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UFO over Tananarive, Madagascar - 1954

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posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 12:28 AM
I first heard of this case during an episode of a new series, Close Encounters , Im sure older UFO shows would have covered it if not for the language barrier. For those interested in watching, there are few options here . At one time it was on youtube (probably illegal anyway), but not seeing it.

The episode depicted the craft in the following way

Going online to check out the details of the case, all English websites point back to one source by Patrick Gross, which gives us the following.

On August 16, 1954, at 05:00 p.m., an event stupefied tens of thousands of witnesses at Tananarive, Madagascar (The number of potential witness is an estimated 200.000).

At 05:00pm, Air France's agency personal awaited the arrival of the air mail, delivered by a Lockheed Constellation. One hour after the arrival of the Constellation, the mail has already been distributed and members of the Air France agency, among which Mr. Edmond Campagnac, former military officer and at that time technical director of Air France in Tananarive were quietly chatting together, close to the Avenue of the Liberation, the largest street in Tananarive.

Sudden somebody sees in the sky a "electric green ball" descending straight towards the ground near the Palais de la Reine. He points at it and everybody watches. The phenomenon disappears behind a hill, and they all expect to hear a mighty explosion when the thing hit the ground.

But the green light does not hit the ground.

MOD EDIT: Trim Your Quotes

Certainly we have a good idea of what supposedly transpired, but unfortunately we dont find out how many witnesses contributed or how well they agreed with one another. Happening when it did, there should have been numerous people who saw it.

Patrick also gives us some notes from Jean Jacques Vélasco (French UFO investigator) , presumably from his book - "Troubles in the Sky"

The trajectory of the object, descending from a high altitude vertically to the ground, then showing up again instead of crashing and flying above the ground at low altitude over the city.
The physical phenomenon of public and private lightings dying out as the UFO was passing above, and the return to normal lighting when he went further.
Phenomena of the animals' reactions.
The possibility of the correct estimate of the size because the object passed in front of the hills in the background.
The huge number of witnesses.
The heterogeneous cultural background of the witness: "Mr. Campagnac might have read about UFOs in Science-Fiction literature, but it is rather doubtful that the Malgaches peasants were all under the influence of US Science Fiction pulps."
The fact that the case does not occur in the United States or a European country, suspected to be a sociological terrain to made up UFO stories, but in a far away Island, is an indication that good UFO cases exist all around the world.

Finally Patrick has a newspaper story on the case, but it is from 2004 and it takes a more critical look at things, particularly from a witness standpoint.

To make up our minds, we put the question with the possible witnesses of this strange meeting (they are not very numerous any more) which lived in Tana at the time. The six people questioned in La Réunion, by the means of their close relations, have all answered by bursting to laughters or by affirming that the facts are completely unfounded. All lived in Tana at the time of the facts, one of them even worked as announcer for one of the medias of the time. Other testimonys or refutations could be still found on the spot, but for the moment, the mystery remains.

It appears the writer phoned this one in, as this bit of information is misleading and for the most part worthless. As we examine the reports of other witnesses, I think most will agree something happened whether it was ET UFO, meteor UFO, or something else. It would be nice to know if they observed nothing at all, were they indoors, did people they know see something, and did they experience a power outage? Who knows.

For those interested, Patrick covers other cases from France(like the angel hair) and maintained his site in both French and English. Appears the last update was in 2012.
edit on 7/19/2015 by semperfortis because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 12:52 AM
tam fine detective work on your part

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 12:56 AM
The only other source of information I could find comes from a critical source, transl ated by Google...

He gives us references to 5 additional sources beyond that of the primary source, Edward Campagnac.

Starting with Campagnac, heres his account.

I do not remember the exact date of observation, but what I am sure is that it was a Monday, August 18, 1954. He was local time, that is, -dire, dusk. The sky was pure: not a cloud. The austral winter, in fact, indicates the Highlands of Madagascar by skies of extraordinary purity.

The first Constellation week arriving from France had just flown over Tananarive and mail would be distributed as usual, 19 hours before.

We all expected a violent explosion given the apparent volume of the "ball" green. Nothing similar happened. Most passersby who surrounded us had also seen the ball. All eyes were therefore headed south. After half a minute, approximately, the ball reappeared above the Government Palace and made ??straight on the Market; then suddenly changing direction, she followed the Avenue de la Libération, on his left. His speed seemed to have decreased and the green ball appeared less bulky than when it first appeared.

By the time the "device" borrowed Avenue de la Libération, the lighting of the whole city went out, which again did better out the electric green glow of the "ball". A general silence reigned, all the witnesses are absolutely blown away by this unexpected appearance. I found that the machine moved without a sound, not even a slight hiss like a glider gliding through the air. According to my estimates and those of these sailors, the craft was moving at a speed of around 400 km / h. When he passed by our wrong, it stood on the other side of the Avenue de la Libération compared to us. For cons, the witnesses who were in the street "B", saw the "to" we. Which, after a simple calculation to suggest that the craft was flying at a height of about 100 meters, and that when he passed through our remote we were in that 250 to 300 meters about.

Of all the accounts, this is the most detailed one. Campagnac initially thinks its a meteor about to hit the ground, but then he sees it over the city after it disappears behind the hill. The more I have thought about it, its tempting to agree with the critic here, the description still sounds like a meteor, but obviously Campagnac did not think so. Has anyone else seen a comparable UFO? Most are saucer, cigar, or triangle like which creates some suspicion.

The critic does some speculation to get a straight line path for the UFO, but its hard to imagine how it was coming down at 45 degree angle, disappears behind the hills, then reappears over the city. One could argue maybe he didn't remember things exactly as Campagnac reports this event 10yrs after the fact.
edit on 19-7-2015 by 111DPKING111 because: (no reason given)

MOD EDIT: Trim Your Quotes
edit on 7/19/2015 by semperfortis because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 01:24 AM
The next witness was working in a Dentistry at the time, he gives the following account.

Indeed, I maintain what I said in August 1954 in Antananarivo I observed a craft and that during its passge, the capital of Madagascar was without electricity for ten minutes.

It was 6:30 to 7:00 PM. I was with my wife, a dentist, replacing an incumbent on holiday in France. I was 35, my wife 29 years, the dentist thirty years, all healthy, wide awake, the dentist by his work, by me the joy of being in the roulette.

MOD EDIT: Trim Your Quotes

A few points stand out - his directions do not match up with Campagnac however the main point is he saw the object make a turn. He thought it was a flying saucer although his description again sounds like a possible meteor. Obviously if it really did make a turn, it wasn't a meteor. This account is 20 years after the fact, maybe a memory issue.

Perhaps the oddest thing in this account is something the critic mentions as well, the inability to find any newspaper reference to this event. The witness here tells us there is only mention of the blackout in the paper. I cant figure this part out, honestly I think they are all mistaken... Even if it was just a meteor, there would be some mention of it and it simply hasn't been found.
edit on 7/19/2015 by semperfortis because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 01:54 AM
The next accounts aren't as detailed, see if it fits here in one post.

Police officer, Mr. Razafimashatratra that being a guard at the cinema Liberation Avenue saw to 18 pm May 16, 1954 a "flying saucer." This is what he wrote in a note on a calendar that has preserved, it gives no further details but it is what has allowed to know the exact date of the phenomenon. The police prepared a detailed report, but it burned down in a fire at the City Hall ...

Not much here, but he does have it down as a flying saucer, not a meteor.

Jeanne Rafaramala Noro, was then secrétaitre at the Hotel de Ville Antananarivo:

I remember well the date and even the time of the incident. It was Monday, August 16, 1954. Besides, it's my birthday. It was exactly 18 hours and minutes. I came out of my office in the City Hall on the Avenue de la Libération (now Independence Avenue). I followed the avenue to reach my home Antanimena. A few meters from the portal of the City Hall, my attention was drawn by a flying object bright green, just above my head, about 100 meters. The sky was clear, not a cloud. At that time, the streets were full of people, because it was out of office. This object was flying very quickly and noiselessly. I was very scared because I had never seen such an object. This machine came from the east, on the side of Anaty Rova (Queen's Palace) and went just over the avenue and above Soarano station, headed west and disappeared behind the hills.

This is a very bright object, cigar-shaped or approximately 30 40 m, followed by a few red sparks. I do not know if this object has portholes, but I was very afraid and hid myself under a tree. This object has generated noise panic in Antananarivo.

I think the critic makes too much of her not mentioning a turn by the object, but it certainly would have helped if she did. She confirms the panic it created and that it made no noise. She also describes it as a machine(assuming the translation is good here..).

From Mr. Rafalimanana:

From 1948 to 1959 I was a photographer in the studio "Photo Hova" located on the edge of the Liberation Avenue. I recall seeing this object flying over the Avenue de la Libération this Aug. 16, 1954 to 18 hours. That day, I was a commission to buy photo products, such as every Monday, the store René Depui, a few dozen meters from our studio.

Right out of the store, I saw this object a few tens of meters above my head. An oval object, light orange, followed by several red and blinding sparks. This object was moving very quickly and quietly. It followed the avenue then disappeared west over Soarano station. I was so afraid because the lighting was off on his way. Many passersby saw this object. This is the first time in my life I saw such a device. I did not know the story of a flying saucer.

Another account, but nothing new. Translation uses the term device, not sure how to take that.

From Joseph Rabenaviro:

This has been a long time, I lived in Sakay because my father was the guardian of zebu Europeans settlers who were in that place. He watched as thousands and thousands of zebu. Every night, I helped my father in his work. On 16 August 1954, I was then 18 years old, about 6 1/2 hours in the afternoon, when the day began to darken suddenly zebu were frightened. There they are running away, because there was something long enough clear and extremely bright, descending quickly and very low just above the many zebu. This thing was a powerful and fast pace, zebu were surprised and dispersed, and many had fled and were seen no more. This thing made ​​no sound: it came from the east and went west.

No sound, at least audible to us, yet these animals were panicked. During normal planes coming and going, it has been mentioned the animals were not alarmed. So what spooked them?

The critic imagines the witnesses misjudge the distance of the supposed meteor and it was really quite far away from the city, if so, that would give even less reason for the animals to be panicked?

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 02:22 AM
Finally our French critic found a claim by Velasco in his book, "Troubles in the Sky", that there were 12 other witnesses who confirmed Campagnac's account. If someone knows of them, maybe in the appendix of the book, that would be really helpful.

The extraordinary case which I will now mention was known almost ten years after the fact by the testimony of a man who told her story to a group of investigators Gepa (Aerial Phenomena Study Group). After a long and meticulous research, they found other witnesses, a dozen in all, who will confirm the veracity of the event.

Another source, probably lost for good(mentioned in the newspaper link), is a study by the head of the astronomical observatory, Father Coze. Campagnac claims he interviewed 5,000 people. Even though we will never know its conclusions or read the testimonies, that fact that such a study was even conducted would indicate it was something beyond that of just a meteor.

As an aside... we see Campagnac was an ATS member at heart. About the lost report, he had this to say

Since, these documents were never the object of any the communication on behalf of the military or political authorities. For which reason? Edmond Campagnac answers by quoting Paul Valéry: "politics is the art to prevent people from interfering with the things they should interfere with."

edit on 19-7-2015 by 111DPKING111 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 02:44 AM
I am not enamored with the case as I was before I got more information, I doubt I would even be making this thread. Looking at images for meteors, I found this one.

Green lens at the front, metallic body, and trailing sparks at the end. Most UFO sightings do not look like this nor is there usually any sign of rear propulsion.

Meteor explanation does have problems, most of the witness did perceive it to be some kind of machine upon getting a better look. If Campagnac is right about it being reported in the southern city, it could not have flown directly over Tananarive, it would have been more like the critic's path. But then why the panic by the animals?

For me at least, this one is going in the maybe pile, hopefully someone French speaking will be able to turn up the 12 witnesses Velasco mentions. I don't hold out much hope of that, right or wrong, the critical source seems to have researched it well.

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 03:06 AM
Imagine if there was a technology that let you enter the Earth's atmosphere by projecting a force field in front of you, and pushing aside the atmosphere. It would first appear meteoritic, but once the cosmic velocity was lost, whatever was behind the field may be free to travel elsewhere.

Not that I believe it, but trying to make sense of an object that appears that way, and then later, returns heading a different direction. Fun thinking about it anyway.

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 03:31 AM
a reply to: 111DPKING111

Hello DP, Mr. Edmond Campagnac was also interviewed for a book called The Crack in the Universe by Jean-Claude Bourret. He went on to become the President of G.E.P.A. (French official UFO group). As soon as I had read the chapter I had to check the history and had a mind to post a thread.

My enthusiasm hit a wall pretty quickly when it became apparent that the incident was more like a single-witness event. Despite the stampeding herds and multiple witnesses, nobody has since been able to find a news article or secondary witness to support Campagnac's recollections. There are French sites that include some brief interviews with residents of Tananarive. Nobody could remember the incident and a woman passed a comment that such things would have been gossiped about as it was a close-knit community.

What do we make of that? Did he make it up? Was it part of a greater plan?

His report became a small foundation block in the Cometa Report and is described there (p17), with certainty, as a multiple witness case. Campagnac's reputation and influence within GEPA would have been enough to take his report at face value. I wonder if he ever took time to cross-check his own memories? His reputation would suggest that he didn't go around concocting grand tales and yet there remains the issue of no corroboration.

He was perhaps a part of that peculiar French Wave of 1954. It's interesting that he was stationed on a French-run island thousands of miles from France and still had a role in the weirdness. I wonder if he alone had the experience? The alternative is he made it all up and who can say?

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 07:18 AM
Well I certainly knew nothing about this case. Probably because of the lack of much English language reporting on it and the location as well.

So well pulled together and well presented DPK. I am guessing from your comments that the more you found out about this case the less robust it seemed to be?

We should remember as well that we are dealing with something that happened over 60 years ago in a nation that was less developed than Western nations in the 1950s.

I did a quick search for anything else from Madagascar.

There is this story : Landing, May 1967, Madagascar

An encounter by French Foreign Legion troops with a craft that left trace evidence. It also involves missing time and troops suffering from violent headaches and buzzing in the ears.

The other one is from Port Berger 1952 and unfortunately is written in French.

Port Berger UFO 1952 Madagascar

But it also talks of a huge elliptical object, green-yellowish in colour and a power outage.

If you really want I will try to translate the full article later with the help of Google. My French isn't very good although the gist of the story seems 'similar' to the one discussed in the OP.

edit on 19/7/15 by mirageman because: edit

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 10:13 AM
a reply to: charlyv

a reply to: Kandinsky

I dont have any doubts that an object was seen, the 5 other accounts found by the French critic affirm the basics of what Campagnac saw and most thought it appeared to be a machine of some kind. Even Campagnac's initial thought was meteor, but upon closer inspection he came to a different conclusion. He says the same of the head of the observatory, Father Coze. Both witnesses with the best description claim the object turned. There is a case to be made for a ET UFO, imo much better than the recent OHare sighting.

I came across the Cometa report as well, a few of the cases I am familiar with are much better than this one. I think Valesco was impressed by Campagnac or he has more information than we do (he claims a meticulous investigation was done which discovered 12 witnesses). It would be nice to see them if someone has access to them.

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 10:46 AM
a reply to: mirageman

I am guessing from your comments that the more you found out about this case the less robust it seemed to be?

The "Close Encounters" episode downplayed the trailing sparks(pic at the top), but the descriptions certainly sound like a meteor. IF there was no rear propulsion, I would be firmly in the believer camp.

I have no answer how a meteor seen between the southern city and the capital would cause a blackout and spook the animals though. Hateful when all the pieces dont fit together.

We should remember as well that we are dealing with something that happened over 60 years ago in a nation that was less developed than Western nations in the 1950s.

Maybe this is the explanation for the missing newspaper report, even if a meteor, surely there would be some mention of it.

Thanks for the link, will check it out.
edit on 19-7-2015 by 111DPKING111 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 04:09 PM
a reply to: 111DPKING111

Hateful when all the pieces don't fit together....

Welcome to the wonderful universe of Ufology

You really have to look at both sides of any story and most times it just won't add up. But you HAVE to do that to mould your own opinions. I think you did a marvellous job of pulling this all together and presenting it well. So please don't be discouraged from posting more threads.

PS Do you think that 1952 case bears any relevance to the 1954 one?

posted on Jul, 20 2015 @ 12:21 PM
Robert Alessandri did a very detailled analyze of this case.
Note: it's in french.

posted on Jul, 20 2015 @ 10:13 PM
a reply to: Fl078

I got most of my information from his translated page, and he did an excellent job. His snarkish attempts at mocking believers was entertaining as well, I have always wondered if people like this ever consider how childish it makes them look.

Most French sites just reprint the exact same article Patrick Gross has translated (see first post).

posted on Jul, 20 2015 @ 11:00 PM
a reply to: mirageman

An encounter by French Foreign Legion troops with a craft that left trace evidence. It also involves missing time and troops suffering from violent headaches and buzzing in the ears.

Karl mentions this case in his missing evidence thread, other than the symptoms, almost impossible not to think of the Lonnie Zamora case.

I found zilch(/bows to your interweb skills) about the 52 sighting and not motivated enough to ocr and then have it translated...
I doubt there was much to it though, it would get more run otherwise.

posted on Jul, 21 2015 @ 12:41 AM
Ive been looking for an archive of the GEPA bulletin which is mentioned by Valesco and found this source , cant find no 6 which covers this case though.

I emailed Patrick to see if has a copy.

Too bad I dont read French, bulletin looks interesting.

This one repeats Campagnacs full account for anyone interested, just copy the section into Google translate.

(post by okantonio removed for a serious terms and conditions violation)

posted on Jul, 21 2015 @ 07:13 PM
Well that is interesting

posted on Jul, 29 2015 @ 09:55 PM

originally posted by: 111DPKING111

Ive been looking for an archive of the GEPA bulletin which is mentioned by Valesco and found this source , cant find no 6 which covers this case though.

Great job on the thread mate - never really looked into this case but will certainly be reading all your info when time allows, will also ask a few folks about issue number 6!

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