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A UFO Over My Garden!

October 21st LAXOU, FRANCE | 1982

Shortly after finishing work in his home office at around 12:15pm, Mr. Henri Laurent – a 30-year-old biologist - headed out to his front yard to tend to his small garden at the front of his house. About 12:35pm, he noticed at a distance a flying object in the sky coming from the South-East. It was a bright object, which he first mistook for a plane. The sky was bright and blue without any clouds. The object was moving slowly and, at first, it appeared to the witness that it would just pass overhead and continue on its course.

However, at one point, he realized that the object instead was moving in his direction and, coming down as it did, it finally ended its course hovering less than two meters over his garden.

Shocked and taken aback by this change in trajectory and its ultimate outcome – finding within only a few moments the strange object only a very short distance from the witness - he moved back in fear about four meters.

The object was hovering only a metre away from the surface of the garden and became motionless. The witness decided to carefully approach it until he reached about 1.5 metres. And when he felt reasonably sure it presented little danger to him, he slowly came nearer until he reached about half a meter from its surface, which he closely examined.

The witness described the object as being circular, around 1.5 meters in diameter, having a fairly symmetrical top and bottom composed of a convex disk on each side of a thick central portion measuring around 40 centimeters in thickness - the bottom part having a flat center approximately 25 to 30 centimeters in diameter. The total thickness of the object was around 80 centimeters. It gave him the impression of a very heavy object in spite of the fact that it was hovering above the ground with no visible way to keep it afloat.

The thing that was most peculiar about the object was its colour and texture. Whereas the bottom disc had a metallic finish, looking something like polished beryllium, the top and sides were made of a material that appeared translucent and contained a swirl of colours in the green-blue range that appeared to be in motion.

The object emitted no sound, no glow, neither heat nor cold and did not appear to emit any detectable radiation.

At one point, the witness decided to go get the camera he had inside his house. When he returned and tried to take a picture, the shutter release on his camera malfunctioned. The witness later pointed out that he had had mechanical problems with his camera over previous weeks. Therefore, the malfunction is unlikely to have been caused by any effect relating to the presence of the unknown object.

After having examined the object at length at close range from top to bottom, the witness decided to move back and walk up the three stairs leading to his garden in order to examine the object from a higher perspective. When he reached his new position however, the object started moving upwards rather swiftly and went straight up back into the sky. The witness observed that, as the object rose, the grass under it seemed to be pulled upward only to fall back a few moments later.

The entire incident lasted over twenty minutes, as the witness was able to verify by checking his watch.

After the experience was over, he was shaken and felt unsure as to what to do next. Should he report the incident ? He decided to wait for the return of his wife from work. Upon her arrival at around 5pm, he told her what he had experienced and she agreed that the event should be reported to the local Gendarmerie. They thus headed there and he made a statement.

A few days later, the Gendarmerie forwarded the details of the incident to the GEPAN – the UFO investigating branch of the CNES (Centre National d’Études Spatiales) - and subsequently, the GEPAN conducted an investigation and tested the vegetation in the vicinity of the purported position of the object, which had apparently undergone some transformations.

Several aspects of this case make it unique. For one thing, the witness was a cellular biology scientist with little to no interest in UFOs. For another, the witness’s garden is located in an enclosed area, which would make it hard for any person located outside his residence to see the object. In fact, from an elevated standpoint, such as the second floor of a surrounding building, had it been sighted – given its colour and peculiar texture – it might have only appeared to other observers like a small body of water, something like an elevated circular pond, and it would have aroused little suspicion or surprise. Nonetheless, it is extremely strange that the object precisely positioned itself over the witness's small garden as if to showcase itself - yet remain undetectable to others outside the witness’s location.

It is to be noted that the witness never contacted the media nor any UFO investigators regarding his experience - making it clear that the witness never sought any publicity. This is also why this case remains little known up to today.

Over recent years, this case was mentioned in a few French UFO documentaries and was also featured in an episode of the Canadian series “Close Encounters”. Unfortunately, the depiction as portrayed in the above TV series bears little resemblance to the actual event.

Photographs from the entrance of Mr. Laurent's house. The Garden is located to the left

Fig. 1 (Left) Sketch made by Mr. Laurent under the police investigation

Fig. 2 (Right) Sketch made by Mr. Laurent under the GEPAN investigation
Fig. 3 (Left) Sketches made by investigators illustrating the trajectory of the ufo upon arrival and departure

Fig. 4 (Right) Fig. 4 (Right) Layout of Mr. Laurent's house and all the move he made during the 20 minutes of the sighting.

Sources and Credits:

- Research and Article by Francois Beaulieu