Summary: Comments by Gildas Bourdais on several articles on the COMETA report.
I have just received, in France, recent issues of the
International UFO Reporter, (IUR) of CUFOS (Summer) and the
MUFON UFO Journal (October). Both feature an article on the
French Cometa Report, published last year.
I found the CUFOS article, edited by Mark Rodegheir,
excellent. Thank you to CUFOS and IUR for this good piece of
information. My only criticism would be to the overestimated
meaning of the transformation of Gepan into Sepra: the real
meaning was to downscale that service, reducing it to a one man
operation (engineer Velasco) with a very limited role. It is
known that the Direction of CNES has no interest in UFOs and
strongly dislikes the public appearences of that engineer.
I am less pleased with the MUFON article, 'The Cometa Report - A
Third view', signed by French ufologist Claude Maugé. He starts
by pointing out that my article, published in the MUFON Journal
on September 1999, had a misleading title: "A quasi-official
Document". But I never wrote that title! The MUFON Journal did
it, and I strongly disagree, like Maugé, with that title.
I would appreciate a correction made in the next issue. For the
record, I am the one who corrected an announcement made by Pery
Petrakis on the 'IHEDN Report' to point out that the authors are
an independant group called "Cometa"(see his message of July 13,
and mine of July 17 on UFO UpDates).
Maugé accuses COMETA of having misrepresented its report as an
"official" one. This is not true, in my opinion. Yes, there was
a mention on the cover of the public edition "The Confidential
Report Given To The President And The Prime Minister". But that
does not mean it was 'official'. It just meant what it said.
Another point, in his preface, General Norlain, former Director
of the very official IHEDN" (Institute of Advanced Studies for
National Defense) stresses that many of the authors have been
members of that institute, but he does not say that it is a
report by the institute.
All in all, this is a second-rate quarrel, which misses the main
point that several senior officers of high rank have come out to
speak about UFOs and say they are real and probably of
Claude Maugé is a a typical French 'psycho-sociological'
ufologist, who explains all UFO sightings by mundane factors. So
it is kind of shocking to him to see a bunch of Generals put
forward the ETH hypothesis.
Hence, his systematic attack on COMETA.
Ironically, he reproaches them for not having talked of
abductions. I wonder what he would have said if they had?!
His conclusion is that the mere existence of that report
suggests that "there is no secret investigation about UFOs in
France". Seems to be a reasonable conclusion, but it also seems
to be like pushing an open door.