The following account is drawn from a series of articles which originally appeared in the English Flying Saucer review (1965a b,c.)
Valensole is a small village in the south-east of France, near to Nice. A significant event occurred there on July 1, 1965. In the month of June, Maurice Masse, a World War Two resistance fighter, and a trustworthy farmer according to local police; together with his father had noticed someone had been picking their lavender plants. At 5.45 a.m. Masse was standing by a tractor smoking a cigarette. The tractor was parked by a mound of pebbles and rakings, close to a small vineyard, in the lavender field.
A whistling sound came to his attention which he thought was a helicopter. However, upon looking around the mound he saw an unusual object. It was shaped like a rugby football and the size of a car. It stood on a number of legs, stated to have been 6 in number by Bowen (1974:246) and 4 by Vallee (1990:108). There was a central pivot stuck into the ground beneath it. Masse noted what he first took to be two children, about aged eight years, close by the object apparently inspecting a lavender plant.
Masse thought at first, from an initial distance of 60m, that these were the people who had been taking his plants. He decided to approach quietly through the vineyard. However, when he got closer he realised the figures were not children but unusual beings. He left the vineyard and walked though the low height lavender field.
At about 5m distance from the object, one of the beings turned and pointed a pencil-like object towards him and Masse was frozen, unable to move. Vallee (1988:27) reports that masse could still breath and feel his heart beat present.
The beings were described as follows. They were some 120cm tall and wore close fitting, grey-green clothes, but no head covering. Their heads were pumpkin-like, with high fleshy cheeks. The eyes were large and Vallee (1988:26) adds that Masse told him that the eyes con- veyed human expressions. These eyes slanted away around the sides of the face. The mouth was merely a slit or hole, without noticeable lips. Their chins were very pointed. Vallee (1988:26) adds their hands were small and nor- mal. Grumbling sounds came from their middles.
Masse has consistently refused to disclose what - if anything - happened between him and the beings.
After a while the beings re-entered their object. Vallee (1988:27) notes the door closed “like the front part of a wooden file cabinet. “ The beings were apparently visible looking at him from inside the object, while the legs whirled and retracted. The central pivot made a thumping noise. Then the object lifted offand floated silently away.
At 20m distance from the landing spot the object simply vanished fromview. Masse, according to Vallee ( 1988 :27), says: “One moment the thing was there and the next moment it was not there anymore.”
It took some 20 minutes forthe paralysis to wear off. After that Masse went back to Valensole. The proprietor of the cafe des Sports questioned him after being alarmed by Masse’s appearance. Masse told him part of what had happened, and the police were informed.
The Digne Gendarmerie, lead by a Captain Valet, were called in to investigate.
At the time traces were found at the spot where the object had rested. These consisted of a flat imprint just over 1m in diameter. In the centre, where the central support had been, was a cylindrical hole some 30cm deep and some 15cm diameter. From the hole radiated four flat grooves, making an x shape. Each of the grooves was 2m long and 25cm deep. The soil here was of a near-liquid consistency despite the fact that it had not rained for some time.
That evening Masse and his 18 year old daughter went back to the site . The soil surrounding the central trace was as hard as cement compared to the surrounding soil which crumbled when held.
After a period of time, a 3 m diameter circular area in the middle of rows of lavender plants died, with only a few weeds continuing to grow. Around the perimeter a num- ber of lavender Plants were stunted and withered looking.
The calcium content of the soil, taken from the site, was much higher then in soil taken from other areas of the field (Phenomenes Spatiaux 1966:26)
Masse reploughed the landing site and replanted, but these plants also died.
Vallee (1988:27) reports that for several weeks after the event, Masse was overcome with drowsiness and found it difficult to stay awake for more then four hours at a time.
Aime Michel visited Masse on Aug 8,1965, and at the end of the interview showed Masse a drawing of the Socorro object which Masse took to be his object.
Michel reported that Masse appeared anxious, nervous and distressed at interview. Masse said of the beings: “They were good” and n they did not wish to do us any harm.”
Bowen, C. (1965a.) “A significant Report from France. “ FSR 1165).
Bowen, C. (1974). :The Humanoids” N London. Futura.
GEPA. (1965c). “The Significant Report from France.” FSR 11(6).
Michel,A. (1965b.) “The Valensole Affair.” FSR 11)6).
Phenomenes Spahaux. (1966.)Bulletin du GEPA. Marp 26.
Vallee, J. (1988). “Dimensions New York Contemporary.
Vallee, J. (1990) “Confrontations. New York Ballentine.