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Bernard Misery case

  • Case Number: #0103
  • Date: 23 August 1954
  • Time: 1 am
  • Location: Vernon, France
  • Witness(es): Bernard Misery (main witness)
  • Classification: NL - Nocturnal Light
On the night of 23rd of August, 1954, a French businessman would witness an event and possible UFO sighing that, along with the others much like it, would go on to be described as some of the most significant phenomena of our time.
In the town of Vernon, which is approximately forty miles North-West of Paris, just prior to one in the morning, Bernard Misery arrived at his home and put his car away. When he came out of the garage, he was surprised to find that the town seemed to be illuminated with an unusual pale light. Bernard looked up to the sky and discovered that the source of the light was a very large, luminous and motionless mass, in the shape of a large cigar, which was silently suspended about three-hundred yards away, above the North bank of the river Seine.

Three-hundred feet long flying cigar

Bernard then went on to describe how after a few minutes, an object appeared from the bottom of the mass that was like a horizontal disc shape. The object dropped down as if falling then stopped and hovered for a few moments before it set off, flying over the river and headed towards him. As it came, Bernard was able to see the smaller object more clearly and he said that it became very luminous and appeared to be surrounded by a brilliant halo-like light. It then passed over him at great speed and vanished into the distance to the South-West.
After this, Bernard witnessed a second small object, the same as the first, carry out the same maneuver, then a third and then a fourth. After a longer period of time, a fifth one appeared, but this one seemed to drop lower than the others, nearly to the same level of the new bridge that spanned the river. It remained there for a while hovering like the others and Barney was able to see this object more clearly and he describes it as having a red, luminous light in its center that faded out towards the edges and again it had a glowing halo around it. It then sped off towards the North and disappeared at it gained altitude.
Meanwhile the large cigar shaped object, which he says was approximately three-hundred feet long, disappeared as it faded into the darkness, ending the whole UFO sighting after three quarters of an hour to an hour.
The day after the sighting, Bernard described what he has seen and was surprised when the police informed him that two of its officers, who had been making their rounds at one in the morning, had also seen what he had described. An army engineer, who had been driving on the National Highway 181, which is South-West of Vernon, also described witnessing the same phenomena and the sightings appeared in the Paris newspaper ‘Liberation’ on August 25th of the year.

Case not unique

What Bernard experienced is far from unique however. In the history of UFO sightings this phenomena is something that has been documented in other reports. In the December of 1952, a crew of a U.S B-29, which was flying over the Gulf of Mexico, would witness the opposite to what Bernard would see, with five smaller objects merging with a much larger one. One of the men described it as returning to the mother-ship and stated that to return to a base they must have first left one.
Then on another occasion during the October of 1952, there would be another sighting and more proof of departure and returns of craft in the skies over the towns of Oloron and Gaillac in the South-West of France. What the witnesses described is very similar to the sighing in Vernon, with one women from Oloron, telling of how she used her opera glasses to get a closer look at one of the smaller objects and it had a red light at its center and a yellowing ring around it that was inclined at an angle.
Then on the 14th of September 1954, three weeks after the Vernon phenomena, an event would take place in full daylight and it would have witnesses in the hundreds, through over half a dozen villages in Vendee on the Atlantic, two-hundred and fifty miles South-West of Paris. Though what is unusual is that only one newspaper would cover the sightings and it is little unheard of outside of the area. The witnesses were mostly farmers, a few local priests and teachers.
One of the farmers, a George Forlin, said that it happened at about five in the afternoon while he was working in the fields with other men. A thick layer of cloud, like a storm, came across the sky and a blue-violet mist in the shape of a large cigar or carrot descended from the clouds in an almost horizontal position. It then tilted towards the ground like a submarine diving and came down until it was about half a mile off the ground. He said that the mist seemed to be surrounding a machine of some sort as the mist moved in its entirety as if solid. As it turned into a vertical position, the farmers all came to a standstill and watched as white smoke began to come out of its bottom like a vapor trail and it spun, like the motion of something falling and twirling, leaving the vapor trail behind it. The trail thinned out on the end but the beginning of it seemed to be becoming a more determined point and as it rose and feel again, reflecting the light of the larger object as it went, the smoke dispersed to reveal a smaller object, which was a metallic disc that reflected more the lights of the larger object. This disc then shot off over the countryside, darting back and forth with varying bursts of speed, some very fast, as it made sharp turns of direction over an area of about four miles over the villages of St-Prouant and Sigournais. When it was about a mile from the larger object it turned back on itself and approached the object with a very fast speed and it seemed to then quickly merge back into the large crafts bottom from where the smoke had appeared previously. The large blue-violet mist object then leaned over to its previous horizontal position and went back up into the clouds, bringing to an end the sighting that had lasted for about half an hour. The farmhand, Louis Grellier who was with George at the time, was questioned separately about the incident and gave an identical account about the whole encounter as well as giving more of a description of the movements of the disc.

Object hides in cloud

Another witness to the incident was Mrne Pizou, a widow from St-Prouant, who was working in a cabbage field about one mile away from the other two men. She stated that at about five o clock, she saw a strange carrot shaped object detach itself from a thick ceiling of clouds that were moving quickly, carried by the wind. The object straightened itself up and another cloud formed above it, as if covering it with a hat, then white smoke began to come out of the bottom of it, making designs with its vapor. The smoke then went out of sight, but she was told by others who could see that a disc had come out of the smoke. After half an hour the large object turned back to a horizontal position and moved back up towards the clouds and disappeared. Her daughter, who had also been with her at the time, agreed with what she recounted on every point.
Another twelve people also saw the UFO sighting from the streets and in the farmyards of the area and all their stories are very similar, even to the point of describing which direction the object tilted in regards to where they were positioned in the area. Many had their view restricted by the houses and trees and did not see the smaller craft that had flown across the countryside for a time.

There has never been a credible explanation of what all these people were witness to over the years in France and elsewhere. One possibility put forward was that it could have been the presence of a conical funnel-cloud tornado, but meteorologists have examined this possibility and they are positive that there was no such weather activity like it in France at the time.

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