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The 1954 French flap:

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

January 9, 1954, Tournus, Saône-et-Loire:

Reference for this case: 9-Jan-54-Tournus.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


In his 1956 book, he indicated that the "Mysterious Celestial Object", a flying saucer according to him, of January 9, 1954, was last seen at 07:50 a.m. in Tournus as a disc moving at high speed, towards the West, "therefore having changed course again", and at an altitude evaluated at 2000 meters.

This was of course the meteor of January 9, 1954 at 07:48 a.m.



The journalist, author and pioneer ufologist indicated that on Saturday January 9, 1954, at dawn, there was a "flash invasion" on the east of France; which according to him "seems to be a highlight in the voluminous 'flying saucers' file."

Garreau indicated that from "all places" in the region, information flocked to his desk, about an object that "flew for almost two hours above the East."

He said that the first reports left the door open to all hypotheses, meteor, balloon, jet plane, "or saucer!", but that the reports which reached him later would eliminate all these hypotheses except that of the flying saucer.

He recalled that meteors always have a perfectly rectilinear trajectory, a relatively high constant speed of 30.000 to 40.000 km/h, and that balloons have an apparent speed which cannot exceed that of the strongest stratospheric currents, from 300 to 400 km/h.

He indicated that in Tournus, last observation of the series according to him, the "Mysterious Celestial Object" is seen in the form of a disc moving at high speed, towards the West, "therefore having again changed course", and at an altitude estimated at 2000 meters.

He explained that no meteor or balloon could have engaged in the "zigzag" shown according to him by the observations of this morning, and that no plane of the time could have been able "to stop then accelerate at more than 3,000 per hour", performances which he deduced from some of the observations and distances between observation spots relative to the reported observations hours.

Garreau added that "to leave no doubt", he had questioned the various regional weather stations, and that he had been told that no balloon had been launched.

At the American base in Semoutiers, near Chaumont, he was told "It was neither a balloon, nor a plane, from here."

He added that the Besançon observatory had seen nothing, and that the Contrexéville and Dijon radar sets as well as the Perrogney goniometer in Haute-Saône had seen nothing, since their specialists only took their duty at 8 a.m.

He added that the "Scientific bureau" had hesitated to take a position, saying that the only possible "natural" explanation would be that of a meteor, but "the journey described by the object is such that it could not have been a single meteor. It would therefore have to be admitted that it was a swarm of meteorites which crossed "(under the clouds!!!)" the sky of eastern France following different trajectories."

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Saône et Loire in Tournus on January 9, 1954, at 07:50 "Observation of a disc moving at high speed in direction of the west at an estimated altitude of 2000 m."

The source is indicated as "Alerte dans le ciel by Garreau Charles ** Alain Lefeuvre 1981".

[Note: this sighting was not in the 1981 book actually titled "Alerte dans le ciel - le dossier des enlèvements", it was in the 1956 book.]



The January 9, 1954, 07:48 a.m. meteor.


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

Tournus, Saône-et-Loire, disc, fast, high


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross January 13, 2010 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross January 26, 2019 Additions of the Summary.
1.2 Patrick Gross February 2, 2020 Addition [cgu1]. In the Summary, change of the first paragraph, was "The ufologist and journalist Charles Garreau reportedly wrote that on January 9, 1954, at 07:50 a.m., in Tournus, in the Saône-et-Loire, a disc was observed moving at high speed towards the west at an estimated altitude of 2000 meters."

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This page was last updated on February 2, 2020.