Then, the craft must have departed, because he did not see anything anymore. It is only the day after that an investigator discovered numerous metallic debris on the track, among which long rods ending with a sphere, it is not known to whom these debris were handed, nor what their usage may have been. Because, as usual, the authorities covered this incident up, and the journalists' curiosity was carefully avoided by pretending that nothing is known from the case, which was nevertheless reported by the aforementioned Jimmy Guieu.

[...]

[Ref. cme1:] CLAUDE MAUGE:

Claude Maugé has reported in Crop Watcher #18 a number of corrections to a catalog of "UFO Physical traces" by Ted Philipps that was published in Crop Watcher #16.

Among those, he indicated that for "Case 662 - 04.01.54, Marignane airport, Marseille", although he gives no details, Michel Figuet believes that the case is a hoax according to "Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: Le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochees en France, Nice, France: Alain Lefeuvre, 1979: 68". Maugé adds that in any case, the "trace" consists of many metal pieces, not in effects on the vegetation, thus is not a crop circle.

[Ref. jhn1:] JIM HICKMAN:

On Jan. 4th, 1954, in Marignane Airport, France. Mr. Chesneau, fireman, saw a round luminous object slowly coming down and called the control tower to report it. When he came out again, the object had disappeared.

[Ref. bti1:] "BETA TAURI":

[... other cases ...]

Other deposits - which are equally mysterious - are also found at the scene of an alleged landing. The following cases are French. The first took place on January 4, 1954, in Marseille. The witness, Mr. Addison, was at the time a firefighter. He observed a bright object with a rounded shape, which was on one of the strips of the Marseille-Marignane airport. Following this observation, the authorities made an investigation in which was discovered a hundred of scrap metal, just where the strange craft had landed. Silence was kept on the nature of the metal.

[... other cases abd discussions ...]

[Ref. jbu1:] JEROME BEAU:

January 1954

9 p.m. : At the Marignane airport (France), a fireman sees a round and luminous object going down slowly. He calls the control tower to submit his report. When he comes out of the tower, the object had flown away.

The sources are noted "Guieu" and "Vallée, J., case #1, 'Rapport sur l'analyse de 200 observations documentées faites en 1954'".

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Bouches du Rhône in Marignane on January 4, 1954 at 21:00 hours by beautiful weather, clear sky, "Around 21 hours: 'a round and luminous machine' lands on a strip of the airfield of Marseilles-Marignane the witness, fireman on duty at the Boussiron hangar, sees the machine. While he alerts the control tower by phone, the machine takes off and disappears. But the alerted authorities make a research and discover a hundred metal remains among which several small long stems of about fifteen centimetres, bent at an end and finishing at the other end by a ball, a little larger than a marble. It would in fact be according to Guieu parts of Comet plane."

Luc Chastan adds: "Physical effects : Presence of metallic objects,".

The sources are noted "Le livre noir des Soucoupes volantes by Durrant Henri ** Laffont 1970" and "Black-out sur les Soucoupes volantes by Guieu Jimmy ** Fleuve Noir 1956 omnium 1977".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 4 January 1954 at 21:00 at the Marignane Airport, France, "Mr. Chesneau, fireman, saw a round luminous object slowly coming down and called the control tower to report it."

And: "Mr. Chesneau, a fireman at the Marignane Airport in France, saw a round luminous object slowly coming down and called the control tower to report it. When he came out again, the object had disappeared."

And: "Mr. Chesneau, fireman, saw a round luminous object slowly coming down and called the control tower to report it. When he came out again, the object had disappeared. One ball was observed."

The source is indicated as "Vallee Magonia Database".

[Ref. uda2:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 4 January 1954 at 21:00 at the airport near Marignane, France, "Fireman saw round, luminous object come down near airport. Called control tower. When came outside again it had disappeared."

An object was observed. Traces found. One luminous round object was observed by one experienced male witness at an airport briefly (Chesneau)."

The sources are indicated as Guieu, Jimmy, Flying Saucers Come from Another World, Citadel, New York, 1956; Constance, Arthur, The Inexplicable Sky, Citadel Press, New York, 1957; Poher, Claude, Etudes Statistiques Portant sur 1000 Temoignag, Author, undated; Bowen, Charles, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, FSR, London, 1966; 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); Vallee, Jacques, A Century of Landings (N = 923), (in JVallee04), Chicago, 1969; Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Carrouges, Michel, Les Apparitions de Martiens, Fayard, Paris, 1963; Rogerson, Peter, World-Wide Catalog of Type 1 Reports; Phillips, Ted R., Ted Phillips investigation files; Phillips, Ted R., Physical Traces Associated with UFO Sightings, CUFOS, Chicago, 1975; Hall, Richard H., UFO Reports from the Files of the CIA, Fund for UFO Research, Washington; Civilian Saucer Intelligence-New York.

[Ref. nip1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

(008) Jan. 4, 1954 - Mr. Chesneau, a fireman at the Marignane Airport in France, saw a round luminous object slowly coming down and called the control tower to report it. When he came out again, the object had disappeared. (Source: Jimmy Guieu, Les SV Viennent d'un Autre Monde; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia, p. 205).

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

This database recorded this same case 13 times instead of one:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane Airport France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignanet France 21.00 CE II
19540104 04.01.1954 Marignane France 21.00 CE II

[Ref. prn2:] PETER ROGERSON - "INTCAT":

4 January 1954. 2100hrs.

MARIGNANE AIRPORT (BOUCHES DU RHONE : FRANCE)

On this cold and moonless night, fire fighter Mr Chesneau was on duty at the Boussiron hangar on the far west of the airport, stood at the entrance to the hanger, when he saw a luminous sphere flying from the south towards the airport at a moderate speed. It landed and bounced up several times. Chesneau phoned the control tower but got no response so went to investigate but found nothing. The next day a number of metallic fragments were found at the site, including stems 15cm long, on the end of which were spheres the size of billiard balls.

Evaluation - The stems were aircraft ant-statics [six, anti-static] devices.

[Once again Peter Rogerson used explanations from my website as if they were his own "evaluation".]

Explanations:

Not looked for yet.

Map.

Above: Photograph of one of the famous stems ending with a ball found on the airport.
This object has nothing mysterious about it, these stems are suspended under airplane wings to evacuate static charges.

Keywords:

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

Marignane, Bouches-du-Rhône, round, luminous, landing, airport, Chesneau, fragments, custom officer

Sources:

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 15, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 30, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [fgd1], [jbu1], [lcn1], [uda1], [uda2].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 17, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 1, 2010 Addition [gft1].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 8, 2013 Addition [bti1].
1.4 Patrick Gross October 10, 2014 Addition [nip1].
1.5 Patrick Gross November 22, 2016 Addition [ubk1].
1.6 Patrick Gross January 5, 2020 Additions [mft1], [prn1], [prn2], [gft1].
1.7 Patrick Gross January 13, 2021 Addition [bre1].
1.8 Patrick Gross February 4, 2021 Addition [bre2].
1.9 Patrick Gross February 18, 2021 Additions [gqy1], [tbr1], [ldl1], [lgs1].

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