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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

1921, Marseilles, France, Mr. G.B.:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

In 1954 during the flying saucers reports flap in France, a man wrote a letter to the famous national magazine Paris-Match, saying that he is from Marseilles and that in 1921 when he was 8, he was playing in the hillocks near the canal du nord in the beginning of the afternoon, when two beings suddenly came out of the bushes and grabbed him.

They took him inside a craft that he thought to be some weird kind of tank [war tank, not liquid tank]. He could not resists and even said that he seemed to have been deprived of the will to resist. Inside the craft, after a few minutes, he started to cry, and he said that maybe the beings were moved by the cries, for an opening appeared in the ceiling of the cabin and in a short while he found himself back on the ground outside. He nevertheless had to walk the entire afternoon to get back to the path where he had been 5 minutes earlier.

He described the being as very tall and very thin, dressed in a flexible kind of metallic diving suit, specifying that he could not remember their features more, and that the cabin had square or rectangular portholes, and he had been sitting on some sort of soft couch inside. He indicates that When he arrived home at nightfall, his parents called him a liar and nobody believed in his story. One compiler of UFO reports of that time noted only something vague about a UFO abduction in Marseilles in 1921 and a single line was all that remained of the story in the ufology literature since.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-000021
Date of event: 1921
Earliest report of event: 1954
Delay of report: 33 years
Witness reported via: Letter to a magazine.
First alleged record by: Paris-Match magazine.
First certain record by: Paris-Match magazine.
First alleged record type: National magazine.
First certain record type: National magazine.
This file created on: September 7, 2006
This file last updated on: August 12, 2013
Country of event: France
State/Department: Bouches-du-Rhône
Type of location: Open country
Lighting conditions: Afternoon
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: No
UFO/Entity Relation: Certain
Witnesses numbers: 1
Witnesses ages: 8
Witnesses types: Child.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 2
Type of entities: Humanoid
Entities height: Very tall
Entities outfit type: Kind of flexible metallic looking diving-suit
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Very thin.
Entities head: Not reported.
Entities eyes: Not reported.
Entities mouth: Not reported.
Entities nose: Not reported.
Entities feet: Not reported.
Entities arms: Not reported.
Entities fingers: Not reported.
Entities fingers number: Not reported.
Entities hair: Not reported.
Entities voice: Not reported.
Entities actions: Took witness by force into UFO.
Entities/witness interactions: Took witness by force into UFO.
Witness(es) reactions: Could not resists, cried.
Witness(es) feelings: Frightened, upset.
Witness(es) interpretation: Not reported.
Explanation category: Extraterrestrial beings or kidnapping by humans or hoax.
Explanation certainty: None.


[Ref. pm1:] PARIS-MATCH:

The reader's letter underneath has been published in the magazine Paris Match, France, October 23, 1954.



I traveled in a saucer

From Mr. G. B..., of Marseilles:

It becomes rare not to have seen a flying saucer, but it is still not very common to have flown on board of one of these machines.

In 1921, a very hot year, I was one day wandering along the slopes of the channel of Nord. I was eight years old and I loved to get lost in the quasi lunar landscapes created both by wastes and the war.

Suddenly, two beings covered of a flexible kind of diving suit spouted out literally among the robin trees. Without any further ado, they grabbed me towards what I believed being a tank [the armored war vehicle] of curious form. They hoisted me in the machine without I being able to resist. I should say "without that I could want to resist." Suddenly I started to cry and I do not know if they were touched but after a few minutes, an opening appeared in the ceiling of the cabin and in a few moments I found myself on the ground.

I had however to walk during a large part of the afternoon before finding me close to the way which I had left five minutes earlier.

When I arrived on our premises, at the night, my parents called me "a dirty little liar" and nobody ever wanted to believe in my story. I can hardly give details on what was the apparatus and its cabin. I was undoubtedly too much upset. I remember only two details: there were square or at least rectangular portholes. The cabin had a kind of flexible couch on which I had sat.

I believe I remember that the "diving-suits" were of metallic appearance. I do not have any particular anatomical memory except that the two beings were very tall and very slim.


Jacques Vallée says that the first report of a UFO kidnapping in modern times was in Marseilles in 1921, "though we do not know the exact reference of this information," according to Guy Quincy who listed it "without any indication of source." Vallée comments that "we will howewer, obviously not consider this report very seriously."


Jacques Vallée indicates in his UFO landings catalog that according to Quincy, in 1921, in Marseilles, France, there was "an undocumented report of an 'abduction' by two beings."


The authors indicates that in 1921, a very hot year, and by a day of intense fog which was not necessarily September, but was highly likely to be at Fall, an 8 years old child walked on the banks of the channel of North in the area of Péronne.

He suddenly saw two beings clad in diving-suits which jumped out of the vegetation and the fog. They grabbed him and took him towards a machine which seemed to him to be a "tank", only reference of odd machine which he knew.

He is unable to resist and starts to cry, an opening opens then in the "cabin" where he was and, without really knowing how, he is on the ground again.

He needed however to to walk a part of the afternoon to reach again the way where he was captured a few minutes earlier.

He went back home only at the fallen night and when he told his adventure to his parents, they called him a "dirty little liar."

It was in 1954 at the time of the large UFO flap on France that he decided to speak again of his adventure as a child, of which he does not remember well but a few details: square or rectangular port-holes, diving-suits of metallic appearance though flexible and tall and slender beings.

The authors indicate as sources Paris Match, (reader's letters section) for October 23, 1954, the Vallée Catalogue case 43, and Michel Figuet, "Dossier complet des rencontres rapprochées en France", A. Lefeuvre publisher, p. 46-47.


Peter Rogerson indicates the earliest known abduction survivor report was a letter to Paris Match by Mr GB of Marseille, who recounted how as a boy he had been walking along the bank of the North Canal when he was seized by two men from behind bushes. The men were tall, slender, and dressed in what looked like flexible metal diving suits, and carried him into a strange object which had square or rectangular portholes. Inside he sat on a flexible couch, began to weep, and some minutes later, an opening appeared in the ceiling of the cabin and he was on the ground again. He then found that he had to walk for most of the afternoon to get back to where he had been taken from, though he had been on the craft for only about five minutes.

Rogerson comments that in "this third-hand summary" we can detect elements "of such well known later themes as doorway amnesia and time lapse", but the narrative is a very bare one with no medical examination, "certainly no sex", and thinks about "children' adventure story of kidnapping by submariners" with hints at child abusers, a story were "we can see the emergence of the UFO abduction story out of a melange of secular abduction themes."

Peter Rogerson indicates as source: "INTCAT files, Supplied by Alain Garnard from research by D. Guarden."

He adds that he later received "another translation" of the 23 October 1954 piece in Paris-Match from an article by Jerome Clark entitled 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1901-1959' in Strange magazine (no. 10, 1992), where it is a matter of the the 8 years old kid "playing among some hills" rather than walking by the bank of a canal, when he was accosted by two tall, slender men wearing pliable helmets, who dragged him into an oddly shaped tank. After a while an opening appeared in the ceiling of the cabin, and a few seconds later he found himself on the ground.

[Ref. jm1:] JOEL MESNARD:

Case 1: 1921 on the edges of the Canal du Nord As with stories of UFOs, stories of abductions don't begin yesterday, but contemporary cases have the double advantage of being much better documented and of allowing for a possibility of being studied in depth. Thus, we'll begin with the twentieth century. The first report, in chronological order, is 71 years old. It was told in the letters from the readers section of Paris Match, No. 291, October 23, 1954. About the witness we know only three things: his initials (G.B.), that in 1954 he lived in Marseille, and that he was eight years old at the time of his experience. Nevertheless, the story is interesting. Here is the letter: "In 1921, a very hot year, I was playing one day along the banks of the Canal du Nord. I was 8 years old and I loved to play in the moonlike landscape created by both the construction and the war. Suddenly two beings dressed in a kind of flexible diving suit sprang from among the acacia trees. Without further ado, they dragged me toward what I thought was a strangely shaped tank. They raised me into the machine, without my being able to resist. I should say, 'without my being able to want to resist.' All of a sudden, I started to cry. and I don't know if they were moved, but after several minutes, an opening appeared in the ceiling of the room, and in several seconds I was back on the ground. However, I had to walk a large part of the afternoon before returning to the road I had left five minutes earlier. When I got home at night my parents accused me of lying, and no one ever wanted to believe my story. I can hardly give details about the apparatus and its room. I was probably too upset. I remember only two details: There were square port holes, or at least rectangular. The room had a kind of flexible couch on which I sat. I think I remember that the diving suits looked metallic. I don't remember anything about the beings' anatomy, except that they were very tall and very slender."

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

Jérome Beau notes that in Marseilles in France there was an "'abduction' by 2 beings." according to Quincy.




Master G. B. (8) was walking along the bank of the Canal du Nord, when two tall and slender beings wearing a kind of subtle diving suit sprang from behind some bushes. The boy was unable to resist as the beings carried him into a strange object which had square or rectangular portholes and a flexible couch on which he sat. GB began to cry and some minutes later an opening appeared in the ceiling of the cabin and he was on the ground again. He found that he had to walk for most of the afternoon to re-find the place where he had been taken, though he was in the craft for only 5 minutes.

Alain Gamard citing D Gaudren citing letter from the witness in Paris-Match 23 Oct 1954

Points to consider:

Jacques Vallée and others indicate as source "Quincy." Guy Quincy was an early compiler of UFO reports who wrote a collection of summaries of such on his typewriter; which is not available in the literature and exists in the form of a small number of copies in personal archives of few ufologists. It is however noted that Guy Quicny's catalog does not offer much information, hence the single line in later sources, and does not necessary provide sources.

For this case, the one and only original sources does seem to me to be the letter in Paris-Match, which makes this case nothing more than a reader's letter with no investigation whatsoever, written 33 years after the alleged events it tells about, in the full middle of the great flying saucer flap of 1954 in France; which filled the newspaper and prompted a number of invented stories. The credibility of the story thus amount to zero.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:


Insufficient data, no investigation, old memories. Extraterrestrial visitors or kidnapping by the humans having left deformed memories, or pure and simple invention.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:


Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 7, 2006 Creation, [pm1], [jv1], [jb1].
0.2 Patrick Gross September 7, 2006 First published
0.2a Patrick Gross January 26, 2007 Addition of several unavailable secondary sources in the bibliography. Addition of [jv2], [pr1].
0.2b Patrick Gross January 28, 2007 Addition of [gh1].
1.0 Patrick Gross January 15, 2008 Conversion from HTML4 to XHTML Strict.
1.1 Patrick Gross June 11, 2009 Addition [jm1].
1.2 Patrick Gross August 12, 2013 Addition [pr2].

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This page was last updated on August 12, 2013.