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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 6, 1954, Murs-Erigné, Maine-et-Loire:

Reference number for this case: 6-Oct-54-Murs-Erigné. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper La Nouvelle République du Centre Ouest for October 8, 1954, reported on page 8 that a young farmer, Mr. Pirault, found himself, according to what he said to the newspaper, at the end of a dirt road, in the presence of a mysterious craft surrounded by a dozen small red lights and which gave off an intense light.

The craft looked like a kind of sidecar, more than 3 meters high and elongated. Frightened, the farmer fled on his bicycle to his home. When he came back to the place with his father, he noticed that the clover of the path had been trod on a certain extent.

The newspaper added that two neighbors had seen at the same hour a strange phenomenon in the sky. It was, they said, like a cloud rolling on itself and changing color uninterruptedly.

In 1979, the two "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker reproduced this article, provided a meaningless comment and said that "the case of Frégné" is a good example of the flying saucers nonsense in the press of the time.

They suggested that if it had the shape of a motorcycle with a sidecar, it was because it was really a motorcycle with a sidecar, at the same time assuring that the object might not have had this shape, because the press of the time may have distorted the story.

In 1997, in his book on the French wave of 1954, French ufologist and author Jean Sider noted from the same article in the newspaper La Nouvelle République du Centre Ouest, that on October 6, 1954, at Murs-Erigné, near Angers in the Maine-et-Loire, a Mr. Pirault witnessed a case of landing trace of a "sidecar-shaped craft" in which clover has been trod on some extent.

He gave the following details from the newspaper, in another chapter of his book:

On Wednesday, October 6, 1954, around 08:00 p.m., in Erigné near Angers, Maine-et-Loire, the young farmer Pirault found himself at the end of a dirt road, in the presence of a mysterious craft surrounded by small red lights, which gave off an intense heat.

The machine looked like a kind of sidecar, two meters high and very elongated. He was scared and fled home on his bike.

When he returned to the scene with his father, he noticed that the clover of the road had been trod on some extent.

At the same time, two neighbors had seen a strange phenomenon in the sky. They said it was like a cloud rolling on itself and changing color continuously.

Reports:

[Ref. nrc1:] "LA NOUVELLE REPUBLIQUE DU CENTRE-OUEST" NEWSPAPER:

A young farmer, Mr Pirault, was, he told us, at the exit of a dirt track, in the presence of a mysterious machine surrounded by ten small red lights and which released an intense light. The machine resembled a kind of motorcycle with a side-car, high of more than 3 meters and of elongated shape. Frightened, the farmer flees on his bicycle until home. When he reconsidered the location, accompanied by his father, he noticed that the clover of the path had been pressed on a certain extent. Two neighbors saw at the same hour a strange phenomenon in the sky. It was, they stated, like a cloud on fire rolling on itself and changing color in an uninterrupted manner.

[Ref. bbr1:] GERARD BARTHEL AND JACQUES BRUCKER:

The two authors reproduce the article by the newspaper La Nouvelle République du Centre-Ouest for October 8, 1954, indicating that "the case of Frégné" is a good example of the flying saucer nonsense in the 1954 French Press.

They suggest that one must wonder what suggested the side-car shape, that it may not have had this particular shape, that the Press of the time may have deformed the story.

They say that the witness interrogation can provide the answer: it had the shape of a motorcycle with a side-car because it really was a motorcycle with a side-car. Also, they wonder why a "newspaper should have published that a witness X or Y saw the moon? It's stupid." They add that ufologists "confuse the potential witnesses that we all are" and that this is how "such abberrations have survived."

[Ref. jsr1:] JEAN SIDER:

In his book on the 1954 aucer flap, the French ufologist and author Jean Sider notes, from an article of the newspaper La Nouvelle République du Centre-Ouest, that on October 6, 1954, in Murs-Erigné, close to Angers in the Maine-et-Loire, Mr. Pirault is ivolved in an affair of landing traces of a "machine in the shape of motorcycle side-car" in which clover was pressed on a certain surface.

He provides the following detail published in the newspaper, in another chapter of its book:

On Wednesday, October 6, 1954, at approximately 08:00 p.m., in Erigné near Angers, in the department of the Maine-et-Loire, the young farmer Pirault was at the exit of a dirt track, and came in the presence of a mysterious machine surrounded by small red lights, which released an intense heat.

The machine resembled a kind of motorcycle with a side-car, high of two meters and of very elongated shape. He was frightened and fled on his bicycle until he was home.

When he came back at the location in company of his father, he noticed that the clover of the path had been pressed on a certain extent.

At the same hour, two neighbors had seen a strange phenomenon in the sky. They declared that it was like a traveling cloud on fire rolling on itself and changing color in an uninterrupted manner.

Jean Sider indicates that the counter-investigation by Barthel and Brucker on the case is "imaginary."

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

3992: 1954/10/06 20:00 1 0:31:20 W 47:24:00 N 3333 WEU FRN M&L 7:6

MURS-ERIGNE,FR:1 OBS:2M TALL 'ELONGATED SIDE-CAR' UP CLOSE:CLOVER CRUSHED

Ref#194 LUMIERES dans la NUIT.(LDLN France) Issue No. 319 : FARMLANDS

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Maine at Loire in Murs Erigné on October 6, 1954 at an unknown hour a witness observes a trace of landing of a "craft in the shape of side-car motorcycle" in which clover was flattened on a certain surface.

Luc Chastan indicates that the source is my website at http://ufologie.net.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 6 October 1954 at 20:00 in Murs-Erigne, France, "2m tall 'elongated side car' up close. Clover crushed. An object was observed. Traces found. One elongated object, about 10 feet across, was observed by one witness on a farm for over one minute (Laroche)."

[Note: the witness name is not Laroche. The Laroches are the witnesses of the Chantonnay case.]

The sources are listed as "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); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002".

Explanations:

If Bartel and Brucker had thought a bit, they would have understood that the witnesses and / or the newspaper said "a sidecar shape", and not "a shape of motorcycle and side car". This is obviously not the same thing.

If Sider had read Barthel and Brucker well, he would not have said that their investigation was imaginary, since Barthel and Brucker obviously did not investigate, but just commented.

As for what was seen it may have been a helicopter, a farming machine, or an extraterrestrial craft.

Keywords:

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

Murs-Erigné, Maine-et-Loire, Angers, trace, field, Pirault

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 28, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 20, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross October 6, 2019 Additions [lhh1], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."

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This page was last updated on October 6, 2019.