The Togo Beach UFO Incident – Paralysis, Blinding Lights, And Further Suggestions Of Underwater Bases

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
June 13, 2021
Last Updated
October 20, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
10 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

A strange UFO encounter on the coast of Togo in March 1974 is another incident that suggests UFOs have more of a connection to the waters of our planet than many might think. Furthermore, it is an event that features the bizarre paralysis of the witnesses – something that can be found in many other close encounter accounts.

It would also appear that the witness, in this case, was largely very credible, especially given his wish for anonymity as opposed to relishing the limelight he would have found himself if he had made his identity public.

Sketch of the Togo beach encounter

Sketch of the Togo beach encounter

There were also several similar encounters around the same time, some of which reached as far as Europe, perhaps suggesting some kind of alien reconnaissance mission on the part of these apparent extraterrestrial visitors.

The incident first appeared to the public in the March 1976 edition of Phenomenes Spatiaux as reported by Joel Mesnard following his interview with the witness. It is on his research that we base the following account.

A Sudden Whistling Sound On The Beach

In the early hours of 29th March 1974, an anonymous French worker (known in the report as “AW”), who was holidaying in Lome on the Togo coast, was walking along a beach with a local woman after an evening out. It was a little after 1 am, and as the night was particularly clear they spent some time looking at the stars overhead.

By 1:45 am, they were preparing to leave the beach when they each heard a “sharp” and “annoying” whistle that appeared to emanate from the sea causing each of them to turn their attention toward the water. [1] As they did so, they noticed a “dark mass” heading in their direction. It eventually stopped around 750 feet from where they were standing.

Superimposed UFO on a beach

The Togo incident features details that are found in other similar cases

The next thing they knew, a large wave rolled into them, even though only moments ago the water was nowhere near them (relatively speaking) and all beneath their feet was dry. So powerful was this sudden surge of water that they each feared they would be dragged back with it into the sea. AW reached out with his right hand to grab hold of a branch of a nearby coconut tree while holding on to the hand of the woman with his other. Meanwhile, the water continued to lap around their feet and lower legs.

Then, three bright lights suddenly shone from the hovering object, so bright they virtually blinded the two witnesses. From what little they could see around the brightness of the three lights, it appeared as though several “luminous rays” were emanating from the sides and top of the craft, some of which appeared to project directly upwards and others down.

Through the onslaught of bright, white light, the two witnesses could see flashes of yellows, blues, reds, and greens. One thing that AW did notice, however, was that water beneath the object, rather than remaining flat and undisturbed, was “in the form of a depression” approximately 20 feet deep as if some kind of invisible force was pushing down on this one particular spot.

Paralyzed In The Lights

Another intriguing detail of the encounter was the heat that each of the witnesses could feel from the three white lights of the object, almost as if they were purposely projecting such high temperatures toward them. Even stranger, each had the feeling that the lights had them “held” somehow, with each unable to move, as if paralyzed.

This is an interesting detail as many close contact UFO encounters speak of a temporary paralysis, usually involving a beam or ray of light. And these encounters occurred both before and after the encounter on the beach in Togo.

After several moments, the lights went out and the temperature dropped almost immediately. What’s more, the craft was heading out over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean and was doing so at a considerable pace. Then, the lights on the object suddenly went out and the object essentially disappeared. It isn’t certain if it continued at the same altitude, rose higher into the sky, or dropped below the surface of the water.

The pair realized that the waters had returned to how they were before the sudden arrival of this strange, otherworldly craft. AW checked his watch – it was 2:05 pm meaning the 20 minutes had passed.

Long-Term Feelings Of Anxiety And Nervousness

While the local woman went home, AW returned to where he was staying at the Tropicana Hotel. Before they went their separate ways for the evening, though, they agreed that neither would speak of the incident, with AW particularly worried he would be seen as “crazy” and perhaps even arrested.

When he awoke the next morning, he instantly felt unwell. He had a lightheaded feeling and felt as though he was almost deaf, the sensation of the bizarre whistling sound still in his ears. He almost immediately collapsed back into bed and slept for several more hours. Upon waking a second time, his head pounded with an obscene headache, something he had to request painkillers for from the hotel reception.

Superimposed UFO onto a beach at night

Did the UFO cause some kind of paralysis?

These symptoms would lessen over the coming days, but they would still persistently bother him. Perhaps even worse was the increasing feelings of anxiety and nervousness. These feelings would continue, it would seem, for some time. At least for the two years in between the sighting and AW speaking of it in 1976 with Mesnard when he had returned to France, although AW would state they were lesser in intensity than they were. The whereabouts of the local woman remain unknown, and it is not known if she suffered any similar symptoms.

The witness did experience a further UFO sighting several months after he returned to France in the Thionville region. On the night in question, he stated he saw a “blue fireball” with a distinct “red tail” of light. Whether that was a similar vehicle to the one he witnessed on the Togo beach is unknown.

Mesnard stated that the witness appeared “sincere” and largely credible and had made no attempts to explain what he had seen, rather he just relayed the details of the encounter.

Tentative Signs Of Alien Abduction?

The above encounter is most certainly one of the most intriguing on record. And the fact that there is an element of credibility to the sighting only makes this more interesting.

It is particularly interesting to note the feelings AW had of being unwell in the days following the encounter. Might this have been due to the close proximity of the strange craft during the sighting? Might it have been some kind of radiation sickness that he experienced?

A UFO superimposed onto a sunset beach

Just what did the anonymous couple sea on the beach?

What is perhaps more interesting, though, is the feelings of anxiety and general nervousness that he experienced – emotions that lasted a long time after the incident in question. While we do not know if there are any suspicions of missing time following the encounter – the witness claimed 20 minutes had passed by the time the UFO had left, it is not clear if the incident lasted 20 minutes in real-time or not – the anxious feelings experienced after the event could very well be suggestive of an alien abduction encounter. And while this is pure speculation on our part, it is perhaps worth considering.

If an abduction did not take place that night in Lume, then what purpose would the occupants of the strange craft have for essentially trapping the witnesses by the coconut tree and paralyzing them in the strange, heated light? Might they have been conducting some kind of examination from afar using technology far in advance of what we might understand?

What is also interesting, is that around the same time as the above encounter, several other very similar incidents are also on record.

Many Similar Sightings As Far As Europe At The Same Time

If we examine some of the other UFO encounters around the same time, then it is possible to highlight several other incidents with similar details, some of which stretch into Europe. In our book From Deep Within The Archives Of UFO Insight we examined a wave of sightings in Vallentuna in Sweden, many of which featured disc-shaped objects with blinding lights, some of which resulted in alien abduction encounters.

On the evening of 30th March, in Hombreiro in Spain – only hours after the sighting on the beach in Togo – an object that featured a “blinding light” was witnessed hovering over a car. Its presence caused the engine and the electrics of the vehicle to fail. What’s more, during the sighting, a piercing whistling sound was noted by the witness.

According to the files of Pere Redon, Joan Crexells, and Vicente Rico, nine days earlier, also in Spain, this time in the Valdehijaderos-Horcajo region, a truck driver, Maximiliano Iglesias Sanchez, had two encounters with a similar looking and sounding craft within 24 hours of each other.

Superimposed UFO on a starry sky

Were the sightings in Europe connected to those in Africa?

According to the accounts, at a little after 2 am on the 21st March, Sanchez was driving his truck to Algunilla when a suddenly appearing “blinding light” appeared on the road approximately 600 feet in front of him. At the same time the light appeared, the engine and lights on his car failed. Sanchez would describe the object as luminous and metallic, and big enough to cover the entire road. The object touched down on the road, resting on three “legs”, while another similar-looking object hovered a little higher and further back.

As the truck driver looked on, he even noticed two strange “beings” in front of the object who looked to be examining the ground before they entered the craft once more. Both objects then rose into the air, a whistling humming sound accompanying their ascent.

At 11:30 pm on the same day, while making the return journey, Sanchez witnessed three of the same object on the road in front of him. Once more a blinding light emanated from the object and his truck came to a complete stop. This time, after several moments, he noticed several of the apparent occupants walking toward the stricken vehicle.

He immediately left the truck and threw himself into a ditch at the roadside. The figures searched the area around the truck briefly but did not see where he was hiding. Several moments after they returned to their craft, he discreetly made his way back to the cabin of his truck. Shortly after, the objects began to rise into the air, accompanied once more with the humming, whistling sound as they did so. Incidentally, when UFO investigators examined the location several days later, they discovered three compressed patches of grass at the roadside and noted how the radioactive levels were much higher than usual.

A sighting that occurred around a week before the Togo sighting, and only two days after the incidents reported by Sanchez, in the Tavernes region of France is noteworthy to us here, not least as it resulted in a picture by the witness, a doctor who wished to remain anonymous. What is interesting are the “luminous rays”, very similar to the ones described by the witness at the Togo beach incident.

You can see that picture below.

Picture claiming to show a real UFO

Does this picture show a real UFO?

Whether the picture is genuine or not is open to debate. However, the fact that the witness requested anonymity perhaps suggests it to be credible given that they are seemingly not interested in monetary reward or fame for themselves off the back of it.

What is also interesting is a sighting that occurred two years later that featured a similar object that also had rays that aimed downward, just like in the above picture. We will turn our attention to that incident next.

Similar Sightings In Namibia Two Years Later

It is perhaps worth our time examining an incident that unfolded south of Togo in Walvis Bay on the coast of Namibia. The incident in question, according to the 17th August 1976 edition of the Namib Times occurred at around 6:30 am on the morning of 16th August 1976. [2]

Several local residents witnessed a metallic disc-shaped object – which shone brilliantly in the morning sun – with a definite top section and a “round ball” on the underside. It appeared to move slowly but purposely over the water. As it did so, two “light extensions” would shoot down toward the water.

The object remained in sight until 7:30 am before it promptly took off into the sky and disappeared. You can view a witness sketch of that object below.

Sketch of the UFO over Namibia

Sketch of the UFO over Namibia

What is interesting is that a very similar object was witnessed approximately one month earlier in the same location.

Whether or not the object witnessed in the summer of 1976 in Namibia shares a connection to the one witnessed on the beach in Togo two years earlier is open to debate. The details of the craft are remarkably similar, though. And despite the different locations, in terms of how fast these futuristic crafts can traverse the waters that separate them, in relative terms it is but a stone’s throw away.

Another sighting, on the other side of the African continent two decades previously is perhaps also worth our attention. And it is there we will shift our focus to next.

The 1951 Kilimanjaro UFO Sighting

We have examined several of the better-known UFO incidents from South Africa previously, however, an incident a little over two decades before the event examined above, on the east side of the African continent in Tanzania, another sighting makes the case that as well as the land of Africa, the waters around it appear to be of importance to this apparent extraterrestrial presence.

The incident appeared in the 25th February 1951 edition of the Nairobi Sunday Post and was later reported on by Richard Hall for NICAP in 1964. [3]

At around 7:20 am on the morning of 19th February 1951, a “huge cigar-shaped UFO” was spotted hovering over Mount Kilimanjaro by several crew and passengers on an East African Airways plane.

Captain Jack Bicknell was one of those who witnessed the strange object. He would state in his report that they had only been in the air for 20 minutes when they first noticed the anomaly. It was the radio officer (D. Merrifield) who first noticed the strange craft and alerted Bicknell. He would describe it as a “bright object like a bright star” that was “hanging motionless” above Kilimanjaro. He would estimate that it was at an approximate altitude of 10,000 feet.

They continued to watch it for two or three minutes before Bicknell made the decision to inform the passengers of the anomaly. They then radioed the control tower to inform them of the mysterious craft. Their response was to ask Bicknell to confirm that the object was not a weather balloon. At this point, Bicknell would estimate that their plane was around 50 miles from Kilimanjaro, and consequently, the object.

He would view the craft through a pair of binoculars for several minutes. It didn’t take him long to confirm that what he was viewing was not a weather balloon.

Sketch of the UFO over Kilimanjaro

Sketch of the UFO over Kilimanjaro

In his report, he would describe a “metallic, bullet-shaped object” that he estimated was around 200 feet in length. A “square-cut vertical fin” sat at one end of the otherworldly craft. He would also describe how “vertical dark bands” were positioned at regular intervals along the side of the apparent vehicle, while the entire outline of the object was “clear and sharp”.

In all, he watched as the craft remained stationary for just over 15 minutes before it began to rise and head eastwards. It climbed to an approximate altitude of 40,000 feet before disappearing from sight. Bicknell would point out that there was “no visible means of propulsion” and that there was no vapor trail left behind. Although he would stop short of calling the object an alien vehicle, he would state it was his belief that it was “definitely a flying machine of some kind”.

While the sighting over Kilimanjaro might not share a connection with the other sightings of the mid-1970s that we have examined here, it does show that Africa has had UFO sightings taking place as far back as anywhere else on the planet.

Where Do These Incidents Fit Into The Big UFO Picture?

With the possible exception of the incident over Kilimanjaro in 1951, might there be a connection between the other UFO encounters we have examined here? Might the same intelligence operating them be from the same potential race of aliens?

If this is the case, what might the purpose of these close encounters have been? Were they an attempt to merely watch humans from closer proximity? Or were they just cases of people being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Perhaps most importantly is the question of where these incidents fit into the overall big picture of the UFO and alien question? For example, while we have examined just a handful of these similar sightings here, there are many others that feature “blinding lights” and temporary paralysis spread around the world and across the decades. Ultimately, why are these close encounters taking place, and what is the end goal of them? Perhaps further disclosure will assist us in answering those questions.

The video below examines the many UFO sightings throughout history a little further.


1 Phenomenes Spatiaux, March 1976 Edition, Joel Mesnard
2 Namib Times, August 17th, 1976
3 Nairobi Sunday Times, February 25th, 19 51

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • olga r bernal says:

    Soy una fiel creyente de los UFO, desde muy niña viviendo en una aldea , sin tecnología alguna , soñaba con estos temas , incluso ,me veía viajar dentro de una burbuja transparente sobre las copas de los árboles a gran , velocidad.
    Vi un objeto redondo de color rojo zigzaguear a gran velocidad y desaparecer en el cielo , he visto bolas de luces muy cerca y desaparecer a gran velocidad , muchas cosas raras me han pasado. Por esas razones , creo en la vida extraterrestre

    • Marcus Lowth says:

      For our English speaking readers I believe the translation to the above comment (thanks Olga) is as follows:
      I am a faithful believer in the UFO, since I was a child living in a village, without any technology, I dreamed of these issues, I even saw myself traveling inside a transparent bubble over the treetops at great speed.
      I saw a round red object zigzagging at high speed and disappearing into the sky, I have seen balls of lights very close and disappearing at high speed, many strange things have happened to me. For those reasons, I believe in alien life

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