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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 Strasbourg, on October 6, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-06-STRASBOURG-1

Summary:

The newspaper Nouvel Alsacien reported on October 7, 1954, that a flying saucer was seen over the Orangery in Strasbourg on October 6, 1954.

They said that in the evening after 7 p.m. they received several phone calls, some of which announced the landing of a flying saucer near the Orangerie while others called for asking the confirmation.

The newspaper scoffed: "it is difficult to believe that the inhabitants of Mars have a preference for our zoo; which may not be so attractive" and said the "flying cigar" must have been "rather in the shape of a pitcher full of new wine than cigar-shaped."

The next day, the same newspaper said that while they first thought it was a joke, because these stories of flying objects are lately more and more important, many people all reliable, however, confirmed that a strange apparition had indeed occurred in the sky of the Orangery district.

They wondered: "Is it a flying saucer or a natural phenomenon? The question remains open."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 6, 1954
Time: ~07:00 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: October 7, 1954
Reporting delay: Minutes.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Strasbourg
Place: From the Orangerie district, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.592
Longitude: 7.775
Uncertainty ratio: 500 m

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Phone calls to the Press.
Type of location: District of big city, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
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: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possibly Mars or meteor or plane.

Sources:

[Ref. na1:] "LE NOUVEL ALSACIEN" NEWSPAPER:

A flying saucer over The Orangery

Yesterday evening after 7 p.m., we received several phone calls, some of which announced the landing of a flying saucer near the Orangerie while others called for asking the confirmation. It is difficult to believe that the inhabitants of Mars have a preference for our zoo; which may not be so attractive.

Regarding the "flying cigar", it must have been rather in the shape of a pitcher full of new wine than cigar-shaped.

[Ref. na2:] "LE NOUVEL ALSACIEN" NEWSPAPER:

"Flying cigar" or natural phenomenon?

We reported in yesterday's edition that Wednesday evening around 7 p.m., a flying cigar or saucer was seen above the area of the Orangerie. We first thought it was a joke, because these stories of flying objects are lately more and more important.

Many people all reliable, however, confirmed to us that a strange apparition occurred at the said hour in the sky of this district. Is it a flying saucer or a natural phenomenon? The question remains open.

[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 Wednesday, October 6, 1954, in Strasbourg in the Bas-Rhin told in the "NOUVEL ALSACIEN" for Thursday, october 7, 1954, on page 5:

Une soucoupe volante au-dessus de L'ORANGERIE

A flying saucer over The ORANGERY

Yesterday evening after 7 p.m., we received several phone calls, some of which announced the landing of a flying saucer near the Orangerie while others called for asking the confirmation. It is difficult to believe that the inhabitants of Mars have a preference for our zoo; which may not be so attractive.

Regarding the "flying cigar", it must have been rather in the shape of a pitcher full of new wine than cigar-shaped.

He indicates there was a second article in the "NOUVEL ALSACIEN" for Friday, October 8, 1954:

"Flying cigar" or NATURAL PHENOMENON

We reported in yesterday's edition that Wednesday evening around 7 p.m., a flying cigar or saucer was seen above the area of the Orangerie. We first thought it was a joke, because these stories of flying objects are lately more and more important.

Many people all reliable, however, confirmed to us that a strange apparition occurred at the said hour in the sky of this district. Is it a flying saucer or a natural phenomenon? The question remains open.

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

This report is obviously almost totally devoid of any data allowing identification. There is for example no description at all of what was seen. There is no size, no time, no direction, nothing.

That night - it was dark - Mars was visible due south at azimuth 179° and a relatively low height of 16°, just below and to the right of the moon, visually. As there is no information on what was seen, one can also think it could have been a meteor or a plane.

Evaluation:

Possibly Mars or meteor or plane.

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 22, 2014 Creation, [na1], [na2], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 22, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 22, 2014.