The Red, White and Gray (Part One)
My senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip - Bob Dylan
Something went seriously weird in 1954. France, and not just France, saw hundreds of UFO sightings and encounters with bizarre entities in cases of high quality reported almost exclusively by local media - there was no national "contageon" of hysteria - told by multiple witnesses of impressive character. Jacques Vallee notes that all incidents consisted of "strange happenings...reported by normal people, who had normal occupations at the time of the sighting, were generally not known, had no interest in flying saucers and were seeking no publicity."
In Vallee's close analysis of some 200 of these cases, published in Charles Bowen's The Humanoids, he notes how four separate groups of witnesses who had never heard of each other made independent reports to different newspapers of a sighting on October 14 of a low-flying, reddish disc that caused cars to stall and headlights to fail. Celeste Simonutti reported encountering a luminous sphere on the evening of September 30, 12 metres in diameter and hovering a meter above the ground, which shifted through red and blue hues before accelerating vertically at extreme speed. Friends told Simonutti he must have seen a "flying saucer," and then had to explain to him what they meant. He'd never heard of them before. On the night of November 4, fisherman Jose Alves saw a bright object land near his position and three small, dark entities emerge and gather leaves, grass and water. They then re-entered the craft and it flew away. Alves too was told he'd seen aliens, but maintained he'd witnessed only "ordinary devils."
Several more examples from the French flap of 1954, all from October, as noted by Vallee, and by Richard Dolan in the first volume of his UFOs and the National Security State:
October 2: At 8pm, in Croix d'Epine, a man on his motor scooter saw a bright, oval object land off the road fifty feet from him. He saw short, dark shapes "like potato bags" moving around the object, which was the size of a small bus. It quickly took off, changing from orange to blue, then grayish-blue. The man fainted while telling his story. Two people in nearby villages independently reported seeing the object. (Dolan)
October 3: At dawn in Bresseuir, a fifty-five year old stockyard employee was going to work when he saw a small being wearing a diving suit standing near a circular craft about ten feet in diameter. The object swiftly took off. Shortly after noon, a man saw a circular craft between the towns of Montmoreau and Villebois-Lavalette. It seemed to be gliding on or near the ground, had luminous spots, and became illuminated when it took off. The man found flattened and scorched grass over an area 25-feet across. At around 7:30 pm, a crowd at a fair in Chereng saw a fast luminous object in the sky suddenly stop, give off sparks, and descend to ground level. As people ran to the spot, the object took off again. (Dolan)
October 5: In Loctudy a baker was drawing water from the well in the middle of the night when he noticed, some distance awa, an object about 3 metres in diameter from which emerged a dwarf who had an oval face covered with hair and eyes which were "as large as the eggs of a raven." The unknown individual touched the witness on the shoulder and spoke to him in a language he could not understand. As the young man called his boss, the dwarf went back into the craft and flew away. (Vallee)
October 9: A man on a bicycle in Lavoix saw a figure in a diving suit with very bright eyes aiming a double beam of light at him, which paralyzed him. The being then walked into the forest. In Carcassone, a man saw a metallic sphere in the road. The top half of the object was transparent, and he saw two human-shaped figures standing inside. The craft soon left at high speed. (Dolan) The individual seemed to have "boots without heels" and very bright eyes.... The entity had a very hairy chest and carried two "headlights" placed one below the other on his chest. (Vallee)
October 9: From the report of four children living in Pournoy-la-Chetive: "We were roller-skating, about 18:30, when all of a sudden we saw something luminous near the cemetary. It was a round machine, about 2.5 metres in diameter, which was standing on three legs. Soon a man came out. He was holding a lighted flashlight in his hand and it blinded us. But we could see that he had large eyes, a face covered with hair and that he was very small, about 1.20 metres. He was dressed in a sort of black sack like the cassock M. le Cure wears. He looked at us and said something we did not understand. He turned off the flashlight. We became afraid and ran away. When we looked back we saw something in the sky: it was very high, very bright and flew fast." (Vallee)
And as mentioned, it wasn't just France. In a populated neighbourhood of Tehran on October 12, a disc-shaped object was observed by multiple witnesses to descend close to the ground. Witness Chasim Faili "screamed when he thought he was going to be kidnapped." The operator of the craft was said to be "small and dressed in black." In Northern Italy on November 14, a farmer saw a bright cigar-shaped craft land, and three dwarfs in "diving suits" emerge and collect several of the farmer's caged rabbits. The farmer attempted to shoot but his rifle became so heavy he had to drop it and then found himself unable to move or speak as the entities went about their work and departed. Two young Venezuelans reported having been attacked on December 10 by four hairy dwarfs near a bright object which had landed near the Trans-Andean Highway. On December 19, also in Venezuela, a jockey saw six small entities loading stones into a disc-shaped object. He tried to run but was parlysed by a violet beam of light aimed by one, who then entered the object with the others and took off.
The details are often bizarre, and bizarrely shared: the boots without heels; the seeming demonstration of elemental collection (rocks, water, rabbits); the paralysing "flashlights" worn on the chest; sack-like apparel or "diving suits"; and strong and very hairy dwarves with large, bright eyes, speaking an unknown language (strikingly similar to the "extremely hairy" dwarves with round eyes "larger than is the norm with us," reported by Brazilian policeman and abductee/initiate Jose Antonio Da Silva in 1969).
Significantly, Dolan notes: "none of the sightings included descriptions of what are now called 'Grays.'" It wasn't until the 1960s, and only in the United States, that identifiably "gray aliens" began appearing in encounter records. In the years since, their image and their associate disinformation fables (Roswell and Dulce, for instance) have come to so dominate the subverted consciousness that some ufologists simply remove the ongoing and troublingly bizarre "non-gray" encounters from their ET equation. Debunkers also. Susan Clancy can make her shallow arguments for sleep paralysis and the archetypal simplicity of the gray's minimalist face, but has nothing to say about bug-eyed hairy dwarves dressed like monks, because the troubling variety has been excised by those who mean to exploit a phenomenon beyond their control and massage its perception.