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Close encounters of the 3rd kind:

Valensole, France, 1965:

Valensole is a small village in the South of France where, on July 1, 1965, in daylight at 05:45 p.m. farmer Maurice Masse reportedly heard a whistling sound and expected to see an helicopter arrive, but instead, he saw a car-sized egg-shaped craft with a door landing, resting on six legs with a central pivot in his lavender field. Masse saw two little occupants near the craft, and said that when these beings saw him approaching within 5 meters, they used some sort of paralyzing device on him and he could move anymore. He could however still see and hear, and described the beings as of the size of 8 years old boys, wearing tight fitting gray-green suits, big naked pumpkin-like heads with slanted eyes, lipless mouths and pointed chin. They uttered grumbling noises, and eventually returned inside, looking at him through the wall, retracted the gear in a thump and silently floated twenty meters away where it simply disappeared. Masse ran back to Valensole in panic, and thus the owner of Café des Sport saw him and asked what happened, which he partly told him, not mentioning the beings for fear of ridicule. He then made a more complete report to the Gendarmes, who question him 8 hours long.


In the next several weeks, Masse had his sleep cycle severely disrupted by hypersomnia, which he had never suffered of before. In the lavender field, traces of the object were found where the object had landed and the lavender died. Poltergeist-type effects have also been mentioned to have occurred at its ressidence after his UFO experience. Although everyone in Valensole told that Mr. Masse would never have invented a story like this, which was also the conclusion of all field investigators who talked to him, die-hard French skeptics were quick to say that he must have invented everything and must have created the landing trace himself, based on the argument that there can be no extraterrestrial visitors. Other die-hard skeptics such as Claude Maugé promoted the notion that it was just an helicopter - which makes Mr. Masse a liar altogether - some even indulging in the theory that it must have been a "US helicopter secretly spying France" as officials had made clear that no helicopter landing was logged there.

Valensole case in the Press:

Le Provençal France, July 3, 1965 "Did a "flying saucer" land in the Low-Alps?"
Le Dauphiné Libéré France, July 4, 1965 "The gendarmes found strange traces at the place where a farmer from Valensole claims to have seen it".
Le Provençal France, July 4, 1965 "The mystery remains whole on the Valensole "flying saucer"".
Le Méridional France, July 4, 1965 "The Valensole flying saucer".
Journal-American USA, July 4, 1965 "Flying Saucer in France?"
Le Monde France, July 4, 1965 "The flying saucer was undoubteldy an helicopter".
Le Provençal France, July 5, 1965 'Saucer'? Unknown craft? ... but not an helicopter".
Washington Post USA, July 5, 1965 "Frenchman sees 'Flying Object'".
Le Méridional France, July 6, 1965 "The Valensole "saucer": Nervous breakdown for the author of the story".

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This page was last updated on August 4, 2023.