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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 Schleithal, on October 15, 1955:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1955-10-15-SCHLEITHAL-1

Summary:

The ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit #163 of Mars 1977 published this letter:

After having potponed many times, I decided to share with you an event that I witnessed less than 21 years ago, but whose memory remains intact, believe it.

This happened on October 15, 1955, at 9:55 p.m. between Wissembourg and Lauterbourg. Leaning in a ditch by the side of the road to calm my backache, my attention was drawn by an unusual fact; I quickly realized that it was clear, whereas before the night was opaque. About twenty seconds later, I observed in the gap in the forest formed by meadows on either side of the road a sort of flying rocket which gave off a strong luminosity from the front which was veiled by a reddish halo, and on the side a brief burst of luminous lines of various colors, and the interior of which was flooded with light similar to electric lighting visible through three rows of portholes 25 - 26 and 25, i.e. 76 portholes on the right side, presented to my sight. Further on I distinguished 2 weird ailerons in the shape of a half-crescent arched forward, from which sprang from the ridge at three precise spots luminous arcs of different colors at a precise rate.

The luminosity was diffused over a radius of approximately 1000 m.

The craft moved slowly and silently ten meters above the tall oaks and still featured a ten-meter-long tail fin, the tips also arching forward. It may measure from 375 to 400 meters. A burst of fire came from the tip of the rocket representing 3 times the length of the craft.

Five minutes ago there was a fairly strong wind, but now it had fallen completely.

I also point out that just as I was about to reach the ditch, 3 good-sized boars brushed against me, visibly fleeing by deviating from the path of the coming craft.

At the moment I thought that the craft looked like a kind of fish, a mutt, then I concluded that it must have been amphybian, the discovery of the particular fins supporting this impression, but then the propulsion in the water should be done against the current.

Under reservation of further details, please accept, Sir, the expression of my best regards.

C. KOLESNIKOF

P.S. Of course, the next day, an Alsatian newspaper briefly related the overflight of Alsace and Lorraine from North-East to West at a speed of 14,500 to 28,000 km/hour with observations of witnesses living in Hunspach and Nancy.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 15, 1955
Time: ~10:00 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: March 1977
Reporting delay: 22 years.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Schleithal
Place: Forest and country road between Wissembourg and Lauterbourg, UFO flying above a clearing.
Latitude: 49.001
Longitude: 8.060
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Customs officer.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Wrote letter to ufology magazine LDLN.
Type of location: Forest and country road, UFO flying above a clearing.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
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 or CE1
ALSACAT: Unidentified.

Sources:

[Ref. ldl1:] UFOLOGY MAGAZINE "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT":

Scan.

A PREVIOUSLY QUASI-LANDING OF 1955

After having potponed many times, I decided to share with you an event that I witnessed less than 21 years ago, but whose memory remains intact, believe it.

This happened on October 15, 1955, at 9:55 p.m. between Wissembourg and Lauterbourg. Leaning in a ditch by the side of the road to calm my backache, my attention was drawn by an unusual fact; I quickly realized that it was clear, whereas before the night was opaque. About twenty seconds later, I observed in the gap in the forest formed by meadows on either side of the road a sort of flying rocket which gave off a strong luminosity from the front which was veiled by a reddish halo, and on the side a brief burst of luminous lines of various colors, and the interior of which was flooded with light similar to electric lighting visible through three rows of portholes 25 - 26 and 25, i.e. 76 portholes on the right side, presented to my sight. Further on I distinguished 2 weird ailerons in the shape of a half-crescent arched forward, from which sprang from the ridge at three precise spots luminous arcs of different colors at a precise rate.

The luminosity was diffused over a radius of approximately 1000 m.

The craft moved slowly and silently ten meters above the tall oaks and still featured a ten-meter-long tail fin, the tips also arching forward. It may measure from 375 to 400 meters. A burst of fire came from the tip of the rocket representing 3 times the length of the craft.

Five minutes ago there was a fairly strong wind, but now it had fallen completely.

20

...

Scan.

...

I also point out that just as I was about to reach the ditch, 3 good-sized boars brushed against me, visibly fleeing by deviating from the path of the coming craft.

At the moment I thought that the craft looked like a kind of fish, a mutt, then I concluded that it must have been amphybian, the discovery of the particular fins supporting this impression, but then the propulsion in the water should be done against the current.

Under reservation of further details, please accept, Sir, the expression of my best regards.

C. KOLESNIKOF

P.S. Of course, the next day, an Alsatian newspaper briefly related the overflight of Alsace and Lorraine from North-East to West at a speed of 14,500 to 28,000 km/hour with observations of witnesses living in Hunspach and Nancy.

21

[Ref. fru1:] MICHEL FIGUET ET JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON":

Scan.

10 15 1955 9:55 p.m. Between Wissembourg and Lauterbourg 67 M57/20.

WITNESS. Mr. Kolesnikof.

0BSERVATION. A "rocket" which emitted a strong luminosity by the front which was veiled by a reddish halo, and on the side a brief burst of luminous lines of varied colors, and whose interior was flooded with a light similar to an electric lighting visible through three rows of portholes, 25, 26, and 25, i.e. 76 portholes on the right side.

Two odd ailerons, in the shape of a half-crescent, arched forward, from which sprang from the ridge, in three precise spots, luminous arcs, of different colors, at a precise rate.

EVENTS. The witness is leaning against a ditch, by the side of the road, to calm his backache. His attention is caught by an unusual fact and he realizes that it is bright, whereas before the night was dark. About twenty seconds later, he observed, in the gap in the forest, made up of meadows on either side of the road, a flying "rocket" (see description). Its luminosity is diffused over a radius of approximately 1,000 meters.

The craft moves slowly and silently at ten meters

221

Scan.

above the large oak trees. It may measure 375 to 400 meters. A line of fire starts from the end of this "rocket" representing 3 times the length of the apparatus.

The strong wind blowing five minutes ago has completely died down.

Mr. Kolesnikof sees, when reaching the ditch, 3 good-sized wild boar grazing him, they are visibly fleeing the trajectory of the craft.

NOTE. At the time, the witness compared the "rocket" to a kind of fish, a mutt, then he concluded that it must have been amphibious, the discovery of the particular fins supporting this impression, but then the propulsion in the water should be done against the current.

SOURCES. L.D.L.N., #163, p. 20-21 (witness letter to L.D.L.N.).

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH:

4781: 1955/10/15 22:00 7 7:55:00 E 49:00:00 N 3333 WEU FRN BRH 8:6

D3 ESE/WISSEMBOURG,FR:WIND STOPS:400M UFO 6M OVR OAKS:76 PORTS/3 ROWS:/r30p221

Ref#194 LUMIERES dans la NUIT.(LDLN France) Issue No. 163: FOREST

[Ref. mft1:] MICHEL FIGUET:

CASE NR CLASSIFICATION DATE HOUR PLACE ZIP CODE CREDIBILITY
SOURCES
294 CE0 10 15 1955 09.55 p.m. b Wissembourg and Lauterbourg 67 NI[=Unidentified], (OVNI[=[fru1]]: p. 221-222)

[Ref. goe1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

FRANCE, Wissembourg/Lauterbourg

At 09:55 p.m. Mr Kolesnikof is backed into a ditch to calm his backache. Suddenly it is all lighted and in a hole in the forest, he saw a flying rocket whose light is diffused over a radius of about 1000 meters. At the front the rocket was veiled by a reddish halo on the side of a short burst of bright lines of various colors, on the right three rows of windows 25, 26 and even 25 or 76 windows illuminated from within. Two half crescent-shaped weird fins arched forward from where gushed through the edge in three specific points, luminous arcs of different colors at a specific speed. The machine moves slowly and silently at 10 m above the tall oaks. It may have measured from 375 to 400 meters. A stroke of fire from the tip of the rocket representing 3 times the length of the craft. The wind that had been blowing hard few minutes earlier fell completely. Mr. Kolesnikof sees 3 boars pass next to him: they shun in the path of the object. (M. FIGUET/ J.L. RUCHON: "Ovni, Premier dossier complet..." éd. Alain Lefeuvre 1979, p. 221, 222)

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN - "BASE OVNI FRANCE":

Wissenbourg [sic] (67) on October 15, 1955

General features

Num Base: 1350
Department: Bas Rhin (67)
Place of observation: Wissenbourg
Latitude: 49.03
Longitude: +7.95
Date of observation: October 15, 1955
Hour: 09:55 p.m.
Duration (HH:MM:SS): N.C.
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual: close
Nbr of witness(es): 1
Official investigation: No

Caracteristics of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Cigar
Size: 300 to 400 m
Color: Red
Luminosity: Brilliant
Visual characteristic: portholes
Speed: Slow
Movement/Displacement: Near the ground or low altitude
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Type of effects noted

Physical effects: displacement of air, Animals reaction,

Observation

The witness sits leaning against a ditch on the road between Wissenbourg and Lauterbourg. Suddenly the night lights, he then observed through a gap in the forest an elongated object moving slowly and silently at ten feet above the trees. The object emits a glow on about 1000 meters. The witness will estimate its size from 375 to 400 meters. The object itself gives off a bright light from the front which is veiled by a reddish halo. On the side it produces short bursts of bright colors. There are three rows of windows (25,26,25) and thus it has 76 windows on the right side. Two wings in a half-crescent curved toward the front of the craft from which flow from the edge in three specific areas bright arcs of different colors but at a regular rate. Five minutes before the witness had noticed that the wind was strong, it stopped during the observation. The witness also observed three boars who were clearly fleeing the trajectory of the object.

Sources

Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre 1979 pub.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

15 October 1955 22:00

Wissembourg, Alsace, France

400m long UFO only 6m over oak trees. Had 76 porthole windows in three rows.

An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object, about 1000 feet across, was observed in a forest for seven minutes.

Hynek rating: NO

Vallee rating: FB1

The sources are indicated as: "Lumieres dans la Nuit, Lumieres dans la Nuit; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002."

[Ref. cvn2:] 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 relates that according to Lumières Dans la Nuit issue 163, March 1977, on page 20-27, the following case occurred on Saturday, October 15, 1955, in Schleithal:

Mr. C. K. stopped at night along the road in the forest of the countryside between Wissembourg and Lauterbourg.

Shortly before 10:00 p.m., his attention was attracted by the appearance of a strong light in a clearing and he observed what he called a rocket veiled of a reddish halo and with a strong brightness from the front, and on the side a brief burst of bright lines of various colors.

The interior was flooded with a light similar to electric lighting visible through three rows of windows, 25, 26 and 25, thus 76 windows on the right side.

The "rocket" was equipped with two fins curious half-crescent shape, arched forward, which flashed the edge in three specific points light like electric arcs of different colors, at a specific rate.

Its brightness was spreading over a radius of about 1000 meters.

Three good sized boars rushed in front of the witness, obviously running away from the path of the craft.

The craft moved slowly and silently 10 meters above the tall oak trees, and measured from 375 to 400 meters. A fiery line started from the end of this "rocket", being three times the length of the craft.

At the moment, the witness compared the rocket to a kind of fish, then he concluded that it must have been amphibious, the discovery of the peculiar fins giving this impression, but then the propulsion in the water should be in the opposite direction of the flight.

Christian Valentin comments that this very strange encounter was told by C. K. in a letter sent twenty years after the events to the Lumières Dans La Nuit magazine. In a recent interview, his wife, with kindness and honesty, told Valentin that it would have occurred during a night patrol in the exercise of his duty as customs officer.

[Ref. spa1:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
SCHLEITHAL Wednesday 12 October 1955 at 21h55 elongated (cigar)
Unidentified
information not communicated
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

Map.

Closer map.

Above, we see that the place said to be "between Wissembourg and Lauterbourg" would be near Schleithal. The area is along the border with Germany (yellow line), there is a forest road and it is logical that a customs officer would be patrolling there.

Still, there are 17 kilometers between Wissembourg and Lauterbourg.

The description of the craft, in my opinion, is clearly not that of a blimp, balloon, plane, helicopter or any other earthly craft. The fins at the front, the three rows of windows, the light bursts, are unlike anything known of natural origin either.

Reasons hat would make think the story is a hoax are:

Unfortunately we do not know with certainty whether his wife later confirmed the sighting or even heard about it from her husband.

The Kolesnikof name (of russian origin) is very present in that area, the north of the Bas-Rhin department.

There is indeed a large N/S gap across in the forest north of Schleital, at least as of 2021.

As some may think of a meteor: it would make no sense, as there would be no way to count 25 + 26 + 25 portholes by the time a meteor would pass. The only option here woiuld be that the alleged witness saw a meteor and invented every details he gave; which amount to a hoax.

It is unfortunate that much information is missing. I would like to know if the witness spoke of this encounter to his wife at the time it occurred, or only when he wrote to LDLN.

I would have liked to have angular size information, "375 to 400" meters is quite a huge size, but what was that craft's angular size? Was it "close" or "far away"? What was the precise place, this clearing, what size was the clearing and how much of it was occupied by the craft, if it was in or over there? What was duration of observation? What were the proportions of the fins to the body of the "rocket", what were the colors or aspects? Dark, metallic...? How long did the sighting last, and how did it end?

Anyway, as it stands, I see just two possible explanations: an alien spaceship, or an invention by the witness.

Evaluation:

Witness invention or extraterrestrial 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 November 26, 2014 Creation, [cvn2].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 26, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross June 12, 2015 Addition [spa1].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 9, 2015 Additions [uda1], [goe1].
1.3 Patrick Gross May 20, 2021 Additions [ldl1], [mft1], [lhh1].

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This page was last updated on May 20, 2021.