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The 1954 French flap:

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November 4, 1954, Senlis, Oise:

Reference for this case: 4-Nov-54-Senlis.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


In the 1970s, Claude Poher, future first head of the first official UFO sightings study group in France, GEPAN, had compiled a computer file of observations whose witnesses were officials or civil servants.

He noted in it a sighting on November 4, 1954 at 7:30 p.m. in Senlis, France, which had been the subject of an official investigation; the duration is categorized as "from 10 to 59 seconds", the speed as "1500 to 2500 km/h", the color as "yellow, amber", the trajectory as straight or very wide curve. The thing was silent.

There would have been three adult witnesses in the age categories "21 to 59".

Some summaries by others would appear later, without further information.



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:0652550411195419301JA113501030001A0099040080117000000000000000000000000000010000
Location:Senlis - France
Case number:0652
Source code:55
Nature of the source:Reports from official French sources: Police, Gendarmerie, Army, Pilots
Type of Time:1 = local time
Number of witnesses:1 = 1
Main witness named:1 = name(s) indicated
Main witness age:3 = Adult from 21 to 59 years
Main witness occupation:5 = technician, air trafic controler, radar operator, technical representative, reporter, teacher, photographer, optician, psycholog, ufo private investigator (when profession unknown)
Official investigation:1 = an official investigation was made
Weather:0 = no indication
Duration:3 = from 10 to 59 seconds
Minimal distance witness - phenomenon:0 = no indication
Method of observation:0 = no indication
Number of "objects" observed simultaneously:01 = 1
Shape of the "object" (terminology of witness(es)):A = a dot, star, "big planet"
Dimensions of the phenomenon:00 = diameter or length 0 meters, 99 = more than 100 meters
Color of the observed phenomenon:04 = yellow, amber
Luminosity of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Lights or projectors on the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Moving speed of the phenomenon:8 = 1500 to 2500 km/h
Acceleration of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
Trajectory of the phenomenon:1 = straight line or very wide curve
Sounds perceived during observation:1 = no noise, total silence, object noiseless
Maximum angular height of observation (horizon = 0°):7 = altitude is indicated
Nature of the landing place:0 = no indication
Number of contact points with ground:0 = no indication
Traces of landing:0 = no indication
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:1 = "sudden" appearance or disappearance. (NB : with or without explosion noise)
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. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Oise in Senlis on November 4, 1954 at 19:30 hours, a witness observed during less than one minute a yellow object of a length estimated as more than 100 meters. It flew in straight line at approximately 1500 to 2500 km/h without noise. It disappeared suddenly.

The source is indicated as "Les Universons by Poher Claude **".

[Ref. lpn1:] "LE PARISIEN":


Ufo invasion

As in many countries and French regions, the year 1954 was rich in observations of UFOs and other strange phenomena in the Oise. It is believed that visitors to the area were particularly pleased with the department, from Crépy-en-Valois to La Chapelle-en-Serval, via , Ressons-sur-Matz, Senlis or Formerie, witnesses swore they saw saucers, flying cigars and other mini-extraterrestrials helmed with an orange beam! Press clippings and gendarmerie investigations evoke these episodes, none of which, alas, brought tangible evidence.

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

This database recorded the case twice:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541104 04.11.1954 Senlis France 19.30
19541104 04.11.1954 Senlis France 19.25 NL



The description is typical of a meteor.


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

Senlis, Oise, official, duration, yellow, fast, silence


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 26, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 18, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 2, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross March 2, 2017 Addition [lpn1].
1.3 Patrick Gross June 30, 2022 Addition of the Summary.

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This page was last updated on June 30, 2022.