In 1981, a 55-year-old farmer in Trans-en-Provence, France, reported hearing a strange, high-pitched sound before seeing a flying saucer nearby. The lead-colored UFO took off almost immediately, he said.
What makes this sighting unique is that the farmer immediately contacted local police, who took soil and plant samples, according to a report of the incident. Experts from France’s UFO-investigating body, formerly called Groupe d’Études et d’Informations sur les Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non-identifiés (GEPAN), said the chemical evidence was consistent with heating of the soil and pressure from a heavy object. They also found traces of zinc and phosphate and evidence of abnormalities in the plants nearby.
However, skeptics said the smooshed plants could have been caused by tires, and cars had been heard traveling in the area around the same time as the farmer’s sighting. Because there was a military base nearby, another explanation is that the French military was testing an experimental craft.
The following is a copy of the report:
On January 8, 1981, the witness was on the upper terrace of his property and was working on the construction of a small masonry building to protect a pump. His attention is suddenly attracted by a whistling sound and he sees a machine descend towards the ground, land below a few tens of meters from him and leave after a few seconds in a vertical trajectory before disappearing at high speed in the eyes of the witness. Under the machine, the witness sees prominent circular shapes that he identifies as hatches or feet. The object of gray color as zinc, emitted neither flame nor smoke and had a dimension of approximately 2.5 m by 1.70 in height, it was circular, with on its diameter a thicker band, the ” feet “being of the dimension” of The soil analyzes were entrusted to four different laboratories which carried out analyzes using different techniques and each brought a complementary point of view.
The synthesis of these analyzes makes it possible to highlight three main results:
a significant settlement of the ground showing the presence of a heavy body having left a slight deposit of iron and iron oxide, but also of phosphates and zinc which may come from the friction on the ground of a paint coating;
the blackish residues found on the trace may be combustion residues. Significant heating (but less than 600 °) was also detected.
The biochemical analyzes of the alfalfa samples were carried out by a biochemistry laboratory at INRA. They showed multiple degradations of plants correlated with their distance from the track. The causes of these degradations have not been determined but the hypothesis of an intense electric field can be considered. The analyzes carried out have hardly made it possible to provide a quantitative estimate of the phenomenon, no more than proof of the witness’s narration, which remains unique, although the behavior of the latter does not allow his credibility to be called into question.