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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 Nord-Matin, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, page 10, on October 14, 1954.


"Officials" saw a saucer
in an army projector...

... but, as usual
we won't know anything for a long time

General Navereau, commander of the 6th Region and Military Governor of Metz yesterday morning received the report from Commander Cottel, specialist in antiaircraft land forces, concerning the mysterious craft which, for three hours, last Sunday, remained in the beam of a powerful army searchlight in the Metz sky.

No information was communicated on the contents of this report, but one imagines with what prudent sagacity the commander Cottel had to analyze a "phenomenon" which had several dozen witnesses.

The Army had, in fact, set up a stand at the Exhibit-Fair in Metz. It was there that, at nightfall, a powerful searchlight kept running, sweeping the city sky.

Sunday therefore, around 8:10 p.m., the projector "ctahces" in its beam a strange motionless globe.

"It looked like a Christmas tree ball," said Commander Cottel afterwards.

First, one believed in the presence of a weather balloon. Soon, a dozen military experts surrounded the commander. They all agreed:

"It cannot be a weather balloon: its diameter is at least fifty meters."

The "thing" was still there

All kinds of hypotheses were then put forward, the specialists not daring to advance too much that of a flying saucer. It was decided to clean the windows and even change the coals of the projector. But when it was turned on again, the "thing" was still there. It stayed there until 11 p.m., when one resigned to turning off the projector. Meanwhile, the radar set which had constantly swept the sky had failed to detect the mysterious craft:

"The "thing", commented a technician, "is probably not metallic and that is why the radar could not detect it."

As usual, we won't know anything for a long time.

Many curious people who had gathered around the searchlight were also able to observe the "Christmas tree ball". Some residents of the Faubourg de Sablon were to say the next day that they too had noticed the phenomenon.

In the Loire-Inférieure
a boy meets
a French-speaking "Martian"

A 13-year-old boy, the little Gilbert Lelay, claims to have seen Tuesday evening, around 10:30 p.m., a mysterious craft in a meadow, some 500 meters from his parents' home, in the village of Ste-Marie-en-Erbray, near Châteaubriand.

The child declares that he stayed for ten minutes to observe, about ten meters away, this craft which had the shape of a phosphorescent cigar. A passenger, a man dressed in a suit, a gray hat, wearing boots, reportedly said to him in French: "Look, but don't touch." He put his hand on the boy's shoulder while, in the other hand, he was holding a ball launching purple flashes. He got into the craft through a door which he slammed. On what could be a dashboard were several multicolored buttons.

Still according to the child, the object rose slowly vertically, throwing fires in all directions, made two turns in the air and suddenly disappeared.

Giant rocket in the sky
of Toulouse

Two residents of the Toulouse suburbs, MM. Pierre Vidal and his nephew Ancel Hurle, were able to see, yesterday morning, at dawn, barely a hundred meters from their house, a giant rocket which, departing from a field, quickly disappeared in the sky generating a clarity of rare intensity.

The two men then went to the place where they located the starting point of the mysterious object. There they found that the grass had been packed on a circular surface 5 meters in diameter. In the center of this area, they discovered in the ground, four prints appearing to have been left by the feet of a heavy craft.

The grass was covered with droplets from the condensation of fatty vapor and which smelled of petroleum.

An electric saucer

Two residents of Clamecy (Nièvre), MM. Henri Gallois and Louis Vigneron, fairground merchants, said they had seen a cylindrical craft in a meadow near Corbigny.

They state that while they were about 50 meters from the craft, they felt an electric shock while the engine of their truck stopped and the headlights went out. When the craft was gone, the headlights turned back on, but they had to restart the engine.

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