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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 Sundhoffen, on May 2, 1955:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1955-05-02-SUNDHOFFEN-1

Summary:

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 a case occurred on Monday, May 2, 1955 at Sundhoffen; which was reported for the first time in 1974 to him, by a former neighbor of his parents, Marie-Jeanne Stoffel, while the press at the time did not mention it.

He interviewed again Mrs. Stoffel in December 2006 and the description of the phenomenon has not changed.

She had just gotten married in the afternoon in the city of Colmar.It was about 8:00 p.m. and after dropping her husband, she drove back to Colmar with her Uncle Joseph Bettinger, owner and driver of the vehicle.

At the end of Sundhoffen on the main road 13, they suddenly saw in front of them a shiny object of orange red color posed on the road or along the road near the crossing.

They stopped about 200 meters away from the object that looked like an plate turned upside down with a bulge in the center.

Just as they went out of the car to better observe, the craft rose quickly and headed to the west, and disappeared over the forest towards Colmar.

The observation length was about one minute.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 2, 1955
Time: ~08:00 p.m.
Duration: ~1 minute.
First known report date: 1974
Reporting delay: 2 decades.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Sundhoffen
Place: From the D13 road at the exit of Sundhoffen, UFO posed at railyway crossing then taking off.
Latitude: 47.047
Longitude: 7.406
Uncertainty ratio: 50 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adults or 1 adult and 1 aged.
Witness(es) types: A woman and her uncle.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported to Christian Valentin in 1974,
Type of location: From road at exit of a village, UFO posed at railyway crossing then taking off.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
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 or CE1
ALSACAT: Unidentified.

Sources:

[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 a case occurred on Monday, May 2, 1955 at Sundhoffen; which was reported for the first time in 1974 to him, by a former neighbor of his parents, Marie-Jeanne Stoffel, while the press at the time did not mention it.

He interviewed again Mrs. Stoffel in December 2006 and the description of the phenomenon has not changed.

She had just gotten married in the afternoon in the city of Colmar.It was about 8:00 p.m. and after dropping her husband, she drove back to Colmar with her Uncle Joseph Bettinger, owner and driver of the vehicle.

At the end of Sundhoffen on the main road 13, they suddenly saw in front of them a shiny object of orange red color posed on the road or along the road near the crossing.

They stopped about 200 meters away from the object that looked like an plate turned upside down with a bulge in the center.

Just as they went out of the car to better observe, the craft rose quickly and headed to the west, and disappeared over the forest towards Colmar.

The observation length was about one minute.

Discussion:

About Christian Valentin's book:

It is not at all my habit to "advertise" a book or anything, and I have no interested relationship with the author, but I wanted to say a word on the book by Christian Valentin, "Mythes et Réalités des Phénomènes Aériens Non Identifiés" (i.e. "Myths and Realities of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (cover on the left) , ref. [cv2]; which, as its subtitle indicates, is about Alsatian UFO sighting reports and the saucer lore in Alsace.

I think Alsatian ufologist and generally people interested in the UFO question, or in the history of Alsace, my region, would probably like this book.

The 144 pages book is sober but well presented, unbiased, richly documented and illustrated. It is the first work in print specifically about UFO sightings in Alsace. (There was another one a few years ago, but it was partly made by copying - pasting without mention of the sources, portions of my website, especially the Alsatians cases I almost exhaustively documented in my catalog of UFO sightings in France in 1954, and copies from another websites; the trivial explanations I proposed or gave there being almost always stripped off!)

The author does not want to prove or disprove the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors or some other so-called "extraordinary" explanation, he rather offers a chronologically ordered review of Alsatian UFO reports, starting from the origin and stopping in 1980, based on known sources ufology, on the articles of the regional Press, and cases less known or even unreleased so far that he collected directly with the witnesses. His own comments are printed in a different color, references to the sources are always given. A very nice work in my opinion!

The author currently has a blog where he shows what libraries in Alsace have the book available, see: christian.valentin.overblog.com

At 200 meters from the railway crossing, on the D13 road to colmar at the exit of Sundhoffen,
the witnesses' car would have been at the red dot on this 2014 aerial view.

At that position, ground view in 2014.

The direction of view of the witnesses from the car to the railway crossing is 326°. The sun just set, it is half below the horizon at 07:45 p.m., and towards 294°.

At 8:00 p.m., the Moon is at 153°, at an elevation of 35°.

The Moon is not a good candidate because it is not possible to see it as "posed". The sun would be roughly in the correct direction, but it was not likely to "rise quickly and head for the West" because it is below the horizon at 08:00 p.m.. Mars is in the area, at 279° and 23° elevation, but has never been described as "a reverse plate with a bulge in the center." In fact, stars and planets have an apparent move to the right of the witnesses and down, imperceptible in a minute of observation, while the reported thing is going up and apparently went to Colmar on their left.

So here we have perhaps a true "UFO takeoff"; unfortunately it lacks crucial information such as the exact direction, the angular size and its possible variation in the "taking off", the angular velocity, the angular move etc.

Evaluation:

Unidentified.

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 November 22, 2014 Creation, [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 22, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on November 22, 2014