Close encounter of Cussac was a UFO sighting and encounter in Cussac, Cantal, France in
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
Cantal, 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
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
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
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
Joel Mesnard and Claude Pavy began an investigation for the GEIPAN
which was published in the issue of Space Phenomenon
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.
- 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.
Image:Cussac (4).jpgImage:Cussac (1).gifImage:Cussac (2).jpg
- Articles dans la presse locale [signalé par Gamard sans plus de
- Emissions de radio (signalé par Gamard sans plus de
- XXXXXXXX père, communication à radio Luxembourg, 30 août 1967 [
- "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
- 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,
- Rapport International UFO Bureau mai-juin 1969 (signalé par
- "Les petits êtres de Cussac", in Lagarde (dir.), Mystérieuses
soucoupes volantes, Paris, éditions Albatros, 1973, p.
- 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
- Info OVNI Spécial, catalogue Auvergne, juillet 1978, p.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lagrange, P. et al., La Nuit Extra-Terrestre, Canal+, 1997, p.
- Bourret, J.-C. Ovnis : 1999, le contact ?, Paris, Michel Lafon,
1997, p. 53-57.
- Huyghes, Patrick et Stacy, Dennis, Field Guide of
- 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
- Maillot, E. Article sur Cussac, CNEGU
- Delmon, Alain, Les cas solides : Cussac, 1967, RR3, France,
- 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