Carelia, in Winter, is a string of frozen lakes connected by a small band of pine trees under which only a few rare Russian gamekepers travel from place to place. Forty years before our story, the citizens of Finland had been chased out of this region.
In February 1960, during an inspection, one of these gamekeepers discovers, on the bank of a body of frozen water, a sort of long crater which wasn’t there two days before. As, in this time of the USSR, nobody takes anything out of the ordinary lightly, he immediately telephones Leningrad to report it. The very next day, which is a Sunday, six specialists come to examine the hole which seems to have been provoked by the axe of a gigantic woodsman. With divers at their side, they discover a large fracture 30 metres long by 15 metres wide and 3 metres deep. One thing strikes them at first glance… Where is the earth that has been extracted from the hole? To this question, which remains unanswered, another, just as embarrassing, is immediately added: at the bottom of the lake, the divers discover a sort of scar of the same dimensions, which makes them think that an object has landed there, has skidded on the frozen ground and has disintegrated in the water of the lake. But despite searches with the help of a detector, no trace can be found of any metal or any other kind of body…
Before this mystery, the men of Science ask the divers to go a bit farther towards the middle of the lake. It is not long before they find another trench, similar to the first one but this time around a hundred metres long. It is recent, like the first one, and could only have been dug by an object of fairly big size, launched at a considerable speed. As this trench finishes in a gentle slope upwards, they have to conclude that the engine had succeeded in becoming airborne, which is confirmed by the absence of any trace beyond this second point of impact, whether on the surface or at the bottom of the lake. The case appears so interesting to the Leningrad scholars that they study it very completely. But without being able to give the slightest rational explanation for the phenomenon. What troubles them the most, is that the ice, which is floating, after having been broken, and which is partly immerged, has turned the most beautiful green and the edges of the trenches are sprinkled with brilliant grains of metal. This substance is studied in the most profound manner. First of all, it is discovered that it exists in no known organic matter and that no acid can attack it. The Soviet chemists conclude that it is an inorganic matter, of non-natural origin…
Seven years later, in Sweden, fishermen discover, on Lake Uppramen, a totally similar crater, this time 500 metres long, for a depth in the ice of around one metre. The hole is of a perfectly triangular form and, over a fairly big surface, enormous blocks of ice are strewn on the frozen surface of the lake… There too, no satisfactory explanation is able to be given and no pieces or traces of metal are found either, and should have been in the vicinity because of the violence of the shock that such an impact supposes. Just a bit of pellicular matter of a reddish colour is found. No laboratory is able to determine its origin or its nature…
On 15 June 1966, in an isolated corner of Aveyron, France, a 76 year old peasant woman, who is cleaning some milk containers in her kitchen, feels slightly ill. This is not the first time and Madame X knows that, when it happens, she must neither lie down nor sit, but on the contrary breathe in some air at the window, for as long as possible…
Standing against one of the ten windows on the South side of this very old farm building, she deeply breathes in the nocturnal air. From the place where she is, Mme X has a very beautiful view over the causse, which lets its grassy prairies flow for kilometres down to a peaceful river, a meandre of which is already catching a moonray. Suddenly, Mme X thinks that she has noticed to the left of this reflection several fires, whose intensity seems to be rapidly growing. She counts five of them and is very quickly worried, like the good peasant that she is for whom fire represents the absolute calamity. Now these fires are taking on a rounded form and appear to transform themselves into spheres. Spheres which begin to move in all directions, winking, rising in the air and moving closer.
The old lady then calls her son-in-law, who is in the dining room, two rooms farther along. This man arrives and looks in turn… He sees a flotilla of six big spheres which are evolving, it seems to him, at the speed of a tractor, roughly two kilometres away.
The son-in-law, who runs the farm and has a reputation for being a serious, hard-working man, would recount that he went outside on the mound in front of the farmhouse and was able to see that the objects were, in fact, rounded on the top and flatter underneath and that they could “disappear on the spot, as if they were commanded by a light switch”. After a few minutes of observation, he suddenly sees the six flying objects come together and fuse with another object which was much bigger and very bright, having the form of an obus. Everything then disappears and the witness returns inside, in a deep state of perplexity.
Out of fear of being taken for a madman or a drunk, the farmer speaks to no-one about what he has seen.
Six months later, on 6 January 1967, while he is going out into the courtyard, heading for a vast field at the bottom of the farm, he sees, at the moment when he is about to pass under the porch-gate, a great, motionless sphere suspended above the access track to this isolated farm. Courageously, the farmer decides to go to see the object more closely. But he has scarcely taken a few steps into the countryside with the idea of going around the outside of the sphere, than it disappears from his sight, to be found behind him, a short distance from the gate through which he has just passed. He then cuts through the field which goes along the wall of the farmhouse with the idea of slipping between the building and the flying sphere. Then a surprising thing happens which gives the farmer the impression that he is living a waking dream: he can advance as much as he wants, the sphere always remains at the same distance and tries as well to place itself behind him.
“This thing followed me over 60 metres. And each time that I wanted to go around behind it, it followed me all the way along and each time that I stopped, the machine stopped too!…”
Very upset, the farmer rushes inside and calls his son. Upon going back outside, the two men now see six spheres slowly moving above the track. They are so afraid that they run back along the corridor inside the house. After a moment, the father dares to glance outside. He sees that, above the spheres, an object in the form of an obus is floating and he can see that it is enormous.
“It had a searchlight at the top, just at the end and it was lighting up that window up there and the whole room. I went upstairs and opened the window opposite… I saw that it was sending out a shaft of light, a shaft that was very concentrated and it was also lighting up my bedroom… moving and turning… it was turning without stopping! It was eleven o’clock in the evening, perhaps a quarter past eleven, already. And then everything went out all of a sudden and I saw nothing else. I don’t know whether it was still there or if it had gone…”. [Cited by Jacques Vallee, in “Le College invisible”.]
One week later, the obus appears again, this time only to the son, who is returning to the farm by car.
“It was truly enormous! Two little spheres entered into it and then the obus became a lot brighter. Then I heard a very high whistling and the obus, after having tipped to 45 degrees, disappeared at an incredible speed…
“But another object arrived afterwards! It had the form of a disc with two transparent cupolas at the top and inside… well, inside… it seemed to me that it was lit by a green light and inside the two cupolas, I saw… look I’m not sure about it, it was very dark… You could say that there was a sort of fog, inside or outside, I don’t know… Anyway I thought that I saw two… well, I saw two people… humans, you see? Cosmonauts. They were wearing aviation jumpsuits… Green with white bands!”
One week later, this witness suffers important sleep problems. After nights of insomnia, he sleeps up to twenty hours in a row, and “when it takes hold of him”, it is very sudden, to the point that he can’t remain on his feet. Often around 4-5 oclock in the morning, his spirit “goes floating away” and, his body paralysed, he feels his conscience move away…
In the months which follow, the young man’s character changes profoundly. When he meets young people of his own age, he advises them to start studying Astronomy and Science in general. He himself soon envisages writing a book. As he is reminded that he barely knows how to read and write, he answers:
” ‘They’ told me not to worry about that! When the moment arrives, I will know exactly what I need to write…”
To be continued.