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UFOs in the daily Press:

THE 1954 FRENCH FLAP IN THE PRESS:

This article was published in the daily newspaper Ouest-France, de Rennes, France, page 9, 14 octobre 1954.

CIGAR OR FLYING SAUCER?

a ball of fire rested on a meadow

"LOOK BUT DO NOT TOUCH!"
said the pilot to the young Gilbert LELAY, of Herbray

ERBRAY (from our special envoy: P. DOUCET).

Without pretending to play smart, we were skeptical. Extremely skeptical.

Lastly, in its turn, Châteaubriant had, or held, "its" flying saucer!...

The hero of the affair, the "seer" was a teenager, he was still at this age when innocence is the most splendid aureole of which the most beautiful legend shine, he was a child from on our own premises, a pupil of the primary school, a modest and estimated circle. Then, addition of interest, our small visionary doubled as a pleasant and deferent listener. Not only he "had seen" the mysterious craft, not only he had contemplated it all at ease, but also, the strange pilot had spoken to him, and in French and using the plural person, as appropriate between educated people.

The good joke! That thing is pretty obvious!...

Either the child was victim of his imagination and a mirage, or he wanted to impress his young comrades, or even he dealt with a smiling hoaxer.

The picture would also not lack of a certain romantic touch: this ball of fire in a green meadow, under the moonlight.

A LITTLE JOKER?

That sums up rather well the flood of thoughts which occupied us during this short trip which led us to the public school of Erbray, where we were ensured to meet the young pupil of the course of the Certificate of Studies: Lelay Gilbert, 13 years old.

We were well decided to put a term at this nonsense, to confuse the young joker or at least to make him hear that he had been the victim of a very well organized prank.

This means that we felt well armoured, that with us at least, no tall tale would be believed!

A DISCONCERTING STORY

How is it done, then? How is it dont that we are left completely dumbfounded here, vis-a-vis this little boy who tells us what he saw and... heard, vis-a-vis this shy child, almost apprehensive, who continuously lowers the head, who is known for his very average intelligence, for his rather restricted imagination, and who does not read the newspapers or barely, and never went to the movies?

The fact is, you see, under it most simplistic aspect a priori, this "story " that the child tells us has more than one disconcerting side, by its qualities, the general behavior of the storyteller, and by some of his declarations.

"A "MAN" PUT HIS HAND ON MY SHOULDER"

He speaks the language of his age and his condition:

- It was Saturday evening, he said. It was 10:30 p.m.. There was moonlight. I was on bicycle. I was returning from an uncle's, in Rousselière. My parents were in front in the 4CV [car]. I arrived close to the village of Garrelières, when in a meadow, on my left, I saw an odd object.

- Describe that object for us?

- It was as a ball of fire posed on the grass. When I stopped and when i saw it upfront, it was all in length; then, from the side I saw it as very round. I crossed the fence of the meadow and I was within ten meters of the "ball" when a "man" came to me, put his hand on my shoulder and tells me: "Look at it but do not touch!"

- and this "man", how was he?

- Tall, gray jacket and trousers, hat gray also but darker. He held in a hand a ball, large like a large apple, launching purple reflections. He had boots.

IN FRENCH WITH THE ACCENT OF ... BRITANY

- So, he talked to you in French?

- Yes, very fast and with a strong accent!

- What kind of accent?

- That of the Britons who comes on our premises to sell horses!

- He didn't say anything else?

- No! Except at the time to leave but I did not understand...

- And how did he leave?

- He opened a kind of door which he then closed again with noise.

- Did you see the interior of the craft?

- Yes, there were two seats of red color and opposite them many buttons of all colors.

- Then the craft flew away?

- Sheaves of fire started from all the directions, at the top, at the bottom, on the sides. "It" rose up very gently in complete silence and vertically. Arrived at about fifty meters, it turned twice in circles then it disappeared like a "shooting star."

- And you not noticed no other particlarities?

- I did, while it rose, a circle turned at full speed in its lower part!

- Then you returned home?

- Yes, but I had difficultiey to pedal and I could not speak any more. I was like paralysed by the fear.

- You told your parents what you had just seen?

- They called me ... crazy!

TO EACH HIS OWN CONCLUSION

What more is there to say? What comments?

During this entire interview, we warned the child against any attempt at trickery on his part, preventing hime about the range, the seriousness of his testimony.

P. DOUCET

Case file here.

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