Summary: In short, yes, the "SEPRA" no longer exists, but Jean-Jacques Velasco is still in charge of Ufos at CNES. Since he was alone at the job, it's not a big deal.
[From the UFO Updates mailing list.]
I have read the interview of Gregory Gutierez with the director
of communication of CNES, Arnaud Benedetti. It confirms
information already given by a journalist of of the newspaper
In short, yes, the "SEPRA" no longer exists, but Jean-Jacques
Velasco is still in charge of Ufos at CNES. Since he was alone
at the job, it's not a big deal.
So, the article of the French review "Ciel et Espace", entitled
"CNES buries UFOs" ("Le CNES enterre les ovnis") is
"exagerated", like a writer said after his death had been
announced by mistake. This article, very hostile to ufology,
says for instance that no serious study was published by GEPAN
and SEPRA : "just a few "technical notes" on problems of
methodology". Not a word on the Trans-en-Provence case, for
instance. At the end, sociologist Pierre Lagrange is quoted as
saying that "UFOs are a good subject of study for an array of
disciplines: from sociology, psychology, to atmospheric
physics". De profundis ufology !
A bizarre twist is that the article was published on the
internet a good week before the magazine appeared in newstands.
It looks like some people were very eager to see it published.
To me, it sounds like a little cabal which half failed,
fortunately. And I am not speaking of Richard Nolane, who, on
the contrary, rang the alarm bell. It is probably linked to the
recent publication of the book of Velasco UFOS: The Evidence,
affirming the reality of UFOs and their ET origin. Skeptics may
have thought that they had a good chance to get rid of him.