Officers in Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, near Bordeaux, in southern France, even posted on social media they had been unable to find any trace of a downed object or craft after receiving reports.
Local news site udouest.fr reported (translated): “The Operations Centre and Intelligence of the Gendarmerie of the Gironde received a curious call to say.
“A resident of Sainte-Croix-du-Mont claimed to the police to have seen in his area what he thought was an aircraft positioned at low altitude, which then disappeared through thick smoke.”
According to the report, the call was taken seriously, with patrols dispatched and the force chopper sent out to investigate.
However, no trace of any plane or craft were found.
Sudouest.fr added: “The gendarmerie has posted information on its Facebook page that the only plausible progress to date was finding a burning plot of vines, which may explain the fumes reported by the witness.”
Many locals and police have speculated the fireball was, in fact, a meteor which burnt up in the atmosphere.
This is because there was a meteor shower at the same time in the south east of France.
The police later appeared to treat the incident in a more tongue-in-cheek manor with images of the X-Files and an officer looking at a fake UFO posted alongside the Facebook report.