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Tessalit, October 4, 1951

Tessalit is an oasis located on the south-Eastern limits of the Azour Erg, in the North-West of the Adrar of the Ifhogas, i.e. approximately 400 kilometers in the south of the tropic of Cancer, then in French Oriental Africa and currently in the North of Mali, right under the extreme southern border Algeria. There were an aviation campand a weather office. In the night from the 3rd to October 4th, 1951, two officers of the French military aviation and some men slept outside the limits of the camp under the crystal clear and quiet desert sky.

One of the officers reported:

"I wake up at 2 o'clock in the morning, and I cannot get back to sleep. The night is black, the stars are very luminous, the air is quite."

"Suddenly, I see a light, coming from the east and approaching fast directly from the west or about the west. It goes down. Perhaps is this the headlight of a plane wanting to land? I thus wake up the crew which slept at besides. But no noise is heard. It is not a plane."

"After a few seconds, the shapes of the object clearly appear: it is a circular machine, having the apparent diameter of a circle of 10 centimetres, of dark yellow color, almost orange. It continues to approach while going down slowly, at the speed of approach of a standard DC3 plane at night."

"Arrived at the vertical of the bordj-village of Tessalit, within approximately 6 kilometers in the south-east of the place where we were, the object performs a turn of more than 90 degrees towards the left, passing consequently about to the course 170/180 degrees. It accelerates, its speed becomes astonishing, it goes up very quickly while we sees its apparent diameter decreasing, and it disappears."

"The weather office of Tessalit did not use a radiosonde at the time: the confusion with a balloon thus does not appear possible. Moreover, the speed of distancing of the object excludes any possibility of this kind."

In his investigation of the French Air Forces, which appeared in the magazine of the Air Force, Captain Clérouin classified the observation of Tessalit among the "unexplained " phenomena.

French ufologist Aimé Michel noted in 1954:

The testimony of Tessalit, if it does not comprise all the precise details we could have wished, is no less one of the most certain and most significant. Indeed:

  • The observers (two aviation officers and some men) are particularly experienced.
  • The circular shape was observed with the best clearness.
  • The appearance lasted one minute approximately, which is a relatively long time. The famous Chiles and Whitted encounter with a cigar lasted only a few seconds.
  • The evolutions were extremely well followed.

Unfortunately, as I said, the report of the officer is marked by his "subjectivism." If, instead of speaking of an "apparent diameter of 10 centimetres", which does not have any mathematical significance, he had specified the approximate angular diameter at the time of the turn on the village of Tessalit, we could have had a real idea of the dimensions of the apparatus.

This 1951 African observation is only one among many others.

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This page was last updated on December 10, 2005