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UFOs in the daily Press:

UFOs in France, December 1980:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper Sud Ouest, France, on December 27, 1980.

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The Christmas UFOs

Meteorite or satellites?

THESE TIMES, definitely, are very prosaic. Nineteen hundred and eighty years ago, when a strange glimmer of light rose in the sky, Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspard climbed onto the backs of their camels and left, irresistibly attracted to the rising star.

Today, when a luminous phenomenon comes on Christmas night to scramble the map of the stars, we phone the police or the newspaper to denounce the U.F.O.

Our departmental agencies can testify.

Like the Bordeaux editorial staff where, in the evening of Thursday, more than fifty telephone calls were received. All reported the appearance of unidentified flying objects in the Aquitaine sky, around 10:10 p.m..

It was the first wave. Yesterday, in Périgueux, Bergerac, Saintes, La Rochelle and Cognac, the testimonies poured in. Also contradictory. To the point that it is very difficult, even today, to shed light on this affair.

It is because, Christmas break obliges, the testimony of the scientists is lacking. Neither the observatory of Floirac nor that of Meudon and even less that of the Hauts-de-Provence were able to provide an explanation to us yesterday. And, to make matters worse, the sky was blocked above the observatory of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre.

Therefore, we must rely on the observations of the witnesses. Which, once again, could make us feel the fragility of human testimony.

Of all the colors

Yesterday, a "train in the sky"; today, a UFO of all colors: pink, green, orange or white; of all sizes and extremely variable shape, these unidentified flying objects were filmed, photographed from all angles. And we do not despair of receiving tomorrow... a recording.

We are not far from the little green men. As proof, the words of this Périgord resident who claims to have seen, "with his eyes seen", twenty meters - hardly! - from him a motionless craft very close to the ground. A craft made, he says, of a rough metal. There were no witnesses when the family, alerted, arrived on site, there was more apparatus from elsewhere.

This was happening on the borders of the Dordogne and Charente, near Saint-Aulaye.

From the other calls, on the other hand, a constant emerges.

Many of them, in fact, report the movement of luminous objects "in formation", leaving behind them, on a trajectory southwest-north-east, a brilliant wake. And the phenomenon would have lasted four to five minutes.

We will not quote - it would take us far too far - the thousand and one variants. One speaks of a big point around which five or six small satellites probably gravitated; another of a brilliant trail.

In short, nothing that allows to choose between the fall of a satellite and that of a meteorite.

It is observed among men of knowledge that "shooting stars" abound in the skies of late December. But it is hard to imagine a pebble from the sky bouncing off the layers of the atmosphere and the trajectory of the UFO would rather make think of the eminently tangential one - of a Soyuz or a Skylab entering the atmosphere.

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