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UFOs in the daily Press:

The 1954 French flap in the Press:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper La Croix du Nord, Lille, Pas-de-Calais, France, pages 1 and 8, September 16, 1954.

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Saucers, cigars and Co. ...

The police is interested
very seriously
to the statements of a
Correzian farmer

Better and better... The Quarouble metal worker had given of his encounter with the strange passengers of a mysterious craft a description too conform to the standards of "science fiction" not to arouse skepticism. Nevertheless, the air police investigated very conscientiously, much to the sorrow of a Parisian newspaper which proclaimed that state officials had other things to do than waste their time on puns. But now a Corrèze cultivator is now reporting an encounter that is all the more curious because it is less fantastic. This time it is no longer a matter of a flying saucer or a bizarre being, seeming to belong to another world.

The encounter made by Mr. Mazaud, a solid peasant in his fifties from Bugeat, is quite different. He is very formal. There is in his statements an indisputable tone of sincerity. He does not have, far from it, the reputation of being a joker or a crackpot, and the investigators did not identify the slightest flaw or the slightest contradiction in his statements that the France-Presse agency gave in these terms:

The man he met on a deserted plateau on September 10, around 8:30 p.m., was nothing abnormal in his outfit or in his appearance, except fot the

Continued on the last page,
in the fourth column, under the title
"SAUCERS"

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"SAUCERS"

quite peculiar shape of the helmet he wore on his head. When he found himself face to face with the Correzian peasant, he bowed his head several times to greet him, held out his hand, then gave him a hug. He did not respond otherwise to Mr. Mazaud's good evening and did not articulate a syllable, so much so that the farmer took him for a simple mind and would certainly have quickly forgotten this encounter. But a few seconds after the stranger's disappearance, Mr. Mazaud, who was continuing on his way, heard a slight rustling sound. He looked back and it was at this time that he saw a craft which rose from the ground obliquely in the same manner an airplane takes off. The craft was vaguely in the shape of a cigar (that of a jet plane in profile or something close to this.) It flew towards the West very quickly while taking height. The noise was very slight. One did not notice the slightest smoke or the slightest glimmer.

Mr. Mazaud was careful not to talk about these phenomena in the neighborhood, fearing that one would scoff at him. Only the indiscretion of his wife allowed the gendarmes to be notified. They heard him at his home and went to the place, but two days had passed and it had rained a lot. There was no trace on the ground.

The Commissioner for General Intelligence in Tulle also heard Mr. Mazaud at great length and went with the farmer to the encounter's site. Like everyone else, he was struck by the seriousness of the man who involuntarily witnessed this strange phenomenon.

The flying saucers
an effect of lightning

The eminent German astronomer Hans Haffner will no doubt see in this case only the landing, more or less regular, of a foreign aviator. He is indeed very skeptical, in the weekly "Die Zeit", with regard to the stories of saucers, cigars or Martians that are reported to us every day.

"Flying saucers," he writes, "apart from hallucinations and aerial reflections, are fireballs produced by lightning at high altitudes. He claims that his theory fits all the sightings of flying saucers reported up to present.

"Let's put an end to the flying saucer psychosis," he writes. "Flying saucers are actually a natural phenomenon that occurs in the layer of air surrounding the earth."

Mr. Haffner, professor of astronomy at the University of Hamburg and head of section at the Brandenburg-Bergedorf observatory, says that all of the flying saucers that have been seen so far can be classified into four groups.

1. Hallucination, more common than is commonly believed.

2. Optical illusion even deceiving the lens of the cameras. The alleged photographs of flying saucers are reflections often seen when taking photos against the light.

3. Weather balloons.

4. Unknown flying objects.

All the objects of the fourth category can be explained by what we know about fireballs produced by lightning. This phenomenon rarely occurs and we only have two or three photographs. The size, shape, speed, color, brightness, duration, electrical composition and the mode of dissolution of these fireballs are "remarkably similar" to descriptions of flying saucers, Professor Haffner writes.

Fireballs often emit very bright rays of light, which again matches the story of people who say they saw saucers. Likewise, fireballs can change shape and direction in less than a second, just like saucers.

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