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The 1954 French flap:

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End September 1954, Prouvy, Nord:

Reference number for this case: End-Sep-54-Prouvy. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The field investigator ufologist Jean-Marie Bigorne reported in in the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit #371 of February 2004, that he conducted an investigation at the end of 1974, gathering the testimony of an observation that took place about 2 weeks after the case of Quarouble - so towards the end of September - in Prouvy, in the Nord department.

One weekday morning, at 01:45 a.m. precisely, Mr. Roger Leroy was at his work in a factory in Prouvy, when his attention was drawn to an intense white light that lit the windows and the surrounding area outside.

He called his closest colleague, Auguste Lemaire, and they went out together on an outdoor platform, from where they discovered an extremely luminous, white object, surmounted by a sort of dimly lit dome, which seemed to be about 50 meters away, very close to the ground but not posed on the ground.

The thing was oval-shaped and of a size estimated at about 15 meters, it emitted a hardly bearable light in the form of a field of white sparks. The dome of the object was smaller than the rest by about 2 meters, and had a brightness comparable to that of an opal lamp.

Dark silhouettes, moving, were seen.

After 30 seconds, the object started quickly while producing a large white light trail at the bottom left, and "at a dizzying speed, it disappears in the clear night", going up to the right of witnesses with a slope of about 45°, east-southeast towards Maing.

Although they had been outside and in the silence of the night, the witnesses heard no sound.

The witnesses did not file an official report or testify with the newspapers. Mr. Leroy told Jean-Marie Bigorne that a few days later, the local press published the story of a similar observation, made very early the same morning, in Lourches, about ten kilometers from Prouvy, but Jean Marie Bigorne did not find that press article.

Reports:

[Ref. jbe1:] JEAN-MARIE BIGORNE:

The ufologist indicates that he made the investigation by hearing the testimony at the end of the 1974 of an observation having taken place some fifteen days after the Quarouble case, therefore approximately at the end of September, in Prouvy in the department of Nord.

In this period, one morning of a working week day, at exactly 01:45 a.m., Mr. Roger Leroy was at his work in a factory of Prouvy close to Valenciennes, when his attention was drawn by an intense white light that illuminated the windows and the neighborhoods outside.

He called his nearest colleague, Auguste Lemaire, and they came out together on an external platform, from where they discovered an extremely luminous object, white, surmounted of a kind of dome, less luminous, the whole seemed to be at about fifty meters, very close to the ground but without being posed.

The thing was of oval shape and of a size evaluated as about fifteen meters, it emitted an almost unbearable light in the form of a field of white sparks. The dome of the object had a more reduced size than the rest, of approximately 2 meters, and had a glare comparable to that of a lamp of opal.

Dark silhouettes, moving, were seen.

At the end of 30 seconds, the object departed fast quickly while releasing, in its bottom on the left, an important white luminous trail, and "at a vertiginous speed, it disappears in the clear night", going up towards the right of the witnesses with a slope of approximately 45° in direction of the east-south-east, towards Maing.

Although they had been outside and in the silence of the night, the witnesses did not hear any sound.

The witnesses did not make an official statement, and did not report it to the Press. Mr. Leroy specified to Jean-Marie Bigorne that a few days later, the local press published the report of a rather similar observation, made very early the same morning, in Lourches, within ten kilometers of Prouvy, but the author did not find the article.

[Ref. jdt1:] JEAN-PIERRE D'HONDT - GERU:

DATE: end September 1954

PLACE: Prouvy nord

TYPE: CE3

REFERENCES: LDLN 371 page 11, investigation by J.M. Bigorne, testimony collected in Septembre 1974, tghus 20 years after the event.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE OBSERVATION:

About a fortnight after the affair in Quarouble (September 10, 1954), one morning in the week, at exactly 1:45 am, Mr. Roger Leroy, at his work in a Prouvy factory (near Valenciennes), sees his attention attracted by an intense white light that illuminates the windows and the exterior surroundings. He calls Auguste Lemaire, his closest colleague, and they go out together on an outside platform. They then discover an extremely luminous object, white, surmounted by a kind of less illuminated dome. The whole seems to be relatively close, at about fifty meters, and is very close to the ground, without being posed there.

The thing is of oval shape, a size estimated at about fifteen meters. It emits a light that is difficult to bear: a field of white sparks. The dome, about 2 meters (relatively small size compared to the rest) has a brightness comparable to that of an opal lamp. There are dark silhouettes that move...

At the end of thirty seconds, the object starts quickly, emitting, at the bottom left, a large white light trail. At a dizzying speed, it disappears into the clear night, rising to the right of the witnesses (with a slope of about 45 °), in a direction east-southeast towards Maing...

Although outside, in the silence of the night, the witnesses heard no sound.

There was no official report or statement to the press. M. Leroy pointed out that a few days later the local press published a similar observation made very early in the morning in Lourches (about ten kilometers from Prouvy). The article could not be found.

[Ref. jgz1:] JULIEN GONZALEZ:

The author indicates that there was a close encounter of the third kind at Prouvy, in the Nord, around September 25, 1954, at 01:45 a.m.

He indicates that Mr. Roger Leroy was working in a factory in Prouvy when his eyes were attracted by an intense white light that illuminated the windows and exterior surroundings. He alerted one of his colleagues, Auguste Lemaire, with whom he went outside to discover a luminous object, white, surmounted by a less luminous dome and which stood very close to the ground about 50 meters from the witnesses. The object of oval shape and 15 meters in diameter emitted an unbearable light with sprays of white sparks. The dome, less luminous and much smaller (about 2 meters), allowed to see dark silhouettes that moved. Thirty seconds later, the object started quickly, leaving a large white light trail and disappeared at breakneck speed. The witnesses did not hear any noise during all the time of their observation.

Julien Gonzalez notes that this testimony was collected only in September 1974, 20 years after the observation, and that the source is "Lumières Dans La Nuit, No. 371, page 11", with an investigation of Jean-Marie Bigorne.

[Ref. prn2:] PETER ROGERSON - "INTCAT":

September 23 1954. (Approx. date) 0145hrs.

PROUVY (NORD : FRANCE)

Roger Leroy was at work in a factory when the windows and surroundings were illuminated by an intense white light. Leroy and a colleague Auguste Lemaire went out onto a platform to see what was going on and saw a bright white object surmounted by a darker dome hovering just above, but not touching, the ground 50m away. The main body was about 15m long, the dome about 2m shorter. Dark moving silhouettes were visible. After about 30 seconds the object took off at 45 degrees, trailing a stream of white light from the left hand side.

Note: the late British "skeptical" ufologist Peter Rogerson did not understand French, did not read the LDLN case file, but used ny catalog; which he knew well but only sometimes credited with an uninformative "Gross 1954".

Explanations:

Twenty years elapsed between the moment of the observation and the collecting of the testimony, so the proponents of the "socio-psychological thesis" would not fail to argue that the story is based on memories distorted by time.

The question is, distorted memories or not, bu of what?

From the description of the machine, and attributing its flight to a "distortion of the memory", I wondered if in front of this factory of Prouvy, there would have been a power station, or an electric transformer, with some incident causing some fire accompanied by these sparks. The "UFO occupants" would then be firefighters or employees of the said plant or installation (contrary to what appears in [jgz1], it is not said that the figures were inside the "craft"). In any case, it is the only plausible prosaic explanation that I have been able to come with, and I note that it had not been previously considered.

On aerial views, I find that there is a whole area of ??activities in Prouvy, so a factory in 1954 is obviously plausible.

The nearest power plant, the Bouchain thermic plant site, is 10 km from Prouvy, which is a bit far. Lourches, from which an observation was reported the same day according to the witness, is in this direction relative to Prouvy.

But this power plant (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrale_thermique_de_Bouchain) was put into service in 1970 only...

In addition, I find between the ZA and Prouvy, an airfield. In fact, the zone oc activities (ZA) is named "Aerodrome Activity Park". This aerodrome, "Charles Nungesser Valenciennes Airport", was created in 1937 as a simple airfield for the needs of the air force, used by the Germans during WWII, and expanded in 1960.

If the witnesses' factory had been on the current ZA, or at Prouvy itself, the departure direction towards Maing would be compatible with that of the departure of an aircraft. But the thing described does not look like an aircraft.

There are also old factory-type buildings south of Prouvy near the railway, with, 600 meters in the direction of Maing, large storage tanks.

In the end, I am frustrated: there is the major flaw of the investigation, that of not having clearly indicated where the witnesses were, which plant exactly. This information alone would have allowed, maybe, to find the explanation. This defect is incomprehensible to me: we are given the name and surname of the witness, but not his position. And what is the point then of giving the starting direction of the phenomenon?

Of course, there remains the possibility of an invention since there is only one reporting witness, and no "hard evidence". But I note in this regard that whereas the witness was obviously aware of the case of Quarouble, his story is clearly not inspired by it (other testimonies look like being inspired by it).

But I think this might have been some misinterpretation cause by a fire, or an electrical fire. Unfortunately, the lack of data does not allow me to go further. The possibility that it was an extraterrestrial craft is not ruled out, of course.

Keywords:

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

Prouvy, Nord, Roger Leroy, Auguste Lemaire, object, dome, white, dazzling, luminous, landing, maneuver, night, occupants, silent, oval, close, sparks, trail

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross August 14, 2007 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 1, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross February 10, 2017 Addition [jdt1].
1.2 Patrick Gross August 19, 2019 Additions [jgz1], [prn2], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet."

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This page was last updated on August 19, 2019.