They're Out There. And They're French

| | Le natural phenomenon or le UF|

Fancy yourself an amateur UFOlogist? One of those people who knows the truth is out there, and that the government is covering it up? Well, now you have a lot more evidence to comb through while looking to support your theories. Yesterday, with the introduction of a new section on the Web site of its national space agency, CNES, France became the first country to open its UFO files to the public—and also probably the first to have its server crash in three hours due to popularity. The initial batch (1,600 of some 100,000 documents that make up the complete archive of sightings reported) contains photographs, sketches, police reports and maps that the agency has used over the years to attempt to explain what was frequently deemed inexplicable. Now, of course, the 28 percent of cases that make up "Class D aerospace phenomena"—the real stumpers—will be handled by a crack team of Internet surfers. So just what was the shape-shifting brown disk that an Air France crew spied from the cockpit 13 years ago, or those beings that disappeared in a puff of sulfur in front of two cow herders back in '67? Take a look and let us know.—Abby Seiff