Location: Bouhamama, Algeria
N.G., was on sentry duty at a Foreign Legion camp at Bouahmama
during the Algerian War, when he saw an enormous, roundish
object descending. It stopped when it was about 35-40
metres above the ground, and began to hover there, motionless
and silent. He estimated it to be as much as 350 metres
wide. The witness feels that something most unusual happened
to him psychologically.
Representation of the craft seen by the soldier.
Joel Mesnard, FSR Vol. 19. No. 3
VISITATION AT BOUAHMAMA
Algerian report of 1958
extraordinary UFO sighting was reported one night in March,
1958, during the Algerian War, at a Foreign Legion camp
at Bouahmama in the Sud Constantinois. The sole witness.
Legionnaire N.G., was on sentry duty outside the camp.
The site where he was consisted of a fortified emplacement
dug out of the ground, lightly armoured and equipped with
a telephone connected to the camp.
night was cloudless and the moon was shining. All was
silent on the desert landscape. No large-scale operations
were being carried out in the area at the time so N.G.,
who had been in the Legion for three years, was not feeling
especially anxious. He was sitting on the ground near
the trench, and had his rifle. If anything unexpected
happened, he was supposed either to fire his rifle or
call the camp by telephone.
at a few minutes after 0.30 hours, something did happen.
What it was that happened, we cannot say for sure. The
witness remembers seeing a positive, physical phenomenon
of enormous size. But he feels that something most unusual
happened to him psychologically. And he freely admits
that there might well be a difference between what he
sincerely remembers and what actually took place.
began with a whistling noise, the sort of noise you hear
if you blow into the neck of a bottle. This sound seemed
to him to be coming down from the sky. He immediately
looked up, and saw an enormous, roundish object descending.
It stopped when it was about 35-40 metres (roughly 100
to 120ft.) above the ground, and began to hover there,
motionless and silent.
estimated it to be as much as 350 metres wide (1,000 ft.).
As seen by him slightly from below, during the arrival
and take-off phases, it seemed to be elliptical in shape,
quite independently of the perspective effect that makes
a disc look elliptical when observed from a point outside
the disc's centre-line. Its span might, he thought, have
been in the neighbourhood of 250 metres. He estimated
the distance between himself and the nearest edge of the
object at little more than 50 metres (150 ft.)
I asked Monsieur N.G. to extend his arms towards the ends
of the object as he recalled seeing it, he held them out
at an angle of about 100 between them. This estimate would
fit quite well with the estimates given above of its size
and its distance from him.
object was surrounded by pale green light, and an intense
conical beam of emerald-green light was coming from the
centre of the under-part towards the ground.
N.G. did not fire his rifle, nor did he pick up the telephone.
He just remembers staring at the object for 45 to 50 minutes.
The pale green and emerald colours were the most beautiful,
relaxing and fascinating colours he had ever seen. Legionnaire
N.G. had forgotten all about the war. All nervous or psychological
tension had gone from his mind. He was just feeling happy.
came the noise again, like somebody blowing into a bottle,
and the object started rising gently, until it had reached
a height of about 1 k or 120 metres. Then it flew off
at tremendous speed towards the North-West, climbing as
the Legionnaire then felt was a sort of sadness at the
disappearance of this beautiful sight. After a few minutes,
this feeling began to fade, yielding place to a return
of his ordinary state of consciousness, until his full
mental faculties were back. He quickly picked up the telephone
and reported whal he had seen. To his great amazement,
however, the officer at the camp simply replied in the
manner: "All right. We'll see about it tomorrow
disappointed at the officer's reaction, N.G. continued
his watch until he was relieved by another man in the
early hours of the morning. He again reported his experience,
and this time, more attention was paid to him. Some of
his superiors were inclined to believe his story, because
N.G., then aged 28, was a well-respected soldier and was
considered serious and reliable. The majority, however,
thought it was just a case of psychological trouble caused
by the tough conditions of war in the desert.
careful investigation was carried out at the scene of
the sighting. N.G. recalls with a smile that the officers
even examined the sand with a magnifying lens. No footprints,
no marks, no alien material was found in the area, and
no smell either.
more for medical than for "ufological"
reasons, the witness was thoroughly questioned by officers.
He stuck to his original story, and the affair was considered
to be quite amazing. He was sent lo the Military Hospital
at Val de Grace in Paris. There, he was kept for a week
under close scrutiny by neurologists and psychiatrists.
An electroencephalogram revealed nothing unusual. The
conclusion of all the doctors was that N.G. was in a state
of good physical and mental health. He had not been notably
affected by the strains caused by wartime service in Algeria.
He had no tendency towards drinking, and was considered
to be competent for service in the Foreign Legion, which
means an especially hard way of life. Indeed, no man with
a tendency towards dreaming or science-fiction, or with
an over-developed imagination or analytical, critical
mind would be selected for service in the Legion.
N.G., who is today a civilian, is obviously a man with
a strong sense of the realities of everyday life, and
seems lo be just the opposite of an over-sensitive type
or a poet.
happened that night in Bouahmama? It is just as difficult
for us to believe in the physical features of the reported
sighting as it is for us not to believe in the sincerity
of the witness.
N.G. obviously is not seeking publicity. He just recounts
his experience, in a natural manner, to his own close
relatives, and when I met him in May 1970, he looked slightly
reluctant for the first few minutes, and then answered
my questions without emphasis on any particular feature.
have been unable so far to find any evidence from military
sources regarding his alleged experience. The Val
de Grace Hospital in Paris does not keep documents about
patients beyond a period of ten years.
size of the reported object is so large that, if it actually
was where the witness claims to have seen it, it must
have been visible from the camp at an angle of about 60°.
Yet nobody else reported seeing it. When 1 asked him about
the possible reasons for his having been the only witness,
N.G. replied that it is in no way astonishing, since most
of the men in the camp were asleep in their barracks at
the time. There was a legionnaire on sentry duty at the
opposite end of the camp, and he could have seen the UFO
at an angle of almost 40°. And yet, that sentry reported
nothing. Monsieur N.G. does not think that the slope or
the irregular pattern of the ground could have been sufficient
to render the phenomenon invisible from the camp.
witness seems to be conscious that something quite extraordinary
happened to his mind, but he seems to believe quite positively
in the geometrical features of his "sighting."
He says he has had no disease or illness of any kind since
the night of the sighting, and no unusual physical or
mental conditions. He has never had any other experiences
involving flying saucers, either before, or since his
experience at Bouahmama. What happened to him there in
1958 has left him with the belief that "there
is something," and that "something is
coming from another world to watch ours." Regarding
his amazingly peaceful state during the sighting, he uses
words like: "It was like time running very slowly
. . ." and "it was like being in another
the experience, he had felt a certain degree of interest
in flying saucers, and recalls having read about UFOs
in newspapers and magazines. In any case, the subject
definitely does not upset him and his experience, however
extraordinary it may seem, has not notably changed his
Bouahmama case, devoid as it is of physical evidence but
so puzzling in many respects, invites comparison with
a number of other cases. What the role of the witness
actually was leaves much to our imagination. It is just
one more of those very special UFO sightings which lead
us to think that Ufology may somehow be related to some
obscure psychic phenomenon.