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UFOs in the daily Press:

The 1954 French flap in the Press:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper La Bourgogne Républicaine, of Dijon, France, pages 1 and 8, on January 8, 1954.


Mysterious phenomenon in the Dieppe region

A blinding glow
followed by a great

A little earlier, a disk of fire
had been seen, moving in the sky
at a dizzying pace

Dieppe, 7 (A.F.P.). -- This morning, between 4:30 a.m. and 5:15 a.m., nearly 70 dockers from the port of Dieppe saw a blinding glow in the sky, followed, four minutes later, by a formidable explosion which opened many doors and smashed several windows of houses in the city.

Most of the residents of Dieppe were woken up by this deafening noise. It does not seem that it could be a hallucination, because the testimonies are very numerous and agree on almost all points.

There are only some discrepancies among the witnesses regarding the direction of the light, which, according to some, came from the north and, according to others, from the west.

The postal car that provides traffic between Dieppe and Rouen was in the vicinity of the first of these two cities at the time of the glow. But, according to the two occupants of this vehicle, the explosion did not occur until eight minutes after the glow.

The Dieppe semaphore got in touch with that of Fécamp and with those of all the small ports on the coast. Everyone agrees that the phenomenon has been seen at these different points. However, the Le Havre semaphore found nothing.

However, several witnesses living in La Mailleraye, a village located approximately eighty kilometers south of Dieppe, and in Serqueux, a village 50 kilometers south-east of Dieppe, are categorical: they saw the light, which came from the direction of Dieppe.

Finally, it should be noted that about a week ago, a fishing boat arrived in Dieppe all riddled with small shards that could come from a fireball.

For the moment, we are getting lost in conjectures about the nature of this strange phenomenon.

Continued on page 8, under the title



This morning at 4:27 a.m., a railway employee, who was on duty at the Orchies station, saw a disc of fire moving in the sky at a dizzying pace. A luminous trail followed the glowing disc in its path.

The phenomenon was seen around the same time in Arras. A witness said he saw the disc motionless for a moment in the sky, but did not have time to contemplate it. It immediately resumed its course and disappeared on the horizon.


It is very likely, according to the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, that the phenomenon observed this morning in the Dieppe region was nothing but a fireball. The very time at which this observation was made - shortly before sunrise [!] - helps to support this opinion. But, it is added, such explosions are not very rare and many others have been recorded all over the world.

We know that fireballs are bodies whose origin and composition are not well known and which, moving in the sky with extreme rapidity, heat up when they come into contact with the Earth's atmosphere due to the resistance that it opposes to them. It is then that they become incandescent. Sometimes they pass without being noticed other than by a luminous trail. Sometimes they explode silently, sometimes with an explosion sound. It also happens that they fall on the surface of the globe, whole or fragmented: this is the origin of aerolite falls.

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