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The 1954 French flap:

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October 4, 1954, Chamonix, Haute-Savoie:

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

Reports:

[Ref. nmn1:] "NORD-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

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Mysterious craft
crisscross the sky
of our region

Flying saucers, flying cigars, other mysterious craft continue to appear everywhere. During the last weekend, the presence of strange craft was reported in the skies of Côte d'Ivoire, in the Finistère, in the Deux Sèvres and in the Indre.

Many people, including the officers of the High Mountain School, said they saw for more than an hour a brilliant machine moving between Mont Lachat and Mont Blanc.

The pilot Guiron indicated that, flying at an altitude of about 2,000 meters, he saw a craft which, he said, said, had no resemblance to a normal plane. Moreover, the direction followed at high speed by this craft excluded the hypothesis of a sounding balloon.

Our region has not been spared either, and there were numerous reports of bizarre craft.

Weird object in the Somme...

Bernard Devoisin and René Condette, 18 years old, two young men from Vron, in the district of Abbeville, saw a mass right in the middle of the roadway.

Rolling at full pedals, to cover the few 150 meters that separated them from the apparatus, they saw it fly away while they were still 70 meters away.

Bernard Devoisin, who was pedaling at the head, saw a man dressed like a sort of diver, who bypassed this craft, which left immediately.

As for the orange "saucer", it was shaped like a beehive, with a pointed roof. It was about the width of the road, about three meters.

... and above Jeumont

In the evening from Saturday to Sunday, two resedents of Jeumont stated that they had seen, while driving around Solre-le-Château, a saucer-shaped object which, after having moved a few seconds above the City, rose vertically and disappeared.

Many witnesses near Cambrai

Miss Anne-Marie Perut, 20 years old, whose father is a gendarme at the Marcoing brigade, a few kilometers from Cambrai, told the following story:

"Sunday around 8:30 p.m., going to the window, I saw two large luminous balls: a large one and below a smaller one. It seemed slightly swinging from right to left, like a balloon basket.

"I called my father who laughed at me. I insisted and, finally, he came to see and it was then that he alerted the other gendarmes present in the barracks. The families joined us and so around twenty people could see what we had seen.

"For a quarter of an hour we saw this luminous appearance comparable to the moon, but larger. Round, the object took the form of a cigar, then a crescent. It set off towards Villers-Pouich, then came back to disappear for good."

The gendarmes who confirmed this fact to us declare that this luminous ball could be at an approximate altitude of 6 to 700 meters.

Appearance near Armentières

Sunday, between 9 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., a craft, in the shape of a golden half-moon, barred in the center by a greenish line, hovered above rue Fleury, in La Chapelle d'Armentières. All the residents observed the craft for a long time. One of them used binoculars to better define its contours, then suddenly the saucer disappeared in the direction of Fleurbaix.

Landing of a cigar
near Lille

Sunday was the ducasse in Chéreng, a small town not far from Lille. At 07:20 p.m., a few locals saw a cigar landing on the Marque footbridge. The landing, preceded by a shower of sparks, was made without noise, but the craft disappeared before the arrival of the witnesses. With the joyous atmosphere of the party suggesting a joke, many people did not believe the witnesses' story - but the confirmation was made on Monday.

A saucer on the plate
of Lorette

Sunday around 9:30 p.m., several people were aware of the presence of unknown type of craft on the Lorette plateau.

Mr. Lecoq J-Bte. of Liévin, distinguished in the sky around the lighthouse of Lorette, a luminous craft having the shape of a crescent which oscillated slightly. He stopped several people to make them note this apparition. From this oblong-shaped craft, the lower part was detached and descended towards the ground and came to resume shortly after its position against the upper part. The saucer then descended into the valley.

A flying pot
in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire

A saucer was seen in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, on Sunday evening, by Mr. Louis Lherbier, general insurance agent, rue Marcel Lancino. The latter being in his yard, was intrigued by the presence of a small reddish ball seeming to move in the air. He called his wife, as well as Mr. Robert Mairesse, an employee of the mines and his wife. The four people saw very well the thing which ultimately took the form of a pot turning on itself. Then after a few minutes, this strange object rose quickly in the air and disappeared.

[Ref. jps1:] "LE JOURNAL DU PAS-DE-CALAIS ET DE LA SOMME" NEWSPAPER:

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"Flying saucers exist"
says a German specialist

Flying saucers exist and represent at least ten percent of the craft observed in the sky," said Professor Hermann Oberth, German rocket scientist and honorary president of the "German Astronautical Society", yesterday during a conference he gave in Hamburg.

Professor Oberth added that it was possible in his opinion, that these craft contain crews of creatures similar to humans, and proposed, to designate these unknown beings, the term "Uranids". The "Uranids", continued the German scientist, are probably thousands of years ahead of our time.

To explain why no "flying saucer" has yet crashed on earth, Professor Oberth suggests that pilots may have perfect control of their apparatuses, and that for some reason human intelligence cannot imagine, they may desire no contact with earthly creatures.

Considering another possibility, Professor Oberth recalled that the observed saucers could be considered as an improvement of the V-7, German rockets of the end of the war, of which several prototypes would have fallen, according to the scientist, between the hands of the Russians in 1945.

Latest appearances

In Vic-sur-Cère. -- Several people claimed to have

CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

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FLYING SAUCERS

(Continued from the first page)

sighted, moving towards the South, a craft in the shape of a cigar, releasing a light plume of smoke.

A representative of an insurance company in Clamecy, as well as several residents of Corbigny, saw a bright orange disc moving in the sky and which, after having changed altitude several times, disappeared vertically.

An employee, Mr. Angelo Girardeau, 55, living in Breuil-Chaussée (Deux-Sèvres), said he saw on Sunday morning, on his way to work, a circular craft near which was a being who appeared to him dressed in a kind of diving suit. The being in question went to Mr. Girardo who, frightened, fled. Shortly thereafter, the circular craft departed at a very high speed.

Mrs widow Janiki, living in the village of Cerisier, commune of Levreux (Indre), told the gendarmerie that she had seen in the sky a luminous machine with a diameter of approximately 3 meters and which was at the height of the buildings.

Mrs. widow Lacotte, living about 200 meters from Mrs. Janiki's home, witnessed the same phenomenon.

A strange craft
- above -
Mont Blanc

Chamonix, 4. -- Many people, including officers from the High Mountain School, Chamonix gendarmes and the pilot Guiron, a flight specialist in the high mountains, who flew over the region at the time, said they saw for more than an hour a brilliant machine moving between Mont Lachat and Mont Blanc.

The pilot Guiron indicated that flying about 2,000 meters above Faverges, he saw a craft which, he said, had no resemblance to a normal plane. In addition, the direction followed at high speed by this craft excluded the hypothesis of a sounding balloon.

[Ref. ads1:] "L'ARDENNAIS" NEWSPAPER:

A STRANGE CRAFT MOVES ABOVE MONT-BLANC FOR MORE THAN ONE HOUR

CHAMONIX. -- A very large number of people, among whom were officers from the High Mountain School, gendarmes from Chamonix and pilot Guiron, a specialist in high mountain flying who flew over the area at that time, said to have seen for more than one hour a craft move between Mount Lachat and Mont Blanc.

Pilot Guiron reported that flying about 2,000 meters above Faverges, he saw a craft which, he said, bore no resemblance to a normal aircraft. In addition the direction followed at high speed by this craft excluded the hypothesis of a sounding balloon.

A Saucers Invasion

Moreover, one continues - jokes, hallucinations or trustworthy testimonies - to report everywhere the manifestation in the sky of saucers or other cigars.

VIC-SUR-CERE. -- Several people have said that they have seen a cigar-shaped craft heading south, with a slight smoke plume.

NEVERS. -- A representative of an insurance company in Clamecy, as well as several residents of Corbigny, said they saw an orange luminous disc moving in the sky and which, after having several times changed altitude, disappeared vertically.

BRESSUIRE. -- Slaughter center employee, Mr. Angelo Girardeau, 55-year-old, residing in Breuil-Chaussée (Deux Sèvres), said he had seen Sunday morning, on his way to work, a circular machine near which was a being who appeared to him dressed in a kind of scuba. That character went to Mr. Girardeau who, frightened, fled. Shortly after the circular craft departed at very high speed.

ABBEVILLE. -- Two young men from Vron (Somme) said they saw on the national road, between Crécy and Ligescourt, a curious craft around which bizarre individuals roamed. They approached the craft, who, they say, looked like a haystack, but it took off. The two young people told their adventure to the gendarmes.

CHATEAUROUX. -- Mrs widow Janiki, residing at the Bourg du Ceris1er, commune of Levroux (Indre), told the police that she had seen in the sky a luminous craft of a diameter of about 8 meters and which was at the level of buildings. Mrs. widow Lacotte, who lives about 800 meters from Mrs. Janiki, said she witnessed the same phenomenon.

(See more on page 5)

A strange craft is moving...

(Continued from the first page.)

CHATEAUROUX. -- Mrs. Baron, living in Vatan (Indre), said she saw a luminous ball in the sky Sunday evening. She alerted her husband and about fifteen people from her neighborhood who, all, saw moving, at a very high altitude, the greenish yellow machine that went up and down in the sky.

An official report

Whereas these different appearances can make the skeptics smile, the information coming from Africa appears more serious. Because, probably not wanting to disdain any continent, flying saucers were seen in Côte d'Ivoire. The news came from an official report to the governor of Côte d'Ivoire by Mr. Vernhet, chief administrator of the Danane subdivision, a town 500 kilometers northwest of Abijan. The facts date back to September 19, but have only been made official today through specific inquiries and investigations.

In addition to the population, the head of the gendarmerie station, the chief medical officer of the medical center, the Reverend Father Vyard, of the Lyon missions, head of the subdivision, and his wife, gathered in the courtyard of the residence, and saw on September 19, from 8:30 p.m. zo 9:05 p.m., a craft exactly corresponding to those observed in France, but which did not land.

It was a luminous dot, surrounded by a halo that first grew rapidly, moving closer to or away from the horizon. The witnesses saw the craft light a powerful headlight, sometimes directed upwards, sometimes downwards. The craft, of ovoid shape, was surmounted by a dome and luminous beams seemed to be detached on each side.

When it disappeared, after having moved for half an hour, the witnesses saw very clearly two luminous halos of oval shape, to be formed on the presumed location of the craft. The latter moved without any noise. Administrator Vernhet has attached to his report a detailed sketch of the different phases observed, as well as of the shape of the craft.

On the same day, in Soubre, 250 kilometers north-west of Abidjan, and in the same direction, similar phenomena were observed. The head of the subdivision of Soubre confirmed the existence of the phenomenon he attended.

"The Uranids"

Moreover, the scientists who until now had remained silent on the flying saucers affairs, will they leave their prudent reserve?

"Flying saucers exist and account for at least ten percent of the craft observed in the sky," said Professor Oberth, German rocket scientist and honorary president of the "German Astronautical Society", during a conference in Hamburg.

Professor Oberth added that it is possible, in his opinion, that these craft contain crews of creatures similar to humans, and proposed, to designate these unknown beings, the term "URANIDS". The Uranids, the German scholar continued, are probably thousands of years ahead of our time.

To explain why no "flying saucer" crashed on Earth so far, Professor Oberth suggests that pilots may have perfect control of their craft and that, for some reason that human intelligence cannot imagine, they may not desire any contact with terrestrial creatures.

Looking at another possibility, Professor Oberth recalled that the saucers observed could be considered as a perfecting of the V7, German rockets of the end of World War II, of which several prototypes would have fallen, according to the scientist, in Russian hands in 1945.

[Ref. vmr1:] NEWSPAPER "VAR-MATIN REPUBLIQUE:"

A strange apparatus flies over the Mount Blanc

Chamonix, October 4. -- Very numerous people, among whom were the officers of the school of high mountain, the gendarmes of Chamonix and the pilot Guiron, specialist in the flights in high mountain, who flew over the regiment at this time, stated to have seen during more than one hour, a shining apparatus evolving between the Mount Blanc and the Mount Lachat.

Pilot Guiron indicated that flying at approximately 2000 meters above Favergas, he saw a machine which, he said, did not have any resemblance to a normal plane. Moreover, the direction followed at high speed by this apparatus excluded the assumption of a weather balloon.

[Ref. lae1:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

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"The flying saucers exist"

reaffirms professor Oberth, president of the "German astronautics society"

Hamburg, Oct. 4. -- "The flying saucers exist and represent at least ten percent of the craft observed in the sky", affirmed yesterday evening professor Hermann Oberth, German specialist in the rockets and honorary president of the "German astronautics society", during a conference pronounced in Hamburg.

Professor Oberth added that it was possible, in his opinion, that these machines contain crews of creatures similar to humans, and proposed, to name these unknown beings, the term of "Uranides". The "Uranides", continued the German scientist, probably are several thousands of years ahead on our time.

To explain why no "flying saucer" still crashed on the ground, professor Oberth suggests that perhaps the pilots have a perfect control of their machines, and that, for a reason which a human intelligence cannot imagine, they might not wish any contact with the terrestrial creatures.

Considering another possibility, professor Oberth pointed out that the saucers observed could be regarded as an improvement of the V-7, German rockets of the end of the war, from which several prototypes would have fallen, according to the scientist, into the hands of the Russians in 1945.

A mountain pilot sees a machine above the Mont-Blanc

Chamonix, Oct. 4. -- From all the areas of France the news on the appearances of flying saucers continue to arrive and certain testimonies totally exclude the current assumptions of error or mystification.

Thus very numerous people, among whom were the officers of the School of high mountain, the gendarmes of Chamonix, and pilot Guiron, known specialist of flight in high mountain, who flew over the area at that time, stated to have seen during more than one hour a shining machine move between Mount Lachat and the Mont-Blanc.

Pilot Guiron indicated that, flying at approximately 2.000 meters above Faverges, he saw a machine which, he said, did not have any resemblance to a normal plane. Moreover, the direction followed at high speed by this apparatus excluded the assumption of a weather balloon.

*

Saint-Brieuc, Oct. 4. -- Several people claimed to have seen, at 300 or 400 meters of them, towards 08:45 p.m., a "flying cigar", at an altitude of 50 meters approximately. The machine, they stated, could be 15 meters in length and lit by intermittencies of pink gleams. It moved without noise.

*

Lille, Oct. 4. -- Mr. Anicet Corneille, farm labourer, states to have seen yesterday evening In Comines, a machine having the shape of a cigar, from 8 to 10 meters in length which moved at a forty meters height and released a sharp violet gleam.

These statements were confirmed by a motorist from Tourcoing passing in Comines.

*

Nevers, Oct. 4. -- An employee of the slaughter house, Mr. Angelo Girardeau, 55 years old, resident of Breuil-Chaussée (Deux-Sèvres) stated to have seen Sunday morning while going to his work, a circular machine close to which was a being that appeared to him as covered a kind of diving-suit. That being moved towards Mr. Girardeau who, frightened, fled. A little later the circular machine set out again at high speed.

[Ref. ler1:] NEWSPAPER "L'EST REPUBLICAIN:"

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DURING THE LAST WEEK-END

The flying saucers disturbed the Sunday rest of a certain number of Frenchmen

Chamonix. -- The chronicle of the flying saucers and other "cigars" continues to be abundantly provided. During the last weekend, the witnesses who have, indeed, seen mysterious machines are countless.

It is apparently Chamonix which should be given the priority, since, at the same moment, officers of the high mountain school, gendarmes, and pilot Guiron who flew over the area saw during more than one hour a white shining craft move between the mount Lachat and Mount Blanc.

Pilot Guiron said that, flying at approximately 2.000 meters above Faverges, he saw a craft which, he said, did not have any resemblance to a normal plane. Moreover, the direction followed at high speed by this apparatus excluded a sounding-balloon.

In Corbigny (the Nièvre), several inhabitants saw a luminous disc of orange color which moved in the sky and disappeared vertically after having changed altitude several times.

In Breuil-Chaussée, in the Deux-Sèvres, Mr. Girardeau, 55 years old, went to his work when, in a turn of the road, he noticed a circular machine "close to which was a being which seemed to him dressed in a kind of diving-suit". The "being" moved towards him and Mr. Girardeau fled, frightened. A little later the circular machine went away at high speed!

"You would have said a haystack"

It is also a curious machine around whose two odd individuals wandered that two young people people of Vron (Somme) stated to have seen. "We approached, they entrusted to the gendarmes. A haystack you would have said. Suddenly, the machine took off".

In the Indre, as well in Levroux as in Vatan, about fifteen people lengthily followed the moves of a luminous ball of yellowish color which went up and down in the sky and could have been three meters in diameter.

[Ref. las1:] NEWSPAPER "LIBRE ARTOIS":

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Mysterious craft
crisscross the sky of our region

Flying saucers, flying cigars and other mysterious craft continue to appear everywhere. During the last weekend, the presence of strange craft was reported in the skies of Ivory Coast, in the Finistère, in the Deux-Sèvres and in the Indre.

Many people, including officers from the High Mountain School, said they saw for more than an hour, a brilliant craft moving between Mount Lachat and Mount-Blanc.

Pilot Guiron indicated that, flying approximately 2,000 meters above Faverges, he saw a craft which, he said, had no resemblance to a normal aircraft. In addition, the direction followed at high speed by this craft excluded the hypothesis of a sounding balloon.

Our region has not been spared either, and there have been numerous reports of bizarre craft appearing.

ODD MACHINE IN THE SOMME...

Bernard Devoisin and René Condette, 18 years old, two young people from Vron, in the district of Abbeville, returning from their work by bicycle, saw a machine in the middle of the road.

Rolling with all pedals, to cover the 150 meters that separated them from the craft, they saw it fly away while they were still about 70 meters away.

Bernard Devoisin, who pedaled at the front, saw a man dressed like a kind of diver, who bypassed his craft, which left immediately.

As for the orange-colored saucer, it was shaped like a beehive, with a pointed roof. It was about the width of the road, about three meters.

... AND ABOVE
JEUMONT

In the evening from Saturday to Sunday, two Jeumont residents stated that they had seen while driving on rue de Soire-le-Château, a saucer-shaped object which, after having moved a few seconds above the city, rose vertically and disappeared.

MANY WITNESSES
NEAR CAMBRAI

Miss Anne-Marie Perrut, 26 years old whose father is a policeman at the Marcoing brigade a few kilometers from Cambrai, told the next story:

"Sunday, around 8:30 p.m., going to the window, I saw two large luminous balls: a large one and below a smaller one. It seemed to move slightly from right to left, like a gondola balloon.

"I called my father who laughed at me. I insisted and, finally, he came to see and it was then that he alerted the other gendarmes present in the barracks. The families joined us and so around twenty people could see what we had seen.

"For a quarter of an hour we saw this luminous appearance comparable to the moon, but larger. Round, the object took the form of a cigar, then a crescent. It set off towards Villers-Plouich then came back to disappear forever."

The gendarmes who confirmed this fact to us declare that these luminous balls could be at an approximate altitude of 600 to 700 meters.

APPEARANCE
NEAR ARMENTIERES

Sunday, between 9 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., a craft, in the shape of a golden half-moon, crossed in the center by a greenish line, hovered above rue Fleury, in La Chapelle d'Armentières. All the residents observed the object for a long time. One of them brought binoculars to better define its contours, then suddenly the saucer disappeared in the direction of Fleurbaix.

LANDING OF A CIGAR
NEAR LILLE

Sunday was the ducasse in Chéreng, a small town not far from Lille. At 07:20 p.m., some residents saw a cigar which landed on the Marque footbridge. The landing, preceded by a shower of sparks was made without noise, but the craft disappeared before the arrival of the witnesses. With the joyous atmosphere of the party suggesting a joke, many people did not believe the accounts of the witnesses - but the confirmation was made on Monday.

A SAUCER
ON THE PLATEAU
DE LORETTE

Sunday, around 9:20 p.m., several people were able to realize the presence of unknown type of vehicles on the Lorette plateau.

Mr. Lecocq J.-B., of Liévin, distinguished in the sky around the lighthouse of Lorette, a luminous machine having the shape of a crescent which oscillated slightly. He stopped several people to make them notice this apparition. From this oblong-shaped craft, the lower part detached and descended towards the ground and came to resume shortly after its position against the upper part. The saucer then descended into the valley.

A FLYING POT
IN ABLAIN-SAINT-NAZAIRE

A flying saucer was seen in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, on the evening of Sunday, by Mr. Louis Lherbier, general agent of insurance, rue Marcel Lancino. The latter being in his yard, was intrigued by the presence of a small reddish ball seeming to move in the air. He called his wife, as well as Mr. Robert Mairesse, an employee of the mines and his wife. The four people saw very well the thing which ultimately took the form of a pot spinning on itself. Then after a few minutes, this strange object rose quickly in the air and disappeared.

[Ref. lqh1:] NEWSPAPER "LE QUOTIDIEN DE LA HAUTE-LOIRE:"

A strange craft said to have flown above Mont-Blanc

A large number of people, among whom were the officers of the school of high mountain, the gendarmes of Chamonix and the pilot Guiron, specialist in flying above high mountains, which flew over the area at this time there, stated to have seen a shiny machine evolving between mount Lachat and Mount Blanc.

The pilot Guiron indicated that flying at approximately 2000 meters above Faverges, he saw a machine which did not have any resemblance to a normal plane. Moreover, the direction followed at high speed by this apparatus excluded the assumption of a weather balloon.

[Ref. lpv1:] "LE PETIT VAROIS" NEWSPAPER:

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AN AUTHORIZED OPINION

"FLYING SAUCERS?
NOT SERIOUS!"

says Professor SCHATZMAN
Researcher at the Astro-Physics Institute

Paris. -- The "flying saucers", which poison the Western skies whenever important international events occur, extend their field of action over the African continent.

An official report to the Government of the Ivory Coast by the administrator of the Danane subdivision, 500 kilometers north-west of Abidjan, reported a "phenomenon" observed on 19 September, 8:30 p.m. to 09:05 p.m., by the said head of subdivision, Mr. Vernhet, his wife and Reverend Yvard, gathered in the courtyard of the Residence.

It was a luminous spot surrounded by a halo which at first grew rapidly, moving towards or away from the horizon. The witnesses saw the machine lighting a powerful headlight, sometimes directed upwards, sometimes downwards. The ovoid-shaped craft was surmounted by a cupola, and light rays seemed to be detached from each side.

When it disappeared after half an hour, the witnesses saw clearly - according to the report - two halos of light, oval in shape, forming at the presumed location of the craft which moved without any noise.

The same day, at Soubre, 250 kilometers north-west of Abidjan, similar phenomena were observed by the head of subdivision.

In France, flowering flourishes, passing through all forms of flying crockery: in Corbigny (Nièvre), it is a luminous orange disc moving vertically; in Breuil-Caussée [sic] (Deux-Sèvres) it is a diver mounted on a plate that scared an employee of the center of slaughter; in Vron (Somme), it is a millstone around which strange individuals prowl and flies away; in Levroux (Indre), it is a luminous machine 1 meter in diameter that is spotted "at the height of the buildings" by two widows of the area, and in Vatan (also in the Indre), it is a ball that 15 people see dancing like a dancer. In Milly-la-Forêt (S.-et-O.) it is a half-moon surmounted by a ring that appears to a restaurant owner.

Finally, on Monday in Chamonix for more than an hour, the officers of the high mountain school, many gendarmes of Chamonix and a pilot specializing in high-altitude flight flying over the region at that time followed the moves of a brilliant machine of bizarre form between Mount Lachat and Mount Blanc.

The opinion of a scientist

If one addresses the most qualified scientific circles, there are two attitudes: that of refusing to answer on the pretext that the problem does not exist and that of critically examining the published testimonies and to provide public opinion, confused and excited by the Press, the positive element allowing to recognize the natural phenomena.

This latter attitude is that of Professor Evry Schatzman, a research fellow at the Institute of Astrophysics and a lecturer at the Sorbonne, to whom we have asked to enlighten our readers.

"Is it true that scientists are beginning to take the flying saucers seriously?"

- I have never met any astronomer who believes the flying saucer stories [ast]. I have personally read many books on this subject, seeking to grasp the exact meanings of the testimonies reported. By admitting descriptions made in good faith - which is always to be doubted - it always results in a perplexity as to the elements that can be drawn from it. In the majority of cases they are incomprehensible: the precise hour, the duration, the exact direction of the "phenomenon" is not known, nor even if it occurred by day or night. Or they are made unreliable by details that cannot be distinguished. And they are reported with the intention of making believe in the mystery. When one has a precise and complete description, one can do what is at stake and which can make illusion for the heated imagination of a public knowingly deceived for commercial and political purposes.

- Can you describe such phenomena?

- The list is long and not yet exhausted, because it is necessary to take into account still unknown atmospheric and meteorological phenomena. Among the phenomena which may give rise to misunderstandings, these are the most characteristic, not to mention the "visions" prompted by the causes of popular anxiety, such as these parachutists spotted by artillerymen in May 1940, who every night shoot at... Venus!

1. The rising and setting of the planets (Especially Venus and Jupiter).

2. The "shooting stars" and the "fireballs": one tonne a day arrives on the earth. The light is produced by the heating of the aura on the meteoric trajectory. The smallest shooting stars visible to the naked eye are grains of matter of 1 milligram which vanish completely between 120 and 90 kilometers. Only the fast fall on the ground limits the complete destruction of the bolides, that a longer course in the atmosphere would also annihilate.

3. The phenomena of "parhelia", which give rise to false suns, together with halos, and which are explained by the presence in the upper atmosphere of hexagonal prismatic ice needles. The concentration of light rays (sun and moon) in calm air on these crystals produces luminous spots on the right and left of the sun or moon at an equal distance from the halo radius of 22 degrees 5. A halo occurs more with other suns or other moons, with a double angular diameter.

Thus the inhabitants of Péronne "believed to see" an unexpected sun eclipse on June 20 and 21. A normal halo of exceptional intensity occurred, about which Daniel Roguet, astronomical correspondent, described the effects in these terms:

"At certain times, depending on the cirrhus [sic] variation, the inside of the halo was very dark gray-black and the iridescent colors of the halo as bright as those of a beautiful rainbow, beyond it, a milky sky, slightly ocher, forming a magnificent contrast with the central part".

4. The high-voltage power line balls that serve as landmarks for aviators were recently mistaken for mysterious craft by cyclists who at night saw these balls swept by the lighthouse of an airfield.

5. Weather balloons from meteorologists.

6. Ball lightning: these are configurations that occur at certain thunderstorms, with a precarious charge balance.

7. The phenomenon of mirage in the atmosphere. You know how it happens on the ground: the light rays do not propagate in a straight line in hot air, but they just reflect on the film of overheated air, for example by the road tar during the summer. You think you see puddles of water in front of you [mir1]. The inversion of temperature at altitude also causes a change in the index of refraction: hence the effect for an aviator to see a spot of light go straight ahead, while this point has its real source on the ground. [mir2]

The object, which always seems to be at the speed of the airman, is, moreover, characteristic of the object situated at very great distances.

- But is it not possible to scientifically design terrestrial craft comparable to the "saucers" seen here and there?

No, for the great velocities of which the "witnesses" claim these "machines" are animated could only be reached in regions of rarefied air, at the limit of the atmosphere. The mechanical action of the air on their surface would soon have dispersed the molecules of the substance which they would be made of.

In short, to summarize the scholar's thought, there are three elements to be distinguished in these flying saucers stories:

1. A scientific element: discussion of observations, explanation of natural phenomena, sociological explanation of the phenomena of collective hallucination [hal].

2. A logical element: inconsistency of opinions and testimonies.

3. A political element: excitement of public opinion, substitution of imaginary problems for real problems, etc. [pol]

Mr. Evry Schatzman has enumerated the phenomena of vision, false perception, and hallucinations which may explain the most precise and complete testimonies-which are a minor infirmity and always subject to caution.

There is no scientist to take seriously the assumptions made by scientific writers, science-fiction specialists and members of the Pentagon [pol], who have also renounced the theory of extraterrestrial craft, as revealed in the last book by Mr. Keyhoe.

The saucers museum is always empty of exhibits. And it is difficult to admit, if the "saucers" are terrestrial craft, that we never collected a single fragment [fra], never heard the supersonic detonation [sup], nor ever observed a perturbation in the air.

It should also be noted that "saucers" and "other cigarillos" seem to be systematically missig in the Soviet skies, Chinese skies and people's democratic countries... [pol] [est]

This is not the place to comment on the "true" - there are - and the "false" in the remarks attributed to Evry Schatzman; I wanted to make a few brief comments anyway:

[ast] This is literally true: Evry Schatzman certainly never met an astronomer "giving cfrredence to the saucer stories". What would be false is to claim that none existed (Hynek, La Paz, Tombaugh...)

[pol] Like many other French scientists of that time, Evry Schatzman was a Marxist, with an devotion to the ideology of the USSR. It had been claimed in these circles that the "saucers" were "political", that is, the "Pentagon" used them to make people anxious, whereas Communist countries would not do such a thing.

[est] It is totally false that there were no "saucers" in the Communist countries. Read Boris Shurinov, Felix Zigel, for example.

[mir1] It must be understood that the mirages on the ground do not make appear "saucers" nor "spacecraft".

[mir2] Evry Schatzman believed correct the ideas of the "skeptic" American astronomer Donald Menzel. They are without foundation on this matter; there has never been anything like a "luminous mirage in the sky". What can happen is a refraction of radar waves, detecting objects on the ground (truck, boats) and then showing them on the radar screens - but with the speed of movement and the trajectory of the truck or boat... The radarists of the time had to recognize them as such; later, these "false echoes", these radar returns of slow objects on the ground were filtered electronically so thatthe radar men did not have to bother about them anymore.

[sup] It is the French scientist Jean-Pierre Petit who later showed how even with our already known technologies (MHD), it would be possible to suppress the sonic boom. The argument could stand in 1954, it should no longer be used.

[fra] There is no shortage of cases with "fragments"; certainly often debatable if not debunked. The museum of the saucers remains to be built, no one having ever been concerned to preserve correctly the most intriguing fragments.

[hal] Mistakes are obviously not "collective hallucinations", the journalist does not seem to understand. Misinterpretations and collective misinterpretations exist, "collective hallucinations" simply do not exist. The problem is very rarely a "false perception", it is often a "false interpretation".

[Ref. ltl1:] "LE TARN LIBRE" NEWSPAPER:

[...]

Many people, among whom an airplane pilot, observed the flight, above the solid mass of the Mount Blanc, of a strange apparatus that they state not to have any resemblance to a plane.

[...]

[Ref. rdr1:] "RADAR" MAGAZINE:

CHAMONIX

(Continuation of page 1)

[captioned photograph:] Grouped close to the gendarmerie, the children of the school of Chamonix saw, too, the mysterious object. For the kids, it is "the balloon in the sky." Quite simply. The gendarmes, skeptics, declare: "Since then they see some everyday."

A hot Sunday sun sets ablaze the valley of Chamonix.

Walking quietly in the streets or chattering on their doorsteps, the residents already make projects for the 1955 season.

Suddenly, rising above the murmur of the conversations, overcoming the children's shouts, a half-worried voice rises:

- Look at, above the Dome of Goûter...

Instantaneously, hundreds of heads rise towards the sky in this direction.

A round, luminous, silent object moves slowly in direction of mount Lachat.

- It is a flying saucer, some state, not very reassured in the moment.

- It is a weather-balloon, answer others, skeptics.

But the most scientific are formal. They affirm:

- It is astral.

Immediately, the population divides into two.

Already, one directs binoculars on the snow-covered summits. Already, glasses, optical devices and telescopes scan the sky relentlessly.

Charmed at this unexpected spectacle, a compact crowd soon floods the streets.

The gendarmerie tries to calm the minds down while stating that it is simply a weather-balloon. But the gendarmes cannot know that the alleged weather-balloon moves against the wind!

An inhabitant, excited by an urge for patriotism, utters:

- See, there is blue, white and red.

Somebody sees the machine as large as one's thumb. Another describes it like as a small coin.

All in top of the city, at the entrance of the cable car of Brévent, the guardian of the telescope, Mrs. Pédrotti, studded at her tool, the eye stuck to the lens, is agitated and whispers:

- It's one of them... It is a saucer indeed!

Nobody will be able to calm down Mrs. Pedrotti!

In the bottom of Chamonix, sitting on a chair, his telescope perched on a table, Mr. Carrier, hotel owner, scoffs.

- It is merely a child's balloon, he says laughing.

Mr. Carrier does not believe in Mars nor in Martians for a second. Even if his hotel would be packed of these unknown visitors, he would refuse to believe...

The officers of the alpine military from the high mountain school also observe, but with calm, the phenomenon. For them this is by no means a weather-balloon but, putting aside the notion of the "saucers" - as too whimsical - they elect an astral display.

During four hours, the "round, luminous and silent object" will continue to drift slowly in the sky to finally disappear behind the pass of the Bonhomme.

In the course of the same afternoon, at a few kilometers from Chamonix, a pilot flying at 2000 meters of altitude sees from his cabin a luminous, round and flat object, slipping by at a vertiginous speed.

- By the time I directed my apparatus, the "thing" had already disappeared.

The "thing", as the aviator calls it, had neither wings, neither tail, neither rudders, nor wheels: it was round and flat like... a saucer.

To these phenomena of the sky which, for a few weeks, have multiplied at an accelerated rate, the scientific world opposes a circumspect silence. According to the astronomers, the event of Chamonix was merely an appearance of the planet Venus, visible in daylight, in clear weather, in the high mountain.

The pilot on the other hand, had seen, according to them, only a mere meteor.

[Captioned photograph:] Mr. Chol: "Using binoculars, I distinguished the object well. It had the shape of a bean, colored in red, blue and white..."

[Captioned photograph:] DUBOIS. - School's headmaster. Saw the phenomenon. It was, he says, a planet, because well, you know, saucers... well well!...

[Captioned photograph:] A CAPTAIN. - Officer at the school of high mountain, he does not want to give an official tone to the event...

[Captioned photograph:] GUIRON. - Airplane pilot, he did not believe in the saucers. Now, well, you know, he starts to wonder about this.

Below: picture related to this case from the article's front page:

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

The two authors note that on October 5, 1954 at an unspecified time in Chamonix in the department of Haute Savoie, a pilot observed a cigar and saucers.

[Ref. via1:] "VIMANA 21" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

TUESDAY OCTOBER 5: A "STRANGE APPARATUS" REPORTEDLY MOVED ABOVE MOUNT BLANC -

Chamonix - A very large number of people, with officers, gendarmes, pilot Guiron, flight specialist, flying over the region at this time, said they saw for over an hour, a brilliant craft move between Mount Lachat and Mount Blanc. The pilot reported flying about 2000 m above Faverges and saw a craft that had no resemblance to a normal aircraft. In addition, the direction followed at high speed by this craft excluded the hypothesis of a sounding balloon.

The source is said to be the newspaper Le Bien Public.

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH - "*U* COMPUTER DATABASE":

3915: 1954/10/02 20:00 60 6:50:00 E 45:55:00 N 3332 WEU FRN HSV 6:C

CHAMONIX+VALLEY,FR:SVRL 100 OBS:MTL OVOID HVRS/1hr:VBRITE:>>W XFAST:see DIEUZE

Ref# 30 FIGEUT[sic]&RUCHON: OVNI: Le 1er Dossier Page No. 107 : MOUNTAINS

[Ref. uma1:] DIDIER GOMEZ - "UFOMANIA":

This ufologist indicates that he found in the newspaper "Le Tarn Libre" for Friday, October 15, 1954, in the column "Events in France", this information:

"Many people, among whom an aiplane pilot, observed the flight, above the solid mass of the Mount Blanc, of a strange apparatus that they said had no resemblance to a plane."

[Ref. bug1:] JEAN PHILIPPE BUORD AND JEAN-JACQUES GABUT:

The authors indicate that on October 2, 1954, a mysterious shining machine was reported by hundreds of witnesses in Chamonix, floating in the sky during one hour.

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Haute Savoie in Chamonix on October 2, 1954 at 17:12 hours "Very numerous people, among them the officers of the school of high mountain, and the gendarmes of Chamonix, stated to have seen a shining machine move between mount Lachat and Mount Blanc."

The source is indicated as "UFOs at Close Sight by Gross Patrick ** http://ufologie.net" and "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 2 October 1954 at 20:00 in Chamonix, France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed at a mountain."

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

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

This database recoded this case 4 times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19540000 00.00.1954 Mt Lachat France
19541004 04.10.1954 Chamonix Mt. Lachat France NL
19541004 04.10.1954 Chamonix Mt. Lachat France NL
19541005 05.10.1954 Montblanc France

Explanations:

Not looked for yet.

Keywords:

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

Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, pilot, cigar, saucers, Mount Blanc, Gendarmes, Guiron, high, altitude, mountains, Mount Lachat, Faverges, fast, brillant, object, Pédrotti, Chol, Dubois

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross June 25, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 16, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 27, 2010 Addition [lcn1].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 4, 2010 Addition [lae1].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 29, 2010 Addition [ler1].
1.4 Patrick Gross October 19, 2011 Addition [bug1].
1.5 Patrick Gross October 13, 2016 Additions [uma1], [ubk1].
1.6 Patrick Gross February 17, 2017 Addition [lpv1].
1.7 Patrick Gross April 23, 2020 Additions [nmn1], [ads1], [via1], [lhh1].
1.8 Patrick Gross April 25, 2020 Addition [jps1].
1.9 Patrick Gross June 20, 2020 Addition [las1].

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