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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 Strasbourg, on July 18, 1967:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1967-07-18-STRASBOURG-1

Summary:

Speaking of "fleets of UFOs over Europe", the newsletter of the US ufology group APRO had reported there were many observations about 1:00 on the morning of July 18, 1967, by thousands of people across Europe.

APRO indicated that press telegrams in the United States had published some short summaries of the observations generally concluding that the objects seen were probably remains of the burnt carcass of the Russian satellite Kosmos 169.

One of the reports was about a sighting in Strasbourg. It was received by APRO from their correspondent in Switzerland Dr. Kurt Kaufmann, who also forwarded translations for many observations interpreted as those of the Russian satellite Kosmos 169.

APRO concluded: "In summation, it would seem that a large number of somethings spewed out over the skies of Europe on the morning of the 18th. All sightings apparently took place between 1:00 and 1:20 and the biggest puzzle involves the directions which the objects took which would seem to preclude the Kosmos 169 theory."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 18, 1967
Time: ~01:15 a.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: July 1967
Reporting delay: Days.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Strasbourg
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.573
Longitude: 7.751
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: ?
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: APRO UFO bulletin.
Type of location: ?
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: Probable space junk reentry.

Sources:

[Ref. ap1:] APRO BULLETIN:

The 'Fleets' Over Europe

At about 1 A.M. on the morning of July 18 thousands of people throughout Europe observed strange objects in the skies and duly reported them to the press. APRO European correspondents forwarded considerable material and the press wires in the United States carried a few short summarizations of the sighting which generally concluded that the objects seen were probably residue from the burned-up carcass of Russian satellite Kosmos 169.

Also reporting in was Dr. Kurt Kauffmann, APRO'S representative in Switzerland who forwarded translations which generally filled out the picture. We will start with observation points and descriptions: The first reports came from Besancon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Nantes and Paris, in France. In Switzerland sightings were made at Saignelegier, Dudingen, Estavayer-le-lac, Biel, saillon, Basel, Munchenstein, Aarau, Bern, Oberhofen, Trimach, Pfaffikon, Kloten, Hinwil, Luzern, Gossau and Herrliberg. In Germany: Ramstein, Spangdahlem, Sembach. In Italy: Florence, Viareggio, Vologna, Turin, Verona, Faenza, Coumayeur and Milano. From Holland: Ilooek van Holland.

[...]

In summation, it would seem that a large number of somethings spewed out over the skies of Europe on the morning of the 18th. All sightings apparently took place between 1:00 and 1:20 and the biggest puzzle involves the directions which the objects took which would seem to preclude the Kosmos 169 theory.

Discussion:

There is no shortage of websites and ufologists to claim, without much argument, that "real UFOs" (or other non-trivial cause) had "parasited" the return of the remains of the Russian satellite. Ans thus they call this "the UFO flap of July 18, 1967". This is a generalization of what some ufologists had claimed regarding the famous re-entry of November 5, 1990, via France...

The observations of this "flap" were actually not those of the re-entry of the Kosmos 169 satellite, but of the re-entry of the third stage of the rocket that launched that satellite, in the night of July 18, 1967, at about 01:15 a.m., crossing France from West-Northwest to East-Southeast.

A complete study was published in "Phénomènes Spatiaux", the bulletin of the French ufology group GEPA, in their issue 15 for the st quarter of 1968. About a hundred observation reportss were plotted on a map, showing that most if not all of the sightings were indeed those of the debris from the rocket, the few cases seen as "unresolved" do not really differ.

Joel Mesnard, of LDLN, cited this false "UFO flap" as a real "UFO flap" similar to the also false "5 November 1990" flap. Finding reports with times in the tens of minutes later or earlier than the re-entry, he went so far as to conclude that extraterrestrial craft had "parasited" the space junk re-entry because they had prior knowledge that it would take place. It does not appear that the question of why these supposedly clever aliens would have "parasited" the re-entry at the wrong hours.

For the case to Strasbourg, the only information I could find is that there was a sighting in Strasbourg that day, I do not know what, I do not know by whom, and I know neither an hour or a direction, nothing...

Without any information about this observation, it therefore seems difficult to me to give credit to the APRO or other thesis claiming that it would not be the space debris re-entry on grounds of different hour or different direction or any other differences.

Overall, in mass observations of space junk re-entry, it is quite inevitable that some reports have a rough or incorrect hour and give directions for which the witness or the witnesses were simply mistaken.

Evaluation:

Probable space junk reentry.

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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 16, 2015 Creation, [ap1].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 16, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on September 16, 2015