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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 Cernay, Vieil Armand, on August 6, 1957:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1957-08-06-VIELARMAND-1

Summary:

A newspaper of the time reportedly headlined about "flying saucers over the Vosges?" and indicated that on August 6, 1957, between 9:10 p.m. and 09:30 p.m., several people had seen "strange luminous phenomena" in the sky.

One person, Mr. J. B., 28 rue Joseph Dépierre in Cernay, had told the newspaper:

"I was at the window and I looked in the direction of the Vieil-Armand, when I suddenly noticed two very bright white spots that did not move. It could not be stars because the brilliance of the "thing" was too intense. I grabbed binoculars and I found out that it was two bright discs. Suddenly one of the disks moved at breathtaking speed towards the west and disappeared behind the Vieil-Armand. It was then that I discovered a red ball, also luminous; which was heading north-east. Suddenly three more disks appeared and flew four times faster than a jet plane. They approached the red ball near which they stayed without moving. A fourth disc then came to join the other three and they all disappeared at an incredible pace behind the mountain."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: August 6, 1957
Time: Between 09:10 p.m. and 09:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: November 1957 or earlier.
Reporting delay: Hours, 4 months.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Vieil Armand
Place: From 28 rue Joseph Dépierre in Cernay and other places, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.813
Longitude: 7.171
Uncertainty ratio: 20 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: Several
Number of known witnesses: 1 or more.
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: 1 man, others.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The Press.
Type of location: From city, 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: ?
Witnesses interpretation: Not stars.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible military night drill.

Sources:

[Ref. an1:] ALFRED NAHON:

In his magazine, the Swiss ufologist gives this newspaper clipping:

Flying saucers above the Vosges?

Tuesday evening, between 9:10 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., several people saw in the sky strange luminous phenomena. One of them, Mr. J. B., 28 Depierre street in Cernay, gave us the following story:

"I was at the window and I looked in the direction of the Vieil-Armand, when I suddenly noticed two very bright white spots that did not move. It could not be stars because the brilliance of the "thing" was too intense. I grabbed binoculars and I found out that it was two bright discs. Suddenly one of the disks moved at breathtaking speed towards the west and disappeared behind the Vieil-Armand. It was then that I discovered a red ball, also luminous; which was heading north-east. Suddenly three more disks appeared and flew four times faster than a jet plane. They approached the red ball near which they stayed without moving. A fourth disc then came to join the other three and they all disappeared at an incredible pace behind the mountain."

[Ref. jg1:] JIMMY GUIEU:

The author indicates that there was an observation in Cernay, of two luminous discs and a red ball, on August 6, 1957.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 6 August 1957 at 21:10 in Cernay, France, "Unidentified objects were sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. Five objects were observed."

The source is noted: "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".

[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 indicates that the following case occurred on Tuesday, August 6, 1957 at 09:10 p.m. in Cernay- Vieil Armand in the Haut-Rhin, according to Le Courrier Interplanétaire # 33 for November 28, 1957:

Flying saucers above the VOSGES?

Tuesday evening, between 9:10 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., several people saw in the sky strange luminous phenomena. One of them, Mr. J. B., 28 Depierre street in Cernay, gave us the following story:

"I was at the window and I looked in the direction of the Vieil-Armand, when I suddenly noticed two very bright white spots that did not move. It could not be stars because the brilliance of the "thing" was too intense. I grabbed binoculars and I found out that it was two bright discs. Suddenly one of the disks moved at breathtaking speed towards the west and disappeared behind the Vieil-Armand. It was then that I discovered a red ball, also luminous; which was heading north-east. Suddenly three more disks appeared and flew four times faster than a jet plane. They approached the red ball near which they stayed without moving. A fourth disc then came to join the other three and they all disappeared at an incredible pace behind the mountain."

Discussion:

The Vieil Armand, or Hartmannswillerkopf, is in the mountains of the Vosges, it was the scene of terrible battles during WWI, and is roughly north of Cernay, at 348° and 6 km from the center of Cernay in the plain.

I am not able to give a sure trivial explanation for this seemingly complex, but briefly documented observation. I can think of nighttime military exercises or a commemoration operation with airplanes, helicopters, flares, but without any certainty.

Evaluation:

Possible military night drill.

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 28, 2014 Creation, [an1], [jg1], [ud1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 28, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on November 28, 2014