Close Encounter: Valensole

          This month’s Alien Post™ comes to us all the way from France – our first trip to the country! Though Valensole has come to conjure thoughts of flying saucers in the heads of those in-the-know about UFOs, this case is surprisingly underreported. What happened in a lavender field outside of Valensole, France in the early morning hours of July 1, 1965? Let’s explore.

The Beginning

          It all began in the early morning hours of July 1, 1965 – sometime around 5:45 AM. A farmer named Maurice Masse was awake and tackling some unnamed tasks on his land. He’d taken a break for a cigarette when the early-morning calm was effectively destroyed when Masse saw an object fall from the sky, into his lavender field. Masse had apparently had issues in the past with military helicopters using the land for unauthorized landing, and he presumed that was the situation he was dealing with again. So, he made his way through the field to tell the pilots off. What he encountered, however, was not a helicopter.

The Encounter

           The craft was said to have been egg-shaped, though interpretations vary on whether it was more wide or tall (whether the “egg” was standing up or on its side). It had four legs extending from its bottom. These legs left holes in the ground, indicating that the craft had some weight to it. Though accounts do not specify the craft’s color, it is often depicted as metallic white or silver.
          Masse claimed to have seen two beings standing in front of the craft when he came upon the scene. They had large heads and large, slanted eyes. Masse said they were short, standing at around four feet tall, if not shorter. They were apparently wearing grayish green clothes. I can’t find anywhere that describes exactly what the clothing was, but the beings are most often depicted wearing jumpsuit type garments. Masse also said they were “grumbling.” For those of us fairly well-versed in alien lore and tales may get the prickling sense of familiarity here – these beings sound like the prototypical Greys, the stereotypical representation of extraterrestrials.
          One of these Greys then pointed a little stick at Massee and he froze – he claimed the little pencil-thing made him freeze, but…who wouldn’t in that situation? While he was frozen in place, the Greys got back in their ship and took off, leaving behind a hole in the ground. The ground around the hole started off moist, but became as hard as concrete as it dried. After plants at the landing site began dying off, analysis was done at the site. Results of this analysis showed elevated levels of calcium in the soil at the site which could not be explained.

(An illustration Masse made of the craft.
via the
UFO-AC Research Group)

The Aftermath

          When Masse could finally move again, he searched for proof that what he had seen was real. He found the above-described indentations in the ground and, apparently satisfied that the encounter had actually happened, he rushed into town to share his experience. He met with a friend to recount the tale. And from there, it spread – reporters and news agencies got wind of the story and began looking into the tale.
          The investigating didn’t uncover much of anything at all. There was nothing in Masse’s life that would point to him having fabricated the story – no signs of drug use or mental illness (which could indicate hallucinations) or outstanding debts (which could indicate the need to create a situation from which to profit). Plus Masse was allegedly physically affected by the encounter as well. He claimed to have to sleep between 12 and 15 hours per day in order to feel rested for months afterward. This, coupled with his determined reputability, led to Masse’s encounter being admitted into the UFO Zeitgeist of the 1960s and 70s. Which is probably why we’re still talking about it today.



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