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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.

Summer 1944, Toulon-sur-Arroux, Saone-et-Loire, France, Madeleine Arnoux:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

In 1972, the main French ufology Lumières Dans la Nuit received and published a reader's letter. The reader introduced herself as Madeleine Arnoux, and explained that in 1944 at some unspecified date of the summer, she was 13 years old and was used to go get some Supplies" - probably black market products, as this was the German occupation at a farm.

She was thus riding her bicycle, starting from Toulon-sur-Arroux on the Departmental road 42 in direction of the hamlet "Le Verger", and little before the hamlet, at 1 km of the closest farm, all alone, she stopped to pick up wild berries. She remembers that the weather was very hot, stormy and that the sky was rather clouded.

She was at a place where a dirt track leaves the road and goes into the wood on the right, she advanced slowly while picking up berries. At one point she looked up and saw at a few hundreds of meters further, where the dirt track turns on the right into the wood, a "thing". She described the "thing" as of the size of a compact car, gray dull metallic looking, motionless, and she does not remember having seen openings.

"Beings" stood near, clad in brown suits, and she thought they had to be 1 meter tall.

She thought the atmosphere was oppressive, worsened by the thundery weather. Nothing happened as she stood frozen by the impression that she could not move, for some time she could not remember, then she picked up her bicycle. By the time she did and when she looked up again, there was nothing anymore to see, but she noted that the trees at this place were agitated by a violent wind.

She went, terrified, and told nobody about the encounter as she did not want to be called a liar or a fool, and after having thought about it a long time, she forgot it.

But later she heard about flying saucers, and that is why she was now sure that she had actually seen a UFO. she is sure that it was not some soldiers or people, because they would have undoubtedly called her, and she is sure that it was no "known" apparatus, that she had not dreamed and that she remembers the episode very well. She speculated that although she did not look in the sky when the "thing" was gone, she would have undoubtedly have seen the apparatus fly away if she had looked up.

It seemed that the case is only made of her letter, and no investigation or further enquiries whatsoever.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-000225
Date of event: Summer 1944
Earliest report of event: 1972
Delay of report: 28 years
Witness reported via: Letter to ufology magazine.
First alleged record by: N/A.
First certain record by: Ufology magazine.
First alleged record type: N/A.
First certain record type: Ufology magazine.
This file created on: June 30, 2007
This file last updated on: August 10, 2018
Country of event: France
State/Department: Saone-et-Loire
Type of location: Country, dirt track.
Lighting conditions: Day, cloudy
UFO observed: Uncertain
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: Uncertain
UFO/Entity Relation: Certain
Witnesses numbers: 1
Witnesses ages: 13
Witnesses types: Teenager, girl.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: Several
Type of entities: Humanoid or human
Entities height: 1 meter
Entities outfit type: Outfit
Entities outfit color: Brown.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Not reported.
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: None heard.
Entities actions: Were out of UFO.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, froze, run away.
Witness(es) feelings: Frightened.
Witness(es) interpretation: First not reported, later flying saucer.
Explanation category: Extraterrestrial visitors or confusion.
Explanation certainty: None.



this witness wrote in 1972 the following letter to the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit:

The facts go back to 1944, during the summer. I was then 13 years old and each week I went by bicycle to a farm located at a few kilometers, to get some "supplies" there [Food was rationed, people black-marketed with farmers]. I thus followed at the start of Toulon-on-Arroux the charming [Departmental Road] RD 42, bordered of a wood, in direction of the hamlet known as "Le Verger" ["the Orchard"]. Little before arriving there, I put foot at ground to gather wild berries that I could find there. At this place, a dirt track leaves the road and goes into the wood on the right. I thus advanced on this way, slowly, seeking berries. Automatically, I looked up... at a few hundreds of meters further, the path goes up a little and forms a pronounced curve on the right to disappear from sight into the wood.

Just at this place "the thing" was stopped. I remember that the weather was very hot, stormy and that the sky was rather clouded.

So, over there something was stopped along the wood and beings stood near. Now I think that the apparatus could be of the size of nowaday's compact cars (Volkswagen kind) of metallized gray color, dull. I do not remember to have observed openings. The beings who stood near were to measure less than 1 meter in height and were clad in kinds of combinations of brown color. They did not make any gesture in my direction, and as to me, I was frozen on the spot.

How much time did this mutual observation last? I cannot say, but I remember the oppressive atmosphere, still worsened by the thundery weather and of my impression to be unable to move... Suddenly I managed to react and wanted to pick up my bicycle again; which lay within a few meters. The time to bend down and, by looking up at the strange appearance again, there was nothing any more. Only, at this place, the trees were agitated by a violent wind. I did not think of looking up in the air, where I would have undoubtedly still have seen the machine which flew away.

I was terrified and I hasted to the farm where of course I did not speak about anything! I did not speak about it neither at home, for I did suspect that I would be called a liar and a storyteller!

A long time, I thought of the strange encounter and then I forgot it... It was necessary that one starts to speak about the "Flying Saucers" for me to make a link and that I think that I had undoubtedly seen one of these mysterious UFOs.

After so many years the image is still very clear in my memory and I know that I had not dreamed and that what I saw in wood that day was not nothing "known." It could not have been a vehicle of that time, moreover rather rare, so that I undoubtedly identify it.

The place of the encounter was deserted, the way leads into the wood, the closest farms are at 1 km. We were in 1944, the men of the resistance [fighting German occupation] were numerous in the area, but it could not have been any of them. Neither German soldiers, and undoubtedly one or the others would have called me. It is thus necessary to thing that I attended one of the first visits of UFOs.


The ufology magazine published the letter sent by the witness and these two sketches:


The author reproduces the letter by the witness and indicates its source, Lumières Dans La Nuit N. 18 page 20, June 1972.


The authors indicate that on an unpecified date of the summer of 1944 between 03:00 p.m. and 04:00 p.m. between Toulon-on-Arroux and the hamlet of the Orchard, Miss Madeleine Arnoux, 13 years old, observed a thing posed on the ground on the dirt track, which was of the size of a Volkswagen car and of dull metallic gray color.

She saw beings standing at its side, their number not being specified, who were clad in kinds of brown suits and one meter tall.

She ensured to have been "frozen on the spot", with an "impression to be unable to move", saying "suddenly, I could react and I wanted to pick up my bicycle again; which lay with a few meters. The time to bend down and, when looking up at the strange appearance again, there was nothing there any more. However, at this place, the trees were agitated by a violent wind."

The authors note that she is adamant that she preserved the memory of this observation and certain that what she saw was nothing known. The authors note that her paralysis is supposed since nothing makes it possible to tell from the information in their possession that it was not the effect of the surprise or of the fear.

The authors indicate that the source is L.D.L.N., #118.


François Couten, always in search of first hand information about close encounters with UFO occupants, transmitted to us very interesting further information to the text "a case of landing going back to 1944" published on page 20 of the number 116 — June 1972 — of the magazine "Lumières Dans La Nuit".

In fact, it is the photocopy of a handwritten letter of 4 pages sent to Michel Figuet, SERPAN responsible person, a letter dated March 13, 1996 and signed by the witness of the time, Madeleine ARNOUX. Here are extensive extracts:

"Dear Sir... I can only repeat exactly what I reported, the facts is still very precise in my memory in spite of the years that passed. I am unaware of your age, but I can ensure you that for a young 13-year-old girl, in 1944, these facts were quite exceptional, quite surprising, quite fantastic, so that I still remember it very well! At the time, we were not nourished of science fiction literature, television, comics did not exist for me: I prepared my Elementary Exam and my entry at the teachers' training school, I had much more traditional readings...! (I want to note that the two sketches which illustrate the article (LDLN) are from myself, and were only reproduced by this Mr Lagarde, that I do not know and which I do not remember that he had been in relation with me in 1972 — Who was he?)"[1]

"To your question: "did an investigator come on the spot in Toulon sur Arroux after 1944?", I answer: no (to my knowledge), for whereas I received quite a lot of mail after the publication of the article in question (all the magazine treating the matter, at the time (1972) wrote to me to interrogate me and to ask me the report of the facts. I was even told that that a young man of Toulon on Arroux, studying with the UCLA (University of Los Angeles), a few years later, had read my article in an American magazine, in the very library of this prestigious university)."

"But it seems that my modest person did not interest the investigators, for never nobody came to my home. Whether some journalists came on the spot, that is quite possible, but they never met me. I went back to the place myself, ten years ago. everything was changed, and if I did not have in memory this true "photographic impression" of the scene of June July 44, I could not have recognized anything. (Now there is a motorbike ground in the vicinity, all was modified)."

"I had also been contacted by Jean-Claude BOURRET, who prepared one of his books then. I had answered to him, reported the facts. I might add something all the same, to bring back facts that came back to my memory after the publication of the article, which perhaps does not have any relationship with the occurrence, but which are rather odd."

"A few years before, i.e. in the 1st years of the war, perhaps in 1942 (the Germans occupied Toulon on Arroux, rather peacefully, it should be acknowledged), almost each evening, during the summer I think (for the evenings were beautiful and tepid), and during several days in a row, the district when I lived with my parents, the "Suburb" (all next the small station of departmental railroad Etang-Digoin) was in agitation. Indeed, we managed to observe a whitish gleam, slightly shnining (a "dull" moon) in the sky, roughly at a point located in the north-west. This gleam was motionless, sometimes seemed to die out a little, then was revived."

"Needless to tell you that each evening, there was a gathering of all the district and everyone went on with their comments and guesses... admittedly comprizing only: "tethered balloons", "a zeppelin" (memory of another war...), allied or enemy observation "sausages" [blimps]... I know that courageous young men went, in the day, to check the surroundings and never saw anything... Now, I am about sure that in straight line, the place where we could see this luminous and fixed object was located at the vertical of the place where I saw, a few years later, my "UFO". Was there a connection between these occurrences? Did they observe us already, from above, before trying the landing?"

"These occurrences ceased one fine day, at the end of a few weeks perhaps, and we never saw again the "dull moon" hovering above the wood..."

P.S.: François COUTEN communicated the exact address to us as well as the phone number of this lady who wishes, nevertheless, to remain discrete and not to communicate to the public her exact address. This lady lives in "Le Cannet - dep. 06".

[1] Fernand Lagarde, ufologist, with a talent for drawing which made him illustrate cases.

[Ref. tg1:] TIMOTHY GOOD:

The author indicates that during the summer of 1944, Madeleine Arnoux, then aged 13, was picking up berries at a farm close to the village of Le Verger, in the Saone-et-Loire.

She is quoted saying:

"I was walking slowly, seeking bays in the bushes, when I saw an apparatus close to the trees, and several people who were at its side. The apparatus was of gray color, about of the size of a car."

Tim Good indicates that the occupants of the apparatus stared at her without a word, that she became afraid and run back to the farm, taking care not to tell her adventure by fear of being called a liar. She hastened to forget this episode and became aware of the importance of the encounter only in the 50's when she heard talk about "flying saucers."

She told Fernand Lagarde in 1972 that she remained convinced that it was neither German soldiers, nor of the men of the Resistance. Lagarde noted with interest that she preserved a vivid memory of the episode, that she had felt struck of paralysis, and that she remembered a "violent wind" which laid the trees down.

Tim Good specifies that the source is "Atterrissage en France en 1944", by Fernand Lagarde, in Lumière Dans la Nuit, #118, June 1972.


The author indicates that Jenny Randles told in her 1988 book "Abduction" on page 23:

"It occurred one hot and thundery day in the summer of 1944. World War II raged around the village of Le Verger, near Toulon-sur-Arroux, France, when a thirteen-year-old girl, Madeleine Arnoux, decided to risk the many Germans and resistance fighters in the woods to cycle out and pick berries. In doing so she confronted a strange object in the grass, like a small car but dull grey in colour. She then noticed that small men stood beside it, no more than three feet tall and dressed in brown one-piece suits. Feeling desperately afraid, she tried to run but was paralysed and lost all sense of time (the Oz Factor once more). Then, inexplicably, the object had gone and the hold on her was relaxed. She fled back to her village."


The author indicates that in Toulon-sur-Arroux, Saône-et-Loire, in the summer of 1944, between 03:00 p.m. and 04:00 p.m., Madeleine Arnoux, 13--year-old at the time of the events, experienced a CE3 that she told 26 years later to the magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit:

"I was then 13-year-old and I went every week, on a bicycle, to a farm located a few km away, to look for a little "food". So I followed, from Toulon-sur-Arroux the charming RD 42, lined with woods, in the direction of the hamlet called "Les Verger." Shortly before getting there, I dismounted to pick wild berries that I could find there. At this place, a dirt road leaves the road and sinks to the right through the woods, so I walked slowly down this path, looking for fruits, and mechanically I raised my head... farther on a few hundred meters the path climbs a little and forms a curve pronounced on the right to disappear from sight in the woods Just at this point "the thing" was stopped, I remember that it was very hot, stormy and that the sky was quite cloudy."

"So there, something was stopped along the woods and people were standing nearby, and now I think the machine must be the size of one of our current small cars (like a Volkswagen) metallic gray colored, dull, I do not remember seeing any opening, the beings standing next to it were less than 1 meter tall and were dressed in brown-colored jumpsuits. They made no gesture in my direction and, for my part, I was frozen on the spot."

"How long did this mutual observation last, I cannot say, but I remember the oppressive atmosphere, aggravated by the stormy weather and my impression of not being able to move... Suddenly I was able react and wanted to get away. My bike was lying a few feet away, and by the time to get there and, looking up again to see the strange apparition, there was nothing left, only the trees were agitated by a strong wind. I did not think of looking in the air, where I could probably still have seen the machine flying away."

"I was terrified and hurried to the farm, where of course I did not talk about anything! I did not say anything more about it at home, because I suspected that I would be called a liar. For a long time I thought about the strange ecnounter and then I forgot about it... I heard the "flying saucers" talks so I made the connection. I think I had probably seen one of these mysterious UFOs there."

"After so many years the image is still very clear in my memory and I know that I did not dream and that what I saw in the woods that day was nothing "known." It could not be any vehicles of the time, which are quite rare, for me to identify it for sure. The place of the encounter was deserted, the road leading to the nearest farms are 1 km away, we were in 1944, there were many guerrillas in the area, but it could not have been them, neither German soldiers, and no doubt one or the other would have stopped me, so I think I witnessed one of the first UFO visits."

The author indicates that the sources are "Lumières dans la Nuit, #118, pages 20-21"; "Michel Figuct and Jean-Louis Ruchon, OVNI: le premier dossier complet des rencontres rap¬prochées en France, pages 47-48"; "Michel Bougard, La Chronique des OVNI, pages 267-268."

Points to consider:

I do not believe very likely that Mrs Arnoux saw anything more particular than some vehicle and people. Here is why.

First it is clear from her letter that it was only after having discovered the topic of UFOs that she reported her experience. That was 28 years after it occurred. A witness cannot be blamed about that, however, in this case, it is very worrying to read that she considered that she would have "undoubtedly" seen the UFO departing in the sky if she had looked up. This is one strong signal that she does want to believe it was a UFO and left the terrain of the neutral description.

Second, it is clear that at no point the UFO was seen landing or taking off. It was seen only on the ground in a dirt track. LDLN should not have labelled this a "landing" at all.

Third, the wind that agitated the trees can be interpreted as wind caused by the UFO taking off; however, not only was the UFO not seen taking off, but also, the weather, although only partly described, is described as stormy. Thus, some sudden rush of wind in the trees did not require a UFO taking off.

Fourth, the beings just as the craft are practically not described. A sketch might habe been enough to indicate or discard some weird craft or some ordinary vehicle, but there is no sketch, and LDLN ufologists did not seem to ask for one or ask for a better description. Basically, it is only a reader's letter, not an investigated case.

Fifth, when she did the observation, she was only 13. This is an age when strong impressions can occur easily, specially when wandering in the countryside in an isolated area. The German presence, the Maquisard presence, the likely forbidden activity of getting food at the farm, this can only result in fright when some encounter occurs.

Sixth, it sounds as if the apparatus and people had "disappeared." But we need to remember that they were said to be at a part of the dirt track where there is a sudden curve that hides the rest of the dirt track inside the wood. So a vehicle starting there would very quickly have "disappeared" ... from sight. One may argue that the disappearance was in "too short a time", but there is actually no time information, except that the witness walked a few meters, bent down, and at some point looked up again. This could be the time it took for some people and vehicle to also walk a few meters that would make them "invisible" once they entered the circle of the path inside the forest. Besides, the witness states that she had no remembering of duration of the sighting, indicating that her memories on duration is simply not there.

And finally, the point which is the most important to me: Mrs Arnoux said that the object and the beings were at several hundred meters from her! This is a very long observation distance, and I challenge anyone looking at some vehicle and people at several hundred meters to explain to me how to measure that people there are 1 meter or 2 meters tall, or how to be sure that the feature of some vehicle are "nothing known". If the observant is only 13 years old, at a time when the vehicle could be some no-so-ordinary vehicle such as a military half-track or armored car, what amazing is there in the notion that there is no good case for aliens and their spaceship here?

Above: Could a 13 year-old possibly be confused by one of such vehicles she saw at several hundred meters,
and think 30 years later, after having read about UFOs, come to the idea that she must have been seeing a
UFO? I think it is possible.

List of issues:

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


Extraterrestrial visitors or confusion. Insufficient data.

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 June 30, 2007 Creation, [ma1], [ld1], [mb1], [fr1], [tg1].
1.0 Patrick Gross June 30, 2007 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross July 7, 2008 Addition, [mj1].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 21, 2009 Addition, [fc1].
1.3 Patrick Gross August 10, 2018 Addition, [jg1].

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This page was last updated on August 10, 2018.