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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 Logelbach, on October 2, 3, and 4, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-02-LOGELBACH-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin, on page 8 for October 7, 1954, said a Mrs "X", living road of Colmar in Logelbach, came to them with the following statement:

"I read in your newspaper the article about the flying saucer of Haut-Koenigsbourg. I would like to point out that my husband and I observed a similar phenomenon last Saturday. At 8 p.m., when I looked out our window towards the Galtz, I saw what I took at first for a big star, that at this moment, moved to the petit Hohnack changing color. I called my husband and we saw this bright spot for nearly an hour as it moved to either side and changed color several times; from a bright red to a bright yellow and pale green. Around 9 am, the light disappeared behind the Galtz towards Kaysersberg. Sunday and Monday we attended the same show. The distance did not allow us to determine with certainty the shape of this "saucer" but yet it seemed elongated."

"I finally made a statement to the National Gendarmerie, despite my fear that I would be mocked."

I found that the celestial object that would best explain this observation is the star Arcturus.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 2,3,4 1954
Time: ~08:00 p.m.
Duration: 1 hour.
First known report date: October 7, 1954
Reporting delay: 5 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Wintzenheim
Place: Logelbach district, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.083
Longitude: 7.319
Uncertainty ratio: 1 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults or aged.
Witness(es) types: Man and wife.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Statement to regional newspaper.
Type of location: Village, 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: Big star, then flying saucer phenomenon.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable star, Arcturus.

Sources:

[Ref. dh1:] JOURNAL "DERNIERES NOUVELLES DU HAUT-RHIN":

Mrs X, living road of Colmar in Logelbach presents to our editors for the following statement:

I read in your newspaper the article about the flying saucer of Hochkoenigsbourg. I would like to point out that my husband and I observed a similar phenomenon last Saturday. At 8 p.m., when I looked out our window towards the Galtz, I saw what I took at first for a big star, that at this moment, moved to the petit Hohnack changing color. I called my husband and we saw this bright spot for nearly an hour as it moved to either side and changed color several times; from a bright red to a bright yellow and pale green. Around 9 am, the light disappeared behind the Galtz towards Kaysersberg. Sunday and Monday we attended the same show. The distance did not allow us to determine with certainty the shape of this "saucer" but yet it seemed elongated.

I finally made a statement to the National Gendarmerie, despite my fear that I would be mocked.

[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 there was a case on Saturday, October 2, 1954 at 8 p.m. in the Haut-Rhin in Galtz - Hohnack, reported in the newspaper "Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin" for Thursday, October 7, 1954, at page 8 of the bilingual issue:

Mrs X, living road of Colmar in Logelbach presents to our editors for the following statement:

I read in your newspaper the article about the flying saucer of Hochkoenigsbourg. I would like to point out that my husband and I observed a similar phenomenon last Saturday. At 8 p.m., when I looked out our window towards the Galtz, I saw what I took at first for a big star, that at this moment, moved to the petit Hohnack changing color. I called my husband and we saw this bright spot for nearly an hour as it moved to either side and changed color several times; from a bright red to a bright yellow and pale green. Around 9 am, the light disappeared behind the Galtz towards Kaysersberg. Sunday and Monday we attended the same show. The distance did not allow us to determine with certainty the shape of this "saucer" but yet it seemed elongated.

I finally made a statement to the National Gendarmerie, despite my fear that I would be mocked.

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

When opbservation of this kind is repeated several days, it screams for an astronomical explanation, Venus or some star...

It looked like "a big star," said the lady, she first think it was a big star.

The Color changes? "From a bright green to pale yellow and red." This happens when a star or some of the planets are low on the horizon.

I still have to locate the thing in terms of direction and elevation, and temporally.

The elevation: I cannot tell, the lady says nothing about it. Yet, we can at best suspect that it was very low, as she stated it "disappeared behind" a certain place. If it disappears behind a natural obstacle, it cannot have been very high.

The direction: it is reasonable to think that the lady was in Logelbach. She lives there, we are told. She sees something on three consecutive nights, we can assume this was seen as she was home.

The thing is towards the Galtz and moves towards the Petit Hohnack then "behind the Galz towards Kaysersberg." So we get:

Logelbach - now a part of Wintzenheim - to Kaysersberg: 325°.

Logelbach to Galtz: 297°.

Logelbach to the Petit Hohnack: 276°.

Temporally, things are clear: from about 8:00 p.m. to about 9:00 p.m., on October 2, 1954. It was probably at the same hours the next two days.

Firstly, I find that Venus was not visible, it set at 240 ° at 07:06 p.m., assuming a flat horizon which is not the case, and was therefore not visible before 7:06 p.m. Mars is not at the right place: in the South at 180° - 198°. And Mars is not affected by changes in colors such as reported.

At 290° at 08:30 p.m., we have the star Arcturus at an elevation of 9°47 and a visual magnitude (BSC5) of -0.04. It is much brighter than any other star around, and visually, it "descends" to be no longer visible at 09:32 p.m. assuming a flat horizon.

Arcturus is a red star at the end of its life, the brightest in this sector of the sky, its diameter is 20 times that of the Sun, and its distance from the Sun is only 37 light-years. Arcturus is the third brightest star in the sky, the sun being the first. Suffice to say it is a good candidate to explain this observation.

Evaluation:

Probable star, Arcturus.

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 April 24, 2014 Creation, [dh1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 24, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 24, 2014.