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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Mar > Mar 29

More On Release Of French UFO Files

From: Gildas Bourdais <bourdais.gildas.nul>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 17:01:28 +0200
Fwd Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 11:24:43 -0400
Subject: More On Release Of French UFO Files

To All,

I met,  for a second time, with Jacques Patenet, the engineer
in charge of GEIPAN, the new French service of UFO studies at
the French Space Agency CNES  - Centre National d'Etudes
Spatiales, or National center for Space Studies - and I can give
some more information on the release of those UFO files.

We talked at a TV debate ("C Dans l'air"), recorded yesterday,
airing tomorrow, Friday, March 30, on the French national
network France 5.

Some more information, and some corrections of what has been
already reported:

The name GEIPAN means Groupe d'Etudes et d'Information des
Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non identifies, (Group for Studies and
Information on Unidentified Aerospatial Phenomena). It was
created in September 2005, to replace the SEPRA which closed in
January 2004. Also put in place at that time,  a steering
comittee (COPEIPAN) presided over by Yves Sillard, former
director of CNES, and comprising about fifteen members, whose
names are not known.

In January 2006, Jacques Patenet announced that GEIPAN was going
to put all its UFO files on the web site of CNES, during 2006.
The project had been delayed but has now begun with the release
of some 400 files this monthh, covering the period 1988-2005.

Initial inquiries by CNES began in 1977 on the creation of the
first service called GEPAN, but there are files from the
fifties, and even one from 1937.

There are a total of 1,650 files, including some 6,000
testimonies, and a volume of some 100,000 pages, A4 format (not
100,000 files, as stated somewhere!).

This month, Jacques Patenet has given a number of interviews, in
which he warned that we are not going to find any new big case.
The best cases, such as Trans-en-Provence in 1981, are known

However, there is new information worth mentioning. The number
of unidentified cases after serious study (the "PAN D"
category), is now estimated at 25 to 28% (depending on the day
ot the interview, apparently). This is much more than previous
figures. In recent years, it was given at around 13%. So, the
revision of the files has at least brought this bonus for French

Two main ideas are being put forward by Jacques Patenet, in
several interviews. First: "There are no secrets, and we are
releasing all the files. Our purpose is to put to rest
allegations of UFO secrecy. Second, the extraterrestrial
hypothesis is conceivable, but there is not the slightest solid
proof for it, or against either."

For my part, the point I want to stress is that, yes, these
files at GEIPAN  are not "secret" files. They are mainly
sightings by civilian witnesses, gathered and reported by the
Gendarmes - the military police. If there are really secret
files in France, they are somewhere else, probably of military
nature. At the debate yesterday on French TV, we pushed him a
bit on that question, and he had to admit it. So, his first
statement is somewhat misleading, in fact. If there are secret
files, he just does not have them!

I also want to correct another mistake, seen in the Sunday Times
article of March 25,  "Spooky... They Start a UFO Website Then
it Crashes". It mentions the COMETA Report (without naming it),
published in 1999, as being a publication of the French
government, at the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de Defense
Nationale). It had been said by some people at the time, but it
is not true. This report was from a private group, the COMETA,
even if its true that it had been encouraged at the beginning by
the head of IHEDN, General Norlain.

In all, I think that we can consider that publication of French
UFO files as a very positive effort, wich has already the effect
of renewing interest for UFOs in the French media, and perhaps
of putting France back on the map of ufology!

Gildas Bourdais

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