Déclaration du témoin

Home  >  Rapport Sturrock  >  Trans-en-Provence  >  Enquête sur le terrain

I have lived in Trans-en-Provence at my current address for nearly 14 years. My wife and I live alone. She is the cleaning lady at the social security office in Draguignan. I have not worked since November 1979. I was previously an employee of the S.C.N.I. company. This firm went out of business and I was laid off. I receive a disability pension because I suffered from a heart problem since 1973.

Yesterday, January 8, 1981, I was busy around the house as I am practically every day. I was behind the house, which is built over a "restanque" (raised level). I was building a concrete shelter for a water pump. Behind my house on the same level is an expanse of flat ground. It is reached through a path along the base of the house.

It was about 5 p.m. The weather was turning colder. My attention was attracted by slight noise, a sort of faint whistling. I turned around and I saw a device in the air at the height of a big pine tree on the edge of the property. This device, which was not spinning, was coming lower towards the ground. I was only hearing a slight whistling sound. I was not seeing any flames, either below or around this device.

While it was continuing to come down, I went closer by walking towards the stone cabin above my house. When I placed myself against the wall of the cabin I could see very well over the roof, since this cabin too is built over a raised level. I was on the higher level, about 1.2 m from the roof [Figures 4 and 5]. From that position I clearly saw the device resting on the ground. Right away it lifted off, still emitting a slight whistling sound. Reaching a point above the trees it left at high speed towards the forest of Trans, that is towards the northeast.

When the device lifted off I saw four openings below, through which neither flame nor smoke were escaping. The device kicked off a little dust when it left the ground. At that instant I was about 30 m away from the landing site. Later I went to the spot and I noticed a circle about 2 m in diameter. At certain places along the circumference of the circle were traces like abrasions.

When my wife came home in the evening I told her what I had seen. My wife thought I was joking. This morning in full daylight I have shown her the trace of the circle. My wife called our neighbor Mr. X on the telephone. He came over with his wife. I showed them the trace, too. It is then that they advised us to call the Gendarmerie.

The device had the shape of two saucers, one inverted on top of the other. It must have measured about 1.5 m in height. It was the color of lead. This device had a ridge all the way around its circumference. Under the machine I saw two kinds of round pieces as it was lifting off, they could be reactors or feet. There were also two other circles which looked like trapdoors. The two reactors, or feet, extended about 20 cm below the body of the machine. I have not felt any disturbance of the sense of vision or hearing.

The witness was also interviewed separately by an investigator with a civilian research group, who summarized his testimony as follows:

Fig. 4. Vue du site : mur de soutien et forêt

Mr. Nicolai is busy with some masonry work on a terrace just above his villa. As the evening comes, he wants to finish the job before the night. Suddenly, at the end of the dirt platform he sees a round object, dark in color, "fall" from the sky just between the tops of two high trees. Since this fall was not accompanied by any noise he is surprised and he looks carefully at the spot where the strange object has landed. He is about 80 m away. The device is motionless against the retaining wall (half clay, half dry stones) that borders the platform towards the hillside, to a height of about 2 m.

Fig. 5. Vue du site: Maison de M. Nicolai vue depuis la trace. Les lignes A et B pointent vers les localisations du témoin lorsque l'objet fut d'abord observé et lorsqu'il décolla, respectivement

From his location the witness observes something like a large inverted bowl, dark gray in color, dull. Surprised, he walks towards this strange object and comes to a position at the edge of the level, about 45 m away from the traces that will be observed after the departure of the object. Then he discovers a sort of ovoid vehicle, with the general shape of two half-spheres of unequal volume, clearly separated by a flat ledge, extending at least 15 cm and forming a ring around the metallic mass which has a lead-aluminum appearance. The top part extends above the retaining wall, hence the machine has a height between 2 and 2.5 m. The witness does not see any antenna, any porthole, any opening. He notices no extension, no external mechanical peculiarity. The whole thing seems smooth and compact to him. He estimates the horizontal diameter of this machine to be larger than its height. He has no time to continue his observation. The machine lifts off making a slight amount of dust and with a soft whistling. Then it seems to tilt, exposing its underside and it takes off at lightning speed, passing exactly between the two tall trees, at the exact spot from which it had seemed to "fall."

The witness has noticed that the landing trajectory is not identical to the take-off trajectory. When the machine rises and tilts on its departing path the witness notices four accessories under the device. He compares them to masonry pails in diameter and length. But he acknowledges that his description is imperfect and approximate, since the observation has been very brief because of the speed of the object and its most instantaneous disappearance. He has not heard any particular engine noise in the silence of the countryside. He has felt no heat, no vibration. He has felt no disturbance either during the observation or afterwards. He has only been very impressed by this unusual sight. He makes the drawing shown in Figure 6 representing the device.

Worried and amazed, he goes inside his house and tells his wife about the sighting. Skeptical and distrustful she recommends to him not to stay home to avoid having another encounter. The next morning they go together to the place where Mr. Nicolai has noticed some clearly visible traces which they are sure were not there the day before. Observing the material character of the sighting they think it useful to call the local Gendarmerie immediately for reassurance.

Home  >  Rapport Sturrock  >  Trans-en-Provence  >  Enquête sur le terrain