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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 Fortschwihr, on October 21, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-21-FORTSCHWIHR-1

Summary:

The newspaper L'Alsace, on page 7 of their French issue for October 24, 1954, published a letter from one of their readers, a police brigadier from Colmar who reported his observation of Thursday, October 21, 1954.

He stated that he was riding his bicycle at 07:30 p.m. from Fortschwihr to Bischwihr when he suddenly saw on his left, to the south, a red ball with a dovetail-shaped trail of a slightly less luminous color, more orange colored.

This ball was moving very fast from the West to the East, at a considerable height. He estimated it travelled from the Belfort Gap to the Rhine.

He could see it twice after it came out of two large clouds, and then it disappeared. The observation had lasted only a short time.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 21, 1954
Time: 07:30 p.m.
Duration: Short.
First known report date: October 24, 1954
Reporting delay: Day, 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Fortschwihr, Bischwihr
Place: Riding his bike between Fortschwihr and Bischwihr, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.092
Longitude: 7.444
Uncertainty ratio: 400 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Brigadier of the police of Colmar.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Wrote a letter to the regional newspaper L'Alsace.
Type of location: Riding his bike between two close villages, 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: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable meteor.

Sources:

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


BETWEEN FORTSCHWIHR AND BISCHWIHR

A red ball

One of our readers, police brigadier in Colmar, writes to us:

"I was riding my bicycle on Thursday night, October 21, 1954, at 07:30 p.m., from the village of Fortschwihr to Bischwihr. Suddenly, I saw to my left, to the south, a red ball with a trail shaped like a dovetail, of a little less bright color, more in the orange color. This ball was moving at a breathtaking speed from West to East, at a considerable height. in my opinion, it was going from the Belfort Gap to the Rhine. I saw this bright ball twice, at the exit of two large clouds, and then it disappeared. The appearance lasted only a moment."

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

The journalist indicates in his dossier that on October 21, 1954, a sergeant of the police force of Colmar circulated between Fortschwihr and Bischwiller when he suddenly saw, towards the South, a red ball with a less luminous tail which drew rather towards an orange color.

The ball moved at an altitude which he evaluated as rather important, and seemed to go from the direction of Belfort towards the direction of the Rhine river.

He saw it by twice in openings in the clouds, the whole sighting being brief, lasting "only one moment."

[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 the newspaper L'Alsace on page 7 of the French speaking issue for October 24, 1954, had reported the observation of Thursday, October 21, 1954, in Fortschwihr in the Haut-Rhin:

A red ball between FORTSCHWIHR and BISCHWIHR

One of our readers, police brigadier in Colmar, writes to us:

"I was riding my bicycle on Thursday night, October 21, 1954, at 07:30 p.m., from the village of Fortschwihr to Bischwihr. Suddenly, I saw to my left, to the south, a red ball with a trail shaped like a dovetail, of a little less bright color, more in the orange color. This ball was moving at a breathtaking speed from West to East, at a considerable height. in my opinion, it was going from the Belfort Gap to the Rhine. I saw this bright ball twice, at the exit of two large clouds, and then it disappeared. The appearance lasted only a moment."

He comments that the sighting is quite ordinary but might confirm the young Dornach farmer's story as the hour and move of the object match.

Discussion:

There is one kilometer between the center of Fortschwihr and the center of Bischwihr. The road, D71 departmental road known as "route de Colmar" is to the northwest, the Southwest is on the left side.

The Belfort Gap is at 216° (Southwest), the Rhine is in the East.

The description and the brevity - though not specified - suggest that it was a meteor.

Evaluation:

Probable meteor.

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 September 25, 2005 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 12, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
3.0 Patrick Gross December 22, 2014 Additions [la1], [cv2], Summary, Explanations changed, were "Not looked for yet. Probable meteor".
3.0 Patrick Gross December 22, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.

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This page was last updated on December 22, 2014