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Re: Alencon France 1790 - Aubeck

From: Chris Aubeck <caubeck@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 14:11:16 -0000
Fwd Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 11:09:01 -0500
Subject: Re: Alencon France 1790 - Aubeck

 >Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 20:31:54 +0100
 >From: Bruno Mancusi <swissufo@swissufo.ch>
 >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@sympatico.ca>
 >Subject: Alencon France 1790

 >>Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 21:44:15 -0800
 >>From: Larry Hatch <larryhat@jps.net>
 >>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@sympatico.ca>
 >>Subject: Re: Naud, Bouchmann & Le Paige

 >>>From: Bruno Mancusi <swissufo@swissufo.ch>
 >>>Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 09:32:17 +0100
 >>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@sympatico.ca>
 >>>Subject: Re: Naud, Bouchmann & Le Paige


 >>>No, there is no source. In view of the fact that it is
 >>>described just after the famous Alençon case (1790, France)
 >>>I have checked its source (not givenbyNaud):Alberto
 >>> Fenoglio, "Antichi visitatori dal cielo", 'Clypeus' #10, 1966,
 >>>pp. 13-14, but it's not here (it's better because Fenoglio
 >>>has invented many stories like the German Sonderbüro and
 >>>the Alençon landing...). I willforward a copy of this mail
 >>>to Boris Shurinov, perhaps he know something.

 >>Hello Bruno!

 >>Regarding Alencon (France 1790):

 >>Is it established that this is the complete invention of one
 >>Alberto Fenoglio? I had already derated that case based on some
 >>earlier posts, and would like to know if it more properly
 >>belongs in my "Poubelle List" of thoroughly discredited UFO


 >No, it's not established.

 >Belgian ufologist Christiane Piens ('Les OVNI du passé',
 >Nouvelles Editions Marabout, Verviers [Belgium] 1977, pp. 81-82)
 >checked the French archives and found no trace of this case, but
 >we can't prove (at present) that Fenoglio has invented it.>

 >Perhaps Edoardo Russo would have new info?

 >Is Fenoglio still alive? A Google search reveals that he
 >published a book on Ancient Egypt in 1995.



Hello Bruno, Larry, everyone,

Since I posted a request for information regarding this old case
a few months ago I have received many letters from readers and
researchers interested in getting to the bottom of it. Others
were only vaguely aware that the case existed, although dozens
of UFO catalogues mention the incident as if it were an
established fact in ufological history.

The time has come to lay inspector Liabeuf to rest. The Alençon
myth can be buried for good.

For the benefit of those who do not remember the details of the
story, here is a summary:

It is said that on June 17th 1790, near Alençon, France, at 5:00
in the morning, several farmers saw a huge globe in the sky,
surrounded by flames. They first took it to be a balloon which
had caught fire, but its speed and the strange whistling sound
coming from it led them to think otherwise. The globe descended
slowly, touching the top of a hill, where it tore up the plants
along the slope. The flames from the object set fire to the
small trees and the grass. Fortunately, the locals managed to
stop the fire from spreading.

In his report on the incident, police inspector Liabeuf wrote
that the sphere was still hot in the evening. It showed no signs
of damage despite the heat. "It stirred up so much curiosity
that people came from all directions to see it."

After some time, a very unexpected thing happened. A door burst
open in the sphere and a person came out! "But this person was
dressed in a very strange fashion. He wore a suit which clung to
his body, and when he saw all this crowd he said a few words
which could not be understood, and ran to take flight in the
woods." The peasants drew back from the sphere instinctively -
which was fortunate for them, because at that moment the object
exploded, hurling pieces everywhere. A search was undertaken to
find the mysterious visitor but he was never found.

As the Alençon incident has been included in so many anthologies
of UFO reports and hundreds of books, it has become one of the
best-known ‘folkloric’ cases in the field. I felt a little
disappointed, therefore, though perhaps not very surprised to
discover that the event never really occurred. The earliest
reference to this case comes from an article published in 1966
by the late Italian ufologist Alberto Fenoglio. A writer known
to have made up many UFO reports in his time, Fenoglio invented
the story about Inspector Liabeuf for a purportedly serious
article about UFOs in ancient history, published in the Italian
magazine Clypeus. This article, Antichi visitatori dal Cielo
(Ancient Sky Visitors)was widely distributed and translated into
several languages. The truth of the matter came to light way
back in 1975 when the brilliant Italian ufologist Edoardo Russo
carried out an in-depth investigation into Fenoglio’s claims my
only reference is my personal correspondence with Mr. Russo) and
discovered them to be false. In spite of this, books and
magazine articles presenting the story of the Alençon ‘crash’ as
a genuine case are published every year in many countries.

Similar circumstances surround another tale of the same kind but
set in Russia. According to author Yves Naud, the inhabitants of
a Russian village in the region of Don were surprised to find a
large metal ball in one of their fields. This was in March 1796,
making it just six years after the alleged Alençon event. It was
ten feet in diameter. People from everywhere flocked to see it,
and they wondered where it had come from. Clearly it had not
been delivered by road, as there were no wheel tracks to be seen
anywhere in the vicinity.

It could have fallen from the sky, they thought, but there was
no crater. Except for a regular pattern of circles etched into
it the surface of the ball was as smooth as marbleThe village
folk tried to move the object but their effort was useless, it
would not budge an inch. Then Pushkin arrived. Pushkin was a
drunkard and a gambler, even a heretic, and everyone looked down
on his ways. But despite his faults, he was known to be very
courageous. He was led to the spot. "He drew his sabre, spurred
his horse toward it, he cursed it and defied it, whether it came
from heaven or hell he challenged it to fight back."

The man struck the object with his sword again and again.
Suddenly the crowd around him began to howl with terror: one of
the circles on the ball had opened up, revealing a single
inhuman eye! Pushkin sneered and carried on with his blows
against the object. He struck it so hard, in fact, that blade of
his sabre snapped off.

The peasants fled in fear. Behind them they saw the drunkard and
his steed were both becoming transparent "then finally disappear
into the air." They could still faintly hear his voice, however,
as his angry cussing faded away. "The villagers were not unduly
perturbed by this; they murmured that the devil had gotten his
own back with the brawling Cossack."

Two days passed and nothing was seen or heard of Pushkin. Then
to everyone's surprise both he and his trusty horse staggered
back into the village as if drunk. He seemed calm enough, but he
soon "flew into a great rage and began to howl" that he was
going to put end to the unholy globe and set fire to it and the
woods and everything around it. "Everybody trailed along after
him to enjoy the spectacle. But all that was there to be seen
was his sorry mortification. The ball was no longer there".

Unlike in the case of the supposed crash at Alençon, I have so
far been unable to ascertain whether this tale is truly old or a
modern hoax. If it is of recent origin it would be interesting
to know what prompted the author to write it, as it tallies with
many other incidents and it would not be the only interesting
case dating to 1796. There exists a strong probability, however,
that the tale was another of Fenoglio’s inventions, as its
general literary style and setting resemble the Alençon incident
considerably. I can also state that not one of the many Russian
researchers with whom I have corresponded have ever heard of the

Considering the time that has elapsed since the actual unmasking
of Fenoglio, it would be obviously be a good idea if Edoardo
Russo and other ufologists possessing a complete list of
Fenoglio’s fraudulent claims could post them on the internet,
thus preventing similar problems for future generations of
ufologists. The problem is that when cases are proven to be
hoaxes people tend to forget about them rather than distributing
their findings. As I have saidbefore in my posts on this site,
we must make an effort to make negative findings known, as they
are no less important than positive ones.

Alençon is only one example. The Vidal case is another. Most
people know that the Vidal abduction never happened, but how
many outside the Spanish-speaking world know that the story was
concocted by film director Anibal Uset?

A lot of information becomes available in the French, German and
Spanish press but does not get mentioned in English books or
even on the internet. There’s not much point arguing about
whether English speakers should learn foreign languages to
further their research in these matters as, at least today,
English is the lingua franca of ufology. We cannot expect every
new UFO case that appears in the Spanish or German press to get
coverage in English journals and news servers, but when
important hoaxes and confusions are found out they must be made
public through English -language channels.

Chris Aubeck