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The 1954 French flap:

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September 30, 1954, Chéreng, Nord:

Reference for this case: 30-Sep-54-Chéreng.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.





Fifty residents of Chéreng who participated Sunday evening, at the feast of the hamlet l'Autour, attended an extraordinary display that the program had not foreseen: the maneuvers of a mysterious craft.

All are adamantly saying: "We saw a flying saucer".

We certainly would not have reported this fact if we had not carried out an investigation in the locality and heard serious witnesses in the statements cannot be doubted.

The event occurred shortly before 8:00 p.m. Mr. Fiolet, director of the boys' school, told us about this: "I was chatting with a few people in Mr. Coyat's cafe when we heard a slight buzzing sound.

Nobody paid attention to this unusual noise; a few minutes passed... suddenly two of my pupils, Jean-Marc Delerue and Gérard Mullier rushed towards me, shouting: "Come see, Mister! A flying saucer."

Everyone was about to laugh when the word "saucer" pronounced by the crowd who, outside, was attending the party, came to our ears.

That's when we went out.

A curious display presented itself to our eyes: around fifty people, eyes wide, staring at the horizon. About five hundred meters away, a reddish object seemed to rest on the ground.

"We ran towards the place chosen for this "landing" but the "saucer" rose, stabilized and moved horizontally.

"Skeptical, I first thought of a quarter moon, but, looking at the calendar, I noticed that the next quarter moon should only occur on Tuesday.

"Some people will tell you they saw two flying cigars!

"This is incorrect: this is an optical effect that I will explain to you quickly.

"All the people who witnessed the moves of the craft from the start noticed that the central part of the "saucer" went out for a moment, leaving only the two elongated parts located opposite and on the other side of the central bulge."

"All of these operations took place with a slight humming sound."

Mrs Mouveaux, born Delattre, employed at the Duquennoy and Lepers establishments, made the same statement.

Other people whose enumeration would be too long gave substantially similar comments.

On Monday, Mr. Fiolet questioned his students. Those who were present during the apparition gave information that still matches.

The young Jean-Claude Delmotte made an unexpected revelation: "I saw "one" on Thursday, but I didn't tell about it, one would have laughed at me; the one I saw left traces."

"The testimony of this schoolboy, Mr. Fiolet told us, can be taken into consideration, because he is a very serious and intelligent child."

This "saucer" - identical to that of Sunday, according to little Jean-Marc Delmotte - would have landed in a field between the path of la Chapelle and the wood of Chéreng.

Traces having the shape of the fins used by underwater swimmers are still visible on the ground.

The gendarmes who closely follow these events will no doubt check certain statements today, as well as the suspicious traces.




Always the saucers!

The flying saucers... or the mysterious machines that some see in the sky seem to show a predilection for the commune of Chéreng.

A month ago, about fifty Chéreng residents gathered on a Sunday evening for a party in the hamlet of L'"Autour", had seen a craft resembling a cigar, move in the clouds.

This news barely known, a schoolboy declared that he had seen a few days before a mysterious sphere, posed in a field near the Bois.

As if that weren't enough, barely a week had passed when three young girls, walking on the main road, around 10 p.m., also saw mysterious lights. Presumably the moon hidden by a light cloud, which their imagination transformed... into a saucer.

But Chéreng was undoubtedly to serve as a rallying spot for these "objects from some other planet", because on Tuesday morning, an inhabitant working on its layers of chicory, for a few seconds saw a strong glow coming from the heavens. The beam of light hit the ground and disappeared in less time than it takes to tell.

During the day on Wednesday, one discussed here and there in the town, about visions that would have had, Tuesday, two inhabitants of the locality. Passing by the Anstaing footbridge, they reportedly saw two individuals of strange appearance responding to the description given of "Martians" or "Venusians". Regardless, while people of good faith have witnessed a strange phenomenon, there are others who sometimes take their dreams for reality.



In Chéreng as in Annoeuillin, the residents
saw a mysterious craft hovering in the sky

Sunday evening, when a hundred residents of the Annoeuillin region saw a strange craft in the sky, about fifty Chéreng residents gathered on the occasion of the festivals of the hamlet of l'Autour made identical observations.

[Photo caption:] in the company of the school principal, the children in the front row of whom we see J.-C. Delmotte, M. Lison and Jeanine Besanger, try to find traces seen in a field, Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately, traces of horse hooves have replaced the palm prints that one thought to have seen there.

(Photo "La Voix du Nord")

Among them was Mr. Fiolet, director of the communal school for boys, whose seriousness cannot be doubted. He told us the story of the display contemplated, Sunday, around 8 p.m., by the Chéreng residents, which lasted about twenty minutes.

The principal's story

"It was around 8 p.m., and the celebrations in the l'Autour district had brought many walkers to this hamlet of Chéreng.

I was chatting with some friends at the Coyot cafe when I was caught by the murmurings of the crowd outside: "These are saucers, these are saucers ", people said.

I was challenged by two of my students: Jean-Marc Delerue and Gérard Mullier.

Skeptical, I advanced, followed by some friends, to note the presence in the sky, at a distance of about 70 km, in a south-south-west direction, of an oblong-shaped craft, from which emanated a powerful reddish glow. It looked like a downward rounded crescent moon. The slightly bulging central part of the craft seemed more illuminated. Suddenly the bulging part went out. It was then that I had the impression, and the people present also, of seeing two cigars. The slow-moving craft pivoted and then disappeared."

"When the "Martians"
look like

On Monday, Mr. Fiolet questioned his students.

Jean-Claude Delmotte, 9 and a half years old, informed his master that he had already seen two bizarre craft, one Sunday morning, the other the previous Thursday. But for fear of being laughed at, he didn't say anything about it.

"Thursday, around 4:30 p.m., while I was at the entrance to the Chemin de la Chapelle, near the Town Hall, I saw, said the child, a sphere of dark color and about 3 m in diameter, which was posed in a field located at the edge of the wood of Chéreng, about 300 meters from the place where I was. The sphere, slightly flattened at its upper part, suddenly disappeared."

In the company of comrades: Marcel Lison and Jean-Luc Besanger, he noticed, on the ground, the presence of three or four traces having, he said, the shape of the flippers used by underwater swimmers.

Tuesday morning, Mr. Fiolet, young Delmotte and several people present, on Sunday evening, in the hamlet of "L'Autour" were heard by Chief Warrant Officer Millerot, of the gendarmerie brigade of Rorest-sur-Brand, who opened an investigation.

They all repeated what they told us. However, we went on Tuesday, with the children, to the place where they would have seen traces. The rain had soaked the ground and all we could find were the tracks left by horse hooves.

If the testimonies of the children may seem questionable, as their imagination is so fertile, on the other hand Mr. Fiolet and a good number of Chéreng residents are certain of having seen in the sky, Sunday evening, a phenomenon which did not cease to intrigue them.

[Ref. gab1:] UFOLOGY GROUP "G.A.B.R.I.E.L.":

This ufology group led by Jean Giraud estimated that October 3, 1954 is an example of "totally characteristic regional gridding" by flying saucers, over northern France.

Eight sighting reports (among the 46 actually listed in my catalog) are cited to do this, including:

Ligescourt (Sum) 6:45 p.m.

[In reality not on October 3, but on October 1, 1954.] Two young people discovered a craft in the shape of a haystack 3m wide and 2m high posed in the middle of the roadway. The craft was luminous orange in color. Beside it was a being the size of a child who was dressed like a diver. The being climbed into the craft which took off as the witnesses approached...

Chéreng (Nord) 7:20 p.m.

span class="highlight"An oblong luminous object came at full speed and seemed to want to land, but it regained altitude and disappeared.

Marcoing (Nord) 8 p.m.

An orange-red luminous object stood motionless above a wood; below it, and as if suspended at the end of a thread, a small luminous spot swayed gently. Some changes and disappeared towards the southwest.

Hérissart (Somme) 21h south-west of Chéreng

A kind of orange luminous mushroom cap with short cables hanging under it followed a car for 6 km. The chase lasted about 6 minutes and the craft did not approach within 150m of the car. When the car stopped, the craft did the same. Better, at each village crossing, it avoided the agglomeration and after having circumvented it, resumed the pursuit. Around 9:05 p.m., it finally disappeared westward at a dizzying pace.

Waben (Somme) 9:05 p.m. west of Hérissart

The same craft engaged in the same play and followed another car under the same conditions as the previous case. Then the craft disappeared west towards the sea.

Armentières (Nord) 9:15 p.m.

A half-moon-shaped craft, yellow-orange or golden in color with a sort of elongated green spot, stood motionless in the sky and then disappeared at lightning speed in a south-southwest direction.

Liévin (Pas de Calais) 9:30 p.m. south southwest of Armentières

An elongated but rounded on the top luminous object was hovering in the sky. It suddenly releases a small luminous thing which quickly descends to the ground, remains there for a few seconds and then goes back up to fix itself at its starting point. The object then left in a southerly direction.

Ablain-Saint Nazaire (Pas de Calais) 9:30 p.m. south of Liévin.

Within a minute of interval, the same phenomenon happened again...

If we stick to these eight testimonies, it is obvious that we are dealing with a "Jellyfish Saucer" of the purest style. This was the conclusion reached by A. Michel, who wondered what this set of maneuvers in three departments corresponded to. But things weren't that simple and A. Michel lacked a key piece.

03/10/1954 Annoeulin (Nord)

That evening, around 21:00, Mr. Gaston Lecoeuvre saw a sort of spinning star falling gently in a nearby garden. The witness then discovered that it was a metal dome 3m in diameter which did not rest on the ground but remained motionless at about fifteen centimeters. A small cupola occupied the upper part of the apparatus. Then the craft took off and was joined by two other discs which began to spin around it in opposite directions. The show lasted from 9 p.m. to 9:10 p.m... (J. Guieu)

However, at 9 p.m., the "Jellyfush Saucer" was pursuing a car near Hérissart... It was therefore not one but at least four "Flying Saucers" which that evening were "prospecting" the northern region...

The ufology group follows this with a page depicting what they believe to be the "grid" with the various sighting locations they know of - having just written that they there were not 1 but 4 saucers - and small sketches which they think represent the various "saucers" and their maneuvers during these observations:



The two authors indicate that in Chéreng in the department of the Nord, on September 30, 1954, at 03:30 p.m., a ten years old schoolboy, Jean-Claude Delmotte, went along the path of the vault, near the town hall and at the edge of the wood of Chéreng, when he saw within 300 meters of him a sphere of three meters in diameter approximately, which was posed in a field.

By the path, he advanced in direction of this object of orange yellow color and very shining. The color of this sphere, initially maroon during two minutes, changed to orange.

The yellow light gradually varying intensity starts to strongly shine. At once, the sphere takes off vertically with a weak noise, while projecting sparks to the bottom - sparks which resemble those that are produced "by the irons of the horses on the pavement stones" - then moves away at a very high speed and disappears, according to the child.

The child notices at the place of landing, footprints of webbed feet of 16 cm length. They are laid out around a perfect circle delimited by these footprints which all are turned towards the outside, the circle had a diameter of 1 meter 50.

The child told of this to Mr. Fiolet, his teacher.

Sent by captain Gandoin of the gendarmerie of Roubaix, the gendarmes of the brigade of Forest-sur-Marque went at the place. Unfortunately, the ground had been trampled by the horses and agricultural carriages and did not show traces of webbed feet anymore. Adjudant-Chief Millerot interrogated the witness and to other children, M. Lison and J.L. Béranger.

The authors indicate as source a newspaper article in the regional newspaper "La Voix du Nord", Lille local version, page 6, October 6, 1954 ans and an investigation report by Mr. Sorez published in "Recherches ufologiques du G.N.E.O.V.N.I #3."

The authors note discrepancies between the child's story as published in the newspaper and the story noted by the investigation. The discrepancies are not very clearly precised by the authors, they indicate: in the in the investigation, the child is said to have seen a shining sphere take off and then taking the shape of an orange waterdrop, then take the shape of a brownish saucer with a bump on the top and the bottom. First frightened and still, he then approached the field and saw the traces on the ground which have been seen by his comrades.

Also, they indicate that the same child, on October 3, 1954, in the morning, saw a craft flying high in the sky and alerted his grandmother but unfortunately the grandmother came too late to see it.



16) Chéreng (Nord France), September 30, 1954.

Asking his students about the much better known October 3 sighting (which was much later revealed to be due to the moon: 21, pp. 657-661; 81 bis), the school principal learned from one of them that this one, Jean-Claude Delmotte, 10 years old, had seen a few days earlier, around 3:30 p.m., a sphere 3 m in diameter, first brown, then orange and shiny, posed on the ground. After the very rapid departure of the UFO, the child discovered in the field traces of webbed feet 16 cm long forming a circle 1.50 m in diameter. He showed them to two of his comrades and one of them, Jean-Luc Besanger, made a sketch of them (see fig. 8 and 9). The gendarmes went to the scene on October 4 (or 5?) but found no trace of these prints, the rain having soaked the ground. Only horse hooves were visible (81).

Figure 8: Footprints of "webbed feet" found at the September 30, 1954 landing site; grouped two by two and facing outwards, they formed a circle 1.50 m in diameter (GNEOVNI document, from a sketch drawn by one of the witnesses).

Figure 9: Detail of one of the footprints of "webbed feet" observed at Chéreng; length: 16 cm (GNEOVNI document).

It should be noted that some contradictions appear between the different accounts of this case, but are perhaps attributable to the press: they relate to the color and luminosity of the object (which may have varied), the phases the take-off (did the UFO change shape during it or not?), the time (3:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.?), the number of witnesses of the tracks (the witness of the sighting plus one or two comrades? There does not appear to have been any adult witnesses, but it is not clear). Re-examined recently by Dominique Caudron (personal communication), Jean-Claude Delmotte and Jean-Luc Besanger hardly seem to have any memory of the event... This is odd, because it seems to me that a close encounter with a UFO should leave a fairly vivid trace in the memory, even 30 years later... Although the very cautious Michel Figuet still classifies this case among the "unidentified" in his Francat catalog (22), I think it would be better to its place among the "dubious": can we not make the hypothesis, in fact, that the excitement caused in Chéreng by the lunar UFO of October 3 would have given the kids the idea to set up a hoax?

The sources are details as below in the end of the article and in issue 267-268 of LDLN:

21: "Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochées en France, Alain Lefeuvre pub., 1979."
81: "Recherches Ufologiques (bulletin od the GNEOVNI), nr 3, 4th quarter 1977."
81 bis: "Dominique Caudron, Requiem pour un zigzag, Recherches Ufologiques nr 6, 3rd quarter 1978 and nr 7, 1st quarter 1979.

[Ref. jsr1:] JEAN SIDER:

21 - September 30, 3:30 p.m., Chéreng, North.

J.-C. Delmotte, 10 years old at the time.

The witness sees a sphere three meters in diameter land in a meadow. Then it takes off vertically with a low noise and throwing sparks. Imprints of webbed feet 16cm long were found, arranged around a circle bounded by outward facing marks.

Source: Figuet, p. 95.


3870: 1954/09/30 15:30 2 3:13:00 E 50:37:00 N 3333 WEU FRN NRD 8:7


Ref# 30 FIGEUT[sic]&RUCHON: OVNI: Le 1er Dossier Page No. 95 : FOREST


The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on September 30, in France, in Chéreng (the Nord), " Jean-Claude Delmotte, aged 10, goes along the path of the vault at the edge of the wood of Chéreng. Within 300m of him he sees a dark sphere which becomes yellow-orange. The yellow light becomes more intense and starts to shine strongly. The sphere takes off vertically with a weak noise and throws sparks downwards. Only the young witness and his small comrades Lison and Besanger find prints of "webbed feet" of approximately 16 cm in length. At the time of the investigation the ground was trampled by the horses and cartage (following October 3, 1954) ".

The source is noted "M. FIGUET: J.L. RUCHON: 'Ovni, le premier dossier complet...' Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 95, 96".


This ufologist indicates that on September 30, 1954, in Chéreng, in the Nord, the followinf case took place.

On Sunday, October 3, 1954 at about 20 about fifty people taking part in the festival of the hamlet of l'Autour in Chéreng, saw in the sky a reddish oblong form which after investigation will prove to be probably the first crescent of the moon.

The schoolteacher spoke about this observation in the class on the Monday morning with his pupils and one of them, Jean-Claude Delmotte, born the November 6, 1944, stated to have made an observation the previous Thursday, September 30, 1954.

That day there towards 4 p.m. this young boy walked alone at the entry of the way of the chappell near the town hall, when he saw within approximately 300 meters a sphere roughly 3 meters in diameter, posed in a field located at the limit of the wood of Chéreng.

Following the path, he advanced in the direction of this sphere which seemed to him slightly flattened on its higher part. This object initially of color chestnut changed to a yellow orange and varied inf intensity, and started to strongly shine. At once the sphere rose vertically with a weak noise, while projecting very fast sparks downwards, sparks that the witness would compare to those that horses irons produce on paving stones. Then the object moved away at high speed and disappeared.

The witness having approached the place from where this ball had just risen, saw on the ground a great number of prints in the form of webbed feet of approximately 16 cm length, laid out around a circle of approximately 1 meter 50, delimited perfectly by these marks which all were directed towards the outside.

The teacher, Mr. Piolet, as soon as he learned of this observation on Monday morning, went on the spot with some of his pupils including J.C. Delmotte and his comrade Jean-Luc Bésenger who later was to produce a sketch of these traces. They noted that the prints were still visible.

On Tuesday, October 5, 1954, Mr. Piolet and J.C. Delmotte were heard by regimental sergeant major of the gendarmerie squad of Forest-sur-Marque, Mr. Millerot, who opened an investigation.

The gendarmes went on the spot of the observation accompanied by the children at the place where the traces had been noted. But it had rained in the meantime and the softened ground did not let anything appear any more.

The details of this investigation were reported to us by Mr. Eugene Sorez who was on the spot as of October 5, 1954 and who collected the statements of the various protagonists of this case.

Mr. Eugene Sorez became many years later the president of the GNEOVNI association - whose Jean Pierre D'Hondt was also member.

Mr. D'Hondt indicates that the sources are the newspapers "La Voix du Nord" for 6/10/54 Lille issue; "Nord Matin" for 10/6/54 Lille issue; "Nord Eclair" for 5/10/54, that these newspaper article give a rather confused information, and that another source is the investigation by Mr Sorez in "Recherches Ufologiques" #3.

[Ref. djn1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

Encounters with Aliens On this Day

September 30


1954 - At 3:30 p.m. in Chereng, France, 10-year old Jean-Claude Delmotte, a school student, saw a three-meter diameter sphere at the edge of some woods, about 300 meters away. It was yellow-orange in color and quite bright. There were landing traces: a circle 1.5 meters in diameter and landing pad imprints 16 cm long. (Sources: La Voix du Nord, October 6, 1954; Michel Figuet and Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: Le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochees en France, pp. 95-96).

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Nord in Chéreng, on September 30, 1954, at 15:30 hours, "Aa ten-year-old child goes along the path of the chappell, near the town hall and at the edge of the wood of Chéreng, he sees at 300 m of him, a sphere approximately three meters in diameter which is posed in a field. By the path, he advances in direction of this object of orange yellow color and very shining. The color of this sphere initially brown during two minutes changes to the orange color. The yellow light varying intensity gradually starts to strongly shine. At once, it takes off vertically with a weak noise, while projecting sparks at the bottom (sparks which resemble those that 'irons of horses make on the paving stone' then moves away at very high speed and disappears according to the witness. The child notices on the level of the place of landing prints of 16 cm length of webbed feet. They are laid out around a circle only delimited perfectly by these marks which all are turned towards the outside (diameter of the circle: 1 m 50). Sent by the captain of the gendarmerie of Roubaix the gendarmes of the brigade of Forest-sur-Marque went on the spot. Unfortunately, the ground trampled by the horses and agricultural cartages did not show any more traces of 'webbed feet'."

Luc Chastan indicates that the source is "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... par Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** éd. Alain Lefeuvre 1979".

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 30 September 1954 at 15:30 in Chereng, France, "3m diameter sphere lands in field near woods. 16cm webbed footprints found at site. Explanation: Hoax."

And: "At 3:30 p.m. in Chereng, France, 10-year old Jean-Claude Delmotte, a school student, saw a three-meter diameter sphere at the edge of some woods, about 300 meters away. It was yellow-orange in color and quite bright. There were landing traces: a circle 1.5 meters in diameter and landing pad imprints 16 cm long."

And: "An object was observed. Ground traces were found. One sphere, about 10 feet across, was observed in a forest for two minutes."

The sources are indicated as Michel, Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery, S. G. Phillips, New York, 1958; Keyhoe, Donald E., Flying Saucer Conspiracy, Holt, New York, 1955; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173); Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002; Hatch, Larry, internet data.

[Ref. nip1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

*Sep. 30, 1954 - At 3:30 p.m. in Chereng, France, 10-year old Jean-Claude Delmotte, a school student, saw a three-meter diameter sphere at the edge of some woods, about 300 meters away. It was yellow-orange in color and quite bright. There were landing traces: a circle 1.5 meters in diameter and landing pad imprints 16 cm long. (Sources: La Voix du Nord, October 6, 1954; Michel Figuet & Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: Le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochees en France, pp. 95-96).


30 September 1954. 1530hrs.


Jean-Claude Delmotte (10) was walking along the church path near the town hall and Chereng wood when he saw in a field 300m away, a sphere 3m diameter. At first it was brown in colour but it turned to an intense yellow-orange light, which took off making a low noise and emitting sparks. He found at the site a circle of webbed footprints 16cm long, the circle being 1.5m in diameter. It was trampled away before gendarmes could investigate.

Figuet and Ruchon 1979 p95 citing La Voix du Nord 6 October 1954. p6 + Sorez in GNEOVNI 3)



Not looked for yet.

The usually rather confused source [uda1] indicates "Hatch, Larry, internet data" as one source. This is actually a web page Larry Hatch set up to list some discredited cases; however, the Chereng case that Mr. Hatch said to be discredited is not this one but the October 3 case; which was indeed estimated by investigators to have been caused by the crescent moon.


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

Chéreng, Nord, child, Jean-Claude Delmotte, Millerot, Gandoin, Fiolet, webbed, circle, traces, footprints, object, landing, daylight, sphere, field, shining, orange, brown, drop, light, sparks, fast, Gendarmes, official, investigation, Sorez, GNEOVNI


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
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1.3 Patrick Gross October 24, 2021 Addition [vdn1].
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