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UFOs in the daily Press:

The Montluçon prank in the US Press, 1954:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper The Berwyn Life, Berwyn, Illinois, USA, on page 1, December 29, 1954.


Tells Hair-Raising Tale Of Fur Wearer's Visit

Pealing New Years's bells are expected to get a far friendlier reception in France than those heretofore unidentified bell-shaped objects which have been competing with flying saucers in the ether over the European republic.

They say that 50 million Frenchmen can't be wrong. So far 47.589.374 have seen strange stuff in the sky. But the consistency ends right here. In this country we see flying saucers. Over there the atmospheric dinnerware includes cups, bells, and cigar-shaped objects.

Several persons have reported floating mushrooms in the sky over France. If that ever happens here, a large number of residents of Czech descent will take to the air pronto in pursuit ships, with their baskets and shopping bags trailing behind them in the breeze.

A railwayman in central France has his fellow citizens in a dither over his statement that a moocher from outer space tried to bum some diesel oil from him one evening.

According to the choo choo line employee, he saw a torpedo-shaped machine about 12 feet long outside an oil tank near the Montlucon station. The pilot of the contraption was a man who either was covered with hair or wearing a long, furry coat.

When the railroader asked the stranger what he wanted, the latter said something that sounded like "gasoil." The employee could have been confused by the visitor's lousy French, but he went off to hunt the stationmaster and not a schoolmarm.

Before he had gone 100 feet, however, the machine took off and disappeared. This obviously eliminated the need for asking the boss about the oil. But the worker described the episode anyway, and things haven't been the same around Montlucon since.

Observers who have attempted to dissect the incident don't know whether the railroader was off on a private toot at the time or whether he had the rare privilege os shooting the breeze with a human creature other than an earthling.

They might take into account the report that the cigar-shaped object was only 12 feet long. This is approximately the size of a Winston Churchill cheroot. Perhaps some inventive Englishman has dieselized one of the prime minister's stogies and was off on an unauthorized pleasure jaunt when he landed in Montlucon. This would explain his eagerness to take it on the lam.

Husbands everywhere will be intrigued by the railroader's report that the stranger may have been covered with long hair. If that's typical of those folks, the men are lucky chaps, spared fro any wifeely pestering for a fur coat.

On the other hand, there may be little future for barber's in the stranger's homeland. Tonsorial artists probably have to concentrate on peddling shampoos, hait oil and similar lotions, maintaining a line of curlers and selling subscriptions to the Police Gazette on the side.

Unfortunately the railroad man's report leaves much to be bridged and more to be surmised. If this boy had been on the ball he would have sent the stranger in to see the stationmaster and stood guard at the flying torpedo himself.

The visitor's attempt to tap the boss for a handout of oil would have been mighty interested, too, as the railroad is government-owned and the laddie certainly would have had to go through channels for quite a way before getting any diesel donations.

Maybe the excursionist from outer space realized what he was up against after he was first challenged. The thought of trying to unsnarl all that government red tape is enough to make even the bravest explorer turn tail and flee.

Or perhaps he saw the Frenchman giving the big eye to his built-in fur benny and thought he had better be on his way before he was trapped for his pelt.

There were no report from French visionaries who saw Sants in the flesh, but that's not too important. the big thing for them in remembering is that young Master 1955 will be arriving in less than 72 hours.

Not pot shots, please. Let's not antagonize him too soon.

Orv Lifka

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