Wednesday, August 5, 2009

UFOs One Year at a Time: 1954

The 1954 French flap

"It is a huge and worthy work which needs to be urgently carried out because the witnesses of year 54 start to seriously age (if they did not already disappear!) and it is high time to question them again to compare their current testimonies with their former one. I know several groups which wrote to me to announce the startup of this work. One can only applaud and recommend that they remain careful in their critical research and not to hesitate to put side to side the two different versions, without judging by themselves which is the correct one. It would perhaps unconsciously privilege the current tendencies of ufology... at the expense of the historical truth, since nothing proves that the version currently given thirty years after the facts and with the erosion of the memory is the right version of the events. Thus it is best to juxtapose testimonies, letting to those who will read and study these texts in the future the care to shape an opinion, for one must be very conscious that this work is not for ourselves."

Gilbert Cornu, ufologist, May 1986.

THE "SAUCER" which hovered saturday evening above SEDAN has been photographed

We announced yesterday that several people saw a luminous spot of round form, above the area of Sedan, Saturday in the evening. We did not want to give an exaggerated importance to this news, at a time when minds are influenced by the accounts related to strange appearances.

But the fact that this luminous spot could be fixed on photographic film obliges us to come out of our reserve.

The documents which we publish are absolutely authentic and they are by no means about trick photographs. These two photographs were taken Saturday at about 10 P.M. (the witnesses, in their emotion forgot the exact time) from a window of a building of Jean-Jaurès street in Sedan. Two witnesses were with the photographer. It is this latter who, wanting to take some air at the window of his room, was the first to see this abnormal gleam which intrigued other witnesses, in different places. Two policemen, in faction at the Sports Stadium, saw a luminous disc, at about 09:30 P.M.. Several young people, coming from the direction of Vrigne also saw it. When the photographs which we publish were taken, their author was unaware of any of the other observations.

These two photographs were taken with a "Sem Flex" 6x6, opening 3.5; exposure time: 1 second for the first and 2 seconds for the other; "Per Omnia" 23 filmstrip.

The smaller spot is the moon which reached its second district yesterday evening. The luminous disc, definitely larger than the moon, strongly impressed the film.

On the enlargings one clearly distinguishes an obscure central core in the middle of the luminous disc.

A photograph had been taken by an amateur on the side of the "Moulin à Vent" ("Windmill"). Unfortunately, the exposure time was too short: 1/100th of a second, it did not provide anything of value when developed.


Marius Dewilde

"VAR-MATIN REPUBLIQUE" NEWSPAPER: Near Valenciennes Strange beings and a mysterious machine appeared to a workman...

Valenciennes, September 12. -- An inhabitant of Quarouble, close to Valenciennes, Mr. Marius Dewilde, aged 34, workman in a workshop of the north of France in Blanc Misseron, domiciled at the railway crossing #79, stated that Friday evening, around 10 p.m., his attention was drawn by the barkings of his dog.

He came out immediately, equipped with a flashlight, and saw on the way skirting his dwelling, in a particularly deserted place, a dark mass, of oval form, which could be six meters in length and three in height.

Directing his lamp in another direction, Mr. Dewilde saw two strange and squat men, whose size did not exceed one meter, moving quickly towards the machine. These men had a short head on which the rays of the lamp is said to have been reflected as if they were spheres of glasses.

A few moments later, an intense square of light appeared on the sides of the machine. The witness is said to have then closed his eyes. When he reopened them, the light and the strange beings had disappeared.

The apparatus, slightly swinging, went up vertically while releasing smoke, arrived at ten meters of the ground, the lower part of the machine reddened and it disappeared quickly.

Mr. Dewilde announced this strange appearance to the police force of Onnaing. The Air police force went on the spot but no trace was noted.


"My wife and my son just went to bed, and I read by the fireplace the account of the accident of "L'Abeille". The clock hung above the cooker marked 10:30 P.M., when my attention was drawn by the barkings of my dog Kiki. The animal howled madly. Suspecting the presence of some prowler in the yard, I took my flashlight and went outside."

"While arriving in the garden, I saw on the railway, within less than six meters of my door, on the left, a sort of dark mass. It must have been a peasant who left his carriage there, I initially thought. I will have to inform the police officers at the police station tomorrow, so that they remove it, or there will be some accident at the first hour."

"At this time, my dog came towards me, crawling, and suddenly, on my right, I heard a noise of hurried steps. There is a path which one calls "the path of the smugglers" because smugglers use it sometimes, at night. My dog had turned again to this direction and had started again to bark. I lit my flashlight and projected its light towards the path."

"What I discovered had nothing in commun with smugglers: two "beings" as I had never seen before, at no more than three or four meters of me, just behind the palisade who only separated me from them, were marching one behind the other in the direction of the dark mass which I had noticed on the railway. One of them, the one that went in front, turned to me. The beam of my lamp came right at the place of its face, a reflection of glass or metal. I had the clear impression that its head was enclosed in some diving-suit helmet. The two beings were besides clothed in one piece suits, similar to those of the divers. They had a very small size, probably less than one meter, but extremely broad of shoulders, and the helmet protecting the "head" appeared enormous to me. I saw their legs, small, proportioned with their size, it seemed to me, but on the other hand I did not see an arm. I am unaware of wether they had arms. The first second of stupor went by, I rushed towards the door of the garden with the intention to circumvent the palisade and to cut their path to capture at least one of them."

"I was at no more than two meters of the two silhouettes when, spouting out suddenly through a sort of square of the dark mass that I had initially seen on the rails, an extremely powerful illumination, like a magnesium flash, plugged me. I closed my eyes and wanted to shout, but I could not. I was like paralysed. I tried to move, but my legs did not obey me any more. Thrown into a panic, I heard as in a dream, within one meter of me, a noise of stepping on the cement flagstone which is posed in front of the door of my garden. In fact the two beings moved towards the railway."

"Finally, the projector died out. I regained the control of my muscles and run towards the railway. But already, the dark mass which was landed there rose off the ground while slightly balancing as would an helicopter."

"However I had been able to see a kind of door closing itself. A thick dark vapor spouted out underneath it with a light whistle. The machine went up to the vertical to about thirty meters, then, without ceasing taking altitude, fled towards the west in direction of Anzin. From a certain distance, it took a reddish luminosity. One minute later, all had disappeared."

Nouatre, Indre-et-Loire, France, September 30, 1954
This case was originally brought to light by renowned researcher Jacques Vallee, and it is a strange one indeed. Occurring at Nouatre, Indre-et-Loire, France in 1954, it is a case unlike any other, and yet all of the witnesses to the event are considered trustworthy, and their strange sighting has never been debunked. American ufology students have treated this case with little credibility, but serious investigators have embraced it as genuine. It began at a construction site at 4:30 P.M. on September 30, 1954. George Gatay, who was foreman of an eight-man construction crew, was unexpectedly drawn away from his crew, feeling a sense of "peculiar drowsiness." He was walking, but did not know why or to where.

A short distance from his construction site, Gatay was amazed to encounter a man standing on a slope, some 30 feet from him. The "man" was wearing an opaque glass helmet with a large visor. He was wearing gray coveralls, and short boots. He also held an object in his hand, which Gatay described as a weapon of some kind, like a rod. There was a kind of electronic instrument display on his chest. This strange looking man was standing in front of a dome-shaped object, which hovered about 3 feet above the ground.

The craft had a cupola with blade-like devices above it. Gatay, enthralled with the sight of the man and his craft, was frozen in his tracks. Gatay stated: "Suddenly, the strange man vanished, and I couldn't explain how he did it, since he did not disappear from my field of vision by walking away, but vanished like an image one erases. Then I heard a strong whistling sound which drowned the noise of our excavators.

Soon the object rose by successive jerks, in a vertical direction, and then it too was erased in a sort of blue haze, as if by a miracle." Gatay had tried to run after first seeing the being and object, but was "paralyzed" during the sighting. Strangely, his seven co-workers were also in a sort of a daze during the incident. All eight of the men were "non-believers" before their strange incident. As soon as Gatay was released from his strange encounter, he ran back to the other workers, and cried, "Have you seen something?" One of the men, Mr. Beurrois, exclaimed, "Yes--A flying saucer!" Another of the men, excavator driver Mr. Lubanovic added, "There was a man dressed like a diver in front of it." The other workers all added their confirmation to the strange event.

Gatay was a well-known and respected man who had fought in the war with the French Resistance, and was wounded in Luxembourg. After the sighting, he began to suffer from insomnia, strong headaches, and a loss of appetite. These symptoms lasted about a week. Even after this strange sighting, the men collectively believed that they had been witnesses to some type of experimental craft, probably from France itself. This explanation was not feasible given the details of the hovering of the craft, and the actual vanishing of the craft in front of the men. What was this other-wordly craft seen by these men? And the being, was it a living entity, or a remotely controlled robot of some type? To this day, no reasonable explanation has been given to answer these questions, and this case is still listed as unexplained.

B J Booth

sources: Article: Jacques Valle, Lumire Dans la Nuit, magazine, numero 43.
"Passport to Magonia - Section, "100 Years of UFO Landings."
"Chronique des apparitions extra-terrestres", Jacques Valle, Denoel editeur, page 261, 1972. Article dans le journal "France-Soir", 3 Octobre 1954.


(UFOs at Close Sight) In October of 1954, George G..., construction site foreman, was busy extracting sand with six workmen at the edge of a road when, one one meter above the ground, "an apparatus of circular shape, topped of a dome equipped with blades similar to those of an helicopter" appeared. The machine was motionless at the entry of the career and a "Martian of small size", capped of a helmet in the shape of a bell, dressed in a combination, fitted with short boots "came out of there, armed with a kind of large revolver. On his chest, he carrries a disc projecting an intense light which paralysed the foreman.

Under the eyes of the terrorized workers, the UFO "hovers" thirty seconds there, then the "Martian" goes up on board and the apparatus takes altitude again while whistling and emitting a thick fog which dissimulates it to the witnesses...

Rene Pacaut comments that this observation, reported by the newspapers of the time and rehashed by specialized writers, seemed to him all the more interesting because it referred to a machine of an original type: he had never heard speak about a UFO with helicopter blades before! In addition, it was specified that the first reflex of the site foreman had been to leap to his tent to make a sketch of the apparatus and the pilot.

Arrived at Marcilly, he beats the countryside to find the carriers and their chief. But all his efforts remained vain: they had left the area several years ago. He then interrogated the inhabitants who had known them and to whom they had told their story, and he found enough people who had known them. All without exception had the same reaction when he told them of the affair in the career: they burst to laughters.

Believing that they were just scoffing, Pacaut decided to push his investigation further. But everywhere, het obtained the same explanation: the story had been invented by the merry team of workers, at the instigation of their foreman who, to make it plausible, had finicked all the details.

Pacaut asked why these false witnesses had persevered such a long time in their testimonys. It was answered to him that it was because they had ended up being trapped with their own game, and thes did not dare anymore to reconsider their first declarations.

Pacaut considers that their mystification could be inspired by the prank in Bressuire just a day before and not far from there. He notices that in spite of the results of his counter-investigations, "certain keen soucoupists persist in" regarding these two observations as authentic, since, according to them, the witnesses exceeded by the remarks of the scoffers just decided to say that it was a hoax, to have their peace.


According to writer John C. Sherwood, this clip is a hoax perpetrated by researchers Gray Barker and James W. Moseley.

Sherwood says:

"About 1966, Barker helped Moseley create the 'Lost Creek, West Virginia, UFO film.' A hamburger-sized ceramic chunk resembling saucers Adamski claimed he'd ridden was dangled from a pole and filmed against the sky. During college lectures, Moseley presented the film as authentic (Coon 1995, Moseley 1995, Moseley 2001)."

The "Smoking gun." A display case in the Gray Barker Collection exhibits copies of Barker's magazine, The Saucerian, as well as the ceramic UFO model used in the fraudulent "Lost Creek UFO" film created by Barker and Moseley. The plastic model in the background was used to recreate the film in Ralph Coon's documentary Whispers from Space.

ABOVE: THE CONISTON SAUCER: On the 15 February 1954 Stephen Derbyshire, then 14, saw and photographed a UFO on the slopes of the Old Man of Coniston, above Coniston Village in Coniston, Cumbria, England. The picture was blurred but the case became a classic of UFO literature of the time.It was the era of George Adamski and general UFO fervour, and the picture resembled the classic flying saucer shown in Adamski photographs. The object was only in sight for a short time and was described as a strange misty cloud with a definite shape.Some time later he admitted the whole thing as a joke but some people seem to think he said this because of the intense pressure on him at the time. The original photographs were stolen a short time after the sighting.



(UFOs AT CLOSE SIGHT) On August 16, 1954, at 05:00pm, an event stupefied tens of thousands of witnesses at Tananarive, Madagascar (The number of potential witness is an estimated 200.000).

At 05:00pm, Air France's agency personal awaited the arrival of the air mail, delivered by a Lockheed Constellation. One hour after the arrival of the Constellation, the mail has already been distributed and members of the Air France agency, among which Mr. Edmond Campagnac, former military officer and at that time technical director of Air France in Tananarive were quietly chatting together, close to the Avenue of the Liberation, the largest street in Tananarive.

Sudden somebody sees in the sky a "electric green ball" descending straight towards the ground near the Palais de la Reine. He points at it and everybody watches. The phenomenon disappears behind a hill, and they all expect to hear a mighty explosion when the thing hit the ground.

But the green light does not hit the ground.

The green ball reappears a minute afterwards, bigger. It makes a circle over the higher parts of Tananarive, a city built on and inside a series of hills with a "horseshoe" Configuration. The thing then proceeds to fly above Avenue of the Liberation, at an altitude of some 50 to 150 meters in front of tens of thousands of amazed inhabitants. When it flew in front of the Air France personal, they could all get a good look at it. Mr. Campagnac realized that the "electric green light" looks like a kind of lens shaped plasma, of approximately 40 meters length, the "size of a DC4 aircraft." This green lens is closely followed by a flying machine with a distinct silvery metallic aspect and the shape of a football, also 40 meter long, At the back of this metal machine, bluish exhaust flames are seen.

The craft was totally silent. M. Campagnac, in his testimony, which he often publicly offered, explains that the craft did not even make the sound of swishing a flyier would make through the air.

In this case, it is noticeable that the estimate of altitude is not subject to doubts: indeed, while flying above the buildings of Avenue de la Libération, the craft also passed in front of the hills in the background, not with the sky as background.

Several physical phenomena were observed: first of all, the witnesses in the whole city could note that public lights and shop lights died out exactly at the moment the craft passed above them, and functioned again at once behind its passage.

Then the inhabitants quickly noticed that barnyard animals, dogs in the whole city, were howling or barking. At one time during its travel above the city, the UFO flew above the animal park where peasants keep the animals to be sold at daytime at the city's markets. All these animals entered a state of total panic when the object flew over them, though when airplanes flew over them as usually, for example the "Constellation" one hour before, the animals did never show any such reaction, although airplanes are noisy and the UFO, again, was totally silent.

After having flown over Tananarive, the machine set out towards the West. Two or three minutes after, the estimate while being with this approximation, a similar machine or the same machine was observed at 150 kilometers South of Tananarive above a farm school. There again, the herds were seized by panic. The farm director had to call for reinforcements in order to bring back the animals which run away in all directions, risking death in marshes. It is this call to reinforcements which made the witnesses of Tananarive aware of this second observation.

October 14, 1954
North Weald, Essex
UFO encounters RAF Meteor jet

(UFO Phenomenon at Close Sight) On October 14, 1954, Flight-Lieutenant James R. Salandin, flying a Meteor twin-jet fighter plane, narrowly avoided collision with an unidentified flying object over Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

What happened was told to Derek Dempster, the then editor of Flying Saucer Review, and the story appeared in the very first issue of the magazine. (Derek Dempster was himself an ex-RAF pilot and knew how pilots value their professional reputation. Sensation seeking is not their style.)

Jimmy Salandin was one of the 'weekend' pilots of No. 604 County of Middlesex Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force. He had reported for duty at North Weald, Essex, on the afternoon of 4 October, and at 4.15 p.m. took off in his Meteor Mark 8 jet. Climbing southwards into a blue and cloudless sky he soon observed two other Meteors flying in formation high above him and leaving long vapor trails. Flight-Lieutenant Salandin watched the passage of the two aircraft while occasionally checking his instruments.

He had reached 16,000 feet (4880 meters) over the outlying districts of Southend, when to his surprise he saw two circular objects, traveling in the opposite direction to the Meteors, hurtle between them. One of the objects was silvery in color, the other gold. Salandin watched them until they disappeared, at the '9 o'clock high' position-to his port, or left, side.

After checking his own instruments he turned his gaze to the air in front of him. His surprise turned to horror - for he saw a silvery object streaking straight towards him. For a few split seconds he saw a thing that "had a bun-shaped top, a flange like two saucers in the middle, and a bun underneath... it could not have been far off because it overlapped the windscreen." (Derek Dempster noted that Meteor's 37 foot [11 meters] wing span just fills the windscreen at 150 yards [140 meters].) The flying saucer, which was traveling at tremendous speed, avoided a head-on collision at the very last second by suddenly swerving off past the jet on its port side.

Badly shaken, the Flight-Lieutenant flew around quietly for 10 minutes or so to regain his composure, and reported his experience to ground control. He was annoyed, too, when he realized later that his camera - standard equipment on combat aircraft - had been loaded all the time. With everything happening so quickly he didn't have time to press the button. A valuable opportunity to gather evidence for ufology had been missed.

Source for the above information: London Illustrated News, December 2, 1954, and RAF Flying Review, July 1957, and Richard Hall, NICAP.

(BELOW) Italian Photocat pictures from 1954

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