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Mirage IV encounter with UFO in France, 1977:

The French Army is sometimes nicknamed "the Great Mute", and the fact is that only few French military pilots mention UFOs before retiring. Major Giraud is an exception, since he made his encounter with a luminous phenomenon in 1977. We should also remember that the bomber crews of Mirage IV jet planes were particularly responsible as they carried a nuclear bomb over the French territory. Could anyone in such circumstances claim Major Giraud mistook the Moon or Venus for a UFO?

The event:

On March 7, 1977, at 08:34 p.m., the crew of a Mirage IV bomber piloted by Squadron Major Hervé Giraud (later promoted Colonel) and his navigator, Captain Jean-Paul Abraham, realize that a very bright light approached their plane while they were flying over the Chaumont area as part of a bombing exercise and night flight mission.

The UFO veered sharply around the Mirage and managed to fly together with the plane despite efforts of the pilot to shake it away. The light went away at full speed with a tremendous acceleration. Later, another identical light, or the same, reappeared and performed a similar operation before disappearing. The bright lights were not detected by the Contrexeville radar station.

Major Giraud's narrative:

"That evening, commander in the bomber squadron Arbois, I just finished a night drill aboard a Mirage IV bomber with my navigator, Captain Jean-Paul Abraham. We go back to Luxeuil at 9750 m above sea level and about 1000 km/h. We are at the vertical of Chaumont when a light comes on our right. It is identical to reconnaissance headlight of a Mirage III jet fighter. Is the Contrexéville radar controller sleeping? The object continues to approach, the same level as us... Not normal, it should remain below. I warn the ground controller, but he tells me that there is absolutely nothing. And it gets closer to us... This is not a plane, it is not a missile. I slowly started to veer to the right. And it remains inside my turn, glued to my path. I immediately turn sharp. This object is definitely glued to us within 1 km back as in a shooting pass! It flies much faster than us... And it goes on that way for 40 seconds! I can absolutely do nothing... I slow my turn, and this thing goes away at an incredible speed! 30 s after resuming heading to the base, I tell my navigator: "Be careful, it's coming back..." I feel it is watching me! I turn very sharply to the right from the start, having put the reactors in fast operation. The object performed the same manoeuvers. And then it comes very close. I have an impression of a shape and imposing mass behind, much larger than my Mirage. Jean-Paul tries to take pictures. I veer slightly and again the light departs towards the west with a phenomenal acceleration, producing a kind of trail... When we landed in Luxeuil, we were stunned... "


French TV viewers had the opportunity to listen to (now) Colonel Giraud talk about his experience during a broadcast (albeit fairly demagogic but still with interesting moments) of the French TV channel TF1 in 1999.

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This page was last updated on May 17, 2001.