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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 Roppe, on July 22 or 23, 1965:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1965-07-22-ROPPE-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper L'Alsace for July 28, 1965 - in full wave of "flying saucers" around the world - reported among other things a testimony they had collected orally, the testimony of a resident of Mulhouse who was returning from vacation on the night from Thursday, July 22 to Friday, July 23, 1965, and who drove on the national road towards Roppe.

He stated that he "saw an oval shape hovering over the fields" that border the road at this location. A red glow, geranium nuance, emanated from the "thing".

It seemed further prolonged by a kind of curved down peduncle. Ignoring the distance at which the object was moving, he did not want to guess the dimensions. His wife confirmed these observations, as well as a third person who traveled with the couple and witnessed the mysterious phenomenon under the same conditions.

The newspaper heard the witness as soon as he had returned to Mulhouse.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 22 or 22, 1965
Time: Night.
Duration: ?
First known report date: July 28, 1954
Reporting delay: 6 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Roppe
Place: From car driving on National Road near Roppe.
Latitude: 47.663
Longitude: 6.951
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 1 to 3
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Couple form Mulhouse, a friend.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported to the regional Press.
Type of location: From car driving on National Road.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
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
ALSACAT: Possible farming machine.

Sources:

[Ref. la1:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

Nocturnal and luminous ellipsoids

According to two different, but consistent testimonies, "unidentified flying objects" manifested themselves in the Upper Rhine sky recently.

Thus, a resident of Mulhouse who was returning from vacation in the night of Thursday, July 22, to Friday, and traveling on the highway in the direction of Roppe, told us he "saw an oval shape that hovered over the fields" that line the road there. A red light, of geranium hue, said our interlocutor who gave us the report right upon his return, came from the "thing". It seemed moreover extended by a kind of peduncle curved downwards. Ignoring the distance at which the object moved, he did not want to speculate on its dimensions. His wife confirmed these observations. A third person traveling with the couple witnessed the mysterious phenomenon under the same conditions.

Indeed, a second testimony by someone (who wanted to remain anonymous, "not to be ridiculed by his acquaintances," he wrote) told us of a similar occurrence he witnessed woth the person who accompanied him, late in the evening of July 24, this time on the forest road "Buchwald" between Mulhouse and Zimmersheim: "The object was shaped like a wristwatch body, but a little more rounded, and must have been about 6 m in diameter. This machine was vertical to the field, and its center was about twenty meters from the ground. I had the impression it was rotating on itself very fast. The object emitted a vaguely white glow."

While we recorded the first oral statement directly, we give that second report with caution, inviting the author to make himself known to the editors.

[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 two cases, one in Roppe on July 22, 1965, the other in Zimmersheim on July 24, 1965, were reported in the newspaper L'Alsace for Wedensday, July 28, 1954:

"Nocturnal and luminous ellipsoids"

According to two different, but consistent testimonies, "unidentified flying objects" manifested themselves in the Upper Rhine sky recently.

Thus, a resident of Mulhouse who was returning from vacation in the night of Thursday, July 22, to Friday, and traveling on the highway in the direction of Roppe, told us he "saw an oval shape that hovered over the fields" that line the road there. A red light, of geranium hue, said our interlocutor who gave us the report right upon his return, came from the "thing". It seemed moreover extended by a kind of peduncle curved downwards. Ignoring the distance at which the object moved, he did not want to speculate on its dimensions. His wife confirmed these observations. A third person traveling with the couple witnessed the mysterious phenomenon under the same conditions.

Indeed, a second testimony by someone (who wanted to remain anonymous, "not to be ridiculed by his acquaintances," he wrote) told us of a similar occurrence he witnessed woth the person who accompanied him, late in the evening of July 24, this time on the forest road "Buchwald" between Mulhouse and Zimmersheim: "The object was shaped like a wristwatch body, but a little more rounded, and must have been about 6 m in diameter. This machine was vertical to the field, and its center was about twenty meters from the ground. I had the impression it was rotating on itself very fast. The object emitted a vaguely white glow."

While we recorded the first oral statement directly, we give that second report with caution, inviting the author to make himself known to the editors.

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

There is an ordinary explanation - which is sometimes correct for UFO sightings - possible here, the lack of data does not allow dismissing it.

That of an agricultural machine at night work in the fields.

We are not told how high the phenomenon was supposed to have been! There is no reason to suppose that it was in the sky.

The observing steps are not reported. Nothing says that the UFO arrived, that it left. It could be seen motionless and on the ground.

The witness could not size it because he did not want to speculate on a distance he could not establish. The thing had to be at least 50 meters away, and it is seen at night.

The "peduncle" facing downwards is also explained, in fact, it is this detail, and the red color, that made me think of an agricultural machine.

Of course, this is not "proven" - but the opposite is even less proven, for the moment at least.

As often with the Press, and really often in the newspaper L'Alsace, what seemed to matter the most to journalists is the credibility of the report: they heard it verbally, there are two other people who saw it, so it is probably "true". Journalists are rarely ufologists, if the credibility of the "facts" preoccupies them, the importance of gathering a complete and precise report (exact place, hour, duration, height, silence or noise, direction, etc.) is, most often, less in their concerns.

Another thing needs to be reported:

The "National Road", unspecified by the newspaper, but that we know to be close to Roppe, is currently the road E60. It runs 2.7 km at the closest, and for several kilometers, to the small airport of Fontaine (lower right on the map below).

Although I do not think there is a great chance that a plane or helicopter would be described as a r4ed craft with a peduncle pointing downwards, I think this had to be mentioned.

And one last point: although [cv2] documents the case in a book devoted to UFOs in Alsace, reason why I opened this ALSACAT file, Roppe is not in Alsace, but in the Territoire de Belfort, 7 km from the border with the Haut-Rhin in Alsace, so in principle and probably this case should probably not be in this catalog.

Evaluation:

Possible farming machine.

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 February 26, 2018 Creation, [la1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 26, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 26, 2018.