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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 Mertzen, on October 30, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-30-MERTZEN-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Le Nouveau Rhin Français for November 4, 1954, had reported that on Saturday, October 30, 1954, at about 8 p.m. between Mertzen and Strueth in the Haut-Rhin, three young men saw a big ball of bright light followed by a long luminous trail moving at very high speed.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 30, 1954
Time: ~08:00 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: November 4, 1954
Reporting delay: Day, 5 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mertzen
Place: Between Mertzen and Strueth
Latitude: 47.587
Longitude: 7.122
Uncertainty ratio: 1 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 1 to 3
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Young.
Witness(es) types: Young people.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: Country between two villages.
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: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable meteor.

Sources:

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

Between Mertzen and Strueth, several young people saw the following occurrence around 8 p.m.: it was a big ball of bright light followed by a long luminous trail, which moved at very high speed. 3 witnesses watched the nightly light show.

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Journalist Christian Valentin indicates that on October 30, 1954, at 08:00 p.m., three young people saw a luminous ball followed by a long tail, passing, between Mertzen and Strueth.

[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 an observation on Saturday, October 30, 1954, at 08:00 p.m. in Strueth in the Upper Rhine was narrated as follows in Le Nouveau Rhin Français for Thursday, November 7, 1954, bilingual issue; of which he gives his translation:

Between Mertzen and Strueth, several young people saw the following occurrence around 8 p.m.: it was a big ball of bright light followed by a long luminous trail, which moved at very high speed. 3 witnesses watched the nightly light show.

Discussion:

Mertzen and Strueth are two villages with less than one kilometer between their centers.

What was described seems very much like 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 December 3, 2005 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross April 14, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
1.1 Patrick Gross October 30, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sources.
3.0 Patrick Gross March 14, 2014 Added to the ALSACAT catalogue.
3.0 Patrick Gross May 2, 2015 Additions [nr1], [cv2], Summary.
3.0 Patrick Gross May 2, 2015 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.

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This page was last updated on May 2, 2015