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UFOs in the daily Press:

The Valensole saucer, France, 1965:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper Le Dauphiné Libéré, France, on July 4, 1965.


A flying saucer in the Basses-Alpes?

The gendarmes found strange traces at the place where a farmer from Valensole claims to have seen it


Having left his home in Valensole around 5 a.m., Mr. Masse went to the Olivol district, where he began to hoe his lavender plans.

He suddenly heard a strange noise, similar to the whistling of helicopters.

- "They could land somewhere else than in my field", he said to himself. And he walked around the mound that hid his view.

He then witnessed an astounding display.


Mr. Maurice Masse told us the story of this strange vision himself, not without reluctance, because he was obviously afraid of attracting jeers.

However, he was to confirm this story in front of the chief of gendarmerie, commanding the Valensole brigade:

"I saw, he said, about thirty meters from me a strange vehicle, the shape of which vaguely recalled that of a rugby ball. Mate, it was placed on four kinds of metal legs and a central pivot."

"I thought of a monstrous spider. Nearby was a being the size and build of a child of about 8 years old. I was able to see another individual inside."

"Suddenly, the one who was on the ground turned around and saw me. He immediately jumped into the craft. A sliding door closed behind him and the machine took off at an incredible speed, without emitting any smoke or dust. In a split second, it was over; I had lost sight of him. I couldn't believe my eyes."

"And yet, Mr. Masse told us, "I did not dream, and It was not an hallucination."

With the gendarmes of Valensole, we went to the place of the "landing". There is no doubt that something happened there. At the location of the pivot, one can now see, in the ground, a hole 20 centimeters in diameter and 50 centimeters deep; starting from there traces in the shape of an X which would seem to confirm the version of the four legs of the craft.

The strangest thing is that, all around the hole, the ground is petrified, hard as cement, while elsewhere it crumbles into dust under the fingers.

"But, continued Mr. Masse, "immediately after the departure of the craft, the ground had the consistency of an almost liquid mud. Something all the more strange, since it did hadn't rained here for a long time."

The captain commanding the Gendarmerie Company of Digne went to the scene, but has not yet made any statement.

But already many visitors are arriving and Mr. Masse's field has never seen so many people. The grower is now worried about knowing that his lavender would suffer from the passage of the curious, who came to the scene of the landing of the mysterious craft, to contemplate the traces left by the saucer.

These traces, unquestionably, they exist on the ground. There is "something", but so far we cannot give any explanation for the phenomena.

For the gendarmes, "it's weird, you really wonder what could have landed there. The traces found on the ground are very clear and very precise."

As for a "hoax", fabricated from scratch, it does not seem for the moment that it should be retained, Mr. Masse being, in the opinion of the inhabitants of the locality, unable to play a joke. Nor does it appear that he was the victim of a hallucination. Finally, he is known in the village for his sobriety.

The town clerk of Valensole said, for his part: "There is surely something true in this, which I cannot explain".

The grower assures that it was not a helicopter.

However, this region is currently experiencing a fairly large military activity, the maneuvers of the 9th Region taking place there since June 29th. In these maneuvers called "Provence 65", the light aviation of the Army participates, which is notably equipped with helicopters. Finally, the eastern limit of the maneuvering area is at Manosque, which is only 19 kilometers away from Valensole.

The "flying saucer": Probably an A.L.A.T. helicopter, say the military

Marseille, July 3. -- It is estimated in military circles that the "flying saucer" is a helicopter belonging to the light aviation of the army. There is a very good chance that it is an aircraft of the "Alouette 2" or "Alouette 3" type with which this formation is equipped.

The presence of these craft in this region is not surprising. Indeed the maneuvers of the 9th Military Region baptized "Provence 65", have been taking place there since June 29 in the part of the departments of Vaucluse and Basses-Alpes, to the north by Mont Ventoux and the mountain of Lure, to the south by the Luberon range, to the west by the R.N. 538, Cavaillon, Carpentras, Malaucène, to the east by the Saint-Etienne-les-Orgues, Forcalquier, Manosque line.

If Valensole is beyond this limit since it is located to the east of Manosque about twenty kms from this city, it is almost certain that A.L.A.T. flew over Valensole and that a helicopter could very well have landed in Mr. Maurice Masse's field.

At the time indicated by the grower, several aircraft based in Saint-Auban had taken to the air. The time and the day correspond, but then we would like the pilot, who caused all this effervescence, to signal his landing and thus put an end to all the guesswork.

The "Saucer" would have flown over Orange

Mr. Joachim Lopez, cafe owner at Orange, opening Saturday at three-thirty, the Theater bar was surprised to see a kind of satellite in the sky.

Mr. Lopez was not alone, and with his first customers, they were intrigued by the rapid movement of this ball, pursued by a clearly visible jet plane.

"We even noticed", he specifies, "the hole in the night of a powerful searchlight seeming to leave the base of Caritat and seeking to follow the trajectory of this mysterious craft."

We have asked the Caritat base and the meteorology service for information on this unusual passage without, for the time being, getting an answer.

We can therefore assume that the Valensole saucer flew over Orange.

An investigation by the technicians

Digne, July 3. - The investigation continued today, the research brigade came to take samples, the prefectural authorities were alerted and an engineer from the Marcoule atomic base came on site.

In addition, the imminent arrival of air force specialists is expected.

More information on the case here.

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