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The 1954 French flap:

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September 17, 1954, Chandolas, Ardèche:

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


In an article in the national newspaper Le Parisien Libéré for September 29, 1954, evoking various "apparitions" of "flying saucers", we read that on September 17, residents of "Chaudelas" in the Ardèche department saw "a craft affecting the shape a torpedo whose front was brighter than the rest" in the sky.

Although it was obvious that this is a description of a meteor, the newspaper asked: "Was it an aerolite or an interplanetary craft?" We'll never know."

Ufologist Aimé Michel mentioned in his 1958 book the observation as "people claim to have seen a flying saucer", always with the erroneous city name "Chaudelas" instead of Chandolas.

Decades later it appeared as "a torpedo-shaped object whose front is brighter" in Luc Chastan's "Base OVNI France", and, to save the honor, as "an unidentified object", "but with an appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation" in a US ufology database. But later, again, a German database recorded the case in duplicate with the date and the name of the city, still misspelled, as only information, and nothing ekse than "Nocturnal Light" (even though the sighting hour is not known); and no explanation, of course.



In the manner of Wells heroes

A farmer in the Vienne saw advancing towards him an interplanetary diver

In the Lyonese, a Parisian filmed a "flying cigar"

Châtellerault, September 29 -. Mr. Yves David, 28-year-old, farmer in Broudoux, community of Verneuil-sur-Vienne, stated to have seen advancing towards him, on the road from Cenon to Vouneuil, on September 19 at 10 p.m., a kind of diver.

The latter, he says, came to caress his arm, emitted unintelligible sounds and withdrew towards a craft (that Mr. David cannot describe). A green beam of light was projected in his direction, nailing him on the spot, then the machine disappeared in the sky vertically, without any noise. Mr. David states that initially he did not want to tell anything of this weird encounter for fear of ridicule. He however informed a friend of his, asking him whether other people had seen the "diver". That's how the country knew about it.

Air carrousel in the Lyonese

Lyon, September 29. -- Between September 15 and 20, several people in the Lyons area, announced to have seen flying saucers. A 15-year-old young man, Mr. Roland M... says: "On the 15th at approximately 11 p.m., I was within approximately 200 meters of the fort of Feyzin (the Isère) when my attention was caught by a white light. I was then amazed to see, detached in the sky, ten meters above the ground, a dark spot from where a sharp light similar to the combustion of a magnesium spot emerged."

The black "shape" seemed slightly elliptic.

Arrived at about fifty meters of this "space ship", I was amazed to hear a deaf noise like that of a wet rocket, I even saw at the same time a shower of sparks spout out of the lower part of the craft. Then all of a sudden, like a rocket, it rose at a tremendous speed, perhaps 4000 or 5000 km/h." In addition, residents of Chaudelas (the Ardèche) saw on September 17 in the sky, a craft of the shape of a torpedo with the front more luminous than the rest. Was it of an aerolite or an interplanetary apparatus? It will never be known. Lastly, in Lyons, Mrs. J T... indicates that on the 18th at 3:55 a.m., she saw a craft which went back in the sky vertically at a vertiginous pace.

Another testimony, perhaps the most important, was provided to us by Mr. René Valery, artistic director of the Olympia in Paris. Mr. Valery was in Lyon and he stated to us that he had, as well as his wife, sighted a curious "cigar" whereas they were, on Thursday 16, in Savigny, in the Rhone. "It was approximately 6 p.m., he told us. We were walking, when we saw a craft at approximately 700 or 800 m of altitude. It went up vertically without the least engine noise."

Behind it, it left a broad trail of white smoke. It could not be a matter, in my opinion, he still told us, of a jet plane, I would have heard the whistling sound, because of the proximity of the machine. Moreover, this cigar had by no means the shape of a jet."

Mr. Valery, who does not seem to be able to admit, in spite of the testimony of his senses, that he saw a flying saucer, was carrying an 8 mm movie camera. He hastened to film the evolutions of the aerial object.

Perhaps he will know Thursday, while going to get his developed film, if he were as well as his wife, the subject of an hallucination or if, on the contrary, it was really of one of these famous saucers. He waits for Thursday without impatience, the more so as the visibility was not very good and that he fears to have perhaps missed his "saucer".

Let us add that the saucers are not an invention of our century. Indeed, an extract of the memories of the Emulation society of the Jura, for 1864, under the title "Flaming globes" reports the following lines:

"On January 20, 1859 at 04:35 a.m., by a rather strong rain, but a calm and a very black night, the atmosphere was suddenly illuminated by a very bright white light which made it possible to distinguish from far away the objects with a great accuracy. This light was due to a luminous sphere slipping through space from the south to the north, at a great speed. Large numbers of people who, frightened, left their house, believed in a fire. This phenomenon was seen from Lyon to Strasbourg." [Perfect description of a meteor.]

Four other observations of this kind, but less remarkable, are noted on the registers at the following dates: January 10, 1847, November 13 and 17, 1848, and August 11, 1850.

"They must be distinguished from the incandescent spheres which are seen during storms [ball lightning], since their appearance always takes place by a calm weather, without detonation and giving a sharp light."

At the sight of a flying saucer, a locomotive driver falls sick.

MM. Gérard, mechanic and Paroux, driver, who led a wildcat locomotive engine, coming from Nantes, saw yesterday evening, whereas they passed by the location "La Butte Rouge", community of St Nicolas-de-Redon (the Ille et Vilaine), a machine which rose from nearby marshes. This machine, of a certain length, which was followed of a luminous trail, flew during ten seconds above the locomotive and disappeared in the sky. Whereas the mechanic kept his cool, the driver on the other hand, was so frightened that he fell sick and had to undergo a medical examination this morning.

[Ref. gqy1:] GUY QUINCY:


September 17 [1954]

[... Other cases...]

?: Chandolas (Ardèche)

[... Other cases...]

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel reports that on September 17, 1954 in Chaudolas [sic] in the department of Ardèche, according to the newspaper "Le Parisien Libéré" for September 29, 1954, people claimed they have seen a flying saucer passing.


DATE: September 17, 1954


OBSERVATION: young people claim to have seen a flying saucer pass.

SOURCES: A. MICHEL - "Mystérieux objets célestes".

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Ardèche in Chaudolas [sic] on September 17, 1954 at an unknown hour, "Several people observe an object in the shape of torpedo pass by of which the front is more luminous."

The sources are indicated as "M.O.C. by Michel Aimé ** Arthaud 1958" and "Var Matin".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 17 September 1954 in Chaudolas [sic], France, "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed by more than two witnesses."

The sources are indicated as "Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Newspaper Clippings."

[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
19540917 17.09.1954 Chaudolas France
19540917 17.09.1954 Chandolas France NL



Obvious description of a meteor.


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

Chandolas, Ardèche, multiple, flying saucer, object, craft, torpedo, luminous


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 2, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross June 15, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross January 29, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross March 29, 2019. Addition of the Summary.
1.3 Patrick Gross April 26, 2019. Addition [uin1].
1.4 Patrick Gross March 7, 2021. Addition [gqy1].

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This page was last updated on March 7, 2021.