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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 Ittenheim, on August 15, 1968:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1968-08-15-ITTENHEIM-1

Summary:

It seems that according to the Sélestat issue of Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace for Tuesday, August 20, 1968, there was a sighting on August 15, 1968, at 9 p.m. in Ittenheim in the Bas-Rhin.

One Mr. Florent Marchand, from Ittenheim, from his terrace overlooking the West, reportedly saw a bright object "that had nothing of a star as it changed position, horizontally and upward."

The witness stated that he had first thought of an illusion related to the movement of the clouds, but he had no doubt anymore when, with his binocular, he took a fixed bearing on his elbows.

The color of the luminous object reportedly alternated between the blue and the red. Less than a quarter of an hour later, the "apparatus" went towards the West to "disappear."

The observation was apparently reported by Mr. Marchand to the Gendarmerie of Wolfisheim.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: August 15, 1968
Time: 11 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: August 20, 1968
Reporting delay: 5 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Ittenheim
Place: From home terrace to the West, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.604
Longitude: 7.595
Uncertainty ratio: 0.5 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Police and regional Press.
Type of location: From home terrace to the West, UFO in the sky.
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 star, Arcturus.

Sources:

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN - "BASE OVNI FRANCE":

Ittenheim (67) on 15 August 1968

General features

Num Base: 1343
Department: Bas Rhin (67)
Place of observation: Ittenheim
Latitude: 48.6
Longitude: +7.6
Date of observation: 15 August 1968
Hour: 23:10 hours
Duration (HH:MM:SS): N.C.
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual: Distant
Nbr of witness(es): undetermined number
Official investigation: No

Features of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Luminous Ball
Size: 5 to 10 meters
Color: Change of color
Luminosity: Not specified
Visual characteristics: No indication
Speed: not defined
Movement/Displacement: In straight line
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Observation

Several witnesses observeds [sic] during a long time, a round object of a diameter estimated as 7 meters. It was blinking of changing colors. It moved in straight line.

Sources

Les Universons by Poher Claude ** http://www.premiumwanadoo.com/universons/

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

15 August 1968 23:10

Ittenheim, Alsace, France

One object, about 20 feet across, was observed for over six minutes (Marchand).

Hynek rating: NL

Vallee rating: FB1

The sources are indicated as: "Poher, Claude, Etudes Statistiques Portant sur 1000 Temoignag [sic], Author, undated."

[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 there was a sighting on August 15, 1968, in Ittenheim in the Bas-Rhin reported in the Sélestat issue of Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace for Tuesday, August 20, 1968.

At 11 p.m., Mr. Florent Marchand of Ittenheim saw from the terrace overlooking West a luminous object that was not a star because it changed position, horizontally and upward.

Christian Valentin quotes:

"I first thought it was an illusion related to the movement of the clouds, but I had no doubt when with my binocular I took a fixed bearing on my elbows. The color of the luminous object alternated between blue and red. Less than a quarter of an hour later, the vehicle sped toward the West to disappear."

He indicates that the observation was reported to the Gendarmerie of Wolfisheim by Mr. Marchand.

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
ITTENHEIM Thursday 15 August 1968 at 11:10 p.m. Circular, round or disc (2D)
Unidentified
Several colors
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

There is a case located in Ittenheim in Claude Poher's computerized file, but taking place in 1974 - in any event in the version available to me.

There are significant differences between the version found in the Press of the time by [cv2] and the version given by [lc1], for example on the movement.

That evening, the star Arcturus was visible in the heaven there, in the West (283°), low on the horizon (14°), with an apparent magnitude of 0.05. In the list of the brightest stars in visual appearance from Earth, Arcturus is just the third - the Sun being excluded.

The witness first thought of a star; which suggests that it was at least a little like a star. A low star may appear to have changing colors, and make small movements caused by the disturbances in the atmosphere. The binocular, with elbows support, is not likely to cancel that movement, but rather to enhance its appearance.

I obviously cannot guarantee that this witness saw Arcturus, but the low strangeness of the observation makes me strongly doubt that he saw an alien spaceship.

Evaluation:

Possible star, Arcturus.

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 16, 2014 Creation, [lc1], [ud1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 16, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross June 12, 2015 Addition [sp4].

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This page was last updated on June 12, 2015