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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 Mulhouse, on September 5, 1978:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1978-09-05-MULHOUSE-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper L'Alsace for September 8, 1978, reported in the Strasbourg issue, that UFOs had been observed in the sky over Mulhouse "in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday" therefore probably on September 5 or 6, 1978, "by various witnesses whose accounts agree."

Witnesses said they were luminous balls coming from the north, flying at low altitude and in complete silence, then ascending "at a dizzying pace" and disappearing from view in the clouds.

There were apparently three UFOs, shaped like a flat plate topped with a hemisphere, and the "diameter" of the craft was estimated "to be around 25m."

The newspaper reported that the observers, who were at different places of the city, all estimated that they could not have been planes.

In a 2004 catalog by the ufology group CNEGU, it is said that the newspaper L'Est Républicain for October 9, 1978, reported that on Tuesday September 5, 1978, in Mulhouse, various witnesses whose accounts matched had seen in the night luminous balls coming from the North, flying silently at low altitude then rising at a dizzying pace to get lost in the clouds.

The newspaper reportedly said that the three objects had the appearance of a flat plate surmounted by a hemisphere, and that their diameter was estimated at around 25 meters.

In a listing of UFO sighting reports in the Haut-Rhin on their website, the Alsatian ufology association SPICA noted that on Tuesday, September 5, 1978, in Mulhouse, a "ball, balloon or melon (3D)" was seen; which remained unidentified for lack of information.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: September 5, 1978
Time: Night
Duration: ?
First known report date: September 8, 1978
Reporting delay: 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.750
Longitude: 7.335
Uncertainty ratio: 15 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: Several
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Regional newspaper L'Alsace.
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: Nght, clouds.
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: Insufficient information, possible military jets.

Sources:

[Ref. lae2:] NEWSPAPER "L'ALSACE":

Scan

UFOs in the sky of Mulhouse.

STRASBOURG. - Unidentified flying objects were observed in the sky of Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin), in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, by various witnesses whose reports agree.

According to these witnesses, they were luminous balls coming from the North. They flew at low altitude and in total silence, then climbed at a dizzying pace and got lost in the clouds. The three UFOs were shaped like a flat plate surmounted by a hemisphere. The diameter of the craft was estimated at around 25 m.

Observers, who were stationed at different spots in the city, all think that thy cannot have been airplanes.

[Ref. eae1:] ERIC ANTOINE:

Scan.

Note by the investigator.

[...] after research in the archives of "L'Alsace", several observations took place between this period: (source: Nostra + L'Alsace).

b) September 7, 1978. Unidentified flying objects, the famous UFOs, were seen by several witnesses at various places in Mulhouse on Tuesday shortly after 9 p.m.. These were three luminous balls that came from the north and flew over the city at seemingly low altitude and in total silence, before ascending vertiginously to get lost in the clouds. According to one of the witnesses, the three UFOs had the shape of a flat plate surmounted by a hemisphere. The diameter of these craft was estimated at about 25/30 m. The various testimonies collected yesterday converge and everyone agrees that, believing or not in extraterrestrial life, the objects they saw moving during 5 to 6 seconds could in no way be taken for airplanes.

[... Other cases...]

Although some of these observations were later explained, [...]

[Ref. mye1:] UFOLOGY MAGAZINE "LES MYSTERES DE L'EST":

Réf. F/06/68780905 (01)

On Tuesday, September 5, in the evening, in Mulhouse, various witnesses whose accounts agree perceive, in the night, luminous balls coming from the North. They fly silently at low altitude then climb at a dizzying pace to get lost in the clouds. The three objects have the appearance of a flat plate surmounted by a half sphere. Their diameter has been estimated at around 25m.

Source: L'est Républicain for 09/09/1978.

The breakdown of the case number goes like in this example: F/98/88781202 (01):

F = France
/98/ = group code ((06 = CLEU)
88 = department code
78 = year
12 = month (00 if unknown)
02 = day (00 if unknown)
(01) = numer of observation for that date, department and group considered.

This for this case: France, GPUN, Haut-Rhin, 5 septembre 1978.

[Ref. spa1:] "SPICA" UFOLOGY ASSOCIATION:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
MULHOUSE Tuesday 5 September 1978 ball, balloon or melon (3D)
Unidentified
information not communicated
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

With the little information given by the SPICA (not even an indication of a source), and the fact that in spite of my resaarch I found nothing so far, the case can indeed remain unidentified by "lack of information"!

Update on May 23, 2021:

With the press information given by CNEGU [mye1] that I find and add in 2021, it is a little better but still insufficient; for example, we are not told whether these objects had been reported as silent or not - so they may have been maneuvering military jets.

Update on June 4, 2021:

With the press information of [lae2], it appears that the 3 FUFOs were indeed reported as silent.

It is obviously tempting to think that the three UFOs were all the same airplanes; not airliners but jet fighter planes from the Colmar - Meyenheim Air Base 132 for example, which I myself regularly saw passing through the region sky in those years.

In the 1980s, journalists from L'Alsace often called the air base to check whether there had been such flights; but here it was done, it seems.

Evaluation:

Insufficient information, possible military jets.

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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 28, 2018 Creation, [spa1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 28, 2018 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 23, 2021 Addition [mye1]. In the Summary, addition of the information from [mye1]. In the Discussion, addition of the part "Update on May 23, 2021." In the Explanations, Totally insufficient information" changed to "Insufficient information, possible military jets."
1.2 Patrick Gross June 4, 2021 Additions [lae2], [eae1]. In the Summary, addition of the information from [lae2]. In the Discussion, addition of the "Update on June 4, 2021" part.

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This page was last updated on June 4, 2021.