Frankrike åpner UFO-arkiv

Hans Rustad

Frank­rike offent­lig­gjør som første land hele sitt arkiv over UFO-historier. Det er 1.600 i tal­let, og 25 pro­sent er av typen “D”, dvs. det fin­nes ingen natur­lig for­kla­ring på dem.

France became the first coun­try to open its files on UFOs Thurs­day when the natio­nal space agency unvei­led a web­site docu­ment­ing more than 1,600 sigh­tings span­ning five decades.

The online archi­ves, which will be updated as new cases are reported, cata­lo­gues in min­ute detail cases ran­ging from the easily dis­mis­sed to a hand­ful that con­ti­nue to per­plex even hard-nosed scientists.

It is a world first,” said Jac­ques Pate­net, the aero­nau­ti­cal engi­neer who heads the office for the study of “non-identified aero­s­pa­tial phenomena.”

Known as OVNIs in French, UFOs have always gene­rated intense inte­rest along with count­less con­spi­racy the­ories about secre­tive govern­ment cover-ups of fin­dings deemed too sen­si­tive or alar­ming for pub­lic consumption.

Cases such as the lady who reported see­ing an object that looked like a fly­ing roll of toi­let paper” are cle­arly not worth investi­ga­ting, said Patenet.

But many others invol­ving mul­tiple sigh­tings -- in at least one case invol­ving thou­sands of people across France -- and evi­dence such as burn marks and radar tra­ck­ings showing flight pat­terns or acce­le­ra­tions that defy the laws of phy­sics are taken very seriously.

A pha­lanx of beefy security guards for­med a bar­rier in front of the space agency (CNES) hea­dquar­ters where the announ­ce­ment was made, “to screen out unin­vited UFO­lo­gists,” an offi­cial explained.

Of the 1,600 cases registe­red since 1954, nearly 25 per­cent are clas­si­fied as “type D”, meaning that “despite good or very good data and cre­dible wit­nes­ses, we are con­fronted with somet­hing we can’t explain,” Pate­net said.

On January 8, 1981 out­side the town of Trans-en-Provence in southern France, for example, a man wor­king in a field reported hea­ring a strange whist­ling sound and see­ing a saucer-like object about 2.5 meters (eight feet) in dia­me­ter land in his field about 50 meters (yards) away.

A dull-zinc grey, the sau­cer took off, he told police, almost imme­dia­tely, lea­ving burn marks. Investi­ga­tors took pho­tos, and then col­lected and ana­ly­zed samp­les, and to this day no satis­factory expla­na­tion has been made.

France opens secret UFO files cove­ring 50 years

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