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The Great 1954 Greek UFO flap

One of the greatest UFO flaps in history took place in the autumn of 1954. The main epicenter of this flap was located in south Europe and in South America. As every good Fortean knows, hundreds of close encounters of every kind took place.

France is maybe the best-known nation where the 1954 flap broke out. But of course the great UFO flap of 1954 was not confined in this particular country, but in the whole area of Mediterranean as well. And of course in Greece.

In the 1950's, Greece was a country in ruins mainly because of WWII and partly from the Civil War (1946-1949) between the National Army and pro-Soviet communist Liberation Army. Greece was a poor agricultural nation, with minimal infrastructure, small industrial output, and hardly existent telecommunication networks. Radios were very rare in the open country and only after twenty or so years television would become popular in urban areas. The only relatively credible medium of information was the newspapers. So, the only source of ufological information were the local press, even though it usually was distorting the narrations and presented information with no substantial details due to complete lack of knowledge about UFOs (the UFO subject was unknown to the greatest part of Greek society, until the late 1960s). These are most of the known 1954 Greek incidents.

* 6 October. A telegram from the local police station of Lesvos island (Aegean sea), reports that on 3:15 pm, the president and residents of Vryssos community, saw a little star-like object, which maneuvered over the village for a quarter of an hour. Finally at 3:30 pm it moved to NW, then to North and finally disappeared westwards.(1)

* 8 October. Another telegram from the same source, reports that on 6:00 pm, a luminous object with a "tail", was reported hovering over Anemotia village. The UFO was as big as the full moon and was emitting gold-white light beams. After 3 minutes, it moved to NE and disappeared.(2)

* 9 October. Again at Lesvos island, Mr S. Horiatellis with his 12 year-old son, were hunting near the village of Stymmi, when they witnessed a luminous cigar-shaped body, moving horizontally. Then the object started moving vertically and simultaneously parted in two. The two parts were also cigar-shaped and continued to move, keeping a constant distance between them. The newspaper also reports that these two UFOs were sighted also by scientists from nearby Turkey.(3)

* 12 October. At Agios Georgios village, at Pilion mountain, Thessaly, central Greece, Mr Helias Voyagis observed at night, a luminous object which had a resemblance with a giant cigar. The UFO moved from East to West with relatively slow speed and disappeared in the horizon.(4)

* 15 October. Again a telegram from the local police station of Ayassos, Lesvos, reports a "luminous phenomenon", witnessed by hundreds of local people. The UFO was round and was hovering at 2 - 3,000 m (6 - 9,000 ft) for about half and hour. Then it disappeared, to reappear again after 10 minutes, divided into two separate objects that departed and vanished, moving into two different directions.(5)

* 17 October. At Doxato, northern Greece, Mrs Athena Gelemiris (dentist) and Mrs Sophia Capaouras, observed at East, a "bright tail" that was moving in circles. This strange object was red at first but then it changed colors, as it was moving. After five minutes it disappeared in the horizon. The same or a similar UFO was also observed by hundreds of residents of the nearby Choristi village.(6)

* 23 (?) October. An alleged UFO landing created upset among the residents of the Didimoticho area villages. This area is near the border with Bulgaria and Turkey in Thrace, north-eastern Greece. According to the testimonies of local shepherds, two cigar shaped UFOs were landed in a particular point, stayed on the ground for about 20 minutes and then took off with incredible velocity.(7)

* 26 October. At Antimachia village, Kos island, Dodecanese, Aegean Sea, Irene Sarris and Socrates Caraliamis saw a flying object which was emitting blinding light. The UFO had the shape of a basket, and for a while it was heading to Antimachia, but suddenly changed course and went away.(8)

At the same night, we have another very important UFO-related report, which unfortunately is composed by a few lines in the same newspaper clipping. According to another resident of Antimachia, Mr George Cacamoundis, a "winged man" was also seen crossing the sky over the village, at roughly the same time with the luminous UFO. The witness, terrified, sought hideout in a nearby church, where he stayed for a long time scared to death by this extraordinary encounter.(9)

Here, I consider necessary to remark that the "classic" 1954 UFO wave, had many reports with short humanoid occupants, usually dressed in "diver's clothes", according to the witnesses. But a report for a winged "Mothman" over a Greek village, is not only an extremely unusual case but an incident that John Keel would have very much appreciated! Sadly, the case is too old to become an object of investigation…(9a)

* 27 October. A giant luminous disc was sighted over the city of Rhodos, at Rhodos island, at Dodecanese, Aegean sea. For five minutes the disc was maneuvering over the city; then approached the balloon of the local "Voice of America" radio station and then it disappeared, moving with immense speed. The first witness, was owner of "Acropol" hotel, Mr Emmanuel Manolakis, who was astonished and called Constantine Valsamis, John Reissis, Mrs Flora Stamatakis, Fotis Fotaras, Nikos Haideftopoulos, Helias Stamatakis and many others, among them a local police officer. (10)

* End of October. A report of a "flying frying pan" above Moudros, Limnos island, Aegean. Unspecified date and details.(11)

* 1 November. Pyrgos, Helis county, Peloponnese. Witness Mr Theodoratos, saw in the sky above the suburbs of the city, at 6:00 am, a "strange luminous body of unspecified form", according to a local newspaper clipping. He also said that the object was emitting a blinding light. The "peculiar object" was moving with tremendous speed from West to South and in a few seconds it disappeared in the horizon of Ionian Sea. It had the size of a full moon and little before fading, "a sort of small rocket that the object seemed to had at its aft point, was switched off". Also, at 5:50 am, another witness, shipping agent Dionysios Yannatos was in his bedroom, preparing to leave for his work, when he observed a very strong flash, behind the curtains of the window. Finally police officer Mr Stefanatos who was patrolling outside town, saw a strange flash in the sky, to the same direction and at the same hour. (12)

* 7 November. 4:45 am. Near Issamos village, at Patras, Peloponnese, a group of hunters being inside a car, saw a luminous object, heading for North. It had the size of a full moon. The driver stopped the car, and everybody got out to see the object suddenly emitting a strong flash that lit the whole area "like a thousand bonfires". After a few seconds, the object leaving behind a pink tail, vanished towards Erymanthos mountain moving with immense speed.(13)

* 7 November. At 10:30 pm, Nikolaos Diamantis, hospital attendant, and A. Yaprakis, merchant, saw in the moonlit night sky, a silvery flying saucer, with size a little bit less than the fool moon, moving over Pagaseticus Gulf, at Volos, Thessaly. The saucer was rotating with great speed, and after a while it exploded with a hollow sound. At the point of the explosion a cloud was formed. The cloud was so bright that, according to the witnesses, the whole sky was lit up.(14)

* 7 November. In the evening, a "flying saucer" was seen over Comotini, Thrace, moving in circles and leaving behind three little luminous dots.(15)

* 11 November. Mr Nikos Stefanopoulos, reported that at 6:20 am, while driving between Faliro and Athens, saw to the direction of Elefsis, a luminous UFO which disappeared after a while.(16)

* 11 November. At Playari village, near Yannitsa, Macedonia, near Paikon mountain, many residents, among them the local priest Rev. Nicholaos Exarchos, saw for 2-3 minutes a "great flying saucer" emitting continuous bright flashes of light.(17)

* 12 November. About 5:00 pm. At Athens, Canningos Square, a great number of people saw in a height of approximately 10.000 m (30.000 ft) a round silvery object that stood still for 5 minutes and finally moved upwards and became invisible. Around the object, a kind of "frozen exhaust gas", like that of the jet planes, was visible.(18)

* 16 November. At Chalki island, Dodecanese, farmers George Spirou and Mitsos Dimitriou, were returning home from the fields when they suddenly saw in the clear sky a luminous object, moving with great speed.(19)

* 20 November. A strange report comes from Vovoda village, near Aegion, Peloponnese. At 7:00 am, 84 year old Helias Coromilas was at his field, at Voulomeni area, outside Vovoda when he noticed a small object, resembling a small car, rolling on the road and then entering the field at a distance of about 100 m (300 ft) from the witness. Coromilas run to warn the driver of the "car" that there was a steep cliff in front of him, but when he approached it, suddenly, the "car" took off making no sound at all and, engulfed in dust, flew away in the sky. Coromilas said later that the "car" was dark in colour, had two wheels and was 1,5 X 2 m in size, and 1 m in height. He considered the whole incident "supernatural".(20)

These are some UFO reports I managed to unearth from newspaper archives. It is most likely sure that many other incidents took place in Greece during this great UFO flap, but except from searching in newspapers' archives, little can be done to investigate them. The most unfortunate fact is that today the witnesses are deceased or are so old that is difficult for them to remember details. But these few, reports represent a considerable specimen of the whole real population of Greek 1954 UFO incidents.

Sources: 1: Acropolis, newspaper, 7 Oct 1954 2: Macedonia, newspaper, 9 Oct 1954 3: Hellenicos Vorras (Hellenic North), newspaper, 10 Oct 1954 4: Macedonia, 13 Oct 1954 5: Acropolis, 16 Oct 1954, Macedonia, 19 Oct 1954 6: Hellenicos Vorras, 20 Oct 1954 7: Clipping from unknown newspaper, 23 Oct 1954 8. Hellenicos Vorras, 30 Oct 1954 9. Ibid. 9a. There are much more Mothman sightings in the island of Rhodes among with appearances of UFOs and strange creatures. 10: Clipping from unknown newspaper, 29 Oct 1954 11: Undated clipping 12: Patris Pyrgou, newspaper, 2 Nov 1954 13: Acropolis, 9 Nov 1954 14: Ibid. 15: Undated clipping 16: Acropolis 11 Nov 1954 17: Macedonia 12 Nov 1954 18: Acropolis 13 Nov 1954 19: Hellenic North, 20 Nov 1954 20: Patris Pyrgou, 26 Nov 1954

Special thanks to fellow reasearcher Mr Homer Carajas for the compilation of the above list.

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