Aimé Michel

Le premier mystère est: pourquoi y a-t-il quelque chose plutôt que rien?
Et le deuxième, aussi grand que le premier: pourquoi suis-je là en train de penser?


The Valensole Affair

Flying Saucer Review – Vol. 11, n°6, November 1965


You have learned the essential details of the Valensole affair from the excellent text of G.C. who investigated the case on behalf of G.E.P.A. There are one or two small details which need correcting, such as the distance being 90 metres instead of 80, and the fact that M. Masse approached the machine across a vineyard, and not a field of lavender, like this—

The Valensole Affair

Here now are a few additional points:

(a) the traces of the lavender are visible for a good hundred metres or so along the take-off trajectory, as far as a little shanty called La Clermonnette, towards Manosque, and even beyond. These traces are: a degeneration of the young shoots prior to July 1, which are going dry and falling off, and a singular vitality of the shoots after July 1.

(b) For about a week before July 1, M. Masse and his father, who were working daily in their field, noticed on their arrival each morning damage inflicted on the young lavender plants, as if somebody had taken some specimens every night. The plants had not been pulled up, but sprouts had been cut off, or rather broken off and removed from their plant. Thus the two farmers were already puzzled by something abnormal in their field — puzzled and annoyed. So, when, on coming round the mound, M. Masse saw the machine, his first thought was that he had “bagged” the people who were spoiling his lavender every night. So he approached cautiously through the vineyard, so as to take them by surprise. It was when he was near the edge of the vineyard, near Mi, that he saw the “small beings” and realised that he was about to see something out of the ordinary. He hesitated then for a few seconds, and then decided to approach closer, despite his fear. (M. Masse is a man of much courage, an old combatant in the Maquis during the last War.)

In view of all this, we ought to ask ourselves whether the whole Valensole business should not be studied in an altogether new state of mind in the field of Ufological research. In fact the whole thing occurred just as though the pilots of the machine had manoeuvred M. Masse psychologically, first of all by arousing his curiosity and his misgivings during the first days of June, before showing themselves to him on July 1. Such behaviour as this, which is not unique during the present wave, seems to suggest a “managed” psychological preparation. I have already located four zones in France where sightings occur in frequent succession. But a preparation for what? It is useless to set forth hypotheses here that will in any case be outstripped by the time these words are printed. But, as an old searcher in the realm of Ufology, I can however say this: this is the first occasion on which such a degree of familiarity with the phenomenon is attained. Even in 1954, we were reduced to waiting for sightings; in 1965 one has the indefinable sensation of the hunter who scents the game.

In numerous cases witnesses alerted by a first sighting, have been able to confirm it several times during the following days. At Valensole itself, two other sightings in flight and perhaps one other sighting on the ground took place in August and September. I say perhaps, because of the distance away of the witnesses, who were on a neighbouring mountain and were not able to get a detailed view of the luminous object that they observed for ten minutes, at about 3 o’clock in the morning, on the Valensole plateau. (I am investigating this case and cannot yet give you any more details.)

(c) One very important point in the Masse evidence is the following: at the moment when the object took off, it very rapidly developed a great speed and completely vanished at twenty metres.

Aimé Michel: How do you mean vanished? Do you mean that the speed became so great that you were no longer able to follow it with your eyes?

Maurice Masse: I can’t see any other explanation. But my impression was different from that: at one moment I could see it very well; and the following instant I could no longer see anything.

A.M.: Do you mean to say that it disappeared on the spot at a certain point on its trajectory?

M.M.: (with a gesture of helplessness): I don’t know, Sir. I haven’t understood anything at all about it. But such was indeed my impression.

(First remark on this question: there are numerous precedents for such disappearance on the spot; see for example the legend of the photo of Lake Chauvet, in my first book Lueurs sur les Soucoupes Volantes; these cases suggest a manipulation of Space-Time well beyond the most advanced present-day Physics, and perhaps explain the fact that the Minitrack optical networks have never photographed the approach of any UFO in circum-terrestrial space. The UFOs would accordingly be capable of non-linear movements.

Second remark: Although the Valensole object ceased to be visible at 20 metres, it left traces over more than 100 metres of a trajectory that it was apparently no longer occupying…)

(d) M. Masse felt nothing particular in himself during the first three days. It was on the fourth day that he suddenly collapsed, seized with an insuperable desire to sleep. He would have slept for 24 hours per day if his wife and his father, frightened, had not woken him up to make him eat. He would no longer talk, and remained sleepy. (Details confirmed by Gendarmerie commandant Oliva). No neuro-vegetative disturbance, deep sleep, with no memory of any dreams, and agreeable, giving an impression of naturalness and well-being. Slight psycho-motor impairment: a tendency to trembling in the hands (still observable on August 8). Before July 1, Masse used to sleep for 4 to 5 hours at night. After that date, for from 12 to 15.

Since July 1 his watch has been slow. It causes a deviation of 3 degrees on the compass, normal for a steel watch. But was the watch magnetised to that degree before?

(e) People have been wrong in calling the immobilisation caused by the little pilot’s weapon “paralysis”. If Masse’s muscles had been paralysed, he would have died there and then from stoppage of the heart, which is a muscle, or from anoxia.

If we are to assume that the weapon could have had a selective effect only upon the nerves of his limbs, then M. Masse would not have been able to stand up. In fact we know in Neurology only one phenomenon that answers M. Masse’s description. And that is — post-hypnotic suggestion. The weapon consequently has a selective effect on the central nervous system, the cephalic system. It is very interesting to note that the reticular formation, which is responsible for the waking and sleeping states, plays a multiple role, being at one and the same time both activatory and inhibitory, both upward (towards the cortex) and downward (towards the periphery). There is thus a remarkable coherence between the two effects successively experienced by M. Masse. The weapon could probably act at the level of the reticular formation. This should be compared with the statements made by Paul Green (head pain) in the recent Colchester case.

(f) A case identical with the Valensole one had already happened near Manosque, not far from Valensole, on October 14, 1954. No publicity was given to it. The witness told his story to only four people, of whom I was one. It was a man who was out hunting, with his dog. When he saw the object, he ran away, without trying to get near to it as M. Masse did. The dog, on the other hand, had the hunter’s reflex and went for the object. The dog was semi-paralysed, and was hardly able to get back to its master.

(g) Certain indications lead me to suppose that M. Masse has not yet dared to tell all he knows, and that the most important part of his experience is known only to his family. At this point I desire as does the GEPA investigator in the case, to emphasise that the whole Masse family are very charming people. They are fine, decent folk, hard workers, serious, and reserved. This is also the view held by Brigade Commandant Oliva, who knows them well, and by Captain Valnet who has been in charge of the enquiry right from the start.


The new and important facts in the Valensole affair are numerous. Up to now, it had been possible for us to think that the “little men” were the ones responsible for all the ufological manifestations, that they were the pilots of the craft, their builders, originating from another world.

Now, M. Masse has seen them, with the heads and hands bare, with a body that, except for the skull and the face, is typically human (and not merely humanoid). The bare head and hands suggest an adaptation to the exact terrestrial atmospheric composition and terrestrial atmospheric pressure. The absolutely human form of the body and the facial expressions, recognizable by a man, suggest a human genetic code. Moreover, the description of the skull and the face corresponds very exactly to an extrapolation, into the future, of the past evolution of Man: increased cephalization, vegetative part of the face in regression (see, for example, the anthropological studies of the Boskop prehistoric African man).

All these details could give a new lease of life to the Wellsian hypothesis of men from the Future visiting their Past. More likely (if I may use this word here) one can suppose that the “little men” are a product of a system of breeding based on ordinary Earth men selected from the human species just like lavender plants in a field; this bred product has perhaps been scientifically super-humanized in order to play a part in the history of our relations with the entities — unknown and invisible — who are the real ones responsible for the ufological manifestations. The numerous descriptions of “little men” collected over the past fifteen years strongly remind one of our own domestic breeding of animals, though this idea is repugnant to our dignity and to the respect that we have for the human person (without however extending that respect to the animals).

The “little men” put one in mind of human basset-hounds, selected in view of their utilisation within the framework of a superior technology.

There would be much that we could say about these little men, but one detail strikes me particularly: all who have approached them — so far as I know — and M. Masse has affirmed it to me forcibly, several times — believe invincibly in their benevolence towards ourselves: “They are good. They have only good intentions towards us, of that I am sure.”

“But how do you know that?” I asked.

“I can’t tell you. I don’t know how I know. But I am sure of it.”

Is this a psychological conditioning connected with the effect of the weapon? Or, more simply, is it the truth? On this too there would be much that one could say.

Comment on Valensole

Is it possible that the whole truth of the incident at Valensole still eludes us? That it was in fact another A.V.B. (“Adhemar”) type of contact case? At least that is what Gordon Creighton wondered as he was completing his translation.

Speculative, maybe, but when one considers M. Masse’s embarrassed reluctance to tell the full story, not to mention his fear of possible genetic effects, and the strange revelation that he eventually broke down and told his family everything, it seems that such a solution of the mystery is ‘on the cards’.

As soon as space permits, we will retell the Antonio Villas Boás (Adhemar) story of “interplanetary procreation”, for many additional details have come to light in the O Cruzeiro account.

Aimé Michel