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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 Romanswiller, on May 28, 1974:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1974-05-28-ROMANSWILLER-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper "Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace" for May 29, 1974, reported that on Tuesday, May 28, 1974, at 00:15 a.m., Charles Bentz, a medical student residing in a farmhouse on the road that goes to Wasselonne, saw an egg-shaped object, fluorescent red in color, and fitted with red filaments, disappear behind the hills above the village of Romanswiller.

The gendarmes of Wasselonne to whom the young man had made a statement were unable to find what it was. They excluded the possibility of a flare fired from the military camp near there because no drill was practiced at this Artillery ammunition storage place.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 28, 1974
Time: 00:15 a.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: May 29, 1974
Reporting delay: Hours, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Romanswiller
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.641
Longitude: 7.417
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Young adult.
Witness(es) types: Young man, medical student.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: To the regional Press and the Gendarmerie.
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: Night.
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: NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified, insufficient data.

Sources:

[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 according to the newspaper Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace for May 29, 1974, on Tuesday, May 28 at 0:15, Charles Bentz, a medical student residing at a farmhouse on the road that connects Romanshorn to Wasselonne saw an egg-shaped object of a fluorescent red color and fitted with red filaments disappear behind the hills above the village of Romanswiller.

The gendarmes of Wasselonne to whom the young man had made a statement had no idea what it was, but excluded the hypothesis of a flare fired from the nearby military camp, no drills being practiced in the ammunition depot of the artillery.

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

There is an issue with the place "Romanshorn": it is a village far away in Switzerland, and I found no place of that name in the observation area. This may be a simple misprint, and the correct name may actually be Romanswiller.

The road between Romanswiller and Wasselonne is about 1.5 km long. Presumably the witness was on the farm where he was staying somewhere along this road on the Wasselonne side, and the direction of observation would then be generally westward.

As there was an intervention by the Gendarmerie, there must be official records on the case. But GEIPAN, the official service for the study of "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" in France who since 2005 publishes the gendarmerie documents, does not go back to 1974 in these publications currently.

Therefore, I think it is better not to pronounce a too firm evaluation for now, especially as the information is meager: no duration, no angular size, no elevation, vague expressions such as "disappeared", etc.

Evaluation:

Unidentified, insufficient data.

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 April 15, 2016 Creation, [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 15, 2016 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 15, 2016