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The 1954 French flap:

The index page for the 1954 French flap section of this website is here.

January 9, 1954, Dijon, Côte-d'Or:

Reference for this case: 9-Jan-54-Dijon.
Please cite this reference in any correspondence with me regarding this case.


According to a ufology catalog of 1987, the regional newspaper Le Bien Public, of Dijon, reported on January 13, 1954, an observation in Dijon at 07:45 a.m.

This catalog, also citing Charles Garreau and Jimmy Guieu as sources, indicates that "Miss X saw a huge star, as big as an orange racing north-south, followed by a luminous tail and not very high in the sky."

The observation was reportedly be mentioned in the newspaper La Bourgogne Républicaine also for January 13, 1954.

A map by Charles Garreau in 1954 shows an observation of some sort for January 9, 1954, at 07:45 a.m., in or near Dijon.

Charles Garreau specified in his 1956 book "Alerte DAns Le Ciel that from Dijon, on January 9, 1954, two witnesses had noticed the brutal change of direction seen from Gemaux: Mr. Guillerme, police inspector, and Mr. Jacquet, head of the social security service, and former artillery officer, who both saw "the craft spinning fairly low on the horizon, and getting lost in the morning drizzle."

This was, obviously, the big meteor seen all over the area at this date and time. But although the reasoned explanation was given in 1979 by the "skeptical" ufologists Gérard Barthel and Jacques Brucker, some continued to present without further information this observation as that of an unexplained "object".



French journalist and pioneer of French ufology Charles Garreau drew the map underneath to plot sightings which all occurred on January 9, 1954, between 06:15 A.M. and 7:50 A.M. in the East of France.

Though no narrative is joined, it is visible on the map that according to Charles Garreau a sighting of some sort occurred on January 9, 1954, at 07:45 a.m., at or near the city of Dijon.


The journalist, author and pioneer ufologist indicated that on Saturday January 9, 1954, at dawn, there was a "flash invasion" on the east of France; which according to him "seems to be a highlight in the voluminous 'flying saucers' file."

Garreau indicated that from "all places" in the region, information flocked to his desk, about an object that "flew for almost two hours above the East."

He said that the first reports left the door open to all hypotheses, meteor, balloon, jet plane, "or saucer!", but that the reports which reached him later would eliminate all these hypotheses except that of the flying saucer.

He recalled that meteors always have a perfectly rectilinear trajectory, a relatively high constant speed of 30.000 to 40.000 km/h, and that balloons have an apparent speed which cannot exceed that of the strongest stratospheric currents, from 300 to 400 km/h.

He specified that from Dijon, 12 km south of Gemeaux, two witnesses had noticed the brutal change of direction seen at Gemaux: MM. Guillerme, police inspector, and Jacquet, head of the social security department, and former artillery officer, both of whom saw "the craft spinning fairly low on the horizon, and getting lost in the morning drizzle."

He explained that no meteor or balloon could have engaged in the "zigzag" shown according to him by the observations of this morning, and that no plane of the time could have been able "to stop then accelerate at more than 3,000 per hour", performances which he deduced from some of the observations and distances between observation spots relative to the reported observations hours.

Garreau added that "to leave no doubt", he had questioned the various regional weather stations, and that he had been told that no balloon had been launched.

At the American base in Semoutiers, near Chaumont, he was told "It was neither a balloon, nor a plane, from here."

He added that the Besançon observatory had seen nothing, and that the Contrexéville and Dijon radar sets as well as the Perrogney goniometer in Haute-Saône had seen nothing, since their specialists only took their duty at 8 a.m.

He added that the "Scientific bureau" had hesitated to take a position, saying that the only possible "natural" explanation would be that of a meteor, but "the journey described by the object is such that it could not have been a single meteor. It would therefore have to be admitted that it was a swarm of meteorites which crossed "(under the clouds !!!)" the sky of eastern France following different trajectories."



[... Other cases...]

JANUARY 9, 1954

The aerial object that flew over the Côte d'Or left the door open to various assumptions: meteor, balloon, jet plane or saucer, according to the newspapers! The witnesses describe it as an object at the speed of a (Burgundian) snail, then as a fireball describing an extraordinary journey: Nancy, Neuvelle les Champlittes, Chaumont, Langres, Gemeaux, Besançon. It was reportedly also seen in Dijon, Oisilly and Auxonne. It was also described as a reddish trail or yellow disk, depending on its speed and angle of observation (ref. 21)

[... Other cases...]


The source "ref. 21" is indicated further on, as "21 - Bourgogne Républicaine for 1/13/54, Mystérieux objets célestes by Aimée [sic] Michel, page 96 to 99 -"


54 01 09 / DIJON / 7:50 / NL / P /

Miss X saw a huge star, large like an orange that rushed North-South. It was followed by a luminous tail and was not very high in the sky.

(Source: Alerte dans le ciel, Ch.Garreau, p.101 à 103 -
J. Guieu (Les S.V. Viennent d'un autre monde) -
Bien Public: 13.1.54)

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Côte d'or à Dijon on January 9, 1954, at 07:45 "Observation of a red object towards the north whose trajectory is directed north west south east."

The source is indicated as "Les soucoupes volantes viennent d'un autre monde by Guieu Jimmy ** Fleuve Noir 1954".

[Jimmy Guieu told nothing about that sighting, he only reproduced Charles Garreau's map ([cgu1]).]

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 26 January 1954 at 04:50 in Dijon, France, "One object was observed by 11 witnesses (Guyennot)."

The sources are said to be "Poher, Claude, Etudes Statistiques Portant sur 1000 Temoignag, Author, undated" and "Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173)".



The January 9, 1954, 07:48 a.m. meteor.


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

Dijon, Côte-d'Or, night, multiple, luminous, lengthened, orange, trail, clouds, beam, purple, intense, light


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

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross August 9, 2004 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 10, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Addition [lcn1].
1.2 Patrick Gross January 25, 2019 Additions [via2], [via1], Summary.
1.3 Patrick Gross February 3, 2020 Addition [cgu2]. In the Summary, addition of the paragraph "Charles Garreau specified in his 1956 book..."

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This page was last updated on February 3, 2020.