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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, in the beginning of August 1972:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1973-08-00-WITTELSHEIM-1

Summary:

A local ufologist whom I met several times, reported several times the sighting he had at the age of nine on Wittelsheim in early August, of 1972 probably, or 1973 maybe.

One evening between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., he was among a group of about twenty kids, playing hide and seek on the large esplanade in front of the old building of the Directorate of the Potash Mines of Alsace, as they used to do during school holidays. The youngest were 4 years old, he was 9 years old, the oldest in the group were nearly 20 years old.

The sky was clear, except for some distant clouds on the southeast horizon. The moon must have been in its last quarter, because the slky was still quite bright. A very gentle wind was coming from the southwest.

The children were all hiding and waiting for the "wolf" who was to find them, when the latter, who had finished the count allowing them to hide, exclaimed: "Look there, in the sky, what is this?"

The children did not leave their hiding places immediately, thinking it was a trick by the "wolf" to discover their hiding places. But out of curiosity, they nevertheless looked at the sky, in the direction that the "wolf" had indicated.

At 800 meters from where they were, there was a 78-meter mine shaft. On its right, at about 20 degrees, so towards the east, one could see a huge cigar of a magnificent fluorescent green color, silent; which stood motionless in the sky, vertically. Its light was contained in its contours. They were about 800 meters from the mine shaft, and the "cigar" measured one third of the height of the mine shaft.

Everyone who was there saw it. The object had no wings, no trail, nothing special. Its ends were not rounded but "cut". They were astonished, because they were all convinced that no craft could fly and hover like this without wings.

They then debated the nature of the object for a few minutes, and then all kids shut up, to better observe the object.

After a few minutes, it leaned slightly to its right and disappeared slowly behind a curtain of altocumulus clouds that came from the southwest and was heading southeast. The observation lasted about ten minutes, according to his estimate.

While most children and young people have not talked about the event again, he was very impressed. At the beginning of the following school year, while he was in the CM2 class, the "bibliobus" - "bookmobile"; a bus serving as a traveling library going from school to school in the area, which I also attended - passed by, and by chance he chose the cartoon "Les Apparitions d'OVNIS" ("The UFO Appearances") by Lob and Gigi. In a page of sketches devoted to the various UFOs observed, he recognized the one they had seen. He says he showed the book to all his classmates that evening, and that they had all recognized the object; which confirmed to him that he had not dreamed.

In 1999, with his wife who was aware of this experience, he had discreetly interviewed some of the witnesses, he assures that his wife can now certify that his report of the event corresponds point by point, twenty-six years later, to those of all the other witnesses she met.

Having heard this witness several times in the years 2002-2004, I heard his story and found out it is identical to the versions he has given elsewhere. His wife confirmed his words to me. I learned the name of at least one of the other witnesses of the time, and he and his wife also told me how they had met by chance a lady who had seen the same thing at the same time in the same area, but separately from the children group.

He had also explained to me how he had come to be wary of any "established certainty" following his experience. At the start of the school year, he had told his teacher about it, asking for an explanation, but the teacher had told him that what he saw was "a rocket". Although only 9 years old, he was fully aware that this explanation was totally absurd. He then engaged in ufology, by reading, participation in ufology associations, field investigations, contacts with other ufologists like me.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: Beginning of August 1972
Time: ~10:15 p.m.
Duration: ~10 minutes.
First known report date: 1998?
Reporting delay: Days, decade.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Wittelsheim
Place: On the esplanade before Mines Offices building of that time, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.777
Longitude: 7.225
Uncertainty ratio: 50 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: About 20.
Number of known witnesses: 4
Number of named witnesses: 2
Witness(es) ages: Children, youngsters, maybe 1 adult.
Witness(es) types: Children, youngsters, maybe 1 adult.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: On the Web, and directly to me.
Type of location: Outside, UFO in the sky.
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: Unidentified.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible extraterrestrial craft

Sources:

[Ref. uw1:] "UFOWEB" WEBSITE:

2000/052: Backdated testimony, observation in Wittelsheim department 68 in August 1972

From our correspondant Lucien p[-].

Date: 1972, August

Time:10:30 p.m.

Duration of observation: 10 mn

Department: Haut-Rhin (68)

Place of observation: Wittelsheim

Number of witnesses: About twenty

Number of objects: 1

Shape of objects: Cigar

Color: glowing green, fluorescent

That night in the beginning of August 1972, we were a score of kids plaing hide and seek on a large esplanade in front of a building of the Office of the Alsace Mines, as we usually did during the Summer holidays.

The sky was clear, except for a few distant clouds on the south-east horizon. The moon must have been in its last quarter, because the luminosity of the sky was quite important. A very slight wind came from the southwest.

We were all hidden and were waiting for the "wolf" who had to find us, when the latter, who had finished the countdown allowing us to hide, suddenly shouted "look over there, in the sky, what is this?"

We didn't dare to come out of our hiding places immediately, thinking this was a trick to find us. But by curiosity, we nevertheless looked at the sky, in the direction he pointed.

And this is what we saw: at 800 meters from the place we were, there was a mine pit top, which height was 78 meters. On its right, at about 20 degrees, thus to to East, we could see a huge cigar of a magnificent fluorescent green, silent, hovering motionless in the sky.

All those that were here saw it. The oldest among us were almost twenty years old. The object had no wings, no trail, nothing particular. What stunned us is precisely that we were all convinced thtno craft could fly and hover without wings.

And this is what it did. We discussed about the nature of the object during several minutes and we all shut up, to better observe the object.

After some minutes, it slightly tilted on his right and slowly disappeared behind a row of altocumulus that came from the Southwest and went to the Southeast.

And the observation was over.

The date of observation (1972), is beyond doubt because at the start of the next school year, thus in 1973, chance had the bibliobus come to our school (I was then in CM2). Chance (again) had me choose the book "LES APPARITIONS D'OVNI" in comic book format, by LOB and GIGI, and one could see in there, in a page with sketches of observed UFOs of different kind, the one we had personally seen. I showed the book to all my comrades that very evening, and all recognized the object.

This confirmed to me that I had not been dreaming. One year ago from now, having shared my experience with my spouse, we decided to discreetly interrogate some of the witnesses of the display and my spouse can certify that my report of the event matches in every detail, twenty six years later, the reports of all the other witnesses she managed to meet.

UPDATED ON 19/10/00

[Ref. gr1:] WITNESS REPORT TO THE G.R.E.P.I. WEBSITE:

Observation of a fluorescent green cigar by about thirty people in the skies of Alsace (France), near Mulhouse, in August 1973.

Very clear sky, a few clouds southeast, southwest wind. Temperature around 22 °[C].

No noise.

Starry sky. Perfect visibility.

Estimation of the distance and the size with the LDLN comparator: - distance: 5 to 7 kilometers - size 100 to 105 meters.

Height on the horizon: 30 to 35 °

Compared size: one third of the headframe of the mine shaft, 800m apart and 80m high.

Object in a vertical station.

Color of the object: luminescent green (light contained in the contours of the object)

Time: 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Date: (?) August 1973

Number of witnesses: about twenty people, aged between 4 and 20 years old.

Shape: cigar with cut ends.

Weather elements: weak SW breeze. Very clear sky. Some cumulus and cirro-cumulus SE.

The "cigar" eventually disappeared behind the clouds coming from the SE after a few minutes (at most five).

For a more in-depth story, please contact me again, because there has been a sequel ...

Lucien (Alsace - France)

Yes, dear visitors, you will have to make a new visit to know everything about this sighting. This website is like the best thriller!

[Ref. is1:] "ISUNDGAU" BLOG:

That blog presents several cases in Alsace they fished on the web, including this one:

August 1973 in Wittelsheim

Story of the witness L.P.: " That night in the beginning of August 1972, we were a score of kids plaing hide and seek on a large esplanade in front of a building of the Office of the Alsace Mines, as we usually did during the Summer holidays. The sky was clear, except for a few distant clouds on the south-east horizon. The moon must have been in its last quarter, because the luminosity of the sky was quite important. A very slight wind came from the southwest. We were all hidden and were waiting for the "wolf" who had to find us, when the latter, who had finished the countdown allowing us to hide, suddenly shouted "look over there, in the sky, what is this?" We didn't dare to come out of our hiding places immediately, thinking this was a trick to find us. But by curiosity, we nevertheless looked at the sky, in the direction he pointed. And this is what we saw: at 800 meters from the place we were, there was a mine pit top, which height was 78 meters. On its right, at about 20 degrees, thus to to East, we could see a huge cigar of a magnificent fluorescent green, silent, hovering motionless in the sky. All those that were here saw it. The oldest among us were almost twenty years old. The object had no wings, no trail, nothing particular. What stunned us is precisely that we were all convinced thtno craft could fly and hover without wings. And this is what it did. We discussed about the nature of the object during several minutes and we all shut up, to better observe the object. After some minutes, it slightly tilted on his right and slowly disappeared behind a row of altocumulus that came from the Southwest and went to the Southeast. And the observation was over."

"The date of observation (1972), is beyond doubt because at the start of the next school year, thus in 1973, chance had the bibliobus come to our school (I was then in CM2). Chance (again) had me choose the book "LES APPARITIONS D'OVNI" in comic book format, by LOB and GIGI, and one could see in there, in a page with sketches of observed UFOs of different kind, the one we had personally seen. I showed the book to all my comrades that very evening, and all recognized the object. This confirmed to me that I had not been dreaming. One year ago from now, having shared my experience with my spouse, we decided to discreetly interrogate some of the witnesses of the display and my spouse can certify that my report of the event matches in every detail, twenty six years later, the reports of all the other witnesses she managed to meet."

There is no source reference for this case, cited among other cases. There is simply, at the end of the article, a series of links to several ufology websites and web pages, including a link to the old URL of the home page of my own website.

Discussion:

It turns out that I personally know the witness, I met him several times in the 2000s. I know him for ufological reasons: following his observation, he had very quickly taken an interest in the question of UFOs. I think that on 5 or 6 different occasions, we had to discuss UFOs and conduct investigations for a total of a good twenty hours. Here are some elements that I could collect directly:

Regarding the date of his observation, there is a doubt about the year, he evoked 1972 but also 1973, he mentioned in one of the conversations we had that he was then 9 years old. The month seems more assured: August. It is certain that it was during the 1972 school summer holidays. I give the year as 1972 in this file, but it is not totally excluded that it was in 1973.

Regarding the color "green fluorescent", he had told me that this color was "like a color that has never been seen" - a detail found in other testimonials.

Regarding the "cigar", he told me that this thing was standing vertically.

He had spoken to his teacher, hoping for an explanation. The teacher told him carelessly that what he saw was ... "a rocket". But although young, he knew perfectly well that it absolutely could not have been a rocket. He has conceived a terrible mistrust of all the "knowledge authorities" - scientists, experts, teachers - and he still questions things that seem obvious to the majority of people.

After the observation, he began to read a lot of things, concerning astronomy, aeronautics, and it is in the "Bibliobus" that he came across one of the comics of Lob and Gigi - very popular then - which dealt with UFOs or flying saucers. He found a case of a cigar-shaped UFO and was very struck by it: he had just discovered that others had also seen such things.

He was then an active ufologist, reading, conducting inquiries, corresponding or meeting other ufologists. He expressed a deep contempt for those he called "salon ufologists" - those who would be content to preach in books or lectures without ever having conducted any field investigation. He had been a member of a Mulfousien ufology group in the years 1970-1980.

He had a second observation, much less "strange" however, which was the subject of an investigation with report in the ufological magazine Lights In The Night - I would devote a file soon. The LDLN investigators had commented that it seemed to them excessively committed to giving them the slightest detail. Obviously, he had not informed the investigators of his first observation, and they did not realize that they were interviewing not an "ordinary witness", but someone who was already " "I had the opportunity to carry out UFO investigations with him, and I noticed that he was striving to do a careful job, striving to clarify everything down to the last detail.

Regarding his explanation of this experience, I could not get anything definitive from him, he is in a total interrogation, being wary of any explanation, totally doubting that it was something ordinary that he had not not recognized, but also doubtful that it is "extraterrestrial" - it is quite close to the theses of a Jacques Vallée on this subject. He evoked, for his observation or others, the possibilities that an "Eastern Power" (Russians) could for example use holographic projection systems and thus "appear" these UFOs, for a purpose that could be a kind of bullying, or something else. For him, all that is military is suspect, obscure military agencies would be capable of all kinds of manipulations. We find this idea in, for example the French ufologist Jacques Vallée, he considers as his personal hero even if he had told me not always be in complete agreement with him.

Given his observation, I asked him several times why he refuses to consider that it could be an extraterrestrial craft. He always showed an ironic reaction, almost mocking: UFOs as extraterrestrial devices are for him something "mythological", the "little green men" would be a ridiculous idea, a fantasy, something not serious.

And yet, on one occasion later, one of my friends discussed this with him: why not extraterrestrials? She told me the answer, since I had not been present during this conversation. It turned out that in fact, he refused to think that extraterrestrials can really have gear like: "if they are extraterrestrials, then poor of us, we are screwed". In short, he expressed a kind of fear or helplessness. If extraterrestrials had opportunities that he would have demonstrated, our own technology would be totally outclassed by comparison, and it's a terrifying idea for him.

I also learned from him, and it was confirmed to me by his companion - he was married, had children - that while he was looking for UFO books at a flea market, he had encountered a elderly woman removing from a crate a book on UFOs that she was obviously going to buy. The lady seemed "worn out", slumped, perhaps alcoholic, almost "tramp". Intrigued by his interest in the ufology book, my witness had started the conversation with her, and, to her surprise, she ended up telling him that she too had seen a cigar-shaped UFO, also green, and very quickly, after a few questions, my witness was stunned to realize that the lady had had this observation at the same time as hers, in the same area. It was, he told me, the same UFO, seen by a person who was not among the children with whom he himself had been. The companion of my witness had witnessed this scene and confirmed it to me viva voce. She explained to me that she had, of course, always thought that her husband was sincere, but there, no more doubt was allowed for her: they came by chance to fall on an independent witness who had lived the same observation!

Both had been very struck by this lady, by the appearance of dejection she gave. In the discussion, they understood that this state was the result of his observation; she had never recovered.

In one of his stories above, he says, "My wife can certify that my relationship to the event matches, point by point, twenty-six years later, to that of all the other witnesses she has met." The fact is that besides the lady she met at the flea market, there were the other children, her brother being one of them. His wife met several other witnesses of the sighting.

Of course, have no "proof" whatsoever for all this. This witness seemed sincere to me, I never found any precise reason to doubt his point, he never contradicted himself, certainly, but that is all.

Above::
The old building and the mineshaft.

Evaluation:

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 February 16, 2018 Creation, [uw1], [gr1], [is1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 16, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 16, 2018.