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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 Mulhouse, on August 25, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-08-25-MULHOUSE-1

Summary:

On August 27, 1954, the regional newspaper "L'Alsace " reported that three boys, Bernard, aged 16, Peter, aged 14 and Roland, came to see them the evening before, to tell them that they had seen a flying saucer. Another boy, Rene, 16, had seen it too but had also dared to come to tell about it at the newspaper's office.

These four young friends were on August 25, 1954, like every evening, at the channel "Canal du Rhône-au-Rhin" at the level of the Sanara near the street of Tunis. Looking up, Peter saw a maneuvering luminous disc, but he said, "I was not paying attention." The object actually quickly left.

But it came dancing before his eyes a few moments later and Peter, this time, alerted his comrades. They told to the newspaper:

"It was a sort of very bright disc, whose diameter was about one meter. The craft zigzagged in the sky for a few seconds and then flew away quickly towards the railway station and we lost sight of it. Throughout its maneuvers we did not hear any noise."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: August 25, 1954
Time: Evening
Duration: ?
First known report date: August 26, 1954
Reporting delay: 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: Near the Canal du Rhône-au-Rhin at the level of rue de Tunis, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.747
Longitude: 7.350
Uncertainty ratio: 100 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 4
Number of known witnesses: 3
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: 16, 16, 14, ?
Witness(es) types: Boys, teenagers.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Told to the local Press.
Type of location: Urban area near channel, 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: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: DD or NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified, low credibility, lack of information.

Sources:

[Ref. al1:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

A "Flying Saucer" above the city?

Three young people, Bernard, 16, Pierre, 14 and Roland, visited us yesterday to tell us a rather amazing news: they saw a flying saucer. René, 16, who had witnessed the phenomenon at the same time, did not dare to come by.

The four friends were on Wednesday, as every night, on the Canal du Rhône au Rhin at the level of the Sanara near the street of Tunis. Looking up, Pierre saw a luminous disc maneuver, but he said, "I was not paying attention." The craft soon disappeared anyway, to return to dance before his eyes a few moments later. Pierre, this time, alerted his comrades. But let's hear them out:

"It was a very bright sort of disc, whose diameter was about one meter. The craft zigzagged in the sky for a few seconds and then went away quickly towards the railway station and we lost sight of it. Throughout its maneuvers we did not hear any noise."

Is it a "Flying Saucer"? The thing would actually be nothing special, why shouldn't these "craft" fly above Mulhouse, when Norway, they land?

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

In his dossier on the flying saucers flap in Alsace published in 2004, Christian Valentin indicates that on Wednesday August 25, 1954, the first observation in Alsace of an unidentified object not took place above Mulhouse.

He indicates that four young people aged from 13 to 16 which were usually gathering in the evening at the edge of the channel of the Rhone to the Rhine near Tunis Street made a simple and laconic testimony. One of them whose first name was Pierre spoke about a sort of very shiny disc which was zigzaging in the sky, and which moved silently away after a few seconds in direction of the railway station.

[Ref. sp6:] "SPICA" UFOLOGY ASSOCIATION:

Fifty years ago
"Ufos in Alsace"

It is on 08/25/1954 that took place the first observation in Mulhouse, 4 young people observe a very shining disc.

[... Other cases...]

[Ref. mp1:] MICHEL PADRINES:

The author indicates that the first sighting of 1954 in Alsace takes place on August 25, 1954 in Mulhouse, "four young people observe a very brilliant disc."

No source is given.

[Ref. cv2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

A FLYING SAUCER above the city?

Three young people, Bernard, 16, Pierre, 14 and Roland, visited us yesterday to tell us a rather amazing news: they saw a flying saucer. René, 16, who had witnessed the phenomenon at the same time, did not dare to come by.

The four friends were on Wednesday, as every night, on the Canal du Rhône au Rhin at the level of the Sanara near the street of Tunis. Looking up, Pierre saw a luminous disc maneuver, but he said, "I was not paying attention." The craft soon disappeared anyway, to return to dance before his eyes a few moments later. Pierre, this time, alerted his comrades. But let's hear them out:

"It was a very bright sort of disc, whose diameter was about one meter. The craft zigzagged in the sky for a few seconds and then went away quickly towards the railway station and we lost sight of it. Throughout its maneuvers we did not hear any noise."

Is it a "Flying Saucer"? The thing would actually be nothing special, why shouldn't these "craft" fly above Mulhouse, when Norway, they land?

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


The SANARA indicated in the newspaper was the "Société Alsacienne de Navigation Rhénane" ("Alsatian Rhine Navigation Company"), with its facilities at the Canal du Rhône-au-Rhin there. The witnesses were at the location marked "Canal" on this aerial view of the South East of Mulhouse. The flying saucer went towards the Mulhouse railway station ("Gare"), according to the boys.

The newspaper L'Alsace was referring to a saucer landing in Norway. This is the case of Oeydalen, where two sisters had seen a man, a human, in khaki outfit, who laughed at the sight of them, did not understand what they were saying even when they tried English. He allegedly sketched a map of the planets to tell them what planet he came from, and would have brought them in a clearing to show them his 5-meter craft; which "looked like two giant pans lids stuck against each other". The man went into the craft; which took off with "no more noise than a bumblebee." The military investigator explained that it was a NATO American pilot and his helicopter. Then, U.S. pilot Marly Fauro of NATO came forwards as having been the pilot. But oddly the military investigator then stated that the clearing was too small to land a helicopter there...

This case caused a sensation in the Press in Europe. Another case caused sensation, that of flying cigar and saucers seen in Vernon in the Eure in the night of August 22 to 23. We can therefore argue that these boys could have perfectly known what a "flying saucer" was supposed the be, and could have hoaxed their story.

If this was not a pure invention, I have no convincing ordinary explanation. But on the other hand, it lacks too much information: the hour, durations, angular sizes, speed, trajectory, color etc. etc. An investigation could have comprised separate interviews of the boys and could have filled these gaps, but at the time it simply was not done, with very rare exceptions.

Evaluation:

Unidentified, low credibility, lack of information.

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
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 25, 2004 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 2, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross March 28, 2014 Additions [al1], [cv2].
2.0 Patrick Gross March 28, 2014 Added to the ALSACAT catalogue and published.
2.1 Patrick Gross October 13, 2016 Additions [sp6].
2.2 Patrick Gross June 2, 2018 Addition [mp1].

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This page was last updated on June 2, 2018.