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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 Colmar, on November 4, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-11-04-COLMAR-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin, of Colmar, reported on November 5, 1954, two sightings for November 4, 1954, including his one:

At approximately 06:15 a.m. a young man near the St. Joseph railway station saw a luminous object that moved in the sky above the Vosges. He reported it immediately to the employee on duty at the station ticket office, Mr. A. M., and the two men were able to watch "the strange appearance" for a few minutes.

The object was "about 1 m long, trailing a long tail and it radiated a white-orange light." Many people witnessed the event. Three minutes later, the "flying cigar" "disappeared" over the Vosges mountains.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: November 4, 1954
Time: 06:15 a.m.
Duration: Several minutes.
First known report date: November 5, 1954
Reporting delay: 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Colmar
Place: From near St. Joseph station, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.081
Longitude: 7.345
Uncertainty ratio: 100 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: More than 3
Number of known witnesses: 1 or 2 or more.
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Young adult, and adult or aged.
Witness(es) types: Young man, and train station employee.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Regional Press.
Type of location: Near a railway station in city, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
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: Probable meteor.

Sources:

[Ref. dn1:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES D'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

The flying cigar of the day

Thursday morning at 6:15, when he was near the Saint-Joseph station, a young man saw a luminous object that moved high in the sky above the Vosges. He reported it immediately to the member of the staff at the counter of the station, Mr. A. M., and the two men were able to look at the strange apparition for a few minutes. The object was about 1 m long, trailing a long tail and radiated a white-orange light. Many people witnessed the event. Three minutes later, the "flying cigar" disappeared over the Vosges.

At about 07:40 p.m., again from the St. Joseph station, a new shiny object was seen, much bigger than a shooting star and moving from the hospital to the Vosges, followed by a blue-red streak.

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Christian Valentin gathered a dossier concerning the 1954 flap in Alsace, the dossier was published in 2004 in the magazine "Les Saisons d'Alsace" published by the large regional newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace. This is one of the cases he presented.

On November 4, 1954 at 6 o'clock in the morning, from the Saint-Joseph station in Colmar, a young man draws the attention of the employee to an object of orange and white color follow-up of a luminous plume, which moves above the Vosges to disappear after a few minutes.

[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 Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin of Colmar, in the bilingual issue for November 5, 1954, published this article about sightings on November 4, 1954:

The flying cigar of the day

Thursday morning at 6:15, when he was near the Saint-Joseph station, a young man saw a luminous object that moved high in the sky above the Vosges. He reported it immediately to the member of the staff at the counter of the station, Mr. A. M., and the two men were able to look at the strange apparition for a few minutes. The object was about 1 m long, trailing a long tail and radiated a white-orange light. Many people witnessed the event. Three minutes later, the "flying cigar" disappeared over the Vosges.

At about 07:40 p.m., again from the St. Joseph station, a new shiny object was seen, much bigger than a shooting star and moving from the hospital to the Vosges, followed by a blue-red streak.

Discussion:

St. Joseph railway station is now a halt place of the tram-train going to the Munster valley in the Vosges, rue du Val Saint-Grégoire in Colmar. The UFO is said to have been on the Vosges mountains, thus between the Southwest, West, Northwest so. And more probably at 298°, if the witnesses were standing in the street and watched the Vosges as visible from the street (Photo below by day in 2013). That is, in a direction between Kaysersberg and Lapoutroie.

The duration of "a few minutes" is probably a bit exaggerated, the most durable meteors rarely exceed two minutes of visibility. The dimension "1 m long" obviously has no value, the distance was not measured and the nature of the object was apparently unknown to the witnesses.

The description is obviously the description of 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 March 11, 2005 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross January 18, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
3.0 Patrick Gross May 3, 2014 Additions [dh1], [cv2].
3.0 Patrick Gross May 3, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.

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This page was last updated on May 3, 2014