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The Extraordinary Adventures of a Nonconventional Researcher

Aimé Michel, Planète #20, January-February 1965

original source |  fair use notice

Summary: Reflections and essay on the UFO phenomenon by French ufologist, Aimé Michel.


I will tell you how one can banish oneself, and which feeling drives some Men towards the external darkness. This feeling is curiosity. I know a French geneticist who, curious as most geneticists interested in Evolution, works in the field of population genetics, studying the famous vinegar fly, i.e. Drosophilia, as do most of his colleagues. The population genetics consists in analyzing, via statistical models, the evolution of a group of living organisms subjected to more or less frequent mutations. Within the frame of the neo-darwinian theory - the central dogma of our understanding of the Evolution - evolution proceeds randomly via mutation and selection. If you do not believe this, you are to be damned!

This biologist told a secret to a few friends, and one of them swiftly repeated his words to me:
- "... well, it appears that these flies do not copulate randomly. The rule calls for a random "mixing" of their genes according to the law of the large numbers, as would be green, red and white balls dropped and vigorously shaken in a bag. But the Drosophilia obviously show a profound disdain for this "sacred law". It appears that this small fly is responsive to the appearance of its partner, to its way of flying, of dating... In other words, it relies, as we do, on its choice, and bears with it in spite of the theoretical models, the dear theoretical models of our mathematicians".

- "But this is fantastic!" said his friend. Who added with a touch of perfidy "When will you publish that"?

- "Publish that? My God ! Are you a fool? Not only I will keep this discovery a secret, but I merely agree to examine it by myself"!

- "So what? You'll drop further investigation"?

Here is what the ancient drama writers called the peripetia. Will the answer be yes? Will it be no"? Fate takes it here: a life destiny is hesitating. Indeed, it could even be the destiny of Science. I must say that, in this case, the answer was no, to be credited to the integrity of the scientist. But could it have been different? If our geneticist had had a brain able to withstand the attraction of such a sulphurous, "impossible" phenomenon, it would have been unable to observe it! He would have looked at it but would not have noticed it! Once he saw it, it was to late to retreat. When Eve saw the snake, she already had bitten the Apple!


Our geneticist bite the apple. Since this discovery, a part of his investigation - and undoubtedly to him the dearest part of these - has been performed in a intimate clandestinity.

What exactly is a unconventional researcher? A researcher who propagates unconventional opinions? No. Any scientist - any honorable scientist - did or does disagree on one or more "points" with the rest of his colleagues. Indeed, there is only one sort of orthodox scientist: the one who does not really investigate and therefore never publishes.

The unconventional scientist simultaneously carries out two research programs. The first one yields publications and consequently perfectly fits the confirmation / refutation scheme. The second does not. The second is kept secret. The unconventional scientist does not advertise this second program, does not talk about it except to some instructed happy few. Interestingly enough, the published part of the investigations may be quite conventional, as exemplified by the case of Prof. Rocard's. Before the storm triggered by the publication of his book on "the signal of the water spring finders", Rocard was a reputable physicist and a respected scientist specialized in the study of periodical phenomenon. He was "only" that. Only a few persons knew that he secretly carried out strange experiments on the detection of magnetic gradients by the human body...

However, sometimes the published part of the research activity may also defy orthodoxy. It was the case of Prof. Baranger's work. He never concealed his studies on biological transmutation when he worked at the Chemistry Department at the Ecole Polytechnique. In a different field, our friend Michel Gauquelin applies statistical analysis to evaluate the influence of the various planets of the solar system and published his results. Unfortunately, it is also my case. I have been studying unconventional phenomenon for over fifteen years, and I did publish in some occasions. But I did not published everything I found. I believe this is also true for Gauquelin, Baranger, Duval and all other "lost" researchers who decided to explore the forbidden zones of the unknown. What are the reasons accounting for the limited publications of the results? Why do key results sometimes remain concealed? If I had been asked this set of questions some fifteen years ago, as I began to be interested in "flying saucers", I would have regarded it as an indignity. At this time, the first observation - as those of Kenneth Arnold who used the term "flying saucers" on June 24, 1947 - just got published by the newspapers. Kehoe also just published his first book. At this time, the flying saucer enigma - provided it was a real enigma - appeared quite simple. It was either an invention of journalists, or a secret weapon from USA or USSR, or some E.T. machines. To evaluate the validity of these hypotheses, I believed that a brief investigation, or even a short term "wait-and-see" strategy would suffice. If the flying saucer story was an imposture, a careful examination of the testimonies could easily "kill the hoax". Even a secret weapon cannot remain secret for a long time. And if the phenomenon resulted from an ET expedition which would have reached the vicinity of planet Earth, it seemed to me that these visitors, after a short period of observation, would have end landing in front of the UN Building, or on the lawns of the White House, or in the main Kremlin yards, or everywhere at the same time to exchange ambassadors. Unless one witnessed a bona fide aggression or any other calamities described in by Sci. Fiction books when the authors dream of meeting ET intelligence. Anyway, it would never have come to my mind that investigation on this topic could eventually fade into secrecy. I had only one faith: science. I trusted that science tells what is known; and ignore what it does not tell. I have kept this faith. But some fifteen years later, science itself appear less “ simple ” than that described in Marcel Boli’s books.

1. Édition Dunod. For data on the Rocard and Baranger files, see: Planète # 12, page 47.
2. The next issue of the Encyclopédia “ Planète ”, Astrologyand science is written by Michel Gauquelin. It is the state of the artand a review of his work. To be published in February (WHICH YEAR?).
3. The author of Our unknown powers in the EncyclopediaPlanète.
4. The flying Saucers are real . Facett, New York.

At the same time, destiny put me in charge of a program on meteorology for R.T.F (French radio and TV). During several weeks, I spent my days in the Offices and laboratories of the National Weather Agency. I met there Mr. Roger Clausse, the spokesman of the Agency, and he became a friend. One day, the evil troll who is in charge of my destiny, woke up. Roger Clausse took a yellow filer in one of his drawers and gave it to me, with a odd smile. “ Take it ”, he said, “ if you want some thrilling entertainment, this is the best I can do for you ”! Indeed, the file was a thrill! Besides a few reports of rare or unusual atmospheric phenomenon (false sun, halos, etc.), my eye felt on two unexplained reports. The first one came from Central Africa, and described the observations of four light disks seen at Bocaranga, Oubangui-Chari. Quick moves, color changes, flips, long hovering, it was quite a festival! The second report, even more surprising, came from the weather station of the military airport of Villacoublay (note from translator: about 15 km S-W of Paris). Again, bright objects have been seen for several hours, and tracked by the people of the station using theodolites. A very strange data: one of these objects ended on the sky background where it followed for some time the apparent movement of the stars. An incredible demonstration of the spatial capabilities of these objects. At this time, no known machine was able to stand still in the sky, during several hours. These events took place in 1952, five years before Spoutnik, and 12 years before the first launch of a stationary satellite by the USA. This type of satellite, moreover, is not visible with bare eyes.


Here was my "peripetia". I finally got the hard data proving that Keyhoe’s stories were not mere inventions. Witnesses, who ignored the existence of this American author, described the exact same phenomenon than the one reported in his books. From this time, I decided that I shall do all I had to do to know the truth...

My investigation were based on an error, a naive error which, after all these years, appears desperately inept. I believe that someone knew about the phenomenon. To tell the truth, this illusion came from Keyhoe’s book, which was written in such a way that the author made people believe that the US Army knew the truth and concealed it from the citizens. Well, if the US Army knew about this phenomenon, the French Army, its allied, may also knew...

But how can we know whether the Army knows? Months were lost trying to get introduced to various "V.I.Ps". But let's keep this story short. Finally, one day, as a result of a series of complex and probably detected maneuvers, I succeed in indirectly passing an information to an intelligence officer of the French Air Force who was in charge of investigation on the UFO phenomenon. "A Mister Aimé Michel had several data of potential interest, and may be... ” A meeting with this Officer was organized in the backroom of a Paris café, close to the "Ecole Militaire". While I waked to the appointment location with a thick, black briefcase under my arm, I found myself quite proud of my stratagem. I told myself that the time of tedious police like investigations was most probably over. If I was able to make other believe in me, I was sure that all the playcards will be put on the table in front of me and I will know. Indeed, I was not coming to the appointment “ hands empty ”. I already had numerous observations, some of them elder than anything else published yet. They were therefore far more “ enigmatic ”. One of these, which dated back to 1942, has been made in the Sahara desert. If one of the military that I was on the verge of meeting tempted to sell me an “ easy hoax ”, I would immediately ask him to explain what was this “ saucer ” contemplated for hours, in the middle of the day, by a whole battalion of French Army, including its officers, two radios, and one weatherman.

See “ Lueurs sur les soucoupes volantes ”, by Aimé Michel (Maure, ed.).

I can recall neither who arrived first, nor how we were introduced to each other. There were two of them, Captain C. and Mr. Latappy, a “ friend ”, both dressed as “ civilian ”. One was hilarious and relaxed, speaking easily and making jokes. The other was “ dark ”, thin. He had eyes of fire, and wore an enigmatic mustache: a "typical spy" as depicted by espionage movie! The first man, the hilarious one, was Captain C. In 5 minutes only, I understood that the dramatic scenario of Kehoe was only a kid dream.

-“ A military secret? Don’t make me laugh ”, he said. “ Secrets on little stuffs, yes! As many as you could imagine. “ They and we hide these from us and them! They and we steel these, they and we buy these as often as possible, everywhere on this planet! But a stuff as big as a “ flying saucer ”, do you realize? To be able to fly a prototype with flight characteristics identical to those of a “ saucer ”, we would need a complete revolution in physics. And most scientific revolutions do occur simultaneously in all industrial countries. What is known in the US is also known in the USSR and vice-versa. And don’t mention “ the bomb ”. It was not a scientific revolution. To have only a single saucer in the air, we would need an entire industrial revolution, we would need the input of all the research efforts of a country, we would need to mobilize all its financial resources! Damned! It is as easy to imagine to put an train engine in my bedroom and hide it from me! ”

- “ All right ”, I said. "A Russian or American “ saucer ” is an nonsense. So what?"

The two fellows in front of me exchanged glances. - “ Hmm, well ”!, said the Captain... “ Yes, so what?

We were alone in the backroom of this Paris café. We all came with rather large briefcases. I open mine and spread my papers all over the table. "So, here it is" I said. "Are you investigating on these data? Yes or not? All I have is in front of you!"

The "friend" with the enigmatic mustache looked at the papers feverishly, with randy eyes. He extracted from his briefcase a large notebook, the pages of which were covered by notes written in tiny characters, and illustrated by promising drawings. The book was also stuffed with newspaper cuttings. "Yes", added the Captain, "I am conducting investigations as you do. But allow me to introduce a pioneer to you. Here is Mr. Latappy, who has been gathering data since the very beginning, the Arnold file in 1947. Nobody in France has a better knowledge of this file than he has. He is not in the armed forces. He draws for Forces Aériennes Françaises, the official newspaper of the French Air Force. All what I know, he knows".

One hour later, I had understood several points forever. First, in this strange file, nobody knew. Neither the French Army, nor any army on this planet. Next, I understood that a large part of these observations (and especially the more interesting ones, the more serious ones, the better- documented and reported ones) remained unexplainable. And finally, I realized with distress, that one can know about something without being able to talk openly about it.

-"So they exist", said I. "And they are neither of Russian, nor of US origin. So let's say it: these engines (how could we explain all these observations in another way) are not coming from our planet. Well! You just have to say it!

-"Yes indeed", said Captain C. "Just say it, you!"

-"Me? But I would need other evidence than the only testimonies. You, you have the authority. Your testimony would be convincing enough."

-"Listen, my friend" said Captain C., "should I conclude that you are trying to incite an Officer of the French Army to prepare a press release claiming that the above mentioned Army "believe" in flying saucers, without any indisputable proof? Could you be a saboteur? Garçon, a Rum for this gentleman, please!"

-"So, what to do?"

-"Look for the proof. And bring it back to us. If it is indisputable, you'll get your press release. But would you like to get my advice? If this evidence was available, we would have it already! A picture? A movie? There are already plenty! How can we really know that these are not falsified. So we are left with the testimonies... The only proof is a flying saucer in my office! Or at least a piece of it. And in my opinion, it is a reasonable request. All observations have been made. Absolutely all but one: a proof!

See in the same issue of "Planète", the paper on "modern espionage"

After this meeting, I always kept excellent relationships with Captain C.... He was the first to suggest me as a joke, as usually, that flying saucers could be nothing but Mankind visiting its ancient times. Cocteau was delighted with this idea. He, Captain C., made me understood why this question had fascinated me. The flying saucers, provided they do exist, not only come from a technology far superior to ours... They first attest the existence of nonhuman, transhuman minds. May be they are in our skies as extraordinary as could have been the presence of Einstein or Gandhi amongst the massive reptiles of the secondary era. C... used striking comparisons to illustrate the lack of power of our minds in front of nonhuman minds. "The fish which turns around its aquarium thinks that it has turned around the world", he said, "but the pictures seen through its jail of glass will be interpreted as absurd hallucinations if the fish is a rationalist, or as signs of Gods if it is a mystic."

Therefore, to whom asked "what are the saucers?", one answered "first bring us a proof that they are real stuff". A logical point of view.


The existence of the saucer was deduced from testimonies [...]. But you cannot base science on testimonies. Therefore the scientific proof [of the existence of the saucer] was nonexistant. Since a "real evidence" of their existence was a prerequisite (apparently legitimate), the flying saucer file will probably never receive any answer.

A nonscientific reader will experience some difficulty understanding the "tyranny" of such a reasoning. The idea to consider a set of human testimonies as a "scientific problem" triggers a sort of cold anger into the mind of the average scientist. All his education, strengthen by years of hard work, which becomes heavier and heavier with age, let him have faith in the reproducibility - or at least the "observability" - of the subject of his experiments. The more he published, the more he experienced the destructive criticism to which his work has been submitted, the merciless analysis which annihilates his "personal touch", which destroys it, to retain only the controllable and reproducible data. And now, he, who never believed without convincing evidence, who has spent nights trying to remove the ever present thorns of criticism from his skin, is kindly requested to believe the words of a dumb red-neck who believes he saw things-in-the-sky!

- "Bring me some hard data, some convincing evidence, or stop bothering me with such stupidities!"

- "But, Mister Professor, if you see one of this things in front of your window, what will you do?"

- "I'll look at the wall!"

This "live" answer, was made some 12 years ago, by one of the most reputable French physicist. It is a perfect summary!

This all happened in 1953. I just published my first book. It did not aim at bringing the indisputable evidence, but just at presenting some possible conclusions, without giving any personal opinion. My motivation was clear, at least to my eyes. Since we cannot prove, then let's try to present clearly the alleged facts. After all, why would Nature not be allowed to generate phenomenon inaccessible to conventional analysis? And, supposing that these phenomenon are "real", should we have to ignore them to remain a perfect scientist? The good education indeed requires not to talk to someone who has not been introduced to you. But if someone kicks your posterior, do you have to keep walking, looking towards the sky, offering this temporary disturbance to the goddess "Méthode"?


And this was it! Exactly! A few months after the publication of my book, an amazing wave of observations submerged the European continent.

During four or five weeks, hundreds of thousand people, may be one million or more, thought that they have seen the disturbing saucer. These people wrote to newspapers. "Here is what I saw", they say. "What is this?" The columnists rang everyday at the doors of the Temple of the Science. But they only got one single answer:

"- Nonsense. Those saucers, as you termed them, have not been introduced to us. They are therefore nonsense". Some scientists, however, proposed a more convincing explanation. The people might have been "intoxicated" by my book. They had therefore seen in the sky what I had put into their minds. This was a flattery, sweet to my vanity because my book was a flop and because it turned out that all the witnesses had never heard of me before. All but one, who told me, with a laughing pitch "Uuh, you are the one who believes in flying saucers"?

The accumulation of testimonies just made more repulsive, more ridiculous and embarrassing the word saucer, and all (more or less) relevant items.

On one hand, the publication of my book was a cruel disappointment since it revealed how little the citizens cared for these questions which I found very exciting. On another hand, the publication brought me the key to a new and fascinating world: that of "clandestine research". In less than one year, I established relationships with several scientists from France and other countries (mostly Anglo-Saxon), astronomers, physicists, biologists, psychologists, botanists, geologists, etc. Their first letters always started with the same stipulation: no one should learn that they had connection with me.

I discovered the simple pleasure of clandestinity with the amazement characterizing the new comer. But I was not really aware of what would happen. It took me several years to understand the importance and the true meaning of the letters exchanged and those of the summer visits (summer is the time of the scientific congresses which are know to allow meetings of "new" people). I pictured myself as being at the center of an little, international network of scientists from several countries, having multiple trainings, but all interested in solving the "saucer question". I write here and there. I allowed an Englishman to get in touch with an Argentine scientist, or I got to talk to a Swiss researcher, thanks to a Danish fellow. I though we were a sort of an "International Saucer Association", as there are one for the radioams of for the stamp collectors.

Indeed, this "International Association" gathered primarily scientists, and in this respect, we were clandestine. In some occasion, I was really impressed by the strangeness of our situation. One day, at a party, I remember a friend - a journalist - who told me in confidence that both Professors X. and Y, standing right in this corner, were blaming me fiercely. The next day, I got two consecutive phone calls, from X. and Y. who said me: "This guy (Y. or X.), what a narrow mind! Do you know that yesterday... Of course, I was forced to agree with him!"

Now, X. and Y. are very good friends. And the only memory of this party makes them laugh out loud: they know that they belong to the same "secret society".


This secret is not only that of the flying saucer. I recall my surprise, and my skepticism, when Jacques Bergier, in 1953, exposed his theory (now familiar to our readers) termed cryptocracy. This theory predicts that the scientific community is condemned to organize itself as a cryptocracy (note from translator: a system in which the power - and the powerful - are concealed) just because of its intimate organization.

"- Where will power be in the future?", he said. "In knowledge. And knowledge is one of the only wealth which cannot be easily exchanged. You can kill scientists and specialists, but this will give you neither their knowledge, nor - hence - their power. And you cannot pass their skills onto stupid people just by a "coup d'Etat" or by a modification of the Constitution. As a consequence, the power will belong to those who know..."

- "Well, let them rule!"

- "Those who'll rule will not investigate anymore. And one year later, they will be unable to understand the Science. They will therefore loss their real power, even though they will retain their legal hegemony. The "order" of our society calls for this cryptocracy, a group of scientists unknown to their co-citizens, who have all the power pushbuttons at their fingers..."

Though the mechanism underlying the process is not the one I saw, I know enough to be convinced that Bergier's analysis is correct, and the consequence of it unavoidable.

To allow the reader to follow my reasoning, I need to come back to elder data.

The readers of Planète mostly read my papers dealing with paranormal phenomenon. Undoubtedly, several of these readers were upset by this apparent pretension to ambivalence. "Finally, what is the field of competence of this guy? If it has one, can we really rely upon his skill?"

Well I have to admit that I also published papers on animal psychology. What? After the flying saucers, the paranormal, now it is animal psychology! Yep! But if these various works deal with fields having different names, am I responsible for this? In my opinion, I always had a single one interest, a single one concern: the nonhuman mind. All my work, all my thoughts since I was 15, have been dealing with one question: what could be a mind other than mine? And let's get a closer look to this. The nonhuman mind, a nice title from Jacques Gravent (see below), can be the infrahuman mind (i.e. the animal mind), or the superhuman mind (paranormal), or the E.T. mind. All these level of consciousness likely are only different steps of a unique and multifaceted evolution, a path that we follow in a forever walk (but this is another story!). Let's go on. Three or four years before I started to study the flying saucers, as I was a student at the University, I was investigating paranormal. Fate only decided that my first publications did not deal with paranormal. And the fact is that my first secret relationships were established only after the publication of my book on "flying saucers".

See also "La pensée non humaine", (The nonhuman mind), by Jacques Graven, in Planète.


One can understand how much surprised I was when, after the publication of my observation on the prodigious calculator Lidoreau, I started to receive letters from scientists. As those I met before, these scientists first asked me to keep their interest secret! Their stipulations and their style were identical, and I recognized there the symptoms of a burning and anxious curiosity, similar to that of Eve eating the apple with her eyes, or that of "Père Gaucher" enjoying - in advance - the 21st drop forbidden by the regulation (note from translator: this refers to a famous novel entitled "Les lettres de mon moulin", by Alphonse Daudet). How I do recognize them, without knowing them, these other "politically-incorrect" fellows, my other me, my brothers!

Thus, will I be able to insinuate myself in a second secret network? That's what I first thought! But I realized soon that all these unconventional people already knew themselves, via another network of "initiates". For instance, I learnt that several biologists interested in paranormal have been exchanging for quite a long time, the inane results they obtained in unpublished experiments, with another biologist interested in flying saucers. They met at the borders of their shared specialty, appreciated each other - insubordinate and corrupted minds - without knowing that additional unexchanged secrets could have brought them even closer. [...] I could tell many stories on these meetings where both shook hands with an air of amused understanding on their faces! "So what? You too!"

Not only in Paris, or in France, but from one "side" of the world to the other, a sort of premonition guides some people towards others, as a function of their common interests. In another paper, I called this phenomenon la pensée non asservie (the unrestrained mind - see below). Those who do not like this idea should get used to it: the heavier and more rigorous the social conformity, the stronger the "antibody" it raised! The most secure and efficient networks are driven by the scientific interest in the most criticized fields... In spite of all discourses claiming that [being interested] in flying saucers constitutes an horrible desertion, the determination to know is stronger than all anathema... Here is why I agree with Bergier's analysis. The intrinsic "order" of scientific research calls on one hand for a ever improving organization. On the other hand, the most revolutionary - hence the most valuable discoveries - will result from studies performed out of all organization(s). Because how could the unexpected be organized? The born-researcher will therefore tend more and more often to work in secrecy on this favorite pursuits. This will render the concealed research more and more productive, and the parallel networks more and more powerful. One day, most of the top research will be a secretly exchanged substance. And only the final results will be made available to the citizens, as Minerva going out of Jove's brain, already in arms. At this time, one can really speak of a cryptocracy. Because, behind the noisy convulsions of politicians and bankers, the scientists, the skilled and the technicians - and only them - will create the material and psychological conditions necessary for social, political and economical changes. At present, one can already see a embryo of cryptocracy at a higher level of decision. Aside from totally disqualified politicians, it progressively imposes collaborations between Russians and Americans.

See, in Planète n°11, "Nous allons vers la pensée non asservie" (towards the unrestrained mind).


The concealed networks getting organized around the most "blamable" research constitute a vivid representation of what this informal, unorganized cryptocracy will be. They allow the circulation of what can be termed the informations non prouvées (the nonevidenced information), a feature which guides and favors the thoughts and work of the members of the network. With these nonevidenced information, we are sent back to the problem mentioned earlier in this paper. How science can "integrate" data, which cannot be evidenced yet, but which could be much more important than anything else if they are "real"? It is easy to verify the historical veracity of the most extraordinary observations. The question therefore exists, although one can only evidence its historical aspect and not its scientific one. This is also true for the most striking paranormal reports. Their historical veracity can be checked and, with some patience, they can also be observed. But from here, can we demand that science admits their existence, as if they were proven? No way! Where would science go if it had to abandon its method? Though it is not possible to take as granted what has not be proven, it is however necessary and vital that these facts be circulated, known, studied and discussed on no other basis than the only testimonies. This is critical because this research definitely orientates the "classical research", the results of which are published and openly discussed.

Only in France, I know at least six phycisists whom works were influenced by the conscious determination to account for some paranormal phenomenon. I know three of them who drew new ideas from a carefully examination of the data on "flying saucers". I could also give the names of several biologists, chemists and other scientists whom studies were initiated and guided by their thoughts on secretly propagated, nonevidenced pieces of information.

There are numerous nonpublishable phenomenon. Who would publish them would be a impostor, and commit a misdemeanor... As an official printer of bank notes that would make public the secrets of its art, allowing any sort of money forgery. This type of data can be usefully propagated only on a personal basis.

This flow of data already exists, and does not need to be improve. It is one of the driving force of Science. It contributes in the shade to the founding of tomorrow's world.

Aimé Michel

(Paper scanned and transmitted by Greg, "Renseignements" team and sysop of the mail-list UFOCOM, March 1998.
Translated from French by Yves, "sci" team, UFOCOM, February/March 1999)

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