This article was published on 09.11.1998 in the French newspaper "La Depêche." It is of course dynamite.
Note: the CNES is the French counterpart of NASA; the SEPRA is the official governement sponsored French UFO investigation project, a part of CNES.
Did an unidentified flying object fly over the area of Grenoble at a very low altitude Sunday evening? This is the question which mobilizes the scientists of the CNES these days, and in particular those of the Service for the Expertise of the Phenomena of Atmospheric Re-entry, the famous SEPRA "It is an exceptional case. The investigation that we lead could bring out important information," specified Jean-Jacques Vélasco, who directs this service since 1977, yesterday evening.
Sepra, which makes authority in France, wants to take this affair very seriously, in particular because the observed object was filmed during two minutes with a video camera by an amateur. The original tape was handed to the CNES and to the image analysis laboratory which will extract some from the images and digitize them to study this unidentified object more closely.
As for now, everything seems to indicate that this is not a hoax.
10 meters above the ground
So, Sunday evening, the father of a family, who was filming her child, had his attention drawn by the presence of an object suspended in the air and subjected to intense vertical vibrations. The amateur cameraman then directed his video camera towards the flying machine. The object was located 10 meters above the ground approximately and moved away quickly after having flown over the three witnesses who were there. These are, at least, the details provided to the gendarmerie squad, which was alerted at once. They immediately carried out checks, contacting the airports to make sure that there was no risk of confusion with a local air traffic. The tape was viewed in the buildings of the gendarmerie which, as far as thy were concerned, wanted to point out that the witnesses are serious.
Prévenu, Jean-Jacques Vélasco a donc décidé de se déplacer dans la région de Grenoble où, depuis lundi, il se livre à de véritables investigations. L'enquête ne fait que débuter. Il a été procédé à une reconstitution en présence des témoins ainsi qu'à des prélèvements sur l'environnement! Pour le Sepra, ce cas est d'autant plus intéressant qu'il s'agit d'une observation de jour et à faible distance.
But only the analysis of the tape, which could take several months, will make it possible to better determine the reality of this phenomenon. "This film contains information which is completely usable. As the procedures of the CNES require it, we will analyze the facts according to a rigorous scientific method," Jean-Jacques Vélasco stated.
Since the creation of Sepra, 3.100 phenomena were observed or reported. But, in twenty years of collection, only twenty case of UFO reports are considered to resist the analysis: "For these few examples, we have what one could call a beam of presumptions, without being able to hold the absolute proof. This proof, we will have it the day when we will be able to recover materials which do not relate to our technologies on the observation scene," concludes the director from Sepra.
The story of the UFO of Grenoble is now in the hands of Jean-Jacques Vélasco.