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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 September 23, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-09-23-MULHOUSE-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper "Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace", at least in their bilingual issue Strasbourg, reported on September 25, 1954:

"Curious appearance in Mulhouse: Thursday night", thus on September 23, 1954, "ten minutes after the passage of a squadron of fighter jets in the sky of Mulhouse, several witnesses saw a cigar-shaped craft that was traveling at high speed towards the East."

A different version for this observation in Mulhouse at this date and given as "at 07:00 p.m." was written by ufologists Figuet and Ruchon in 1979, and copied from ufology sources to ufology sources:

"Observations of transparent cigars moving at high speed towards the Black Forest."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: September 23, 1954
Time: 07:00 p.m.?
Duration: ?
First known report date: September 23, 1954
Reporting delay: Minutes to 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.750
Longitude: 7.334
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The local Press?
Type of location: City?
Visibility conditions: Uncertain, start of evening.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: A cigar-shaped craft.

Classifications:

Hynek: DD or NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified, possible plane, insufficient information.

Sources:

[Ref. dn1:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES D'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

Competition in the aerial maneuvers

Curious appearance in Mulhouse: Thursday night, ten minutes after the passage of a squadron of fighter jets in the sky of Mulhouse, several witnesses saw a cigar-shaped craft that was traveling at high speed towards the east.

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors indicate that in Mulhouse in the department of the Haut-Rhin, on September 23, 1954, at 07:00 p.m., there were observations of transparent cigars moving at high speed towards the Black Forest.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates that in 1954, on September 23, in France, in Mulhouse (the Haut Rhin), "A 19 hours transparent flying cigars, move at high speed towards the 'Black forest'".

The source is noted "M. FIGUET/J.L. RUCHON: 'Ovni, le premier dossier complet..' - Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979, p. 84".

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the Haut Rhin in Mulhouse on September 23, 1954 at 19:00 hours there were "Observations of transparent cigars moving at high speed towards the black forest."

The source is indicated as "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 23 September 1954 at 19:00 in Mulhouse, France "Transparent cigars rapidly to the east very fast." And: "Cigar-shaped objects were observed. Two transparent cigar-shaped objects were observed at a mountain."

The source is indicated as Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

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

Fifty years ago
"The ufos in Alsace"

[... Other cases...]

In September several observations, [...] a cigar flying in the East of Mulhouse etc.

[... Other cases...]

[Ref. cv2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a very interesting book about the history of UFO or flying saucers sightings in Alsace, from the beginnings to 1980.

In this book he reports that the "Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace" for Saturday, September 25, 1954, in the bilingual issue of Strasbourg, said about a sighting on Thursday, September 23, 1954, in Mulhouse, according to his translation:

COMPETITION in the aerial maneuvers

Curious appearance in Mulhouse: Thursday night, ten minutes after the passage of a squadron of fighter jets in the sky of Mulhouse, several witnesses saw a cigar-shaped craft that was traveling at high speed towards the east.

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
MULHOUSE Thursday 23 September 1954 at 07:00 p.m. elongated (cigar)
Unidentified
transparent
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

There is not enough information for me to get a clear idea of what was seen.

As there were planes maneuvers just before, one might assume that the "cigar" was also one of these planes, if it was not really a cigar and not really transparent, as in the case of a high flying airplane, when the metallic wings reflecting the sky are not really visible, and whose cabin also reflect the color of the sky giving the impression of transparency. But at 7 p.m., night was falling and this scenario is not entirely plausible.

There is the possibility that it was a meteor, not well described by the witnesses or by the Press.

There were at least 20 sightings reports in France that day. Most are very briefly documented, but the hours and descriptions differ enough to discard the possibility that a single meteor was seen over France. For example, ufologist Aimé Michel had briefly reported that in Malakoff in Paris, there were vague indications of an observation that day, saying it was impossible to decide if it was a shooting star or not, although the reported movement seems to have been too slow for a shooting star.

On the same date, according to the newspaper La Suisse for September 24, 1954, Mrs Périat made an observation in Porrentruy, but it was in the morning.

Evaluation:

Unidentified, possible plane, insufficient 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 September 24, 2005 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 28, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [lc1], [ud1].
2.0 Patrick Gross March 28, 2014 Additions [dn1], [cv2].
2.0 Patrick Gross March 28, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.
2.1 Patrick Gross June 3, 2015 Addition [sp4].
2.2 Patrick Gross October 13, 2016 Addition [sp6].

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This page was last updated on October 13, 2016.