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October 3, 1954, Doullens, Nord:

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


In 1978, 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based in the Nord, cataloged sightings in the Nord region for October 3, 1954, neglected by ufologists, including many unpublished cases, and mostly explainable by a red moon whose appearance was altered by clouds.

One of these observations was reported in the regional newspaper Le Journal de Doullens for October 9, 1954:

At 08:50 p.m., in Doullens, department of the Nord, two young people from Doullens, 18-year-old and 17-year-old, had seen behind the trees of the road, at the horizon, between the Grand Cavalier of La Citadelle and the wood of Brétel, a bright glow in the shape of a triangle with the tip at the top, included in a slightly less luminous oval. Their observation lasted 10 minutes.

The newspaper added that in another district, other people had seen the same phenomenon.

Caudron explained these sightings as a misinterpretation of the moon, as the object was in the same direction than the moon, and behaved like the Moon.





Some residents of Doullens saw
the mysterious craft

Saucers, cigars... and flying beehives keep crisscrossing the skies of Europe to Africa, if we are to believe the people, every day more numerous, who state they witnessed these curious phenomena.

- A shopkeeper from Amiens, Mrs. Nelly Mansart, grocer, 6, rue de la Morlière, who was driving, lived on Sunday evening, pathetic minutes. Indeed, she was followed by a saucer between Hérissart and Raineville.

- In Vron (Somme), two young men who were riding their bikes, noted an orange-colored object in the middle of the road. Beside it was a living being comparable to a child dressed in a spacesuit. This character climbed into the craft which, without noise, suddenly disappeared.

- Above Auxi-le-Château, the same craft was seen by a Vimeu industrialist, who was returning from hunting.

- Last Sunday, a flying saucer was seen in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire (P.-de-.C.). A resident of Liévin also distinguished a similar craft around the lighthouse of Lorette.

- In Boves, several residents saw Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m., a strange glow that looked like an orange disc.

Finally, in Doullens, at exactly the same hours, two young residents of Doullens, A.C., 18, and J.N., 17, who were going at the "Tivoli-Cinéma" also saw as a powerful hue of orange color. They thus contemplated this strange gleam for 10 minutes. Nothing came to their idea that they were in the presence of a saucer and it was only on reading the narrated account of the residents of Boves, in "Le Courrier Picard", that they decided to tell what they had seen.

It was while passing over the Pont des Tilleuls that they saw a bright orange glow between the great horseman of the Citadel and the Bois de Bretel, appearing behind the trees of the road at the horizon.

This glow, of a very bright brightness, had the shape of a triangle pointed in the air and included in an oval slightly less enlightened. Motionless, that steady glow looked like no electric light.

This vision had somewhat intrigued one of the two young people since the next day he went to the place where he had seen this apparition.

On the other hand, it came to us that several people living on the road to Abbeville had also seen this phenomenon.



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...]

26) 08:50 p.m. DOULLENS _80_ Two young residents of Doullens 18 and 17 years old, saw behind the trees of the road, at the level of the horizon, between le Grand Cavalier de la Citadelle and the wood of Brotel, a strong gleam, in the shape of a triangle point upwards, comprized in a slightly less lighted oval. The observation lasted 10 mn. (Journal de Doullens, p.1, 10/9)

27) 08:50 p.m., DOULLENS _80_ In another district, some people saw the same phenomenon. (Journal de Doullens,p.1, 9/10)

[...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.



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...]

26) 08:50 p.m., DOULLENS (80)

- Two young residetns of Doullens 18 and 17 years old. have seen behind the trees of the road, at the level of the horizon, between the Grand Cavalier of la Citadelle and the wood of Bretel, a bright glow, in the shape of the triangle pointed upwards, included in a slightly less lighted oval. The obscrvation lasted 10 minutes.

(Le Journal de Doullens 10/9 page 1)

27) 20 h 50, DOULLENS (80)

- In another district, people saw the same phenomenon.

(Le Journal de Doullens 10/9 page 1)

[... 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...]

26) 08:50 p.m., DOULLENS (80)

Same direction as the moon, same apparent behaviour as the moon.

27) 08:50 p.m., DOULLENS (80)

proximity with the other identifiable case of Doullens.

[... other cases...]



We are at Doullens, 50° 09' 27'' North, 2° 20' 28'' East, on October 3, 1954, at 09:50 p.m.

The moon is then at the azimuth 222° 38' 5.9'' (Southwest) and the very low elevation of 3° 14' 51''. It goes down and is behind the horizon at 09:21 p.m.. It is in its last crescent with 36.6% of its surface lit by the sun.

We do not know exactly where the two young people were, but we can assume that they were in a district of Doullens since the newspaper speaks of other witnesses in "another district".

The map below shows a situation compatible with the Moon. If the young people were somewhere in Doullens, the phenomenon said to be between the Cavalier of la Citadelle and the wood of Brétel is indeed in a sector compatible with the 222° direction:


The observation is very probably that of the Moon. It should be noted that the young people did apparently not talk of a craft, flying saucer or cigar, but of a bright glow.

The shape of "triangle point up" correlates well with the upper part of the crescent moon, comprized "in a slightly less luminous oval"; which is explained by the diffusion of the moonlight on a cloud or mist. The observation time of 10 minutes is also explained since the moon sets and is behind the horizon at 09:21 p.m. - obviously on the spot the obstacles to the sight can make it lose from sight 10 minutes after 08:50 p.m.


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

Doullens, Nord, multiple, gleam, triangle, oval, young, duration


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross May 25, 2019 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 4, 2020 Addition [jsd1].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 10, 2022 Addition [dcn1]. In the Summary, "Around 2017" changed to "In 1978, then again around 2017".

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2022.