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Found in the attic...

A bizarre collection of antics and curious from various attics and cellars of ufologists and other people. Collectors items, or small pieces of the small history of ufology...

The "angel hair" affair in Oloron in 1952, the MD's explanation:



November 27, 1952


Mr. Ballestra, surgeon-dentist in Oloron, told me of your wish to have some precise details on the phenomenon of the cigar and the flying saucers that appeared in our sky on last October 17, around 01:30 p.m.

You will find herewith the article by Jean Fondin, special correspondent of a children newspaper of Paris which is a very clear report of the phenomenon noted by Mr. Prigent, chief supervisor of the college of the locality, and an interview given by myself to this journalist the same day and in which I endeavored to give him a simple, and if possible, rational explanation.

Please note that these two interviews took place Wednesday October 22, therefore 5 days after the appearance of the cigar. Thereafter, my opinion, shared by some friends, was heavily debated in the local and regional press and that, until October 28: that day there, multicolored balls connected by filaments appeared again and advancing by two, flying at low altitude; they were observed by many witnesses; threads of variable dimensions, but some reached a section from 6 to 8 millimeters, hanging on the roofs and cling to the power cables.



balls (or Saucers) had the same iridescent colors than those of October 17; this phenomenon being caused by the refraction of the sun's rays, as I explained in the article of the children newspaper. This new display of "Flying saucers" indeed confirmed that the phenomenon of October 17 was really a migration of field spiders carried through space by "gossamer threads".

I do not claim to want to explain the issue of the flying saucers or cigars; but I specify that the "natural" explanation provided for the case we deal was proven to be the correct one, in spite of the incredulity of the first days.

Herewith a photograph of a magazine of November 23 which shows a tree covered with gossamer threads, a considerable mass sometimes reaching a considerable thickness.

Best regards.

P.S.- I would be grateful to you if you'd agree to notify me of the newspaper in which, if applies, you would be with writing about this phenomenon.



"This is Spider Time. Now they appear to be most numerous and busy at millions of spiderlings that climb to high perches and spin long filaments of silk by which they are wafted aloft on currents of warm air and may be carried hundreds or thousands of miles. Probably that is why there are spiders on lonely islands, deserts and almost every part of the world except mountain tops and arctic regions..."

"In autumn, most of the gossamers in fields and drifting through the air were spun by tiny Balloon Spiders. Sometimes, borne away by those streamers, they are found far above the clouds or far out at sea..."

On October 17, 1952, in Oloron in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques in France, Mr. Prigent, college supervisor, with his family, saw weird things in the sky, some sort of long white cigar and tens of "balls".

Using a binocular, Mr. Prigent described them as luminous (in fact refracting the sunlight), and thought they zigzagged (his own movement mixed with the winds agitating the gossamer threads).

As the doctor told, it was a spiders migration, usually occurring in autumn, and the "trails of outgoing vapor" of the "saucers" described in all good faith by Mr. Prigent was the fraying of their gossamer threads, called "angels hair" or "threads from the Blessed Virgin" in France; which ended up falling on the ground and being considered hard evidence of the flying saucers.

Although the explanation was found rather quickly by the doctor, another witness of another observation that day strongly disputed it, although the doctor did not talk at all about this other sighting, and still today the "Oloron saucers with angel hair" are sometimes claimed to be a mystery, or an alien invasion - and the doctor of medicine presented as doctor of physics.

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This page was last updated on October 16, 2007.