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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 Obersaasheim, on October 16, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-16-OBSERSAASHEIM-1

Summary:

An article in the regional newspaper Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin, page 7 of the bilingual issue, for October 19, 1954, wondered: "Was it a flying saucer?"

It told about this sighting of October 16, 1954:

"Obersaasheim. -- Saturday around 07:30 p.m., two girls aged 13 and 14, E. L. and S. A. saw suddenly, passing the town hall, a bright ball of light green color."

"It was about the size of a child's balloon. From the south, it was heading at high speed towards the east."

"After about a minute, the ball, which was a tail of the same color had disappeared."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 16, 1954
Time: ~07:30 p.m.
Duration: ~ 1 minute.
First known report date: October 19, 1954
Reporting delay: 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Obersaasheim
Place: From in front of the town hall, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.989
Longitude: 7.554
Uncertainty ratio: 500 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1 or 2
Number of named witnesses: 2
Witness(es) ages: 14, 13
Witness(es) types: Young girls.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Regional Press.
Type of location: From in front of the village town hall, 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: NL
ALSACAT: Probably the meteor of October 16, 1954 at 07:30 p.m.

Sources:

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

Was it a flying saucer?

Obersaasheim. -- Saturday around 07:30 p.m., two girls aged 13 and 14, E. L. and S. A. saw suddenly, passing the town hall, a bright ball of light green color.

It was about the size of a child's balloon. From the south, it was heading at high speed towards the east.

After about a minute, the ball, which was a tail of the same color had disappeared.

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

In 2004, Christian Valentin wrote a dossier published in the magazine "Les Saisons d'Alsace", which was devoted to the French flap of 1954 as it was lived in Alsace.

Among briefly mentioned cases for this date, he indicates that on October 16, 1954, at 07:30 P.M., in Obersaasheim, two young girls have seen a green ball followed by a green tail, coming from the south and going towards the east.

[Ref. ws1:] "SITE OF WILLI SKATER":

This website by an Obersaasheim resident obviously copied my file, without citing it as source, silenced my comment that it was a "probable meteor", and added a picture quite out of place:


the UFO

In 2004, Christian Valentin wrote a dossier published in the magazine "Les Saisons d'Alsace", which was devoted to the french flap of 1954 as it was lived in Alsace. Among briefly mentioned cases for this date, he indicates that on October 16, 1954, at 07:30 P.M., in Obersaasheim, two young girls have seen a green ball followed by a green tail, coming from the south and going towards the east.

[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 in the bilingual issue of Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin for Tuesday, October 19, 1954, on page 7, this article appeared:

Was it a flying saucer?

Obersaasheim: Saturday around 07:30 p.m., two girls aged 13 and 14, E. L. and S. A. saw suddenly, passing the town hall, a bright ball of light green color.

It was about the size of a child's balloon. From the south, it was heading at high speed towards the east.

After about a minute, the ball, which was a tail of the same color had disappeared.

Discussion:

It was green, the shape of a ball, with a tail, it was at 07:30 p.m. that day. So everything points to the meteor that was widely seen in Alsace and elsewhere. The directions matches, roughly only, but the witnesses are two young girls and cannot have been expected to use a compass. Another explanation is that from the front of the town hall, looking toward the South, there is little view of the West, and the girls had to see the meteor, if it was at a low elevation, only when it arrived in their South, as shown in the photo below, taken in 2012:

Evaluation:

Probably the meteor of October 16, 1954 at 07:30 p.m.

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 19, 2005 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross December 28, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
3.0 Patrick Gross May 1, 2014 Additions [dh1], [ws1], [cv2].
3.0 Patrick Gross May 1, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.

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This page was last updated on May 1, 2014.