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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 7, 1954, Saint-Blimont, Somme:

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

Reports:

[Ref. cpd1:] NEWSPAPER "LE COURRIER PICARD":

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A "saucer" fell down
on the ground near Saint-Blimont

But it was only a balloon of the
British meteorology

Every day has its "saucers", his "cigars" and other mysterious flying machines, seen here and there in the sky of our Picardy, not to mention other regions of France and elsewhere.

The most prudent circumspection imposing itself in this case, we will confine ourselves to mentioning, here, written or oral testimonies collected at various spots of the department, although some of these testimonies are apparently likely to arouse amused skepticism.

That said, it must be recognized that there is no smoke without fire, no "saucer", no "cup" or "croissants", usual accessories for the breakfast of the average Frenchman.

[Photo caption:] The fake "saucer" of Saint-Blimont. The meteorological device placed on the ground is surmounted by the frame supporting the parachute.

Admittedly, irony is easy in a matter which can come from the domain of unknown science, as from the simplest mystification, if not from collective suggestion.

However, there remains the fact that people, perfectly trustworthy and offering all the mental guarantees, were able to contemplate unusual apparitions which have also greatly impressed them.

So let us be careful not to conclude by stating that all the testimonies collected, without exception, are genuinely founded, as by saying that none is absolutely valid.

The last twenty-four hours have brought to the editorial staff of "Le Courrier Picard", the now usual windfall of more or less fugitive vision, more or less clear, more or less colored with meteoric craft.

In Saint-Blimont

One of these reports promised to be sensational.

Was it not, for the first time, the fall of a saucer that crashed on the ground near Saint-Blimont?

Some cultivators and workers in this commune having seen descend and land in a field, a "bizarre device", which emitted gleams, promptly alerted, Mr. Raymond Bouchet, head of grater.

The latter went on the spot to note immediately that the extraordinary machine was quite simply a kind of sounding-balloon belonging to the services of British Meteorology.

Helped by Mr. Gaston Lecomte, farmer, Mr. Bouchet carried the device - very damaged by the fall - in his office where he examined it at leisure.

Mr. Bouchet very complacently described the machine, essentially consisting of a balloon (exploded) of about four to five meters in diameter, a parachute mounted on a frame of aluminum tubes, in the shape of a cross, all retaining, by a ten meter wire, the meteorological device itself; which bore the mention of its origin as well as a card to be sent - in case of loss - to the Royal Meteorological Service of Great Britain.

As for the gleams seen, they are explained by the reflections of the sun on the aluminum tubes and the three spoon blades, activated by the winds.

Mr. Bouchet told us that the parts attached to the device were sent by him to the director of the Headstone Drive Meteorological Office, in Harrow (Middlesex).

Thus, the residents of Saint-Blimont, who thought they were the first Earthmen to actually have a special shipment from the planet Mars, had to resign themselves to a more... down to earth reality.

In Nouvion-en-Ponthieu

However in this same region of Abbeville, another appearance which dates back to Wednesday evening, around 6:00 p.m., was observed by a resident of Nouvion-en-Ponthieu, Mrs. Barotte, who was hanging out laundry in her yard. She perceived, she said, in the sky an object in the shape of a cigar reflecting various hues (red, orange, silver, etc ...)

Mrs. Barotte immediately called her neighbor, Mrs. Crouy, manager of a grocery store, and both distinctly saw the craft moving at low speed from East to West, that is to say towards the sea. They could follow it with their eyes until a cloud concealed it from them.

***

Another Picard, but who hasn't seen anything like that - at least not yet - writes to us from Fouilloy, to inform us of the existence of interesting documentation about the unknown flying machines. It is found in two issues of a magazine. One is from July 1950 and contains an article titled "Flying Saucers and Cigars", signed by Henry Taylor, journalist and radio commentator, who gives personal explanations on the origin of these craft, their contexture, etc...

Unfortunately, the other article published in August 1952, under the title: "Are we being watched by other planets", and the signature of H. Darrach and Robert Ginna, opposes a formal denial to the first, revealing in particular that flying saucers were observed for the first time... in 1882.

All this, which is doubtless only anticipation speculation, hardly advances us and the problem remains posed.

It will remain so until the day when - everything is possible - the mysterious hairy air travelers and orange corsets wearers will agree to exchange impressions with us, instead of scurrying vertically when a terrorized Eartham approaches them.

[Ref. reu1:] REUTERS NEWS AGENCY:

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Meanwhile, a flying saucer reported to have crashed near Abbeville turned out to be a meteorological balloon used by the British Royal Air Force. It had burst upon touching the ground.

[Ref. lln1:] "LE LORRAIN" NEWSPAPER:

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THE "FLYING SAUCERS"

Pose many puzzles

NOW, CARS STOP

PARIS. - The "flying saucers" continue.

They are reported everywhere. And now, they are mingling to stop the engines.

In Le Mans a milk collector, Mr. Alexandre Tremblais, who was riding his truck on the small road near Saint-Jean-d'Assé (the Sarthe), suddenly noticed that the engine of his vehicle stopped and that the headlights extinguished.

M. Tremblais got out of his truck to see a red and blue luminous cigar, one meter long, disappearing on the horizon. A few minutes later, the engine started again and the headlights functioned again.

In Nancy, a true skeptic, Mr. Georges Bou, a 30-year-old driver at Sarrebruk [sic, Sarrebourg], was traveling on National Road 3 between Morsbach and Forbach when he saw a thick wide shadow blocking the road. He stopped, got out of his cabin, thinking of an accident. But he realized that he was stopped by a saucer. It was nine meters in diameter and about four meters high. It was illuminated by several light beams directed towards the ground.

The driver approached the strange device. Suddenly, the latter took off vertically, marked a pause at ten meters, then moved away very quickly.

The gendarmerie Captain Bohler went to the scene today with Mr. Bou. But he could not find any traces.

In the Island of Ré, Mr. Simonnetti said he saw a luminous sphere about 12 meters in diameter, which oscillated about fifty meters from the ground.

The sphere, he said, became red, turned blue and rose very quickly vertically.

Two other residents and two Parisians on vacation have confirmed.

At Duclair (Seine-Inf.), Mr. Landrin, a water attendant who was walking with his wife, was blinded by a light beam. When he opened his eyes, he said, he saw a ball disappear a few minutes later.

- Near Reims, a mechanic of the Panhard factories, Mr. Joseph Roy, 30, saw near the Isles-sur-Suippe a cigar posed on the ground, resembling according to his description to that of Marignane. Witnesses around have confirmed.

At la Montagne-de-Béruges (the Vienne), a farmer, Mr. Edouard Thébault, observed in his field an enormous luminous machine.

A few minutes later the craft was extinguished and a huge headlight swept the road, and when the witness returned with his father he had fetched, everything had disappeared.

- Several fishermen and the whole family of a fish dealer saw in the sky, in Plozevet (Finistère), a bright glow surrounded by dense smoke. This gleam, at first motionless, came towards them at an altitude of about ten meters. It had the appearance of an orange sphere.

- A whistling machine, gray in color, stood for a moment about 100 meters from Chassevreuil (Indre). The craft went off at a brisk pace, leaving behind it like a fog.

In the same commune, a young man saw a luminous red-orange machine that moved in a north-south direction.

- An aluminum half-spherical dome, illuminated inside, which was about three meters from the road and one meter from the ground, was seen in Jettingen (Haut-Rhin) by Mr. René Ott, an employee of the S.N.C.F. [national railyway company]. Frightened, Mr. Ott fled. He had, however, had the time to notice that a door was opening in the apparatus. The latter moved above him for a distance of 800 meters before disappearing. The gendarmes found no trace.

- A silent machine, moving like a spinning top, was seen in Calais, above the municipal theater, by a peacekeeper, a hairdresser, a taxi driver and a butcher. It moved away towards the sea.

- A flying saucer rising noiselessly vertically was seen at Vigneux (Seine-et-Oise) by Mr. Marais yesterday at 9 p.m.. It was luminous and had portholes.

THE EXPLODED SAUCER OF SAINT-VALERY-SUR-SOMME WAS ONLY A SOUNDING-BALLOON OF THE R.A.F.

ABBEVILLE. "Another false saucer!" The mysterious craft which broke out in the Picardy sky, and whose debris was scattered in a pasture at Boismont, near Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, was but a balloon.

The inhabitants of the region, fearing the famous "paralyzing" green ray, dared not approach the debris. Only Mr. Raymond Boucher, a sugar worker, had the courage to come and contemplate the saucer. It was more simply a balloon used by the meteorological services of the Royal Air Force which, by touching the ground, had burst noisily.

VIENNA. - Thousands of people saw yesterday a formation of flying saucers above Ried, flying from east to west.

THE OPINION OF A SCIENTIST

Asked about cars that stop, said:

- saucers or not saucers, it is necessary to consider as true the information that arrives at this moment. With regard to the sudden stop of engines at the passage of these craft, we must admit the presence and action of unknown rays. This does not mean that these rays have an extraterrestrial origin. Do you remember that famous Z ray, which was talked about so much before the last war? During the hostilities, the belligerents further perfected the process. I saw personally, some fifteen years ago, experiments in laboratories where electric rays ignited at distances of a few meters paper or other combustible materials.

[Ref. me1:] ALEXANDER MEBANE:

Late ufologist Alex Mebane used to translate French newspaper articles about flying saucers; which got archive in the USAF Project Blue Book archive.

Under his translation of an article in Le Courrier Picard for October 8, 1954, he noted:

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(Omitted: first portion of the article, describing British weather balloon which came down at Saint-Blimont and was taken for the wreckage of a flying saucer.)

[Ref. ale1:] "ABBEVILLE LIBRE" NEWSPAPER:

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Alert! A flying saucer
would have broken out in St-Blimont
and it was just a weather balloon

For several weeks now, there has been no noise other than saucers, cigars, luminous craft, throughout France and in particular in our region.

One seems to be having fun with these little "tricks", which some take seriously, while others remain skeptical.

News that seemed sensational came from the village of St-Blimont, in the canton of St-Valery.

Some farmers and workers in this town, having seen a "bizarre device" come down and land in a field, which emitted gleams, went to warn Mr. Raymond Bouchet, head of the grater.

The latter noted that the device was simply a sounding balloon, coming from the British Meteorological Services.

In the company of Mr. Gaston Lecomte, farmer, he examined this device.

It was about 4 to 5 meters in diameter, was lined with a parachute mounted on an aluminum frame in the shape of a cross.

This craft was marked with the original "Royal Meteorological Service of Great Britain".

As for the gleams seen, they were explained by the reflections of the sun on the aluminum tubes and the three-spoon propeller, cut by the winds.

The residents of Saint-Blimont therefore did not have their flying "saucer" and they are waiting for it... with the Martians.

[Ref. bvl1:] "BRESLE ET VIMEU LIBRE" NEWSPAPER:

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SAINT-BLIMONT

THE SAUCER OF SAINT-BLIMONT

Saint-Blimont almost came to the forefront of world news.

Almost only...

Because, in the end, we had to face the facts that it was just a mistake.

One had mistaken a British Meteorological Service balloon down to the ground for a broken flying saucer.

Let us be quick to say that the good faith of the witnesses is not to be questioned, but with the noises so convincing that have been circulating for 15 days, the most serious minds are themselves predisposed to see what they would like to see.

But let's get to the point. Some farmers and workers in Saint-Blimont saw, last week, land in a field a strange device that emitted lights. They alerted Mr. Raymond Bouchet, the grater manager.

This one, arriving on the place, identified the machine which mentioned its origin, "Royal Meteorological Service of Great Britain". He had it carried in his office and was able to study it. It was a balloon 4 to 5 meters in diameters [sic], a parachute mounted on an aluminum tube frame, all holding a weather device.

The balloon had accidentally burst, the craft had descended and the sun shining on the aluminum tubes caused the flickers seen by the witnesses, making them think of the famous gleams of the flying saucers.

Mr. Bouchet hastened to send the parts of the device to the Headstone Drive meteorological office in Harrow.

Thus is reduced to its just proportion a story that could have, like so many others, garnished the chronicle opened specially in the big Press, under the title "Flying Saucers!"

[Note: the other part of the article was a silly parody typed in regional dialect; I ched it to clearer French]

Letter to my Cousin Hyppolyte

A month ago in Ochincourt, do you remember? I swear that I did not believe in these cursed saucers! They were indeed a flock of larks!

Like at the plant in Saint-Blimont, the other day, Bouchet strongly believed that it was a saucer, gosh! It was a kind of invention that the English send in the air to predict the weather.

Yes, but indeed that day in Saint-Blimont, a strange thing hapeppened to me, I need to tell it to you, I was coming back from Arrest and then I arrived at the top of a hill. That's when I saw in the sky, but high, high, a kind of cigare with a saucer below that came down at full speed. It was red, quane, blue and silver all arount it. And this contraption lands almost at my feet. What do I see? A little man, no taller than a small carrot. It comes to me and starts to talk a lot.

- Rabatchamouratcha, he says to e.

I did not understand more than you. And, you know, between us, I don't say I was frightened, but I wasn't proud. In the end I tell him casually:

I was quite afraid, a moment ago, when you landed...

Me too, Robert, he answered to me.

He climbed back in his saucer and then a vision it was so highthen nothing else anymore.

So, Hyppolyte, what do you think about these Maatians and their saucers? I, I don't know anymore...

Your Cousin for life:
Robert MONONQUE...

P.-S. - I don't care, if we are known!...

Explanations:

Weather balloon fallen on the ground.

Map.

Keywords:

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

Saint-Blimont, Somme, balloon, confusion, crash, negative case, weather balloon, parachute, sounding balloon, Gaston Lecomte, Raymond Bouchet, reflection, tubes, aluminim

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross October 26, 2011 First published, [reu1].
1.1 Patrick Gross January 23, 2017 Addition [lln1].
1.2 Patrick Gross March 8, 2020 Additions [ale1], [bvl1].
1.3 Patrick Gross June 6, 2020 Addition [cpd1].

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