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The 1954 French flap:

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October 9 or 10, 1954, Le Crotoy, Somme:

Reference for this case: 9-10-Oct-54-Le-Crotoy.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The regional newspaper Le Courrier Picard for October 13, 1954, reported that in Le Crotoy, Mr. Michel Leroux, farmer, and two of his workers, Raoul and Michel Chivotm had told their correspondent that they had noticed, "Sunday" - thus on October 10, 1954 - between 8:15 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., a curious phenomenon:

At first they thought it was a big star, they took binoculars and watched for forty minutes, "the displacements of a craft that moved in leaps and turned around."

At the same time, between Le Hourdal and Pointe de Saint-Quentin, they saw "another saucer illuminated in blue and orange" but its appearance was short-lived.

An information memo from the National Gendarmerie declassified in the years 2005 gave as a date not October 10, 1954, but October 9, 1954, speaking for the observation of three farmers of Le Crotoy, of an "orange disc with the shape of an inverted plate which evolved for 45 minutes before disappearing in a northwest direction."




Flying saucers?

Mr. Michel Leroux, 19, farmer, and his workers Raoul and Michel Chivot, all from Le Crotoy, said they had noticed the 10th from 8:15 p.m. 3 to 9 p.m., the presence in the sky, in the direction of St-Valéry, of a flying saucer first taken for a large star.

For over 40 minutes, they were able to examine the craft through binoculars. On several occasions, they saw it move by leaps and even turn around... At the same time, in the direction of the sea, between Le Hourdel and the point of Saint-Quentin, they saw another flying saucer illuminated in blue and red orange; the latter made only a brief appearance.



and again

More or less, depending on the day, the "saucer" section is always populated. To believe that the Martians work overtime or that the season of organized trips is in full swing at home...

We no longer know what to think!

The pranksters also give themselves a ball and the enigmatic and anonymous phone calls follow one another: "Hello, if you want to see a saucer, go to this place...".

No, it would be too good, and in 90 % of cases, the alerted person does not even bother. He prefers to wait for "Le Courrier Picard" to see if the apparatus in question appears in the harvest of the day.

Let us first mention the "united" testimony of nine workers from the Monsures foundry who, going to start working at 6:30 in the morning, last Friday, saw a disc, illuminated in different colors and which moved as if turning on itself.

At Le Crotoy, Mr. Michel Leroux, farmer and two of his workers, MM. Raoul and Michel Chivot told our correspondent that they noticed Sunday between 8:15 p.m. and 9 p.m., a curious phenomenon.

At first glance, thinking that it was a big star, they grabbed binoculars and were able, for forty minutes, follow the maneuvers of a craft which moved by leaps and turned.

At the same time, between Le Hourdal and the Pointe de Saint-Quentin, they saw another saucer illuminated with blue and orange colors. This last appearance was short-lived.

Monday, in Amiens, residents of the Saveuse road were, in broad daylight "dazzled" by a brilliant disc on which reflected the sun.




For three days we had no news of the flying saucers which had taken the habit - according to the statements of some earthlings - to haunt our Picardy sky.

As of Tuesday, the flying saucers reportedly resumed their activity. And testimonies abound again on the mysterious contraptions. Some fanciful; others less fanciful.

Several workers at a foundry in Monsures saw an orange disc crisscross the sky in the morning, around 6:30 a.m.: the disc even took on different colors and seemed to spin on itself.

In Le Crotoy, a farmer, Mr. Leroux, and his workers, MM. Raoul and Michel Chivot, also noticed, in the evening, a craft that moved in the sky by leaps and seemed to turn over from time to time. The same would also have seen an orange saucer in the direction of Le Hourdel.

Finally, in Amiens, several inhabitants of the road of Sauveuse were dazzled, in broad daylight, by a brilliant disc which reflected the sun with rare intensity and moved across the sky.



A "saucer" above Le Crotoy

Sunday evening, Mr. Michel Leroux, farmer, and his two workers, MM. Raoul and Michel Chivot observed at length with binoculars, between 8:15 p.m. and 9 p.m., the moves of a craft which moved by leaps and turned. At the same time they saw another blue and orange saucer, between the point of Saint-Quentin and the Hourdel. The latter disappeared very quickly.



above the Bay
of the Somme

The column of the flying saucers is enriched with new serious testimonies. This is how we have just learned that some evening, around 8:15 p.m. 15, Mr. Michel Leroux, farmer in Le Crotoy, visiting two of his workers, MM. Raoul and Michel Chivot, living near the farm, found them with their "noses in the air."

With them, he was able to observe for 45 minutes a ball-shaped craft, orange-fire color. Mr. Leroux had time to go get binoculars with which he observed the craft which had the shape of an inverted plate and which, at certain times, moved very quickly, while at others it stabilized. It was flying above the sea, between the Pointe du Hourdel and that of Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont.

Another much more distant saucer was reportedly seen over the sea, but could only be followed by the "witnesses" for five minutes.

Also, another evening, around 8:40 p.m., an orange ball was observed for a few moments in Monboubert, still near the Bay of Somme, by several people from the locality, including Mr. Paul Coulombel, farmer, and Mr. Fernand Poirel, country guard.




On 9th of October around 8 p.m. 3 farmers of Le Crotoy observed an orange disc in the sky at an undetermined distance, in the shape of an inverted plate that moved for 45 minutes before disappearing northwest.

On October 14, 1954 around 5 p.m. 4 witnesses appearing sincere saw in the hamlet of Hardinval RN.25 in the south-west direction, very high speed, height 40 meters, a spherical apparatus making no noise, color of a rainbow.


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 not 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:0615550910195420001JA3002010500011ZZZZ030000100000000000000000000000000000000000
Location:Crotoy (Oise) - France
Case number:0615
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:3 = 3
Main witness named:0 = name is not indicated
Main witness age:0 = no indication
Main witness occupation:2 = farmer, docker, navy, housekeeper
Official investigation:1 = an official investigation was made
Weather:0 = no indication
Duration:5 = from 20 to 59 minutes
Minimal distance witness - phenomenon:0 = no indication
Method of observation:0 = no indication
Number of "objects" observed simultaneously:01 = 1
Shape of the "object" (terminology of witness(es)):1 = disk, saucer, lenticular
Dimensions of the phenomenon:ZZZZ = no indication
Color of the observed phenomenon:03 = orange, fire color
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

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Oise in "Croutoy" on October 9, 1954 at 20:00 hours, "Three witnesses observed during more than thirty minutes an orange disc which moved in straight line."

The source is indicated as "Les Universons par Poher Claude **".


CROTOY (LE) (80) 10/09/1954
Observed on: 09-10-1954
Region: Picardie
Department: Somme
Class: C
Summary: Longues observations d'un disque orange en forme d'assiette retournée; disparition au NO: manque d'information. Long observations of an orange disk in the form of an inverted plate; Disappearance to NO: lack of information.

On 9 October 1954 around 8 pm three farmers watched an orange disc in the shape of an upturned plate for 45 minutes in the sky. It disappears in the direction of the NO.

The observation is reported succinctly in an intelligence message of the national gendarmerie.

The duration of the observation and the form described make one think of certain misunderstandings with the Moon. This one is present in the sky but at the SE and at almost 30 ° elevation which does not correspond absolutely not to the context of the observation. GEIPAN classifies this case C for lack of information.

Report: None.

Details of the testimony
Date of the observation: 09-10-1954
Document number:
Age: Adult (more than 18)
Profession: Farmer (vine, etc)
Sex: Malw
Reaction: Active Curiosity
Credibility: Normal Credibility
Environnement: Campagne
Conditions météo: Not-Specified
Hour of the observation: Dawn
Reference frame: Sky or clouds
Distance entre phénomène et témoin: Not-Specified
Start of the observation: Start of the observation by witnesses
End of the observation: End of observation by phenomenon
Angle of the site: Middle of the sky
Direction of observation: Not-Specified
Heading: North-West
Trajectory: Not-Specified
Nature of the observation: Terms UF (saucer, disk, etc.)
Characteristique of the observation: Single
Global shape: Other shape (comparison)
Color: Orange, fire
Apparent size: Not-Specified
Apparent speed: Not-Specified
Noise: Not-Specified
Effect on the environment: Not-Specified
Number: 1

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

This database recorded the case twice:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541009 09.10.1954 Le Crotoy France 20.00
19541009 09.10.1954 Le Crotoy France 20.00 NL



The long duration of the observation suggests an astronomical explanation; the use of binoculars makes the "leaps" of the "craft" uncertain, since they may have been due to jolts of the binoculars.

The orange color is valid for Mars and possibly for a red moon. But the initial idea of the ??witnesses, the big star, hardly applies to the Moon.

We have a time slot, and two possible dates requiring to check the sky for both dates; which is not a problem.

We get, in the note from the Gendarmerie a direction of "disappearance", the North-West.

On October 9, 1954 at 8:15 p.m. from Le Crotoy, Mars was in the direction of 192°, the elevation was 14°, it set at 11:15 p.m., and 85% of its surface was illuminated.

On October 10, 1954, the situation in Mars was the same.

Mars was therefore towards the South, with no chance of disappearing towards the North-West.

The Moon (for all intents and purposes) was oin the 9th at 140°, elevation 28°, setting at 3 a.m.; the following day it was at 124°, at the elevation 28° and set even later.

Towards the North-West (300°) we had a very bright star in the sky, Arcturus, at 286° on the 9th, 287° on the 10th, elevation of 11°, visual magnitude (BSC5) of -0.04, and it set at 9:40 p.m. on the 9th, 9:36 p.m. on the 10th. The setting was at 300°, straight Northwest.

Based on this, I think it is possible that the initial observation was a bad interpretation of the "big star" Arcturus.

Then we have the "saucer" seen briefly between "Le Hourdal" and the Pointe de Saint-Quentin. These are landmarks indicating that the witnesses saw this on the bay in front of them, between the West and the North-West:


The amplitude of this localization is perhaps an indication of a movement, perhaps of an airplane, or of a ship, or perhaps a small meteor; in any case there is no remarkable astronomical body here.

Of course, in both cases the data is so sparse that I cannot totally rule out a "real flying saucer". But the strangeness of all this seems very weak to me.


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

Le Crotoy, Somme, Crotoy, Oise, official, night, multiple, round, luminous, orange, meteor, farmer


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 20, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 8, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross January 24, 2017 Additions [gen1], [gei1], [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 22, 2020 Addition [cpd1].
1.3 Patrick Gross March 21, 2020 Addition [jdr1].
1.4 Patrick Gross October 15, 2021 Additions [vdn2], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."
1.5 Patrick Gross October 21, 2021 Additions [vdn1], [vdn3].

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