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 Printable Version


Nancy Talbott
BLT Research Team Inc.
April, 2007

© 2007 BLT Reseach Team Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Photos/Illustrations can not be reproduced in any media except with written permission from the photographer or illustrator

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

- Part 1 -

The isolated, rocky plateau at Col de Vence, France, where strange phenomena -- and bizarre photographs--are a regular occurrence.
Photo: N.Talbott (Sept. 21, 2006)

While on a 2004 lecture tour in Europe I first met Xavier Colin, a charming Frenchman who had recently become interested in the crop circle phenomenon. Xavier, one of a group of people who have been documenting strange events in the mountains near Nice (the Col de Vence group) and I had been in touch by email and phone previously and he had come to Belgium where I was speaking so we could further compare notes and exchange information.

Xavier Colin (right) with members of the Belgian crop circle group,
in the Belgium countryside (2004).
Photo: N. Talbott

Mr. Colin, a real-estate broker in Antibes, and several friends were regularly visiting Col de Vence, a remote area in the mountains of southern France not far from the French Riviera. Marked by dramatic rock formations and isolated, still-wild vistas, the site (the "Vence pass") is part of the southern Alps and has the reputation locally of being a place where extraordinary events--of a very diverse nature--are common. Xavier had brought some of the group's amazing photographs to Belgium with him.

Xavier is a family man, with a young daughter and a responsible job. He is intelligent, multi-lingual, and thoughtful in his approach to both the events at Col de Vence and his more recent interest in crop circles. Although not equipped with sophisticated technical capability himself he was open, in fact eager, to obtain professional analysis of some of the group's material (Xavier recently reported that French experts will begin such a project this year).

The range of anomalies in these photos is incredible. In fact, when I first attempted to publish some of the group's photos for the English-speaking public more than a year ago, seasoned UFO professionals strongly urged me to investigate this case further: they were certain the Col de Vence photos I had shown them were hoaxed and that I had misjudged the situation.

Because some people think that most "anomalous" photos are simply artifacts of digital cameras and since I knew that years ago early members of the Col de Vence group had used film, I thought it would be a good idea to show some of the early film photos before moving on to the even more amazing images captured now on digital cameras. The following film photos were taken by two early members of the group (Patrick and Denis) and show very dramatic light anomalies, many of them similar to photographs taken more recently.

In this photo a swirling "fog" is obscuring several of the people present; multiple smaller light balls seemingly in motion, as well as more tube-like structures, can be seen. Many people have taken similar photographs at crop circle sites with what looks like "fog" or "smoke" (which is not due to cigarette smoke, since most crop circle people (a) don't smoke at all, and (b) if they do, they don't smoke out in the fields). It should be noted that at Col de Vence there is no local light source whatsoever--no houses (close or distant), no street lamps, nothing but the mountains and rocky fields.

In the photo below there again appear to be multiple light balls, moving dynamically in front of the two people. [The yellow- and red-ringed blue circle in background is a "No-Parking" sign on the side of the road.]

Some of these early film photos show amazing colors, as well as complex effects which will be replicated in some of the more recent Col de Vence photographs. Below are 4 prints, taken during one night, all with chartreuse colored tubes of light.

In the photo immediately above there are not only multi-colored light streaks, there is a "snow-like" effect which has re-occurred in digital photographs taken much more recently.

There are two more points to make regarding these early film photos. First, during all the years that the Col de Vence group has been going up into the mountains, there has been only one member who has obtained unusual photos in each time period. Other people would regularly bring their cameras, but only one individual at a time (usually for a matter of years) would get strange photo effects.

Secondly, there are always 2-3 members of the group present (usually more) when these photos are taken. So far as I could ascertain, no one visits the location alone. The photos above are only a small portion of the early ones taken, but they establish that very strange effects have been repeatedly recorded on film at Col de Vence.

(back to top of page)
- Part 2 -

Welcoming party in tiny village near Col de Vence.
Photo: N.Talbott

It it now known that local residents in some of the tiny ancient villages in the area have, off and on for many years, heard strange sounds and seen unusual objects in the sky. Sometimes there is the sound of electrical engines passing just overhead, back and forth, when no planes are present. Fires have begun inexplicably, even in winter when the ground is covered with snow. There have been a number of unexplained plane crashes in the area, remnants of which are burnt forever into the massive limestone rock formations. There are also startling, and sometimes spectacular, stone falls which occur out of nowhere. Visitors report a sense of an "intelligence" inhabiting the place.

The current group documenting events at Col de Vence includes several members who have been visiting the site for years. Most of the photos on the group's web-site ( and in their recent DVD were, however, taken by one man--Pierre Beake. [It was also Mr. Beake who, in 2005, photographed a silvery disc-shaped "UFO" near the Boreham Down crop circle in Wiltshire, England ( ) ].

Pierre Beake
Pierre Beake, delighted with our photographic
results at Col de Vence.
Photo: N.Talbott

Pierre first discovered the isolated plateau in 1979, when he went with friends who were looking for wild places to have walks and picnics. For the next 15 years nothing too remarkable occurred--he did observe a few strange things in the sky on his regular visits and collected a few stories from locals. Then in March of 1994 he had his first clear UFO sighting and since 1998, when he finally obtained a digital camera, he has been the primary photographer of strange images at Col de Vence.

Col de Vence. Pierre & car in rock-strewn limestone plateau where anomalous photos
were taken during Talbott's 2006 visit. Photo: N.Talbott

On September 21, 2006 I arrived in Nice, and soon Pierre and I were 1000 feet up in the southern Alps above the Mediterranean. I knew that Pierre has used a digital camera almost exclusively and that usually--as in the Boreham Down crop circle "UFO" photo--neither he nor anyone else present sees the strange light forms and/or objects registered by his camera. With the exception of some of the group's UFO photos and videos (where the objects are visible) the anomalies photographed are generally invisible to the naked eye.

Pierre told me that he had been interested in the UFO phenomenon since he was about 15 years old and that, although he had been visiting Col de Vence with his friends for many years, it wasn't until he got his first digital camera in 1998 that he began to get strange photographs. Since then it has been Pierre who captures the majority (90%) of the photo anomalies in the Col de Vence group.

Why only one person at a time should obtain the majority of the anomalies and other people there who are also using digital cameras do not, no one knows. And why the individual getting the anomalies changes from time to time is also a total mystery. Xavier is of the impression, in the Col de Vence situation, that Pierre himself is perhaps a critical component (just as I suspect, in Hoeven, Holland, that Robbert v/d Broeke is perhaps a conduit).

Following is a very small selection of the hundreds of more or less outrageous photos taken (mostly by Pierre) at Col de Vence in the last few years. Some of the anomalies might be called "UFOs" or "orbs," others are too unique to categorize. As can be seen, they occur during the day as well as at night.

UFO which was visually observed and photographed.

UFO which was not seen with the naked eye.

Object not seen with the naked eye.

Objects not seen with the naked eye.

Tube-like object not seen with the naked eye.

In this photo there was no person standing beneath the strange tube.

Peculiar circular distortions & "snow" (no snow present).

Orbs, apparently in motion-not seen visually.

Undulating "zipper" and incredible luminosity.

Bubble-like anomalies.

Strange "smoke" and a ghostly "hand."

From the material above one can see why I was motivated to visit this place and meet the people involved. All of the photos above (except for the first 2 in Part 1, and the first 3 scenic shots in Part 2) were taken prior to my arrival in 2006 by Pierre and/or other members of the group. Although some researchers who have been involved in the UFO phenomenon for much longer than I thought there was a high likelihood that these photos might be hoaxed, I was fairly sure they were genuine. Both Xavier (whom I'd spent time with in Belgium) and Pierre Beake (whom I'd dealt with regarding the Boreham Down "UFO" photo) seemed straight-forward and genuinely curious.

So I decided to go and see for myself. Parts III & IV cover some of the photos I took with my own cameras (film and digital), as well as those taken by Pierre and others while I was present and watching everything they did.

Continue to Part 3

© 2007 BLT Reseach Team Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Photos/Illustrations can not be reproduced in any media except with written permission from the photographer or illustrator
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