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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 Heiteren, on October 26, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-26-HEITEREN-1

Summary:

This case surfaced for the first time in the book "Les Phénomènes Insolites de l'Espace" (Strange Phenomena from Space) by Jacques Vallée in 1966 as a line of a UFO sighting list saying nothing more than this:

On October 26, 1954, there was a UFO sighting in Heiteren in France.

The same year in the Flying Saucer Review, Vallée said that there were two witnesses, that Heiteren is near Colmar, that they saw a flying object coming from the west and landing at one kilometer from them.

Jacques Vallée indicated later in the LDLN magazine in 1969 and in his "catalog of UFO landings" published in his book "Passport to Magonia" also in 1969 that it was a Mrs. Spinner and another witness, who had seen "a flying object that came from the West and landed one kilometer from them."

As a source, he said it was "Personal", a mention that, in Vallée's work, just says that he had no trace of his source, not that he knew the witnesses personally.

This totally insuffficient report story whose actual source remains unknown to this day, nobody having found it in the Press of the time was then copied as is by Figuet and Ruchon and later widespread on the English-speaking and French-speaking web - with occasional unjustified additions or errors. Nobody seems to realize that the "flying object" could be almost anything, like a meteor, a star, or a plane.

The only ufologist who looked further is Christian Valentin, who in 2012 said he did some research to find the witnesses in Heiteren, but to no avail.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 26, 1954
Time: 09:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1966
Reporting delay: Days, 12 years?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Heiteren
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.968
Longitude: 7.539
Uncertainty ratio: 3 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: 1 female woman.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: UFO lists and catalogues by Jacques Vallée.
Type of location: Village, country?
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: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Totally insufficient data, possible meteor or astronomical or plane.

Sources:

[Ref. jv5:] JACQUES VALLEE:

397 -002.20221 50.34600 26 10 1954 21 30 1 HEITEREN F 0011 E

[Ref. jv8:] JACQUES VALLEE:

163, Oct. 26. Two witnesses in Heiteren, near Colmar, saw a flying object come from the West and land one kilometre away from them.

[Ref. jv1:] JACQUES VALLEE:

313

Oct. 26, 1954, 09:30 P.M., Heiteren (France).

Mrs. Spinner and another witness saw a flying object come from the west and land 1 km away. (Personal).

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

The two authors indicate that in Heiteren in the department of Haut-Rhin, on October 26, 1954 at 09:30 p.m., Mrs Spinner and another witness have observed a flying object coming from the west and landing at one kilometer away of them.

They indicate that their source is the catalogue by Jacques Vallée and that the information is sparse.

[Ref. lg1] LOREN GROSS:

October 26th. Heiteren, France. (9:30 p.m.)

Coming out of the western sky, a strange object swooped down to a landing about a mile from where a Mme. Spinner was standing. No more details are known. 209.

  • Rogerson, Peter. "The Catalogue." MUFOB New Series 4. Autumn 1976 #38. p.7.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

The Belgian ufologist indicates in her catalogue that in 1954, on October 26 in France in "Heiteren (Colmar)", "Mrs. Spinner and another witness saw a flying object which came from the west and lands at 1 km."

The source is noted "Jacques Vallée: 'Chronique des apparitions ET' - DENOEL 1972 - J'AI LU COLL. - p. 290".

[Ref. uw2:] "UFOWEB" WEBSITE:

CITIES DEPT LATITUDES LONGITUDES YEARS
Heiteren 68 47.967 7.533 1954

[Ref. dj1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

Encounters with Aliens On this Day

October 26

[...]

1954 - At 9:30 p.m. Mrs. Spinner and another witness in Heiteren, Haut-Rhin department, France saw a flying object come from the west and land a kilometer away. (Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 239, case 313).

[...]

[Ref. jb1:] JEROME BEAU:

Tuesday, October 26, 1954

[...]

09:30 p.m. In Heiteven [sic] (France), Mrs. Spinner and another witness see 1 flying object coming from the west to land at 1 km.

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates that in the Haut Rhin in Heiteren on October 26, 1954 at 21:30 hours "Two witnesses observe a flying object coming from the west and landing at one kilometer of them."

The source is noted as "Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979".

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 26 October 1954 at 21:30 in Heiteren, France, "Mrs. Spinner and another witness saw a flying object come from the west and land one kilometer away."

And: "At 9:30 p.m. Mrs. Spinner and another witness in Heiteren, France saw a flying object come from the west and land a kilometer away."

And: "An object was observed. It moved with a falling-leaf motion. One star was observed by one witness."

The sources are indicated as Bowen, Charles, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, FSR, London, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073); Vallee, Jacques, Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Preliminary Catalog (N = 500), (in JVallee01); Vallee, Jacques, A Century of Landings (N = 923), (in JVallee04), Chicago, 1969; Schoenherr, Luis, Computerized Catalog (N = 3173).

[Ref. cv2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

The former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a very interesting book about the history of UFO sighting reports in Alsace, from the origin to 1980.

In this book, he tells that there was a case dated Tuesday, October 26, 1954 at 09:30 p.m. in Heiteren in the Haut-Rhine, and reported by Jacques Vallée in "Chronique de sApparitions Extraterrestres" published by EP / Denoël like this:

"Mrs. S. and another witness saw a flying object that came from the west and landed at 1 km (Personal)."

Valentin commented that the observation would surely arouse the curiosity of fans, "because we would like to know how this information has come from the witness to Jacques Vallée without going through the press. Does this personal source mention imply that there is a direct link between our region and the specialist who inspired Spielberg for the role of the French scientist (played by François Truffaut) in the movie 'Close Encounters of the third kind?"

He added that he made a short investigation in and it did not allow locating the witnesses.

[Ref. ni1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

*Oct. 26, 1954 - At 9:30 p.m. Mrs. Spinner and another witness in Heiteren, Haut-Rhin department, France saw a flying object come from the west and land a kilometer away. (Source: Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings, p. 239, case 313).

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
HEITEREN Tuesday 26 October 1954 at 21:30 information not communicated
Unidentified
information not communicated
None
Unsolved -lack of info

[Ref. ub1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

This database recorded the case 5 times:

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541026 26.10.1954 Heiteren France 21.30
19541026 26.10.1954 Heiteren France 21.30 CE II
19541026 26.10.1954 Heiteren France 21.30
19541026 26.10.1954 Heiteren France 21.30 NL
19541026 26.10.1954 Heiteren France

Discussion:

Heiteren is about 15 km in the Soutwest of Colmar.

Aa of the sighting, all is said in the Summary, for now.

Evaluation:

Totally insufficient data, possible meteor or astronomical or plane.

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 April 18, 2006 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross February 20, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [go1], [dj1], [jb1], [lc1], [ud1].
1.1 Patrick Gross July 1, 2010 Addition [jv5].
1.2 Patrick Gross October 20, 2014 Additions [jv8], [cv2], [ni1]. A search on the Internet did not yeld other information.
3.0 Patrick Gross October 21, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.
3.1 Patrick Gross May 12, 2015 Addition [sp4].
3.2 Patrick Gross December 14, 2016 Additions [lg1], [ub1].

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This page was last updated on December 14, 2016.