This article was published in the daily newspaper Le Parisien Libéré, France, page 4, on September 3, 1977.
FRANCE HAS STUDIED THE U.F.O. PHENOMENON FOR 23 YEARS
By creating a study group of the unidentified aerospace phenomena (GEPAN) as we announced it in our issue of yesterday, CNES will not track the flying saucers and the little green men, but will study scientifically certain unexplained physical phenomena witnessed by many observers.
It is thus also not about wondering about the existence of the extraterrestrials for the National Center of space Studies. This mission, it leaves it to the Americans and to the Soviets who launch messages for these "other civilizations" by the channel of gigantic radio antennas or by space probes like the "Pionner" in the past and more recently "Voyager".
With the GEPAN, the CNES will analyze and treat with the most modern means testimonys of observation in the immediate terrestrial suburbs which one can allot neither to weather balloons, neither to satellites launchings, neither to manoeuvers of planes, nor to meteors, nor optical phenomena, known, (lightning, aurora borealis, cloud) physical or electrical, that occur in the upper atmosphere.
90% OF KNOWN PHENOMENA
Very often, indeed, eyewitnesses in good faith - the later investigations showed this - have wrongly associated some of these natural phenomena to demonstrations of UFO's (Unidentified flying objects). However, if one believes Dr. Edward Condon charged since 1966 by the Air Force to write an exhaustive report on the phenomenon of the UFO, "In 90 percent of the cases, we deal with known phenomena, but no rational explanation can be given for the 10 remaining percent."
And Dr. Condon to add: "Like the majority of the men of science, I think that the UFO phenomenon is improbable, but I do not think that it is impossible."
Two years of work and a half million dollars (250 million of old Francs) were necessary to come to these conclusions. In December 1969, the Pentagon decided to eliminate their research group on this matter and published a white book in which they explained "that none of these phenomena had ever proven to be a threat for the safety of the United States."
A page was turned. The former French minister for the Armies and Research, Robert Galley, was going to open a new chapter of this file.
He revealed in 1974, that since 1954, a section of reflexion and collection of testimonys on the phenomena UFOS had been created with the Ministry for the Armies, which, until 1970, "had actually gathered about fifty disconcerting testimonys on unexplained things."
This collection of testimonys of gendarmes, pilots, radar observers, was then given to the group of study of the aerial phenomena and to the National Center for Space Studies where Mr. Claude Poher started, on a purely personal basis, a reflexion on this matter.
He stated at the end of his study "We are in the presence of a phenomenon really observed by the witnesses who cannot be explained by any known phenomenon observable in the sky", and he expressed the wish that an official organization puts its study within its program, even on a very low level of financing.
This is done now, since Mr. Claude Poher, head of the science division at the Space Center of Toulouse will take the direction of the GEPAN. It is up to him to raise the interest in this problem of external scientific personalities who would want to really consider this matter "with, as Mr. Galley said, an attitude of extremely open mind." Because, as it was stressed in the latest congresses which were held this year about UFOs in Chicago and Poitiers, "it is not so much about proving the existence of the UFOS than about giving an explanation about them."
"EXTRA TERRESTRIAL" IN ITALY...
AVELLINO - An "extra-terrestrial" measuring more than two meters in height, carrying a luminous helmet and moving on board a spacecraft wase seen not far from Avellino (Italy) by seven people.
The spacecraft, surrounded by a beam of multicoloured lights, was initially seen by two students at the time when it landed, in the middle of the night, in a field. Its occupant, one "giant who walked slowly", according to the two young people, is said to have advanced in their direction, causing them to flee.
A few moments later, accompanied by five other people, the two students went back towards the spacecraft.
The "extra-terrestrial" was still there, they said, and surprised by the beam of their flashlight, it would have sent in their direction a beam of phosphorescent light, which would have caused them to flee once again.
The mayor of Sturno, hamlet close to the place where "the extraterrestrial" had landed, noted that the site that the spacecraft occupied was delimited by three holes which formed a perfect isosceles triangle.