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The 1954 French flap:

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October 7, 1954, Marcillac-de-Blaye, Gironde:

Reference number for this case: 7-Oct-54-Marcillac. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The newspaper Sud-Ouest for October 9, 1954, and probably the newspaper Combat for October 12, 1954, reported a sighting of October 7, 1954, at 2 o'clock, in Marcillac in the Gironde.

Sud-Ouest said that Mr. Jeanty, a baker, saw during one minute a "craft in the shape of an inverted funnel", at an altitude of 70 meters, heading towards Bussac, that is to say the South-East.

Combat reportedly spoke of a "moderate pace".

In 1979, the "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker indicated that the witness is "not found after investigation", and that it "could not be found by the police at the request of the court."

Reports:

[Ref. ppe1:] "PARIS-PRESSE" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

THE "FLYING BELL" OF PONCEY

Three hypotheses:
saucer, hoax or
natural phenomenon

"We will have to clear up this matter..." said the gendarmerie commander

(From our special envoy Charles DAUZATS.)

DIJON, October 9.

"SEND the minutes relating to the mysterious traces of the Poncey-sur-l'Ignon phenomenon to Dijon, as a matter of urgency": such is the order sent yesterday by Major Viala to the investigators responsible for clarifying the enigma of the Côte-d'Or "flying bell".

- We need to clear this up, says the commander. Brigade reports will be forwarded to various authorities, the solution may depend on them. If one considers the facts reasonably, if one refers to the testimony of good people who, unfortunately, sin by their imprecision, or who, on the contrary, have formed an opinion after the fact, and mistook bladders from lanterns, we must, indeed, consider three possibilities:

"The first is this: one actually saw objects in the sky, but they could be helicopters. In our region, movements of such craft are not uncommon.

"Second possibility: the flying bell of Poncey, and its traces, are the work of pranksters. This hypothesis, I admit, hardly satisfies me.

"Finally, we must consider the hypothesis of an appearance of an extraterrestrial object."

At the Dijon Weathe stationr, the technicians saw nothing but very normal in the sky during the nights of Saturday and Monday.

Negative scientific reviews

At the Faculty of Science in Dijon, one submitted to Jaeger [sic, Geiger] a clod of grass taken from the meadow of Poncey-sur-l'Ignon where the bell-saucer was posed. No trace of radioactivity. No trace of metals either in another clod entrusted to the Institute of Geophysics.

The last word could remain with the airmen. General de Chassey, who commands the base in Dijon, received us.

"I have never seen a flying saucer, he tells us. But I know, from having tried the experiment, that it is possible to make very trained men believe in the presence of mysterious celestial things. One day, returning from Paris by plane, I saw under my aircraft a very curious optical phenomenon, due to the refraction of a pond on a cloud of mist. This mirage looked so much like a saucer turning in the atmosphere at 400 meters high that I alerted my mechanic who had not seen anything yet: "Look, slightly below us..." He remained dumbfounded for a moment, but, the plane passing vertically of it, he realized that he had been the toy of an illusion...

"Let's go back to the facts. Are these extraterrestrial craft? If they are piloted by beings from another world, these individuals are very little interested in knowing what is happening with us: each time we arrive, they leave. Their journey, then, is no longer understandable!

"New craft?... I affirm that if engineers had succeeded in developing them, that would be known in certain spheres at least.

Saucer psychosis

"Regarding the strange objects reported these days, I don't want to make any final judgment.

"I believe that in Côte-d'Or today there is a saucer psychosis, as in 39-40 there was, in France, a rocket psychosis.

"Certainly, there are some rather disturbing facts, in particular the case of three aviators from the 5th brigade, in Orange, who all saw a saucer, chased it until it disappeared behind the mountain.

*

Near Mulhouse, an SNCF employee, Mr. René Ott, who went to work early in the morning, said he had seen in a field a hemispherical dome lit inside. It was three meters from the road and one meter from the ground, Mr. Ott, going away - he was only half reassured - had time to see a door open in the "bell" that followed him for eight hundred meters.

The gendarmes did not find any traces in the field. They discovered, on the other hand, near Reims where a mechanic, Mr. Joseph Roi, saw a "cigar" or a flying gun shell. He was going home on the night of Wednesday to Thursday when he saw a bright gleam before him; he thought they were car headlights. Suddenly, the light went out and at the spot where he had seen it Mr. Roi distinguished at the edge of the road an odd object more than 3 meters long having the shape of a large gun shell pierced by portholes; at the front stood a vague silhouette which he could not define. The traces noted by the gendarmes will be examined.

Luminous globes were seen yesterday in Bournel (Lot-et-Garonne), in Montpezat-d'Agenais, in Cherbourg, in Orthez. A baker from Marcillac-de-Blaye saw a reversed funnel that flew at 70 meters.

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

French ufologist Aimé Michel reports that on October 7, 1954, at two 0'clock in the morning, in Marcillac-de-Blaye, near the end of the river Garonne, a baker, M. Guy Janty, who was at work, went outside to get some fresh air because the oven was hot.

He saw a luminous object appearing in the north-west. The object crossed the western part of the sky at an altitude he estimated as being approximately 70 meters. The object moved at a moderate pace and was lost from sight towards the south-east in the direction of Bussac.

[Ref. aml2:] AIME MICHEL:

[...]

As of 2 October, the number of daily observations is increasing dramatically. On October 3, there are hundreds, and probably thousands of "witnesses". And the places of observation continue to line up, forming very characteristic networks whose layout evokes a spider's web, with a sort of star-shaped center from which most of the straight lines radiate. A large proportion of cases are also located on several different alignments (at their intersection).

An example of this complex and rigorous provision is offered by the observations of October 7 (see map).

That day, on the territory of France, hundreds of "testimonies" make it possible to plot 23 observation places, of which only one is erratic, in the area of ??Toulouse. The other 22 are organized in 17 alignments:

- One seven spots line: Cherbourg; La Ferte-Macé; Saint-Jean-d'Assé; National 23, east of Le Mans; Lavenay; Montlevic; and finally Cassis.

- Three lines of four spots:

a) Marcillac; Puymoyen; Montlevic; Corbigny.

b) Isles-sur-Suippe; Montlevic; Bournel; Montpezat.

c) Saint-Savinien; Saint-Plantaire; Montlevic; Jettingen.

Finally, thirteen alignments of three spots. One can, at first glance, wonder whether three-spot alignments require an explanation other than chance. But on reflection, chance turns out to be insufficient. Indeed:

  1. On the map to the millionth used for this study, the accuracy of the alignments is of the order of a millimeter, equivalent to one kilometer, for distances sometimes exceeding 1000 kilometers;
  2. But above all, it must be emphasized that most of the spots are at the same time on several alignments (At their intersections): when one plots two spots on a surface, one gets a straight line; if four points are plotted, one gets six lines (the sides of a quadrilateral and its diagonals), determining, in addition to the four primitive spots, three spots of intersection at most; therefore, if one plots three new spots at random, what is the chance for these spots to intersect? Virtually none. The realization by chance of such a provision is therefore highly improbable. If coincidence happens regularly every day for weeks, the chance explanation becomes almost impossible.
  3. Finally (and this is perhaps the most troubling part of the case), how can it be explained by chance that this provision lasts only 24 hours?

In-depth analysis of all these alignments is beyond the scope of an article. A glance at the corresponding map is more eloquent than a long speech. We discover this feature, which I have tentatively called "orthoteny" (2), until further studies allow, if necessary, to relate it to some phenomenon already known and provided with a name existing in the dictionary.

Provisionally, therefore, the "orthoteny" is the rectilinear disposition, generating networks, of the vast majority of flying saucer observations of the Fall of 1954. This arrangement is so surprising that one must, a priori to adopt a systematic distrust about it. Before recognizing it for a real event, one must consider every possible means to reject it.

On October 7, 1954, France is furrowed with observations in a straight line

1. CHERBOURG ...One saw luminous globes! (Paris-Presse - 10-10-1954)

2. DUCLAIR ...Mr. X, blinded y a luminous beam, reopened the eyes, saw a ball that disappeared in a few minutes. (Parisien Libéré - 9-10-54)

3. ISLES-SUR-SUIPPES ...on the edge of the road, an object of more than 3 m in length like a big shell pierced with portholes... (Paris-Presse - 10-10-54)

4. PLOZEVET ...sharp gleam, dense smoke... (France-Soir - 10-10-54)

5. SAINT-BIHY ...luminous globes... (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

6. LA FERTÉ-MACÉ ...a mysterious craft, which was rising vertically, leaving behind itself a white trail... (Black out sur les soucoupes volantes, Jimmy Guieu, Fleuve Noir publishers)

7. HENNEZIES ...A "spaceship" and its occupants seen by two children... Egg-shaped object, red, the top pointed at the yky... (Black out sur les soucoupes volantes, Jimmy Guieu, Fleuve Noir publishers)

8. SAINT-ÉTIENNE ...three craft produced a violent white light; - one of the craft was round like a saucer, the two other elongated like cigars. (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

9. SAINT-JEAN-D'ASSÉ ...a gleam of an intense blue color.. (Aurore - 9-10-54)

10. BALLON ...stars as big as the Moon (sic!). (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

11. LAVENAY ...a flying egg... (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

12. DORDIVES ...a weird object... (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

13. CHALETTE ...an oval-shaped luminous craft. (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

14. LES AUBIERS ...a red disc... (France-Soir - 9-10-54)

15. CORBIGNY Craft of cylindrical shapes, emitting red-orange gleams when they were horizontal and of a dazzling white when they rose vertically. (Aurore -8-10-54)

16. BERUGES ...a lighted mushroom... (France-Soir - 10-10-54)

17. SAINT-SAVINIEN ...a luminous disc. (Sud-Ouest - 14-10-54)

18. SAINT-PLANTAIRE

19. MONTLEVIC ...saucers, cigars, luminous globes and flying discs... (Paris-Presse - 9-10-54)

20. JETTINGEN ...a half-spherical cupola. (France-Soir - 10-10-54)

21. PUYMOYEN ...A the place where a saucer had landed, twelve samll heaps of ash in the middle of a 1,50 m circle and, among the ashes, small sticks... (Paris-Presse - 9-10-54)

22. MARCILLAC ...shape of inverted funnel. (Combat - 12-10-54)

23. BOURNEL ...circular shape... (Combat - 12-10-54)

24. MONTPEZAT ...a luminous circle, orange-colored... (Combat - 12-10-54)

25. BEAUVOIR ...a mysterious craft flying at a rather slow pace. (Parisien Libéré - 9-10-54)

26. MONTEUX ...a phosphorescent craft and of 2,50 m height... (local Press - oct. 54)

27. BOMPAS ...a formation of saucers... (Black out sur les soucoupes volantes, Jimmy Guieu, Fleuve Noir publishers)

28. CASSIS ...the object, which seemed to be in aluminum, was very shiny. (Provençal)

Alignments exist. What do they mean? This is a mystery...

The case file is not faked

First question to ask: Is it true that the observation spots are aligned as this article claims?

To check this, just look for the spots in question on a chosen map in such a way that the lines of the map correspond as exactly as possible to the great terrestrial circles in the considered place. For France, it is the millionth map, Bonne projection, in the trade by Michelin (Michelin map nr 989). Ones locates the spots by looking for them in a dictionary of the communes, for example that of Berger-Levrault.

Second question: did the author invent all or part of these observations in order to find alignments? To enable researchers to answer this question, I have used in my research only observations that were already made public.

Third question: Did the author choose the observations that are aligned, creating a phenomenon that would not exist if other unreported observations restored the disorder of chance?

Of course, I cannot hope to know all the sightings because many of the witnesses did not say anything. But I used in my work all observations made public, as one can check by studying my book. To prepare the maps, I therefore only used published cases, and I used them all. There was no invention, no selection. Anyone can completely redo the work I did: one only needs to consult the collection of newspapers of the time, taking care though, however, of dates, not of the newspapers publication of course, but of the reported phenomena.

We come to the most delicate aspect of the problem posed by these strange alignments. What do they mean?

I have shown in detail the results of my research to several prominent scientists, including two Masters of Research at the C.N.R.S. It is very unfortunate that orthotenia is linked to the "saucer phenomenon", so discredited, because all these scientists, whom I cannot name, are now convinced that the alignments show a real and original phenomenon.

Real, that is, objectively taking place in space, not in the imagination of the witnesses.

Original, that is, not related to anything known so far. Neither airplanes, sounding balloons, sundogs, meteors, lightning bolts, nor hallucinations, lies, and facetious inventions are observed along lines forming networks. It is something else. What is it?

In my opinion, we are not close to knowing it. But perhaps the demonstration of the geometric superstructure revealed by the wave of 1954 will finally incite a greater number of scientists to worry about it. Allow me to express the wish here. Personally, the discredit that is attached to this research begins to put me down. It is overwhelming in the long run to have my curiosity viewed like a sin.

Aimé Michel

Note:

[Ref. aml3:] AIME MICHEL - "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT":

This ufologist listed:

22. MARCILLAC: shape of funnel turned upside down. (Combat for 10/12/54).

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

256 +000.52478 45.27000 07 10 1954 02 00 1 MARCILLAC DE BLAYE F 1511 C** 237

[Ref. fle1:] FERNAND LAGARDE:

The ufologist Fernand Lagarde believed he found a connection between the locations of UFO sightings and the locations of earthquakes or geological faults.

He published a map centered on the Charente-Maritime department, with parts of the surrounding departments, with these cases (his list is incomplete) represented, all dates October 1954:

"N 150 between Saintes and Royan 10.54"
"Taupignac 10.54"
"Pont L'Abbé 10.54"
"St Savinien 10.54"
"Birac 10.54"
"Soudran 10.54"
"Tourriers 10.54"
"Angouleme 10.54"
"Puymoyen 10.54"
"Marcillac 10.54"
"Nessier 10.54"
"Béruge 10.54"
"Lusignan 10.54"
"St Maixent 10.54"
"Niort 10.54"
"La Rochelle 10.54"
"Angles 10.54"
"Luçon 10.54"

Map by Fernand Lagarde

[Ref. fle2:] FERNAND LAGARDE:

Fernand Lagarde states that "Soudran [sic] and Marcillac, without indications, are on recent sedimentary grounds."

[Ref. pis1:] "PHENOMENES INCONNUS" UFOLOGY BULLETIN:

This ufology bulletin published a map supposed to show alignements of cases of October 7, 1954, and it included a cas in Marcillac:

[Ref. ous1:] "OURANOS" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE:

October 7, 1954 2 o'clock Marcillac BA V3

Witness: Mr. Jeanty, baker. Machine shaped like an inverted funnel, 70 meters above sea level heading towards Bussac (S.E.). Duration 1 min.

S.O. Oct. 9, 54

[Ref. jpr1:] JACQUES POTTIER:

The author indicates that on October 7, 1954, luminous discs, landing or not landing, were reported among other places in Marcillac.

The author says that the 28 places of observations [The author indicates 9 of them] formed all spots that were aligned "along a line with a precision of one millimeter." He further adds that these observations spread on "straight lines, which while crossing, drew curious geometrical star figures", and that "alignments seemed to begin around one hour in the morning, covering our areas of a tight network of investigations of unknown origin."

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

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

"Marcillac-de-Blaye - 33 - 2 h: witness untraceable after investigation. Coud not be found by the gendarmerie on court request.

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

The two authors indicate that in Marcillac in the Gironde, on October 7, 1954 at 2 o'clock in the morning, a baker observed a craft in the shape of a funnel turned upside down at 70 meters of altitude.

The authors indicate that the source is Sud Ouest for October 9, 1954.

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

4000: 1954/10/07 02:00 1 0:31:20 W 45:16:20 N 3333 WEU FRN GRN 8:7

MARCILLAC de BLAYE,FR:FUNNEL-SHAPE UFO NE>>SW/70M ALT::8OCT CASSEROLE-UFO SEEN

Ref# 30 FIGEUT[sic]&RUCHON: OVNI: Le 1er Dossier Page No. 133 : FARMLANDS

[Ref. goe1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that on October 7, 1954, in Marcillac (the Gironde), "Around 2 hours of the morning, a baker observes a machine in the shape of reversed funnel, at 70 m. of altitude."

She indicates that the source is "M. FIGUET/ J.L. RUCHON: 'Ovni, Premier dossier complet...' Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 133."

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Gironde in Marcillac, on October 7, 1954, "a baker who was at work comes outside to refresh himself because of the heat of his bakehouse. He sees a luminous object appear towards the North-West. The object crosses the western sector of the sky at low altitude, approximately at 70 meters according to what the witness estimates. The object moves at moderate pace and is lost from sight towards the south-east in the direction of Bussac. The object is described has being in the shape of a reversed funnel."

Luc Chastan indicates that the sources are "M.O.C. by Michel Aimé ** Arthaud 1958" and "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 7 October 1954 at 02:00 in Marcillac De Blaye, France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed by one witness on a farm (Jeanty)."

The sources are indicated as Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; 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); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

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

This database recorded 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
19541007 07.10.1954 Marcillac Blaye France 02.00 NL
19541007 07.10.1954 Marcillac Blaye France 02.00 NL
19541007 07.10.1954 Marcillac France 02.00
19541007 07.10.1954 Marcillac France

Explanations:

Barthel and Brucker, as almost always, say too much or not enough. One gets the impression to read a kind of innuendo that the witness would be a criminal on the run...

The report is too poor for a solid evaluation. Was the "70 meter" altitude well established, or just an impression? No distance is given either. The funnel shape could be reminiscent of a meteor, were it not "upside down"; which can be understood as with the "tube" at the top.

Keywords:

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

Marcillac, Marcillac-de-Blaye, Gironde, object, light, luminous, low, slow, night, nocturnal, funnel

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 24, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross May 6, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [goe1], [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 28, 2010 Addition [jpr1].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 24, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.3 Patrick Gross February 20, 2017. Addition [ubk1].
1.4 Patrick Gross December 26, 2018 Additions [aml3], [ous1], Summary.
1.5 Patrick Gross August 22, 2019 Additions [aml2], [fle1], [fle2], [lhh1].
1.6 Patrick Gross October 9, 2019 Additions [aml2], [pis1].
1.7 Patrick Gross March 3, 2020 Addition [ppe1].

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