ALSACAT -> Homeclick!
Cette page en françaisCliquez!

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 the Robertsau in Strasbourg, on April 19, 1976:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1976-04-19-STRASBOURGROBERTSAU-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace for April 23, 1976, had titled on a "UFO in the Robertsau sky", and reported that three girls working at the Schutzenberger Pavilion, staying on the first floor of the housing about two hundred meters away, had seen for about an hour and a half a round object like a ball, yellow and luminous.

The first girl had woken up at 2 a.m. and had mechanically looked out the window, where her attention was drawn by light seeming to illuminate the fourth floor of the Schutzenberger Pavilion. She woke up the other two who, with her, until about 3:30 a.m. observed the phenomenon.

According to them, it was a luminous ball that seemed to jump on the spot, with a slight pendulum movement, or a motion of dead leaf blown by the wind, the latter movement being much sharper at the time when the object went away, on the right of the three observers, that is to say in the direction of the Saint-François clinic. The object then made a whistling sound.

The three girls were formal about the illumination of the fourth and last floor of the Schutzenberger Pavilion. One of them even thought that this light had "erased" the trees between the pavilion and their housing.

Their testimony had some support from an observer who was at the bridge of the Rhine.

The newspaper told that the ufology group CFRU opened an investigation; however, nothing seems to have been published about it later by the group.

Later, in 1995, based on the newspaper article, one or more CNEGU ufologists used the Strasbourg map to locate the Saint-François sanatorium, the "Schutzenberger Pavilion" and the neighboring housing in order to locate the witnesses.

They determined that the phenomenon was at an azimuth close to 130° in which the Moon was rising at that time, and that the "disappearance" towards the Saint Francis clinic, to the right of the witnesses, perfectly matches with the azimuth motion of the Moon.

They note that with an observation duration of 1:30, the near-full moon should have been seen and mentioned by the witnesses who never did this, even though their description of the phenomenon is that of the Moon: a round, yellow, luminous ball.

CNEGU notes that the observer at the "Pont du Rhin", now known as the "Pont de l'Europe", is perfectly in line with this explanatory hypothesis because the bridge is headed West-East with a fairly clear horizon. A user going to Germany could only see the Moon rise at 2 a.m., if weather permitted.

They note that human testimony can therefore be imprecise, since a whistling sound, pendulum movement, and the "erasing" of trees were evoked.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: April 19, 1976
Time: 02:00
Duration: 01:30
First known report date: April 23, 1976
Reporting delay: 4 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Strasbourg
Place: Housing of the Schutzenberger pavilion, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.602
Longitude: 7.788
Uncertainty ratio: 30 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 4
Number of known witnesses: 3 to 4
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: 3 young adults, 1 adult or aged.
Witness(es) types: 3 working girls, 1 man.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: From a housing and a bridge in a city, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: ?
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: Probable Moon.

Sources:

[Ref. dn1:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES D’ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:


A UFO in the sky of the Robertsau?

Strasbourg. -- Did a UFO (unidentified flying object) pass in the sky over the Robertsau in the night from Sunday to Monday? This is the question that we are entitled to ask, after the usual checks, if one refers to several eyewitness accounts.

In fact, three young girls, working at the Schutzenberger Pavilion in the Robertsau and housing on the first floor of the home, which is two hundred meters away from there saw for nearly an hour and a half a round object like a luminous, yellow, ball. The first woke up at 2 a.m. and had mechanically looked out the window.

Her attention was attracted by the light seeming to illumine the fourth floor of the Schutzenberger pavilion. She awoke her two comrades who, up to three and a half o'clock, observed the phenomenon.

According to them, the luminous ball appeared to bounce on the spot, while having a slight pendulum motion, or a movement of dead leaf carried by the wind - this last movement is much sharper when the object left on the right of the three observers, that is to say in the direction of the St. Francis Clinic -. The object then emitted a whistling sound.

All three are adamant on one point: that of the illumination of the fourth and top floor of the Schutzenberger pavilion. One of them even believe that this light "erased" trees located between the pavilion and the housing.

Basically, this testimony is corroborated by another observer who was, himself, on the pont du Rhin.

It is of course too early to comment on this phenomenon. The Strasbourg sections of CFRU (French Center for UFO Research, 14 rue garlic, 67000 Strasbourg) opened an investigation whose results could be known within one to ten weeks. Indeed, all the logical possibilities explanation should be considered, and it may lead to one of them very quickly. But at the headquarters of CFRU it was noted that last week a UFO was seen in the sky of Saint-Dié, and it seems to be found, once again, the St-Dié - Strasbourg axis, which frequently appears in this topic.

[Ref. mf1:] "FRANCAT" - MICHEL FIGUET:

CASE NR CLASSIFICATION DATE TIME PLACE ZIP CODE CREDIBILITY SOURCES
726 CE0-2 04/19/1976 02.00 Robertseau [sic] 67 NI P23/4 CDP LDLN

[Ref. cn1:] CNEGU UFOLOGY GROUP:

F/00/67 76 04 18 (01) Offendorf.

Et:

LA ROBERTSAU - STRASBOURG (67) - April 19, 1976

Ref: C.N.E.G.U. Catalogue 1976: F / 00/6776 0419 (01)

*** Investigation of that time ***

Newspaper article:

"Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace" - Friday, April 23, 1976.

Note: This article was published in the "Press review" section in the UFO periodic newsletter "Ufologia" - N ° 5 - July / August / September 7196 - page 13 - Powered by CFRU. N.B: The case occurred in Saint-Die (88), spoke at the end of article, corresponds to case No. 27 of the list appearing at the beginning of this document. Incidentally this is, again, a "misunderstanding with the Moon" !!

Investigation of the CFRU

As mentioned in the article, the Strasbourg section of CFRU (French Circle Research Ufologiques) reportedly conducted an investigation which, to our knowledge, has not been published in UFO journals.

So we do not know the outcome of this work to the extent that this association disappeared many years ago and no other references are cited.

The case is documented and little explanation, as we shall see, seeming plausible enough, we have not undertaken research with former members of CFRU. The reader with information about it is asked to share it with us.

*** Counter Investigation ***

CNEGU approach

The first important observation we make is that this case fits perfectly with the dates already encountered during the study of the observation occurred between Laville-aux-Bois (52) and Nogent (52), ie 19 April 1976.

This study having led to the discovery of an almost certain misinterpretation of the Moon at sunrise, our attention turned immediately in that direction.

No data interesting at this level being included in the article submitted, it was the Strasbourg map that put us on the right direction. The St. Francis sanatorium being easily located, we still had to find the "Schutzenberger pavilion" and especially the neighboring housing to locate the witnesses.

Friends living in Strasbourg and working not far away furnished us pieces of the puzzle, the map not neing detailed enough and locations having changed in the meantime.

The map extract below, completed by us (parts and stopped-short lines) shows that from the home in question, the phenomenon located by the witnesses towards the "Schutzenberger" pavilion was in a similar azimuth of 130° at which, at this hour, the moon was rising!

Note that the witnesses, to see the pavilion, could only have been at one of the Eastern front windows of the housing or possibly at the south end of the housing.

Note also that the disappearance is located towards the St. Francis clinic, that is, to the right of the witnesses, corresponds perfectly with the movement in azimuth of the Moon (See next page).

The observation lasted until 03:30 local time (01:30 GMT), the Moon (almost full) should have (except very unfavorable weather) been observed by the witnesses who never mentioned it. The description of the phenomenon is nevertheless akin to that od the Moon (round ball, yellow, bright!)

Finally, the testimony of an observer at "Pont du Rhin" (now the "Europe Bridge") is perfectly fit to this explanatory hypothesis because the bridge linking France to Germany is headed West-East, with a fairly clear horizon. A user going to Germany could only see the moon rising in its "2 o'clock", if the weather permitted, however.

Conclusion: the probability of mistake is very high and allows considering, once again, how human testimony may be inaccurate. You just have to read the article to be convinced (whistling sound, swinging movement, "erasing" of the trees...)

SHEET COMPARISON of the appearance and position of the MOON according to the SAROS cycle.

If Reference: F / 00/67760419 (01)
Place: LA ROBERTSAU - STRASBOURG (67)
Longitude: 7 ° 45 'East
Latitude: 48 ° 36 'North
OBSERVATION
RECOVERY
Date:
April 19, 1976
Date:
April 30, 1994
Legal time: 2 hours 00
Legal Time: 01h 45.
TU Time: 0h 00
TU Time: 23h 45 (29)
geographic azimuth: 128.4 ° (/ north)
geographic azimuth: 128.7 ° (/ north)
angular height: 04 ° 57 '
angular height: 04 ° 56 '
UTC sunrise time: 23h 19 (18)
UTC sunrise time: 23h 04 (29)
UTC culmination time: 03h 52
UTC culmination Time: 03h 36
UTC setting down: 08h 27
UTC setting down: 08h 12
Moon Phase: 20th day
Moon Phase: 20th day
Theoretical aspect of of Zenith

Evolution of the parameters

UTC H.: 00h Azimuth 15: 131.5 ° High: 6 ° 45 '
UTC H.: 00h Azimuth 00: 131.6 ° High: 06 ° 44 '
UTC H.: 00h Azimuth 30: 134.2 ° High: 08 ° 30 '
UTC H.: 00h Azimuth 15: 134.5 ° High: 08 ° 29 '
UTC H.: 00h Azimuth 45: 137.2 ° High: 10 ° 10 '
UTC H.: 00h Azimuth 30: 137.5 ° High: 10 ° 09 '
UTC H.: 01h Azimuth 00: 140.3 ° High: 11 ° 44 '
UTC H.: 00h Azimuth 45: 140.6 ° High: 11 ° 43 '
UTC H.: 01h Azimuth 15: 143.5 ° High: 13 ° 13 '
UTC H.: 01h Azimuth 00: 143.7 ° High: 13 ° 12 '

[Ref. cv2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a very interesting book retracing the history of UFO sightings and other flying saucers in Alsace, from the origins until 1980.

In this book, he told that this case of Sunday, April, 18, 1976, in Strasbourg was reported in the newspaper Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace for Friday, April 23, 1976:

A UFO in the sky of the ROBERTSAU?

Strasbourg. -- Did a UFO (unidentified flying object) pass in the sky over the Robertsau in the night from Sunday to Monday? This is the question that we are entitled to ask, after the usual checks, if one refers to several eyewitness accounts.

In fact, three young girls, working at the Schutzenberger Pavilion in the Robertsau and housing on the first floor of the home, which is two hundred meters away from there saw for nearly an hour and a half a round object like a luminous, yellow, ball. The first woke up at 2 a.m. and had mechanically looked out the window.

Her attention was attracted by the light seeming to illumine the fourth floor of the Schutzenberger pavilion. She awoke her two comrades who, up to three and a half o'clock, observed the phenomenon.

According to them, the luminous ball appeared to bounce on the spot, while having a slight pendulum motion, or a movement of dead leaf carried by the wind - this last movement is much sharper when the object left on the right of the three observers, that is to say in the direction of the St. Francis Clinic -. The object then emitted a whistling sound.

All three are adamant on one point: that of the illumination of the fourth and top floor of the Schutzenberger pavilion. One of them even believe that this light "erased" trees located between the pavilion and the housing.

Basically, this testimony is corroborated by another observer who was, himself, on the pont du Rhin.

It is of course too early to comment on this phenomenon. The Strasbourg sections of CFRU (French Center for UFO Research, 14 rue garlic, 67000 Strasbourg) opened an investigation whose results could be known within one to ten weeks. Indeed, all the logical possibilities explanation should be considered, and it may lead to one of them very quickly. But at the headquarters of CFRU it was noted that last week a UFO was seen in the sky of Saint-Dié, and it seems to be found, once again, the St-Dié - Strasbourg axis, which frequently appears in this topic.

The author reports that in 1995, the Northeast Committee of Ufology Groups, CNEGU, founded in 1978 and grouping when he wrote these lines about ten members, proposed as an explanation for this observation a misunderstanding caused by the moon. He indicates that it is logical to think that if we see a bright object, round and motionless in the place of the full moon, it is actually the Moon.

Based on this assumption, members of CNEGU revisited some observations including this one from this particular angle.

The press article allowed to find the exact point of view and the angle of observation, it remained to determine whether the moon was on the line of sight of witnesses at that time. As the regularity of celestial movements retrieves their position of the earth, moon and sun alike after a period of 223 moons called the Saros cycle, on 30 April 1994, 18 years and 11 days after the initial observation, the members of CNEGU found on site that the moon was in the axis described by three witnesses, and consider the confusion as plausible.

The duration of the observation and the weak movements seem to advocate for the mistake, because one could imagine the atmospheric conditions, or air evacuations creating optical effects. The whistling sound emitted at the start of the object remains to be explained. The author indicates that the details of this recently updated investigation are published on the CNEGU website, cnegu.info

Discussion:

The Saint-François clinic building became the Pavillon Saint-François, a retirement home, noted "Saint-François clinic" on my map.

I placed the "housing" at the point indicated on the CNEGU map. The Saint-François day hospital is a post-1978 facility.

At first, the first witness sees a light at 02:00 a.m. which seems to illuminate "the fourth floor of the Schutzenberger Pavilion". The direction is between 118° and 143°. The phenomenon moves to the right, it is at 03:30 "in the direction of" the St. Francis clinic, so at most around 166°.

Carte

The observation takes place "in the night from Sunday to Monday" at 02:00 of the morning until 03:30 of the morning therefore the 19th of April of 1976.

At 02:00 in the morning, the moon is at 140°19' azimuth and an elevation of 11°44'.

At 03:30 in the morning, it is at the azimuth 160°14' and the elevation of 18°54'.

As can be seen, the sighting directions and the direction of movement correspond perfectly to the explanation by the Moon found by the CNEGU.

The Moon is in gibbous decreasing phase, with 73.4% of its illuminated surface, which corresponds to:

I still have a few "sorrows":

The whistling sound heard towards the end of the observation is not necessarily an "imprecision" of human testimony as suggested by the CNEGU. There is no way to tell that such a sound must have been imaginary, for example. I may well have been real, without necessarily having to be related to the "phenomenon". It may well be that this sound was heard, perhaps even coming from the direction of the phenomenon.

Nothing is known about the background of these young women except that they worked at the "Schutzenberger Pavilion", which was probably a geriatric pavilion. What was their level of education, their age?

The movements of jumps or "dead leaf" are quite curious. The Moon is absolutely not capable of such movements, and if a turbulent atmosphere or autokinesis can cause such illusions of motion with stars, I have no conviction at all that this ever happened with the Moon. Imprecision of human testimony, or something else? I can not say.

The illumination of the fourth floor of the pavilion in front of the girls is also quite curious, especially if this illumination was important enough to "erase" the trees. It is out of the question that the Moon can actually cause this. Exaggeration of one of the witnesses, eyesight condition, real effect of other things than the moon, or "fragility of the human testimony"? Again, I am wary of the idea that anything that does not fit with the prosaic explanation is a definite proof of bad testimony, since the Moon here is not proven, but only quite likely.

In fact, the "testimony" here is not the "true" testimony, it is only its reflection in a press article, and as a result, distortions or misunderstandings may be either caused by the witnesses or by third parties people. It is sufficient to see how the "testimony" of the man on the Rhine bridge is reduced to nothing to make it legitimate to suppose that the report in the press is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Evaluation:

Probable Moon.

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 April 1, 2017 Creation, [dn1], [mf1], [cn1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 1, 2017 First published.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict



 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on April 1, 2017