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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 Bischheim, on July 9, 1978:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1978-07-09-BISCHHEIM-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace for July 21, 1978, reported a "UFO in the sky of Strasbourg" seen on the evening of Sunday, July 9, 1978, by several people.

A UFO specialist of the Strasbourg Cercle Français de Recherches Ufologiques (CFRU) team, Roland Lienhardt, was driving on the motorway between Hautepierre and Bischheim at 10:30 p.m. with his wife. They watched the sky, very beautiful at that moment, because of the presence of clouds, when they both saw a triangular yellow object, with a black dot in the center.

Roland Lienhardt stopped his car on the road side, and for half an hour he observed the object with binoculars. The object was at the vertical of the motorway center of Hautepierre, at about 2000 meters of altitude. After half an hour, at 11 p.m., the object left very quickly, in zig-zag.

At the same time, another member of the CFRU, Mr. Catalano and his wife, who were in Breuschwickersheim, made the same observation. Mr. Catalano visited Mr. Lienhardt to report the presence of a UFO.

The Strasbourg branch of the CFRU opened an investigation which determined that at the time of the observation there was no satellite passage over the Strasbourg area, that there was no weather balloon or other balloon in the air, and that the military and civilian flights had stopped, the last being that of a Fokker 28 which landed at 10:33 p.m..

According to information that had been communicated to the newspaper, the radars of the Entzheim airport recorded nothing particular between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m..

The CFRU had also collected corroborating testimonies from people living in Hautepierre, Eckbolsheim and Montagne-Verte in the outskirts of Strasbourg, among others.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 9, 1978
Time: 10:30 p.m.
Duration: 30 minutes.
First known report date: July 21, 1978
Reporting delay: 12 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Bischheim
Place: From Bischheim, Breuschwickersheim, Hautepierre, Eckbolsheim, Montagne Verte, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.575
Longitude: 7.737
Uncertainty ratio: 12 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 7 or more.
Number of known witnesses: 2 to 7
Number of named witnesses: 2
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: 2 ufologists, wives, others.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: From several villages, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
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: Not a plane, not a satellite, not a balloon.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified, but meager information.

Sources:

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

UFO in the sky of Strasbourg

Strasbourg. -- Everything suggests that a UFO (unidentified flying object aka flying saucer) was in the sky ofStrasbourg on the evening of Sunday, July 9th. Several people observed the unexplained phenomenon, among them two UFO specialists, who belong to the Strasbourg team of the French Circle of UFO research.

The first, Roland Lienhardt, was driving on the highway between and Hautepierre and Bischheim; it was 22:30. His wife who was with him, and he himself observed the sky, so beautiful then, because of a presence of clouds: both then saw a yellow triangular object with a black dot in the center. Mr. Lienhardt stopped his car on the road side, and for half an hour, he watched the object with binoculars. It was at the vertical of the highway center of Hautepierre motorway at 2000 m of altitude approximately. After half an hour, at 11 p.m., the object left very quickly, zigzagging.

Meanwhile, another member of the CFRU, Mr. Catalano and his wife, who were in Breuschwickersheim, made the same observation. Mr. Catalano went to Mr. Lienhardt to report to him the presence of a UFO. We know that Mr. Lienhardt was himself observing it then.

The Strasbourg section of the CFRU opened an investigation that allowed them to determine that at the time of the observation, there were no satellite passing over the Strasbourg region, that there were no weather balloon or other in the air, and that the military as well as civilian flights had stopped, the last being that of a Fokker 28 that landed at 10:33 p.m.. On the other hand, according to the information that we received, the Entzheim radar station detected nothing in particular between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m..

Finally, what seems to confirm that something strange happened that evening. The CFRU has already collected testimonies going in the same direction and coming from people living in Hautepierre, Eckbolsheim and the Montagne verte [Green Mountain] (outskirts of Strasbourg) in particular.

[Ref. ld1:] "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT" UFOLOGY MAGAZINE:

Scan


ON JULY 8, 1978. STRASBOURG (Haut Rhin)

At 10:30 p.m. Mr. Lienhardt driving on the highway between Haute Pierre and Bischheim saw in the company of his wife, a yellow triangular object with a black dot in the center. The witness stopped and observed the object with binoculars, for 1/2 hour, then the object suddenly left in zigzag. Another witness, Mr. Catalano, made the same observation in Breuschwickersheim.

("Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace" for 7/21/78)

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

9 July 1978 22:30

Bischheim, Alsace, France

Zigzag maneuvers.

An object was observed. It zig-zagged through the air. Multiple independent witnesses. One object was observed by two witnesses in a town for 30 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. 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 tells that the case of Sunday, July 9, 1978, in Strasbourg, was told like this in Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace for Friday, July 21, 1978:

UFO in the sky of STRASBOURG

Strasbourg: Everything suggests that a UFO (unidentified flying object aka flying saucer) was in the sky of Strasbourg on the evening of Sunday, July 9th. Several people observed the unexplained phenomenon, among them two UFO specialists, who belong to the Strasbourg team of the French Circle of UFO research.

The first, Roland Lienhardt, was driving on the highway between and Hautepierre and Bischheim; it was 22:30. His wife who was with him, and he himself observed the sky, so beautiful then, because of a presence of clouds: both then saw a yellow triangular object with a black dot in the center. Mr. Lienhardt stopped his car on the road side, and for half an hour, he watched the object with binoculars. It was at the vertical of the highway center of Hautepierre motorway at 2000 m of altitude approximately. After half an hour, at 11 p.m., the object left very quickly, zigzagging.

Meanwhile, another member of the CFRU, M. C. and his wife, who were in Breuschwickersheim, made the same observation. M. C. went to Mr. Lienhardt to report to him the presence of a UFO. We know that Mr. Lienhardt was himself observing it then.

The Strasbourg section of the CFRU opened an investigation that allowed them to determine that at the time of the observation, there were no satellite passing over the Strasbourg region, that there were no weather balloon or other in the air, and that the military as well as civilian flights had stopped, the last being that of a Fokker 28 that landed at 10:33 p.m.. On the other hand, according to the information that we received, the Entzheim radar station detected nothing in particular between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m..

Finally, what seems to confirm that something strange happened that evening. The CFRU has already collected testimonies going in the same direction and coming from people living in Hautepierre, Eckbolsheim and the Montagne verte [Green Mountain] (outskirts of Strasbourg) in particular.

Discussion:

Witnesses of what would have been the same phenomenon are indicated as:

  1. Lienhardt and wife, drove on the motorway between Hautepierre and Bischheim, with the UFO "at the vertical of the motorway center of Hautepierre."
  2. Catalano and wife, from Breuschwickersheim, "same observation".
  3. Witness(es) at Hautepierre.
  4. Witness(es) at Eckbolsheim.
  5. Witness(es) at the Montagne-Verte.

So, on a map, we get:

The distances factor is as follows: between the most distant witnesses, Breuschwickersheim and La Montagne Verte, we have a straight line of almost 10 kilometers.

Between the nearest witnesses, Eckbolsheim and La Montagne Verte, we have between 3 and 4 kilometers.

It should be noted that no precise position is given. The uncertainty radius for each observation spot is:

I mean, for example, for "Breuschwickersheim", we can assume that the witness or witnesses for this location were within the boundary of this small village, but we do not know where. There is then an uncertainty about their position it corresponds practically to a circle with a radius of 1 km. Again I am "generous" because if they were "at Breuschwickersheim" but in the countryside, Breuschwickersheim being simply the closest town to them, the radius of uncertainty goes up to 2 km.

No triangulation is thus possible with the data I have, in these 5 positions only one direction of observation is mentioned, by Lienhardt, but its position is so imprecise that one can only think that the direction of observation is between North, North East, East, Southeast.

It is extremely regrettable that an urban area case, with apparently 5 independent witnesses groups, and including two investigating ufologists, is not better documented than through a mere newspaper article, unlikely to provide ufologically reliable information.

The only barely detailed observation - at least seven witnesses may have given their description - is that of Mr. Lienhardt, but the information is insufficient, not only about the direction but on many other aspects. For example, "vertically" does not make sense for a position of an unknown phenomenon at an ungiven distance. What would have been required was a direction, an angular elevation and an angular size. The CFRU may have had all the information, but I have not found any trace of it, unfortunately.

It certainly appears that the case does not seem easy to explain to me. The long duration could be good for a star or a planet, but the description does not fit, and above all, a star or planet does not leave "suddenly in zig-zag."

Evaluation:

Unidentified, but meager 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 September 17, 2017 Creation, [dn1], [ld1], [lh1], [ud1], [cv2].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 17, 2017 First published.

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This page was last updated on September 17, 2017.