Popular name given to a strange entity purportedly witnessed by a crowd of people at around 5 a.m. on June 12, 1790 in Alencon, France. According to the story, a large metal sphere descended from the sky and crash-landed into a nearby hillside. After a crowd had gathered, a "hatch" slid open and a being emerged dressed in an odd, tight-fitting costume; it mumbled something in a strange language, before bolting off towards some nearby woods. Seconds later the sphere exploded, fragments of which were said to have sizzled on the grass and melted. A wide search of the area yielded no further sign of the mysterious visitor.
The tale of the "Alencon Spaceman" is now recognized by ufologists as being a modern forgery, which first appeared in Italy in 1966 and was subsequently copied without proper checking of the source. The deception was uncovered by by two ufologists, Frenchman Patrick Cubeau and Belgian Christiane Piens, who could find no trace of the central character of the story, a police officer named Liabeuf.1,2
[Thanks to Claude Mauge for information in the second paragraph and the references.]
Related entry• paleocontact hypothesis
Related categories• SCIENTIFIC MYSTERIES
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