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UFOs in the daily Press:

The Harponville flying saucer, France, 1954:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper Le Courrier Picard, France, page 2, on September 8, 1954.

See the case file.

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Mystery in the Picardy sky

Two workers claim
having seen a flying saucer
between Harponville and Contay

This is the news that reached us at the end of the afternoon, news that witnesses to the astonishing event confirmed to us.

This information will not fail to generate perfectly understandable skepticism, but the two men who "saw" the object gave us concordant statements in every respect.

So, yesterday morning, Mr. Emile Renard, who is 27 years old and works as a mason craftsman, route de Doullens, in Acheux-en-Amiénois, had left his home by bicycle to go to his work in Lahoussoye. He was accompanied by his worker, Mr. Yves de Gillaboz, 23, living on the road from Bertancourt to Acheux-en-Amiémois.

Both were driving normally when around 7:15 a.m., as they had crossed Harponville and were heading towards Contay, their attention was drawn to a large object posed in a recently mown field, about 200 meters and to the right of the road.

- It looked like a haystack that was not finished, tells us Mr. Renard whom we found in the middle of his family in the evening.

- Yes, and the top was somewhat rounded and looked like an inverted plate, added M. de Gillaboz, whom his boss had gone to look for at his house at our request.

Intrigued, the two men jumped off their machine and, running, entered the fields in the direction of the craft.

Faster than his companion, Mr. Renard left him somewhat behind.

- As I got closer, he told us, I never took my eyes off the craft. I could thus realize that it was dirty gray in color and it might have been ten meters in diameter...

- And it oscillated a little, specifies Mr. de Gillaboz...

- Did you hear any noise? we ask.

- Absolutely nothing, the two men answer us.

And both said they noticed a sort of door wider than it was tall, but closed, on the wall of the craft.

- I had corssed about fifty meters, says Mr. Renard, when I saw the craft which rose diagonally, while smoke was escaping through a kind of pipe placed in its lower part.

It thus arrived at a height of fifteen meters. At that moment, it abandoned the diagonal and his ascent continued vertically and faster.

For a few minutes, we followed it with our eyes. As it climbed, it was more and more difficult to see it and it eventually disappeared.

- What were your impressions at the time? we ask.

- What do you want, said Mr. Renard, we stayed there, mouths gaping...

- I had only one hurry: get on my bike and get away as soon as possible.

- I was like dumbfounded, adds the mason craftsman. I was wondering what phenomenon we had just witnessed, and then I thought it might be a flying saucer, like the ones we hear about in the newspapers.

- Think, said his companion, we couldn't believe it. Admit that there is reason to be taken aback when one sees such a thing!

As we were questioning Mr. Renard to find out what he would have done if, continuing his race, he had arrived near the craft, he told us:

- I wanted to know what it was because I was so intrigued. I can't say if I would have risked touching it but I might have tried to realize what was inside. How? I don't know.

- Well, for my part, says Mr. de Gillaboz, I would not have touched it and this craft was nothing goo to me...

During their statements, the two men gave us a clear impression of sincerity. They told us that having spoken to residents of Lahoussoye about what they had seen, the latter had alerted the gendarmerie. During the day, MM. Renard and de Gillaboz were interrogated at length and separately. They were taken to the place where they saw the craft. There, no trace was found on the ground.

At the gendarmerie, the most complete silence is observed on the encounter made by the two inhabitants of Acheux-en-Amiénois, and one seems to be careful not to invalidate or confirm, too hastily, what remains for all a mystery.

Nevertheless, the statements of the two men are clear and precise, so we deliver them to our readers as they were given to us...

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