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Tananarive, 1954:

The sources:

Some commentators on this sighting argue that it was just a meteor; others wonder about it. As the story of Edmond Campagnac includes indications which do not fir at all with the meteor explanation, some say that this story was "distorted", that the strangest features were added over time. So I found it important to publish all the sources that were published over time; in which I have so far found no contradiction, no addition that would have taken place over time.

A 1984 version:


This 1984 version comes from a French collective book, in which the case appears but without an author's name for this version.

Quite quiet aliens

Animals, humans and even nature can remain marked by the passage of a UFO: how, in such a case, to question the reality of the phenomenon? Four incidents from the file...

August 1954, Madagascar:
"A green ball"

One of the most incredible "light-in-the-sky" shows took place over the city of Tananarive, now Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, one day in August 1954.

Edmond Campagnac, who worked for the Air France technical services, waited for the arrival of the mail from Paris with a group of people, outside the office of this company, on the avenue de la Liberation.

Suddenly, Campagnac saw a very luminous green ball in the sky. It was descending, almost vertically, just like a meteorite. Other people watched with him: the object disappeared behind the mountains to the south of the city.

It was 5:45 p.m. and it was getting dark. It was the exit of the offices, a time when a lot of people were walking in the street.

Witnesses were still staring at the sky when an object of the same color as the previous one appeared over the hills, flying horizontally this time at breakneck speed. The UFO turned near the old government buildings, descended lower and lower, almost to the height of the roofs, and followed the eastern edge of the Avenue de la Libération, just above the building opposed to the Air France building.

[Legend of the sketch:] Below: the "green ball" seen over Madagascar in August 1954 (reconstruction based on testimony from the time).

As this green ball approached the group, one saw that there were actually two objects. Their surface reflected the last rays of the sun and, behind, they emitted a red-orange flame. Estimates made to calculate the most accurate possible speed of objects put it at around 300 km per hour!

People stopped and stared in dismay at the phenomenon, so much so that a great calm fell over the city. The giant double cigar was absolutely silent. Another shock for the observers: when objects passed over the buildings, all the electric lights went out, only coming back on after they had passed.

The strange aerial duo continued above the city, heading towards the airport of Antananarivo, then west. Before disappearing, the two objects flew over a zoo. The animals, who were usually quiet and did not care about the airport traffic, panicked and crashed into the fences. It was not until several hours later that the police and soldiers were able to round them up.

Of course, the event created a great scandal in Antananarivo, where there were complaints of "airspace violation".

An official investigation was ordered by General Fleurquin, the base commander. It was led by Brother Coze, director of the Antananarivo observatory, who was on the spot and who had witnessed the passage of the two UFOs. He estimated that at least twenty thousand people had seen the phenomenon, and he and his aides questioned more than five thousand witnesses.

The details of his report were known only by a handful of researchers until the 1960s and by the journal Flying Saucer Review in 1966. The general public did not learn about it until 1974, when Jean-Claude Bourret opened his famous file on [national radio station] France-Inter...

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This page was last updated on August 9, 2021.