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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 Colmar, on January 10, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-01-10-COLMAR-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Le Nouveau Rhin Français, of Strasbourg, reported on January 12, 1954, that on January 10, 1954, the firemen of Colmar, on duty to fight against a fire, and many other people, had seen at 03:30 a.m. a round and flat object, with a kind of tail, phosphorescent, shining, and of a sharp red color.

It moved South towards North above the Vosges mountain range.

The newspaper wondered whether it was a flying saucer, and insisted that it was not a joke, the testimonies coming from many people worthy of faith.

On January 12, 1954, the other regional newspaper, Les Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin, of Colmar, told again of the previous observation of January 9, 1954, in the area, recalling that they had suspected that it was a meteor, and they add that they had learned the day before that the firemen of Colmar out this same night towards 03:30 for an attic fire in the rue des fossés in Colmar, and other people on the spot, suddenly saw during a few seconds only, above the Vosges, a ball of a great luminosity.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: January 10, 1954
Time: 03:30 a.m.
Duration: Some seconds.
First known report date:
Reporting delay: Hours, 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Colmar
Place: Rue des fossés, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.091
Longitude: 7.375
Uncertainty ratio: 100 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: Several
Number of known witnesses: 1 or more.
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Firemen and other people.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: From city street, UFO 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: Probable meteor

Sources:

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

Flying saucers in the Alsatian sky?

Firefighters of Colmar fighting a fire last night, made at 3:30 a weird observation: from the South to the North over the Vosges mountains moved a round, flat object with a kind of tail. The phenomenon was phosphorescent, shiny, and bright red. It was also seen by many people who had not attended the fire.

Students in Bergheim made a similar observation about 8 am Saturday morning. This time the heavenly machine moved south.

Were they flying saucers? This time in any case it is not a joke, the observation coming from many credible people.

[Ref. dn1:] NEWSPAPER "DERNIERES NOUVELLES DU HAUT-RHIN":

A new meteor?

Colmar. -- In our issue of last Sunday, we gave a report of an observation made by several people on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. in our region. We had assumed that it could be possibly a meteor of exceptional magnitude.

Furthermore, we were informed yesterday that firefighters in Colmar, forced to get out that night around 3:30 for a fire in the attic of rue des fossés, made the same observation, along with other people at the scene of the fire. They suddenly saw above the Vosges a ball of high brightness. The appearance lasted only a few seconds.

[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 Sunday, January 10, 1954, at 3:30 a.m., a fireball moving from the South to the North was seen by firefighters from Colmar during an operation; which was in all likelihood the entry of a celestial body in the atmosphere. He gives the text of the article Le Nouveau Rhin Français for January 12, 1954:

Flying saucers in the ALSATIAN SKY?

Firefighters of Colmar fighting a fire last night, made at 3:30 a weird observation: from the South to the North over the Vosges mountains moved a round, flat object with a kind of tail. The phenomenon was phosphorescent, shiny, and bright red. It was also seen by many people who had not attended the fire.

Students in Bergheim made a similar observation about 8 am Saturday morning. This time the heavenly machine moved south.

Were they flying saucers? This time in any case it is not a joke, the observation coming from many credible people.

He also gives the article from Les Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin for January 12, 1954:

A new meteor?

Colmar. -- In our issue of last Sunday, we gave a report of an observation made by several people on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. in our region. We had assumed that it could be possibly a meteor of exceptional magnitude.

Furthermore, we were informed yesterday that firefighters in Colmar, forced to get out that night around 3:30 for a fire in the attic of rue des fossés, made?the same observation, along with other people at the scene of the fire. They suddenly saw above the Vosges a ball of high brightness. The appearance lasted only a few seconds.

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 ufologists 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

As for this observation, the description obviously suggets that it was a meteor.

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 October 25, 2016 Creation, [nr1], [dn1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross October 25, 2016 First published.

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This page was last updated on October 25, 2016.