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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 Eguisheim, on October 16, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-16-EGUISHEIM-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper L'Alsace for October 19, 1954, reported among other observations that day, that in Eguisheim, on October 16, 1954, at 10:30 p.m., "a few people were surprised by the appearance of a spherical apparatus that at a breathtaking speed and in total silence, crossed the sky in the direction of the Trois-Châteaux."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 16, 1954
Time: 10:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: October 19, 1954
Reporting delay: 3 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Eguisheim
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.042
Longitude: 7.305
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Regional Press.
Type of location: ?
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: Possible meteor, insufficient information.

Sources:

[Ref. la1:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

Flying saucers flew over Alsace

After cigars, brooms, barrels, it is now the "melons" that appear in the sky of Alsace. In fact, many people claim to have seen a shining machine on Saturday night, in the form of a melon, and leaving a white-orange trail of two meters, flying over the Bas-Rhin.

This has indeed been observed not only in Strasbourg but also Niederhaslach, Haguenau and Wissembourg. Finally, in the Haut-Rhin, people also saw a craft that seems to be the same crossing the Bas-Rhin sky at a frightening speed.

It is at 07:30 p.m. that the phenomenon was observed for the first time on Saturday night in Strasbourg. Three people near the EDF plant on the street of Hobsheim saw a craft shining with light and in the shape of a bowler hat that spun in the sky.

At 9:35 p.m. nine people were enjoying the warmth of the evening at the bar of the flying club, at the Polygone, also saw the same craft cross the night sky from east to west. The same description was given by a dozen young people in Niederhaslach awaiting the results of the election of the new mayor on the village square. A craft flew over them at 09:35 p.m., at an estimated altitude of very roughly fifteen thousand meters. The assumption that this would be a balloon lit by the last rays of the sun was rejected given the extraordinary speed at which the "flying melon" crossed the sky from one side of the horizon to the other. An investigation was opened by the police. A quarter of an hour before, that is to say, at 09:20 p.m., a flying saucer flew at low altitude, in a burst of sparks, on the Stanislas hospital in Wissembourg. The craft was seen by the local police and residents.

Finally in Haguenau, at 07:30 p.m., a round and red machine crossed the sky from north to south, followed by a bright white and orange trail. At 11:30 p.m., another craft was seen. In Masevaux, seven people who saw between 9:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. a craft that was shaped like a cigar and was followed by a green trail. From the Hundsrück, the "flying cigar was heading to the Sundel."

In Eguisheim, at 10:30 p.m., a few people were surprised by the appearance of a spherical apparatus that at a breathtaking speed and in total silence, crossed the sky in the direction of the Trois-Châteaux.

[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 indicates that the 16th of October 1954 was an eventful evening throughout Alsace, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with numerous reports of bright balls in different directions, and that observations located around 21:30 were those of a superb meteor, visible that evening from twenty departments of France, according to "Mysterious Objects in the Sky" by A. Michel, Seghers publisher, on page 245, and "La Grande Peur Martienne" by G. Barthel and Brucker, Nouvelles Efitions Rationalistes, page 202. He adds that the proximity, a few hours apart, of fireballs with opposite trajectories and perpendicular paths "is, according to the experts, a remarkable phenomenon."

He indicates that in the newspaper L'ALSACE for Tuesday, October 19, 1954, in the French-speaking issue, published the following article:

Flying saucers flew over ALSACE

After cigars, brooms, barrels, it is now the "melons" that appear in the sky of Alsace. In fact, many people claim to have seen a shining machine on Saturday night, in the form of a melon, and leaving a white-orange trail of two meters, flying over the Bas-Rhin.

This has indeed been observed not only in Strasbourg but also Niederhaslach, Haguenau and Wissembourg. Finally, in the Haut-Rhin, people also saw a craft that seems to be the same crossing the Bas-Rhin sky at a frightening speed.

It is at 07:30 p.m. that the phenomenon was observed for the first time on Saturday night in Strasbourg. Three people near the EDF plant on the street of Hobsheim saw a craft shining with light and in the shape of a bowler hat that spun in the sky.

At 9:35 p.m. nine people were enjoying the warmth of the evening at the bar of the flying club, at the Polygone, also saw the same craft cross the night sky from east to west. The same description was given by a dozen young people in Niederhaslach awaiting the results of the election of the new mayor on the village square. A craft flew over them at 09:35 p.m., at an estimated altitude of very roughly fifteen thousand meters. The assumption that this would be a balloon lit by the last rays of the sun was rejected given the extraordinary speed at which the "flying melon" crossed the sky from one side of the horizon to the other. An investigation was opened by the police. A quarter of an hour before, that is to say, at 09:20 p.m., a flying saucer flew at low altitude, in a burst of sparks, on the Stanislas hospital in Wissembourg. The craft was seen by the local police and residents.

Finally in Haguenau, at 07:30 p.m., a round and red machine crossed the sky from north to south, followed by a bright white and orange trail. At 11:30 p.m., another craft was seen. In Masevaux, seven people who saw between 9:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. a craft that was shaped like a cigar and was followed by a green trail. From the Hundsrück, the "flying cigar was heading to the Sundel."

In Eguisheim, at 10:30 p.m., a few people were surprised by the appearance of a spherical apparatus that at a breathtaking speed and in total silence, crossed the sky in the direction of the Trois-Châteaux.

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

If the witnesses were actually in Eguisheim for the observation, something heading toward the Three Castles of Eguisheim is roughly going from the East to the West. This would coincide with observations further in the north at 09:35 p.m., of a meteor. Maybe the hour was in error and it was the same meteor, but this is not certain.

Evaluation:

Possible meteor, 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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 29, 2014 Creation, [la1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 29, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 29, 2014.