The 1954 UFO Wave

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
October 20, 2019
Last Updated
November 14, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
28 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Waves

Perhaps of all the UFO waves, the world-wide panic of 1954 is arguably the most active and intense. Sightings of all kinds of crafts took place as well as multiple encounters with varying degrees of interaction. Furthermore, although there are many retrospective accounts on record previously, it is during this wave that the first hints of what would become the alien abduction phenomena over the coming decades would surface. And what’s more, while highly speculative, there could be a sound reason for this.

For example, as we have examined previously, the wave occurred around some of the most intriguing, if outlandish alleged encounters of the modern UFO era. Not least an apparent meeting between the (then) President of the United States and two separate alien races looking to strike a deal of sorts of the “leader of the free world”.

A picture of an apparent UFO

1954 was one of the busiest years on record

We will remind ourselves of the basics of this alleged meeting shortly, but that it is alleged to have taken place at the start of what would become the busiest twelve months in UFO history is an intriguing point to keep on the mental back burner, no matter how outlandish it might be.

The fact is, 1954, in terms of UFO sightings, bizarre aerial activity, and apparent encounters with visitors from elsewhere in the universe are one of the truly fascinating and seemingly perception changing windows of time in (relatively speaking) recent history. With that in mind, it is perhaps strange, then, that such an era is not pondered over or examined more.

The sheer volume of encounters on record surely suggests beyond any doubt that something very much out of the ordinary was taking place in 1954. And such sudden and temporary persistent activity must have had an overriding purpose and objective. Most likely still influencing events today.

A Truly Remarkable, If Discreet Time In (UFO) History!

In his report of the 1954 UFO wave for NICAP, Donald Johnson would state that “hardly anyone is still alive who remembers from personal experience what transpired” [1] during this time. On top of this, very few specialist documentaries or far-reaching television programs have ever, to the best of Johnson’s and indeed our knowledge, that dedicates the entire focus onto the mysterious wave.

Furthermore, the sightings were not only prominent over the United States. Just as many incidents and reports are on record from Europe. And, once more in Johnson’s words “it is likely that the importance of the European reports is not well understood nor appreciated”. In fact, according to some sources, more than half of the UFO sightings on record during the 1954 wave would occur in or near the European continent.

A depiction of two UFOs about to enter the Earth

Just where were UFOs coming from in 1954?

We should perhaps take a moment to appreciate that these sightings occurred at a time when the Internet, nor 24-hour news channels and only limited “international news”. As we have stated in a previous article if is “surely unfeasible that all of the incidents in question were of a copy-cat nature”.

With all of this in mind, then, it is perhaps more fitting than usual that we issue our advanced warning that what follows is merely a tiny sample of the sightings that occurred. However, the true scale of the 1954 wave should not be ignored.

While the foundations of the science-fiction craze and such notions as “Visitors From Space” were well and truly in place by this time, the UFO sightings of 1954 is arguably the catalyst for the intense and sudden interest in such matter among the American public, and indeed a large part of the western world in general.

The Eisenhower Connection?

It would also be a little amiss to not mention the supposed meeting with President Eisenhower and two alien races during a rather murky several days in February 1954. We have examined these alleged meetings previously so we will not go over them in any great detail here. However, as highly speculative as the alleged encounter is, if there is any degree of truth in it, it would be irresponsible to not at least draw attention to such a momentous and historic set of circumstances and the wave of sightings that was to follow.

In short, an apparent deal was struck between Eisenhower – representing the United States government and possibly other allied nations – and one of these alien races who we would collectively identify today as “the Grays”, whereby advanced technology was exchanged for a variety of freedoms the Grays would enjoy, not least the “permission” to use citizens for experiments, of which they would be returned unharmed and with no knowledge of such a bizarre incident having taken place.

Some researchers have claimed Eisenhower was forced into the deal amid threats of such technology being gifted into the hands of the Soviet Union should the Americans choose to decline the offer. With the Cold War in its infancy and tensions rapidly increasing, as outlandish as such a claim might sound, there is a certain amount of sense to it – at least in theory.

Incidentally, the great-granddaughter of the one-time president, Laura Eisenhower has no doubt these incidents occurred. She would state how there is “this whole other reality going on that we don’t hear about. These timelines and the deeper history connected to secret societies”. And what’s more these connections are part of an “extraterrestrial agenda”. One that is “thousands of years” in the making.

A Genuine Matter-Of-Fact Attempt To Understand These Bizarre Incidents!

If we stay with the views of Laura Eisenhower for a moment, she would claim that this deal would lead to the “secret space programs” which are a conspiracy in their own right. Indeed, we have examined some of the claims of these ultra-secret projects before.

Some researchers also claim, however, that the experiments promised to this opportunistic alien race would essentially lead to the alien abduction phenomena that, while already occurring in the mid-to-late 1950s, would seemingly explode the following decade. And would continue to do so right into our contemporary era.

With all of this in mind, then, the UFO wave of 1954 could very well prove to only be the most active, most intense, and most documented (at least within UFO circles) of such surges of aerial anomaly activity, they could also prove to be one of the most important.

Extraterrestrial sign in the area of many of the UFO sightings

Extraterrestrial sign in the area of many of the UFO sightings

Furthermore, it is important, while keeping an open mind, to not fall into the trap of dismissing the sightings of the 1954 wave as nothing more than “confused sightings” reported through panic and mass-hysteria, as many skeptical researchers will have you believe.

The fact is, as Donald Johnson states, most of the reports, themselves from newspaper accounts, appear to have a “matter of fact” feel about them, with little sensationalism to them. Furthermore, there was a “serious attempt to discover what was going on” by a vast majority of the press at the time.

An Almost Immediate Increase In Activity – January to Spring

Although there would be definite peaks to the 1954 wave – with perhaps the most truly active taking place around October and November – strange sightings began almost immediately [2] within the first few hours of the New Year’s celebrations.

For example, at a little after 10 am on 1st January 1954, while at his home just outside of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, a pilot with Australian National Airways, Captain Douglas Barker, would report seeing a “metallic mushroom-shaped object” flying through the sky heading toward the Yarra Valley. What’s more, the experienced airline pilot would claim the object was moving an estimated 700 miles per hour. He would further estimate that the strange craft was at an altitude of around 2,000 feet and was approximately four times the size of a DC4 aircraft. Barker would claim the object was visible for a little over 10 seconds.

A depiction of a UFO hovering over a dark forest

UFO sightings began to increase almost immediately in 1954

Interestingly, several hours later over downtown Melbourne, a report of a “tumbling box-like” object surfaced at a little after 2:30 pm. A short distance away in Hampton, around 45 minutes later, a “clear plastic flying dish” was seen traveling at great speed through the sky.

Over the next several days, UFO report after UFO report would stack up in Australia, with the vast majority coming from in and around the Melbourne region. Many would describe a “flat, shiny” disc-like object, sometimes hovering or “rocking” overhead, other times speeding across the heavens at hundreds of miles per hour.

It certainly wasn’t only Australia, however, that would experience an instant rise in UFO sightings as 1954 announced itself to the world’s populace.

Instant Activity Over America

At a little after 10:30 pm on New Year’s Day just outside New Jersey in the United States, multiple witnesses would report “3 to 12 round or oval white objects with fuzzy edges” hovering overhead for almost 90 minutes. The strange glowing crafts would occasionally move around each other before eventually disappearing at great speed.

On the morning of 14th January, at a little after 10 am, several bizarre objects were picked up by radar operators at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas. What’s more, these mysterious objects would move at a pace between 100 to 600 miles per hour.

When several fighters were scrambled in an attempt to intercept the aerial anomalies, they would seemingly join together making one large craft. Before the aircraft could reach them, though, they separated once more and disappeared. On the same day, at around 5:30 pm, the crew of a B-47 plane witnessed a “fiery object” while flying over New York City.

A picture claiming to show two UFOs

Does this picture show two real UFOs?

Two weeks later, in Blackstone, Virginia, control tower operator, Marvin Smith, witnessed a “circular bright light” which shined in the early evening sky indicating it had a metallic exterior. At the same time, a C-47 which passed directly overhead of the bizarre object’s location would also confirm the sighting. It would remain in sight for just over half an hour.

The following afternoon in Sana Ana, California, a young adult couple would report a “round object with a flat bottom”. From a distance, it appeared to emit a “blurry white light”. However, it would quickly descend on their vehicle and was a clear round-shaped object. What’s more, the radio on the car went dead and the engine began to struggle immediately.

Early Sightings Over France

Although strange sightings and occurrences during 1954 took place all over Europe, France would seemingly experience more than its fair share. The reasons for this may be plentiful, perhaps not least the simple fact that is a larger country than most others in Europe, for example. Whatever the reason, and while we will examine some of the UFO sightings from the peak of the wave at the end of the year later, several such incidents played out in the French skies in the opening days of the year.

At around 9 pm on the 4th January, for example, at Mariginane Airfield a lone witness, Mr. Chesneau, would report a “round luminous machine” landing near the runway. However, by the time he returned from making contact with the control tower, the mysterious object had vanished.

Map of the sightings over France

Map of the sightings over France

The following day, though, several pieces of “metallic debris” were recovered not far from the runway away not from where the apparent landing took place. Furthermore, a corroborating witness would surface from a motorist who was driving from Aries to Marseilles witnessed a “large, round, reddish fireball” overhead around 90 minutes after Chesneau’s sighting.

Three days later at around 4:30 am in the early hours of the 7th January in the town of Arras, a “fiery disc followed by a luminous trail” was reported hanging motionless in the sky. The witness watched the object for several minutes before it disappeared into the distance and out of their sight.

A little more than 48 hours later, at around 6 am in Luneville, three college students witnessed a “round object” moving silently yet at a considerably slower pace than a standard airplane until it disappeared into the early morning sky.

The Encounters Of Carl Anderson

One of the truly bizarre encounters of the 1954 wave comes to us via a German UFO research website although it occurred in Desert Center in California. According to the report, a gentleman named Carl Anderson began hearing “mysterious telepathic” voices urging him to travel to a location just outside Desert Center.

He would do so on 3rd April, taking his wife, his daughter and his son on a camping trip at the same time. They would set up their tent and then eventually settle down for the evening. However, by 3 am, Anderson would awake to find his wife and daughter already awake seemingly focused on some activity taking place outside their tent while his son remained asleep.

A superimposed UFO over a field with static electricity

Was there an end goal to these strange visits?

However, within seconds, the tent would suddenly become transparent and then would appear to disappear altogether. Each of them could see the elements of the desert stretching in all directions around them. Then, they all focused on the “bright disc-shaped” craft that was hovering just above the ground in front of them. As it did so, its light cast its glow all around them.

When Anderson would make attempts to get up from the ground and approach the craft he would find he couldn’t move. He was essentially frozen to the spot. Strange voices sound out although none of the group could see where they might have come from. Indeed, it is perhaps interesting to note that each of the groups, without realizing it, might have heard the voice telepathically.

A Second Return

The next thing they knew, the object was spinning and beginning to glow brightly. It would quickly look similar to a fireball. At the same time, a strange, calm hum sounds out around them. Then, the object would shoot directly up into the sky and vanish with seconds. The next thing they knew, the tent was back around them.

When they staggered outside, each of them could see a small dot in the sky overhead that quickly disappeared.

As if that incident wasn’t strange enough, Anderson would return to the same site several weeks later. This time, he would bring a friend, Jim with him. After setting up camp they would begin flashing a metallic flashlight toward the sky.

A superimposed UFO on a stormy sky

Were these crafts coming from other world

Without expecting much to happen the two men were shocked when seemingly out of nowhere a bizarre craft, almost identical to the craft Anderson had witnessed several weeks earlier, appeared over the top of the two men. Several seconds later Jim would let out a cry of pain and dropped the flashlight claiming it had suddenly become searing hot.

As Jim scrambled to their car to get something to attend to the burning on his hand, the strange object would vanish once more in a bright flash of white light.

A Summer Of UFO Activity

As the summer of 1954 progressed, more and more reports of UFO sightings continued. And what’s more, as opposed to having their greatest concentration over the United States, more and more reports would come from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

For example, In early June in Sesto Florentino in Italy, came the encounter of 14-year-old “Marco P”. His encounter entered the larger public domain courtesy of Maurizio Verga’s book When Saucers Came To Earth.

The “Marco P” Encounter

On the day in question, Marco was walking home through a field when he witnessed a disc-shaped craft “orientated diagonally against a tree”. At the object’s base were three figures, each with blond hair and square faces. Each had on a long coat with “military-style pants and boots”. The young boy began to walk toward the scene causing one of the figures to look at him.

Instantly he was unable to move, becoming paralyzed and frozen to the spot. Even stranger, when the bizarre figure took his gaze from him, he regained the use of his limbs once more. It was at this stage when he noticed for the first time a disc-shaped object directly over him. He would estimate it was around 200 feet across. Even more bizarre, he would claim to witness “70 or 80 smaller discs” moved and danced around the edges of this main, monstrous disc.

Investigators at the Marco P encounter

Investigators at the Marco P encounter

The young boy was looking upward when he noticed several of the figures suddenly descend toward the ground. They appeared to be on “flying scooters” seemingly grasping on to handlebars of some kind as they did so. One of them would head toward him and the next thing he knew, Marco was on the scooter and heading toward the huge disc overhead.

His memory of the incident becomes a little hazy at this stage. He would recall how the inside of the disc was largely empty but with lots of flashing lights and several of the strange beings seemingly working at a desk of sorts. He realized he was paralyzed once again.

Then, he was once again on the ground with the disc-like craft heading away. The church bell announcing it was noon brought the realization that three hours had passed in what appeared to be only minutes.

The British Airways Goose Bay Incident

On June 1954, during a long distance flight from New York to London (via Goose Bay), Captain James Howard would report a strange object following him as he piloted the British Airways jet. [3]

Shortly after leaving New York, orders would arrive telling Howard to hold his position near the coast of Rhode Island. He did so for around ten minutes before finally receiving permission to proceed with the flight. The only reason Howard could imagine he would have to hold would be due to other air traffic passing in his path.

Aside from mild annoyance, Howard largely forgot the incident. That was until three hours later when he noticed several strange objects seemingly following him. One of these was significantly larger than the others. Were these the “traffic” that he had held for?

He would report the smaller craft remaining in formation for a prolonged period, before a hatch opened on the “mothership”, allowing the smaller objects to fly inside. With that, the gigantic craft vanished from view. Much like the sighting over Florence, the size of the craft was “off-the-scale” compared to man-made aviation (even now).

As an interesting side-note, numerous leaked reports of military films showing such gigantic crafts hosting other smaller (but still large in their own right) flying objects are on record. One of the most credible is perhaps that claimed by Budd Hopkins. According to one of Hopkins’ high-level sources, the CIA had short films of such crafts, one in particular in crystal-clear clarity, taken by the Australian Air Force, sometime in the fifties or sixties, on a photo-mapping exorcize.

Check out the short video clip below. It features Captain Howard speaking of his UFO encounter.

The Bizarre Encounter Of Harold Carpenter

Another sighting that comes to us from UFO and humanoid encounters researcher, Albert Rosales, took place in Cold Blow in Lydden, Kent, in the United Kingdom in July 1954. Local resident, Harold Carpenter would experience a bizarre encounter [4] with a humanoid creature after having experienced several weeks of hearing a strange “humming noise”, usually between 4 and 5 am each morning.

On this particular morning, with the humming sound once again announcing itself at its usual time, Carpenter would decide to venture outside and investigate where the noise might be coming from and what it might be. He would leave his home and head toward Sunny Calvert, an area of woodland nearby.

A depiction of a UFO over a field

The encounter of Harold Carpenter was one of the strangest

The bizarre noise appeared to come from the bottom of a steep slope. However, after followed the sound this far, instead of turning back he instead proceeded to head down the slope. Upon reaching the bottom he witnessed a bizarre mushroom-without-a-stem-type gray object hovering around 10 feet from the ground.  As discreetly as he could manage, he made his way to an area of woodland that offered him a view of the underside of the craft, which he would estimate was between 15 and 20 feet across.

Of more concern to him, however, was the “five peculiar-looking beings”, each around 4 feet in height stood under the hovering futuristic vehicle. Each of the strange figures carried an object similar to a jam jar in one hand, and a device similar to tweezers in the other. They were seemingly picking up objects from the ground with these and then dropping them in the jars.

The scene had the bizarre feel of school children out on a scientific field trip.

A Sign Of A Multiple Aliens Visiting The Planet

As Carpenter continued to watch the scene play out before him, he noticed how each of the figures was dressed in a grey one-piece suit with a strange balaclava-type hat. This would, though, leave their faces open for viewing.

Carpenter could see that although they were very human-looking, they were “totally expressionless with human-like eyes” and a “snout-like nose” like a pig. As he continued to watch them, one of them suddenly noticed and looked straight at him. Almost in sympathy, and very much with a hive mentality, the others would turn their attention to him also.

Despite the fear that was now welling up inside of him as he fully expected an imminent attack. However, instead, the creatures would make their way, one by one inside the craft. As soon as the last one was inside, the craft began to rise upwards, slowly at first, but then at an increasing pace. Then, in a “flash of light,” it sped off into the sky and out of sight.

A superimposed UFO over a highway at night

Sightings of UFOs occurred all over the world

It is truly a bizarre encounter. And one that appears to show a race of creatures who rather than being combative is quite the opposite. Once more, we have to ask if the UFO wave of 1954, like other UFO waves, were the result of just one space-faring race visiting our planet or a consequence of many different ones.

The “Spaceman” Encounter, Norway

On the afternoon of the 20th August 24-year-old Edith Jacobsen and 32-year-old Asta Solvang, who were sisters, would experience a bizarre meeting with they would describe as a “spaceman” while picking berries in Ceydalen in Norway. [5]

When the two sisters first saw the strange figure in the distance, they thought nothing more of it than it was another berry picker. As they got closer, however, they realized he had nothing to place his catch in so he wasn’t there picking berries.

When they were within feet of each other, the man began speaking to them. However, the language was unknown to the two sisters. In fact, they would claim it was a language unlike any they had heard before. Furthermore, they would describe it as “soft and melodic” and seemingly with “few consonants”. This is an interesting description and one that, albeit not often, surfaces in other close contact reports.

A depiction f a UFO in a stormy sky

One incident in Norway featured a humanoid occupant

Furthermore, each of the women would feel “at ease” and not at all unnerved by the encounter. The man was handsome and wore a one-piece suit that bizarrely contained no zippers, buttons, or seams. Furthermore, although loose, it became tightfitting at the neck.

The mysterious man would draw a series of circles on what appeared to be something similar to paper before gesturing to the two women as if indicating that he came from elsewhere. He would then gesture that they should follow him.

When they did they would soon come to a gray-blue metallic disc approximately 3 meters across and a meter and a half in height. Before they could approach the object any further, however, the strange man gestured that they should stay where they were. He would then enter the craft which began to rise into the air before disappearing.

More Questions Than (Solid) Answers As Sightings Continue Into The Summer

While the number of UFO sightings in 1954 goes well into the thousands, some sightings stand out a little more than others.

In Tananarive, Madagascar, on 16th August, a sighting of a strange “green ball” was seen by thousands of people. Some witnesses would recall that behind the green ball as if attached by an invisible thread, was a metallic silver disc-shaped object.

What is perhaps interesting, coincidentally or not, is that Madagascar was under French colonial rule at the time (and was until 1960). As a further twist, the sighting occurred near where mail for Air France employees was flown in – on a Lockheed Constellation. Given Lockheed’s apparent involvement with black budget projects, some of which claim to utilize reverse engineered alien technology, it is certainly worth noting at the very least.

Just under a fortnight later on 29th August, off the coast of Greenland, the entire crew of a Royal Dutch Airlines plane would report seeing up to four “lens-shaped” objects flying in formation over the Prince Christian Sound, [6] which connects the Labrador Sea and the Irminger Sea. Interestingly, this sighting occurred (relatively) close to the aforementioned Goose Bay incident.

Were these sightings across the face of the entire planet some kind of scouting mission by an extra-terrestrial intelligence? Or might it have been a prolonged period of military testing? If so, given the seemingly advanced nature of the technology, would this be the fruits of reverse engineered crashed alien craft?

Is it also coincidence that the alleged secret meetings between (then) US president, Eisenhower and alien beings also took place in 1954?

The short video below is further archive audio of the Goose Bay incident.

The George Gatay Incident.

An encounter that appeared in Jacques Vallee’s Passport to Magnolia an account largely dismissed at the time but that has taken on an almost cult-like status among UFO researchers since, who by and large tend to find the case generally credible.

On the 30th September 1954 at around 4:30 pm, the foreman of a construction crew, George Gatay, working in the town of Nouatre in France would suddenly experience a bizarre sensation of “drowsiness” sweep over him. What’s more, he would suddenly find himself working away from the construction site he was working at. He didn’t, however, understand why she was doing so, or where he was going.

Several moments later he would see a man wearing gray overalls and an “opaque glass helmet with a large visor”. In his hand was a “rod”, which Gatay believed to be some type of weapon. This is an intriguing observation as many close contact interaction encounters feature this strange device in the details of the respective witnesses. As he observed this bizarre figure, he noticed a “dome-shaped object” hovering behind him, approximately three feet from the ground.

As he was watching the strange scene unfold before him, the mysterious man simply vanished right in front of Gatay’s eyes. He was adamant that the strange figure had not walked away but literally “vanished” from his sight. At the same time, a “strong whistling sound” announced itself followed by a movement of the object that began to rise in jerky movements. Then a “blue haze” appeared to envelop it before it too disappeared.

Another Example Of Purposely Induced Paralysis?

Interestingly, Gatay would recall his inability to move, even though he desperately wanted to. What is interesting here is that the strange device he witnessed earlier is not only something which shows up in other UFO reports, but it is also associated with paralysis of the respective witnesses.

Interestingly or not, as soon as the craft disappeared the paralysis appeared to lose its control and Gatay turned and ran toward his coworkers. However, he would find them to be a bizarre “daze”, as if they too had witnessed something strange. When Gatay asked if anyone had seen anything strange or out of the ordinary, one of his workers would rely on that they had witnessed a “flying saucer”.

A depiction of a UFO in a cloudy sky

Many details in the 1954 wave would surface in other sightings years later

Even stranger, another of the workers, Mr. Lubanovic, would state there was a “man dressed like a diver in front it”.

Following the incident, Gatay would begin to experience headaches and bizarre episodes of insomnia. He would also have to force himself to eat as his appetite seemingly disappeared. What’s more, Gatay was a respected person of his community who was not at all prone to hoax or falsehood.

The sighting remains unexplained to this day.

As the summer turned to Autumn and winter came into view, the incidents would increase dramatically.

The October-November Surge

While sightings across the United States would remain relatively constant throughout the remainder of the year, across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe UFO and alien incidents were about to go into overdrive.

We have, for example, examined the case of Maurice Dewilde previously, who would experience paralysis after witnessing a strange humanoid in a one-piece suite and a diver’s type helmet on their heads. Before he could see anything else, however, a brilliant bright light not only blinded him, but rendered him completely paralyzed. After several moments, after the creature had returned to the strange craft nearby which then took off, the paralysis wore off.

While the aforementioned Dewilde’s encounter was one of the first of the apparent wave over French soil, reports would pour in from concerned residents for the following two months.

A depiction of a UFO hovering above the clouds

UFO sightings increased further in the final months of the year

On 28th September, a vineyard owner would witness a luminous glow settle on his land. He went to investigate. Upon being no more than fifty yards away, three beings exited the glowing craft. When they noticed him, he suddenly became victim to some kind of paralyzing force before losing consciousness. He would awaken to find the three creatures and the glowing craft gone.

We have also briefly examined another case several weeks later in early-October when a group of motorcyclists noticed a strange object overhead that appeared to catch them in a strange “luminous green beam” causing complete paralysis. When the object left the vicinity control over their movements returned to the group.

These types of sightings and an absolute abundance of others would be replicated throughout France and the rest of Europe over the coming weeks.

The Start Of The French UFO Wave

For example, on the afternoon of 1st October, in Blanzy in France, two bricklayers came across a strange cigar-shaped object resting on the ground. However, as they approached the mysterious craft it rose quickly into the air, a strange whistling sound announcing itself in sympathy.

Several hours later on the same day at a little after 4 pm in Bry, a man was paralyzed by a “luminous white object” which “dove” out of the late-afternoon sky while he walked his dog. As the craft left the area the paralysis failed, and each could move once more.

Three hours later again, at 7 pm, this time in Jussey, two witnesses would report a “luminous white disc” moving across the sky before suddenly “diving” toward the ground. After landing, two tall humanoid figures emerged from the object, each dressed in a one-piece white overall-type suit. They would make gestures toward the two witnesses, who by this time were overcome with fear causing them to turn and run from the area.

A depiction of a UFO hovering over a field

France saw a particular increase in UFO sightings

An hour later at around 8 pm in St. Jean d’Angely, while driving back from Royan, two businessmen witnessed a bizarre “little man” walk in front of their car and then disappear into the woodland.

These incidents, however, were just the start that would seemingly overtake France for several weeks. At around the same time as the sighting in St. Jean d’Angely, Ernest Delattre was returning home in the St-Crepin-Ibouvillers region of the country on his scooter when he witnessed a “brilliantly illuminated egg-shaped object” descend out of nowhere and land several meters from the roadside.

He would slow his scooter down a little, witnessing several “dark shapes, like potato bags” moving around the underside of the now landed craft. He would speed up again heading away from the scene.

Sightings Continue Around The Clock

Several moments later he would witness the craft taking off into the sky. As it climbed higher, it would change colors, going from orange to blue and then to a soft gray shade. Intriguingly, on the same evening, two corroborating witnesses would come forward with similar sightings.

Thirty minutes later, at 8:30 pm in the St-Michel-sur-Meurthe region, several witnesses reported a glowing cigar-shaped object flying overhead.

At 10 pm on the same evening, this time in Branges, Gilbert Prudent was returning home with a passenger with him. Suddenly a mushroom-shaped domed disc was visible at the side of the road. He would slow the car a little and head toward the landed craft. However, as if sensing his approach, it would suddenly darken before shooting high into the air and out of sight.

At approximately the same time in the town of Bergerac, 26-year-old Jean Dufix was returning home from his job as a fireman when he witnessed what he at first believed was a shooting star. However, when it appeared to land in his yard and set it on fire he rushed to the scene more than concerned. Just before he arrived, however, a disc-shaped object rose upwards and “shot off at fantastic speed”.

A superimposed UFO over a night mountain scene

Sightings of UFOs took place at night and during the day

Four nights following this encounter, on 5th October, a group of people out in the country near Clermont-Ferrand noticed a large craft in the sky heading in their direction. As it approached they all experienced a strange feeling in their limbs. They were rapidly unable to move until the object had passed completely. Two days later, in Monteux, a local resident would suffer a similar fate as he ran towards a strange craft resting in a field. The use of his limbs only returned when the craft had disappeared.

The “Humanoid Invasion” Of 3rd October 1954

While we will not systematically go through each and every sighting – not for lack of intrigue but for lack of space – the events of 3rd October 1954, particularly in France deserve a mention. Writing in 2009 in their report of the 1954 UFO Wave, NICAP would state that “84 UFO and humanoid sightings” are on record for this particular date. India, Lebanon, Quebec, and Switzerland each boast a sighting, with England and Italy each claiming another two, and Austria laying to three more. The other 76 all took place in France.

We have to ask, then, what set of circumstances brought about such a plethora of activity within the same 24-hour period on or over French soil? Was this part of the world specifically targeted? And if so, why? And if these encounters were extraterrestrial in nature, was there any “government involvement” or prior knowledge of the incidents? This last part is pure speculation on our part, but the sheer volume of sightings in this very tight and specific window surely suggests a very specific reason or purpose?

And perhaps the fact that this concentration of sightings around France took place within arguably the most active UFO wave, certainly at the time, makes them even more interesting and potentially important to understanding the wave of 1954, as well as the overall UFO and alien question.

The Strange Experience of Henry Gallois and Louis Vigneron

On 11th October, while driving near Sassier, Henry Gallois and Louis Vigneron, would feel what they would later describe as “an electric shock through the body!” [7] At the same time, their car came to a sudden halt. All electrics, including their headlights, would also fail. More worrying for the pair, was they could no longer move. They were essentially, glued to their seats.

Suddenly, around fifty meters in front of their vehicle, they could make out what appeared to be a machine-like object. Three strange creatures approached it and went inside. The strange object rose into the air and vanished in an instant. As it disappeared, the car came back to life, and they were free to move as they wished.

A depiction of a UFO in a lightning sky

Is the same intelligence behind the 1954 wave behind other waves throughout history?

Two nights following their experience, in Baillolet, Dr. Henri Robert’s encounter would almost mirror that of Gallois and Vigneron. Dr. Robert had noticed four strange objects in the sky when suddenly one of them approached. As it did, he felt an “electric shock” surge through him and his car engine and headlights died completely. Unable to physically move, he watched the object, clearly piloted by a strange being, for several minutes. Only when it vanished did his vehicle burst back into life and the paralysis ceased.

The Salandin Encounter

Two weeks after the explosion of sightings over France, an incident occurred over Essex in England involving a pilot of the Royal Air Force on the afternoon of 14th October. The incident was reported in the well-known Flying Saucer Review and was then reported again by respected UFO author, Timothy Good in his respected book Above Top Secret.

At a little after 4 pm, pilot Flight Lieutenant Salandin would leave the runway of RAF North Weald in perfect weather conditions. However, when he was around 16,000 feet he witnessed “a whole lot of contrails” at an approximate altitude of between 30,000 to 40,000 feet.

Even more bizarre, and unnerving, when focused into the middle of these contrails he could see “three strange objects which he first thought were other planes. However, when one of them came closer to his location he could clearly see it was “saucer-shaped with a bun on top and a bun underneath”.

A superimposed UFO over a city at night

The Salandin encounter is one of the most intriguing of the 1954 wave

The object was of a shiny, silver material and of a metallic appearance. Even stranger, there were no portholes, seams, joints, or any indications of a propulsion system.

The pilot would radio his report to the control tower at the airfield. Furthermore, upon landing, he would immediately seek out his superior and intelligence officer, Derek Dempster. Although Dempster would file an official report, neither of them would hear anything further about the incident. In a bizarre twist, however, Dempster would go on to become editor of Flying Saucer Review and consequently would put the encounter into the public arena.

The Santo Amaro Incident

One of the strangest and most intriguing incidents of the 1954 wave, certainly to unfold late in the year, took place on the morning of 2nd November in Santo Amaro in Brazil. At a little after 10:30 am, Maurilio Braga Godoi [8] was walking home. However, much to his surprise, as he walked down the street, he witnessed a “large circular object” in-between two houses.

He would estimate the bizarre futuristic craft to be around 100 feet across and had a “strange bluish-red or violet glow” to it. He began to approach the object but suddenly began to feel a deep sense of fear about doing so. Godoi would make an effort to back away but bizarrely his feet appeared stuck to the ground. Even more unnerving when he made attempts to scream out only silence came out of his mouth.

The next thing he knew he was seemingly inside the craft, in a large brightly lit circular room. Interestingly, despite the brightness of the room, he could not see where the source of the illumination came from. This apparently small and trivial detail comes up repeatedly in such close contact encounters.

He continued to look around the room and noticed a strange table with bright “charts and maps” on it. One of these he noticed was South America. On it was several strange markers. As he was examining these three men, each no taller than five feet entered the room.

A Narrow Escape?

He watched the strange men as they remained still, watching him. Each had dark olive skin and short dark hair. Each also wore the same one-piece light gray one-piece suit. They would occasionally speak between themselves although he couldn’t understand what language they were speaking.

Godoi began to walk backward out of the craft. He was relieved they made no attempt to stop him but remained unnerved by their constant stare. He finally reached the door and took his chances by jumping to the floor below. Godoi immediately sprang to his feet and ran for about 30 feet before stopping and turning to look around at the strange craft.

It was now around 30 feet off the ground, its underside spinning increasingly faster by the moment. As he continued to watch, it began to ascend at an increasingly faster pace until it was no longer visible.

When Godoi was interviewed and examined following his report of the encounter it was largely agreed that he was of sound mind. Officially, although the case is recognized, it remains unexplained.

The Truly Strange Account Of 100-Year-Old Giovanni Aquilante

Although the sightings would begin to slow up somewhat as December took over the reins for the remainder of 1954. However, activity was still at increased levels compared to previous years. And what’s more, reports of these sightings would continue to reach military organizations and independent UFO groups alike.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing featured Giovanni Aquilante who at the grand age of 100 years old suddenly went missing after leaving his home in Caserta in Italy to go about his usual chores on the morning of 8th December.

Later that evening his two sons and a third relative of the family were searching the area in an attempt to locate the missing farmer. However, their searches would prove fruitless, at least at first. When they were returning home, they would witness “two odd-looking beings with phosphorescent eyes” apparently hiding from them behind a small wall. One of the men would then move toward the two creatures, despite his rising fear. However, by the time he reached the wall, the two bizarre entities had disappeared.

A picture of an apparent UFO

Does this picture show a UFO?

By 6 am on the third day – almost 72 hours after going missing – the 100-year-old farmer returned to the family home. He was clearly in shock, confused, and hungry. The family noticed immediately that despite the fact it had rained almost non-stop since his disappearance, his clothes were completely dry.

This is an interesting detail and one that shows up often in cases of the Missing 411 conspiracies. Might it be that this case could shed light on what might be happening in those bizarre cases of disappearances and (sometimes) reappearances?

An Abduction Encounter That Lasted Several Days?

Whether that is the case or not, what Aquilante offered his bemused family by way of an explanation was as bizarre as the notion that he would have survived three days wandering in the wilderness with no food or water in the freezing rain no less.

According to the farmer, when he left the house that morning he was soon greeted by “two dwarves” who appeared from behind a wall. Each of these dwarf-like creatures wore identical one-piece suits that shined “colors like the rainbow”.

Although he didn’t understand how the two strange creatures would take his hand “lift him skyward”. The next thing he knew, he was near his house, with the two creatures claiming they would return again in the future.

Whether the details of the account are accurate or note is perhaps open to debate. However, according to his sons, he would go from a lively and active man (for his age) to a confused and permanently scared individual. The incident has rather chilling echoes of the Travis Walton case that would occur over two decades later in November 1975 in the United States.

The Seemingly Never-Ending Cases Of The 1954 Wave

Of course, there are several other incidents that were very much a part of the 1954 UFO wave that we have examined in more detail previously. For example, although it is officially recognized as a plane crash, we have examined the events of 12th February 1954 over Gross Mountain in British Columbia in Canada which would result in the tragic death of a United States’ Air Force pilot.

Furthermore, in Italy in October and November of 1954, we have examined the encounter with a Martian entity by Renzo Pugina and the strange entity who communicated in Latin with Vicenzo Dattilo respectively.

A depiction of a UFO hovering in the sky

UFO sightings went on and on throughout 1954

In between each of these sightings was perhaps one of the most intriguing incidents of the entire year when thousands of people, including two professional football teams witnessed a strange oval-shaped craft passing over the stadium on 30th October. What’s more, the incident would result in one of the best “angel hair” examples of (relatively) recent times.

We have also examined the strange case of Jessie Roestenberg, who in October 1954 in Staffordshire in the United Kingdom spotted a “flying saucer”. What’s more, upon closer inspection she would spot two occupants inside, each with human-looking faces but with “proportionally larger” heads. You can check out the video below which looks at this particular case a little further.

Surely There Must Be More To This Than We Can See

While humanoid encounters had occurred in the years previously, as we have seen as well as the distinct increase in UFO sightings during 1954 came a distinct increase in humanoid encounters. It would seem strange to assume that all of these encounters were either outright falsehoods, misidentified encounters, or even hallucination.

What’s more, while some abduction incidents did indeed take place, many of these encounters with the occupants of UFOs during this time tended to be of a non-aggressive nature, with many resulting in the occupants vacating the area upon the realization that they were being watched or that someone was approaching. Even the incidents of paralysis appear to be more a defensive move which seemingly caused no harm to the “victim” and would lose its control once the occupant had left the scene.

A depiction of a UFO hovering over a car

Why were there so many UFO sightings throughout 1954

Were these intelligence-gathering missions? Or were they attempts to communicate more openly with the world’s populations at large? And, perhaps above all else, are these apparently cosmic visitors connected to each other or were there many different alien races visiting the planet during this period?

This is a potentially an interesting point to consider. If there were more than one extraterrestrial races coming and going from the Earth to their respective parts of the universe, does this perhaps suggest some type of anomaly in space-time and the fabric of the universe that somehow allowed for these seemingly interstellar journeys for a brief time?

There must be some connecting factor to the apparently varying degree of alien races visiting the Earth during this time. It would surely be a far-fetched claim in an already speculative train of thought to imagine that alien races from across the universe would suddenly decide to visit our planet at the same time.

What Made 1954 So Special?

As we can see, then, the UFO wave of 1954, as we highlighted in the opening lines of this piece, was most certainly a year of regular UFO activity not previously seen. Even today the sheer abundance of sightings in such a (relatively) short space of time is largely unequaled.

Might we assume, then, as we eluded to a moment ago, that something special or different occurred in the universe at this time? Something that – if we accept that at least some of the sightings and encounters during 1954 were down to extraterrestrial contact – made the planet a targeted destination.

Again, we could run wild with such speculation as to what the reasons might be. Some researchers will state their belief that the waves of UFO sightings, which began following the Roswell crash in 1947 were the far-reaching consequences of the atomic bombs being dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in the summer of 1945 which would bring the Second World War to a close.

Others claim that humanity’s desire to venture out into space and their sudden capability to do so brought such attention upon us.

This last point is perhaps interesting in that it would suggest some type of monitoring, whether from afar or from closer to home. Perhaps, then, that brings us back to the idea that extraterrestrial contact has been taking place on Earth for thousands and thousands of years. With increased activity and direct contact taking place throughout history. Might this be the case with the UFO waves of the late 1940s and 1950s, and the reasons for the overall increased public conscious awareness of the “modern UFO” era?

Check out the video below. It looks at 1954 and how important the year might be to the UFO and alien question.


1 The Worldwide UFO Wave of 1954, Donald Johnson, NICAP
2  1954 UFO Chronology and the Great Wave of 1954, NICAP
3 UFOS Follow British Airliner Over Labrador, Timothy Good, NICAP
4 Humanoid Sighting Reports, 1000-2007, Albert Rosales
5 Norway 1954: Two Sisters Meet a Spaceman, History Disclosure, June 1st, 2018
6 Lens-Shaped Objects Veer North, NICAP Report
7 The 1954 French Flap, Ufologie
8 Santo Amaro Incident, Fran Ridge, NICAP

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • David Lee Pahlka says:

    In my possession is a photograph taken in 1954 by J.W. Wagner of his new speedboat. In the upper right hand
    corner is what looks to be a flying saucer. He gave a print
    to my father and said he saw nothing but a glint when he
    took the picture of his boat. When the negatives were
    developed, the blurry saucer like image appeared.
    When I went to put the photo in my safe deposit box,
    a teller said she watched a declassified video of a saucer
    sighting about the same time. Puddingstone Dam is only
    60 air miles from Edwards AF Base. The date of the photo
    is March 14, 1954, coincidently “Pi Day.”
    I can’t find the newspaper article my photo appeared in
    or that declassified sighting anywhere although I did
    find it before.

  • Cathrine Huff says:

    In the summer of 1954, I was 5 years old and our family lived at Oak Point, WA, a very remote area, with very few neighbors. Our family owned 80 mountainous acres with a large field near our house up on the hill.

    We had been gone to the outdoor drive-in theater 10 miles away to Longview, Wa one night in the summer and came home somewhere around midnight on a clear stary night.

    Driving up the our gravel driveway my dad stopped up close to the top of the road when seeing a gold very bright light coming from behind our home. He turned off his lights and moved up closer.I was the youngest of 3 kids and stood up in the middle from the back seat and saw a hugh gold ball that was larger than our one story house that had a raised wooden walkway in between our storage buildings that was hovering above the ground behind it and near house.

    My parents were scared and showed it in the way they were planning how to get us kids into the house and to safety. Dad pulled up to the side of the house as I watched this perfectly round glassy shing gold hugh hovering ball that had no sound. We ran to the house and went inside and watched the glow from the windows for abour 1 hour until Dad and mom assured us we could go to bed and they would protect us.

    Later that morning when we woke up dad and mom told us the ball moved up the mowed field and around into our back field at almost daylight. They said walked out there at daylight and only saw a hugh circular grass shape and the glowing ball was gone. They told us kids to never tell anyone because we would be made fun of.

    I have always wondered if anyone else has ever seen a round shiny gold ball hovering or flying in 1954 because all I read about is saucer shapes. Just wondering.

    • David Lee Pahlka says:

      I have a photo of an UFO taken on March 14, 1954. It was
      taken by a friend of my father who only wanted a picture
      of his new boat. When he took the pic, he saw nothing but
      a glint. The negative showed the saucer.
      When I went to put the photo in my safe deposit box, a
      teller said she saw a video on UFO’s and it was about the
      same time and place. The pilot said if he showed it to
      anyone, he’d be punished and lose his pension. I looked
      it up on a map and Puddingstone Dam is only about 60
      miles from Edwards A.F. Base. Not very far as the crow,
      plane or U.F.O. flies.
      I can’t find the news article which also has my picture or
      the video she saw. I did as recently as 2015.

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