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UFOs in the daily Press:

UFOs in the Gard, France, 1976-1977:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper Le Midi Libre, France, on February 5, 1977.


The UFOs are back. Judge for yourself.

A 22-year-old sales representative, Mr. Gérard Marter, living in Codognan, in the Gard, was traveling with his family on the R. N. 113, on February 1, when he saw in the sky, around 9:30 p.m., a strange star...

"We were at that time between Uchaud and Codognan, he says, when our attention was drawn to a flattened sphere moving at 45 degrees above the horizon. Its luminosity varied, it decreased until it went out, then resumed. It changed color. At first immobile, its trajectory when it moved was irregular, comparable to the flight of a butterfly... When I reached my destination, I wanted to take my binoculars to continue my observation, but the mysterious object, after having lowered itself on the horizon, had disappeared in the direction of Caliargues, that is to say towards the South-West."

Mr. Charles Gouiran, president of the group "V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A." (Verification and Study of UFO reports for Nîmes and the surrounding area", phone 67-03-37), which is leading the investigation, provides us with the following details:

"Five witnesses, including Mr. Marter, were able to observe this object for about half an hour. It apeared of an angular dimension of 25 meters at two kilometers. Was it a UFO? It could not be an artificial satellite, because these never appear to us as big, and their trajectory has a West-East component, to benefit of the speed of rotation of the earth. The confusion with a planet is to be excluded: the planets move in the plane of the ecliptic, that is to say West-East, and their trajectory is not irregular. Helicopters do not fly at night. Sounding balloons? Our investigation, both with the director of the national meteorological station at Nîmes-Courbessac and with the naval air base at Nîmes-Caron, allows us to reject this hypothesis: there were no weather balloons in the sky at that time."

"V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A." has also noted for some time an upsurge in sightings in the "Grand Delta".

This is how on Wednesday January 12, five people, including Mr. Jacky Bas, from the National Center for Scientific Research, seconded to the faculty of Avignon, observed in the sky of Eyrargues (Bouches-du-Rhône) a mysterious star whose behavior was strangely reminiscent of the Codognan phenomena.

On December 24, a huge all-black object with small portholes was observed by Mr. Brissac and the other occupants of his car above Ile-sur-Sorgues (Vaucluse), where on January 25 an hexagonal U.F.O. was also reported.

Between January 1 and 10, three observations in Ardèche, in the region of Saint-Pierreville, of large spherical objects.

In the Drôme, two km from Combocin, near Chabeuil, Mr. and Mrs. Pérès saw, on January 1 around 7:45 p.m., motionless at ground level above a field, and at a distance of 400 meters approximately "an enormous luminous craft of ovoid shape which could have been between thirty and forty meters in diameter, and was surrounded by a halo of whitish light." After flashing the headlights, Mr. and Mrs. Perez observe the fast departure of "the thing".

In the Gard, on November 5, Mrs. Mauduit, from Uzès, had observed around 9:00 p.m. an orange-red spherical object, crossing the sky very quickly, followed by "a kind of bright colored trail predominantly yellow and red" [probable meteor.].

On November 7, Mr. Jarretie reported a motionless dot of light over Uzès, until then merging with the stars "which began to descend like a dead leaf for 15 seconds and then disappeared in a cloud."

On November 16, around 8 a.m., still in the same region, "a kind of shiny metallic bar crosses the sky from southeast to northwest" [probable meteor.].

On December 1, around 7:15 p.m., Mrs. Baroni had her attention drawn, above the gorges du Gardon, by a large iridescent white canvas, surrounded by a "flashing red rear ring" which quickly crossed the sky.

Finally, on December 8, around 7:15 p.m., four Nîmes residents observed, in the direction of Margueritte, "a large, extremely luminous rectangle appearing to be the size of an airship, the intense luminosity of which diminished very quickly and died out completely."

The Sète-Palavas region, the Saint-Loup peak, the Boissière-Uchaud-Codognan triangle, according to "VERONICA" would be located on what are called "orthotenic lines", that is to say say circulation corridors which would explain the frequency of the observations which are made there. But other phenomena have been observed in the Aude.

People who have noticed unusual phenomena can contact the VERONICA group, 3, rue Folco de Baroncelli, Nîmes, or the PALMOS group, 1, rue Parlier, Montpellier.

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