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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 Andlau, on February 6, 1977:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1977-02-06-ANDLAU-1

Summary:

Mr. Paul R., 50, had reported to the newspaper Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, of which he was a local correspondent, his observation that he had been unable to explain, from Andlau on February 6, 1977, at 08:55 p.m. The newspaper published it on February 8, 1977, and it was also reported in the 1978 book by Robert Roussel.

His son Pierre, 20, soldier at the Cerey district Moulins-lès-Metz who was on leave at his home to this day, had called him to the balcony to show him a bright object hovering in the atmosphere.

Paul R. came to the balcony and saw the object reported by his son.

He said it was a dark night with no moon, practically no stars, no rain, and no wind.

The phenomenon was in the north-east towards Erstein, a distance he could not really assess but fairly remote to him, perhaps above the plain of Alsace at a difficult to define altitude but that could match the top of the Black Forest in Germany. The summit of the Black Forest actually stood out behind the object.

The object is described as of orange-red color like a car's red light, it seemed suspended in the sky and had a shape that he sketched - the sketch was not published. Its light was fixed and continuous.

The object was like a trapezoid, small base down, topped with a rectangle. The height of the rectangle represented twice the height of the trapezoid, the length of the rectangle wass twice the height of the whole.

When he saw it, he went into the kitchen to take a binocular fitted for nocturnal observations, returned to the balcony and had the time to observe the object through the binocular for about 30 seconds.

Using the binocular, he noticed four dark spots arranged regularly on the rectangular part of the object. He could not specify the shape of the spots. His son observed the same thing.

With the binocular, he had plenty of time to admire it. Its color became more accurate with the binocular: rust red.

He does not know if others saw this, but said that his wife by his side also witnessed it.

The object disappeared suddenly, after 30 seconds, "as if it melted" in the sky without a trace nor any trail, and without making any audible noise from the observation place.

He found the object "impressive by its size and definitely measuring several meters in diameter," he said it was circular, flat upward and tapered at the bottom.

At the newspaper, one wondered if this was a "reality" or an "optical illusion", and one stated that they had questioned the witnesses who were absolutely trustworthy and that it "seems one has to eliminate the optical illusion." It is estimated that a "more precise location of the object seems doubtful, it may well have been closer to the Black Forest than in Alsace."

In 2011, a well-known skeptical ufologist demonstrated that it was most likely a misinterpretation caused by a red moon, eventually hidden by clouds.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: February 6, 1977
Time: 08:55 p.m.
Duration: More than 30 seconds.
First known report date: February 8, 1977
Reporting delay: Hour, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Andlau
Place: From home balcony, with and without bicocular, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.385
Longitude: 7.417
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 2 to 3
Number of named witnesses: 3
Witness(es) ages: 50, 20, adult.
Witness(es) types: A man, his wife, their son soldier on leave.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: From home balcony in a village, with and without bicocular, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Dark night, moonless, starless.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): Yes, unpublished.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): Yes, unpublished.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: Without explanation to him.

Classifications:

Hynek: ?
ALSACAT: Red moon.

Sources:

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

A UFO in the sky of Alsace

Several testimonies came to us about the presence of an "unidentified flying object" in the sky of Alsace. Real or optical illusion? The witnesses we interrogated being totally of good faith, it seems that the optical illusion can be eliminated. On the other side the more precise location of the object seems dubious, the latter could be Alsace as well as the nearby Black Forest.

"It was 08:55 p.m. precisely, Sunday evening, one of the eyewitnesses told us, when we saw the craft. To the naked eye it resembled to a very distant red fire. But I was able to stare, during 30 good seconds, at the object with binoculars. I had all the time to admire it. The color becoming more precise with the binoculars, was of a rusty red. As of the object, impressive by its size and measuring certainly several meters in diameter, it was od circular shape, flat at the top, conical at the bottom. After a half minute of observation, the object disappeared, as if it had dissolved in the sky without leaving any trail".

[Ref. rr1:] ROBERT ROUSSEL:

This object seemed suspended in the air

Statement by Paul R., 50, newspaper correspondent of Les Dernières Nouvelles d'AAlsace, residing in Andelot (67).

I witnessed a phenomenon that I can not explain, so I want to report it to you.

Yesterday, February 6, 1977, at 08:55 p.m., my son Pierre, 20, a soldier at the CCS of the 12th RI district Cerey in Moulins-lès-Metz (57), on leave at my home until today, called me to the balcony to show me a luminous object immobilized in the atmosphere. I went on the balcony and I saw the object reported by my son. Note that I observed the phenomenon on a dark night, moonless, almost starless. It was not raining, there was no wind. In the north-east to Erstein, at a distance that I cannot evaluate, but rather distant, perhaps beyond the plain of Alsace, at en altitude difficult to define but which may correspond to the top of the Black Forest in Germany, a summit that was outlined behind this object, I saw an object of red-orange color like the red light of a car, this object seemed suspended in the sky and had the shape I reproduce on the paper I give you. The light was fixed and continuous. The object can be described as a trapezoid, small base downwards, topped by a rectangle. The height of the rectangle is twice the height of the trapeze, the rectangle length is twice the height of the whole.

When I saw this, I went into my kitchen and I took a pair of special glasses for night observation. I returned on the balcony and I had the time to observe the object through the binocular for about 30 seconds.

Using the binocular, I noticed four dark spots arranged regularly on the rectangular part of the object, I can not specify the shape of the spots. My son Pierre observed the same thing. I do not know if other people around observed this phenomenon. My wife was with me and is a witness to the fact. The object disappeared suddenly like if it had been deleted, without a trace and without any audible noise from the observation point.

[Ref. uw2:] "UFOWEB" WEBSITE:

CITIES DEPT LATITUDES LONGITUDES YEARS
Andlau 67 1977

[Ref. uw1:] "UFOWEB" WEBSITE:

Andlau February 6, 1977 08:55 p.m. Dpartment 67 Bas Rhin
Latitude Longitude
Witnesses Objects Shapes 53,763 5.646
3 1 Rectangle 48° 23' 14" 07° 25' 07"
Type Duration Colors Source
Red, Orange Roussel
The witnesses saw an object of red and orange color. The craft seemed suspended in the sky and had a rectangle shape. The light was steady and continuous. The object was like a rhombus, small base towards the bottom, topped by a rectangle. The height of the rectangle was twice larger than that of the rhombus and the length of the rectangle was twice the height of the whole. Using binoculars one of the Witnesses notices four dark stains placed evenly on the rectangular part of the object.

[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 books, he tells that there was a case in February 1977 in Alsace reported by DERNIERES NOUVELLES D’ALSACE for Tuesday, February 8, 1977:

A UFO in the sky of ALSACE

Several testimonies came to us about the presence of an "unidentified flying object" in the sky of Alsace. Real or optical illusion? The witnesses we interrogated being totally of good faith, it seems that the optical illusion can be eliminated. On the other side the more precise location of the object seems dubious, the latter could be Alsace as well as the nearby Black Forest.

"It was 08:55 p.m. precisely, Sunday evening, one of the eyewitnesses told us, when we saw the craft. To the naked eye it resembled to a very distant red fire. But I was able to stare, during 30 good seconds, at the object with binoculars. I had all the time to admire it. The color becoming more precise with the binoculars, was of a rusty red. As of the object, impressive by its size and measuring certainly several meters in diameter, it was od circular shape, flat at the top, conical at the bottom. After a half minute of observation, the object disappeared, as if it had dissolved in the sky without leaving any trail".

He adds that in the book "O.V.N.I. la fin du secret" published by Belfond in 1992, Robert Roussel indicates that the observation was made by three people of the same family from Andlau in the direction of Erstein, "at a distance that I cannot evaluate, but quite far, maybe above the plain of Alsace, at an altitude quite difficult to define but that could match the summit of the Black Forest in Germany, summit that was visible behind this object..."

[Ref. us1:] FORUM "UFO SCEPTICISME":

Andlau (67), February 6, 1977 : Red UFO on Black Forest on 06/21/11 5:56

Bob Rekin
Honor member
Number of messages: 6642
Age: 32
Registered on: 03/16/2010

The book OVNI la fin du secret by Robert Roussel tells us of an Alsatian observation dated February 6, 1977, on pages 133 and 134.

"This object seemed suspended in the air"

Statement by Paul R., 50, newspaper correspondent of Les Dernières Nouvelles d'AAlsace, residing in Andelot (67).

I witnessed a phenomenon that I can not explain, so I want to report it to you.

Yesterday, February 6, 1977, at 08:55 p.m., my son Pierre, 20, a soldier at the CCS of the 12th RI district Cerey in Moulins-lès-Metz (57), on leave at my home until today, called me to the balcony to show me a luminous object immobilized in the atmosphere. I went on the balcony and I saw the object reported by my son. Note that I observed the phenomenon on a dark night, moonless, almost starless. It was not raining, there was no wind. In the north-east to Erstein, at a distance that I cannot evaluate, but rather distant, perhaps beyond the plain of Alsace, at en altitude difficult to define but which may correspond to the top of the Black Forest in Germany, a summit that was outlined behind this object, I saw an object of red-orange color like the red light of a car, this object seemed suspended in the sky and had the shape I reproduce on the paper I give you. The light was fixed and continuous. The object can be described as a trapezoid, small base downwards, topped by a rectangle. The height of the rectangle is twice the height of the trapeze, the rectangle length is twice the height of the whole.

When I saw this, I went into my kitchen and I took a pair of special glasses for night observation. I returned on the balcony and I had the time to observe the object through the binocular for about 30 seconds.

Using the binocular, I noticed four dark spots arranged regularly on the rectangular part of the object, I can not specify the shape of the spots. My son Pierre observed the same thing. I do not know if other people around observed this phenomenon. My wife was with me and is a witness to the fact. The object disappeared suddenly like if it had been deleted, without a trace and without any audible noise from the observation point."

A small misprint was in the text, since there is no village named Andelot in Alsace !

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andelot

On the other hand, one does find an Andlau in the 67, in the West-South-West of Erstein, city that is used as a landmark for the UFO.

The description is irresistibly reminiscent of a misinterpretation of the Moon: object of significant apparent size (the witness sees details on the surface, with binoculars), red-orange color, typical of a rise or a set of the Moon (here a rise, since the object is seen to the East), totally still and silent. And especially since the witness did not see the moon ("dark night without moon").

The UFO is right on the horizon, as the summit of the Black Forest is in front on the object!

The specified direction (northeast) is not really correct because Erstein is much closer to the East than the West, as seen from Andlau.

So was the moon beginning to rise over the horizon at the time of observation? YES IT DID!

The big moon balloon, illuminated of 91% (it was 2 and a half days after the Full Moon) is in the process of getting up, due east! At 8:55 p.m., the Moon is at 1.2° of angular height, azimuth 91 ° (East). For a perfect horizon (but here there is the massive Black Forest Wink), it rose at 8:44 p.m. on an azimuth of 89°.

This is actually the appearance it had at the time of observation:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image]

The "four dark spots" seen on the surface of the UFO with binoculars are certainly visible lunar seas.

The night of observation, the time is certainly not clear, because the witness did not see any star. If this is the case, no wonder that the UFO disappears suddenly, "as deleted" at the end of the observation: the Moon, previously visible through thinning, disappears behind the clouds.

Robert Roussel's book unfortunately does not show us the sketch the witness could have made. If someone on the forum (Marius, for example ...), has the Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace article recounting this case, it would be interesting to compare the sketch with the appearance of the moon that day.

_________________

It's not magic, its' science !
Debunker form father to daughter, since 2009. 8)

"Nothing is as fascinating a mystery that has grown older. (...) Though I may add that nothing would be more satisfying than a mystery finally solved" (Stephen Jay Gould)

[Ref. us2:] "UFO SCEPTICISME" WEB FORUM:

Cases not used [as subject of the study of the explanation by the Moon] or needing to be completed:
If you have the necessary information, thanks for sharing!

[...]

Andelot (67): February 6, 1977, 08:55 p.m..

Source: OVNI la fin du secret by Robert Roussel, chapter "This object seemed to be suspended in the sky" (pages 133 and 134)

Robert Roussel again has a problem with the geographical names, because it is not the city of Andelot, but Andlau.

The case is a very probable mistake with the rising Moon, since the UFO is in the North-East (towards Erstein). A SAROS reconstitution is not absolutely necessary, because the exact location of the witness is unknown, and the direction of the UFO is not very precise.

[Ref. oi1:] "OVNI-INFOS" WEBSITE:

1977

- In Andlau, February 6, 1977 (Rectangle)

Discussion:

Let's see the direction of observation. The witness is in Andlau (obviously not in Andelot, a city in the Haute-Marne), the phenomenon is in the direction of Erstein, at the elevation of the summits of the Black Forest in Germany.

This allows to give a sufficiently accurate direction and a quite accurate elevation. We can immediately guess the elevation is low, actually. Andlau is between 205 meters and 795 meters is altitude, and it is about the same with the Black Forest in the direction of Erstein; the witness said the phenomenon was at mountain summit level.

So, was it the Moon?

The direction of observation according to the report is 76°. Of course it could be a score of degrees more or less.

The Moon was actually there: at the 90° azimuth, and a 1°13 elevation. It was an almost full moon

An apparent problem is that the Moon was rising, so it could not have set behind the Black forest. But it could have been hidden by clouds as it roe.

One may claim that this is far-fetched, that it must have been a "real UFO" or "alien spaceship". But there is a big problem with this: why did the witness not locate the UFO relative to the Moon? If there was the Moon and something else, he would have said the UFO was visually somewhere near the Moon.

I note that again, this was not just the ordinary moon, but a red moon. This appears to me a major factor in Moon misinterpretations.

Evaluation:

Red 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 July 14, 2015 Creation, [dn1], [rr1], [uw21], [uw1], [cv21], [us1], [us2], [of1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 14, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 14, 2015