|via British Newspaper Archive|
Make of this Close Encounter tale what you will. It comes from the "Sunderland Daily Echo" for September 13, 1954:
Police in Quarouble, Northern France, are investigating a claim by 34-year-old steelworker that a flying saucer carrying two little men landed on the bottom of his garden. They said they found burn marks on stones where the "saucer” is said to have landed, but little else. This is the story the steelworker, Marius Dewilde, told them.
"I was reading in my kitchen on Friday night when my dog Kiki began to bark outside.
"I saw a black mass of something on the railway line at the bottom of my garden. I levelled my torch and saw two small beings, about a metre (three feet) tall, but with very wide shoulders.
"Their heads were encased in enormous helmets and both were wearing overalls.
"I saw their legs, proportionate to their bodies, but no arms.
"I tried to head them off but that moment a brilliant green light shot out from the object on the railway line and dazzled me. I seemed to be paralysed.
"Then the object rose into the air, with black smoke hissing out from somewhere. It looked like a circular cake cover, about three metres high and five to six metres in diameter.
"In the distance it gave a sort of phosphorescent red glow and then disappeared."
According to other sources, there were some eerie postscripts to this alleged incident. His dog Kiki died three days later. Three cows on his farm died, with their bodies mysteriously drained of blood. Dewilde himself suffered from respiratory problems for some time after.
For what it's worth, at about the same time, a farmer named Antoine Mazaud, who lived in the Coreze, some 350 miles south of Paris, reported a more romantic brush with The Weird. The "Athens Messenger" for December 10, 1954, said that while he walking through his fields one evening in September, he suddenly saw a strange figure standing in front of him. "He could not distinguish his features because he wore a helmet with a kind of visor such as motorcyclists wear.
"About five feet high, the figure swayed slightly from side to side...the figure advanced a few steps, silently seized the farmer's hand in a tight clasp, then kissed him. Before he had time to recover his senses, the Martian was already walking away."
Mazaud hurried towards his farm, when he saw, some 30 feet ahead of him, an "elongated, glittering machine, about 15 feet long," which took off "with a faint, rustling noise."