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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 Sewen, on September 3, 1973:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1973-09-03-SEWEN-1

Summary:

In his 2012 book on the history of UFO sightings in Alsace, Christian Valentin recounted a sighting of a retired couple from Mulhouse, who went for a picnic in the Doller Valley on September 3, 1973.

Around 4 pm they had stopped near Sewen and saw an object about ten times the size of Venus, in the north. It was surrounded by small bright spots. The main object disappeared northwards moments later, while the bright spots formed a circle and then an isosceles triangle pointing upwards.

The observation seemed to have lasted more than a quarter of an hour.

Christian Valentin indicates that this comes from an investigation by the GREI ufology group of Mulhouse, to whom the witness had made this sketch:

The notes on the sketch indicate that it was an absolutely cloudless sky, with almost no wind on the ground level, and the sketch shows three phases of observation: the first, the second 5 minutes later, and the third 8 or 10 minutes later.

The case was previously mentioned by ufologist Charles Garreau in his 1974 book:

The "satellites were the size of the planet Venus. The 'Mothership' was 5-6 times larger. The phenomenon gradually faded in the sky, misty in altitude."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: September 3, 1973
Time: ~04:00 p.m.
Duration: 8 to 15 minutes.
First known report date: 1974
Reporting delay: Days, 1 year.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Sewen
Place: Near Sewen, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.806
Longitude: 6.906
Uncertainty ratio: 4 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1 or 2
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: Aged.
Witness(es) types: Retired couple from Mulhouse.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Local ufology group GREI.
Type of location: Picnic spot in the Vosges, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Day, cloudless sky.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: DD
ALSACAT: Possible military flares, or fireworks.

Sources:

[Ref. cg1:] CHARLES GARREAU:

- On September 3 also, at about 04:30 p.m. in Mulhouse, a bright object is seen, surrounded by several "satellites". The main object disappears to the north, while the satellites form a circle, then ten minutes later, form an isosceles triangle. A spatial geometry as unusual as it is unexpected. These satellites were the size of the planet Venus. The "Mothership" was 5-6 times larger. The phenomenon gradually faded in the sky, misty in altitude.

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

Mulhouse (68) on 03 September 1973

General features

Num Base: 860
Département: Haut Rhin (68)
Place of observation: Mulhouse
Latitude: 47.75
Longitude: +7.333
Date of observation: 03 September 1973
Hour: 16:30 hours
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 00:10:00
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: undetermined number
Type of object: cigar and discs
Size: Not specified
Color: not defined
Luminosity: Brilliant
Visual characteristics: No indication
Speed: not defined
Movement/Displacement: Various maneuvers
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Observation

Observation of a luminous object surrounded by several satellites. The main object disappears to the North, while the others place themselves in a circle, then ten minutes later put themselves in an isoceles triangle. The satellites were the size of Venus while the main object was 5 to 6 times larger. The phenomenon progressively dimmed in the foggy sky in altitude.

Sources

Soucoupes volantes, 25 ans d'enquêtes by Garreau Charles ** Mame

[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 testimony by a retired couple from Mulhouse, who went picnicking in the valley of the Doller on September 3, 1973.

At 4 a.m. they stopped at the level of Sewen and saw an object about ten times the size of Venus in the north. It was surrounded by tiny points of light. The main object disappeared northward moments later, while bright spots formed a circle and an isosceles triangle pointing upwards. All the observation seemed to have lasted more than a quarter of an hour.

Christian Valentin says this comes from an investigation by the GREI of Mulhouse, the witness having provided this sketch:

Discussion:

So this was about lights, moving, with an object or bigger light among them.

Maybe a military drill involving a helicopter and flares? Maybe some improvised firework? Nothing seems sure to me...

Evaluation:

Possible military flares, or fireworks.

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 18, 2015 Creation, [cg1], [lc1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 18, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on September 18, 2015