ALSACAT -> Homeclick!
Cette page en franšaisCliquez!

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 Meyenheim, about October or November 1978:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1978-11-10-MEYENHEIM-1

Summary:

On November 23, 2009, someone sent his UFO sighting testimony to the "National UFO Reporting Center" (NUFORC) website, managed by Peter Davenport, based in the United States.

This person says the place was "in the eastern part of France going to Strasbourg", on the highway, 50 or 60 miles south of Strasbourg.

The date is given as approximately November 10, 1978, and also as "somewhere [sic, sometimes] in October / November 1978".

The time was noted as 10:00 p.m., the duration of observation as "10-15 minutes".

The witness says he was driving with a friend, it was already dark, it was perhaps 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., with another hour of driving before arriving at destination. Being already tired, they decided to stop at a parking place to take a rest and eat a snack.

The night was starry and while resting, they stargazed.

After a while, they saw that among the stars in the western sky, a bright star had dissolved from the "star-alliance" [sic?], and started to move. This spot was about 30 degrees above the horizon, and moved very quickly, even jumped up and down, left and right, zigzagging.

In estimating the magnitude of these jumps by checking how many fingers wide it would be at outstretched arm, it would have covered the width of 2 or 3 fingers, as far as witness remembered, this angle being crossed in less than one second.

They first thought it could be a plane or helicopter, but rejected the idea because the movement had begun from a fixed position and the pattern of the movements was so amazing, fast in speed and quickly changing directions.

The witness said that it was impossible to estimate the distance at which the point of light was, especially as their first impression was that it looked like a bright star.

They heard no noise coming from the phenomenon.

The movements of the point light continued, and after "some time", they gave up trying to understand this thing that they were unable to explain.

In some ways deeply impressed and disturbed, they left the place, drove on to Strasbourg, promising each other to not tell anyone about this, thinking that nobody would believe them, and fearing of being ridiculed.

But in the past 30 years, the memory remained vivid for the witness "always present as if it had happened yesterday."

The witness explains that he reports this case now because the Internet allows sharing such experiences with an open-minded community. He also thinks that maybe someone has a simple explanation for this observation.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: About October or November 10, 1978
Time: ~Between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Duration: 10 to 15 minutes.
First known report date: November 23, 2009
Reporting delay: 3 decades.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Meyenheim
Place: From the roadside of the A35 motorway between Meyenheim and Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.979
Longitude: 7.374
Uncertainty ratio: 10 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Young adults, adults or aged.
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Web report to NUFORC.
Type of location: From the roadside of motorway, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: No
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 helicopter, unexplained.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible star or planet.

Sources:

[Ref. nu1:] WITNESS REPORT TO THE NUFORC WEBSITE:

National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report

Occurred : 11/10/1978 22:00 (Entered as : 11/10/1978 22:00)
Reported: 11/23/2009 4:40:28 AM 04:40
Posted: 12/12/2009
Location: Strasbourg (France),
Shape: Light
Duration:10-15 minutes


Jumping Light-Point in the Sky

I like to report an incident, which occurred 30 years ago, somewhere in October/November 1978.

Together with a friend, we were traveling by car in the east part of France heading to Strasbourg. It was already night, might be 10PM or 11PM, 50-60 miles south of Strasbourg on a motorway and still we had to drive 1hour to our destination. We have been tiered already, so we decided to stop on a park place for to take a little rest and to eat a snack. It was a starlit night and while resting, we looked to the starry-sky.

After a while, we recognized that out of the star-scene in the west of the starry-sky a bright lighting star dissolved out from the star-alliance and started to move. That light point ( approx. 30║ above the horizon ), moved, even jumped very rapidly up and down, left and right, zigzag and perpendicular. e tried somehow to estimate/scale the magnitude of those movements by stretching or arm forward for to see how many fingers the movement ranged. So far I remember, the movement from the light-point covered approx. the width of 2-3 fingers on a stretched arm, crossed in less than a second.

On the beginning from that "light-show" in the sky, we thought that an airplane or helicopter might be responsible for this, but we rejected this idea because: 1st the movement started from a fixed-position and 2nd the profile of movements was so incredible, rapidly in speed and rapidly in changing of move-directions.

From our location we could not estimate how far away from us that light-point was, as according our first impression, that light-point appeared just as a bright star.

We could not hear any noise, either.

The light-point movements went on for some time and after a while we decided not to look further to that light-show in the sky and not to bother ourselves with things we cannot explain.

Somehow deep impressed and confused we left the scene and continued to drive towards to Strasbourg. We promised ourselves not tell anyone about that event, because we thought that nobody will believe us and we feared of ridicule.

However, 30 years past, but the memory on that night is for me still present as it was yesterday.

I am reporting that case now, because internet does provide now the opportunity to share those experiences with an open-minded community. Maybe someone has a simple explanation for that.

((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that date is approximate. PD))

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

10 November 1978 22:00

Strasbourg, Alsace, France

Jumping Light-Point in the Sky

I like to report an incident, which occurred 30 years ago, somewhere in October/November 1978.

Together with a friend, we were traveling by car in the east part of France heading to Strasbourg. It was already night, might be 10PM or 11PM, 50-60 miles south of Strasbourg on a motorway and still we had to drive 1hour to our destination. We have been tiered already, so we decided to stop on a park place for to take a little rest and to eat a snack. It was a starlit night and while resting, we looked to the starry-sky.

After a while, we recognized that out of the star-scene in the west of the starry-sky a bright lighting star dissolved out from the star-alliance and started to move. That light point ( approx. 30║ above the horizon ), moved, even jumped very rapidly up and down, left and right, zigzag and perpendicular. e tried somehow to estimate/scale the magnitude of those movements by stretching or arm forward for to see how many fingers the movement ranged. So far I remember, the movement from the light-point covered approx. the width of 2-3 fingers on a stretched arm, crossed in less than a second.

On the beginning from that "light-show" in the sky, we thought that an airplane or helicopter might be responsible for this, but we rejected this idea because: 1st the movement started from a fixed-position and 2nd the profile of movements was so incredible, rapidly in speed and rapidly in changing of move-directions.

From our location we could not estimate how far away from us that light-point was, as according our first impression, that light-point appeared just as a bright star.

We could not hear any noise, either.

The light-point movements went on for some time and after a while we decided not to look further to that light-show in the sky and not to bother ourselves with things we cannot explain.

Somehow deep impressed and confused we left the scene and continued to drive towards to Strasbourg. We promised ourselves not tell anyone about that event, because we thought that nobody will believe us and we feared of ridicule.

However, 30 years past, but the memory on that night is for me still present as it was yesterday.

I am reporting that case now, because internet does provide now the opportunity to share those experiences with an open-minded community. Maybe someone has a simple explanation for that.

((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that date is approximate. PD))

Hynek rating: NL

The sources are indicated as: "Davenport, Peter, National UFO Reporting Center, Seattle."

Discussion:

We shall forgive US citizen Peter Davenport, probably used to the vast distances of his great country for using "Strasbourg" as a location.

We are in fact between 50 and 60 miles, or 80 to 96 km on the highway, south of Strasbourg. The only highway to consider is the A35, and we are therefore in the Haut-Rhin.

Meyenheim, Munwiller, Oberentzen, Bitzheim, Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, are cities in the vicinity of the traveled motorway. There are several places that can serve as car park to rest on this trip. Let's note that Meyenheim is near Air Force Base BA 132, but we would rather look at a possible astronomical explanation.

"Jitter", jumps, can affect the perception of stars or satellites in two ways. Autokinesis occurs with such objects when thre is no fixed landmark in the surroundings: a satellite high in the sky may seems to "zigzag" somewhat.

Also, atmospheric turbulence seen through a good amount of atmosphere can make stars and planets quite low on the horizon seem to jitter or jump a bit.

The reports gives few certainties about it. Thus, it would have been unusual that one star or planet would jump about while others would not, and we could assume that if all stars had jittered, the witness would have realized it and reported it.

Then, for once, we have an angular size for the "jumps", 2 or 3 fingers wide at arm's length. In principle, this is too much. But on the other hand the witness himself made a note that there is an uncertainty in hies memories of this; it might have been less.

The "jumps" being the only reported strangeness, we hesitate to dismiss an astronomical explanation for the benefit of another, less consensual one.

We would like to check out Venus, "bright star" in appearance. We have the "West" as the direction, we have 30░ as the elevation, and a location good enough, but alas no exact date, making ephemeris checks futile. This leaves us with a case of "possible astronomical" explanation.

Evaluation:

Possible star or planet.

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 September 21, 2015 Creation, [nu1], [ud1].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 21, 2015 First published.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict



 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on September 21, 2015.