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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 Wintzenheim, on October 16, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-16-WINTZENHEIM-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Le Nouveau Rhin Français, in their Colmar issue for October 17, 1954, reported that on October 16, 1954, around 09:25 p.m., they were informed from Wintzenheim that a kind of luminous ball was spotted at a height of about 2000 meters.

It "revolved on its axis and moved at a particularly high rate of speed from East to West in the direction of Hohlandsburg. Four people who were together observed this ball."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 16, 1954
Time: ~09:25 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: October 17, 1954
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Wintzenheim
Place: From or near the village, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.073
Longitude: 7.289
Uncertainty ratio: 1 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 4
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: People who were together.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Regional Press.
Type of location: From or near a village, 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: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Not an ordinary shooting star.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probably the meteor of October 16, 1954 at 09:35 p.m.

Sources:

[Ref. nr1:] "LE NOUVEAU RHIN FRANCAIS" NEWSPAPER:

Was it a flying saucer... naturally...?

Last night, at 07:30 p.m. precisely, an object of a brilliant blue-green light moved at high altitude over our city. Its race seemed to go down and went from West to East. Whatever it was, it was not an ordinary shooting star because its brightness varied from green to blue. The projectile was traveling at high altitude and high speed.

A little later, around 09:25 p.m., we were informed from Wintzenheim that a kind of luminous ball was spotted at a height of about 2000 meters, it revolved on its axis and moved at a particularly high rate of speed from East to West in the direction of Hohlandsburg. Four people who were together observed this ball.

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Press reporter Christian Valentin points out that at the time of the big flap of flying saucers of 1954 in France, there was, on October 16, 1954 a significant number of observations which were that of a meteor.

In this series, he indicates that on October 16, 1954 at 09:25 p.m. in Wintzenheim, four inhabitants reported the passage from the east towards the west of a luminous ball rotating on its axis.

[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 LE NOUVEAU RHIN FRANCAIS for Sunday, October 17, 1954, in the comar bilingual issue, published this article:

Was it a flying saucer... naturally...?

Last night, at 07:30 p.m. precisely, an object of a brilliant blue-green light moved at high altitude over our city. Its race seemed to go down and went from West to East. Whatever it was, it was not an ordinary shooting star because its brightness varied from green to blue. The projectile was traveling at high altitude and high speed.

A little later, around 09:25 p.m., we were informed from Wintzenheim that a kind of luminous ball was spotted at a height of about 2000 meters, it revolved on its axis and moved at a particularly high rate of speed from East to West in the direction of Hohlandsburg. Four people who were together observed this ball.

Discussion:

The Hohlandsburg castle is 2 kilometers south-west of the center of Wintzenheim. The direction is however given as east to west rather than north-east to south-west, so witnesses were likely towards the east end of Wintzenheim, for example.

The direction, the description, all fits with my idea that this was again an observation of meteor of 09:35 p.m. of that day, seen widely in France and identified as such by ufologist Aimé Michel in his 1956 book.

Evaluation:

Probably the meteor of October 16, 1954 at 09:35 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 October 27, 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 April 30, 2014 Additions [nr1], [cv2].
3.0 Patrick Gross April 30, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.

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This page was last updated on April 30, 2014