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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 the Dambach forest, on July 29, 1947:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1947-07-29-FORETDEDAMBACH-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Le Nouveau Rhin Français reported in their German issue for August 3, 1947, that on July 29, 1947, in the early hours of the day, at night, at the foot of the forest of Dambach, a nocturnal wanderer with a "clear mind" had seen in the direction of Rhinau in his east, a luminous body rising suddenly with a "sharp beam" that seemed to come from a powerful car headlight.

He first thought it was a very distant vehicle that had one of its lights turned on and waited for the second beam to light up.

Indeed a second beam appeared, soon followed by a third ball of light. The power of these light sources intensified for a few seconds, in their brightness of both the core and the corona, until the beams suddenly disappeared as if by explosion.

After a brief reappearance of the lights, it was dark night again above the still invisible horizon of the Black Forest.

The newspaper said the witness observed the phenomenon in full possession of his faculties, he was "not prone to hysteria, or hoaxing, and has no inclination to drink."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 29, 1947
Time: Night.
Duration: ?
First known report date: August 3, 1947
Reporting delay: 4 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Dambach
Place: At the bottom of the Dambach forest
Latitude: 49.004
Longitude: 7.629
Uncertainty ratio: 3 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable meteor.

Sources:

[Ref. nr1:] "LE NOUVEAU RHIN FRANCAIS" NEWSPAPER:

Luminous signals in the sky

Last Tuesday in the early hours of the day at the foot of the forest of Dambach, a nocturnal observer with a clear mind saw in the direction of Rhinau, a luminous body suddenly rising, whose sharp beam seemed to come from a powerful car headlight. He first thought of a very remote vehicle that had one of its lights turned on and waited for the second beam to light.

And indeed, this is what happened, soon followed by a third ball of light. The power of these mysterious light sources intensified for a few seconds, their brilliant core as well as their corona until the beams suddenly disappeared as if by explosion. After a brief reappearance of lights the night again was dark above the still invisible horizon of the Black Forest.

Where do these strange lights in the Eastern sky come from? Who can give the end of the story? Perhaps other witnesses of this celestial phenomenon or artificial would know?

It should be noted in passing that the witness observed the phenomenon in full possession of his faculties, he is not prone to hysteria, or hoaxing, and has no inclination to drink.

[Ref. cv2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a very interesting book telling the story of UFO sightings, flying saucers sightings, in Alsace, from the beginning to 1980.

In this book, he reports that on July 29, 1947, hardly a bit later than 1:50, a lonely wanderer witnessed a strange aerial show of lights. He indicates that it was published in "Le Nouveau Rhin Français" for Sunday, August 3, 1947, in the German speaking issue, and cites:

LUMINOUS SIGNALS in the sky

Last Tuesday in the early hours of the day at the foot of the forest of Dambach, a nocturnal observer with a clear mind saw in the direction of Rhinau, a luminous body suddenly rising, whose sharp beam seemed to come from a powerful car headlight. He first thought of a very remote vehicle that had one of its lights turned on and waited for the second beam to light.

And indeed, this is what happened, soon followed by a third ball of light. The power of these mysterious light sources intensified for a few seconds, their brilliant core as well as their corona until the beams suddenly disappeared as if by explosion. After a brief reappearance of lights the night again was dark above the still invisible horizon of the Black Forest.

Where do these strange lights in the Eastern sky come from? Who can give the end of the story? Perhaps other witnesses of this celestial phenomenon or artificial would know?

It should be noted in passing that the witness observed the phenomenon in full possession of his faculties, he is not prone to hysteria, or hoaxing, and has no inclination to drink.

Discussion:

About Christian Valentin's book:

It is not at all my habit to "advertise" a book or anything, and I have no interested relationship with the author, but I wanted to say a word on the book by Christian Valentin, "Mythes et Réalités des Phénomènes Aériens Non Identifiés" (i.e. "Myths and Realities of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (cover on the left), ref. [cv2]; which, as its subtitle indicates, is about Alsatian UFO sighting reports and the saucer lore in Alsace.

I think Alsatian ufologist and generally people interested in the UFO question, or in the history of Alsace, my region, would probably like this book.

The 144 pages book is sober but well presented, unbiased, richly documented and illustrated. It is the first work in print specifically about UFO sightings in Alsace. (There was another one a few years ago, but it was partly made by copying - pasting without mention of the sources, portions of my website, especially the Alsatians cases I almost exhaustively documented in my catalog of UFO sightings in France in 1954, and copies from another websites; the trivial explanations I proposed or gave there being almost always stripped off!)

The author does not want to prove or disprove the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors or some other so-called "extraordinary" explanation, he rather offers a chronologically ordered review of Alsatian UFO reports, starting from the origin and stopping in 1980, based on known sources ufology, on the articles of the regional Press, and cases less known or even unreleased so far that he collected directly with the witnesses. His own comments are printed in a different color, references to the sources are always given. A very nice work in my opinion!

The author currently has a blog where he shows what libraries in Alsace have the book available, see: christian.valentin.overblog.com

What was been described here looks much more like a triple meteor than a flying saucer or UFO.

As noted in [cv2], the observation can be related geographically and temporally to the sighting in Aubure.

Above:

Aerial recent picture of Dambach and the surrounding forests.

Evaluation:

Probable meteor.

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 April 5, 2014 Creation, [nr1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 5, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 5, 2014.