1958, Maryland, MA2 444

    “A case that took place in March 1958, and which was later reported in the pages of The Flying Saucer Review by French investigator Joel Mesnard, provides an opportunity to verify again the strange properties of the lights associated with the UFO phenomenon in modern and ancient times.

    The witness here is a twenty-eight-year-old French legionnaire who was on sentry duty at the Algerian camp of Bouahmama, in the desert south of Constantine. Shortly after 12:30a.m., this man heard a whistling noise that seemed to be coming from the sky, and as he looked up he saw a very large object, about one thousand feet in diameter, coming down some 150 feet away from him. The most remarkable thing about this object, however, was not its enormous size but the intense conical beam of emerald-green light that came down from its underside.

    The recollections of the legionnaire beyond this point are vague and, by his own admission, may not correspond to reality. Instead of either firing his gun to alert others or picking up the field telephone to call his superiors, he remained staring at the object for over three-quarters of an hour. According to this man, as interviewed by Joel Mesnard: “the pale green and emerald colors were the most beautiful, relaxing, and fascinating colors he had ever seen.

    The object departed in the most classical way: first the whistling noise, then the rising to an altitude of about three hundred feet, and finally the climb at “tremendous speed” toward the northeast. As the object left and the man returned to full awareness, the happy, ecstatic feeling he had experienced was replaced by sadness. He picked up the telephone and reported what he had seen to his superiors. They initially thought that the experience was a hallucination due to stress, but it is to the credit fo the French military that a thorough investigation was pursued. Instead of sweeping the case under the rug (and the French Legion in Algeria had more pressing problems at that time than investigating UFO landings!), the officers went to the site, examined it carefully, found no physical evidence, resumed their questioning of the witness, and, as he kept insisting on the veracity of the event and they had no reason to doubt his truthfulness, they sent him to Paris for a more detailed examination. In Paris he was kept under observation for one week at the Val-de-Grace Military Hospital. An electroencephalogram revealed nothing unusual. The medical staff concluded that he was in a state of good mental and physical health and was not suffering from the strain of war in any unusual way. 

    Mr. Mesnard met the witness in May 1970. the legionnaire had returned to civilian life and impressed the investigator with his practical, down-to-earth sense. He had been looking for no publicity whatsoever and was even reluctant to discuss his experience. When he did so, he answered questions in a straight, matter-of-fact way. He has had no illness of any kind since the day of the sighting, no new experience of an unusual type, and he recalls the extremely peaceful state induced by the presence of the object. “It was like time running very slowly... it was like being in another world.”

    Is the mechanism of UFO apparitions, then, an invariant in all cultures? Are we faced here with another reality that transcends our limited notions of space and time? I see no better hypothesis at this point of our knowledge of UFO phenomena. Certainly the space visitors hypothesis fails to explain adequately the ancient symbolism. We do not have a simple series of incidents that could be explained as an encounter with space travelers who might have spotted the earth and explored it casually on their way to another cosmic destination. Instead, we have a pattern of manifestations, opening the gates to a spiritual level, pointing a way to a different consciousness, and producing irrational, absurd events in their wake... ”

- Dimensions, p. 41-42.