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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 Ernolsheim-lès-Saverne, on August 22, 1976:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1976-08-22-ERNOLSHEIMLESSAVERNE-1

Summary:

The regional Press, and ufological sources, including an investigation report by Philippe Wiedenhoff published in Lumières Dans La Nuit magazine in June 1977, indicated that between Ernolsheim-lès-Saverne and Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel in the Bas-Rhin, there was a UFO sighting on the night of August 21, 1976 at midnight - or August 22, 1976 at 1 a.m. - until August 22, 1976 at 4 o'clock in the morning.

First, Mr. R. B. and Miss M. C., a 21-year-old couple driving from Ernolsheim-lès-Saverne to Dossenheim, see for a minute a luminous ball of 3 to 4 meters in diameter with some kind of luminous antennas. The newspaper said that the phenomenon was "surrounded by multicolored rings". It seemed to be low, and it followed the witnesses' car according to the newspaper. In fact, according to the investigator, it began to follow them when they made a U-turn.

The LDLN investigator indicated that the young man told him: "We were looking for a corner, a bar for a drink, we went out of Saverne to find a bar that would be open at this hours. At the entrance of Ernolsheim, Miss C., my fiancee, reports a "thing" that follows us, she said it jokingly, it was a big ball, like a ball of petanque, very, very luminous with luminous antennae and above the ball heaps of luminous dots which glittered in a semicircle, this semicircle being slightly to the left." The investigator states that the young woman did not see the luminous dots in a semicircle until later, when she looked at the phenomenon with binoculars.

The young woman had told the LDLN investigator that she had "intermittently seen a kind of white smoke upwards". The two witnesses had told him that the altitude of the phenomenon was about 100 meters, and that it had an angular size of 1°30' to 2°.

Then the same pair observes a ball, or the same ball, of a yellow-white color, emitting a bluish and reddish light, moving 2 or 3 meters above their car, then moving away from Dossenheim to Ernolsheim then to Monswiller towards the village of Hattmatt. Their car radio was "scrambled".

They told the LDLN investigator that "the ball is sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left of the car a hundred meters above it," until the entrance to the village of Dossenheim. The investigator specifies that at average pace, it takes a maximum of one minute to drive from Ernolsheim to Dossenheim.

Arrived at the entrance of Dossenheim, at the campsite on the left, the phenomenon had an unusual behavior. Mr. R. B. told the LDLN investigator:

"At the campsite in Dossenheim, the ball was on the right, I watch it, but suddenly it veers to the left and comes in front of the car. It passed behind the first house on the right, 3 m above the car."

Still according to R. B.'s statement to the investigator, it was "the size of an egg," was of a yellow-white color, very bright, there was, around this ball, a bluish and reddish light - perhaps the "multicolored rings" mentioned in the Press. He could not give more details because he had been dazzled and only thought of one thing at the time: to make a U-turn.

The young woman, meanwhile, told the LDLN investigator that "it became very small, like an egg, and burst like a flash."

While they made the U-turn, the young man sees the motionless ball, the young woman did not see it anymore.

She said: "After the U-turn I looked back and saw it behind, then to the right, then to the left." As the young man was driving, he could not see it, because her passenger herself had to put her face on the windows to see it. This probably explains this "momentary disappearance" at Ernolsheim. Until their arrival in Monswiller, the phenomenon is quite far from them on their left, towards the village of Hattmatt, with an angular size about 40'.

Gendarmes officers of Bouxwiller provided the following details to the LDLN investigator: "At the entrance to Dossenheim, the luminous ball was observed (as being) at the level of a telephone pole, and then above the first house on the right."

The LDLN investigator established that this ball must have been between 3 and 4 meters in diameter, while in the closest phase, the "egg" must have been between 30 and 40 cm. After the couple's U-turn, "the ball resumed altitude, but we followed another path, because we did not see it for a few minutes."

The young couple then arrives in front of the girl's house in Monswiller. They see the ball 40 to 50 meters above the neighbor's roof. "It was moving to the right very slowly." Its shape was always round and its color had not changed.

Miss M. C. entered her home, looked for her mother, they came out with binoculars and observed the phenomenon, later joined by the father. The ball seemed to change shape. At one time, the mother "thought she saw a disc rushing towards her". She got scared and went home.

Miss M. C. reports that she saw a luminous dot just above the roof, under the luminous ball, slightly to the left, a luminous dot that changed color: red, orange, yellow. This was seen without binoculars. On the other hand, with the binoculars, one discovered the luminous dots in semicircle mentioned above, as well as a black gray area elongated on both sides of the ball.

Around 1 a.m., they called the gendarmerie of Saverne, and two gendarmes came to the home of the girl and her parents in Monswiller. They were able to see the phenomenon. They summoned these witnesses to the gendarmerie and conducted an investigation.

The young man drove home to Ingwiller, he still saw the luminous ball; which did not seem to move. The young man meets two other gendarmes, of the Bouxwiller brigade, adjutant Le Martret and officer Paicheler, who were on night patrol in their "estafette" vehicle (small van). He alerted them about the phenomenon, saying his is followed by a luminous ball. The gendarmes, who knew the young man, thought he was joking and replied: "Are you ok? Did you drink a little too much white wine?"

But Mr. R. B. tells them the location of the phenomenon. The luminous ball is still there. Gendarmerie officer Paicheler told the LDLN investigator: "Actually there were several lights, it was not a star, it was too big, but like headlights."

After an observation of 10 to 15 minutes, they took the direction of Rothbach (CD 28), without ceasing the observation, for, apparently, to climb to the highest spot of the area, the hill between Ingwiller and Rothbach. They made this trip after turning on the beacon of the estafette because they thought it could be a plane or a helicopter in trouble.

Arrived at the intersection with the CD lOS, they stopped, saw the lights in the East in the direction of Mulhausen. It was not possible to know whether the phenomenon had moved, or if this was another phenomenon. Nobody had perceived a displacement.

These lights or new lights "were in the shape of a triangle" with an angular size identical to that of the ball, ie 1°30' to 2°. From time to time, sheaves of fire or "light streams" appeared at the base of the triangle. The whole set then became brighter and took on the appearance of a ball. The lights of the triangle were fading away, which seems normal if the whole thing was lit up more.

"When the lights were sharp, they seemed fixed." This was repeated every 3 or 4 seconds.

Gendarmerie officer Paicheler felt that there was a small movement of the thing at each "ignition", although it was very difficult to assert, given the brightness of the light. He also specified that "the light at the top was not in the axis of the others, but slightly on the left".

After an observation of 10 to 15 minutes, they continued their patrol without ceasing their observation until Bouxwiller. Arrived at Bouxwiller, they took binoculars to observe exactly the same thing. Gendarmerie officer Paicheler, havingsome notions of astronomy, located the phenomenon approximately in relation to the Big Dipper and a brighter star that served as a reference spot during the observation - which would have to be the Northern star. He was able to observe that "the lights seemed closer to the brighter star when it was seen from Bouxwiller than when it had been seen from the hill."

Gendarmerie officer Paicheler took a Dacora camera and took two 1/25 photographs; which will turn out to be "all black." They continued this observation until 4 a.m., and before daybreak, Mrs. C. stood up and observed a very bright yellow ball. The gendarmerie of Saverne told the Press that residents of the area of Saverne had also seen the UFO, which "disappeared" with the sunrise at 6 o'clock in the morning.

The LDLN investigator reported that Mr. R. B. knew about the UFO phenomenon like everyone else, but that he was not interested in it, and that Miss C. had read one UFO book; which she started to read again the day after the observation, although she had not given too much importance to UFOs until the observation.

Despite the involvement of two different gendarmes patrols, these two groups being not only investigators but witnesses, on the official GEIPAN website, nothing is published about the case yet.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: August 22, 1976
Time: ~00:00
Duration: 4 hours.
First known report date: August 24, 1976
Reporting delay: No delay.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Ernolsheim-lès-Saverne
Place: Various, from car, from outside, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.801
Longitude: 7.395
Uncertainty ratio: 100 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 8
Number of known witnesses: 3 to 8
Number of named witnesses: 2 or more.
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: A young couple, the young women's parents, 2 patrols of 2 gendarmes.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Alerted the gendarmes, told to the local Press and ufologist.
Type of location: Various, from car, from outside, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: No
Entities: No
Photographs: Attempted.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: UFO

Classifications:

Hynek: LN
ALSACAT: Unidentified, possible extraterrestrial craft..

Sources:

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

A UFO of changing shapes

Strasbourg. -- Several people, including two policemen, saw an unidentified flying object (UFO) that flew over the region of Bouxwiller (Bas-Rhin) on the night of Saturday 21 to Sunday, August 22, 1976.

Two young motorists said that, around 1 am, an object, surrounded by colored rings, approached their car, four or five meters from the ground, and followed them when they turned around. Moving silently, they add, the UFO changed shape, ranging from an "egg" to an "elongated cigar" and it became dazzling.

According to the report by two gendarmes of Bouxwiller, alerted by the young people, "light jets" came out from the object, triangular in shape when it moved. The police watched the UFO through binoculars from 4am. on

Finally, it is told at the Saverne gendarmerie that the inhabitants of the region also saw the UFO before it disappeared at daybreak at 6 am.

[Ref. dn1:] "LE MIDI LIBRE" NEWSPAPER:

FOLLOWED BY A UFO:
it is the adventure which happened, Monday evening, in Bas-Rhin, to two young motorists. An object surrounded by multicolored rings flew over their car 4 or 5 meters above the ground and turned around at the same time as they did. Gendarmes were able to observe the UFO with the binoculars.

[Ref. rr1:] ROBERT ROUSSEL:

Robert Roussel tells that in the regional newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, there was an article titled "a UFO to changing forms"; which he quotes:

Strasbourg. -- Several people, including two policemen, saw an unidentified flying object (UFO), which flew over the area of Bouxwiller (Bas-Rhin) in the night from Saturday 21 to Sunday, August 22, 1976.

Two young motorists said that around 1 a.m., an object, surrounded by colorful rings, approached their car, four or five feet from the ground, and followed them when they turned around. Moving silently, they add, the UFO changed shape, ranging from the "egg" to an "elongated cigar" and it became dazzling.

According to the report of two gendarmes of Bouxwiller, alerted by the young people, "jets of light" escaped from the object, of triangular shape when it moved. The policemen watched the UFO through binoculars from 4 a.m.

Finally, the gendarmerie in Saverne (Bas-Rhin) said that the inhabitants of the region also saw the UFO before it disappeared at dawn at 6 a.m.

[Ref. fr1:] MICHEL FIGUET AND JEAN-LOUIS RUCHON:

Night of 08211976 to 08221976 from 24 a.m. to 4 D219 , between Ernolsheim-lès-Saverne 67330 D3 and Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel.

WITNESSES.

R. B. Mr. and Miss C. (XX), 21. The father and mother of Miss M. C. Two gendarme of the squad of Saverne. Two gendarmes of the Bouxviller [sic] squad, Gendarmerie Adjudant Le Martret and Gendarmerie officer Paicheler.

OBSERVATIONS.

1) A luminous ball of 3 to 4 m in diameter with kinds of luminous antennas. Above this ball are many bright spots that sparkle, forming a semicircle (low altitude phenomenon observed by Mr. R.B., Miss M. C.).

2) A ball of white-yellow color emitting a bluish and reddish light. (Phenomenon moving 2 or 3 meters above the couple's car and observed over the roof of the parrents of Miss M.C. by both young people and parents of Miss M.C.

3) A triangle which lets escape sheaves of "fire" with lighted base and takes the form of a ball, the lights then attenuating (these changes occur every 3-4 seconds). Observation by Adjudant Le Martret and Constable Paicheler.

EVENTS.

The phenomenon No. 1 is observed by the young couple who drives by car from Ernolsheim to Dossenheim for a minute. It follows the car of the witnesses. The phenomenon No. 2 is observed at very low altitude and then going away by the couple, from Dossenheim to Ernolsheim then until Monswiller in the direction of the village of Hattmat. In Monswiller, the parents of the girl watch the ball over the roof of the home of a neighbor (at 40 meters altitude). M. C. distinguishes a bright spot under the left of the ball that it changing color from red to yellow to orange.

At 1 p.m., the aletered gendarmes of Saverne observe the phenomenon number 2. Mr. R. B. returned to his home in Ingwiller and meets Adjudant Le Martret and Constable Paicheler of the Bouxviller [sic] squad currently on night patrol in "Estaffette." He tells them of the phenomenon. So, when Mr. B. told them that he is followed by a luminous ball, the gendarme think is is a prank. "Are you nuts? Did you drink a small glass of white wine too much?" (Sic) Mr. B. tells them the location of the phenomenon and the two gendarmes take the direction of Rothbach, they put on the beacon of the "Estafette". This quite odd reflex is easily explained by the fact that the two gendarmes think of a helicopter in trouble.

They stop at the intersection of the D105 and see a triangular phenomenon in the direction of Mulhausen phenomenon (phenomenon number 3). After observing for 10 to 15 minutes, they continue their patrol without ceasing their observation until Bouxviller where Constable Paicheler grabs a Dacora camera and takes two shots at 1/25! (picture completely black).

The observation extends up to 4 o'clock.

Before daybreak , Mrs. C. stood up and observed a very bright yellow ball.

EFFECTS. The radio of the vehicle was scrambled during the observation #2.

SOURCES . L.D.L.N., No. 166, p. 17-20 (investigation by P. Wiedenhoff ) . - Centre Press for 08/25/1976.

[Ref. go1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

1976, night from August 21 to 22.

FRANCE, Ernolsheim/Dossenheim (Bas-Rhin)

Around midnight a young couple driving from Ernolsheim to Dossenheim saw a luminous ball of 3 to 4 m in diameter with some kind of luminous antennae. Above this ball are numerous glittering luminous dots forming a semicircle. The phenomenon is observed at low altitude. Then between Ernolsheim and Monswiller they observe a white-yellow ball emitting a bluish and reddish light 2 or 3 m above their car, the same phenomenon is observed above the house of the female passenger by two young people and by the parents. About 1 o'clock, the alerted gendarmes of Saverne also observe it. Adjutant Le Martret and Constable Paichelier of the Bouxwiller squad on patrol stop at the intersection of the D 105 and see towards Mulhausen a triangle from which fire sprays emerge from the base that illuminates and takes the appearance of a ball, changes occurring every 3 to 4 seconds. Constable Paichelier, after 15 minutes of observation, grabbed a Dacora camera and took two pictures (they will be entirely black). (Mr. FIGUET / JL RUCHON: "Ovni, Premier dossier complet..." Alain Lefeuvre publisher 1979, pp. 628, 629) Around 01:00 an object surrounded by multicolored rings approached the car of the two witnesses, 4 or 5 m from the ground and followed them when they turned around. It moved silently and changed shape: from the egg to the lengthened cigar while becoming dazzling. (Robert ROUSSEL: "Ovni, la fin du secret" - Belfond 1978, 105)

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

Ernolsheim lès Saverne (67) on August 22, 1976

General features

Num Base: 44
Department: Bas Rhin (67)
Place of observation: Ernolsheim lès Saverne
Latitude: 48.783
Longitude: +7.383
Date of observation: August 22, 1976
Heure: 00:00
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 04:00:00
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual: close
Nbr of witness(es): 4
Official investigation: No

Feature of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Several shapes to without dou
Size: Not specified
Color: Cream
Luminosity: Briliant
Visual caracteristic: Numerous lights
Speed: not defined
Movement/Dislacement: Near the ground or low altitud
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Type of effects noted

Physical effects: radio or tv interferences,

Observation

Around midnight a young couple by car from Ernolsheim to Dossenheim sees a luminous ball of 3 to 4 m in diameter with kinds of light antennas. Above this ball are many dots of light that sparkle forming a half circle. The phenomenon is observed at low altitude. Then between Ernolsheim and Monswiller they observed a white-yellow ball emits a bluish and reddish light to 2 or 3 meters above their car, the same phenomenon is observed above the house of the female passenger by two youths and by the parents. Around 1 o'clock, the alerted gendarmes of Saverne also observed this. Two gendarmes of the brigade of Bouxwiller on patrol stop at the intersection of the D 105 and see towards Mulhausen a triangle from which fire jets escape by the base that lights up base and takes the form a ball, changes occurring every 3 to 4 seconds. One of them, after 15 minutes of observation, grabs a Dacora camera and takes two pictures (they will be completely black).

Sources

Ovni, Premier dossier complet... by Figuet M./ Ruchon J.L. ** Alain Lefeuvre pub. 1979
Ovni, la fin du secret by Roussel Robert ** Belfond 1978

[Ref. uw2:] "UFOWEB" WEBSITE:

CYTIES DEPT LATITUDES LONGITUDES YEARS
Bouxwiller 67 48,817 7.483 1976

[Ref. sp4:] "SPICA" UFOLOGY ASSOCIATION:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
ERNOLSHEIM-LES-SAVERNE Sunday 22 August 1976 at 00:00 ball, balloon or melon (3D)
Unidentified
yellow
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Explanation given by the CNEGU
CNEGU sort nr
Place
Prob / Poss
Certain
94
F/00/67 76 08 22 (01)
Ernolsheim.

The above being hard to read, I add my explanations: CNEGU published a long paper about the moon beeing mistaken for a UFO; in the web publishing process, the tabulating of a list of cases in which this appears disappeared.

One should read: the case has the number 94 in their catalog, it happened in France in the Bas-Rhin in Ernolsheim on August 22, 1976 and CNEGU offers no proposed explanation for now.

[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 the case of Sunday, 22 August 1976, in Dossenheim, as published in Lumières Dans La Nuit #166 for June 1977:

On the night from Saturday, 21.08 to Sunday 22.08 at about 0 a.m., R. B and M. C., both 21 years of age, were traveling in their vehicle from Monswiller to Dossenheim on the CD 219.

"We were looking for a place, a bar, to have a drink. We got out of Saverne to find a bistro that would have been open at this hour. At the entrance of Ernolsheim, M. C., my bride, points to me a "thing" that follows us. She said it in jest. It was a big ball, like a bowling ball, very, very bright with like luminous antennas and over the ball a lot of bright spots that glittered in a semi-circle, this half-circle being slightly to the left "(cf fig.1a).

When I asked M. C., she clarified that she saw "a kind of white smoke up intermittently" (see fig.1b). It should be noted immediately that she saw the bright spots in semi-circle only later, when the phenomenon was watched with binoculars. We will get back to that.

Both witnesses estimated that the altitude of the phenomenon was about 100 m, and it had an angular size from 1°30 to 2°.

Continuing their trip, R. B and M. C. see that "the ball is sometimes on the right, sometimes on the left of the car a hundred meters above." And this until the entrance of the village of Dossenheim. At a medium pace, it takes at most a minute to gp from Ernolsheim to Dossenheim.

Thus arrived at the entrance of Dossenheim. up to the campsite, on the left. the phenomenon has an unusual behavior. This is R. B telling:

"At the the level of the camping of Dossenheim, the ball was on the right. I observe it, but suddenly it turns to the left and goes in front of the car. It went behind the first house on the right (see Fig. 5). It must have been 2 to 3 m above the car." Also according to R. B it had the size of an egg; of a white-yellow color, very vivid. Around the ball, a bluish and reddish light spread (hence probably "colored rings" of the Press). He can not give more details because he was dazzled and was thinking at that time of only one thing: to turn around. M. C. meanwhile, states that "it had become very small, like an egg, and it burst like a flash."

While they perform the U-turn, R. B sees the fixed ball while M. C. does not see it anymore (7). (...)

The Bouxwiller police brought the following clarifications, they also got from the witnesses by the way: "at the entrance of Dossenheim, the luminous ball was observed (as being at) the height of a telephone pole and above the first house on the right."

The data establish that the ball must have between 3 and 4 m in diameter, while at the earliest stage, the "egg" should be between 30 and 40 cm. After their U-turn, "the ball took altitude again, but followed us by another path, as we did not see it anymore, for a few minutes."

M. C. entered her home and sought her mother. They emerged with binoculars and observed the phenomenon. The father joined them later. The ball appeared to change shape. At one point, the mother "thought she saw a disc rush at her." She got scared and went back inside.

M. C. reported that she saw a bright spot just above the roof, under the luminous ball, slightly on the left, a luminous spot that changed color (red-orange-yellow). It was seen without binoculars. On the other end with the binoculars the bright spots in a semicircle were discovered as I mentioned above, as well as an elongated dark gray area on each side of the ball, (see Fig. 2a and 2b(, feature unseen by the naked eye.

M. C. specifies: "After the U-turn, I looked back and saw it behind, then right, then left." As R. B was driving, he could not see because his passenger herself had to stick her face against the window to see it. This probably explains the "temporary disappearance" until Ernolsheim. Until they came at Monswiller, the phenomenon manifests itself quite far from them on their left, to the village of Hattmatt (angular size 4° approximately).

They arrive before the house of the girl. There "they see the ball over the neighbor's roof (see fig. 4) 40-50 m over. It moved to the right very slowly." Its shape was always round and its color had not changed.

Towards 1 a.m., they called the police of Saverne. Two gendarmes presented themselves at the home of the young girl. They were able to see the phenomenon. The only result of this interview was, it seems, a witness summon to the police office and the investigation by them. Meanwhile the young man, R. B, had gone home in Ingwiller. He was still seeing the bright ball, which did not seem to move.

At this step of the story, I want to make an important point. It seems that the phenomenon takes a different look from that moment. Unless this is a different phenomenon altogether. Still, the observation which follows does not seem consistent with the previous observation, at least as to the description of the phenomenon.

This duality is also reported in the newspaper article.

So, arriving in Inwiller, R. B meets Warrant Le M., and Constable P. of the Brigade of Bouxwiller (company of Saverne), currently conducting a night tour, in an "Estafette". It should be noted that "the two gendarmes knew the young man (...). So when he tells them he had been followed by something luminous, like a ball, the police officers believe it is a prank. (...)

R. B then show them the place. The luminous ball is still there. Constable P. states: "In reality there were several lights. It was not a star, it was too big, but like headlights."

Upon this, the two gendarmes took the direction of Rothbach (CD 28) for, it seems, to get up on the highest spot in the area. Indeed, there is a hill between Ingwiller and Rothbach (Altitude 230 m. They made this trip while putting on the flashing light of the "Estafette". This quite odd idea is easily explained when we know that gendarmes thought it was a plane or a helicopter in trouble. Arrived at the intersection with the CD 105, (see fig. 6 and item 4) they stopped and saw the lights in the east (towards Mulhausen). Did they moved? Was this a new phenomenon? Nobody was able to answer me, having seen no movement.

These new lights "were triangular (same angular size than the ball: (1°30' to 2°. Occasionally, fire sheaves appeared at the base of the triangle (see fig 3). The whole set then lit stronger and took the appearance of a ball. The lights (of the triangle) dimmed"; which seems normal, if the whole set brightened more. "When the lights were sharp they seemed motionless." This occurred every 3 or 4 seconds.

The gendarme P thinks he managed to perceive a gentle movement of the whole set at each "firing", although it is very difficult to say, since the burst of light. He states in addition that "the light at the point was not in the axis of the others, but slightly to the left."

After an observation of 10 to 15 minutes, they continued their patrol, still watching. Once in Bouxwiller, they took binoculars to observe exactly the same thing. (...) This observation continued to 4 a.m.. Constable P. having a few notions of astronomy, situated approximately the phenomenon compared to the Big Dipper and a bright star that served as a benchmark when observing (which would then be the Northern Star). He was able to observe that "the lights seemed closer to the star (the brightest star) from Bouxwiller than they were on the mound."

These are the facts as I could note them down.

At first glance, these two observations; which group no less than six known witnesses, seem distinct. Indeed, while the two gendarmes watched their "triangle" in Bouxwiller, Ms C, the mother of the witness M. C., stood up just before dawn, looked out and saw again the luminous ball, not anymore above their own home. "It was just a very bright yellow ball."

In addition, the round appearance on one hand and the triangular appearance on the other, supports this hypothesis, although the policeman P says "ball" at times when the brightness increases.

The pulsating aspect of the light has not been observed by the young people, although M. C. said he saw "white smoke intermittently".

The young people talk about disorderly luminous dots, slightly left above the ball, while the gendarmes speak of ordained luminous dots, with the point at the top slightly to the left. Coincidence?

It seems very difficult to tell.

To conclude this report, I would like to mention three things:

  • Constable P., while in a guests house in Obernai in 1953, claims to have seen a phenomenon of the cigar type. He had never talked about it.
  • M. C. during the two or three days following her observation, had headaches. Perhaps it is only because of her state of nervousness.
  • The son of Warrant Officer M. was returning from La Petite Pierre in the same night. He told his father before being informed of the events of the night: "I saw a Sputnik". (...) I have unfortunately not been able to meet this witness, having picked this statement from Mrs. Le M.

Let's note that R. B knew the UFO phenomenon like everyone else, but it did not interest him at all. M. C. on her part, had read a book that dealt with the subject, book she began to read again the day after the sighting, but she did not attach too much importance to UFOs until that date.

Christian Valentin notes that chronologically, the observation was first published in Les DernièRes Nouvelles d'Alsace for Tuesday, August 24, 1976, in an obviously very shortened version.

It was the significance of the events that took place that night in the North East of Saverne which prompted the detailed investigation by Philippe Wiedenhof.

He comments that the different testimonies provided by observers or group of observers, and the demonstrations spread in time and space, suggest, as pointed by the LDLN investigator, that there were several events. It remains difficult to make sense of things, and we see once again that the main testimony of the two young people was sincere, and partially supported by parents and gendarmes.

Discussion:

Localizations:

So many villages are mentioned that a view of their localizations is certainly useful:

Steps and directions of observations:

Step 1: The sightings start with those of the young couple. The report by Mr. Wiedenhoff is obviously the most deitaled. It tells us that the couple left Saverne by car, and drove from Monswiller to Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel, on the CD 219 road. They arrived at the entry of Ernolsheim-lès-Saverne when the young woman alerts about a "thing" that follows them. This is clear on the map. They drove to the North, the "thing" is roughly south of them.

Step 2: The couple drives on the road between Ernolsheim-lès-Saverne and Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel (2 km from town center to town center) and the UFO is then "sometimes on the right, sometimes on the left of the car at about a hundred meters above it until the entry of the village of Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel. The road goes Southwest / Northeast, the UFO would thus have been sometimes in their Northwest, sometimes in their Southeast.

The road followed on step 2 is indicated in red.

Step 3: The couple arrives at the entry of Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel near the campsite, located on their left, the UFO was on the right, then it veered on their left and appears in front of their car. It went behind the first house on the right. "It must have been at 2 to 3 m above the car".

Entry of Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel, by day. Left, the campsite reception, right, first house of the village.

Step 4: The driver who is at the entry od Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel décides to make a U-turn. He does not see the UFO anymore since the UFO is behind him and he is driving. His mate looks back, with the nose stuck at the window, and sees the UFO behind them, then on the right, then on the left. It seems that they then lose sight of the UFO for a few minutes.

Step 5: When they are back at Ernolsheim-lès-Saverne, driving south this time, the see the UFO again, quite far on their left, in the direction of the village of Hattmatt, until they arrive in Monswiller.

The witnesses are at the red dot, the UFO is in the direction indicated by the blue line.

The approximate position of the witnesses allows to say that the UFO is between 80° and 111°, mean direction 95°.

Step 6: In Monswiller, the couple is in front of the house of the young woman's parents and they see the "ball" above the roof of the neighbor, going to its right very slowly. At about 1 a.m., they call the Gendarmesof Saverne, who come and also observe the phenomenon. (No possibility to get a sighting direction here).

Step 7: Before the Gendarmes arrived at Monswiller, the young man had left by car, reached his home in Ingwiller, and still saw the luminous ball which seemed motionless. In Ingwiller, he meets two other Gendarmes officers, those of Bouxwiller. He shows the UFO to them.. (No possibility to get a sighting direction here).

Step 8: The Bouxwiller gendarmes take the D28 road going to Rothbach in order to go on the highest hill between Ingwiller and Rothbach. Arrived at the crossing of D28 and D1OS (48.879927, 7.504773, blue dot on the map below), they stop and see "the lights" in the East in the direction of Mulhausen. They observe it during 10 to 15 minutes.

The witnesses are at the red dot, the UFO is in the direction
indicated by the blue line.

There is indeed a hill just on the right of the crossing of the D28 and the D105. A road leads on the hill:

From the crossing and from the hill, Mulhausen is at bout 80°, this is indeed in the East.

Step 9: From the hill, the Bouxwiller gendarmes observe, locating the UFO relative to the northern star.

Step 10: The Bouxwiller gendarmes drive again, wihtout stopping the observation, they arrive in Bouxwiller, observe the same phenomenon with binoculars until 4 a.m.. The UFO is closer to the Northern star than when it was seen from the hill.

Astronomical aspects:

As I already heard at the time of reading this story my inner "skeptical devil" voice remember me that the Moon is sometimes mistaken for a UFO, especially by car in turns that move the moon from left to right and from right to left, I checked immediately if it was visible that night at these hours and in these areas. Although the UFO's paths sometimes seem incompatible with the Moon (follows and then precedes a car traveling in an almost straight line), here are some details on the astronomical objects visible that night.

So, this is in the night of Saturday 21 to Sunday, August 22, 1976, from midnight to 4 am (admittedly with interruptions in the observation or rather in the observations), and in the region of Saverne, so at 48° 44' 42" N and 7° 22' 15" E.

The Moon will only rise at 2 o'clock in the morning, at 62°. It is therefore excluded at least until step 8.

In step 8 and later, the gendarmes locate the UFO in the East, which seems compatible with the rising Moon. But they also evoke a situation in relation to the "big dipper", which is to the north. At three o'clock in the morning, the big dipper is obviously at 0° (North), the moon at 80 ° (almost to the East).

At one o'clock in the morning, Jupiter is one of the clearly visible celestial objects, at 84°, and 20° elevation. Jupiter "goes up", *to the right". Perhaps it was Jupiter that was seen in step 6 by the witnesses in Monswiller - the young woman, her parents and the gendarmes of Saverne.

The report seems completely credible, by the number of witnesses involved, including two patrols of two gendarmes independently from each other. However, it is not obvious that all observe the same phenomenon. There may have been an astronomical mistake during one of the 10 observation phases. By the way, none of this is reminiscent of a meteor. A helicopter cannot be totally excluded for steps 1 and 2, but it must be conjectured that the other steps are not about the same "object" because a helicopter would certainly not stay in flight for 4 hours in the sector.

If one wishes to take into account the descriptions made, the phenomenon or phenomena are of high strangeness.

If I have to play "the devil's advocate"... The couple is followed by a helicopter, which exceeds them; they are afraid and make a U-turn. In the helicopter one is intrigued by this "suspicious" U-turn and they turn too, follow for a whil, then let it go. At the parents' of the young woman, one mistakes Jupiter for this "UFO". The young man returned to Inwiller also mistakes Jupiter for a UFO. The gendarmes of Bouxwiller also mistake Jupiter for a UFO at first, then maybe mistake the rising moon for a UFO, then they see the helicopter or probably another helicopter performing wild rotations on the spot of 3 or 4 seconds with its headlights on...

Evaluation:

Unidentified, 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 May 31, 2018 Creation, [rr1], [fr1], [lc1], [uw2].
1.0 Patrick Gross May 31, 2018 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross August 7, 2018 Addition [ml1].

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