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The 1954 French flap:

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October 7, 1954, Montpezat, Lot-et-Garonne:

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

Summary:

In 1958, ufologist Aimé Michel had mentioned that on October 7, 1954, in Montpezat, an unidentified object had been reported in the second half of the night.

The same year, he indicated elsewhere that according to Combat for October 12, 1954, it was "a luminous, orange circle..."

He thought he had discovered that the observations of October 7, 1954, were placed on a network of lines in a star-shaped arragement with an observation in the center.

In 1963, "Michel Carrouges" - the writer Louis Couturier - spoke of the journey of two journalists from Samedi-Soir who staged displays of Martians and saucers with disguises and fireworks, to "demistify" the reports, and he pointed out that they had to drive by Varreye, on the road to Montpezat de Quercy.

It seems that no one made the connection - which remains questionable anyway since the journalists had not documented their socio-psychological "experiences".

In 1979, the "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker noted, without indicating a source, that there had been a "luminous phenomenon, plus clouds" on October 7, 1954, at 07:45 p.m., in "Montpezat-d'Agenais" in the Lot-et-Garonne department, and that the witness was "not found after investigation."

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, in Montpezat, a small village north of the City of Agen, an unidentified object has been reported in the second half of the night.

[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 by 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:

  • (2) From a Greek word meaning "stretched in a straight line".

[Ref. aml3:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel explained that since December 1957, he was convinced that the "alignments" of cases on straight lines, such as those of October 7, 1954, are inexplicable, or more exactly, that they can only be explained "by the reality of the flying saucers", and that his opinion "is also that of a large number of scientists, among whom several are world-renowned."

He published a map of these alignments for this date, indicating that all the observations of October 7, 1954, are reported there:

For the case of this file, he noted:

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

[Ref. mcs1:] MICHEL CARROUGES:

Michel Carrouges tells of the mystifications of two journalists of the Samedi-Soir weekly newspaper, according to their articles in this newspaper from October 21 to 27, 1954: these journalists left Paris by car, and went in the South, the areas of Cahors, Montauban and Toulouse, equipped with accessories such as divin suits, fireworks and various products of pyrotechnics, to play Martians.

The journalists concluded that all testimonys of flying saucers are stupidities and especially the testimonys of October 13, 1954, one by "Mr. Ott in Toulouse", anoother by Mr. Carcenac in Graulhet, in the Tarn and also that of Mr. Mitto on October 9 in the Tarn, but without naming him.

Carrouges considers it regrettable that what could have been an interesting experiment on the psychology of perception turned into a joke, and that the roads that they followed was given only very partially, the journalists not having specified any date. He also specifies that they actually did not give any proof of their effective passage in the localities they claim to have been in and, ultimately, it is not so outrageous to even wonder whether their reports were not completely made up.

He notes all the same that there are some photographs of witnesses whose good faith was fooled by the journalists in the articles and that it seems difficult that they were invented; that it can thus be admitted these journalists actually operated a round of hoaxes, but that its importance, the precise places and the exact hours are so lacunar that nothing certain can be concluded form the whole.

Michel Carrouges reconstitutes that they have apparently followed the road of Brive, Cahors, Montauban, Toulouse, stopping their car and putting on their disguise and shooting earthly fireworks from time to time at the following places: Pouzergues (in the south of Cahors), Varreye (on the road of Montpezat de Quercy), Montalzet (on main road 20), Saint-Gomhiez (between Fronton and Bouloc, on secondary road 4), from there, or from near there, they made a turn towards Graulhet, then returned at the entry of Toulouse, near the Blagnac airfield, and that thus any testimony on this route, and at this time, is suspect to be illusory.

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

258 -000.52191 44.34930 07 10 1954 02 00 2 MONTPEZAT D AGENAIS F 151 C** 238

[Ref. cca1:] FRANCOIS CARADEC AND NOEL ARNAUD:

These authors cite verbatiem what Michel Carrouges [mcs1] wrote about this case.

[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 Montpezat:

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

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

"Montpetaz-d'Agenais - 47 - 07:45 p.m.: untraceable witness after investigation. Luminous phenomenon, plus clouds."

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

3999: 1954/10/07 02:00 1 0:31:20 E 44:13:00 N 3333 WEU FRN L&G 5:9

MONTPEZAT d'AGENAIS+AGEN,FR:COP +7 OBS:LUMn CGR/SKY:NFD:date aprx

Ref# 49 MICHEL,Aime: FS & STRAIGHT LINE TH: Page No. 142 : MOUNTAINS

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Lot et Garonne in Montpezat on October 7, 1954, at an unknown hour, "an unidentified object is reported in the second half of the night."

Luc Chastan indicates that the source is "M.O.C. par Michel Aimé ** Arthaud 1958".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 14 October 1954 at 05:00 in Montpezat, 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. Explanation: EM."

The source is indicated as "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".

[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 Montpezat France 00.40 NL
19541007 07.10.1954 Montpezat France Morning
19541007 07.10.1954 Montpezat France 02.00
19541007 07.10.1954 Mont Pezat France

Explanations:

It so happens that the assertions of the two pranksters - journalists of Samedi-Soir offer at least one proof that they invented at least one of their mystification; this casting further doubt on the whole of their claims.

As a matter of fact, they claim that they were the pranksters that fooled Mr Ott, in Toulouse. However, if Toulouse was indeed on their claimed route, the observation of Mr. Ott by no means took place in Toulouse in the South but in Mulhouse, in the East, in Alsace, almost at the other end of France!

The mistrust of Michel Carrouges with regard to these claims of hoaxes by these journalists is thereby reinforced.

Keywords:

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

Montpezat, Lot-et-Garonne, object, night, nocturnal

Sources:

[----] indicates sources which I have not yet checked.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 22, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross May 6, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross June 24, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.2 Patrick Gross February 20, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.3 Patrick Gross October 13, 2019 Additions [aml2], [aml3], [cca1], [pis1], [lhh1], Summary.
1.4 Patrick Gross March 3, 2020 Addition [ppe1].

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