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The Close encounter of Cussac was a UFO sighting and encounter in Cussac, Cantalmarker, Francemarker in 1967.

The testimony

On the morning of August 29, 1967, at 8:00 AM, François (13 years old), his sister Anne-Marie (9), and their dog Médor left the French commune of Cussac, Cantalmarker, to lead ten cows approximately 800 m to the west of the village. The sky was clear but it was a little cold (12 to 16 °C) and a light breeze blew in from the West. There was fog in two valleys 10 km from Cussac.

While supervising the herd, they played cards until 10:30 AM, when their cows tried to cross a low wall that separated them from a neighbour's grazing ground. François rose to order his dog to call them back. In doing this, François noticed 4 small beings across the road, behind a hedge, approximately 80m from him. He initially thought that they were children. François climbed some stones in order to distinguish them better and found them very strange. They were made of a 'silky' black, without any distinctive faces or clothing. Their sizes varied between 1m and 1.2m, with two of the beings smaller than the others. All had long, fine limbs and normally proportioned heads, although their craniums and chins seemed more accentuated than humans' and they seemed to have 'beards.'

Anne Marie, who still believed that these beings were children, called out, "Do you all want to come play with us?" In response, all four beings dove behind a hedge. At this point, the children climbed on top of a small wall and were able to distinguish an extremely brilliant sphere behind the 'black children' which was between 4 and 5 m in diameter (although Anne-Marie would later estimate this distance as between 2 and 2.5m). The sphere sparked so much that it was painful to look at.

As François and Anne-Marie watched, one of the 'black children" was lowered from the sphere and seemed to begin work on something on the ground. They saw two others in profile, and the fourth—who was the biggest of the group—holding a rectangular, mirror-like object reflecting the sun and agitating its hands as if it were making signs with its companions.

Three of the 'children' then flew away at the vertical and plunged, head first, into the top of the sphere. The fourth followed suit but, before plunging into the sphere, returned to the ground, seemingly to collect something (its "mirror" according to François).

The sphere then began to rise in a helicoid trajectory, and again the fourth being flew away from the spaceship before catching up again about 15m in the air. At this point the children noticed that the being had webbed feet. Anne-Marie also noticed that the being had a "pointed nose".

The sphere continued to ascend in circles, giving off more and more light. Then, a noise which had accompanied the takeoff of the sphere disappeared, and the spaceship moved away very quickly towards the North-West. At the same time, the children noticed a sulforous odor. Soon, both the cows that the children were tending to and those in the neighbouring field had become agitated and gathered closely together. The dog barked after the object and seemed to want to follow it.

François and Anne-Marie did not see the object disappearing, because they were obliged to look after the cows, which had become more and more agitated.

Their observation lasted around thirty seconds, after which point the children hurried to bring the cows back to their farm.

After the children's father, who was also the mayor of Cussac, saw Médor the dog arrive followed by his shocked children, he decided to call the gendarmes of Saint Flour, a town 19 km from Cussac. The mayor knew these policemen well, as they handled all road accidents around the commune.

The gendarmes arrived at 4 PM. They noticed the sulforous odor that the children had described as well as a slightly yellowed grass trace 4 to 5 meters, behind the hedge (which would begin to disappear after the first day). They collected testimonies, and informed their superiors by radio.

The children remained shocked following the incident, and Anne-Marie did not manage to sleep during the two days that followed. François cried during the fifteen minutes that followed the appearance and every morning when waking up for several days.

The inquiry

Joel Mesnard and Claude Pavy began an investigation for the GEIPAN which was published in the issue of Space Phenomenon of June 1968.

UFO association Lumières dans la Nuit also carries out a survey with members of the South of France.

In 1977, Luc Bourdin, investigator for "Lumières" met Francois, then at the college of Clermont, and remade a complete enquiry on the case. He learns that a sentence allotted to Anne-Marie in newspapers (Will you come to play with us?) was a pure journalistic fabrication, as François and Anne-Marie quickly realized that they did not have business with the other 'children.' François also confirmed that he did not see any 'feet' which would have supported the spaceship, although his sister made such a claim.

Skeptical analysis

  • Besides the strange odor smelled after the supposed event and the slightly yellowed grass, there is no scientific evidence to support this sighting.
  • There were only two witnesses, who were in a very isolated place, who saw the beings and their ship.

Elements in favour of the credibility of testimony

  • Since this morning of August 29, 1967, neither brother nor sister have ever have contradicted their testimonies. If one takes into account the media interest and the disadvantages that such attention can cause in a small commune where everything is known very quickly, this simple observation lends credibility to François and Anne-Marie's testimonies.
  • The children's fright upon returning to their village was said to appear completely genuine by the people of Cussac.
  • In their declaration to the Gendarmerie, François and Anne-Marie spoke of a whistling noise that accompanied the takeoff of the sphere. After the fact, a rural policeman who did not attend the scene but who lived in the vicinity would say that he also heard the noise.

Visual documents

Image:Cussac (4).jpgImage:Cussac (1).gifImage:Cussac (2).jpg


  • Articles dans la presse locale [signalé par Gamard sans plus de détails]
  • Emissions de radio (signalé par Gamard sans plus de détails)
  • XXXXXXXX père, communication à radio Luxembourg, 30 août 1967 [ Gamard]
  • "Les martiens ont-ils atterri ?", La Montagne, 1er septembre 1967, p.3 (détails du cas de Cussac) [ Maillot]
  • Paris Jour, 2-3 septembre 1967 (à trouver, signalé par Gamard)
  • LDLN n° 90, septembre-octobre 1967, p. 6.
  • The APRO Bulletin, sept-oct 1967 p. 8.
  • Figuet, M. et Ruchon, Louis
  • Mesnard, J. et Pavy, Claude, "Rencontre "diabolique" sur le plateau de Cussac", Phénomènes Spatiaux n° 16, juin 1968, pp. 27–31, traduit "Encounters with 'devils'", FSR vol 14, n° 5, septembre-octobre 1968, p. 7-9.
  • Hebdo (Toulouse), 12 octobre 1968 [à trouver, signalé par MSV et par Gamard]
  • Vallée, J. Chroniques des apparitions extraterrestres, Paris, Denoël, 1972, p. 420.
  • Bulletin UFOIC n° 21, décembre 1968 (signalé par Ensia, 1974)
  • Rapport International UFO Bureau mai-juin 1969 (signalé par Ensia, 1974)
  • "Les petits êtres de Cussac", in Lagarde (dir.), Mystérieuses soucoupes volantes, Paris, éditions Albatros, 1973, p. 127-132.
  • Bourret, J.-C. La Nouvelle vague des soucoupes volantes, Paris, France-Empire, 1974, p. 136-138.
  • Garreau, C. et Lavier, Raymond, Face aux extra-terrestres, Paris, Jean-Pierre Delarge, 1975, p. 192-194.
  • Creighton, G., LDLN n° 145, mai 1975
  • Lorenzen, C. et J. Encounters with UFO Occupants, New York, Berkeley Medallion Book, 1976, p. 162 (resemblance avec un autre cas sud américain), 224.
  • Delval, Jean-Pierre, 1976
  • Perrin, R. Jack, Le Mystère des OVNI, Paris, Pygmalion, 1976, p. 20-28 (reprend l’article de Phénomènes spatiaux).
  • Durrant, H. Premières enquêtes sur les humanoïdes extraterrestres, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1977, p. 41-47 [reprend le texte paru dans MSV]
  • Rapport au Conseil scientifique du GEPAN, Tome 4, CNES/CT/GEPAN 140, Juin 1978 - signé par 19 personnes.
FSR n° 68
  • Ensia, Pierre, "Les humanoïdes", Horizon du Fantastique n° 25 bis (spécial 2), 1974, p. 57-59 (Ensia signale deux publications en anglais sur le cas, dans le Bulletin UFOIC et par l’International UFO Bureau).
  • Info OVNI Spécial, catalogue Auvergne, juillet 1978, p. 34-35
  • Figuet, M. et Ruchon, Jean-Louis, Ovni : le premier dossier complet des rencontres rapprochées en France, Nice, Alain Lefeuvre, 1978, p. 285-287.
  • L’Autre Monde, n° hors série "OVNI : hypothèses extraterrestres", p. 30-32.
  • Eric Zurcher, Les apparitions d’humanoïdes, Nice, Alain Lefeuvre, 1979, p. 313.
  • Bourret, J.-C. et Claeys, Patrick, Témoignages OVNI, Paris, Editions Atelier 786, p. 46-50.
  • Pinvindic, T. "Synthèse de la rencontre avec JF XXXXXXXX, témoin de l’observation de Cussac, Clermont-Ferrand le 21 juillet 1983", Communication personnelle, 11 pages.
  • Gamard, Alain, A propos de la "Synthèse de la rencontre avec JF XXXXXXXX, témoin de l’observation de Cussac, Clermont-Ferrand le 21 juillet 1983", 20 décembre 1983 (communication personnelle)
  • Pinvindic, T. "Des témoins pour une 'légende' : un cas d’apparition d’ovni", Communications n° 52, octobre 1990, p. 311-335.
  • Pinvindic, T. "Un grand classique qui a la vie dure", In Pinvindic (ed), Ovni, vers une anthropologie d’un mythe contemporain, Ed. Heimdal, Paris, 1993, pp. 199–209.
  • "Un cas célèbre : Quatre petits êtres et une sphère lumineuse à Cussac en 1967", Limousin Magazine n° 368, mai 1994.
  • Bourret, J.-C. et Velasco, J.-J. , Ovnis, la science avance, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1995, p. 112-123.
  • "Ovnis au Planétarium" Lyon Capitale du 7 décembre 1995 (Cussac au centre du débat) [cité par Maillot]
  • Lagrange, P. Science & Vie Junior n° 77, janvier 1996 p. 84.
  • Lagrange, P. et al., La Nuit Extra-Terrestre, Canal+, 1997, p. 41.
  • Bourret, J.-C. Ovnis : 1999, le contact ?, Paris, Michel Lafon, 1997, p. 53-57.
  • Huyghes, Patrick et Stacy, Dennis, Field Guide of Extraterrestrials,
  • Maillot, E. "Les ufologues et l'ovni de cussac - 30 ans dans un cul-de-sac !", Cercle Zététique, 1996
  • Le cas de Cussac, 29 Août 1967... UFOmania n° 22, Décembre 1998
  • Maillot, E. Article sur Cussac, CNEGU
  • Delmon, Alain, Les cas solides : Cussac, 1967, RR3, France, 2003
  • Poher, C. "Retour sur le cas de Cussac", 2004
  • Gutierez, G. "Cussac - 29 août 1967", Ovniland, 2004
  • Gutierez, G. "Cussac : le dossier interne du GEPAN enfin publié !", Ovniland, 2 mars 2005
  • Maillot, E. "Retour aux sources du cas de Cussac grâce à une enquête méconnue", Les Mystères de l'Est n°10, CNEGU

See also

External links

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