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The 1954 French flap:

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October 18, 1954, Gelles, Puy-de-Dôme:

Reference for this case: 18-oct-54-Gelles-2.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


An article in the regional newspaper Le Méridional dated October 20, 1954, said that days earlier, in Gelles, several people had seen an ovoid "machine" posed in a field.

Aimé Michel cite this in his 1958 book without citing any source, then Jacques Vallée notes in 1966, still without citing any source, that this observation was that of a "cigar-shaped luminous 'machine' that crosses the sky at quite fast pace and noiselessly", wondering whether it should be "exclude 'immediately' as a meteor?" and commenting that he cannot answer.

To make matters more complicated, there was on that day near Gelles - in Gelles for some - the alleged sighting by Mr. Bachelard.




A craft in a field

CLERMONT-FERRAND. -- MISTERS Jean Augard, farmer in Sisternes-la-Forêt (the Puy-de-Dôme) and Jean Chanzotte, former mine worker, stated to have seen, in a field at the edge of the road, an ovoid-shaped craft surmounted of a cupola of a brilliant white. As the two men approached the "saucer", it rose vertically and disappeared in direction of the North-East, leaving behind it a reddish trail.

A few days ago, in Gelles, a nearby village, several people had seen a similar craft, also posed in a field.

[Ref. lcx1:] NEWSPAPER "LA CROIX":


Saucers, cigars, etc.

They fly away!

MM. Jean Augard, farmer in Sisternes-la-Forêt [sic] (Puy-de-Dôme), and Jean Chanzotte, former miner, declared to have seen, in a field by the roadside, a craft of ovoid shape surmounted by a dome of a brilliant white color. As the two men approached the "saucer", it rose vertically and disappeared in a northeast direction, leaving behind a reddish trail.

In Gelles, a neighboring town, several people had seen a similar craft, also posed in a field.

In the Vendée, [Error: in Charente-Maritime] in Pont-l'Abbé-d'Arnoult, a mysterious craft that was rising vertically behind a hedge, was seen by Mr. Meunier, foreman in a masonry company.

While pursuing the saucer...
he "drinks the cup"

Several people were running through fields in Moyaux (Calvados), in the direction of a flying saucer which had been pointed out to them by a child.

One of them, a farmer, Mr. Filate, who never took his eyes off the sky, fell into a deep pond where he almost drowned. Fortunately, his companions managed to save him.

"Melon and tandem"

A "melon" made its appearance this time in the skies of Alsace. Indeed, several people, including a few pilots from the Strasbourg Aero-Club, claim to have seen on Saturday evening a shiny craft, having the shape of a melon, and leaving a trace of two meters of white-orange color, fly over the region of the Bas-Rhin.

Two residents of St-Cirgues (Haute-Loire), saw in the sky, at very high altitude, two luminous balls which seemed interconnected by a rod. The craft remained motionless for a quarter of an hour then disappeared at very high speed.

Brigadier are you right?

Monday evening, around 9:25 p.m., in Pommier (Pas-de-Calais), the brigadier head of the gendarmerie and a gendarme saw an orange luminous craft moving at a very high speed from East to West at about 500 meters of altitude.

In the sky of Italy

One also reports the passage of saucers in the Italian sky, above Milan, Trento, Genoa and the Po delta.

One of these craft reportedly even have landed in Capri at night, of course. It is a painter, Mr. Raffaële Castello, who allgedly saw the saucer land on the terrace of the villa of Malaporte [sic, Malaparte]. The painter, who had thought it was a helicopter, approached and was surprised to see four men, small in size, descend from the disc. The passengers of the craft, who were dressed in an outfit, remained around the disc for about half an hour. Bluish gleams escaped the disc incessantly, pin-like and lightning-fast, they went off in all directions.

After some time, about half an hour, the four men re-entered the disc which, with a slight hum, rose slowly, perpendicularly, and then quickly gained altitude.


Mr. Holaubek, Vienna's Prefect of Police, ordered officers under his command to report all the flying saucer stories and all the statements by people claiming to have seen "visitors from another world."

[Ref. aml1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel reports in his book that on October 18, 1954 in Gelles, according to the assertion of several people, a machine of ovoid shape, and smaller than those seen elsewhere this day, landed in a field.

[Ref. aml4:] AIME MICHEL:

But the idea by Mr. Castou to plot all the sighting of the fla on a single map is nevertheless interesting. It gives for Bavic an unexpected result: this alignement goes from 7 spots (counting la Sierra de Gardunha) to 13 spots perfectly in line (two observations in the south of Dole, one on the departmental road 60 between Saint-Romain-sous-Gourdon and les Brosses-Thillot, one in Paray-le-Monial, a second observation in Gelles, one lastly at Orchamps).

[Ref. gqy2:] GUY QUINCY:


[... other cases...]

October 18, 1954: Gelles (9 km ISL in the SW of Pontgibaud--Puy-de-Dôme): several residents (ovoid craft small size posed on the ground)

[... other cases...]

[Ref. jve5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

372 -002.76471 45.7730 18 10 1954 17 30 101 *GELLE-PUY DE DOME F 001133 2C** 335


The magazine mentions that in addition to the several other observations this day at this place, several people have reported having seen a smaller, ovoid craft landed in a field. The magazine quotes Aimé Michel as source.

[Ref. jgd1:] JEAN GIRAUD:


DATE 10/18/1954


PLACE Gelles (Puy-de-Dôme)



Several people claim to have seen an ovoid craft of small size posed in a field.


Regional Press.


No investigation was made, but the case was reported to the Gendarmerie.


It is interesting to note the existence of three landings the same day in a very small perimeter around Gelles.


The two authors indicate that in Gelles in the department of the Puy-de-Dôme, on October 18, 1954 at an unspecified time, several inhabitants observed an oval shaped object of small size on the ground.

The authors indicate that the source is Aimé Michel in "A Propos des S.V." page 241.

[Ref. gep1:] UFOLOGY GROUP "GEPO":

09 24 54 ( ) Gelles Clermont Ferrand T 300C2 Y

[Ref. mft1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

This ufologist noted:

232 CEl 10 18 1954 hnp Gelles 63240 C2 TD, (C.V.) B.B p. 137


The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on October 18, in France, in Gelles, "Several inhabitants - small ovoid object posed on the ground."

The source is indicated as "FIGUET/ J.L. RUCHON: 'Ovni, premier dossier complet...' - Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 184".

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Puy de Dômes [Puy-de-Dôme] in Gelles on October 18, 1954 at an unknown hour, "Several inhabitants of Gelles observe an ovoid object of small size posed on the ground."

The source is indicated as "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 18 October 1954 in Gelles, France, "Several people asserted that they had seen an ovoid object, smaller than one seen by Bachelard, resting in a field. An object was observed. Electromagnetic and physiological effects were noted. One ovoid object was observed by several witnesses in a field."



In their web page about the 1954 French flap in France, Wikipedia FR mentions 21 sightings of the "flap", including:

[... other cases...]

September 24 [, 1954]: ufos are observed in six cities [in reality at least 11] (Bayonne [in reality the 23rd], Lencouacq [in reality the 23rd], Tulle [in reality the 22nd], Ussel [in reality the 20th], Gelles, Vichy) [in reality with no precise day].

[... other cases...]

No source is given. The links in the page lead to general information web pages about these places.


Probable meteor.



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

Gelles, Puy-de-Dôme, object, craft, landing, field, ovoid, multiple


Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 16, 2003 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross June 6, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [goe1], [lcn1], [uda1].
1.1 Patrick Gross February 10, 2010 Addition [lc2].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 30, 2010 Addition [jve5].
1.3 Patrick Gross October 12, 2016 Addition [lml1].
1.4 Patrick Gross January 19, 2019 Additions [mft1], Summary. Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet.".
1.5 Patrick Gross January 10, 2021 Addition [lcx1], [aml4], [jgd1].
1.6 Patrick Gross May 14, 2022 Addition [gqy1], [gep1], [wia1].

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This page was last updated on May 14, 2022.