Go Back Report # 1161
04-14-1953

04-14-1953  
Date April 14 goes to April 4 and UFOCAT has it under March 14, 1953 –CF- 
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       Far more puzzling was the incident at Saint-Symphorien, Deux-Sèvres, April 14, 1953, which was also investigated by Mr. Marc Thirouin. The results of his enquiries were confirmed by the following two letters, dated May 17 and June 6, from Mr. Camille Perrin, a farmer of Saint-Symphorien, which we reproduce below:       
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       First Letter: "The day of April 4 was really frightening. (Possible typo? –CF-)

It was about 12:30 p.m. when my daughter, Yvette, went out to bring in the cows which were in the meadow behind the farm. All of a sudden she heard a noise which caused her to look [a]round. She was terrified at the sight of a real ball of fire which exploded at that moment. It was enormous. The little girl found herself leaning against the fence of the meadow, where she had been thrown by what seemed like a tornado. Her brother, aged thirteen, who heard the noise, ran ahead of his sister and saw a column of sparks and water gush up, for the explosion was right in the brook which runs along the edge of the meadow.

       Neighbours who heard the bang actually saw trees bending1. I, the father, was in the garden. I thought my straw-rick2 was burning when I saw a big cloud of dust and smoke. A tile was dislodged by the force of the blast. We went to see what was in the meadow, but there was nothing, not a trace of anything! At first I thought it must be a meteorite, but something as big as Yvette had described to us -- it wasn't possible. She had been carried by the blast about 100 feet. For two days she suffered from headache and pain in the kidneys. I can't give you any other explanation. It all happened exactly as I've told you."       
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Second letter: "Fortunately, my daughter is better now and has got over the shock. She still swears that she didn't set foot to the ground, that she was transported by the blast of air. It was only because of the thick grass she fell on that she wasn't badly injured.

       The weather was normal that day -- no clouds; it was all just as we have said. The part of the brook where Yvette said the explosion was is about three-and-a-half feet wide and 20 inches deep. The child still claims that it was an enormous ball of fire that she saw. We saw nothing unusual ourselves. It's true we didn't make a very careful search because there were no traces of anything."           
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       We Ouranos3 investigators checked up on atmospheric conditions prevailing on that day. At the Saint Maur Observatory, the meteorological station at Le Bourget, and at the National Meteorological Office, nothing abnormal had been recorded at the time of the explosion. Winds were quite normal. The instruments had registered no trace of any disturbance. There was a certain amount of cloud over the central mountain system, but nothing over the department of Deux-Sèvres.

       Therefore, at the time when the incident took place, the weather was fine and clear, as Mr. Perrin also stated. In other words, no cloud[s].

       Furthermore, no traces of the reported explosion were ever found in spite of its reported intensity. There are two "rational" explanations of this extraordinary affair which we may consider, although I think they will be thought inadmissible.

       1. Ball lightning. In this case there would have been clouds, but there were none. If it had knocked the girl over and swept her along, it could not have failed to leave traces of burning on her clothing.

       2. A meteorite. Obviously, this "explanation" could hardly be put forward with much assurance, for meteorites are com­posed of tiny particles of matter travelling at tremendous speed in space, which are rapidly vaporized by contact with the earth's atmosphere. Those which hit the earth are usually of a more substantial size, and fragments should be discovered of these "stony meteorites" after their fall.

       No cases were reported in St.-Symphorien of any fragments being found. Yet the force and volume of the air convulsion would suggest a meteorite of considerable size, had there been one. The brook into which the girl said the object fell was narrow and shallow and therefore could not conceal anything of respectable dimensions.

Note – 3 or 4 lines of text are missing here, but the remnant of text that was visible seems to be in general about “fireballs.”–CF-    
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Footnote 1: This effect has been noted on several occasions when saucers were passing some distance but at low altitude, as at Twin Falls, U.S.A., and at Belan-sur-Aurce (Ource), France.

This reference: Flying Saucers Come from Another World by Jimmy Guieu, pp. 113-115, © 1956.

With thanks to The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS): http://www.cufos.org/  
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Note 2:

rick (rĭk)  n.  A stack of hay, straw, or similar material, especially when covered or thatched for protection from the weather.

Reference: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rick     
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Note 3:

Divinized name of the sky in ancient Greece. In France in the 50's, title of the bulletin of the ufology group "Commission Internationale d'Enquêtes Scientifiques Ouranos." This group often referred to UFO occupants as "ouraniens," that is, beings coming from the sky and, by extension, from space.

Reference: http://www.ufologie.net/htm/o.htm#ouranos      
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UFOCAT PRN – NONE           

However UFOCAT PRN 19158 fills the gap with the same city and farmer’s name:     
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UFOCAT PRN – 19158 [DOS: 03-14-1953]

UFOCAT URN 19158 - Computerized Catalog (N=3173), #0938 by L. Schoenherr, no © date
and is based on the same reference as the text above.        
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Europe – France, department of Deux-Sèvres, region of Poitou-Charentes

Saint-Symphorien        Latitude 46-16-00 N, Longitude 000-30-00 W (D-M-S)

Reference: http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/           

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