- Commentaries From UFOCOM
- On August 10th, we received a call from
a family living in Quaregnon (Belgium). They observed a similar triangular
object, flying very slowly, only a few meters above the roofs of the houses.
This observation would have been performed on June 27, 1998.
- Yves, a member of the "Sciences"
team at the UFOCOM, called CEOF to obtain a copy of the video shot in Charleville-Mézières
to investigate the tape and the recorded data. A letter confirming our
will to critically analyze the images (see for instance our work entitled
" The Face " INSERER ICI LE LIEN HYPERTEXTE) was also sent on
August 14, 1998..
- Investigation pending....
- (Thanks to Yves for this quite busy day
and thanks to Xavier for the press release! Congratulations to CEOF Ardennes
for their efficiency!).
- (from Frédéric, UFOCOM)
- Friday, August 14 1998, 15h42 : Yves,
a member of the "Sciences" team of the UFOCOM, phoned to the
Air Traffic Control Center (ATCC) at Reims!
- Yves sent us this message:
- [...] I finally got in touch with the
ATCC in Reims, in charge of the North- East sector of France. I was redirected
(that's the appropriate word) to a very nice person who explained me, as
I though, that civil ATCC cannot see unexpected radar echoes (note from
the translator: these are called " bogeys " my the Air Force),
since their control system is not "designed" to operate in this
- [In Reims,] ATC works based on emission
and reception of radio signals from a special radio transmitter which is
part of the equipment of all plane (tourism and liner), and termed a transponder.
- If the transponder is activated, any
aiplane can be seeen and identified by its coodinates, plus flight parameters
such as altitude, vertical and horizontal speed. Military aircrafts flying
over North Europa are also supposed to use transponders allowing their
identification as military planes. The ATC member to whom I talked told
me that they cannot "see" a plane which transonder won't be working
(as it may happen from a breakdown or if it is shut off). In other words,
Reims Control as most ATCC can see only the planes which "want"
to be seen. I doubt that the aircraft observed Monday night (if this phenomenon
is indeed an aircraft) whished to be seen on ATCC control screens! Anyway,
it seems that nothing unusual was seen by these folks! Yves, UFOCOM SCI
- Comments by Thierry, Gen. Coord. UFOCOM
- Hi Yves,
- [...] a comment on Reims ATCC answer
to your call: their radars are supposed to see "everything" and
the transponders allow only the identification of the planes. Unidentified
aircrafts is termed an "angel" by civil ATCC. A plane with no
radar identification crossing an ATCC zone is seen! Indeed , these gauys
have to prevent all intrusion and jams within flight corridors [...] a
situation which may lead to air collision. This was the case during the
so- called "Belgian Wave". ATC at Bruxelles-National Airport
recorded "angels" with unusual behavior. Professor Meessen spottd
them by examining carefuly radar data. [...]
- Amicalement, Thierry
- Saturday, August 15, 1998, 16h57 (GMT):
AFP Press Release
- (from Robert Fischer, independent investigator)
- ã AFP Général -
Saturday August 15, 1998 - 16:57 GMT Miscellaneaous-OVNI Traces and strange
noise related to a UFO in Haute-Marne.
- CHAUMONT, August 15, 1998 (AFP). Inexplicable
traces were spotted in an orchard, and strange noises were heard by several
persons on Monday and Friday in Prauthoy, a village located south of Langres
(Haute-Marne, France). These features led the inhabitants to think that
a flying object may have landed in their village, claimed the mayor on
- "Monday, at 23H00, several of us
heard a loud noise, lighter than that of a plane, which lasted for a long
time ", told mayor Philippe Badet. according to him, it was "a
flying object,but not a plane". Some 2à people saw lights,
- A neighbor saw "two red and one
white lights in the sky, that were not moving".
- On Friday, abnormal traces were found
in an orchard. These appeared as two parallel lines, on dry grass, 25 m
long and 70 cm wide, 8 to 9 m one from the otherl'une de l'autre. A triangle
is visible in between, according to the mayor.
- The firemen and the "gendarmes"
from Langres and Chaumont tok various pictures. Soil and plants were ampled
for further analysis. Results of the analysis are negative, said the "gendarmerie".
- A team specialized in detecting and identifying
radioactive elements was sent there and performed series of measurements.
These did not reveal any traces of radioactivity.
- Earlier this week, a UFO was seen by
at least 150 persons in the Sedan and Carignan region (Ardennes, Fance),
as reportedby the representant of the Centre d'Etudes OVNI France.
- Saturday August 15, 1998, 22h49: a message
from a private pilot
- Below is the copy of a mail sent to UFOCOM
by Mr. Benjamin V., a private pilot from Reims (France), who reacted to
the above reports. He confirmed the data provided by ATCC to Yves concerning
the cicil ATC system. Mr. Benjamin V. will continue to investigate this
question and gave us his word to keep us informed. Here also, investigation
- I am living in Reims. Here is a CCR (ATCC),
i.e. a civil control center, and an Air Force base.
- As a private pilot, and a real fan of
military traffic control, I visited both above mentionned installations.
I confirm taht Reims ATCC cannot see aircrafts flying without operating
transponders, because people ther use what are called secondary radars
yielding only a digital image of the air corridors around, from the data
transmetted by the transponders. In no case, could ATC detect an aircraft
which would have turned the transponder off. ATC therefore does not have
the exact image of the air trafic over the controlled zone. The Army and
the Air Force use so-called primary radars (as they were designed initially)
which provide them with non-processed images. Such a system would be of
no use for cicil ATC considering the very high number of planes flying
in a given sector. With a primary radar, one can see all object on which
radar waves bounce, from ULM to B747. But one can also see rainy or snowy
zones because they indeed reverberate the radar waves. Mlitary radar can
thus see all planes rpovided they fly suficiently high not to be hidden
from the radar waves.
- Reims Local Control was closed on Monday
evening since military flighs from this base essentially occurs on Tuesday
and Thursday. [...]
- I will try to ask a few friends who are
ATCers at Cambrai-Epinoy, Nancy-Essey, Toul and St Dizier whether they
- Anyway, radar stations from the Control
and Detection Centers (CDC) at Dracchenbrönn (call sign Riesling,
controlling the NE part of France) and at Doullens (call sign Mazout, controlling
N part of France) are operating 24 hrs a day to detect all intruders over
French territory. The Belgian Air Force bases can also get data from this
zone, as well as the NATO AWACS based at Geilenkirchen. I do not knwo whether
French AWACS were in the air on Monday night.
- Considering the number of AF bases in
the NE of France, in Benelux, and in Germany, and the range of military
radars, I doubt that none of those which could have traced the phenomenon
were turned off!
- For your information, and on the contrary
to what is written above, all liners and military airplanes are fited with
a transponder, but they are not compulsory on private planes [...] except
in some high trafic area where safety reasons obviously call for the use
of a transponder.
- Benjamin V."
- Sunday August 16, 1998: Nothing new!
- A few thoughts...
- Excepted some news from the United States
about triangular UFO sightings on the territory, nothing to report. The
Americans know what is happening in France. We have contacted the newsgroups
"alt.paranet.ufo", "alt.ufo.reports" and others have
been informed by European subscribers.
- Germany, Spain, Italy and England seem
to have broadcast the information in the national media. Curiously, nothing
at the French-speaking Belgian televisions!
- Recently, we investigated about crop-circles
in Belgium, and I wrote an article from the report of Alain (UFOCOM investigator,
Inquiries Team). The affair was in fact a hoax made by a Dutch-speaking
Belgian TV. At the end of this article I wished the next "wave"
did not take place in our country, because of the community problems! Well,
it takes place in France... (humour!!!)
- Many people have thought of a Belgian-like
wave. I sincerely hope that the conclusions of those recent observations
will not be similar. French, you have a right to ask questions! Maybe it
is a military test (with exotic aspects), or a real UFO, but we must know.
Show your reasonable and serene interest in this problem. Do not be deceived
par some strange sects or flying-saucer buffs! Do not listen to loud and
easy explanations: Accept your curiosity and try to understand! If you
are not convinced of something, take the necessary steps yourselves! Ask
the people who should or could know. Science is an unavoidable tool, it
symbolises our brain. But do not forget your eyes and ears: the army and
the State. What the UFOCOM does, you can do individually! Anyone who can
write can ask. If you do not receive an answer, it does not matter.
- I think it is time for the European community
to get a "professional" organisation that would have the means
to manage and to study the UFO files. I do not think that the armies conspire
against their own populations. But perhaps they conspire FOR them.
- I want to inform my ufologist "colleagues"
that they will have tens of rubbish accounts and hoaxes. Maybe, broadcasting
immediately the images is a bad idea. In practical terms, the accounts
that come after this broadcast can not be as much credible as the previous
ones. It is a shame, but not a tragedy.
- On the other hand, if we did not say
anything, the isolated witnesses would keep silence, for fear of ridicule.
Thus let us be open but also careful and prudent.
- Monday August 17, 1998 : our correspondents
- One of our correspondents called us around
6:30pm to report that the RTBF Radio said that a lady from Florenville,
Belgium, observed the Ardennes triangle at the same date, Monday, 10th
of August. This witness would have called the Belgian gendarmerie. We expect
to know more.
- Some news from Jérome (UFOCOM)
- - Saturday, 15th of August, TF1 (French
TV) news : In the Ardennes, a young boy who was fishing (I think with his
father) got a first-degree burn, falling in the river. This burn is thought
to be due to "white phosphorus" from a military shell (as far
I understood, the shell has not been found out).
- - Monday, 17th of August, 9:00am, programme
about UFO on the "Europe 1" radio station. The French sociologist
Pierre Lagrange was invited. Witnesses called, among other things, about
the Ardennes. I learned that an other observation, similar to the one of
Monday evening, was made on Friday, 14th of August, 1998, in Haute-Marne,
- Monday August 17, 1998, 7:00pm (Paris
time) : Discussion with Mr Lemaire of CEOF
- At the beginning of the evening, I was
phoned by Mr Lemaire of CEOF-Ardennes. We agreed on a technical collaboration.
Mr Lemaire will send us the video documents (copy from the original for
the Charleville video), and our "ADV" Team (Visual Documents
Analysis) will examine them. We will write a report and send it to CEOF
with our authorisation to use it. Of course, we will publish it on our
site too. This agreement is fully bilateral! I underline the fact that
we have never talked about money! It is rare enough to write it! Not everyone
is Santilli... It still exist honest people.
- While he was at it, Mr Lemaire told me
about his trip, this day, to Prauthoy, where he examined the marks mentioned
by the AFP release of Saturday, 15th of August (see above). According to
him, those marks have nothing to do with the recent observations. However,
he took earth samples for analysis. Some of them will be sent to us. I
am surprised of how rapidly the French gendarmerie has carried out those
analysis. The samples were taken a Monday, at summer time, and the conclusion
came out the next Saturday. A biologist, researcher at CNRS (French National
Centre for Scientific Research), told me that sometimes, several weeks
were necessary for this sort of analysis. Well... If the gendarmerie was
seized, there will automatically be a follow-up to SEPRA.
- I advice the witnesses to relate their
observations to the gendarmerie, so that they will be received by SEPRA.
I also ask them, while they are at it, to contact a private investigation
group, like CEOF, GUIDE, the UFOCOM or other... Just for information.Mr
Lemaire has been receiving hundreds of calls! And he must check everything!
An enormous work... There could be interesting things... To be continued...
- N.B. : May the people who write us forgive
us if it takes long to be replied. ;-)
- A triangular UFO flew over the Ardennes
- Page 2 (week of the 20th of august)
- Thursday 20th of August, 1998
- TV news on RTBF (French-speaking Belgian
television), 7:30pm : report on UFO observations. A correspondent who saw
the document says:
- "Interviews of the CEEPA officials
(Air Phenomenon Study European Centre, in Quaregnon, Belgium) and Michel
Bougard, the SOBEPS president (Space Phenomenon Study Belgium Society)
were carried out.
- Pascale Degens and Christian Daubioul,
respectively general secretary and president of CEEPA were enthusiastic
about the strangeness of the recent observations. Mr Bougard was more careful
and cautious. CEEPA asked for witnesses."
- I unfortunately missed those news and
this sequence has not been broadcast again during the last news, at 11:30pm.
- Account of Mr R.V., from Tiff (Esneux),
nearby Liège, Belgium, 8:48pm:
- "(...) During the night from the
9th to 10th of August, 1998, around 3:30am, I saw, or I think that I saw,
an UFO. As a baker, I go out from time to time to get some air and to observe
the sky, which is one of my passions. About 10:00pm, I was already out
and, after watching TV, I was looking at shooting stars. To the east, a
rising planet was brought to my attention, it was very bright. I supposed
it was Jupiter. At 3:30am, when I looked again, I was drawn to this light,
but this time not to the south, and not on the ecliptic (if was a planet,
i should normally have been lower on the horizon). As I looked at this
light, I had the impression that it was moving.
- This light indeed moved, it moved forward
and then turned to the left and I had the impression that it went up to
the sky. After that, nothing else. This light was very high in the sky
(it seems to me), although I had the impression there was a sound of a
- The day after, I listened to the radio,
but nothing was reported. I tried to contact SOBEPS, but I did not have
their phone number anymore, and the Belgacom did not find it.
- This evening, the 20th of August, I saw
at the RTBF news a report on these observations Then I tried to find out
a Internet site.
- I talked about SOBEPS because during
a few years, around '68, I was a member.
- Thank you for having read my mail, I
am at your disposal."
- Electronic mail, 10:14pm:
- I received an e-mail from Mr Jacques
Antoine, an experienced Belgian investigator, who kindly sent me scans
of several articles published in Belgian regional newspapers. Click on
the picture to obtain a readable version (in French). Mr Antoine also confirmed
the RTBF report.
- "L'Ardennais" 12th of August,
- "L'Ardennais" 13th August,
- "L'Avenir du Luxembourg" 18th
of august, 1998
- Friday, 21st of August, 1998
- 9:00am, receipt of de la video sent by
Mr Lemaire, CEOF :
- As promised, Mr Lemaire sent a videotape
to me, a copy of the original one. Thus I have watched several times the
sequence. The image quality looks a bit better than the one shown at the
French TV, but I think that it will be difficult to draw something from
a graphical point of view. Too many movements of the cameraman, low definition
due to the low camera sensitivity (it would have been necessary to go down
to 2 lux, even more sensitive...), "noise" generated by tue copy,
- Here is an image captured from the video.
- However, the VHS videotape will be sent
to Alain (ADV team), so that he can digitalise the sequence and work on
it as far as possible. It will certainly take time. Our conclusions will
be sent to CEOF. The digitalisation of the sequence will also be published
in our site.
- On the other hand, if the images seem
not to be satisfying, the soundtrack (the two young witnesses conversation
and the background) are more interesting. This part of the record was cut
off during the French TV broadcast. I can easily understand why. I would
say the commentaries are not really polite. According to the witness excitation
and the "spontaneous" aspect of the recording, their language
does not seem to fit the French television standards. ;-) Because of that,
you missed the UFO's sound...
- Thus we fix the problem:
- Click here to listen to the video soundtrack
shown at the French TV.
- Personally, I have the impression that
it is a far reactor sound, or deliberately deafened. We can not really
say it is a breath... or a real "deep" sound. But there is a
noise, which I hardly dare to call "mechanical"...
- At this stage, it is not easy to link
it to the "Belgian wave" because the data are very different.
The object features also differ from the Belgian triangles', which were
quiet, slow, sometimes stationary, sometimes moving at a very low altitude
(less than 5 metres), accelerating incredibly and turning with right angles,
as far I remember.
- In brief, as I had said previously, this
affair has "strangeness level" much lower the Belgian wave's.
- So far, I have the feeling that the UFO
could be a "UP" (Uunidentified Plane). But I want to be prudent
and to wait for the later analysis. It would be important that the French
army tell us its version or judgement. It seems highly improbable that
radar did not detect anything. I could understand that civilian controls
was eluded, but not the French military radar system. Neither were the
Belgian's and German's.
- Moreover, co-operation agreements exist
about the European space survey.
- If this object is not Frenchn can it
be Russian or American and fly other the French territory? That is the
question asked by many people! And everybody answers: "No, it is not
possible! If they were caught in the act, it would be a major diplomatic
incident!" It was also what I thought, till some months ago... But
we were wrong!
- In fact, it exists an international treaty,
signed in 1992 in Sweden, called 'Open Skies"! Scoop! This treaty
allows unarmed military planes to freely fly over the signatory countries!
The first rehash was written in '55 by Eishenower. The idea was relaunched
in '89 by Georges Bush and was given shape to in '92. I can already hear
some people asking "Proofs!". Well I advice to connect the Navy
site: http://www.nawcwpns.navy.mil/~treaty/Open_Skies.html or the USAF
30th Space Wing: http://www.vafb.af.mil/orgs/cct/opensky.htm or the "On-Site
Inspection Agency" (OSIA): http://www.osia.mil/ops/mainpg/os.html
What is more official that official sites of official American army?
- To sum up, the USA can fly over any area
of the French territory and take photos or other data. So can the French.
Nothing prevents them -if they respect the quota imposed by the treaty-
to fly over American military areas.
- Who has signed this treaty? Almost everyone,
except China. Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, France, Belgium, Germany, England,
the United States, Canada, etc. have signed it. I don't think that I commit
myself if I say that the northern hemisphere is, for the moment, "militarily"
unified. In a few years, China should also sign. Some years ago, it signed
"co-operation" pact for peace in the Pacific Ocean with Russia,
Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States. This information was broadcast
at the TV "Euronews". I don't really remember the date (surely
- Therefore, we can wonder about the identity
of a potential enemy. While the American government and all the soldiers
tell us that that the battle field moves to the cities (bomb attacks, urban
guerrillas, civil wars), they are preparing a strategic, and no tactic,
global defence arsenal (see, for example, our article about the MIRACL
- Do we have to expect a Iraqi air attack?
Of course, no. What is the marginal nation (out of the present world-unification
line), which could cause us troubles? That is where these UFO stories can
lead ;-) These were the present reflections.
- Saturday, 22nd, Sunday, 23rd and Monday,
24th of August '98.
- We received account from a person living
in the Liege region, Belgium, who, with relatives, would have made the
- "(...) In front of me, was, more
or less 40km away, Maastricht, Holland. The object came from there at high
speed and following a random trajectory (it went up, down, and so on).
The light was so decreased by its speed, nor by its trajectory. It approached
us up to 1km and then went up vertically over 100m, in 2 seconds!!!!!!
It came down again and went away to my left following again a "crazy"
trajectory. I could not see the object's shape but it was very bright and
apparently did not have a light in the centre. But all over his surface
and around, was an very intense light. The object was at least 50-metre
- Mr Lemaire, CEOF responsible of the Ardennes
region, pointed out to me, by fax, the 22nd of August, that not all the
details from the accounts he received were told to the media, for preserving
the objectivity of further declarations that could be made after the TV
and press release, the 13th.
- Jean-Luc Lemaire also informed me that
he almost does not receive any new account.
- Thus we can say that it is not a "wave",
if we take into account the French- Belgian observations. On the other
hand, the English-speaking newsgroups are full of accounts about flying
triangles in Chile, in the United States and in Germany. The only constant
there is the triangular shape of the objects. Objectively, it is impossible
to take all those stories into account.
- So far, according to the "features"
of the Ardennes object, I repeat we can not say that it has a high strangeness
- It is also funny to note that the affair
comes right after the Sturrock report and the publication of a special
issue of the French magazine "VSD", called "UFO: the scientific
- Also it is surprising to hear, after
this affair, the French sociologist Pierre Lagrange congratulates the SOS
OVNI organisation, of which the responsible, Perry Petrakis, works for
the "X-Factor" the French issue magazine, but also for their
own publication "Phénoména". In the last issue
of this magazine, is a description of Jean-Jacques Vélasco, the
SEPRA director (Atmospheric Phenomenon Expert Service) of CNES, (Space
Study National Centre), where he is shown as a marginal. I think this article
is out of place according to the fact that Mr Vélasco lost his son
- Finally, Yves, of our "SCI"
team, contacted Mr Petrakis in order to know his position about the events
in the Ardennes. In brief, he and other SOS OVNI members think, according
to the broadcast video, that the phenomenon could be a plane. However,
it does not give more information. Thus, we will need to connect on the
organisation Minitel server (not free), or to buy the next issue of Phénoména,
to learn more...