This article was published in the daily newspaper Le Provençal, France, le 4 juillet 1965.
The mystery remains whole on the Valensole "flying saucer"
Digne: from our special envoy
"I am not daydreaming, I did not dream, what I saw in my field, I really saw it." Mr. Maurice Masse does not spare his efforts to repeat to all those who seem to doubt its assertions, to all those who seem to believe that he was the victim of an hallucination or a nightmare.
To tell the truth, they are very few, those who question the veracity of his statements. Maurice Masse is well-known in Valensole, he is not a crackpot nor a prankster and one thinks that if he claims that he saw a mysterious machine in his lavender field, then he was really the witness of this strange display to say the least.
In any case, the emotion is far from being calmed in Valensole and in the Low-Alps, quite to the contrary. In this charming and picturesque locality, where one starts to perceive the first emanations of the lavender in flower, an intense activity reigns with the unstopable comings and goings of the gendarmerie, journalists of all France, Television reporters and so on.
Everyone wants to see the place where this strange phenomenon occurred, wants to measure it, photograph it, film it and even touch it in spite of the rumours which ran about the ground that would be radio active and which cause the retroactive fears of those who - imprudently they now estimate - rushed on the location to see something.
It is necessary to specify however that at the present time there does not remain much to see. All the field was trampled neither little nor enough [sic]: the furrows are levelled and the lavenders will flower never again at this place. It is indeed what Mr. Maurice Masse had feared, when he hesitated so much to report his strange discovery except to some sure friends.
After many reservations, when he agreed to personally give us the account of what he had seen, Mr. Masse shared with us his fears of the troubles which were going to fall down on him:
"My initial reaction," he acknowledged to us, "was to plough the field and to make all the traces from the passage of this machine disappear. I should have obeyed my first impulse. My field is currently in an indescribable state and I am literally hunted by a pack of reporters and curious people not to mention the official interrogations. I gave my account of what arrived to me so often that I am tired of that."
It is undoubtedly for this reason that Mr. Masse made the choice to disappear. Just like the mysterious apparatus that he saw, he vanished and yesterday, in Valensole, a crowd of people were searching for him, but in vain.
However, apart from the obligations of the topicality and information, on the official side, the thing seems to be taken seriously, as proved by the displacement of captain Valnet, commander of the company of gendarmerie of Digne, and his collaborators who went to the site Friday evening around 11 p.m..
The investigation at the location continued almost all night. Mr. Masse explained in a very detailed manner what he had seen and under which conditions. He had to answer tons of questions, which he did without hesitating, without getting disturbing and without contradicting himself.
Yesterday morning, the investigation continued: the prefectoral authorities were alerted; the brigade of research carried out sampling of the ground at the place where the unidentified object landed and very thorough analyses will be made which will perhaps bring back very valuable information on the nature of this object.
It is quite obvious that commentaries are flowing and that impassioned polemic rose; some think that it is a hoax, some sort of low-alpine sea serpent if you will, others are firmly persuaded that it is something very serious ehich deserves to be thought about. The attention with which the relevant autorities follow this case, is said to be a proof of that.
Many flying saucers - which were very fashionable a few years ago - were seen. All kinds, all forms, all dimensions and all the colors were seen, in the most unexpected places and most distant from each other.
There is reason to be skeptical of course, and I acknowledge that our initial reaction was that of incredulity. But this was before to have heard Mr. Masse and to have seen the traces on the ground.
Thus one wonders what it is we are confronted, one reconsiders anticipation stories, science fiction novels, and one remains perplexed.
Is this really about mysterious visitors coming from other planets and having at their disposal means of which we are unaware of the extent, or are these French experimental earthly aircraft or foreign aircraft that are seen [ illegible... ] that even if the authorities discover information likely to reveal the origin of this craft, nothing will be revealed.
One talks about the arrival of an atomic scientist of Marcoule [atomic plant] and representatives of the Air Force.
Valensole will need a while before finding its quietness of low-alpine village where the first summer tourists start to flow in.
Thursday at 5:45 the sky was green
We have just collected information emanating of a citizen of Port-Saint-Louis, Mr. Roger Cattoia, aged 32, father of family, honourably known, which throws a new light on the phenomenon which occurred in Valensole Thursday, 5:45, namely: the flying saucer in the lavender field of Mr. Masse.
Whereas he was on board the "Anne-Marie", Mr. Cattoia descended the Rhone towards the sea, Thursday, around 3 o'clock. He was turning his back to the direction of the North-East, approximate position of the valley of the Durance, a green gleam of a rare intensity illuminated the boat and the landscape and made him look back. The sky was entirely green and remained so during nearly ten minutes. Enough time to awake his team-member, Christian Vognin, and two minutes afterwards the green phenomenon was renewed under the same conditions as the first time and this time noted by two witnesses.
Of course, he had not reported about this phenomenon, believing in some unspecified catastrophe, but in the reading of our newspaper reporting the adventure of Mr. Masse, they believed they should inform us.
Is it a theoretical phenomenon or the passage of the saucer of Valensole in the Earth's atmosphere? The question is raised.
More information on this case here.