I have been taking a look at French organisations currently interested in UAP. One of these is a French learned body, know as 3AF. 3AF's full name is the Association Aeronautique et Astronautique de France. Its aims include, to bring together persons interested in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics; to develop specialised information on these fields, and to provide a forum for members to share information on these topics. It was formed in 1972. (Click here.)
3AF has a number of technical committees, covering such topics as commercial aviation, drones, and space exploration. However, of particular interest to us is the "SIGMA" technical committee. The 3AF website tells us that the activity of this particular technical committee is the "...study of unidentified aerospace phenomena."
A post on the website of "Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (UAP) Observations Reporting Scheme" (click here) provides further insight into the history of SIGMA. Philippe Ailleris (click here) attended a meeting in Paris on 11 January 2013 at which there was a presentation by Alan Boudier of SIGMA - 3AF. Alan Boudier created the French Commission SIGMA in May 2008 within 3AF. Ailleris's notes include:
"Within this structure, the SIGMA Commission goal is to study Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena and in particular to:
a. Analyse official declassified documents (From France and other countries);
b. Organise meetings with relevant important institutions and researchers interested or associated with the PAN topic;
c. Perform some detailed analysis of evidence (e.g. pictures, films, testimony, samples.)
At its inception, the SIGMA commission comprised around 14 eminent scientists and military persons, ( e.g. Astrobiologist A Brack; Army General P Bescond; European astronaut J F Clervoy; GEIPAN Expert F Louange.)
In May 2010, the first progress report of the SIGMA commission was released..."
"The current situation in France" section reviews a number of official and non-official French bodies who at some stage have looked into the phenomenon. These include GEIPAN (click here); COMETA (click here); The General Secretariat of National defines (SGDN); the General Directorate of the National Gendarmerie (DGGN); and civilian UAP groups.
Between 2008 and 2010, SIGMA 3AF representatives met with several of these organisations as well as discussing the topic with many others.
Section 4 of the report lists the most significant French cases as:
1. Madagascar 16 Aug 1954.
2. Valensole 1 Jul 1965.
3. Trans en Provence 8 Jan 1981.
4. Nancy. 28 Oct 1982.
5. Biarritz/Strasbourg 5 Nov 1990.
The document reviews some of the characteristics of UAP, namely, high accelerations; low speed-very large objects; silent propulsion and high speeds.
The report rejects a terrestrial explanation for the phenomenon. The working hypothesis is that of a non-terrestrial origin. To read an English translation of the full report, click here.
In October 2013, the SIGMA committee of 3AF commenced a new phase of operations and changed its name to SIGMA2 to reflect this change. It set new, less ambitious goals, as it saw that a serious study of the phenomenon could not be achieved in a short time frame. Luc Dini (click here) was appointed Manager off the new style commission. Dini is currently with Thales Air Systems as Business Development Director Missile Defense (for further details click here and here. )