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Official, France:

In France, there is still no equivalent of the Freedom of Information Acts (FOIA) as it is now applied to some official UFO information in the majority of other countries, USA, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy etc. In France, and only in theory, information is supposedly possibly accessible 60 years after its date. (Thus 2014 for UFO cases of 1954 etc). It is only if you are "Somebody of Importance" such as TV journalist Jean-Claude Bourret in the 70's, or if you have "Friends Inside", or if you beg enough, that you can maybe pick up some documents.

A SEPRA flyer, page 4:

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The translated transcription:


GEPAN (Group of Study of the Non-identified Aerospace Phenomena) was created within CNES in 1977. Its mission: to undertake research tasks on a phenomenon commonly called UFO, carried out under the aegis of the Council gathering prominent personalities of the scientific world.

This work led to a rigorous scientific approach of which we present the various components to you.


GEPAN, during its the first five years of existence, developed scientific methods of collect and analysis of interdependent data.

The observable data are made of: the witness, his testimony, psycho-social environment and physics (tetrahedron).

Le chercheur, après avoir analysé chacune des données observables, arrive à une approche plus précis de l'origine des cas étudiés (Stimulus).

Passés entre le CNES et la Gendarmerie Nationale, l'Aviation Civile, l'Armée de l'Air et Météo-France, ils représentent les principales sources d'information et de collecte des données observables.


OVNI (Objet Volant Non Identifié)
This term is the translation of English word UFO (Unidentified Flying Object). The experience of the investigations and the obtained results showed that this term is unsuitable, in the sense that the majority of the cases do not refer to the observation of a material object, but generally to a known or unknown phenomenon, with or without the vision of an object. This is why it seems more suitable to use the term PAN Phénomène (Aérospatial Non Identifié) [Unidentified Aerospace Phenomenon, UAP].

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This page was last updated on May 15, 2005.