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UFOs in the daily Press:


The article below was published in the daily newspaper Le Provenšal, Marseille, France, page 5, on August 27, 1954.


Many residents of Marseilles and the Provence saw the "fireball" of Sunday evening

but, less iprone to exaggeration than people of the North and the Americans, they hardly believe in the flying saucers!

Our short article of last Tuesday (cf. "Provenšal" for August 24) "a fireball in the sky of Plan-de-Caques" brought us a flood of shooting stars, or rather observations of various readers. We join below some of them to the file of the much discussed "flying saucers".

We would have liked to bring on the phenomene which obviously did happen (this is all that can be claimed) in the night from Sunday to Monday, a more authorized opinion than that of ordinary citizens looking at "the flying rocket". Unfortunately, so to speak! we are in period of holidays and our official astronomers rest under other skies (without perhaps even observing them), so that the Observatory of Marseilles did not observe anything at all. The phenomenon of Sunday evening is thus not approved and our meteor has no certified name!

Let us recall the observation by Mr. Henri Costa, 2 avenue Stanquin in Plan-de-Caques. It refers to a "luminous trail" supposed to be "a fireball".

It was, he said, a kind of ball of fire giving the impression to "roll" in a quite long projection for finally disaggregating while throwing out many sparks. I roughly locate this phenomenon in the sky, North-western side, direction from East to West, relatively low height". Do the following testimonies match this observation?

"Like a Christmas tree ball..."

Mr. Bernard, in Cadolive, saw the fireball Sunday evening "around 8 p.m.". (He did not have its watch at the time). In any event, his glance was "caught" by this fulgurating gleam which "was born" so to speak under his eyes, and he gave a very detailed description of the phenomenon:

"It was initially a ball which rolled, but a ball which had the very clear relief that these so fragile multicoloured balls that one hangs at the Christmas trees have. I cannot find a better comparison. The glare was as sharp, as intense.

"At its appearance, it was of dark red color, like in fusion, then it changed to an incandescent electric blue, then to the purple, as a point was formed, lengthened, to become a kind of pear, a very round water drop fraying suddenly.

"The color changed to the pink, then to the yellow, and I saw the initial ball disappear, while the tail, nonshoddy until there, but of only one line, disposed [sic, probably "dispersed" ], like "pulverized" in quantity of sparks. This last step, swell and sparks appeared metal white in fusion to me. No trace remained after the disappearance of the phenomenon, although I looked for a long time at the location where it had occurred.

"The forms, but especially the surprisingly dazzling colors forced my attention intensely. Its speed was much slower than "shooting stars"

[Missing part.]

same night? Over there one spoke about a "carrousel" (sic) of "flying saucers" (re-sic) which would have lasted three quarters of an hour. Reality... or interpretation?

In addition, an aviation magazine in the United States reported that two huge meteors currently revolve at 450 and 1.000 kilometers of the earth. One even believed in "artificial satellites" obviously... Soviet! An astronomer of New Mexico [Dr. Lincoln LaPaz] ensured that the phenomenon was natural. The French scientists are skeptics. We thus refrain from thinking that these meteors observed in the U.S.A. could be those that were seen in the Provence sky in the night from Sunday to Monday.

Altogether, Marseilles residents (although having seen many science-fiction movies) do not think immediately of a flying saucer when they are witness of a celestial phenomenon.

[Possible missing part.]

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