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The 1954 French flap:

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

October 1954, Montabon, Sarthe:

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

Summary:

Newspapers of October 29, 1954, and later days, reported that a farmer of Montabon was driving "recently" at night his oxen in a meadow, and when he arrived at the enclosure, he suddenly spotted "at a distance" a Martian who was staring at him; he left the two oxen there and ran to the country, and he quickly summoned two of his neighbors, and all three of them left, one carrying a lantern, the other two with their rifles on their shoulders. The Martian was in the same place, still staring at the arrival of the men, who could not help but send him by way of welcome, two shots of caliber seven. But the Martian remained impassive. They advanced forward while he still stared ironically at the earthlings. Fortunately however they soon arrived at the foot of the trunk of an old tree having a somewhat human form and on which a glow worm imitated the eye of the Martian...

Reports:

[Ref. lbr1:] NEWSPAPER "LA BOURGOGNE REPUBLICAINE":

Scan.

"WELCOME
MR
MARTIAN!"

A cultivator fired
his gun... on a log
tree!

Saulieu (from our C.P.). - A farmer from Montabou [sic] recently led, after dark, his beefs to a meadow. Arrived at the enclosure he suddenly saw, at some distance, a "Martian" who was staring at him. He "left" the two oxen there and ran to the country. He quickly summoned two of his neighbors to help and off they went, one carrying a lantern, the other two with guns on their shoulders. They were quickly back at the entrance to the meadow. The "Martian" was at the same place, still staring at the newcomers who couldn't help but send him, as a welcome, two resounding "7" shots.

But the impassive "Martian" still stared ironically at our "earthlings". Courageously, however, they stepped forward and soon found themselves at the foot of the trunk of an old tree in somewhat human form, with a glowworm imitating the eye of the "Martian."

Hunting for Martians will soon become as exciting as hunting for "dahut."

But what if our brave cultivators had shot a man, instead of a tree trunk? Please, gentlemen, don't be too easy on the trigger!

[Ref. nmn1:] "NORD-MATIN" NEWSPAPER:

Scan.

A FARMER
FIRES HIS RIFLE...
ON A TREE TRUNK...
HE MISTOOK
FOR A MARTIAN

SAULIEU. -- A farmer from Montabou [sic], recently drove his beef into a meadow after dark. Arrived at the enclosure, he suddenly saw, at a distance, a "Martian" who was staring at him.

He left the two oxen there and ran into the country. He quickly called to the rescue two of his neighbors, and off they went all three, one carrying a lantern, the other of the two guns on their shoulders...

The "Martian" was in the same place, still staring fixedly at the arrivals who couldn't help but send him, as a welcome, two resounding "7" shots...

But the impassive "Martian" still ironically stared at the "earthlings". Courageously however, these advanced and soon found themselves... at the foot of the trunk of an old tree, somewhat human-shaped and whose glow-worm imitated the eye of the "Martian".

[Ref. lqh1:] "LE QUOTIDIEN DE LA HAUTE LOIRE" NEWSPAPER:

THE OBSESSION FOR THE MARTIANS

A farmer sees one and shoots his rifle to a tree

A farmer of Montabon was leading recently, in the night, his oxen in the meadow. Arrived at the enclosure, he suddenly saw at some distance a Martian who stared at him, he left there the two oxen and ran to the country. He was quick to call for the rescue, two of his neighbors, and here goes the party of three, one carrying a lantern, the two others rifle on the shoulder... The Martian was at the same place still staring at the newcomers which could not help in sending him as welcome two 7 shots. But the Martian remained impassive. Those advanced by still staring ironically at the earthmen. Courageously, however they arrived soon at the foot of the trunk of an old tree having a somewhat human form and from which a shining glowworm imitated the eye of the Martian...

[Ref. jdh1:] JOURNAL "JOURNAL DE HAM":

Scan.

Echoes from everywhere and elsewhere...

A farmer
unloads his rifle...
on a tree trunk...
he mistook for a
Martian.

A Montabou [sic] farmer recently drove after dark, his oxen in a meadow. Arrived at the enclosure, he suddenly saw, at a distance, a Martian who was staring at him. He "abandoned" his two oxen there and ran into the country. He quickly called two of his neighbors to the rescue and there they were, all three of them, one carrying a lantern, the gun in his shoulder.

The "Martian" was in the same place, still staring at the arriving people who could not help sending him, as a welcome, two resounding "7" shots...

But the impassive "Martian" still stared ironically at the "earthlings". Courageously, however, these advanced and soon found themselves... at the foot of a trunk of an old tree, somewhat human-shaped and whose glowworm imitated the eye of the Martian.

[Ref. dcn1:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

In Montabon (Côte-d'Or) a farmer shot with his rifle at a smiling "martian", but the "martian" was luckily only an old tree.

[Ref. dcn2:] DOMINIQUE CAUDRON:

In Montabon (Côte-d'Or), a Martian continued to stare at his attackers who had just fired two shots at him. Approaching, they discovered an old tree trunk from which a glow worm represented the eye.

Explanations:

Misinterpretation, or story invented by a newspaper.

There have been several cases where people thought to see martians in the shades at night, or event shot at the martian, for example at Sinceny on October 15, 1954.

However, the contradiction in the number of Martians at one point in this newspaper story, and the general tone and lack of details and names in this case, make me suspect that the newspaper simply invented such a story here.

"UFO-Skeptics" love such stories. However, it must be noted that no serious ufologist denies that people sometimes make confusion, or that there was an atmosphere of Martian invasion in France in 1954. It remains that in such cases, the Martians are quickly identified, they do not fly up in their saucer but stand still until their true nature is discovered.

Map.

Keywords:

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

Montabon, Sarthe, rifle, shoot, shooting, martian, tree, glowworm, multiple

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross July 12, 2007 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 1, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross December 15, 2019 Addition [dcn2], Summary.
1.2 Patrick Gross March 12, 2020 Addition [jdh1].
1.3 Patrick Gross April 2, 2020 Addition [nmn1]. In the Summary, "The regional newspaper Le Quotidien de la Haute-Loire of" changed to "Newspapers of October 31, 1954, and later days".
1.4 Patrick Gross February 28, 2021 Addition [lbr1].

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This page was last updated on February 28, 2021.