Trans-en-Provence Casetrans-en-provence case
The Trans-en-Provence Case was an event where an unidentified flying object is claimed to have left physical evidence, in the form of burnt residue on a field The event took place on January 8, 1981, outside the town of Trans-en-Provence in the French departement of Var It was described in Popular Mechanics as "perhaps the most completely and carefully documented sighting of all time"
- 1 Event details
- 2 Analysis of evidence
- 3 Impressions and explanations
- 4 Analysis
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The case began on January 8, 1981 at 5pm Renato Nicolaï, a 55-year-old farmer, heard a strange whistling sound while performing agricultural work on his property He then saw a saucer-shaped object about eight feet in diameter land about 50 yards 46 m away at a lower elevation
According to the witness, "The device had the shape of two saucers, one inverted on top of the other It must have measured about 15 meters in height It was the color of lead This device had a ridge all the way around its circumference Under the machine I saw two kinds of pieces as it was lifting off They could be reactors or feet There were also two other circles which looked like trapdoors The two reactors, or feet, extended about 20 cm 8 in below the body of the machine"
Nicolaï claimed the object took off almost immediately, rising above the treeline and departing to the north east It left burn marks on the ground where it had supposedly sat
The local gendarmerie were notified of the event the following day by Nicolaï directly on the advice of his neighbor's wife, Mrs Morin The gendarmerie proceeded to interview Nicolaï, take photos of the scene, and collect soil and plant samples from the field The case was later sent to GEIPAN—or GEPAN Groupe d'Étude des Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non-identifiés as it was known at that time—for review
Analysis of evidence
GEPAN analysis noted that the ground had been compressed by a mechanical pressure of about 4 or 5 tons, and heated to between 300 and 600 °C 572 and 1,112 °F Trace amounts of phosphate and zinc were found in the sample material, and analysis of resident alfalfa near the landing site showed chlorophyll levels between 30% and 50% lower than expected
Impressions and explanations
Nicolaï had initially believed the object to be an experimental military device The close proximity of the site to the Canjuers military base makes such a theory generally plausible However, GEPAN's investigation focused on conventional explanations, such as atmospheric or terrain causes of a terrestrial nature But despite a joint investigation by GEPAN and the gendarmerie which lasted for two years no plausible explanation was found
Some French scientists insist that the GEPAN investigation was flawed, especially the study of the physical trace
The police report said that the trace, which appeared on an active road, looked like one made by the tire of a car This explanation was dismissed by GEPAN because of the sole witness saying otherwise The physical trace shown on the picture is not a perfect circle, in fact there are two more-or-less semicircles crossing over each other Also, a circular shape does not coincide with the description of the UFO made by Nikolaï In an interview for French television, Nikolaï confirmed that there were vehicles passing by on the road at the time of the sighting
- List of UFO sightings
- UFO sightings in France
- ^ a b c
- ^ Wilson, Jim May 2001 "When UFOs Land" Popular Mechanics 178 5: 66
- ^ a b c National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena: UFO Casebook:1981
- ^ a b UFO Evidence: Renato Nicolai; Trans en Provence, France
- ^ a b c d UFO Skepticorg: UFO Case 4: The Trans-en-Provence Case
- ^ Rossoni, D, Maillot, E, & Déguillaume, E 2007 Les ovnis du CNES – 30 ans d’études officielles wwwbook-e-bookcom extracts from the book Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Critical skeptical investigations of GEPAN's work
- ^ Figuet, M Ed 1995 L’affaire de Trans-en-Provence Dompierre-les-Ormes, SERPAN
- Trans-en-Provence Case - UFO Evidence
- Trans-en-Provence Case - Centre National D'etude Spatiales
- in French Skeptical explanation of this case, by Éric Maillot
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