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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 Wittenheim, on October 21, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-20-WITTENHEIM-1

Summary:

The French speaking issue of the regional newspaper L'Alsace for October 23, 1954, on page 5, had reported that on the night of October 20, 1954, at 11:20 p.m., Wittenheim residents had seen a red ball coming from the direction of Thann at low altitude, It had stopped for a moment above Wittenheim, and soon after, left heading to the north.

The next day, October 21, 1954, at midnight and 50 minutes, the globe - or a similar one - had reappeared, moving along the Vosges mountains and appearing to head for Thann.

The newspaper said that "The silence was absolute" and "The color of the craft did not change."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 21, 1954
Time: 00:50 a.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: October 23, 1954
Reporting delay: 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Wittenheim
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.809
Longitude: 7.337
Uncertainty ratio: 1 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: The regional Press.
Type of location: ?
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: Unidentified.

Sources:

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

On the night from Wednesday to Thursday, at 11:20 p.m., Wittenheim residents saw a red ball that came from the direction of Thann, at a short distance from the ground, paused over the city shortly to, little later, disappear northwards.

At midnight and 50 minutes, the globe reappeared. It moved along the Vosges mountains and appeared to head for Thann. The silence was absolute. The color of the vehicle did not change.

[Ref. la2:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

A flying saucer made an extraordinary demonstration in the sky of Wittenheim

We reported in our last issue on the one hand the triple appearance of a red globe on Thursday night at 06:40 p.m., 07:30 p.m. and after 08:00 p.m. and on the other hand, the double passing, the day before, of a ball of same color above Wittenheim, at 11:20 p.m. and 00:50 a.m.

Then, on the night from Friday to Saturday, a phenomenon occurred, which is an absolutely irrefutable testimony by the sharpness of the appearance and also by the number of people who observed it.

It was 11:10 p.m.. Many spectators had left the "Palace" movie theater. Some of them went to the Zimmermann-Thomas cafe to chat and eat before returning home. Suddenly a man burst into the room. Deeply moved, he said to the stunned people: "you who do not believe in it, get out! Come and see! "It was a general rush. And the sight that met not only the consumers but also the countless cyclists and pedestrians who at that time were on the road or even in Wittenheim, or in Jeune Bois, was both shocking and compelling. The man who had thus attracted the attention of consumers was Mr. Eugène Stattner, living in Wittenheim-Jeune Bois and working in the service of the municipal administration of Mulhouse. He had also been at the movie. At the end of the show he got into his car and all lights on, drove to the Jeune Bois district. It was 11:10 p.m., when he suddenly saw what he calls himself a flying saucer. Then he rushed into the coffee shop to come out soon with the hope that in the meantime the phenomenon had not fainted. Not only the saucer had not disappeared, but it gave an extraordinary demonstration to say the least.

The craft coming from the direction of the Anna mine was heading towards the Jeune Bois district. Whereas the race was slow, the saucer turned briskly on itself in a double rotation, and - the sky being very clear - it was clearly visible: first the saucer was spinning like a carousel, on its edges around a central core perfectly still, on the other hand, the craft was on a rotation on itself in successive and frequent reversals, always around a central core.

What makes - and the importance of this finding is significant - in the first case of rotation, the apparatus had the appearance of a large plate and in the second case, an extended spindle, or if is preferred, a cigar. This would be a simple explanation and perfectly valid as to the form of aerial vehicles designated by the names of flying saucer and flying cigar.

The saucer apparently measured 1 m in diameter. But according to Mr. Stattner it was flying at about 500 m altitude. If these figures are accurate, the actual dimensions of the craft would be considerable.

The craft, which, in the words of Mr. Stattner seemed to frolic in the sky, used about ten minutes to go to the Anna mine well to the Theodore mine well through Jeune Bois. The observation was therefore particularly easy. The silence was absolute. The outer edge of the saucer went from red to brown to bright red, while the core was glowing, surrounded by a shower of sparks. A fire reflection illuminated the landscape.

Suddenly, while the saucer was above the Theodore mine, and still in the most absolute silence, a tremendous acceleration occurred at an incredible speed, the machine disappeared in the sky. These are the facts. It is not up to us to comment on them but hearing it leaves us wondering. This is, in any case, one of the most accurate report we had, to date, to report here.

Like everything, a priori, that arouses disbelief, the "saucer" theme can be open to irony and even joking. We had also indulged in this aspect of the matter. It must be recognized that a significant amount of courage is needed today to a single person that chance made a witness to one of those strange apparitions that occur for some time in the sky, to publicly tell his adventure. This courage, recently, came to L'Alsace readers. The good faith of the railwayman of Jettingen-Berentzwiller was not in doubt for those who knew him, and for us. That of the farmer of Dornach was equally. Their testimony, marked by good sense and the most scrupulous honesty, now find in what several hundred people at once saw, a striking confirmation.

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Christian Valentin indicates that on October 20, 1954 at 11:20 p.m., residents of Wittenheim saw a red ball which came from the direction of Thann at little distance from the ground. It stopped one moment above Wittenheim then left in the direction of the North. The red sphere reappeared at 00:50 while moving along the Vosges and appearing to move towards Thann.

[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 observation on Wednesday, October 22, 1954, in Wittenheim in the Haut-Rhin was report in the newspaper L'Alsace dor Saturday, October 23, 1954, on page 5 of the French speaking issue:

On the night from Wednesday to Thursday, at 11:20 p.m., Wittenheim residents saw a red ball that came from the direction of Thann, at a short distance from the ground, paused over the city shortly to, little later, disappear northwards.

At midnight and 50 minutes, the globe reappeared. It moved along the Vosges mountains and appeared to head for Thann. The silence was absolute. The color of the vehicle did not change.

Discussion:

At 11:20 p.m. on October 20, 1954, observed from Wittenheim arriving from Thann et stopping a while above Wittenheim, at face value, would mean that the red ball came from the West exactly, flew from Thann to Wittenheim i.e. 17 kilometers, stopped there, then went away to the north.

The next day, October 21, 1954, at 00:50 a.m., in this second observation, the red ball would have been to the West of Wittenheim and flew along the Vosges, says the report, either from south to north or to from north to south - this is not specified.

I have no idea to explain this red ball. The information is very thin, but this is an "unidentified" to me for now.

Evaluation:

Unidentified.

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 May 8, 2005 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 24, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
3.0 Patrick Gross December 21, 2014 Additions [la1], [cv2].
3.0 Patrick Gross December 21, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.
3.1 Patrick Gross December 23, 2014 Addition [la2].

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This page was last updated on December 23, 2014