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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 Mulhouse, on July 23, 1968:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1968-07-23-MULHOUSE-1

Summary:

In the "Contact Lecteurs" supplement #96 for November 1968 of the ufology magazine "Lumières Dans La Nuit", it is said that in Mulhouse on July 23, 1968, at 01:45, after a storm, Mr. A. Bouaziz saw "a huge luminous oval disc rising behind the trees at about 2 km. Of pale orange color, it was not flashing, did not change color, and the central portion was dark. It was heading South to North-East at a fairly high speed."

The observation lasted about a minute, after what the sic that seemed to take some altitude entered a formation of low altitude clouds and never emerged of it.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 23, 1968
Time: 01:50 a.m.
Duration: ~1 minute.
First known report date: November 1968?
Reporting delay: Months?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.750
Longitude: 7.335
Uncertainty ratio: 10 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Ufology magazine LDLN.
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: Unexplained, but insufficient information.

Sources:

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

Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin) - July 23, 1968, 1:45

After the storm, Mr. A. Bouaziz sees a huge luminous oval disc arising behind the trees about 2 kms away. Of pale orange color, it was not blinking, did not change color, and the central portion was dark. It was heading South to East at a fairly high speed. The sighting lasted about a minute, after that the disc that seemed to take some altitude entered a cloud formation of low altitude and did not come out of it.

[Ref. ld2:] MAGAZINE "LUMIERE DANS LA NUIT":

On 7/23/68 it is Mr. Bouaziz who observed a huge luminous disc of pale orange color (Contact 96 bis for November 68).

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

23 July 1968 01:50

Mulhouse, Alsace, France

Hynek rating: NL

The sources are indicated as: "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 a case for July 23, 1968, at 1:45 in Mulhouse in the Haut-Rhin was published in Lumières Dans La Nuit - Contact Lecteurs #96 bis for November 1968:

After the storm, Mr. A. B. sees a huge luminous oval disc arising behind the trees about 2 kms away. Of pale orange color, it was not blinking, did not change color, and the central portion was dark. It was heading South to East at a fairly high speed. The sighting lasted about a minute, after that the disc that seemed to take some altitude entered a cloud formation of low altitude and did not come out of it.

Discussion:

My first thought was the possibility that it was the moon. Certainly, the Moon is not likely to move "at a considerable speed", I'm not foolish enough to believe such a thing, but yet I know for a fact that if by luck Mr. Bouaziz was driving a car - who knows, it is not specified - he could have been a victim of this very famous illusion of movement of the Moon.

But it turns out that the moon was not visible in Mulhouse at that date and time.

The mention of the thunderstorm made me think about the phenomenon of ball lightning. It occurs, it seems, during thunderstorms. This is a very rare but documented phenomenon.

But the ball of the famous ball lightning is very small, a few inches to a few feet at most; then it is quite difficult to understand how Mr. Bouaziz could have located it 2 kilometers away from him. Certainly estimates of distances are not good for unknown objects in the night, but here, if it was ball lightning, we know the dimensions and it rather strongly implies that it is in the field of the human stereoscopic vision, about fifty meters, with little chance then to be evaluated as be 2 kilometers.

There is of course also the entrance into the clouds. I know no case of ball lightning seen passing from behind the trees into a cloud layer, even when it is a low cloud layer. This implies a certain distance upwards, while ball lightning generally stays at ground level.

The dark center is another feature incompatible with the observations of ball lightning.

In fact this central dark part is a real curiosity - for example I do not know any description of a plane mistaken for a UFO described like this ... So if Mr. Bouaziz or somebody with information on the case reads this, he should get in touch. More information would help mostly on the apparent size of the thing, the exact location, etc.

Evaluation:

Unexplained, but insufficient information..

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 August 17, 2014 Creation, [ld1], [ld2], [ud1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 17, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 17, 2014