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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 Masevaux, on December 12, 1973:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1973-12-12-MASEVAUX-1

Summary:

Christian Valentin, in his book published in 2012 about the history of UFOs in Alsace, published useful information about a case in Masevaux on December 12, 1973; which had been mentioned briefly by ufologist Charles Garreau in his 1974 book as an observation at 06:40 p.m., in the region of Masevaux in the Haut-Rhin by several people who attended "the maneuvers of two U.F.O."

The witness, Charles Sembach, living in Masevaux at the time, had written to the ufology group GREI, of Mulhouse. He recounted:

"I left my office around 7:40 p.m. to get some papers in my car. The sky was clear at that time. I was surprised by a bright light in the sky and looking up, I could see two bright yellow circular shapes, slightly greenish above my home. The shapes seemed to rise and turn on themselves. I immediately called my wife and my mother, also present that day. They were also able to see objects. After one minute, the shapes sped eastward... "

In response to the information asked by the GREI investigators, he estimated that the objects were at an altitude of over 800 meters, Masevaux being located at the altitude of 400 meters; and he added that the dogs in the neighborhood had given "quite a concert..."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: December 12, 1973
Time: ~07:40 p.m.
Duration: 1 minute or more.
First known report date: 1974
Reporting delay: Days, 1 year.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Masevaux or Bourbach-le-Bas
Place: Outside next to his car near his office, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.775
Longitude: 7.024
Uncertainty ratio: 10 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Man, his wife, his mother.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Ufologist Charles Garreau and letter to local ufology group GREI.
Type of location: Outside next to his car near his office, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
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: NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified.

Sources:

[Ref. cg1:] CHARLES GARREAU:

The author indicates that on November 5, 1973, at 06:40 p.m. in the region of Masevaux in the Haut-Rhin, many people attended the maneuvers of two U.F.O.

[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 in a mail to the GREI of Mulhouse, Charles Sembach who lived in Masevaux at the time told of his observation of Wednesday, December 12, 1973:

"I left my office around 7:40 p.m. to get some papers in my car. The sky was clear at that time. I was surprised by a bright light in the sky and looking up, I could see two bright yellow circular shapes, slightly greenish above my home. The shapes seemed to rise and turn on themselves. I immediately called my wife and my mother, also present that day. They were also able to see objects. After one minute, the shapes sped eastward... "

In response to clarification sought by investigators of the GREI, Mr. Sembach estimated that the objects were at an altitude of 800 meters, Masevaux being located at the altitude of 400 meters) and he added that "the dogs of the neighborhood gave quite a concert..."

Discussion:

About Christian Valentin's book:

It is not at all my habit to "advertise" a book or anything, and I have no interested relationship with the author, but I wanted to say a word on the book by Christian Valentin, "Mythes et Réalités des Phénomènes Aériens Non Identifiés" (i.e. "Myths and Realities of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (cover on the left) , ref. [cv2]; which, as its subtitle indicates, is about Alsatian UFO sighting reports and the saucer lore in Alsace.

I think Alsatian ufologists and generally people interested in the UFO question, or in the history of Alsace, my region, would probably like this book.

The 144 pages book is sober but well presented, unbiased, richly documented and illustrated. It is the first work in print specifically about UFO sightings in Alsace. (There was another one a few years ago, but it was partly made by copying - pasting without mention of the sources, portions of my website, especially the Alsatians cases I almost exhaustively documented in my catalog of UFO sightings in France in 1954, and copies from another websites; the trivial explanations I proposed or gave there being almost always stripped off!)

The author does not want to prove or disprove the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors or some other so-called "extraordinary" explanation, he rather offers a chronologically ordered review of Alsatian UFO reports, starting from the origin and stopping in 1980, based on known sources ufology, on the articles of the regional Press, and cases less known or even unreleased so far that he collected directly with the witnesses. His own comments are printed in a different color, references to the sources are always given. A very nice work in my opinion!

The author currently has a blog where he shows what libraries in Alsace have the book available, see: christian.valentin.overblog.com

One Charles Sembach was in 1972 a ranger in Bourbach-le-Bas, it seems. Bourbach-le-Bas is in the Masevaux Valley about 5 km from Masevaux.

Evaluation:

Unidentified.

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 July 19, 2015 Creation, [cg1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 19, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 19, 2015