U.F.O. Sightings and Encounters October 27, 1952 Marseilles, France

About a U.F.O. sighting on October 27, 1952 in Marseilles, France, history and account of the encounter and description of the spaceship, official comment on the event.

Encounters with UFOs

OCT. 27, 1952--MARSEILLES, FRANCE

Incident

Gabriel Gachignard was sitting on a bench overlooking an auxiliary runway at Marignane Airport, eating a snack of bread and cream cheese. His job as a customs official kept him at the airport late, and now, at 2:00 A.M., it was quiet; even the usual 2:20 mail flight from Algiers was not expected that night. There was a light cloud cover, and the hangars were illuminated only by the 3-ft.--high red neon letters of a sign--"Marseilles"--that glowed throughout the night.

The Nice--Paris mail plane took off at 2:03, and then, without warning, Gachignard saw a small light approaching down the runway. Its course was straight, and its speed about 150 mph. It came to a dead stop without slowing down first and touched the runway with a barely audible muffled thud. Its approach had been made in total silence.

Gachignard put down his cream cheese sandwich and walked across the runway toward the object. "It had the shape of a football," he recalls, "with very pointed ends." He estimated the object's dimensions to be 3 ft. high and 15 ft. long. The underside was in shadow, but along the top was a row of four square windows, from which emanated a pulsing light, ghostly and soft, which changed colors from bluish to greenish in a sort of throbbing pattern.

"But suddenly," Gachignard said, "when I was not more than 50 yd. away from it, I saw a shower of sparks... tiny white glowing particles, spurt out from under the rear end... the cigar took off so suddenly, and with such irresistible force that I lost my self-control and retreated instinctively."

The object shot off into the sky at a terrific speed. Gachignard immediately tried to find someone who had seen the UFO. He returned to the hangar, where he found everyone asleep. He telephoned the control tower, but no one there had seen it either. It was not a busy night, and the tower staff had little reason to watch anything but the main runway.

Everyone who has interrogated Gachignard has come away impressed with the fact that he sincerely believes his own account. His reputation in the customs service is excellent; he is known as a solid, reliable man with no motive to lie.

Eyewitness Report

"I wondered what was going to happen, whether the machine was going to shoot flames or rush over me! I certainly believed there was danger. And besides, even if I couldn't see √ęthem' clearly, because the machine was in the shadow of the building, √ęthey' could see me perfectly, silhouetted against the light of the neon sign."--Gabriel Gachignard

Official Comment

"I asked him to tell me the Marignane story... the account given by this excellent man (whom I submitted to every possible question, trying to trap him into a contradiction) coincides exactly with his earlier statements."--A French physicist who examined Gachignard at length

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