Ever protective of their terroir, in October 1954, a municipal decree was passed, forbidding UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) from landing on, taking off from, or flying over any of the vineyards in ChÃ¢teauneuf-du-Pape. The decree also stated that should any extra-terrestrials disobey this law, their spacecraft would immediately be impounded.
As crazy as the above law may sound, in 1954, France was in the grip of UFO-fever, with hundreds of reported sightings of UFOs, mostly of the â€˜flying cigarâ€™ variety (cigare volant in French). While the Chateauneuf-du-pape press didnâ€™t carry any reports of UFO sightings, the local vignerons were, quite naturally, concerned for their crops, and so Lucien Jeune, the mayor, issued a decree, banning alien craft.
Several newspapers at the time published the controversial story, for example, this one from Chaumontâ€™s le Haut-Marnais RÃ©publicain:
Mr. Mayor does not joke around, therefore the â€˜saucers or cigarsâ€™ landing in ChÃ¢teauneuf-du-Pape will be impounded if the constable catches them.
Avignon â€” Mr. Lucien Jeune, mayor of ChÃ¢teauneuf-du-Pape, has just issued the following decree which was approved and rendered enforceable by the prefect of Vaucluse.
The Mayor of ChÃ¢teauneuf-du-Pape decrees:
Article 1. â€” The flying over, the landing, and the taking off of aircraft known as flying saucers or flying cigars, whatever the nationality, are prohibited on the terroir of the commune.
Article 2. â€” Any aircraft, known as a flying saucer or flying cigar, which should land on the terroir of the commune will be immediately held in custody.
Article 3. â€” The constable and special guard are charged with carrying out the implementation of this Order.â€
To date, this bylaw has never been repealed.0