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October 3, 1954, Bauvin, Nord:

Reference for this case: 3-Oct-54-Bauvin.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


In 1978 already, then again around 2017, "skeptical" ufologist Dominique Caudron, based in the Nord, cataloged sightings in the Nord region for October 3, 1954, neglected by ufologists, including many that were previously unpublished, and mostly explainable by a red moon whose appearance was altered by clouds.

One of these observations was reported in the regional newspaper La Voix du Nord, on page 3, for October 5, 1954.

But all it said is that "Mr Vankenkiste reportedly saw 3 saucers", at an unspecified hour.

Due to the geographical proximity to a case explainable by the moon, Dominique Caudron suggests that this sighting was also caused by the moon.

In 2020, Dominique Caudron publishes photographs of Press articles of the time, including the one from La Voix du Nord, shown below in this file.




Busy weekend for the flying saucers
who lose all discretion

A hundred testimonies in their favor in the region
of Annoeuillin, where they spend 25 minutes

One of them lands in a garden

Certainly the "saucers" invade our skies. More than a hundred people from Bauvin, Annoeuillin, Provin and the surrounding area, 20 kilometers from Lille, saw one or more luminous objects moving slowly, Sunday, between 8:45 p.m. and 9:10 p.m.. One of them saw the object land slowly in a garden and approached a few meters from the craft. But let's look at the facts.

A "saucer" came down
from the sky

Mr. Gaston Lecoeuvre, a miner domiciled on rue Georges-Mortelecq in Annoeuillin, smokes a cigarette on the doorstep. A bright spot appears on the dark screen of the sky and falls slowly: a shooting star, our man thinks. But now the fall of the star continues. It turns into an object that spins, it seems and, without noise, lands in a garden a few meters away.

Mr. Lecoeuvre rushes forward: a dome about three meters high and shining like a piece of nickel. The craft does not rest on the ground - no traces have been found. On the upper part there is a small dome, but there is no visible opening.

The miner stopped, as if petrified, a few meters from the "thing", his little dog barks with rage. And now a panic fear takes hold of the man who runs away shouting up to the Parsy cafe, a hundred meters away, where a dozen people consume or play billiards.

"Come, a saucer!..." the miner shouts. The players are rushing into the street.

Mr. Gaston Lecoeuvre is considered by his entourage as a serious man.

The sarabande of "saucers"

Fifteen men, women, and children are outside. The object is gone, after 15 or 20 seconds, Mr. Lecoeuvre estimates, because he declares to have perceived a whistling sound during his distraught run.

But here the residents of Annoeuillin distinguish in the direction of Provin, not one, but three brilliant objects. One of them was almost motionless, two others circles slowly around the first one: this is the version that several people spontaneously give us.

We interview Mr. Bourbotte, a young office worker who, despite the general fever, remains calm. When he joins his neighbors who, for a quarter of an hour, have observed the "phenomenon", he no longer distinguishes three, but two objects. Mr. Bourbotte checks his wristwatch: it is exactly 9:00 p.m. The "saucers" seeming to present an angle of approximately 45 degrees with respect to the horizontal, slowly following circles, he specifies. They turned in opposite directions and, at times, they appeared only in the form of a red dot. Then they got closer and one could better distinguish their swollen shape and their red-orange color.

This silent sarabande continued until 9:10 p.m., hour at which the spectators, who passed binoculars from hand to hand, saw the objects disappear behind a curtain of trees, in direction of Provin.

Other testimonials

At the other end of rue Georges-Mortelecq, Mr. Louis Deleflie hears a noise similar to that of an "airplane engine" and sees a luminous object rising above a haystack, three hundred meters away. He's going to get his wife. The object is still there, but one no longer hear any noise. Their cousin will join them soon, then a neighbor, Mr. Claude Loyez, retired from the mines, 45 to 50 people finally contemplate the silent object, "red like fire but not lighting" which oscillates sometimes and moves away slowly, then disappears behind trees, still in the direction of Provin.

In this locality, the mother of the town hall secretary observed the passage of a "luminous object" and heard a noise of "engine:" other residents made identical statements to the gendarmes. In Bauvin, a worker, Mr. Vankenkiste, reportedly saw, like the first group of Annoeuillin residents, three "saucers".

These are the testimonies collected from men and women of different ages, of all social categories.

In total, a hundred people watched the strange saraband for 25 minutes. Simple "images"... Are we going to start doubting it? If not, what clear and soothing explanation of the "phenomena" could we give?

[Ref. rdr1:] "RADAR" MAGAZINE:

"RADAR" reconstituted the course of a
saucer in Picardy and the Flandres


Mr. Gaston Lecoeuvre
At her bar, Mrs. Parzy
Bourbote clocks

More than 100 people, of Bauvin, Anoeuilin, Provin, localised at 20 km. from Lille saw "them". Mr. Gaston Lecoeuvre, a minor of Annoeuilin, tells: "Taking some fresh air on my doorstep, I see a luminous spot. Suddenly it turns, then, without noise, brilliant as a nickel coin, it seems to land, then sets out again at the end of 20 seconds." Mrs. Parzy, who holds the coffee shop of the place, sees 3 luminous objects. Mr. Bourbote, employed, states: "They evolved during 25'."



The weekend of October 2-3 appears on all charts as the maximum-maximum of the 1954 wave. Various newspapers and magazines that I have been able to check for this period give us an almost complete overview, in any case very broadly representative of the regional observations that were reported in the press for Sunday October 3rd. I have included the observations of the Somme which seemed to me inseparable from those of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and which appear moreover in the chapter entitled "Zigzag on the mining country" of the book by A. Michel: "Mysterieux Objets Célestes." I count, as one case, each observation made by an independent group of witnesses. The astonishing number of observations reported below, once again shows the interest of thoroughly digging into the newspapers archives.

OCTOBER 3, 1954:

[...other cases...]

38) Hour not specified, BAUVIN _59_: Mr Vankenkiste reportedly saw 3 saucers.(VdN 10/5, p. 3)

[...other cases...]


We know that that evening, at 9:30 p.m., the crescent Moon was setting in the southwest and that according to case 9 it was distorted by low clouds...

Disaster! This bundle of suspicions throws a total discredit on this magnificent series of observations, one of the most beautiful that we have ever found yet. We will have to verify certain data, the direction of certain sightings, the weather conditions, but already the doubt is too great for us to be able to classify these sightings as UFOs.


In his article, Dominique Caudron listed 46 cases for October 3, 1954 in the north of France; he explained that this corresponds to hundreds of witnesses who do not know each other within an hour and a half time interval, which gives an impression of a "real phenomenon".

He noted that the times do not always match, that there are gaps of up to 40 minutes for the same case depending to its different versions.

He noted that "all these cases are a bit similar", listing the part of the cases where the phenomenon splits in two, or where is said that a disc detached to go to the ground, and recalls that one of the witnesses, Mr. Bonte, explained that the moon was barred by a stratus.

He noted that in 5 of the cases the object is described as a crescent, in others it is a disc, a dome, a collar, in others it is compared to the moon. In 7 cases, the object is said to follow a moving car, but stops when the car stops.

He indicated that in 13 of the cases there was an indication of direction, always the southwest, where the moon was.

He indicated that in 7 cases the object was lowering on the horizon, and that the moon was indeed setting.

He noted that some cases may be explained by the hot air balloons of the retiree from Beuvry-les-Béthune.


Dominique Caudron drew up an inventory of observations in the Nord on October 3, 1954, containing 51 reports, including this one:

The Fabulous day of October 3, 1954


Chronology of the observations of October 3.

We give here only a summary of what was published in the press of the time, for the nord region, regardless of what the ufologists could later say. We have numbered all these observations, the first of which have nothing to do with the setting of the moon, in order to be able to study them globally in a table. Some are already the subject of a special file.

[... other cases...]

38) Hour not specified, BAUVIN (59)

- Mr Vankenkiste reportedly saw 3 saucers.

(La Voix du Nord 5/10 page 3)

[... other cases...]

All this is only a compilation of the information given by all newspapers of the time, including local editions, and of which ufologists only used a part.

We will see that the analysis of this information makes it possible to eliminate the hypothesis of a flying saucer, in favor of those of multiple observations of the moon, whose image was reddened and deformed by clouds, which also gave it a illusory apparent movement.


Analysis of the observations of October 3, 1954

[... other cases...]

38) Heure non précisée, BAUVIN (59)

Proximity with the identifiable case of Annoeullin.

[... other cases...]



The information is too meager to get any certainty; we do not even know if it was day or night, there is no direction of observation indicated, nothing on a fixity or mobility, etc.

It goes without saying that it may well have been the Moon, the geographical proximity indicated by Dominique Caudron being real, moreover with many other misinterpretations of the moon on the evening of October 3, 1954, in the region.

The problem, apparently, is the "three" saucers. In the series of observations considered, the Moon has often been "cut" in two by a cloud; this had been a major factor in the misinterpretation, as the Moon seemed unrecognizable. But three portions? This is not mentioned in any other of the sightings, to my knowledge.

We cannot exclude that two clouds have blocked the moon thus forming the "3 saucers", just for this observation; I propose yet another solution. There was not only the moon "cut in two" in the sky that night, there was also Mars, very visible, orange like the color of the blood moon that night. Mars may have been this third "saucer".

Another possibility: in the testimonies from the area that evening, the mention of "engine noise" appears several times; the gendarmes of Marcoing also mentioned that an airplane circled the sky just after their observation. So there is the possibility that one of the three saucers was this plane or a plane.

On the date of this observation, and at 09:00 p.m., when the Moon would get too low to be seen again there, it was 224° 59' and an elevation of 1° 46'; at this moment Mars is at 201° 51', a direction quite close to that of the moon, and an elevation of 11° 35'. Mars was at a distance of 121 million kilometers (distance that can range from 401 million kilometers at most to 54,6 million kilometers at the extreme minimum), with 84.93% of its surface being illuminated by the sun, so it was easily noticed.

All this obviously remains simple conjectures, because of the lack of data. But nothing in any case suggests that the "3 saucers" were craft from another planet.


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

Bauvin, Nord, Vankenkiste, saucers, three


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross May 26, 2019 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross April 20, 2020 Addition [vdn1]. In the Summary, addition of the paragraph "In 2020, Dominique Caudron..." In the Explanations, addition of the paragraph "Another possibility..."
1.2 Patrick Gross April 30, 2020 Addition [rdr1].
1.3 Patrick Gross July 6, 2022 Addition [dcn1]. In the Summary, "Around 2017" changed to "In 1978 already, then again around 2017".

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This page was last updated on July 6, 2022.