- Trans-en-Provence Case
The Trans-en-Provence Case is one of the rare cases where a
UFOis said to have left physical evidence, in the form of burnt residue from a field. The event took place on January 8 1981, outside the town of Trans-en-Provencein the French "département" of Var. [http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=070322143210.oy201j5u&show_article=1 BreitBart.com: France opens secret UFO files covering 50 years] ]
The case began on
January 8, 1981at 5pm. Renato Nicolaï, a fifty-five year-old farmer[http://www.nicap.org/1981.htm National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena: UFO Casebook:1981] ] , heard a strange whistling sound while performing agricultural work on his property. He then saw a saucer-shaped object about eight feet in diameterland about convert|50|yd 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 1.5 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 below the body of the machine." [http://www.ufoevidence.org/Cases/CaseSubarticle.asp?ID=111 UFO Evidence: Renato Nicolai; Trans en Provence, France] ]
Gendarmeriewere notified of the event the following day by Mr. Nicolaï directly on the advices of his neighbor's wife, Mrs Morin. [http://www.ufoskeptic.org/trans.html UFO Skeptic.org: UFO Case 4: The Trans-en-Provence Case] ] . The Gendarmerie proceeded to interview Mr. Nicolaï, take photos of the scene, and collect soiland plantsamples 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
pressureof about 4 or 5 tons, and heated to between 300 and 600 degrees Celsius. Trace amounts of phosphateand zincwere found in the sample material, and analysis of resident alfalfanear the landing site showed chlorophylllevels between 30 and 50 percent lower than expected.
Impressions and explanations
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.
The French skeptics [Rossoni, D., Maillot, E., & Déguillaume, E. (2007). Les ovnis du CNES – 30 ans d’études officielles. www.book-e-book.com. [http://www.zetetique.fr/page/doc.php?publication=1&ecritId=37 (extracts from the book)] . Critical skeptical investigations of GEPAN's work.] insist that the GEPAN investigation was flawed, especially the study of the physical trace [Figuet, M. (Ed.) (1995). L’affaire de Trans-en-Provence. Dompierre-les-Ormes, SERPAN.] .
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 semi-circles crossing over each other. Also, a circular shape does not coincide with the description of the UFO made by Mr. Nikolaï. In a recent interview for French television, Mr. Nikolaï confirmed that they were vehicles passing by on the road at the time of the sighting.
The GEPAN came very late on the field, after the French
Gendarmerie, other ufologists and curious people, so the physical trace could simply have been altered in it chemical composition by the people walking on it.
* [http://www.temporaldoorway.com/ufo/report/810108.htm Trans-en-Provence Case - The Temporal Doorway]
* [http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case110.htm Trans-en-Provence Case - UFO Evidence]
* [http://marcogee.free.fr/ovni/sepra/nt16.htm#1 Trans-en-Provence Case - Centre National D'etude Spatiales]
* [http://www.zetetique.ldh.org/tep.html Skeptical explanation of this case, by Éric Maillot]
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