The first account of this utterly unique close encounter was published in 1968, in the Vol. 14, No. 6, Nov./Dec. issue of the “Flying Saucer Review.”
The report came from a man who was at the time described as “a young researcher from the southern part of France” named Lyonel Trigano. According to Trigano, the witness (who would be referred to only as Mr. S.) was “a solidly-built man in his fifties,” who ran “an important garage in Herault,” France.
Trigano interviewed the perturbed eyewitness, who — under strict conditions of anonymity — confided his perplexing tale to the young ufologist. Here is the witness’s own account of the event (which was translated by John C. Hugill and published in the FSR under the title: “Strange Encounter in Var”) and, like all good tales of terror, this one begins on a dark and stormy night:
“One evening in November, 1962, I was driving along a minor departmental road in Var. It was a dark night, and raining in torrents, so that I was driving with my lights full on.”
The trip had been thus far uneventful, but it would soon take a literal turn into the Twilight Zone. According to the observer:
“Rounding the bend, I saw, 80-meters [just over 260-feet] ahead, a group of figures clustered in the middle of the road. I slowed down to avoid the group, and at the same moment it split into two parts, suddenly and jerkily.”
It was then that Mr. S. noticed that there was something decidedly unnatural about the mob of jaywalkers blocking his passage:
“My window was down and I leaned my head out slightly to see what was the matter; it was then that I saw beasts, some kind of bizarre animals, with the heads of birds, and covered with some sort of plumage, which were hurling themselves from two sides towards my car.”
This petrifying confrontation with unknown and decidedly violent creatures would be more than enough to disturb anyone, but just when things seemed to have reached maximum levels of high-strangeness, they took a turn for the downright bizarre:
“Terrified, I wound up my window, accelerated like a mad man, and the stopped 150-meters [approximately 500-feet] further on. I turned round and saw these things, these beasts, these nightmarish sort of beings, which were heading, with a sort of flapping of wings, towards a luminous dark-blue object, which hung in the air over a field on the other side of the road.”
Mr. S. then described this ostensibly extraterrestrial vehicle in more detail: “It resembled two plates, upside down, and placed on one another.”
As if a flock of attacking bird-men and a hovering UFO would not strain the sanity of even the hardiest individual, Mr. S. put the proverbial cherry on the sundae with his final observations:
“On reaching it [the UFO], these ‘birds’ were literally sucked into the underpart of the machine as if by a whirlwind. Then I heard a dull sound (clac!) and the object flew off at a prodigious speed and finally disappeared.”
It seems strange that these bipedal bird creatures were “sucked” into the flying saucer rather than climbing back inside; as happens in most occupant reports. As bizarre as this may sound, one almost can’t help but to wonder whether these “beasts” were actually piloting the UFO seen by Mr. S., or if they represent some kind of alien pets — or even food a source — kind of the equivalent of intergalactic free range chickens. After all, extraterrestrials have got to eat too.
According to Trigano, Mr. S. had no interest in the UFO phenomenon or in making his story public: “simply for fear of being thought mad.” Even if the witness had no interest in pursuing the origins of these creatures the rest of us are left with the conundrum of just what the heck did this middle-aged garage manager see on that rain drenched eve back in 1962?
The Editor who commented on the FSR story sagely (especially considering this was back in 1968, when it was a daunting task to correlate such disparate accounts) felt that this story was “important,” especially in light of the MOTHMAN report filed by John Keel in the magazine’s July/August, 1968, edition; and the BAT BEAST OF KENT case, which FSR covered in its March/April, 1964, issue.
Whatever these “nightmarish beings” were, they — no doubt to the relief of Mr. S. — have never so much as shown a beak again… and as far as we’re concerned these feathery fiends (and other AVIAN ANOMALIES, such as the BIG BIRD of Texas) put a whole new twist on the phrase “angry birds.”
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / designer / crypto chronicler / pod host / cult movie lover and co-founder of American Monsters.