France has been one of the best places to find strange claims and ufological weirdness. I’d go as far as to say France is equal to the USA in the
bizarre history of unlikely sightings of unusual critters. For example, they had the first known
humanoid sightings wave back in 1954
that came to an end with over 200 alleged encounters
involving more than 250 witnesses. Imagine minding your business and being interrupted by little people and their strange machines? Personally, I’d
like to test the experience!
A lot of these reports described those familiar ‘little fellows’ with the over-sized heads – mischief makers. They may well have looked at us
and wondered how we crammed our brains into such tiny
skulls. Or even laughed that we could move and think at the same time with such
Alien prejudice no doubt!
Another well-known case happened in 1965 and I notice it’s escaped an ATS thread in all these years – the
. The basics are that a farmer disturbed two critters in his field one
morning that pointed a paralysing device at him and then took off in their aircraft.
Once more the little folk were up to their tricks and a Monsieur Masse was about to have his world turned up-side down for a few days. He was a farmer
in the Valensole area and had a good reputation in town – he’d been in the French Resistance, as a
Maquis guerilla fighter,
during the war and that attracts respect.
During the last week of June, Masse and his father had noticed his lavender beds were being disturbed in the night. Nothing significant, just the buds
of some plants had been pulled off and scattered. Rabbits maybe? I guess a farmer would know rabbit mischief when he saw it. Whatever the case, Masse
was alert to find out what was causing the disturbance, but not losing sleep about it. 'Comme ci comme ça...'
On the morning of the 1st of June, he was smoking behind a pile of fertiliser and his tractor when a whistling noise began and ended nearby. He
stepped out to see what had caused the noise and saw a little more than he expected!
He saw a small, egg-shaped craft (described as Dauphine-sized - a French car) sitting on his field while two of the little people were trespassing in
his lavender crops. Well, they were trampling away and picking his flowers so he decided to approach them. Being a farmer, chances are he was going to
be rather abusive or charge them a fee for landing. Whatever his motivations, he headed on over to the big-headed little vandals…
One of the little tramplers looked up and produced a small tube to point at Masse. With barely a hesitation, the intruder aimed his device and the
farmer was suddenly unable to move his arms, legs or mouth – frozen. The little fellows watched him for a while and then got in the aircraft and
took off due west leaving M. Masse rooted to the ground for almost 20 more minutes.
When he was able to move, he saw they’d left a hole in the ground and 4 equidistant markings were the vehicle’s landing gear had been. He also
thought he could discern a dried-out effect in the lavender plants in the area where the object had been and in the direction of its departure.
He went to Valensole and, still shaken, told his friend, the owner of a café, what had just happened. The story was later told to the local gendarmes
(police) who went to the field and confirmed the markings and central hole. They interrogated Masse and had to accept that he believed what he said
and there was no more to be said on the matter. Our poor farmer returned home and slept for 15 hours straight through, only being woken by his wife
and daughter because they were worried.
Unsurprisingly, a small storm had been building during the night and by now the locals and the local press had become interested. The news travelled
fast and within 3 days, it had made the national press and travelled as far as Washington. Masse took to his heels and left the area to get away from
persistent journalists and the mockery being sent his way.
With his reputation and standing in the area, neighbours and the media didn’t believe he was hoaxing. The Gendarmerie didn’t think he was a hoaxer
either. Instead, they believed an explanation must lie somewhere else. Some of these explanations might seem familiar to some ATS members!
The local Air Force claimed he had seen one of their helicopters landing although they themselves knew nothing about a helicopter landing.
The Washington Post
claimed he’d misperceived a mundane example of
French secret technology...
As fast as the excitement had begun, it was over within days...
Keeping a secret?
In the following weeks, Masse was approached by more journalists and UFO researchers. His case eventually landed up in the famous
Cometa report (page 20)
as a strong example of an unusual event. They noted that
the lavender had failed to grow in the area in subsequent years. Masse never retracted his story and it generally remained intact and without
embellishment over the years. One element that intrigued researchers is the fact that Masse kept a part of the incident to himself and wouldn’t tell
anyone else about it – a secret.
We can only guess at what the secret was. He told his wife and daughter and that was all. Maybe he made up the story and couldn’t believe how far it
had gotten out of hand? Maybe it was a genuine case of visiting Folk from Elsewhere?
Or maybe, he thought he experienced something that only
occurred on the level of perception – like a dream. If it was a dream, was it triggered by something we know about or from Elsewhere?
He once remarked that the small fellows were good people; he had a conviction they meant no harm. Now, this is interesting because he didn’t
include details of communication with them. A year earlier, in the USA, our old friend Gary Wilcox
(from last year's Martians thread)
had had a very similar experience.
farmer, he’d been surprised to find two little guys in his field, next to a small, egg-shaped craft. These two apparently told him a secret and
asked him to keep it.
Links & Sources -
Caravaca Files - 1954 Humanoids in France
Ufologie - 1954 French Flap
Valensole - UFO Evidence
Flying Saucer Review - Vol 11; No 6
Classic case: Valensole incident (IsaacKoi thread)