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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 Herbitzheim, on April 21, 1968:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1968-04-21-HERBITZHEIM-1

Summary:

The "Contact Lecteurs" supplement of the ufology magazine "Lumières Dans La Nuit" in July 1968 published this observation in Herbitzheim in the Bas-Rhin dated April 21, 1968, at 08:20 p.m.:

"That day my parents and I sat on our bench in front of the house. The atmosphere was very clear and we watched the sky full of stars. Coincidentally, we saw a star begin to move and start a movement that seemed directed toward us. It was a star of the first magnitude; yellow, it appeared on the west of the horizon, and approached at high speed still remaining round. The evening was quiet and no noise was heard."

"The object appeared to slow down its course over us and I jumped in my room to get my 8 x 38 binocular. Upon my return, the object had crossed half the distance between the 2 West-East horizons."

"I directed my binocular and I was able to see then that this object was really a small triangular shape. It was indeed a solid triangle, yellow, and slightly surrounded by a reddish glow. The craft continued its way to the east and disappeared from my horizon."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: April 21, 1968
Time: 08:20 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: July 1968
Reporting delay: 4 months or less.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Herbitzheim
Place: Fom outside the house in Herbitzheim, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 49.013
Longitude: 7.084
Uncertainty ratio: 4 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Letter to ufology magazine LDLN.
Type of location: Outside the house in village, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Evening
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: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible planes.

Sources:

[Ref. ld1:] "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT" MAGAZINE:

Herbitzheim - Bas Rhin, on April 21, 1968 at 08:20 p.m.

"That day my parents and I sat on our bench in front of the house. The atmosphere was very clear and we watched the sky full of stars. Coincidentally, we saw a star begin to move and start a movement that seemed directed toward us. It was a star of the first magnitude; yellow, it appeared on the west of the horizon, and approached at high speed still remaining round. The evening was quiet and no noise was heard.

The object appeared to slow down its course over us and I jumped in my room to get my 8 x 38 binocular. Upon my return, the object had crossed half the distance between the 2 West-East horizons.

I directed my binocular and I was able to see then that this object was really a small triangular shape. It was indeed a solid triangle, yellow, and slightly surrounded by a reddish glow. The craft continued its way to the east and disappeared from my horizon." Communicated by H.P.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

21 April 1968 20:15

Herbitzheim, Alsace, France

Nocturnal lights were reported in a residential area.

Hynek rating: NL

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. 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 Lumières dans la Nuit - Contact Lecteur #95 bis for July 1968 reported this case of April 21, 1968, at 08:20 p.m. in Herbitzheim in the Bas-Rhin:

"That day my parents and I sat on our bench in front of the house. The atmosphere was very clear and we watched the sky full of stars. Coincidentally, we saw a star begin to move and start a movement that seemed directed toward us. It was a star of the first magnitude; yellow, it appeared on the west of the horizon, and approached at high speed still remaining round. The evening was quiet and no noise was heard.

The object appeared to slow down its course over us and I jumped in my room to get my 8 x 38 binocular. Upon my return, the object had crossed half the distance between the 2 West-East horizons.

I directed my binocular and I was able to see then that this object was really a small triangular shape. It was indeed a solid triangle, yellow, and slightly surrounded by a reddish glow. The craft continued its way to the east and disappeared from my horizon." Communicated by H.P.

Christian Valentin notes that this is in the first report of a triangular object in Alsace.

Discussion:

Despite the details given by the observer, it is difficult to understand what was seen. Note that the binocular were needed to see a shape, suggesting that the thing was far away or small. The "high speed" is not quantitative, the time used to get the binoculars is not specified, a few seconds? Several minutes?

An airfield in Hagenau and the Strasbourg airport are tens of kilometers to the southeast. A plane still high but approaching a landing strip is one possibility. But if we take the description at face value, the slightly triangular yellow shape surrounded by a reddish halo, it would be a very unusual description for an airplane.

The case remains unexplained to me - not unexplainable - but of lesser "quality".

Evaluation:

Possible planes.

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 August 17, 2014 Creation, [ld1], [ud1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 17, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 17, 2014