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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 Mulhouse, on October 31, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-31-MULHOUSE-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Le Nouveau Rhin Français reported on November 3, 1954, the observation of a "flying saucer" at 4 a.m. on October 31, 1954, over the Richwiller railway station by the conveyors of a freight train.

The object hovered like a luminous ball in the air without emitting smoke, following the freight train as it was moving rapidly towards Mulhouse-nord. The newspaper ensures that the employees of the SNCF - the Railway co - resolutely certified not to have been fooled by an illusion.

At the railway station in the north of Mulhouse, the conveyor's colleagues also saw the flying saucer, which emitted bright colors, and sometimes a play of light in the range of the rainbow. It remained motionless more than ten minutes, before shooting away suddenly towards the Grand Ballon.

The event caused great emotion in the circle of railway workers. Mr. K., railwayman from Rixheim, followed by many colleagues at work, was the first to spot the flying saucer from the Gare du Nord station. He followed the flight over the Gare du Nord with the utmost attention, describing the event "with such a luxury of details that it must be spontaneously believed."

In the end, more than a hundred people attended the mysterious show.

The luminous object had become immobilized at high altitude for about twenty minutes, oscillating here and there.

On the following day, October 4, 1954, the same newspaper reported that on the previous day several people had contacted their newsroom to tell that they had also seen the "flying saucer" mentioned in the previous day's issue.

Their testimonies were concordant, they spoke of a luminous ball standing in the sky of Mulhouse sky between 3 and 4 in the morning, in a clear night with many visible stars.

A subscriber had indicated that he was at 3:30 in the morning on the church square in Dornach. He had gone out of a prayer meeting to smoke a cigarette and take the cool air, when he saw very clearly the luminous ball in the sky. It looked like a ball of fire, he said. The curious event lasted a few minutes and then, towards 3:40, the object had moved towards Illzach.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 31, 1954
Time: 03:40 a.m.
Duration: 10 or 20 minutes.
First known report date: November 3, 1954
Reporting delay: 3 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: Gare du Nord, Richwiller, and Dornach, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.767
Longitude: 7.326
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: Hundred.
Number of known witnesses: Several.
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Railwaymen, residents.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press
Type of location: City, country, UFO in the sky.
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, possible extraterretrial craft.

Sources:

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

Mulhouse. -- Our readers have been aware of the breathtaking chase of biker Mr. Ott by a flying saucer on the road between Berentzwiller and Jettingen. Now comes the equally sensational news of a flying saucer seen at 4 a.m. in the night from Saturday to Sunday over the Richwiller station by conveyors of a freight train. The object was hovering like a luminous ball in the air without emitting smoke. The saucer followed the freight train while traveling quickly towards Mulhouse-north. SNCF [national railway co] employees resolutely certified not to have been the victim of an illusion. At the station of Mulhouse North, colleagues conveyors saw the flying saucer; which emitted sometimes bright colors, sometimes a play of light in the range of the rainbow. The object remained motionless more than ten minutes before spinning sharply towards the Grand-Ballon.

The event aroused great emotion in the railwaymen circle. Mr. K[], followed by many colleagues, was the first to spot the flying saucer from the Gare du Nord. It was in the end more than a hundred people who witnessed the mysterious display. The bright object immobilized at high altitude for nearly twenty minutes, oscillating here and there. The fact that so many people had attended the nocturnal apparition, forces us to take the event into consideration.

Railwayman Mr. K[], of Rixheim, followed the flight of the saucer above the North station with the greatest attention. He described the event with such luxury details that we spontaneously believe him. His statements overlap with Mr. Ott's in Berentzwiller. This is a real unknown object without emanation of smoke and with the effects of powerfully efficient lights.

[Ref. nr2:] JOURNAL "LE NOUVEAU RHIN FRANCAIS" NEWSPAPER:

Other people observed the flying saucer in the night sky

Mulhouse. -- Yesterday by day several people contacted our newsroom to report that they had seen the "flying saucer" mentioned in yesterday's issue.

Their testimonies are consistent. The ball of light was standing in the Mulhouse sky between 3 and 4 a.m. The night was clear and many stars were visible.

A subscriber indicates that he was at 3:30 a.m. on the church square in Dornach. He came out of a prayer meeting for a cigarette and take some fresh air, when he saw very clearly the bright ball in the sky. It looked like a ball of fire, our subscriber told us. The curious event lasted a few minutes and then, at about 3:40 a.m., the object headed to Illzach.

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Christian Valentin indicates that on Sunday, October 31, 1954, around 4 a.m., the team of railwaymen of a goods train travelling towards the station of Mulhouse-North at the height of Richwiller, noticed the presence of a "flying saucer" which followed the convoy, without noise and at the same pace.

Arrived at the goods station, other employees of the SNCF noted the presence of the flying object which was practically immobilized during ten minutes, taking all the colors of the rainbow, before rising suddenly and disappearing in the direction to the Grand Ballon, a summit of the Vosges.

That was seen by a hundred people, mainly employees of the goods station, but also Mulhousian night birds, because of the excellent visibility in the sky during that night.

[Ref. sp6:] "SPICA" UFOLOGY ASSOCIATION:

Fifty years ago
"The ufos in Alsace"

[... Other cases...]

For the end of October still a multitude of cases observed by several witnesses, including one on Sunday October 31 towards 4 of the morning. It is the railwaymen team at the level of Mulhouse who observes a saucer which follows the convoy without noise, and at the same pace, this phenomenon was also seen by hundreds of people, mainly the employees of the station.

[Ref. mp1:] MICHEL PARDRINES:

This author indicates that on 10/31/1954 at 4 o'clock in the morning, a team of railway workers "near Mulhouse observes a saucer which follows the railway train without noise. A hundred witnesses, mainly station employees, attend the phenomenon."

[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 there was a sighting in Mulhouse on October 31, 1954, at 4 a.m., told like this in the newspaper Le Nouveau Rhin Français for November 3, 1954, in their bilingual issue:

Mulhouse: Our readers have been aware of the breathtaking chase of biker Mr. Ott by a flying saucer on the road between Berentzwiller and Jettingen. Now comes the equally sensational news of a flying saucer seen at 4 a.m. in the night from Saturday to Sunday over the Richwiller station by conveyors of a freight train. The object was hovering like a luminous ball in the air without emitting smoke. The saucer followed the freight train while traveling quickly towards Mulhouse-north. SNCF [national railway co] employees resolutely certified not to have been the victim of an illusion. At the station of Mulhouse North, colleagues conveyors saw the flying saucer; which emitted sometimes bright colors, sometimes a play of light in the range of the rainbow. The object remained motionless more than ten minutes before spinning sharply towards the Grand-Ballon.

The event aroused great emotion in the railwaymen circle. Mr. K., followed by many colleagues, was the first to spot the flying saucer from the Gare du Nord. It was in the end more than a hundred people who witnessed the mysterious display. The bright object immobilized at high altitude for nearly twenty minutes, oscillating here and there. The fact that so many people had attended the nocturnal apparition, forces us to take the event into consideration.

Railwayman Mr. K., of Rixheim, followed the flight of the saucer above the North station with the greatest attention. He described the event with such luxury details that we spontaneously believe him. His statements overlap with Mr. Ott's in Berentzwiller. This is a real unknown object without emanation of smoke and with the effects of powerfully efficient lights.

He adds that the same newspaper added in their November 4, 1954, bilingual issue:

Other people observed the flying saucer in the night sky

Mulhouse: Yesterday by day several people contacted our newsroom to report that they had seen the "flying saucer" mentioned in yesterday's issue.

Their testimonies are consistent. The ball of light was standing in the Mulhouse sky between 3 and 4 a.m. The night was clear and many stars were visible.

A subscriber indicates that he was at 3:30 a.m. on the church square in Dornach. He came out of a prayer meeting for a cigarette and take some fresh air, when he saw very clearly the bright ball in the sky. It looked like a ball of fire, our subscriber told us. The curious event lasted a few minutes and then, at about 3:40 a.m., the object headed to Illzach.

Discussion:

Personally, I do not think it is very likely that a large number of people take Venus independently at the same time for a flying saucer; nor can a planet could suddenly shoot away towards a certain direction. But it is still necessary to verify what this planet's position was at the time and place of observation.

The only direction indicated is that of the Grand Ballon, which corresponds to a direction of 313 degrees approximately from the Gare du Nord.

Carte

Venus does not fit at all, set down since 05:33 p.m. and located at the 64° azimuth. And there was actually no particular celestial body to the northwest at that time.

Evaluation:

Unidentified, possible extraterretrial craft.

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 6, 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 31, 2011 A search on the web and in my documentation did not reveal other sources. In "Explanations", "Not looked for yet" changed by the paragraphs "Although the sparse information...", "It can be noted all the same..." and "Although the hour"...
3.0 Patrick Gross January 17, 2018 Additions [nr1], [nr2], [cv2], Summary.
3.0 Patrick Gross January 17, 2018 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.
3.1 Patrick Gross June 4, 2018 Addition [mp1].

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This page was last updated on June 4, 2018.