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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 Jungholtz, on August 17, 1976:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1976-08-17-JUNGHOLTZ-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper L'Alsace for August 28, 1976, tells of an observation in Jungholtz "last Tuesday", reported by one of their readers, a woman from Riedisheim.

She had said she did not find it very important, but was led to share the sighting because the phenomenon in the Bas-Rhin reported by the newspaper was similar.

About 11 p.m., "a little over a week ago," she realized that there was a light moving at high speed, "faster than a plane", in the sky, at a relatively low altitude since she only saw it in the intervals between the houses.

It was not until the exit of Jungholtz that the lady saw that "the craft" was of triangular shape, and she was able to distinguish a red light in one corner.

She had heard no noise, but noise could have been covered by the engine noise of her car.

This same reader had seen, several times in last November, glimmers passing in the sky, she had shown to neighbors.

In the 2000s, the ufology CNEGU group published in a listing that the sure explanation was that it was the Moon. They and others, then date the case as having taken place on the 17th.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: August 17, 1976
Time: ~11:00 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: August 28, 1976
Reporting delay: 10 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Jungholtz
Place: While driving in car near Jungholtz, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.885
Longitude: 7.194
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: Young adult, adult or aged.
Witness(es) types: Woman from Riedisheim.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Letter to the regional Press.
Type of location: While driving in car, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified, low strangeness, insufficient information.

Sources:

[Ref. la1:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

UFOs... again

The UFO recently seen in the area of Saverne does not seem to have been the only one to appear in our region. A reader of Riedisheim told us yesterday that she has witnessed a similar phenomenon last Tuesday near Jungholtz. She had not attached great importance until reading in "L'Alsace" about the sightings in the Bas-Rhin.

It was around 11 p.m., a little more than eight days ago, she noticed a light moving at high speed in the sky ("faster than a plane" she told us) and at a relatively low level since it was visible between the houses. It was not until the exit of the locality that our reader found that the craft (?) Was triangular in shape and that she discerned a red light in one corner.

She did not perceive any noise. But if there was noise, it may well have been covered by the engine noise of her car. This same reader had seen several times in November, glimmers passing in the sky, and she had shown them to neighbors.

[Ref. cn1:] C.N.E.G.U.:

List of the cases (continued):

Explanation validated by the CNEGU

CNEGU Order number

Place

Prob/Poss.

Certain

[...]

92

F/00/68 76 08 17 (01)

Jungholtz.

93

[...]

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

Jungholtz (68) on 17 August 1976

General features

Num Base: 3059
Department: Haut Rhin (68)
Place of observation: Jungholtz
Latitude: 47.883
Longitude: +7.183
Date of observation: 17 August 1976
Hour: 23:00 hours
Duration (HH:MM:SS): N.C.
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual: Distant
Nbr of witness(es): 1
Official investigation: No

Features of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Triangle
Size: Not specified
Color: not defined
Luminosity: Not specified
Visual characteristics: Headlights or constant lights
Speed: Fast
Movement/Displacement: Near the ground or low altitude
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Observation

A witness observes a gleam moving very fast at low altitude. The object is triangular and has a red light at one of its angles.

Sources

Lumières dans la Nuit issue 159

[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 an observation on Tuesday, August 17, 1976, in Jungholtz was reported in L'Alsace for Saturday, August 28, 1976:

UFOs... again

The UFO recently seen in the area of Saverne does not seem to have been the only one to appear in our region. A reader of Riedisheim told us yesterday that she has witnessed a similar phenomenon last Tuesday near Jungholtz. She had not attached great importance until reading in "L'Alsace" about the sightings in the Bas-Rhin.

It was around 11 p.m., a little more than eight days ago, she noticed a light moving at high speed in the sky ("faster than a plane" she told us) and at a relatively low level since it was visible between the houses. It was not until the exit of the locality that our reader found that the craft (?) Was triangular in shape and that she discerned a red light in one corner.

She did not perceive any noise. But if there was noise, it may well have been covered by the engine noise of her car. This same reader had seen several times in November, glimmers passing in the sky, and she had shown them to neighbors.

Discussion:

Reading the primary source, it is clear that the date is uncertain: "a little over a week ago," in a letter published on August 28, 1976 so probably received the day before. 28 - 8 - 1 actually give a date of 17 August 1976 and it is a Tuesday, but should we really forget the "a bit more than" bit? I think that the date of "Tuesday" was given by the newspaper by calculation with neglect of the mention that it was a "bit more" than a week ago, so that this is only an approximate date.

There is no information on the viewing direction.

A "craft" of triangular shape on which a red light is distinguished at one of its corner, does not look like the Moon to me. There are many cases of misinterpretations of the moon, but the shape is described as disk, circle, sphere, ball, hemisphere, English helmet, saucer; nobody as far as I know ever described it as a triangle shape with a red light at one corner. However, let's admit August 17, 1976 as the date, and check the Moon's position at 11 p.m. from Jungholtz.

That night, the moon is not visible, it was below the horizon 2:00 p.m.. About 23 hours, it is still at 8 degrees below the horizon, though it is rising.

It is not visible on August 16, 1976 (-3°). On August 15, it is at the 1.5° elevation. This could start to be a good date; however, the lady see the thing before the exit of Jungholtz; which is a problem.

Jungholtz is in a valley until its exit to the Alsace plain. The lady could not see the moon at only 1.5° elevation. On leaving Jungholtz, the moon would have been in front and slightly to the left of her car, but hidden by hills. The moon rises, it may have been seen later on after Soultz. But not before the exit of Jungholtz.

(It goes without saying that in this scenario she drives from the valley to the plain. If she had driven from the plain to the valley, she would not have seen the moon behind her then masked by the valley sides at "the exit of Jungholtz").

On August 14, 1976, at 11 p.m., the Moon is at a 5° elevation and an azimuth of 84°. It is actually at that date and in the previous days that the moon could have caused a misunderstanding.

For the rest, the observation is of low strangeness, like the lady herself initially thought. Data is scarce, there is no angular size, no duration, no direction. The triangle with its red light at one corner could have been a plane or a helicopter.

Evaluation:

Unidentified, low strangeness, insufficient information.

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 15, 2016 Creation, [la1], [cn1], [lc1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 15, 2016 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 15, 2016