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The 1954 French flap:

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October 7, 1954, La Croix Saint-Ouen, Oise:

Reference for this case: 7-Oct-54-La-Croix-Saint-Ouen.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


At the end of the Sixties, Claude Poher, of the ufology group GEPA, who later was the head of the official group of ufology GEPAN, had listed in numerical data-processing form an observation on October 7, 1954, at 09:00 a.m. in La Croix Saint-Ouen in the Oise. His listing only contained sightings with an official source or having been the subject of official reporting.

In 1979, ufologists Gerard Barthel and Jacques Brucker, in their book "La Grande Peur Martienne", supposed to prove that the saucers of the 1954 French flap were all mistakes or hoaxes, told for the case to October 7, 1954, in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen in the Oise at 8:45 a.m, that their investigation - of which they say nothing - made them conclude that this was a "very short phenomenon"; about which they say nothing either. The may have mixed this observation with another one in the same city the next day at 11:30 p.m., the latter having been very short.

Later, two sources of the web listed it: Luc Chastan said the thing was "at less than 1000 meters" and moved in straight line; the German database "UFO Datenbank" only gives the date, the city, and the hour.

Then in 2014 the French official group of study of the "Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena" (UAP), the GEIPAN, published the short gendarmerie message about this observation.

It said that a man and a young lady both of the La Croix Saint-Ouen - their names were withdrawn from the publication - had seen a "machine" at the vertical of the bell-tower of the church La Croix Saint-Ouen, moving from the South-East towards the North-East, at an estimated altitude of 400 meters approximately.

The machine was of oval-shaped, of a very brilliant "aluminum" color.

The duration of observation had been given as one minute.

GEIPAN noted in their file for this observation that the data is meager, that it could have been for example a reflection of sun on a plane, a balloon, or a meteor.




Origin: Gendarmerie Oise
Source: Message
Value: C/3
Date: 10/11/1954

On October 7, 1954, at 9 o'clock [a.m.] a machine was seen at the vertical of the Bell-tower of la Croix St. Ouen, direction of move south-east/north-east, at an altitude of 400 meters approximately. The duration of observation was one minute. The machine was of oval form, very brilliant "aluminum" color. 2 people saw it: Miss [-] and Mr. [-] of la Croix St. Ouen.

On October 8, 1954, at 11:30 p.m., a machine was seen at the vertical of the electric Center of la Croix St. Ouen, direction of move east/west. The duration of the observation was of a few seconds. The machine was in the shape of a circle, luminous. 4 people saw it: MM [ - ], [ - ], [ - ], and [ ].

Note: this document was made public by the GEIPAN - see [gei1] below.


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 note 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:0613550710195409001JA2100010340014ZZZZ120000100000000000000000000000000000000000
Location:Croix St Ouen (Oise) - France
Case number:0613
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:2 = 2
Main witness named:1 = name(s) indicated
Main witness age:0 = no indication
Main witness occupation:0 = no indication
Official investigation:1 = an official investigation was made
Weather:0 = no indication
Duration:3 = from 10 to 59 seconds
Minimal distance witness - phenomenon:4 = from 151 to 999 m
Method of observation:0 = no indication
Number of "objects" observed simultaneously:01 = 1
Shape of the "object" (terminology of witness(es)):4 = oval, egg, ovoid, "like a rugby ball"
Dimensions of the phenomenon:ZZZZ = no indication
Color of the observed phenomenon:12 = metallic, silver, polished aluminum
Luminosity of the phenomenon:0 = no indication
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:1 = straight line or very wide curve
Sounds perceived during observation:0 = no indication
Maximum angular height of observation (horizon = 0°):0 = no indication
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: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


The two authors note this case of October 7, 1954:

"Lacroix-Saint-Ouen - 60 - 08:45 a.m.: investigation. Very brief phenomenon."

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Oise in Lacroix St Ouen on October 7, 1954, at 09:00 hours, "Two witnesses observed during 1 minute at most and at less than 1000 meters, an ovoid object of metal color which moved in straight line."

Luc Chastan indicates that the source is "Les Universons par Poher Claude **".


LACROIX-SAINT-OUEN (60) 10/07/1954
Observed on: 10/07/1954
Region : Picardie
Department : Oise
Class: C
Summary: Observations of the displacement of an oval-shaped machine of very shining aluminum color in the sky: not enough information.
Description :

On October 7, 1954, at 9, two people see at the vertical of the bell-tower of the church a machine of oval shape shining aluminum color. The machine moves SE-NW. The duration of observation is one minute.

This observation is the subject of a brief information sheet by the national gendarmerie.

This type of observation can have various origins (sun reflection on a plane, balloon, bolide...). The GEIPAN classifies this case C for lack of information.

Report: None.

Details of the testimony
Date of the observation 07-10-1954
Document number
Age Adult (more than 18)
Profession Not-specified
Sex Male
Reaction Active curiosity
Credibility Normal credibility
Environement Urban landscape
Weather conditions Not-specified
Hour of the observation Numbered: 8 - 10 o'clock
Reference frame Sky or clouds
Distance between the phenomenon and he witness Not-specified
Start of the observation Start of observation by witness
End of the observation End of observation by phenomenon
Angle of the site Numbered;Not-specified
Direction of observation South-East
Heading North-East
Trajectory Not-specified;Not-specified
Nature of the observation Craft
Characteristic of the observation Unique
Global shape Oval, rugby ball
Color Other (other colors)
Apparent size Not-specified
Apparent speed Not-specified
Noise Not-specified
Effect on the environment Not-specified
Number 1

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

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541007 07.10.1954 Croix St. Ouen France 09.00



The data is insufficient, and the suggestions of the GEIPAN are relevant: balloon, sun reflection on a plane, meteor... are all possible.


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

La Croix Saint-Ouen, Lacroix Saint-Ouen, Oise, silver, shining, egg, ovoid, oval, craft, day, gendarmerie, duration


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross January 16, 2006 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross May 1, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross December 19, 2016 Additions [gen1], [gei1], [ubk1]. Addition of the Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet. Possible meteor."

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This page was last updated on December 19, 2016.