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French official efforts in ufology:

GEPAN's initial ambitions:


  1. Inform the public so that competent observers dare to contact us (an agreement must be found by the CNES/P or the DG).
  2. To obtain from National Gendarmerie that a fast alerting procedure of the G.E.P.A.N is applied. (Action Cnes/dg).
  3. To set up a radar alert team of seven people. (One of them ensuring coordination)
    Neglectable charge but heavy phone obligation and procedure to be set up.
  4. To nominate four people to be trained with the techniques of ground sampling (workload: a few days per annum).
  5. To set up a fast intervention team with the corresponding means, i.e.:

    • C.S.T planning-> 6 men/months (undetermined)
    • outsourcing budget -> 36.000 Francs
    • budget for various equipment -> 15.000 F
    • budget missions spécailistes -> 156.000 F or 100.000 F + leased car (20.000 F/year)

    - Prefinancing of flexible JOBIN-YVON prisms, i.e. 30.000 F recoverable in 1 year approximately.

Some comments:

The contrast between what is proposed there in 1978 and the recent (2004) closing of the SEPRA (new name of the GEPAN) is a long history.

Although it was proposed here "to inform the public so that the qualified observers dare contact us," the existence of GEPAN remained largely unknown for the public. Do your own poll around you, ask the people you know, "what is GEPAN? (or SEPRA)" and count.

There is a underlying statement which remains valid: when a UFO is seen, whatever it may be, "one" hardly speaks about it, and specially not to the Gendarmerie. Several well-known researchers in this field, samong them J. Allen Hynek, Peter Sturrock, Jacques Vallée, even noted that the more "one" is qualified, the less one speaks. Has there been any progress with this since 1978? I doubt it.

The procedure which made locally collected information at the police stations (gendarmeries) towards their headquarter existed for a long time before 1978. Here, the deal is to make it possible for the GEPAN investigators to go examine physical traces left by the UFO as quickly as possible, before bad weather and foosteps of the curious deteriorated the traces.

The proposal of a radar alert team is to be noted. In a recent French TV documentary, "UFOS - the American secrecy", we all saw the man of the SEPRA (new name of the GEPAN) discussing with an air traffic controller recorded radar traces which seemed to match the account of a visual witness. Commenting on the course of three radar echoes, the controller said to Jean-Jacques Vélasco "No, Mr. Vélasco, these echoes are no planes."

The rest is a different and long story.

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This page was last updated on July 22, 2004.