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UFOs in the daily Press:

The Padua University balloon over France, October 15, 1954:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper L'Auvergnat de Paris, Paris, France, page 1, on October 23, 1954.

See the case file.

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NEITHER SAUCER... NOR CIGAR... NOR EVEN SIMPLE ASHTRAY...

BUT WAS THIS A BALLOON?

For several weeks, daily newspapers have been reporting, column lengthwise, phenomena that have remained unexplained until now, which would cause the most disparate objects to appear in the atmosphere.

This information is corroborated by witnesses who state to have seen, with their eyes "seen", these objects and even to have sometimes noted the presence of strange living beings who came down from Venus, Uranus or Mars. The latter, as soon as they landed, would hasten to flee at the approach of humans; others however would have had the familiarity to the point of wanting to kiss those who had met them, or even would have patted them on the stomach.

Curious phenomena of collective hallucination serious gentlemen have said, even when the observation had been made by a single witness. Demonic devices for the next last war those who have mercilessly amused themselves to frighten our poor old girlies have advanced. Inventions intended to strike the imaginations and to divert the attention from the political problems of the hour added the skeptics, who are the greatest number. And our good songwriters add their hilarious jokes to all these hypotheses.

But all this was happening far from us and our compatriots in the Massif Central, like our neighbors in the quarter of the Bastille, risked being put into another category of "phenomena": the category of "those who have not not seen it yet!"

Fortunately, fate has not allowed such humiliation and whereas in Paris our Génie de la Bastille has not yet been touched by any saucer, our compatriots, on the afternoon of the 15th of October, contemplate at leisure the luminous object that has showed itself from very high in the eyes of the inhabitants of our seven departments.

We have, in fact, received this week, from more than a hundred municipalities, the sometimes contradictory relations of this phenomenon observed everywhere. And despite all the interest they presented we could not publish them, due to lack of space and to avoid tedious repetitions.

Was it a saucer, a cigar, or any other craft suitable for garnishing or upsetting imaginations? Airmen, notably from Issoire and Aurillac, "went up there" to try to unravel the mystery. They do not seem to have succeeded. According to some reports, it was a passing balloon launched by the Millau Physics Institute for its scientific research, and announced the day before by a radio broadcast.

But here is a chief pilot at Aurillac aerodrome, who tried to approach the "phenomenon", published in La Montagne a report of his observations from which we extract the following conclusion:

"I thought that the hypothesis of any balloon should be ruled out because it would certainly have already been recovered, without taking into account the fact of its relative immobility of twelve hours. What is this phenomenon? By leafing through an aeronautical review, it seems that in 1904 a phenomenon of the atmosphere had allowed the formation of an enormous bubble of ai which passed alertnatively from the spherical form to the ovoid form and this at very high altitude."

So? Another disillusionment for the poor humans that we are? From so much noise made for several weeks around the mysterious machines there would remain only one large air bubble? And the Martians, Marsonins and other Venusians that some allegedly seen and almost touched?

As long as we have our feet on the macadam of Beaumarchais, and as long as we move between the terrestrial bolides that are the interminable lines of cars that crisscross our streets, as long as from the top of its glorious column, the Génie of the Bastille will protect us, we will not share the astonishment or the fears of those who have seen or believe they have "seen".

We are a bit like Saint Thomas who wanted to touch with his finger to be convinced.

HENRI ALRIQ.

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