The cover picture shows the well known Costa Rica " object "
Almost one year (day to day) after the release of a special issue of the magazine VSD entitled " UFO : the scientific proofs " (http://www.finart.be/UfocomHq/vsd.htm), the GS-Presse team (editor of this new issue) publishes a document written by militaries, scientists, and other VIPs of the French defense and intelligence services. These people are known members of a nonprofit organization (ruled under a French law of 1901), named COMETA (COMité d'Etudes Approfondies; in English " Committee for advanced studies ").
The issue is a sort of report which was originally intended to remain confidential and distributed a few French services and Departments. Interestingly, it was also originally addressed to the Président de la République, Jacques Chirac, and to the Premier Ministre (prime minister), Lionel Jospin.
Bernard Thouanel, a journalist at the GS-Presse team (brilliantly animated by François Siégel), is one of the persons who worked to make the report available to the public. I heard that COMETA agreed but stipulated that the report had to be published as it stood, with no comments and no "cuts".
Who are the members of COMETA?
Only "big cheeses"! Amongst others, one finds there Mr. Christian Marchal (a chief executive from Ecoles des Mines), Hon. Michel Algrin (an attorney), the French Air Force General Denis Letty, the Admiral Marc Merlo, Mr. Alain Orszag (the chief civil officer responsible for armament, and also André Lebeau (a former président of the CNES, the French equivalent of NASA), the renown Jean-Claude Ribes (astrophysicist, former director of the Lyon Observatory de Lyon) and General Bernard Norlain, a former director of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale; in English " Institute for advanced studies on National Defense). Some other members might have wished to remain anonymous.
The report is organized as follows:
* Introductory note by Pr.
* Preface, by General Norlain
* Forewords, by Général Denis Letty
Part - Facts and testimonies
- Chapter 1 : Testimonies from French pilots
- Chapter 2 : Other air encounters around the world
- Chapter 3 : Observations from the ground
- Chapter 4 : Close encounters in France
- Chapter 5 : Elucidated cases
* 2nd Part - Our knowledge: state-of-the art
- Chapter 6 : The organization of UFO research in France
- Chapter 7 : GEPAN/SEPRA - Methods and results
- Chapter 8 : UFO - The hypotheses: modelization attempts
- Chapter 9 : The organization of UFO research in other countries
* 3rd Part - UFO and Defense
- Chapter 10 : Strategic prospective
- Chapter 11 : Aeronautical inference
- Chapter 12 : Scientific and technical inferences
- Chapter 13 : Political and religious inferences
- Chapter 14 : Inference at the " media " level
* Conclusions and
- annex 1 : Radar detection over France
- annex 2 : The observations made by astronomers
- annex 3 : Life in the Universe
- annex 4 : Space colonization
- annex 5 : The Roswell case: about misinformation
- annex 6 : How old is the UFO phenomenon - Elements of chronology
- annex 7 : Thoughts on various psychological, sociological and political aspects of the UFO phenomenon.
* Literature cited
There is also an eight-page insert, from Bernard Thouanel. COMETA indicates that these pages as well as pages 2 and 91 were not in the original report.
For the people aware of the UFO problematic, and for the researchers, the elements included in this report will not bring new data. No scoop! One can even find a 1995 case that was processed in " real time " by UFOCOM, in association with a journalist from the French TV channel TF1 and the former responsible for the investigation at SOBEPS, a Belgian, UFO study group. We are quite pleased to note that the respectable members of the Committee have also regarded the file as " unexplained ". This case is known as the " Bariloche file " (see our report Bariloche 95 and its English version).
The real new thing relates to the " status " of the authors. They are all VIPs, and not " ufo freaks "! In addition, one can read some quite interesting sentences in the report. I retained one, on page 7, which fits well the " investigation spirit " of UFOCOM : "The UFO phenomenon implicates defense in a broad sense and calls for a number of actions that will be examined in the last part [of the report] : [ ] - with regards to the strategic, political, and religious consequences that may have the putative confirmation of an E.T. hypothesis, the bizarre connotation of which having to be dropped from now on."
It said it! Studying the UFO phenomenon is not ridiculous! the E.T. hypothesis may now be examined under the lights of objectivity and serenity.
Importantly, the document is also a challenge to several US authorities originating from several respectable persons working in various state-run, French institutions. These persons also targeted the sociologist Pierre Lagrange, the work of whom being moderately appreciated by the COMETA. Quote: "In France, sociologist Pierre Lagrange appears to be a victim of abridging misinformation. ". This appears page 78, under " The Roswell case: about misinformation". It is really a big stone in the garden of the " psycho-sociologists ". Meanwhile, Bertrand Méheust, known as a " skeptic ", publishes a book dealing with the Belgian wave, 10 years later. Today, he admits that the socio-psychological hypothesis seems "costly" and acknowledges the " unusual " aspect of this " real problem " (see la lettre de promo in French - translation pending), leading to the " unexplained ". This " heading " modification is noticeable if the book, which I have not read yet, is in the spirit of the letter written by Bertrand Méheust.
The authors of the report talk about US " secrets ". Though I am convinced that other files could be found in some French drawers (I have read nothing about the " landing " in Forbach, in 1954), it is very likely that the USA have more information on UFO than the European do. Unless....
Everything in this document is constructed to draw the reader towards what is said to be the only " viable " conclusion of the UFO question: the E.T. hypothesis. This hypothesis is now more " believable " at least for the readers of VSD. Last year, 100,000 copies of the special issue of VSD dealing with UFOs were published. The figure for the current special issue might be higher. However, even at the French national level, this is not a best-seller. Only one step in the right direction. Furthermore, this trend has to be confirmed. It is time for the major medias in France to pay some attention to these questions. I am sure that this report would be of interest to the people involved in UFO research in USA and elsewhere in the world.
Though the COMETA report does not bring any new data in terms of understanding of the UFO question, the E.T. hypothesis has gained some credit. Thus if you mention this hypothesis during a debate, and if you are consequently called a buffoon or a naive, you may well exhibit the two issues of VSD right under the nose of your opponent asking him: " And General Norlain, is he also a buffoon? ". Now, he will have to be reasonable because now it is reasonable to evaluate the hypothesis of the existence of one or more E.T. life forms.
But beware! I wrote "evaluate the hypothesis" and not "definitely conclude". Indeed there are some other hypotheses as strong as the E.T. one - at least on a conceptual basis - which are not discussed by COMETA. Time for instance. But this is another story.
May I advice you to get and read this report? The was it is written is more enlightening than what is written. Anyway, I believe that this report is really a " premiere " (a " first time ") at least in France.
Some persons might argue that VSD is not a top investigation magazine and that it is rather a sort of " people " magazine. Well, I have to mention that the journalist teams in charge of the " regular " VSD and those in charge of the " special issues " are not the same. Even if this report had published by the worst of the " trash " magazines, it is signed only by VIPs, and not by journalists.
The media used is interesting: it makes the report available at low cost: 35 FF. (about 5 Euros or 5 US $). Besides the magazine is not that of an UFO study association, or is not dedicated to the study of the UFO question. It aims at " targeting " a broad audience within the population.
It might well be useful that a " renown " paper of the French Press now seriously investigate. Also, why this should be limited to France? Other countries such as Belgium, Germany or United Kingdom surely might express an opinion. So when will we get a UAP (unidentified aerial phenomenon) committee at the EU level? A Belgian Minister (now the President of the French-speaking government), Mr. M. Ellio Di Rupo, made this request about 10 years ago! He also is a person who can be trusted. His uprightness and honesty are acknowledged.
Europe cannot ignore anymore the UFO question! The published report, as limited it can be, must a the green light for inciting the institutions of the " Eurozone " (or Euroland) to pay more attention to these questions. It would be strange to leave this question to the only USA. Besides we have already lost enough time and left open trails to too many impostors and too many sects. Even though the death toll is not too high, it may well be just a beginning. Just remember the cases of collective suicides: Heaven's gate, OTS (note from translator: Ordre du Temple Solaire or Solar Temple Order), etc.
The people who wrote this report are courageous with respect to their status. I know of several scientists whom professional carriers were seriously affected as soon as they just mentioned the ET hypothesis. Nowadays, several scientists working for UFOCOM wish to remain anonymous and to work " undercover ", not to be exposed to " heavy fire " from their colleagues. The VSD document will probably help some of them and help some laboratory leaders or department heads to be more " understanding " or - may be - to pay more attention to this question.
To conclude, I wonder what are the conclusions drawn by the French President and Prime Minister from the COMETA report. Because, yes, they have read it. If I were the chief editor at " Le Monde " (note from translator: one of the most prominent French Journals) or that of the " evening news " at TF1 or any other TV channels, these are typically interviews I would love to get! When will we know the opinion of the members of our governments? Is that a naive question? I do not think so. " Stuffs " do fly over our heads that cannot be explained by the only " Open skies " agreement (see our pages on this topic at http://www.nawcwpns.navy.mil/~treaty/Open_Skies.html!
Authorities will also have to consider a broad scientific implication if they do not want conspirators to divagate freely and witness the UFO file disappearing under an already strong " background noise " as exemplified by words such as: " How could you trust the Army ?". This also would be a victory of democracy in its broad sense. Is this utopia?
OK. Let's hope that this does not take another 50 years! Let's also hope that some folks will stop obstructing methodically these files, and that other dudes (sometimes funny, sometimes not funny) will drop their delirious behavior.
Thierry, July 18, 1999..
Translated from French by Yves, " SCI team ", August 1999.
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