Cergy-Pontoise Hoax
The events that constitute what is now termed the CergyPontoise
Hoax began as report of a UFO abduction and climaxed
with one of the spectators at the abduction channeling
messages from the extraterrestrials whom he claimed were involved
in the taking of his friend. On the morning of November
26, 1979, Jean-Pierre Prevost of the Paris suburb of Pontoise
called the police to report that his friend Franck Fontaine
had been abducted by aliens. According to the story, the pair,
along with two other men, were preparing to drive to a nearby
town to sell clothes at an open-air market. Fontaine, their driver,
sat inside the car while the others went to gather their stock.
A UFO appeared and Fontaine was taken from the car. As the
men watched, it sped away in the sky. Fontaine reappeared a
week later. He claimed to remember little of what had happened.
He fell asleep at the wheel of the car and woke up in a
cabbage field, unaware that a week had passed.
After Fontaine reappeared, the police investigation of the
incident intensified and Groupe d’Etudes des Phénomènes
Aérospatieux Non Indentifiés (GEPAN), France’s main UFO
investigation organization, joined the search for the truth.
After interviewing the principals several times and looking for
any collaborating evidence, GEPAN concluded that the incident
was without any value in furthering knowledge of UFOs,
a kind way of saying that they had concluded that it was a hoax.
As the story continued to unfold, flying saucer enthusiast
Jimmy Guieu published a book-length account of the story entitled
(in French) Contacts OVNI Cergy-Pontiose. Guieu, convinced
of the truth of the story, contended that the target of the
UFOs was not Fontaine, but Prevost, who had begun to channel
messages from the abductor whom he referred to as intelligences
from the beyond. Shortly thereafter Prevost published
a book, The Great Contact, that centered upon the messages he
had received, primarily from one Haurrio, about the deteriorating
state of Earth life. He went on to found a publishing
house and gather a following of people attracted to the message
from outer space. This endeavor proved singularly unsuccessful.
No group emerged and the publishing venture closed,
leaving him with a heavy debt.
In 1983, Prevost finally confessed to the hoax. He confided
to a French reporter that he had organized the event and hid
Fontaine in a friend’s apartment for the week of the supposed
abduction. His motivation was the attempt to attract attention
to his channeled messages and to assist in building a modern
religion based on extraterrestrials.
Interestingly enough, Guieu refused to accept Prevost’s
story. He had come to know others who received messages from
Haurrio. Possibly the most bizarre reaction to the confession
came from ufologist Jacques Vallee who concluded, quite apart
from any evidence suggestive of his belief, that the whole incident
had been an operation by the intelligence community in
an attempt to create a sect upon which various social science experiments
could be conducted.
Bonabot, Jacques. ‘‘1979 Fontaine Case Now Admitted to
Be a Hoax.’’ MUFON UFO Journal 190 (December 1983) 10.
Guieu, Jimmy, Frank Fontaine, Jean-Pierre Prevost, and
Salomon N’Diaye. Contacts OVNI Cergy-Pontise. Monaco Editions
du Rocher, 1980.
Vallee, Jacques. Messengers of Deception UFO Contacts and
Cults. Berkeley, Calif. AndOr Press, 1979.
———. Revelations Alien Contact and Human Deception. New
York Ballantine Books, 1991.

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