The French space agency has released information about UFOs. 600 cases over 64 years

The French space agency has released information about UFOs: 600 cases in 64 years

The French Space Agency (CNES) has a little-known unit that is engaged in the study of UFOs. GEIPAN stands for Groupe d'études et d'Informations sur les Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non-identifiés (Group of Research and Information on Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena).

The French space agency has released information about UFOs

While everyone is focused on the American version of the study, which will contain more than 120 events, GEIPAN has released a report that covers more than 600 recorded incidents with pilots over a 64-year period. The document focuses on 290 of these incidents when an unidentified aircraft had (or could have) an impact on flight safety.

Despite the fact that little attention has been paid to the study, there are several data points that are important for establishing or verifying certain aspects of the phenomenon.

1952 and 1954-peak years

The distribution of 600 cases by year shows that 320 cases (53%) occurred over a 16-year period (from 1946 to 1960), with 275 cases (46%) occurring between 1950 and 1957. The year with the highest number of cases (83 cases) was 1952, followed by 1954 with 40 cases. 1952 in the United States and 1954 in Europe are considered the two peak years for UAP observations.

There is no noticeable seasonal trend in the distribution of these 600 cases by month. Compared to other months, the most cases (75) occur in July, and the least - in April (29). The remaining 10 months account for 42 to 56 cases, which is not a significant difference.

Witnesses did not indicate the time of day in 38 cases (6 percent). Of the remaining 562 cases, 305 (54%) occurred at night and 257 (46%) - during the day.

A global phenomenon

600 cases are distributed across different territories. They are located over continental zones (564 in total), covering 56 countries, as well as over marine zones (36 cases). In the Americas (North, Central, and South America), 376 cases (58 percent) were reported, with 298 cases in North America (Canada and the United States). 108 cases were registered over Europe, with 33 of them occurring in French airspace.

Reliability of witnesses - only pilots

UFO sightings recorded by military pilots are the most common among the 600 cases documented over a 64-year period: 251 cases (42%). Commercial pilots reported 233 cases (39%), and private pilots registered 105 cases (18%).

When the last part of the time range (from 1990 to 2010) is included in the study, the result is completely different. Cases involving commercial aircraft are the most frequent of the 70: only 49 cases (70%). Military pilots reported 12 cases (17 percent), and private pilots reported 9 cases (13 percent). Most likely, this is due to the secrecy that the armies of the whole world adhere to when it comes to disclosing information about UFO sightings.

A careful study of the distribution of military aircraft sightings by year shows that 75% of them (189 cases) occurred during a 14-year period (from 1946 to 1959). Most of these cases relate to military cases of the 1950s, and numerous official records of this period were declassified in subsequent years (USAF projects Sign, Grudge, and Blue Book).

In 141 cases (24%), which is almost a quarter of 600 cases, the phenomenon was observed from two or more aircraft in flight.

In 415 cases (69%) there were two or more eyewitnesses. The pilot or co-pilot was the only witness in 185 cases (31%). The results show that in more than two-thirds of the 600 cases, there were two or more witnesses.

Flight characteristics and radar detection

The distribution of incidents by flight phases shows that the vast majority of cases of observation occurred when the aircraft was on a cruising flight. It should be noted that at this stage of the flight, the pilot has more time to look at the sky since the aircraft is often on autopilot. On the other hand, pilots focus their attention on piloting and instruments throughout the other four phases of the flight.

Radar-visual observations (RV) are divided into three types:

  • (1) ground-based radar detection,
  • (2) air-based radar (AR) detection, and
  • (3) both ground-based and air-based radar (AGR) detection.

When ground control checks, but does not detect any targets on the radar display and cannot confirm visual detection, a fourth category (NR) occurs.

Out of 600 selected cases, radar testing (positive or negative) was carried out in 278 (46%) of them, and the results were as follows:

  • Positive radar detection (GR+AR+AGR) 162 cases (27% of 600 cases)
  • Negative radar detector (NR) 115 cases.

It is worth noting that the share of positive radar detections (27%) exactly corresponds to the result of the previous study of 300 cases.

In 34 (21%) cases, visual observation of the event was confirmed by both air and ground radar.

Example: When landing, the co-pilot of the Caravelle aircraft noticed five or six lights on the right-wing, which followed the aircraft along a parallel trajectory. He asked the air traffic controller if there were any other planes on the final approach. The dispatcher gave a negative answer but confirmed that there was an echo of the radar that followed him to the right of the plane. The lights disappeared from the right wing tip and reappeared from the left wing tip. The pilot activated the autopilot and checked the onboard radar, which showed an echo on the left. At the same time, the air traffic controller reported that an unknown echo had moved to the left of the "Caravel". (Case: 1352, France 1979).

Radar-visual cases are very important and interesting for two reasons:

  • (1) they confirm the visual indications of the pilot and/or crew with a technical record of the phenomenon;
  • (2) and sometimes they give technical indicators, such as the speed, altitude, or trajectory of a UFO.

Example: The crew of a B-757 aircraft noticed a black cigar-shaped wingless object under their plane on the right at a distance of about 15-20 miles. The headquarters of NORAD/WASD (Western Air Defense Sector) in Tacoma traced a fuzzy trail. At first, the object looked motionless, then abruptly picked up speed for 20-30 seconds, after which it completely stopped. It was delayed for a minute and a half, after which it accelerated sharply again. This happened many times for four minutes, after which the target disappeared. The estimated speed was from 1000 to 1400 miles per hour. (Case:1266 USA 1995)


Pilots classify the things they see into two categories: "light" points and " objects "that have a" solid " appearance. In more than three-quarters of cases (74%), UFOs reported by pilots and crews are described as a material or three-dimensional, solid object. The UFO is described as solid, although it is most often reported as "objects" that have a variety of shapes. Most often, it is reported about round (or elliptical) shapes that have a metallic appearance (a sphere, a silver disk, etc.). Meanwhile, several additional shapes were noticed, some of which were quite strange and contradicted traditional aerodynamic designs.


Examples: two yellow objects in the shape of hamburgers (case 1149, USA 1980); a black cylindrical object 24 feet long and 9 feet wide (case 1123, Italy 1979); a giant triangular shape with intense lights connecting the edges (case 1113, Chile 1978); a long brown cigar-shaped object (case 1050, Portugal 1976); an airliner fuselage without wings and tail with potholes lit from the inside (case 1347, France 1985); an elliptical shape, flat at the bottom and slightly domed at the top (case 1245, Sugar 1965); a large elliptical object, similar to a metal mushroom, which at times appeared translucent and seemed to have a transparent glass dome (case 556, Australia 1954).

In more than two-thirds of the 600 selected cases (474 cases-78%), eyewitnesses reported only one UFO.

In 117 cases (20%), pilots reported seeing two or more UFOs. In 12 cases, groups of more than 10 UFOs were observed simultaneously.

One pilot recorded the lowest estimated altitude - 500 feet. Major Joe Walker, who piloted the X-15 rocket plane during a test flight at a speed of more than 2,000 miles per hour, when his rear-view camera recorded five disk-shaped cylindrical objects flying in a layered formation, reported the highest altitude of UFO-246,000 feet. (Case 854, April 1964).


Interaction cases are cases when a UFO reacts to the presence of an aircraft. Interaction between a UFO and an airplane was observed in 299 cases (almost 50%). These cases are related to the following events:

  • (1) the UFO performs maneuvers to approach, pursue or escape from the aircraft;
  • (2) duels with military aircraft; and
  • (3) the UFO circles or performs maneuvers near the aircraft.

This category includes reports of electromagnetic effects on aircraft systems.

UFOs approached the plane along the collision trajectory in 78 cases, and in six more cases, there was a close collision with the plane. In 31 cases, the pilot had to take evasion to avoid a collision with a UFO, including three cases (all incidents with commercial aircraft) when passengers were injured while driving.

In 59 cases, UFOs flew around or moved close to the plane. This type of incident accounts for the largest number of reports (20 cases) of alleged electromagnetic effects on aviation equipment, especially on commercial (8 cases) and private aircraft (8 cases).

Aggressive UFOs

As for events that may affect flight safety, the most common type reported by commercial aircraft pilots is "A UFO is approaching an aircraft on a collision course" - a total of 38 cases. The pilots stated that "a UFO circles around the aircraft and/or moves close to the aircraft" in 24 cases. Most often, pilots reported about the claimed electromagnetic impact on the systems of their aircraft during such accidents. In 15 cases, the pilot had to take evasive actions to avoid a collision with an object, as a result of which passengers were injured in three cases.

Example: Three crew members of a B747-300 aircraft saw an extremely fast white rocket-like object flying over their plane at an altitude of 200 to 400 feet in the opposite direction. The object, which they described as cylindrical, had no wings. There was no TCAS warning. The object flew right over their head. He was so close that the flight attendant lowered his head, fearing that he might hit them. It was white in color and spherical in shape. There was no smoke or flame coming from the object. ARTCC did not observe the radar echo in the opposite direction from the aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board has not reached any conclusion regarding the identification of the object. (Case 1293, USA 1997).

UAP france

The majority of cases potentially affecting flight safety occur in private aircraft: 34 out of 65 cases in which pilots reported a claimed electromagnetic effect on aircraft systems: Cases involving private aircraft account for 54% of all cases (compared to cases with commercial aircraft: 15% and cases with military aircraft: 27%)

Electromagnetic impact

The most problematic element of contact with UFOs are situations in which a permanent or temporary electromagnetic effect was exerted on the aircraft systems during the flight, directly or indirectly as a result of the relatively close presence of one or more UFOs.

In 81 of the 600 selected cases, the claimed electromagnetic interference was noticed and reported (14%). Everything was exposed-from radios to weapons.

About author:

Ufologist, PhD, blogger, I go on my own expeditions for UFOs. I use scientific methods to investigate the UAP phenomenon

Serg Toporkov

Ufologist, Ph.D., blogger, I go on my own expeditions for UFOs. I use scientific methods to investigate the UAP phenomenon. Write to me

Related tags:

UFO sightings  The French space agency  report  France  ovni  UFO  GEIPAN

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