Jean-Marc Mouligné was born on October 29th 1950 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. The second child of a family of five. Jean Mouligné, his father (on the left), was a jet fighter pilot instructor in Saigon during World War two. He then inaugurated the Paris-Montevideo Line for the Aeropostale ; He piloted the seaplane Latécoère "Lionel de Marnier" when it lost two of its propellers and made an emergency landing in the lagoon of Rocha in Uruguay; As a "Pilot at the Ferry Command" he accomplished 70 transatlantic missions in often very dangerous conditions. He crossed the North Atlantic as a pilot 335 times in all. He ended his career as a pilot of a private plane for Marcel Boussac.

His mother, Yvette Briand (on the right) was 17 years old in 1939. She was the youngest French glidder plane  pilot.

Jean-Marc does all his scholarship in St-Martin de France, a school of priests from which he keeps the most abominable memory.


He is hit on the head with a paving stone during the French uprising.


Instructor at the Sailing School "les Glénans" (French Brittany)


He takes a training course of free fall at the National Center of Biscarosse; then, seduced by skydiving, he did his military service in the Parachutists Section (80 parachute jumps)

One day, he jumps at the same time as an other private who gets tangled in his line as the chute opens. The private panics and fights him off, totally tangled they both are falling down like a couple of rocks. Jean-Marc can think of only one solution and yells to him: "AAA-tention". The guy stiffens up getting ready for the next order; Jean-Marc locks on to him and orders him to open his emergency chute. They both land safely.


He goes to Science Po and Law University, then for a few months he becomes a middleman at the Commodities Exchange of Paris. It was a moving yet fleeting attempt to get a "good situation". He also works as a handyman for a few months for Michel Fugain's "Big Bazar".

First crossing of the Atlantic Ocean on the racing sail boat "Gesture" (Santander-Granada)

Arriving in Granada, the local police found some marijuana in his pockets. He is judged by a local Courtroom
and sent to jail. He is quickly released with the help of his parents paying the fine.


Creation of "the Cirque de Paris" with Albert Aupetit et Francis Shoeller.

He sets up a phony knife throwing act with the help of a special effect. He named himself "Ramon Zaratte" (a knife thrower in the comic book "Tintin"). He also creates an act of spectacular acrobatics, a "Deadly Fall" from the roof of the big top. He also take the name of "Simon Barjona", Prince of Hell, and spits fire. He then participates in "Holiday on Ice" as a fire-eater in "Cinderella on Ice".

He restores the barrel organ "Limonaire" of the Cirque de Paris and develop a passion for this instrument.


He settles a patent for a new manufacturing process of barrel organs and creates the Manufacture of Barrel Organs in Chateaudouble (Var, South of France) the first barrel organs to be constructed since the closing of the Limonaire factories. He conceives a knife throwing act, real this time, hiring his younger sister as a live target. This act which was shown only 4 times in public is dangerous enough because Jean-Marc is seldom practicing...

He practises speleology in the area surrounding Chateaudouble, restlessly looking for the secret underground pass which was supposed to connect the tower overlooking the village to the canyon of Nartuby. He nearly found it that day of July when, by crawling on his back on a perilous pass, a rock of few hundred kilos fell down and pinned him for more than ten hours with no means of calling for help. He his miraculously found and two teams of firemen and speleologists take turn to get him safely out.

He also discovers the hang-gliding which he practised on Mount Lachens. Up in the sky one day, another hang-glider jumps Jean-Marc priority and crash into him. Forced to set off his emergency parachute he gets off with a dislocated shoulder (the percuteur is safe). He doesn’t gives up and adopts paragliding and paramotor. In spite of family hostility, he was able to get his father, then 75 years old, to go paragliding for the first time in his life.


Hired as a barrel organ's player in Japan with a 5 week contract, he wanders for a while then becomes a reporter for the "Petroleum News" in Singapore where he lives for nearly 3 years. He plans to prove that the Madagascans ancestors came from Java. That's why he wants to cross the Indian Ocean on a reconstituted prehistoric junque recording the journey as a documentary movie. Alas, the production gives up and the project falls through.

With a Polish man who had escaped communism and was travelling around the world, he cross the Indian Ocean from Jakarta to Durban on a tiny sailing boat that is falling to pieces. They survive on their fishing and arrive in South Africa nearly starving to death.

Back to France and with the idea of turning a profit with the camera Eclair 16 bought for that opportunity, he makes the unforgettable short film "la Faim des Temps" with his friends from Chateaudouble. In need of a camera of that type, the production of the Jean Flechet's feature "Le Montreur d'Ours" contacts him and hire him as a prop man and outdoor scene manager.

From now on he becomes a technician in special effects : (explosions, fires, bullet impacts, fake blood, rain, fog, lightening, sparks, snow, burning actors...)

He works on about 30 movies among them :

"le Montreur d'Ours" of Jean Fléchet; "Le Matelot 512" of René Alliot; "La Lune dans le Caniveau" of Jean-Jacques Beneix; "Civil Wars" of Bob Wilson; "Jean de Florette" et "Manon des Sources" of Claude Berri; "Tolerance" of Pierre Henri Salfati; "Gawin" of Arnaud Sevignac; "A quoi penses-tu ?" of Didier Kaminka; "Ma vie est un enfer" of Josyane Balasko; "Les visiteurs" of Jean-Marie Poiret; "Vibroboy" of Jan Kounen; "le Tailleur Autricien" of Pablo Lopez Paredes (a movie on the life of Frantz Reichelt who jumped from the first level of the Eiffel Tower with a parachute he had invented); "Himalaya" of Eric Valli; "Peut-être" de Cédric Kaplish; "Djeezy"; conceive the collapsing warehouse of the Renault Twingo advertising; "Le Peuple Migrateur" of Jacques Perrin; "Le Jour du festin" of Cédric Achard et Sebastien Milhou; "2 frères" of Jean-jacques Annaud; "La Jeune Fille et les Loups" of Gilles Legrand; "10 000 BC" an American superproduction, with 5 months of filming in Namibia and South Africa.


For a year, Jean-Marc is scouting for Atahualpa Lichy's movie "Rio Negro" in Venezuela. That feature was not completed until 1986. Making use  of that, he sets up an expedition to search for diamonds in Amazonia, in an unexplored part of Rio Guaniamo's river. He does not find any but manages to get lost in the virgin forest, hunting tapirs to survive. He met and stayed with the Yanomami Indian Tribe. Overall he spent 3 years in the country. He returned with some dried tapir meat and some yopo that he gave to his parisian friends.

He makes his second crossing of the Atlantic Ocean on the maxi "Pionner" (Marblehead, Massachussetts-Sardinia). Jean-Marc is a navigator. Nothing works on this magnificent 80 feet long sailing boat and it leaks like a colander. The italian crew despairs, Jean-marc bales them out by navigating with a sextant. He is able to reach the Detroit of Gibraltar in the fog. The crew is amazed.


His third Atlantic crossing is on the Farr 45 "Vetrotex" (Newport-Rhode Island-La Trinité sur Mer) 

Without Automatic Pilot he and his brother Jean-Pierre tode turns at the helm 12 hours a day each, taking a turn every two hours, for 21 days. In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, during a storm, the boat is being hit by a giant wave and  flips on its side. Naturally unworried, Jean-Marc declares thoughtfully "we might have to shortened the sail..."


He builds a mechanical dragon "Roberto" as well as a railroad vehicle with a propeller for "The Mano Negra" Colombian Tour "l'Expreso Del Hielo". Jean-Marc was asleep in the compartment when it caught on fire; his neighbour ran without waking him up. He was lucky to escape.


He manufactures numerous robots including the "Royal de Luxe" mechanical beattle for the show "Peplum". Wins the Prize of the Furniture Show for the armchair "Rocking Chaîn" edited by « Quart de Poil ».


Creation of "la Mecanique Spectaculaire", a workshop of conception, creations and inventions.

He fabricates a machine he baptize "Stargun", conceived to fire fireworks and driven by computer : sets of adjustable cannons controled by a computer launching missile
s in bursts, propulsed by the explosion of a mixture of gas.

Fourth Atlantic crossing on the 50 ft “Cray Valley” (Portsmouth Rhode Island, Cherbourg) still with his brother Jean-Pierre, who will win the “Around Alone” race with this same boat.

High speed crossing without any problem : 14 days only to reach Cherbourg despite several days without any wind. Jean-Marc is the ideal partner. He reads, speaks about his projects and dreams of new inventions watching the stars.



Invention of a special camera recorder used for the shooting of the movie « Le Peuple Migrateur ».

During a journey to Cuba, Jean-Marc discovers a treasure of ancient endangered barrel organs. He decides to set up a small company to restore the organs and have some music written or transcribed on perforated carboards as well as to organize concerts worldwide. It is the birth of "La Nueva Libertad". His mission is from now on, to save the last cuban barrel organs. He tries to persuade François Hadji Lazaro from "Les Garçons Bouchers" as well as Manu Chao to join this adventure but 5 years of heavy Castro administrative difficulties discourage everyone.


Invention of a water cannon to destroy bombs hidden in luggage.


In september, he conceives a human missile cannon with a range of 25 meters for the Forum of Barcelone. From there was born the project to throw a parachutist 250 meters. In spite the sarcasm of his close relatives, he threw himself into the adventure.

In the aim of riding in the catapult, he practices sky diving  in Empuriabrava, Catalogna, then at the base-jumping (Verdon's Canyon, South Africa...about 30 jumps). He gravely fractures his wrist when landing.

November : his friend Vincent Ragot makes the calculation : it should work.First try at Thieux is with apples and sandbags on the catapult.


January : first shooting of a dummy with the catapult.

September : first shooting with a human at Brignoles (South of France) : Jean-Marc becomes the first human projectile to fly more than 100 meters and land alive.


Numerous journeys in Namibia, South Africa, Cuba.

Jean-Marc reads "The Scars of Evolution" from Elaine Morgan and develop a passion for the origin of Namibia. He dreams of finding the original humanity birthplace in Namibia, in the company of a paleotologist if possible.

February : during the "Tignes Airwaves", Jean-Marc realize a "catapult" jump about 150 meters high during which he was filmed by the cameras from around the world.

At the Icare Cup, the film "JMM, the Catapult Man" directed by Luc Guichard wins the Jury Special Prize.


Jean-Marc devotes himself to base jump, it becomes an exclusive passion. He sometimes jumps several times a day; he prefers "le Vent des Errances" in the Verdon's Canyon, but he also jumps from bridges, antennas, factories chimneys, and often at night...

He is the subject of the TV programm "Incredible but True". He is approached by The New York Times and The Book of Inventions whose reporters want to write about him.


Samedi 30 juin: Jean-Marc is found drowned in the Verdon's Canyon. He probably just had jump from a site known as « la Tronconneuse », a dangerous spot with shifting winds coming from the bottom of the valley.

Vendredi 13 juillet : his base-jumpers friends jump and spilled his ashes in the Verdon's Canyon.

His family and friends decide to make people know this character off norm, gigantic at all point of vue and set up the “Cercle de l’Homme Volant”.

The Flying Man Circle created by Jean-Marc Mouligné's  close relatives shortly after his death, has for vocation to keep alive some of his inventions and to organize festive or artistic events that relate to his life and his work.

The name Circle recalls the true family of friends that formed around Jean-Marc, who was flying not only in his life but also in his mind, his work, his projects and his love life.

The Circle is not closed, it is waiting to enlarge. No need to have personally known  Jean-Marc Mouligné to join us.
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