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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 Wittelsheim, on April 24, 1970:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1970-04-24-WITTELSHEIM-1

Summary:

An article in "Phénomène Spatiaux", the magazine of the French ufology group GEPA, in June 1970, reported UFO sightings in Alsace including that of April 24, 1970, by a man who had seen a flying object resembling a large disc, belted of a crown of light crown, and circling above a region between Mulhouse and the Grand Ballon.

He had watched for 20 minutes, then the object had stopped flashing and had vanished into the night.

GEPA called sent one of their Alsatian correspondents to investigate, and published the result:

The witness, Mr. Hiryczuk, 22, a worker at the Peugeot factories at the Ile Napoleon, living in the district of the railway station in Wittelsheim, was left home his fiancée at 22:30. moped and went in to the home of his parents.

His gaze was suddenly drawn to a red glow, moving and silent, coming from the direction of the Vosges mountains and heading for Wittelsheim. At one moment, the light was just above him, so he stopped his motorbike and looked at it.

The glow seemed to him to be a big round object with a red light of large size flashing at its underside. The craft lit the cloud layer lying just above it of a red glow.

He got scared and wanted to flee, but he could not put his moped to start. He had to push it for long before it started normally, although the moped was in perfect condition.

Upon reaching home, he found that the glow was still in the sky, and that it was heading towards the Vosges mountains, where it suddenly went off, like "a light bulb whose power was cut."

The observation had already been mentioned in the newspaper L'Alsace for April 26, 1970, saying that Mr. Hiryczuk, living rue Ricquet à La Houpe, Cité-Gare, told them he saw "Friday evening", around 10:30 p.m., a large flying object, resembling a disk surrounded by a crown of light, circling in a quite large circle above a region between the Grand Ballon and Mulhouse. He said he had observed the flying saucer maneuvers for almost 20 minutes, after which the object had stopped flashing and had fainted in the night.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: April 24, 1970
Time: ~10:30 p.m.
Duration: ~20 minutes.
First known report date: April 26, 1970
Reporting delay: 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place:
Latitude: 47.783
Longitude: 7.219
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: 22
Witness(es) types: Worker at the Peugeot car factory.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported to the regional Press.
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: Night
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: Unidentified, possible extraterrestrial craft.

Sources:

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

Still the flying saucers

The latest is that of Friday night, and suddenly things get clearer thanks to what Mr. Hiryczuk who lives in rue Ricquet at La Houpe, Cité-Gare, told us. This young man saw, around 10:30 p.m., a large flying object, resembling a disk encircled by a crown of light, which rotated in a circle, in a rather wide radius, over a region between the Grand-Ballon and Mulhouse. Our witness claims to have been able to follow the maneuvers of the "flying saucer" for about 20 minutes, after which the object stopped flashing and simply fainted in the night. Who says better?

[Ref. gp1:] "PHENOMENE SPATIAUX" MAGAZINE - GEPA:

The object of April 24 [1970] was according to the witness, Mr. Hiryczuk, a large flying object resembling a disk, surrounded by a crown of light, and went round and round over of a region between Mulhouse and the Grand Ballon. Followed for 20 minutes, the object had then stopped flashing and had vanished into the night.

[...]

Mr. Jacques Thomas being unable to investigate immediately himself, we, on his advice, alerted two of our Alsatian correspondents. One of them, after careful investigation, sent us the following report:

[... other cases ...]

"On April 24, 1970, Raymond Hiryczuk, 22, a worker at the Peugeot factories at the Ile Napoleon, living in the railway station cities of Wittelsheim was coming out of his bride's at 10:30 pm. moped, and was heading home to his parents.

"Suddenly the glance of the young man was stopped by a red, moving, and silent glow that came from the direction of the Vosges mountains and headed to Wittelsheim. At one point, the light being located just above him, Mr Hiryczuk left his motorbike and looked. The glow seemed to him made of a big round object. A red light of big size flashed large on the underside. The craft lit of a red glow the cloud layer lying just above it.

"The young man in front of such a phenomenon was suddenly afraid and wanted to flee, but could not put his moped on the way; it took a long time pushing it before it started normally, though it is in perfect working condition.

"When arriving in front of his home, Mr Hiryczuk found that the light was still in the sky, and that it was heading towards the Vosges mountains, where it died out suddenly, as "a light bulb whose power is turned off".

We are very grateful to this first correspondent, who is a journalist, for the extended investigation he delivered and the excellent report he wrote.

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

Mulhouse (68) on April 24, 1970

General features

Num Base: 305
Department: Haut Rhin (68)
Place of observation: Mulhouse
Latitude: 47.75
Longitude: +7.333
Date of observation: April 24, 1970
Hour: 22:30 hours
Duration (HH:MM:SS): N.C.
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual : close
Nbr of witness(es): 1
Official investigation: No

Features of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Disc
Size: Huge
Color: Red
Luminosity: Brilliant
Visual characteristics: blinking fires
Speed: not defined
Movement/Displacement: Various maneuvers
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Type of effects noted

Physical effects: Engine stall,
Effects on the witness: uncontrolled fear,

Observation

A witness observes during more than one minute, an object in the shape of a huge red and luminous disc. One can see on it blinking pulsating lights. It follows without ant noise a complex trajectory, but with regular movements passing at the vertical of the observer. The latter is frightened and his car fails.

Sources

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

[Ref. cv2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Christian Valentin indicates that the newspaper L'Alsace for Sunday, April 26, 1970, published in their Mulhouse issue:

Still the flying saucers

The latest is that of Friday night, and suddenly things get clearer thanks to what Mr. Hiryczuk who lives in rue Ricquet at La Houpe, Cité-Gare, told us. This young man saw, around 10:30 p.m., a large flying object, resembling a disk encircled by a crown of light, which rotated in a circle, in a rather wide radius, over a region between the Grand-Ballon and Mulhouse. Our witness claims to have been able to follow the maneuvers of the "flying saucer" for about 20 minutes, after which the object stopped flashing and simply fainted in the night. Who says better?

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

24 April 1970 22:30

Mulhouse, Alsace, France

One object, of huge size, was observed by one witness for over four minutes (Hiryczuk).

Hynek rating: NO

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

[Ref. ub3:] "UFODATENBANK":

Case ID19700424
Global case number:19700424-0002-UDB
Date of observation (Day)24
Date of observation (Month)4
Date of observation(Year)1970
Hour of observation22.30
Zip Code
Place of observationMulhouse
County
Federal state
CountryFrance
Witnesses
Hynek Classification
Vallee Classification
Ruthledge Classification
Henke Classification
Evaluation
Identification
Investigations
Status of the investigation
DomainUFO-Datenbank
Case added by
Latest change by:
Investigator in charge of the case
SourceDUFOA-Deutschland - SiDat - 1996-2002
State of the information25.04.2015 22:16
Accesses to this record2
Link to Openmaphttp://nominatim.openstreetmap.org/search?q=Mulhouse,France
Link to theobservationhttp://www.ufo-db.com/WfrmSetupSichtung.aspx?uid_Sichtung=bbe8ebce-682b-421c-ab7f-6bdcee9f5528
Summary for guestsThe facts and possibly other documents will be published gradually. We thank you for your patience.
Preview image

[Ref. ub3:] "UFODATENBANK":

Case ID19700424
Global case number:19700424-0002-UDB
Date of observation (Day)24
Date of observation (Month)4
Date of observation(Year)1970
Hour of observation22.30
Zip Code
Place of observationMulhouse
County
Federal state
CountryFrance
Witnesses
Hynek Classification
Vallee Classification
Ruthledge Classification
Henke Classification
Evaluation
Identification
Investigations
Status of the investigation
DomainUFO-Datenbank
Case added by
Latest change by:
Investigator in charge of the case
SourceDUFOA-Deutschland - SiDat - 1996-2002
State of the information25.04.2015 22:16
Accesses to this record2
Link to Openmaphttp://nominatim.openstreetmap.org/search?q=Mulhouse,France
Link to theobservationhttp://www.ufo-db.com/WfrmSetupSichtung.aspx?uid_Sichtung=bbe8ebce-682b-421c-ab7f-6bdcee9f5528
Summary for guestsThe facts and possibly other documents will be published gradually. We thank you for your patience.
Preview image

Discussion:

What GEPA called an excellent investigation report may be called so according to the use of the times; but it is obvious that significant deficiencies should have been addressed.

Among others steps, a precise map of the route followed by the witness on his moped during the observation should have been sketched. A verbatim spontaneous statement should have been recorded, then questions should have been asked. An investigation of the witness credibility should have been conducted. Efforts should have been made to collect angular sizes, angular velocities, and all possible quantitative indications such as comparison of the brightness of the UFO with that of known objects at certain distance.

It is possible that more details were in the possession of the investigator and that GEPA published a digest by space saving necessities.

Places are unfortunately poorly specified, only the end of observation place is pretty much clear, the Wittenheim sector called "cities of the railway station." We are not told where the witness' bride lived, this being the place of beginning of the observation.

But since the sighting lasted about twenty minutes including motorbike ride, the witness possibly moved from place to place on several kilometers.

The distance from Wittelsheim to Mulhouse in straight is nearly 9 km; the distance from Wittelsheim to the Grand Ballon in straight line is nearly 16 km.

This suggests that the UFO was not located in absolute manner at these places, and probably Mulhouse and the Grand Ballon should be taken as directions landmarks.

UFO reports where the vehicle engine does not function are not uncommon. But there are different kinds of malfunction types. For example, in some cases, the vehicle's engine stops and the witness is aware of the presence of the UFO some short time later. In other cases, the witness is aware of the presence of the UFO, gets scared, and is unable to start the vehicle. This case belongs to the second category, so it is possible to assume that it is his fear at that moment, mentioned in the report, that made him too clumsy to restart of the motorcycle. So it would not be an "effect" caused ba the UFO directly.

(So, to note as "Physical effects: engine stall" like [lc1] did is doubly doubtful: first, the engine of the motorcycle did not stall, it was stopped by the witness and it was the restart that was problematic; second, the possibility that the restart was unsuccessful due to the "uncontrolled fear," duly noted by [lc1] as an "Effect on the witness" makes the "physical effect" unproven and it could be classified potentially as a consequence of a psychological effect on the witness instead of a physical effect on the moped.)

As for the UFO itself, to be sure, I first checked the possibility that it is the moon. I gave little credence to this possibility anyway: the moon simply does not flash, while the UFO light flashed, and did it when it was above the witness.

That night, the moon rose after midnight only, at 00:38 a.m., at azimuth 135 °. So neither the time nor the direction to the Grand Ballon from Wittenheim coincided.

The reported silence and duration of approximately 20 minutes eliminate many other trivial explanations: plane, helicopter, meteor...

This UFO remains unidentified to me, and I can not rule out it could have been an extraterrestrial craft.

Finally, I want to add that although I deal with this sighting report as if it was a single sighting report, it was not as other sightings reportedly occurred in the same area and date and hours than several others, all to be documented in this catalogue.

Evaluation:

Unidentified, possible extraterrestrial craft.

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 September 17, 2015 Creation, [gp1], [ld1], [ld2], [cp1], [lc1], [ud1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 17, 2015 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross January 25, 2018 Addition [ub3].
1.2 Patrick Gross July 3, 2018 Additions [la1], [cv2]. In the Summary, addition of the paragraph "The observation had already been mentioned..."

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This page was last updated on July 3, 2018.