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October 15, 1954, Latry, Charente:

Reference for this case: 15-Oct-54-Latry.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


The regional newspaper La Charente Libre, of Angoulême, reported on page 3 on October 18, 1954, that "a strange mushroom appeared in Ronsenac where one would have (also) seen a flying saucer!"

The newspaper reported that there was a power failure "Friday" at about 9 p.m. in Ronsenac, which pushed Mr. Jean Deret, farmer in the hamlet of "Latrie" (actually Latry), to close the switches of his stable when the power came back.

About 150 meters from the farm owned by Mr. Rouchaud, director of the Angouleme Hospital, Mr. Deret then saw on the edge of the small wood nearby, while the dogs of the neighborhood were barking all together, an intense, orange glow, appearing to come from an object having the shape and approximate size of a half-barrel that seemed to oscillate from right to left, about ten meters from the ground.

To make sure he was not the victim of an hallucination, Mr. Deret immediately called his brother and sister-in-law. But they did not haste to come, and as the minutes passed, Mr. Deret ran back home, to insist; "Come quickly, this was never seen before..."

Mrs. Deret and the brother-in-law then arrived at the property gate just in time to see the strange glow descend suddenly to the ground, then everything fell back into the night.

The newspaper explains that the two Deret brothers, strong men in their forties, are not easily afraid, but after a few meters towards the place where the mysterious glow appeared, they walked back, "because, you never know!... "

On Saturday, in the early hours of the morning, Mr. Jourdain, mayor of Ronsenac, who was hunting nearby, was informed of the sighting and went to the place with the Deret brothers. But he only saw the grass trampled by the cows grazing daily in this field.

The newspaper assures that Mr. Deret and his sister-in-law are absolutely trustworthy and that their testimony is formal, and that the case created a lot of talk in Ronsenac.

The newspaper then reports that "the day before", Mr. Robert Deret, twenty meters from where the mysterious glow disappeared, had found a mushroom of a shape absolutely unknown in the region. It was milky white, shaped like an orange, and was surmounted by a spongy cone about 20 centimeters long, the end of which resembled two labia and was a sort of internal membrane apparently designed to snatch up small insects. The inside of the ball was made of a viscous material giving off a strong and unpleasant odor.

This mushroom was shown to all the inhabitants of Ronsenac and "some are not far from thinking that this is a Martian experience!!!"

The newspaper was of the opinion that a botanist would give another version of this "mystery"...



A strange mushroom made its appearance in Ronsenac where a flying "saucer" was also seen!

If a power failure had not occurred Friday at the fall of night, in Ronsenac, Mr. Jean Deret, farmer with the hamlet of Latrie, would not have had the occasion to see, around 9 in the evening, whereas he was going to close (the power having come back) the switches of his stable, a strange phenomenon.

Within a hundred and fifty meters approximately of the farm, which is the property of Mr. Rouchaud, director of hospital of Angouleme, Mr. Deret saw indeed at the edge of the neighboring small wood, while the dogs of the neighborhoods were barking in unison, an intense gleam, of orange color, appearing to come from an object having the shape and the approximate size of a half-barrel who appeared to oscillate from the right to the left, at ten meters approximately of the ground.

To be sure that he was not the object of an hallucination, the farmer called at once his brother and his sister-in-law.

Those being long in coming and the minutes running out, Mr. Deret returned while running to the house and was more persuasive:

"Come quickly, this has never been seen..."

Mrs. Deret did not ask further invitation and at the same time as his brother-in-law, arrived at the fence of the property right in time to see the strange gleam going down suddenly on the ground, and then all is dark again.

The Deret brothers, two strong solids chaps in their early forties, are not timorous, but after having made a few meters in direction of the place where the mysterious gleam had appeared, they grained way, because, you never know!...

Saturday, at the first hours of the morning, Mr. Jourdain, mayor of Ronsenac, who was hunting in the vicinity, was informed of the odd appearance and, accompanied by the Deret brothers, went to the site. But he saw only grass pressed by the cows which feed daily in this field.

What can we conclude from that? Mr. Deret and his sister-in-law are of absolute good faith and their testimony is formal. But this additional version in the chapter of the flying saucers made - you can guess - the talk of Ronsenac.


One cannot obviously link together the appearance of this orange "barrel" and the discovery the day before by Mr. Robert Deret, at a few twenty meters of the place where the mysterious gleam disappeared. While crossing the wood, the farmer of Latrie had indeed found there a mushroom of a form absolutely unknown in the area. This cryptogam of a milky white, with the form and the size of an orange (again) surmounted of a spongy cone of twenty centimeters length approximately which end resembles two lips and comprises a kind of internal membrane appearing intended to grab small insects. The interior of the ball is made up of a viscous matter releasing a strong and unpleasant odor.

Of course, this mushroom was shown to all the inhabitants of Ronsenac and some are not far to think that it is a Martian experiment!!!

We rather believe that a botanist would give another version of this "mystery"...

[Photo caption:] M. Deret showing the place where he saw the strange luminous ball.

[Ref. rdr1:] "RADAR" MAGAZINE:



[Photo caption:] - It is here and in the position that I indicate that the bizarre and luminous craft appeared...

DERET: - It was posed like that!

- To materialize my vision, here is this stick and my hat. I was in my kitchen when the electricity went out. Oh! nothing fishy. It wasn't a trick of the Martians. A quarter of an hour later, the light came on again. I told to myself: "I have to go and turn the switch in the stable. No way i would let it burn all night". I go out. A cool wind was blowing. I look up. Above a small wood, a cylinder surmounted by a cupola swayed in a halo of reddish and yellow flames. The whole measured 1.50 m. Suddenly it dived to the ground and disappeared. It wasn't a dream though.

[Photo caption:] In his Charente farm, Jean Deret, draws on the ground the sketch of his cylinder with plate. The observer is one of the few witnesses who did not see the classic-looking saucer.

[Ref. jsr1:] JEAN SIDER:

Jean Sider discovered this case in the newspaper "La Charente Libre" for October 18, 1954 and gives this summary:

In Ronsenac in Charente, Jean Deret and his brother are managing, in the hamlet of Latrie, the farm of Mr. Rouchaud, director of the Hospital of Angouleme.

On October 15, 1954, at 09:00 p.m., following a power failure, when electricity was back, Jean Deret goes outside to close the stables' shutters. At this point in time, he sees an intense gleam at the edge of the wood located at 150 m of his farm, while the dogs of the neighborhoods barked in unison. The gleam seemed to come from an object of the shape and the size approximate of a half-barrel, which appeared to from right to left at ten meters above the ground.

He called his wife and his brother who came outside to see the strange gleam, which went down towards the ground. Darkness then came back. Mr. Deret and his brother wanted to go on the premises, but in the course of the trip they judged wiser to give up.

The next day, the mayor of Ronsenac, Mr. Jourdain, was informed and went on the premises accompanied by the Deret brothers to see whether there were possible traces but they did not find any.

The day before, Mr. Robert Deret, brother of Jean Deret, had found at 20 m of the place of supposed landing, a mushroom of an absolutely unknown species in the area, of similar shape and size to an orange, but of a white-milky color, surmounted by a spongy cone of 20 cm approximately, which end resembled two lips and comprises a kind of internal membrane appearing intended to grab small insects. The interior of the ball was made of a viscous matter releasing a strong and unpleasant odor.


4150: 1954/10/15 21:00 2 0:15:00 E 45:28:00 N 3333 WEU FRN CHN 6:7


Ref#217 Jean SIDER: Le DOSSIER 1954 (2 vol.) Page No. 107 : FARMLANDS


(4) LDLN 320 page 39. case of Ronsenac for 10/15/54 at 9 p.m. where la Charente Libre for October 18, 1954, headlined: "A strange mushroom appeared in Ronsenac where one would have (also) seen a "flying saucer". J.Mesnard notes that the Phallus lmpudicus found is unrelated to the observation but does not specify that this case is a probable misunderstanding of the rising moon (azimuth) to be verified.

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Charente in Ronsenac on October 15, 1954 at 21:00 hours, "In the hamlet of Latrie, a witness attended a quasi-landing which seems to have caused a power failure at his farm. The dogs of the sector started to bark together during the incident."

The source is indicated as my website at

[Ref. ubk1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541015 15.10.1954 Ronsenac France 09.00 p.m.



Picture of Jean Deret published in Radar magazine in 1954.

The Ronsenac area is known for its mushrooms production, it can be supposed that the Derets brothers are rightly astonished by the mushroom they found, which was probably not so common, but also probably without relationship with the phenomenon of the night.

Bovista gigantea and its family do have the shape of a ball, but there is neither cone nor particular odor and it is a very common and well-known mushroom:

Lycoperdon foetidum has a really terrible odor as reported, and is often whitish, but has a distinguisheable foot and tears at the top in a quite intriguing manner when it emits spores:

Anthurus of archer is a mushroom in the shape of a ball, which appeared in France in 1920 in the Vosges, the spores have seemingly been unwillingly imported by the Australian soldiers of the ANZAC. The description could almost correspond since it has a stench, a base which is a milky white ball, and a "blossoming" in a very red star shape with 4 to 7 branches, which evokes some "carnivore." It is a rare mushroom, but it can be found in Charente:

Although rare and weird mushrooms are found, I could not find a very precise match with the description given in the newspaper. Also, it remains to be checked for matching plants.

As for the "craft", difficult to picture, it could have been the Moon, since at 9 p.m. on this date and at this place, it was visible at the bearing of 61° 5' and the low elevation of 5° 27'.

Jean Sider mentions that the craft "seems" to have caused the power failure on the farm, but nothing proves this.

To confuse things more, there is no "Latrie" near Ronsenac, but there is a locality with a hamlet named "Les prairies de Latry" ("the Latry Meadows").


(These keywords are only to help queries and are not implying anything.)

Latry, Latrie, Charente, Ronsenac, Latry, farm, night, Jean Deret, Derret, Déret, object, low, outage, failure, power, effects, dogs, animals


[----] indicates sources that are not yet available to me.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross October 23, 2003 First published, [lcl1], [jsr1].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 24, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lcn1].
1.1 Patrick Gross December 29, 2011 A search on the web revealed no new source.
1.2 Patrick Gross August 7, 2019 Additions [lhh1], Summary.
1.3 Patrick Gross February 6, 2021 Addition [ubk1].
1.4 Patrick Gross May 21, 2022 Addition [rdr1].
1.5 Patrick Gross June 1, 2022 Addition [mde1].

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