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‘No UFOs allowed’: French mayor refuses to overturn town’s bizarre extraterrestrial ban

The French town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is best-known for its superlative red wine, but it sounds like the locals might have been enjoying the fruits of their labours a little too much.

For the last 62 years, a law has prohibited the “flying over, landing, or taking off of flying saucers” in the area – and the mayor of the town has refused to overturn it.

Former mayor Lucien Jeune issued the ban, which reads: “Any aircraft, known as flying saucer or flying cigar, which should land on the territory of the community will be immediately held in custody.”

The skies over Châteauneuf-du-Pape are blissfully alien-free
The skies over Châteauneuf-du-Pape are blissfully alien-free CREDIT: ALAMY

No police officers in his constituency have ever had to arrest any aliens, but that doesn’t mean that current mayor Claude Avril will drop the law any time soon.

“I’m not going to touch the ban,” Avril told France Bleu this week. “It spices things up a bit. It creates a harmless kind of buzz and no one is getting tricked.”

 But don’t make yourself a tin foil hat yet. Lucien Jeune’s son, Elie Jeune, has dismissed his father’s decree as a “publicity stunt”, telling reporters: “At that time, people were talking a lot about extraterrestrials and the unknown, it was in fashion, and there were loads of stories circulating.

“He wanted to make a bit of an advertisement for Châteauneuf. It was an excellent publicity stunt… and free.” Journalists flocked to Châteauneuf-du-Pape from all over the world and, predictably, the public couldn’t get enough of the story.

History, as ever, is repeating itself.

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11 Comments on "‘No UFOs allowed’: French mayor refuses to overturn town’s bizarre extraterrestrial ban"

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AlanMarshall Byronbay


Sounds like a joke.




Yes! Take charge of FRENCH life!


Why don’t they go to the WH. Get Obama, Mooch?


That is just being rude and discriminating towards aliens. Aliens have rights too.


Are the aliens gonna get a speeding ticket like all other tourists do ?


If you arrest an alien does it get the same rights as us? Can it have a solicitor and all the usual trimmings!


My dads john j rambo. If they want a war my dad will give them one


military would invade the area within 10 mins and kill you if you try talking about what you saw. happens alot actually.