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UFOs in the daily Press:

The Ottaviani and Repellini affair, France, 1954:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper Var-Matin - République, Nice, France, pages 1,8, on October 17, 1954.

[Photo caption] Mr. Ottaviani carefully drawing the blueprint of the saucer.

A happy need

Thus Mr. Rappellini, the owner of a bar at the Place d'Armes and Mr. Ottaviani (nothing to do with the Prefect of the Var), a mechanic of the merchant navy, now declare to anyone who wishes to hear them that they witnessed "an extraordinary fact."

While they wanted to satisfy an urgent need along the road "Chemin Long" (Road of Hyères), the same day at 06:10 p.m., they reportedly saw, in the fields, a curious metallic craft, we are now familiar with, a saucer. A passenger comes down from the machine, starts a conversation, speaks a very pure French, dressed like an ordinary helicopter pilot, and does not know where the Palyvestre is... which he actually did not look for, it is said.

[Legend?] The reconstruction of the scene.

The "saucerian", helmeted and clad in glass, advances towards MM. Ottaviani and Rappellini: "This is French!"

Then, not satisfied with his conversation with our good men, the "Martian", speaking French and almost Provencal, returned to his craft and MM. Ottaviani and Rappellini, no sooner unbuttoned panties, than the saucer, engulfed by the twilight sky, is already a memory. Mr. Rappellini speaking abundantly, behind his counter: "I do not want any publicity."

If the thing is true, this is a good one.

Let's recognize that so far we have been little favored. All the regions of France had had either their saucer or their "Martian". Only our department, the poorest in the country, remained faithful to this poverty in an avant-garde field: that of interplanetary machines.

True or false...

Today we are satisfied. Cigar and saucer. We know what to think of the cigar, it is not the same for the saucer.

Because certain facts remain unexplained: either the witnesses have seen, and then they are sure of themselves, or they have seen nothing and then they must cease this masquerade. For if Mr. Rappellini, whom all his friends consider as a man as honest as brave, was able to examine the saucer at leisure, if he had time to fix the picture deep enough in his memories, the detailed plan that we reproduce in our columns, why does he not want to put his signature at the bottom of his statement to the Air Force officials?

Is he afraid that the affair "turns bad?" In any case, after a declaration conform to that he had made the day before at his counter at the Place d'Armes, he refused to sign his statement. His friend, Mr. Ottaviani, obligingly sketched for us with a compass, a ruler, and on graphic paper, a cut of the machine he certifies to have seen.

We therefore reproduce this sketch with all caution of course. A secret "blue print" (in conformity?) exists, moreover, jealously kept by the two men concerned. Mr. Ottaviani, in addition, was also heard last night by an air security officer.

[Legend drawing] Here is the saucer.

How does it work? The sketch gives a detailed section of the machine, 4 meters in diameter. The crutches supporting it on the ground are more likely to be three in order to ensure greater stability. The man wearing a helmet is clad in glass, descended by a small door which is seen in the center of the apparatus, by means of a short ladder which does not appear on our reconstruction of the machine. Reentering by the same steps, he had to close his door tight and, from the cockpit cupola, start the reactors which carry in a gyratory movement the anoide encircling the center of the saucer which remains motionless.

The force developed by this rotating anoide and by the gases escaping from the lateral nozzles allow the machine to rise vertically at an appreciable speed. In flight, the orientation is done thanks to the two antennas undoubtedly playing a role similar to that of the radars. The dome, although narrow, allows two passengers to stay inside. If the existence of this saucer was definitely established, it would be reasonable to suppose that it was dropped by the giant cigar of which we have spoken at length, and of which we have given a reproduction yesterday. The thing was already seen and photographed by Mr. Adamsky at Mount Palomar in America.


The two testimonies do not agree on two points. Mr. Ottaviani claims that the craft was posed on two crutches, whereas Mr. Rappellini denies the existence of these.

As for the real traces, according to Mr. Ottaviani, who claims that the grass is burned where the saucer was, it is non-existent according to Mr. Rappellini. We could not form a real opinion, both of them having refused to take us to the place of landing.

Saucer or hoax?

The investigation opened by the general intelligence of the Air Force, whose representatives heard at length yesterday, the two "saucerists", endeavors to establish whether they are mystifiers or honest witnesses. In this area also the investigation continues. Other witnesses authenticate our investigation of the cigar that overflew Toulon. The "flying cigar" of which we spoke at length yesterday, was seen by others who wrote to us to confirm the statements we have reproduced.

First, it is the inhabitants of Cuers who talked to uus. Then Janine Signonini, aged 12, living in the Barbe district, and her brother, describe: "A luminous form traveled the city around 06:20 p.m. at high altitudes and was traveling at an astonishing speed towards the Gorges of Ollioules ."

Mr. Difar, a retired policeman, also saw "a cigar of fire at a height of 1000 meters, projecting yellow and green sparks to the right and left, heading at high speed towards the Coudon. Five meters over a length of 10 meters."

Mrs. Arnaud, who lives at 1 rue Ste Christine in Mourillon, followed with her eyes a "craft" sailing at high speed from the Port to the North.

"I saw," said Madame Fanny Beasini, 93 Maréchal Joffre bvd, coming from the sea and going towards the Faron, at enormous speed, a long form projecting lights resembling multicolored stars. The population of Toulon and the surrounding area seem justifiably concerned. Sensational events seeming to have marked our time.

Attack on a false Martian

Lille, 16 October. -- Mr. Maurice Ruant, a farmer in Sinceny, near Chauny (Aisne), was almost the victim of the panic caused by the appearance of saucers and other flying objects. Last night he was busy repairing his car in a meadow near his home, when two shots were fired in his direction. The pellets crashed into the body, not far from his head. Mr. Maurice Ruant filed a complaint, and the inquiry immediately opened, permitted the rapid discovery of the author of the two shots, who was a neighbor of Mr. Ruant. He told the police:

"I thought, seeing a silhouette evolving in the light of the headlights, being in the presence of a Martian repairing his flying saucer, I went to get my rifle and I fired."

Despite his good faith, Mr. Faisan will be prosecuted.

Rene Mante

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