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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 Scherlenheim, on October 22, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-22-SCHERLENHEIM-1

Summary:

In 2004, the journalist Christian Valentin published a detailed article on the Alsatian case of "flying saucers" that took place during the great wave of 1954 in France.

He reported that on October 22, 1954, at 09:00, p.m., in Scherlenheim, a 15-year-old young man saw a luminous craft from his garden.

He ran to get his father's gun and shot it down. The object fell to the ground, and the young man found it was an ordinary rubber balloon with a paper lantern using a wax candle.

In other words, modern word: a Chinese lantern.

Since I published this negative case with its explanation on my website in 2005, no less than three other website copied it but omitting all the parts if my file that provided the explanation.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 22, 1954
Time: ~09:00 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1954? 2004?
Reporting delay: Day, 6 decades?

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Scherlenheim
Place: Outside from witness' garden.
Latitude: 48.765
Longitude: 7.537
Uncertainty ratio: 3 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 0
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: 15
Witness(es) types: Young man.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: Seen by witness in the sky from his garden.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: N/A, crash
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Luminous craft that reveals to be a Chinese lantern.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Chinese lantern.

Sources:

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

The journalist reports that on October 22, 1954, at 09:00 p.m., in Scherlenheim, a 15 year old young man saw a luminous machine from his garden.

He ran to get his father's rifle and shoot at it. The object fell on the ground, and the young man found that it was an ordinary rubber balloon with a paper lantern using a wax candle.

[Ref. my1:] "LES MYSTERES DES OVNIS" WEB FORUM:

This French-speaking web forum copied my web page that lists the cases of the 1954 French flap. So this case appears there so but the reader cannot access my file showing that the case is negative because the link to the file was removed. There is a link to the page of my site that lists the 1954 French cases, but this link is pointing to the old address of my website so that the page is not found.

[Ref. oi1:] "OVNI INFO LE FORUM":

This French-speaking web forum indicated in one of their pages:

Scherlenheim

"The journalist reported that on October 22, 1954, at 09:00 p.m., in Scherlenheim, a 15-year-old young man saw a luminous craft from his garden..."

One can see that the text was amputated, so the reader cannot see that this case was explained by the witnesses.

There is a link on the word "Scherlenheim", but it points to the old address of my website; so it gives a "page not found" error, and the reader cannot get the trivial explanation.

[Ref. id1:] IGNACIO DARNAUDE:

This Spanish ufologist indicated in a page of his website:

Scherlenheim

"The journalist reported that on October 22, 1954, at 09:00 p.m., in Scherlenheim, a 15-year-old young man saw a luminous craft from his garden..."

One can see that the text was amputated, so the reader cannot see that this case was explained by the witnesses.

There is a link on the word "Scherlenheim", but it points to the old address of my website; so it gives a "page not found" error, and the reader cannot get the trivial explanation.

[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 Nouvel Alsacien for Sunday, October 24, 1954, told that in Scherlenheim, a prank occurred that could have ended tragically.

On October 22 at about 9 p.m., a 15-yard-old young man saw from his garden a luminous craft, and ran to get his father's shotgun.

What had to happen happened: he fired, and the flying object fell to the ground.

The young man then discovered that it was an exploded rubber balloon, with a paper lantern with a wax candle.

Discussion:

Scherlenheim is a village in the district of Strasbourg-Campagne, county of Hochfelden.

This is a classic case of the old "candle-on-a-stick" prank; which is now referred to as "Chinese lanterns."

This is a case ufologist call "a negative case", meaning that the witness himself found the trivial explanation of his sighting.

Above:

A Chinese lantern.

Evaluation:

Chinese lantern.

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 9, 2005 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 14, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross February 16, 2014 Additions [my1], [oi1], [id1].
3.0 Patrick Gross March 14, 2014 Added to the ALSACAT catalogue.
3.0 Patrick Gross March 14, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.
3.1 Patrick Gross February 5, 2015 Addition [cv2].

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This page was last updated on February 5, 2015