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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 Marckolsheim, in the summer of 1976:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1976-00-00-MARCKOLSHEIM-1

Summary:

Former journalist Christian Valentin published in his 2012 book about UFO sightings in Alsace about a case of the summer of 1976 in Marckolsheim; which had never been previously known.

He says that during the summer of 2008, a friend from Strasbourg, Gilbert Heintzlemann, offered to take him to the Sélestat area with a witness he had first met there about thirty years ago, and whose report had not been published for the following reasons.

Gilbert Heintzlemann was at the time in charge of GRIOVNIARES (Research Group and UFO Information Association of the Esplanade Residents) who harvested testimonies and organized information meetings on the subject.

The testimony of J. C. S., and his brother, 4 years younger, was what he called "magical."

The event probably dates according to him from the summer before he entered the military service (06/77 class).

The two brothers were returned from a walk and were in the garden of the family home in Marckolsheim, separated from the road by a wall.

J. C. S. had in hand a Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera, a current model at the time, and his brother took a picture.

In his memory, the squeaking sound of a tire or brake made turn his head and he noticed a bell-shaped object hovering in the air, beyond the wall to the east. The craft made no noise. It was hovering at a few hundred meters, probably above the fields.

J. C. S. first took a photo and looked down for the time to prepare the camera for a second shot. When he looked up, the object had disappeared.

The observation lasted only a few seconds during which the phenomenon had not moved.

J. C. S. remembers getting out of the property to check the disappearance of the object and found that nothing remained standing upright in the fields.

Upon printing, the snapshot showed a dome-shaped object, with the foreground foliage of a tree and power cables located along the street outside the house. J. C. S. made a larger print in the 18x24 cm format.

The two witnesses told about it to their father, who greeted the news with skepticism, and the matter would have ended there if some time later, the younger brother hadn't searched in his belongings and found the larger photo, showing it to one of his friends, whose older brother, intrigued, decided to communicate the evidence in writing to the Strasbourg observatory; which, in turn sent a mail to Gilbert Heintzlemann, amateur astronomer and member of the Observatory.

It is totally unintentionally to the witness that the phenomenon was brought to the attention of Mr. Heintzlemann. The investigation that he led on June 17, 1979, to inform GEPAN, the official service, by mail so that they could use the negative in the possession of the witness. Shortly after, the detailed report of the survey was destroyed in a flood.

GEPAN had acknowledged receiving the letter - witnesses have kept their acknowledgement letter - and they promised to contact them and Mr. Heintzlemann; but they did not. The negative is lost, probably among some others that time has rendered unrecognizable.

However, the 18*24 print was not lost, and Christian Valentin published his copy:

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: Summer 1976
Time: Day
Duration: A few seconds.
First known report date: 2012
Reporting delay: Hours, 30 years, 36 years.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Marckolsheim
Place: From the family home garden, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.161
Longitude: 7.546
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1 or 2
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: Young adult, and teenager.
Witness(es) types: Male, residents.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported only to their father, then a friend accidentally heard about it told about it to a local ufologist.
Type of location: From the family home garden, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Day.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: No
Entities: No
Photographs: Yes.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: DD
ALSACAT: Possible extraterrestrial craft.

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 on a case of the summer of 1976 in Marckolsheim.

He says that during the summer of 2008, a friend from Strasbourg, Gilbert Heintzlemann, offered to take him to the Sélestat area with a witness he had first met there about thirty years ago, and whose report had not been published for the following reasons.

Gilbert Heintzlemann was at the time in charge of GRIOVNIARES (Research Group and UFO Information Association of the Esplanade Residents) who harvested testimonies and organized information meetings on the subject.

The testimony of J. C. S., and his brother, 4 years younger, was what he called "magical."

The event probably dates according to him from the summer before he entered the military service (06/77 class).

The two brothers were returned from a walk and were in the garden of the family home in Marckolsheim, separated from the road by a wall.

J. C. S. had in hand a Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera, a current model at the time, and his brother took a picture.

In his memory, the squeaking sound of a tire or brake made turn his head and he noticed a bell-shaped object hovering in the air, beyond the wall to the east. The craft made no noise. It was hovering at a few hundred meters, probably above the fields.

J. C. S. first took a photo and looked down for the time to prepare the camera for a second shot. When he looked up, the object had disappeared.

The observation lasted only a few seconds during which the phenomenon had not moved.

J. C. S. remembers getting out of the property to check the disappearance of the object and found that nothing remained standing upright in the fields.

Upon printing, the snapshot showed a dome-shaped object, with the foreground foliage of a tree and power cables located along the street outside the house. J. C. S. made a larger print in the 18x24 cm format.

The two witnesses told about it to their father, who greeted the news with skepticism, and the matter would have ended there if some time later, the younger brother hadn't searched in his belongings and found the larger photo, showing it to one of his friends, whose older brother, intrigued, decided to communicate the evidence in writing to the Strasbourg observatory; which, in turn sent a mail to Gilbert Heintzlemann, amateur astronomer and member of the Observatory.

It is totally unintentionally to the witness that the phenomenon was brought to the attention of Mr. Heintzlemann. The investigation that he led on June 17, 1979, to inform GEPAN, the official service, by mail so that they could use the negative in the possession of the witness. Shortly after, the detailed report of the survey was destroyed in a flood.

GEPAN had acknowledged receiving the letter - witnesses have kept their acknowledgement mail - and they promised to contact them and Mr. Heintzlemann; but they did not. The negative is lost, probably among some others that time has rendered unrecognizable.

However, the 18*24 print was not lost, and Christian Valentin published his copy:

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

We have a remarkable photographic cases with originally a lack of search for advertising from the witnesses; which hardly screams for a hoax.

What the photo shows is unlike any terrestrial flying craft. Party balloons of exotic shapes were hardly available at that time.

Here's my enlargement smoothing - we obviously fall on the printing dots, as it comes from a printed book. The original is very likely of better quality:

Of course it is impossible to totally exclude this shows a bird or an insect. But to claim this is to consider that the visual sighting report would be a fraud, and I'm not at all convinced of that.

In the end I think that although no picture can be called "absolute proof" of anything, we have a good case, another of those exhumed from oblivion by the excellent Christian Valentin.

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 September 13, 2015 Creation, [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 13, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on September 13, 2015.