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ALSACAT:

As its name suggests, ALSACAT is my comprehensive catalog of UFO sighting reports in Alsace, the region is the North-East of France, whether they are "explained" or "unexplained".

The ALSACAT catalog is made of case files with a case number, summary, quantitative information (date, location, number of witnesses...), classifications, all sources mentioning the case with their references, a discussion of the case in order to evaluate its causes, and a history of the changes made to the file. A general index and thematic sub-catalogs give access to these Alsatian case files.

Case of Wissembourg to Landau, January 30, 1945:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1945-01-30-WISSEMBOURGLANDAU-1

Summary:

The historian of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron wrote in the "War Diary" of this unit of the US Army Air Force some observations of "Foo-Fighters", these mysterious lights often reported by pilots of this unit above the Rhine valley near the end of WWII.

He noted that halfway between Wissembourg and Landau, yellow lights at 2000 feet had been seen in the night from January 29 to January 30, 1945. One light was 20 to 50 feet above the other, and lasted for about 30 seconds. It was estimated that these lights were about a foot in diameter, 1000 feet away, and followed the Bristol Beaufighter night fighter.

These lights had disappeared when the Beaufighter turned towards them.

A summary report of such observations by the intelligence officer of the squadron, Fred B. Ringwald, on January 30, 1945, specified that it had happened at 0:10 a.m.. The "Foo-Fighter" was off to the right of the plane and in its back to a location coded "Angels 2". The Beaufighter had the code "Travel 34".

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: January 30, 1945
Time: ~00:10 a.m.
Duration: 30 seconds or more.
First known report date: January 30, 1945
Reporting delay: Minutes, 10 days?

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin, or Germany
City: Wissembourg
Place: Half-way between Wissembourg and Landau from plane in flight.
Latitude: 49.127
Longitude: 8.034
Uncertainty ratio: 12 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: ?
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Military pilot.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military mission report.
Type of location: From military plane in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified.

Sources:

[Ref. us1:] U.S. ARMY AIR FORCE 415TH NFS:

[...Unrelated information...]

30. Major Bob Johnson, 24, of the 81st Fighter Bomber Squadron spoke for a half hour before the picture, describing in cryptic language, the work and tactics of his outfit. Foo-Fighters were at it again last night. This is The Operations report: "Halfway between Wissembourg and Landau sighted amber lights at 2000 feet. One light was 20 to 50 feet above the other and of about 30 seconds duration. Lights were about a foot in diameter, 1000 ft. away and following Beau. Lights disappeared when Beau turned into them."

Squadron Historian.

[...Unrelated information...]

Note: The report was located in the US National Archive and provided to CUFON by Barry Greenwood, veteran UFO researcher, for many years the Editor of the bulletin Just Cause.

[Ref. us2:] FRED B. RINGWALD, US ARMY AIR FORCE:

The 415th Night Fighter Squadron of the U.S. Air force was formed in February 1943 and it carried out patrols in the Mediterranean and then North-west Europe during World War II.

From December 1944 on, members of the 415th made multiple reports of what they called "Foo-Fighters", as recorded in a January 30, 1945 report to Tactical Air Command by intelligence officer Fred Ringwald.

Here are the parts of that report about the sighting in their case file:


1. In compliance with paragraph 3 of 1st Incl., the following extracts from the Sortie Reports of various pilots who have encountered the Night Phenomenon are submitted for your information.

[... Other sightings ...]

Night of 29-30 January 1945 - "At about 00:10 hrs. sighted a Foofighter about half way between Weissenbourg [Sic, "Wissembourg"] and Landau. Foofighter was off to the starboard and rear at Angels 2. Lights were amber and one was 20 - 50 ft. above the other and of about 30 seconds duration. Foofighter was about 1000 feet away and following. The lights were about a foot in diameter. Lights disappeared when Travel 34 turned into them."

2. In every case where pilot called CGI Central and asked if there was a Bogey A/C in the area he received a negative answer.

F. B. RINGWALD [Fred B. Ringwald, the unit's S-2 Intelligence Officer.]
Captain, [Illegible]
Intelligence Officer

Note: the report lists several other sightings in Alsace, those have their own case files. It also lists several sightings whose location is unknown to me as they were coded such as "Q-9050", "Q-1378" etc... these location may have been over Alsace, over elsewhere in France, or over Germany. As I did not find the meaning for these locations codes, I cannot include these other sighting in ALSACAT for now.

[Ref. su1:] "SATURDAY NIGHT UFORIA" WEBSITE:

[...] December, 1944 members of the 415th would be making multiple reports, as recorded in a January 30, 1945 report to Tactical Air Command by intelligence officer Fred Ringwald...

"Night of 29-30 January 1945 - "At about 00:10 hrs. sighted a Foofighter about half way between Weissenbourg [Sic, "Wissembourg"] and Landau. Foofighter was off to the starboard and rear at Angels 2. Lights were amber and one was 20 - 50 ft. above the other and of about 30 seconds duration. Foofighter was about 1000 feet away and following. The lights were about a foot in diameter. Lights disappeared when Travel 34 turned into them."

"2. In every case where pilot called CGI Central and asked if there was a Bogey A/C in the area he received a negative answer."

"F.B. RINGWALD
Captain, (Illegible)
Intelligence Officer"

[Ref. ni1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

Jan. 29, 1945; Bt. Wissembourg and Landau, Germany

Two amber colored lights about one foot in diameter. (Page 129,131 Ref.1)

The indicated reference corresponds to "Strange Company (2007), Keith Chester".

Discussion:

Above: It is quite unlikely that the case should be considered as an Alsatian case. The location is given as "halfway between Wissembourg and Landau"; Wissembourg, France, is almost on the border and 22km from Landau, Germany. I should consider the case as German rather than Alsatian. But as localization is not necessarily strictly accurate, as it is not known whther it was the plane or the phenomenon that was at this location, the distance can be very undervalued, I chose to document the case here nevertheless.

You may want to read the Discussion of this other case for general considerations about the "Foo-fighters" of the Rhine Valley in 1944-1945.

Evaluation:

Unidentified.

Sources references:

* = Source is available to me.
? = Source I am told about but could not get so far. Help needed.

File history:

Authoring:

Main author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 25, 2018 Creation, [us1], [us2], [ni1], [su1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 25, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 25, 2018.