UFO Conjectures

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The 1965 Socorro-like incident in France

From Wikipedia:
"The Valensole UFO incident took place on July 1, 1965, in a lavender field next to Valensole inAlpes-de-Haute-Provence, France. The witness was Maurice Masse, a farmer who, according to researchers, would have no reason to fabricate his account of the incident.
On the day in question, Masse was doing routine work around his property. When he stopped to rest, he heard a sharp noise, and looked around to see what had caused it.
He found a large spherical object the size of a compact automobile. He then saw two small beings near the object, crouching and observing some plants, and wondered what two "children" would be doing in his field.
As he came closer, one of the beings saw him and both of them stood. One of them pointed a strange object towards Masse, who was immediately paralyzed, although his senses kept working.
The being put down the object it had used to incapacitate Masse, and turning to its companion, began a discussion in an unknown language. This allowed Masse to observe the beings in more detail. They were just above one meter high, with smooth, pale skin. Their heads were large with almost no necks. Their eyes were human-looking, despite the absence of eyelids. They wore dark blue clothing.
While the beings conferred, Maurice says he felt somewhat tranquilized. The beings then entered the object, and through a transparent cupola Maurice could see both of them sitting near its controls. The object climbed a meter, flew towards some hills and then suddenly accelerated and disappeared.
Maurice remained paralyzed for about 15 minutes, then recovered. He looked at the place where the UFO had landed. It was very humid, and there was a small indentation in the ground. Days later, the lavender within 5-6 meters of this place inexplicably began to die. Masse said that he slept 12 to 15 hours a night for several months after the incident."
The Valensole case is considered one of the classic UFO reports. Investigations by official and civilian agencies confirmed Masse's sincerity and good character. Laboratory study of the affected soil and plants confirmed the occurrence of an unusual event. Subsequently, Masse confided that in the course of the encounter he experienced some sort of communication with the entities.
A somewhat skeptical but informative piece may be read here:

What interests me is that our British colleague, Barry Peterson, tells us that the "secret" Maurice Masse kept to himself was that he saw a "marking" on the craft, which has never been disclosed although John Spencer hints at that in his book World Atlas of UFOs: Sightings, Abductions, and Close Encounters [Hamlyn Publishing, London, 1991, Page 89 ff.]


  • It would be interesting to know if a more thorough report if available of the continued ground effects.
    GEPAN Technical Note No 16 supposedly contains some information regarding radiation being the most likely cause. I used to have the reports in my late lamented hard drive.
    French skeptics suggested that these effects were caused by truck tires which is humorous to consider.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • I am always intrigued when a report contains an allegation of an anomalous effect produced by a supposed UFO being or its technology. When the anomalous effect was not in the previous experience base of the witness doing the reporting, yet is a real result of advanced technology it is difficult to figure out how the witness could have made it up. (The Roswell memory foil is one of my favorite examples.)

    In this case, it is the "paralysis ray gun". The neuroanatomy of humans contains a division between afferent and efferent nerves--those that carry sensory signals to the brain and those that carry motor signals from the brain. I don't know if the witness in this case knew anything about neuroanatomy, but he was essentially saying that his afferent neurons were working just fine, but his efferent nerves were being blocked (painlessly).

    I wonder if--in the almost 50 years since the time of this sighting--we have developed the technology to selectively block efferent vs afferent nerves?

    By Blogger Larry, at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • Great point, Larry. Another example of an "anomalous effect...not in the previous experience base of the witness" is the car interferce cases of the latge 1950's and early l960's. Automobile engines that would suddenly be stopped in the presence of a UFO or, even more anomalous, car engines that would automatically restart when the UFO departed. The latter phenomona, especially, seems well beyond "previous experience" for the witnesses.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • The witness was Maurice Masse
    Hehe: I have friends who meet him, as the "bar du coin". It is awesome this case is taking so seriously in your countries and by you, UFOlogists.
    Well, that's one more UFO case part of the UFO Gospel and "one of the top". Let it be ;)

    That's ufology, after all.

    This case is adressed in our forum BTW, but that's in French :(



    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • Anyone who thinks that the "paralysis ray" or "car-stopping saucer" tropes weren't part of popular science-fiction long before 1965 doesn't know his own culture very well.

    And that would explain a lot.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • I read the thread Gilles refered to. There does appear to be a bit of a problem regarding Maurice Masse's credibility, as he was known for his tall tales.

    It was even caught on camera soon afterward. See 13:40, OVNI l'incroyable verite le document caché Documentaire Complet.

    Q: Is mr. Masse someone that likes to tell jokes from time to time ?
    A: No. This time, I think he told the thruth.

    A man off-camera has a markedly different opinion.

    By Blogger Yvan D., at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • Challange to Zoam: Present any evidence whatever (prior to 1957)from the SF literature of cars restarting automatically after being stopped by a UFO. Then make the case that your example, if you can find one, became part of the "culture" and that it was somehow absorbed by police officers who reported such incidents.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • RR -Vallee (who I find tedious) covered all this years ago; why don't you ever give him at least a nod? #tryingtobefair

    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • KP:

    It's a matter of exigencies...

    My vast collection of UFO books, given to my son Eric for safekeeping when I went on a protracted sojourn years ago, ended up destroyed or something.

    (I never found out what really happened to the books.)

    All the Vallee books were in that collection, and I haven't repurchased them, even though I was in communication with Mr. Vallee about the Bosco Nedelcovic Villas Boas story a few years earlier, and found Mr. Vallee's theses interesting.

    I now take UFO reports from the books I have collected or recollected, supplementing them with credible internet sources.

    It's just a matter of what I have at hand, and bespeaks no disrespect for Jacques Vallee's work.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • I find the information in Nick Redfern's newest book fascinating, as regrds the Dr. Olson/Pont-Saint-Esprit info.

    One wonders how much is a mind control type experiment, when one reads about actual programs to make people think monsters, or aliens are attacking.

    But then again, I have thought for some time it is a mixture of items: actual event/psyops/mind-bending/control.

    By Blogger Bob Koford, at Wednesday, July 02, 2014  

  • Zoam (and I feel that Zoam and I are on a first name basis) wrote:

    “..Anyone who thinks that the "paralysis ray" or "car-stopping saucer" tropes weren't part of popular science-fiction long before 1965 doesn't know his own culture very well.

    And that would explain a lot.”

    So, if I’m following the logic here, Zoam is saying that if event “A” happens before event “B”, that is sufficient evidence to conclude that A caused B.

    That would explain a lot.

    By Blogger Larry, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • Nick Redfern will appreciate your view(s) Bob....even though they're off-topic here, in this posting.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • Personally, the ground effects and the electrical disturbances are the only threads by which we can hang a hat on. Anyone who doubts anomalous disturbances do occur should survey this "must read" on a case that is the best documented and researched event ever to occur that remains a mystery.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • Larry: "So, if I’m following the logic here, Zoam is saying that if event “A” happens before event “B”, that is sufficient evidence to conclude that A caused B."

    That's the best summary of the psychosocial hypothesis I've read. Thanks.



    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • Larry, attempting to reduce the mass of real-world literature--over a century of science-fiction and "UFO" reports, of which ray guns, death rays, invisible rays, force fields, tractor beams, and invisible electromagnetic interferences of many kinds are but one part--to an elementary fallacy writes,

    || if event “A” happens before event “B”, that [ALONE] is sufficient evidence to conclude that A caused B.||

    Don't be foolish, Larry. You're a smart guy. Is attempting to maintain the "UFO" myth and delusion really worth spinning reality backwards while upside down? That reveals quite a lot about the delusion and the desperation of its advocates.

    And Dominick does more of the same by asking me to show examples of what he should know already and document its--extremely obvious--influence on later cases involving EM effects. Yes, Dom, those sneaky ET have been reading our science-fiction and watching our movies and television for the last century and know exactly what we expect their fantasic otherworldly technology to be! Funny that it's amazingly like our own; I'd expect more. This is the failure of imagination in the "UFO" myth: it's composed entirely of century-old exhausted sci-fi tropes.

    Or like Trent's flying saucer, those nutty ET just happen--by sheer accident out of a godzillion possible technologies in all of time--to possess what we've imagined they might have in twentieth-century sci-fi! C'mon, Dom, what's most likely here?

    "In 1981, Mark Rodeghier published a catalogue of 441 EM events associated with vehicle failures. He calculated this as roughly 1.5% of the UFOCAT pool of cases. His chronology includes one from as early as 1909 involving the temporary failure of a motorcycle headlamp. Two cases are listed in the 1940s, but involved testimony from 1957 and 1968. There are surprisingly few cases in the 1952 wave – two – a stalled car prior to a tall monster encounter and a radio dying inside a car that remains running while witnesses watch an “air blimp.” Neither really involves a saucer!

    "Such effects become more strongly tied to UFOs in the French wave of 1954, when nearly two dozen E.M. cases surface. Databases list sporadic incidents for 1955 and 1956, but they appear to involve backdating, i.e the testimony is given years later. The Levelland flap of 1957 spawns nearly three dozen instances of E.M. interference. Thereafter, it is seems a constant presence in American UFO cases.

    "Scientists could also object that the homogeneity of car stop cases gets a bit clumpy when you take a closer look. While half of Rodeghier’s cases involve a general failure of the engine and electrical system, one quarter involves the engine alone. Sometimes only the headlights fail. Sometimes only the radio fails. Sometimes headlights and radio fail without any engine problems. And while lore usually indicates vehicle interference is a temporary effect – the car re-starts after an encounter – thirty cases are known to involve permanent failure of automobile components." --Martin Kottmeyer, "Engine Stoppers" 2005

    The extremely obvious origins and reason people tell "UFO" stories is the PSH.


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • "That's the best summary of the psychosocial hypothesis I've read."

    Only in the irrational upside-down kook-world of ufoolergy, Don. :-)

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • Zoam, so your proof is "everybody knows"?



    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • Zoam, you are still missing the point (on purpose?). I challanged you to find examples in the SF literature of UFO car stoppings WHERE THE CAR AUTOMATICALLY STARTED BY ITSELF AFTER THE UFO LEFT THE SCENE. I dare say there isn't one (and even if there were it would not be any sort of a "cultural influence".) Moreover, from the Kottmeyer citation, there still is no solid example of AUTOMATIC restarting.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • If a car motor restarted, well it have been blocked by (modern myth) UFO.
    You want examples of S.F where an ET craft have blocked a car motor, or?
    And how the modern myth have surfed on ?

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • Don; It would probably be more beneficial if you didn't try to straw-man the PSH.

    I just provided very good, that is, real-world evidence covering one aspect of the myth: EM effects. The overwhelming weight of all evidence that composes the history of mass delusions, science-fiction and the "UFO" myth makes the PSH the leading hypothesis by far. It's a positive case that exists in the world outside of the "UFO" myth and delusion. The false belief, the latent, media-manufactured false belief that there exists some unknown agency behind the myth was long ago destroyed for rational people by the Null hypothesis: the entire history of "UFOs" has a much more plausible solution, there never were real "UFOs" of any kind.

    See how that works, Don? The Null hypothesis has destroyed the sightings myth by explaining all reports; that being given, the PSH documents the history of the origins of belief and reason why people make "UFO" reports. The PSH neutralizes the delusion.

    Notice that I never had to mention the failure of the pseudoscience of ufoolergy to produce one bit of evidence for any unknown. It was never anything more than spiritualist contrarian antiscience. It's history. Take the red pill, make the delusion history as well. :-)

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • It will be impossible to find flying saucers in serious American SF after the appearance of the saucers in 1947 and before 1965, unless it is satirical. The reason why American SF eschewed the saucers is somewhat off-topic here, so I will not discuss.

    "Popular science fiction" (to quote Zoam) may mean 1950 b movies and serials, and perhaps comic books, though.

    "Popular" doesn't necessarily mean well-known or widely propagated. I saw most of those movies when they were first in the theaters at the kiddie summer matinees at the local movie theater. The audience was kids, not known for paying attention to what was on the screen unless it was monsters or robots.

    In Pre-1965 it was difficult to impossible to see "popular" sf movies from only a year or two past. Many I only read about in magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland. It was decades before a movie I saw as a kid in the early 50s got on vhs (Invaders From Mars).

    Popular or mass culture, the archiving and availability of it, was problematic before vhs and later the internet.

    The one such movie that actually had a car and a flying saucer in it was Earth Vs The Flying Saucers (1957), the opening scene. The saucer tailgates the car, then zooms off into the stratosphere. In this one only instance, the "mcguffin" of the movie is that the driver was recording notes to a reel-to-reel when the saucer appeared. The proof of the witnesses was that the recorder picked up the sound of the saucer which means there was no interference. The car was not stopped by the saucer.

    As far as I know that was the only pre-1965 car and saucer encounter in "popular science fiction"

    What the psychsocial hypothesis lacks is not only evidence that a particular case was influenced by "popular science fiction", but that it doesn't have a thesis as to why certain "popular" things had no influence at all. This lack is why I do not think the psychosocial is scientific. It cannot explain why, for example, people don't report protoplasm-like blob aliens, often with tentacles, which were one of the more popular kinds of aliens beginning with Well's War Of The Worlds. Other popular critters were radiation affected bugs. So, why didn't ranchers in the Southwest not report encounters with giant ants and spiders?

    I'm still waiting to hear why Roswell witness don't report any abductions, cattle (or sheep) mutilations, and crop circles. The PSH needs to address this, too.



    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • I'm still waiting to hear why Roswell witness don't report any abductions, cattle (or sheep) mutilations, and crop circles. The PSH needs to address this, too.

    Lol! Sacred Don!
    The PSH have stated any ufo witnesse must produce/testimoned ALL apspects of this modern myth and sociocultural product? Where, Don, do you have read it?

    If the Roswell mythmakers have not introduce in the Roswell myth, crop-circles, abductions, mutilations, make it the Roswell myth not in adeqution with ufoloogy too? and then not receivable?
    I meant you adressed stupid questions to UFO-skeptics but not to Roswell mythtellers!

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

    Geesh! Reminds me of:
    #38 Use lots of ALL CAPS letters. Use them randomly: "I was posting my URL in alt.paranormal/alt.astrology. Then I was stopped because A MAJORITY OF POSTERS, PSEUDO-SKEPTIC RAVING FANATICS SCREAMED ABOUT IT."

    Dom, please; I'm attempting to be helpful, informative while remaining courteous. Kottmeyer's excellent article is about as exhaustive as one is likely to find on this arcane topic.

    Now which "UFO" report contains the unusual, possibly unique CLAIM (g) that a stopped car restarted automatically after the purported "UFO" left the area? And what is the significance of this minor variation? Do you somehow think this would be a veracious test of the PSH? That's like the claim that Skeptics must explain all "UFO" reports or the "UFO" question remains unresolved. It's nonsense, and good evidence that Believers are fundamentally irrational. So let's see the story, please.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • Enough fellows!

    This posting is about the 1965 Masse report's similarity to the 1964 Socorro report of Lonnie Zamora.

    The veracity of either can be addressed but not the "falsity" of the UFO phenomenon, in toto.

    I will not add further comments at this post that deal with reality or not of UFOs.

    I may open a topic that addresses the issue upcoming, but this is not the place for that -- it's off-topic, by a mile.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, July 03, 2014  

  • "When the anomalous effect was not in the previous experience base of the witness doing the reporting, yet is a real result of advanced technology it is difficult to figure out how the witness could have made it up."

    "Anyone who thinks that the "paralysis ray" or "car-stopping saucer" tropes weren't part of popular science-fiction long before 1965 doesn't know his own culture very well."

    The trope of someone or something pointing a stick at someone or something, and having some sort of effect thereof, has an history dating way before 1965, and science fiction itself. It's called a magic wand. A trope so widespread and prolific, there's even early iconography of Jesus performing his miracles in precisely this way.
    Add in 'Clarke's Third Law', and you see how the transference from magic to technology can easily be made for any fantasy about aliens that anyone may wish to concoct.

    By Blogger scherben, at Sunday, March 06, 2016  

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