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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 Bantzenheim, on November 19, 1977:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1977-11-16-BANTZENHEIM-1

Summary:

The case was reportedly first mentioned in the newspaper L'Alsace for November 20, 1977; then in various UFO magazines and a "skeptical" book by Michel Monnerie, the latter indicating that the UFO was actually the Moon.

In the catalog of ugfology group CNEGU, we learn that on Saturday, November 17, 1977, at 00:40 a.m., a young couple staying in a caravan in Bartenheim in the Haut-Rhin was intrigued by a celestial phenomenon in the West, in the direction of the Hardt forest.

A huge sharp red-orange ball was stationary. It seemed to split in three parts then became a horizontal orange cigar that let out a spot that grew while approaching.

The cigar went out, the spot turned into an orange red "coffee cup".

The young couple brought eight other witnesses of their family and they all observed the phenomenon illuminating the sky with crossed beams going upwards from the top of the "cup".

The phenomenon changed again, this time to a triangle, which literally "melted" to become an orange spot that disappeared towards Mulhouse in the southwest after 25 minutes of total observation.

CNEGU indicates the Moon explanation Michel Monnerie; a foreign source on the web ignores the explanation, another "skeptical" source strengthens it, indicating that the real case date is November 19, 1977, and the place was the crossing the D4bis "Street Battenheim" and the railroad, then the crossing with the rue de la Hardt and rue des Fleurs, in Bantzenheim.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: November 19, 1977
Time: 00:40 a.m.
Duration: 25 minutes.
First known report date: November 20, 1977
Reporting delay: Hours, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Bantzenheim
Place: Crossing of rue de Battenheim with the railway, then crossing of rue de la Hardt and rue des Fleurs, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.825
Longitude: 7.509
Uncertainty ratio: 50 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: ?
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: Young adults and others.
Witness(es) types: A young couple and other members of the family.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: From village, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes
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: Red moon.

Sources:

[Ref. cn1:] CATALOGUE DU C.N.E.GU:

Réf. F/00/68/77 11 17 (01) IQ: 5 IE: 0,1,1,1,1,0 (3)

On Saturday, November 17 at 0:40 a.m. (UT: 11:40 p.m.), a couple staying in a caravan in Bartenheim (68) is intrigued by a celestial phenomenon in the west towards of the forest of the Hardt. A huge very red-orange ball is stationary in the distance. It seems to separate into three becoming an horizontal orange cigar, the phenomenon lets out a luminous spot that grows bigger while approaching. The cigar disappears. The spot turns into a red orange "cup". The young people run to search 8 other witnesses of the family. All observe the phenomenon illuminating the sky with crossed upwards beams coming from the top of the "cup". The phenomenon changes again, this time into a triangle, which "fades" literally to become an orange dot. The phenomenon disappears towards Mulhouse (SW) after 25 min of total observation.

Explanation: mistake with the moon: Monnerie "Le naufrage des E..T" p.159-1979- N.E.R. publishers.

Source: J. Journot and M. Pernot investigation (LDLN #180 p.27/29), "L'Alsace" for 11/20/77 (LDLN #172), "UFOLOGIA" #13 p.7.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

19 November 1977 00:40

Bantzenheim, Alsace, France

15m diameter ball of light near high voltage power lines, splits in two, shoots rays, turns into triangle.

An unusual object was sighted by multiple witnesses, that had unconventional appearance and aerobatic performance. One shifting-shape object, about 80 feet across, was observed by ten witnesses at an electric plant for over 25 minutes.

Hynek rating: NL

Vallee rating: MA1

The sources are indicated as: "Lumieres dans la Nuit, Lumieres dans la Nuit; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002."

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

Bantzenheim (68)

Crossing of the D4bis (rue de Battenheim) and the railway + crossing of rue de la Hardt and rue des Fleurs.

November 19, 1977, 0:40 a.m.. Moon at 1,8° elevation, azimut 259°. Next day after Fourth Quarter, age of the Moon 7,7 dayss.

Sources:

  • case #149 Eric Maillot list
  • Le naufrage des extraterrestres by Michel Monnerie. Page 159.
  • Lumières dans la Nuit #180, pages 27 to 29.
  • Lumières dans la Nuit #172, page 32.
  • L'Alsace for November 20, 1977. Not available to me.
  • Ufologia #13, page 7. Not available to me.
  • CNEGU Catalogue (a big thank you to Raoul Robé). The case is dated November 17 there (?)

Notes:

  • The case is long explained as a misunderstanding with the Moon (Michel Monnerie). A SAROS reconstitution is not absolutely necessary, but I still retained this case partly because it has all the necessary information (exact location, description of the witnesses), and secondly by the "extraordinary" character of the observation.
  • the observation takes place at the home of the witnesses, it will be necessary to have the owners permission to investigate on the spot.
  • from what I can see on Google Maps and Street View, the placeschanged very little since 1977. The high-voltage line that serves as a benchmark is even still present !
  • very interesting detail: the observation of Bantzenheim takes place almost simultaneously with that of Montmorillon (see next case), with the same overall description of the phenomenon !

Dates of reconstitution considered:

  • double SAROS -1 : Sunday December 8, 2013, at 11:15 p.m..
    Moon at 1,7° of angular height, azimut 260°. Eve of First Quarter, age of the Moon 5,9 days.
  • double SAROS : Tuesday, December 10,2013, at 0:25.
    Moon at 1,9° of angular height, azimut 267°. First Quarter, age of the Moon 7 days.

Discussion:

Above: In daytime, the place of the beginning of the observation, looking
to the Hardt forest in the West.

At the time of the start of observation, the Moon is at the azimuth 259°15, at a very low elevation of 2°2.

It sets at 00:54 p.m. ie 14 minutes later; it is likely that the observation duration has been exaggerated or that the time data is the middle of the observation rather than the beginning.

Visually, it "goes down" at a 45° angle to the right, it is below the horizon at 261°48.

It is a decreasing moon with 61.6% of its visible surface illuminated by the sun.

The reported color, "very bright red-orange color" indicates that this was a "red moon". The unusual color is often the critical factor that deceives witnesses mistaking the Moon for a UFO. The "shape changes" are caused by cloudy or natural obstacle to the view. The emitted "beams" idicate the presence of layers of ice crystals in the atmosphere; which is usual at this date.

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 9, 2015 Creation, [cn1], [ud1], [us1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 9, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 9, 2015