One morning last October, Jean Narcy, a road mender of Haute-Marne, France, was riding to work on his bicycle. In a wheat field he saw a little whiskered man just under 4 ft. tall, who wore a fur coat, an. orange corset and a plush cap.
"Bonjour" said M. Narcy.
The little man muttered something like "I'll be seeing you." Then he jumped into a small (10 ft. in diameter) flying saucer, took off with a buzzing sound and disappeared into the clouds.
With Narcy's "hairy Martian" as a starting point, the French press ran wild, and a deluge of Martians has been raining down ever since. They have come in flying cigars, crowns, comets, winged mushrooms, even a flying chamber pot. Unlike Americans who have seen flying saucers, the French "sighters" paid little attention to the vehicles. They were more interested in the people from space.
The Martians were, anything but standardized. One who stopped M. Roger Barrault near the town of Lavoux had brilliant eyes, an enormous mustache, wore rubbers and spoke Latin. Another asked M. Pierre Lucas, a Breton baker, for a light. He was bearded and had a single eye in the middle of his forehead. M. Lucas could not remember what language he spoke.
Paralyzing Pygmies. As the Martian invasion of France proceeded, the invaders became more bizarre. A troup of pygmies in plastic helmets gamboled down a railroad track near Quarouble and transfixed M. Marius Dewilde with "a paralyzing beam of light." Some Martians were blue, others were yellow or pink. A traveling salesman of the Cotes-du-Nord saw a wonderful sight: a deep rose flying cigar from which stepped a zebra-striped Martian. As he alighted, he changed color, chameleonlike, from yellow to green.
The Martians marched en masse into French affairs. Cartoonists welcomed them delightedly (see cuts). As they multiplied, they even gained respectability. Le Figaro reported: "Counsellor General of Alpes Maritimes greets flying saucers' first appearance on the Cote d'Azur." France Soir announced that "a daily flying-saucer service seems to have been established between Marais Poitevin and La Rochelle." A man from space even made the social columns of Paris Presse: "Mustached Martian spends weekend at Vienna." Angry deputies asked questions in Parliament. Air Force authorities (even as in the U.S.) were badgered for explanations.
Before the many-colored Martians rained down on France, famed Swiss Psychiatrist C. G. Jung was asked what he thought about the saucer epidemic.
"Something is being seen," said Jung. "What is seen may be, in the case of a single observer, a subjective vision (hallucination). In the case of several or many observers, it may be a collective vision. Such a psychic phenomenon . . . could be a spontaneous reaction of the subconscious to the present conscious situation: the fear of an apparently insoluble political situation in the world ... At such times eyes turn heavenwards . . . and miraculous forebodings of a threatening or consoling nature appear from on high."