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October 17, 1954, Langres, Haute-Marne:

Reference for this case: 17-Oct-54-Langres.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The regional newspaper La Haute Marne Libérée for October 18, 1954, reported that "yesterday" so on October 17, 1954, at the end of the afternoon, the residents of Langres, in particular the crowd of the Turenne soccers stadium, were able to observe a glowing craft at very high-altitude; which, after hovering for a long time, finally rose and disappeared with, some claimed, a release of smoke.

The newspaper was wondering if this was one of those mysterious craft that were seen everywhere, or more simply anyway, a weather balloon.

In the regional newspaper La Bourgogne Républicaine, of Dijon, one read on page 4 for October 18, 1954:

The next afternoon [i.e. October 17, 1954], still in Langres, the 400 spectators of the Langres Youth - Cheminots Bragards soccer game were overflown at very high altitude for more than an hour by a bright craft moving very slowly above and in the opposite direction of the clouds, i.e. from southwest to northeast. The object then suddenly disappeared into the sky.

The Langres saucer supporters have scored a point, but their opponents ensure that it is a weather balloon launched by the Perongney base. This has not been demonstrated.

In the newspaper Ouest-France for October 19, 1954, it was stated that it had lasted more than an hour, that the witnesses were the 400 spectators of the soccer game in Langres Sunday afternoon, who, instead of following the soccer ball on the field, observed an craft at very high altitude. "Some people thought it was a balloon," the others said this seemed unlikely, because before it disappeared, the craft moved in the opposite direction of the wind.

In 1979, the two "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker reproduced the Ouest-France report and, apparently unconvinced by the idea that it was a weather balloon, explained that one can take a cardboard disk of "good diameter", surround it with tape, "put it backwards" and attach to it "with a few strings three or four balloons and thus obtain" a "rare specialty: the Adamsky [sic, Adamski] saucer."

Reports:

[Ref. hml1:] NEWSPAPER "LA HAUTE-MARNE LIBEREE":

Scan.

A shining craft in the sky of Langres intrigued the crowd

Yesterday in the end of the afternoon, the residents, and in particular the crowd of the Turenne Stadium, could observe a brilliant craft at very high altitude, which, after having been motionless during a long moment finally rose and disappeared with, some claim, a release of smoke.

Was it one of these mysterious craft that are seen everywhere? Or more simply, despite everything, a weather balloon?

[Ref. lbr1:] NEWSPAPER "LA BOURGOGNE REPUBLICAINE":

Scan.

A SAUCER SATURDAY EVENING
ON THE COTE-D'OR AND THE JURA

Dijon. -- Mr. Michel Grillet, railway worker, saw Saturday evening, around 9:30 p.m. above the marshalling yard of Gevray, a white ball which moved rapidly in the sky leaving a long trail behind it. The craft, which moved approximately at 3000 meters of altitude, followed the direction Longvic-Mont-Afrique.

Several of Mr. Grillet's comrades witnessed the phenomenon.

A SALINS (Jura)

The phenomenon is confirmed by the following dispatch that our correspondent in Salins telephones to us. Note that the direction is strictly identical, as well as the hour, to within a few minutes.

Saturday evening, around 9:25 p.m., a few wanderers were strolling rue de la République when Mr. Pierre Mourey saw in the sky an iridescent luminous disc flying over the city in an east-west direction, coming from Fort Belin to disappear behind Fort Saint-André. The circular craft was moving at high speed, leaving behind a green orange and yellow trail.

Mr. Mourey's comrades confirmed the fact.

Other phenomena
in the Haut-Marne sky

Langres (From our own correspondent). -- Saturday at 9 p.m., a luminous object, flying in the north-east-south-west direction, at a seemingly fairly moderate pace, was observed in the Langres sky. It left behind a long red trail that lingered for a few seconds.

This phenomenon was observed in particular by two police officers from Langres, Brigadier Denommé and police officer Villemain.

Mr. Jaillet, the funeral director, and a gendarmerie patrol from the Langres brigade also saw what some consider to be a mysterious craft, others a meteor.

The next afternoon, still in Langres, the 400 spectators of the Langres Youth - Cheminots Bragards soccer game were overflown at very high altitude for more than an hour by a bright craft moving very slowly above and in the opposite direction of the clouds, i.e. from southwest to northeast. The object then suddenly disappeared into the sky.

The Langres saucer supporters have scored a point, but their opponents ensure that it is a weather balloon launched by the Perongney base. This has not been demonstrated.

[Ref. ofe1:] NEWSPAPER "OUEST-FRANCE":

During more than one hour, Sunday afternoon, the 400 witnesses of the football game, in Langres, instead of following the evolutions of the round balloon on the ground, payed to see from the inside of the stadium the evolutions of an unknown apparatus which was at a very high altitude and which everyone could contemplate. Some believed that it was a weather balloon, which, say the others, appears not very probable, for before disappearing, the machine moved in the direction opposite of the wind.

[Ref. bbr1:] GERARD BARTHEL AND JACQUES BRUCKER:

The two authors first reproduce the "Ouest-France" newspaper article for October 19.

Then, they comment: "Error!" and tell us of a "recipe" which consist in taking a cardboard disc of a "good diameter", to use adhesive tape to tape it all around, to turn it upside down and to attach at the top with some strings three of four toy balloons and so we get a "vers rare specialty: the Adamsky [sic, Adamski] saucer."

They add that this trick has been published in "Paris-Presse" some time in October 1954 under the "never-ending topic: flying saucers."

[Ref. jsr1:] JEAN SIDER:

At the beginning of his book, Jean Sider lists the case as one of which Barthel and Brucker's alleged investigation is "imaginary" in his opinion.

ABUSIVE PRESS QUOTES

18 - Case of Langres, Haute-Marne.

Page 158, the Langres affair is presented from the daily newspaper Ouest-France; which is not a crime, but may upset the reader who would place Langres in Champagne instead of Brittany... that on Sunday, October 17, in the afternoon, the 400 spectators of a soccer game taking place in Langres, were able to follow the moves of an unknown apparatus which moved at high altitude. Before disappearing, the craft moved in the opposite direction of the wind.

To smash this observation, B & B appeal to an unexpected source: Paris-Presse "during October 1954"! This imprecision in the date indicates a borrowing from an author himself lacking in seriousness, or else from a somewhat neglected file... This new appeal to a Parisian source is motivated by the fact that this weekly explained the incident by advancing a skillful contraption lifted by children's balloons! Therefore, Paris-Presse becomes the unique and irrefutable panacea for our two friends who did not try to go further in the verification to see if this version tallied with the testimonies. The fact that they absolutely do not take into account the progression of the phenomenon against the wind does not seem to have posed a problem for them, especially since the art of practicing rationalism and disinformation consists essentially in silencing on all the features that hinder the reduction.

You would have thought that, given the presence of 400 witnesses, they would have tried to find at least one. Nope! In their eyes, only Paris-Presse is telling the truth and the others are wrong or lying...

If we consult La Bourgogne Républicaine for October 18, 1954, page 4, we can see that the article in Ouest-France of October 19 is relatively close to that from the local newspaper. In October 13 issue, there is mention of a false cardboard saucer fitted with light bulbs, a battery and children's balloons, which were discovered on the 11th or 12th at Champigny. A second contraption of the same type was found on October 24, in Villechétive, according to a short text published in La Bourgogne Républicaine for October 26, 1954, page 4. The observation of Langres took place October 17 in the middle of the afternoon, so the first toy can be eliminated. As for the second, located a week after the game, it is unlikely that it was able to deceive four hundred people, especially since it was intended to deceive at night using its lights (very pale compared to those of real phenomena, very powerful). Without forgetting that it moved against the wind...

Here again the "rigor" in the judgment makes me think of.. what Monnerie writes [1] on page 14: "For each hypothesis that they ... considered, they scrupulously checked the accuracy of the facts they needed for their work."

Scrupulously? With Paris-Presse "during October" as a reference? And with a totally stupid explanation, what's more? It is a level of cretinism that only rationalists practice without having moral issues...

[1] Michel Monnerie, ufologist turned "skeptic" who had praised Barthel and Brucker's book [bbr1].

[Ref. usa1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 17 October 1954 at 15:00, in Langres, France, an unidentified object was sighted, "that had an unusual appearance or performance. One object was observed by eight witnesses for over 60 minutes."

The source is indicated as "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)."

[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
19541017 17.10.1954 Langres France 15.00

Explanations:

Map.

About Barthel and Brucker:

I cannot even begin to grasp which extraordinary mental process has brought thse authors to comment this case by indicating that an "Adamsky saucer" can be constructed with some toy balloons and cardboard.

It is of course understood that faked flying saucers can be made of balloon and carboard, or you can make funny hats or halloween costumes out of that, but where on earth is this relevant to the sighting as told in the newspaper article?

Beyond Barthel et Brucker:

If the assumption is made that the winds at high altitude goes in a different direction than at low altitude, which is possible, and the reasonable assumption that the directions of the winds at high altitude was not checked at the weather services, then the argument that it cannot be a balloon does not hold.

Also, it is noted that the sighting lasted one hour. This suggests that the object in the sky could have been slow or even motionless during one hour, which is possible for a balloon. The lack of detailed information on the position changes versus time prohibits a sure explanation.

It could have been a balloon.

Keywords:

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

Langres, Haute-Marne, duration, multiple, object, high, balloon, machine, wind

Sources:

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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross October 8, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross February 4, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [usa1].
1.1 Patrick Gross March 2, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross December 11, 2019 Addition of the Summary.
1.3 Patrick Gross February 25, 2021 Addition [lbr1]. In the Summary, addition of the information from [lbr1].
1.4 Patrick Gross September 30, 2021 Addition [jsr1].

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