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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 16, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-16-STRASBOURG-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper L'Alsace for October 19, 1954, reported that at 07:30 p.m., in Strasbourg, three people near the EDF plant saw a craft shining with light and in the shape of a bowler hat that spun in the sky.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 16, 1954
Time: 07:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: October 19, 1954
Reporting delay: 3 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Strasbourg
Place: Street of Sète, Strasbourg, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.543
Longitude: 7.794
Uncertainty ratio: 200 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: Big city street, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
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. 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. am1:] AIME MICHEL:

Aimé Michel wrote about the October 16, 1954, 09:30 p.m. meteor:

THE TEST OF THE METEOR. October 16, as if it was purposely, a splendid meteor crossed the north of France towards 09:30 p.m.. It was observed on a score of departments by thousands of people, from the Allier to Lorraine and from the Swiss border to Paris. Naturally many witnesses believed to have seen a Flying Saucer and said so. The newspapers printed "Flying Saucer in Orly", or "in Montididier", or "in Metz." But once again the description made by all these weak brains appeared of a remarkable honesty.

[...]

The innumerable gathered testimonys show indeed that even when the witnesses called "Flying saucer" the observed object, their description is identical on 200.000 square kilometres where the visible phenomenon was visible: an "orange ball followed by a trail", a "large luminous ball with a tail", a "flying egg followed by a trail", a "bottle's bottom with a trail of thirty times its diameter", etc. The same phenomenon is uniformly described.

[...]

[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 fot this date, he indicates that on October 16, 1954, at 07:30 P.M., in Strasbourg, a fast flying watermelon-shaped craft was observed by three people.

[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 Editions 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:

There is no "rue de Hobsheim" in Strasbourg, Hobsheim does not exist. There is no "rue de Habsheim" either. But the old EDF plant, a powerplant, is on rue de Sète, near the river Rhine.

What was seen was probably the 07:30 meteor of that day.

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:
3.0 Patrick Gross April 29, 2014 Creation [la1], [am1], [cv1], [cv2].
3.0 Patrick Gross April 29, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.

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This page was last updated on April 29, 2014.