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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 Huningue, on May 26, 1980:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1980-05-26-HUNINGUE-1

Summary:

The main witness of this sighting in the Huningue area in the Haut-Rhin on May 26, 1980, at around 7:00 p.m., introduced himself as a flight mechanic officer of a civil airline company, the Antillean Society of Tourist Transport. He wrote a handwritten report on his observation, with a situation map and a sketches of the observed object, the very next day, and gave this report to the gendarmes. He also phone the Basel Mulhouse airport, 5 km from the observation place, and they filed a report form.

The second witness was his spouse, she undersigned her husband's report.

The observation is reported as follows: at about 7 p.m. local time, the couple was walking on the harbor area of Huningue, on the banks of the river Rhine. At about 7:06 pm or 7:07 pm, his attention was drawn by the flicker of a metallic object with a round base, the top of which was shaped like a dome. The object was in the sky on the other side of the Rhine at a height of 60° above the horizon, and according to his estimate at 200 or 300 meters above the ground.

For about 3 minutes, the object was stationary, and showed a north-south oscillation that he estimated at 25° on both sides of the horizontal. This oscillation gave him the impression of a flapping as if the craft had difficulties of stabilization. He specified that he could not tell if the object was rotating on itself or not.

The base of the object was circular or slightly elliptical, dark in color, almost black, with a peripheral red hue, that is to say, a reddish glow was visible intermittently.

The top or dome was silver-colored, strongly shining.

He estimated the probable dimensions of the object as a height of 2 meters and a diameter of 4 to 5 meters.

Then the object started to move for about 3 minutes in the direction of the east, thus moving away, while ascending, as if it was pausing from time to time, and this at relatively slow speed, still oscillating, and it was lost from sight in the clouds at 07:12 p.m. local time.

There was no noise related to the craft, nor condensation.

The witness asserted that since he has 25 years experience in the aeronautics, he is certain that the object was neither a weather balloon, nor some other balloon, nor a kite, nor a helicopter; and that by its shape, it does not match with any flying machine that he would have known about.

The control tower at the Basel-Mulhouse airport informed him that during the observation, the visibility in the sector was greater than 10 km, the ceiling was 6/8 at 1800 meters. There was no mist, the lighting was good.

The day after the observation, he went to the gendarmerie, gave his report, and signed a statement.

At the end of their hearing of the witness, the gendarmes contacted the head of the Electronic Division at the Basel-Mulhouse Airport. The latter, after examining the videotape recording of the radar tracks, indicated to them by telephone that at the time and in the sector of the sighting, there had been, indeed, a radar echo, but as it was drowned in the middle of the traffic of private and general navigation, they thought it was hardly exploitable.

The gendarmes also contacted the gendarmerie squad closest to the observation site, but the latter had not received any reports of UFO sightings.

The official record of the time, anonymized, was published by GEIPAN in the 2010s, the case being noted as lacking an ordinary explanation.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 26, 1980
Time: ~07:00 p.m.
Duration: 5 or 6 minutes.
First known report date: May 26, 1980
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Huningue
Place: Harbor area on the Rhine at Huningue, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.607
Longitude: 7.602
Uncertainty ratio: 500 m

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: Harbor area on river, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): Yes.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: DD, RV
ALSACAT: Possible extraterrestrial craft.

Sources:

[Ref. ge1:] GROUPE D'ETUDES ET D'INFORMATIONS SUR LES PHENOMENES AEROSPATIAUX NON IDENTIFIES (G.E.I.P.A.N.):

HUNINGUE(68) 1980

Observed on: 05/26/1980
Region: Alsace
Department: Rhin (Haut)
Class: D
Summary: Observation of an object in the shape of a cuppola.
Description: On May 26, 1980, around 7 p.m. two walkers see an unusual object in the clear sky. A navigating engineer officer, one of the witnesses describes an object of metallic appearance which on a round base, with the shape, in its upper part, of a dome of silver color. The object hovering at 200 or 300m from the ground seems to oscillate on its axis. Its lower part is darker and intermittently presents a reddish luminescence. During 6 minutes of observation, no noise and no condensation were noticed. The object disappeared in the clouds by marking successive levels. At Basel / Mulhouse airport a radar echo was recorded but drowned in the traffic of the private and general navigation and therefore not very exploitable. No other witnesses or other information was collected in France or in the German border area. This phenomenon remains unexplained.
Report: None.

Details of the testimony

Witness
Date of the observation 05/26/1980
Document number
Age Adult (more than 18)
Profession Other category
Sex Male
Reaction Active Curiosity
Credibility Normal Credibility
Conditions
Environment Urban Landscape
Weather conditions Not-specified
Hour of theobservation Numbered: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Reference frame Sky or clouds
Distance between phenomenon and witness Not-specified
Start of the observation start of the observation by witness
End of the observation End of the observation by phenomenon
Localization
Angle of the site Numbered
Direction of observation Geographic landmarks (Name of city, village, numbered, etc.)
Heading Not-specified
Trajector< Immobile;Other;With change of direc
Nature of the observation Objet
Characteristic of the observation Unique
Global shape Other form (comparison)
Color Other (other colors)
Apparent size Not-specified
Apparent speed Null;Slow, constan
Noise No noise
Effect on the environment Not-specified
Number 1

Détails du témoignage

Witness
Date of the observation 05/26/1980
Document number
Age Adult (more than18)
Profession Other category
Sex Male
Reaction Active Curiosity
Credibility Normal Credibility
Conditions
Environment Home
Weather conditions Not-specified
Hour of the observation Numbered: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Reference frame Sky or clouds
Distance between phenomenon and witness Not-specified
Start of the observation start of the observation by witness
End of the observation End of the observation by phenomenon
Localization
Angle of the site Numbered
Direction of observation Not-specified
Heading Not-specified
Trajectory Immobile;Ascending;Other
Nature of the observation Object
Characteristic of the observation Unique
Global shape Other shape (comparison)
Color White (light-colored)
Apparent size Not-specified
Apparent speed Fast, large, quick
Bruit Not-specified
Effect on the environment Not-specified
Number 1

NATIONAL GENDARMERIE
BRIGADE: XXXXXXX
UNIT
Squad []
Rep. Nr 821 / 1980

SHIPPING SLIP
CONSTITUTE WITH THE ATTACHMENTS IT LISTS THE REPORT RECORDED AT THE UNIT UNDER THE NUMBER INDICATED HERE

U.F.O.
CASE H[]
FRAME TO USE BY THE RECIPIENT
05/261980


JUDICIAL INFORMATION:
OBSERVATION OF AN UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT

INVESTIGATION

  • (X) PRELIMINARY
  • ( ) IN THE ACT
  • ( ) ON DEMAND
  • Other

DESCRIPTION OF THE ATTACHMENTS

  1. Report of transportation notification and measures taken.
  2. Report established by the witness
  3. SITUATION MAP Nr 1
  4. SITUATION MAP Nr 2

NUMBER OF COPIES / INDICATION OF RECIPIENT

  • 1 Mr. the Prefect of the [Haut-Rhin] in [Colmar].
  • 1 Mr. the General Cdr of the [] Military Region at [].
  • 1 Mr. the General Cdr of the [] Air Region at [].
  • 2 Mr. the Minister of the Armies - Head of the Gendarmerie
    and the Military Justice - Employ Information Office at ......

SEEN AND FORWARDED BY

Lt-colonel R[]
Commanding the Gendarmerie Group of the []

NATIONAL GENDARMERIE
COMPANY XXXXX
Unit
Squad []
UNIT CODE 03548
REPORT Nr /197
821/1980

REPORT OF PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

DOCUMENT Nr
SHEET Nr

PRECISE NATURE OF THE FACTS - REFERENCE

JUDICIAL INFORMATION

OBSERVATION OF AN UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT

WE THE UNDERSIGNED J[] J[], Gendarme, Agent of Judicial Police; GIVEN THE ARTICLES 20 & 75 of the Penal Procedure Code; REPORT THE FOLLOWING OPERATIONS WHICH WE PERFORMED, ACTING IN UNIFORM AND IN CONFORMITY WITH THE COMMANDS OF OUR CHIFS.

DATE HOUR

This day Twenty Seven of May One [thousands] and Eighty at dix o'clock in the afternoon, at the office of our squad, come Mr. D[] A[]. He wishes to inform us on an observation of unidentified flying object.

Immediately, we Gendarme J[], hear:

D[] A[], [] years old, Flying Mechanic Officer, civilian aviation, residing at [] ([]), son of E[] and of O[] H[], maried, without children, of French nationality, who states to us at 06:05 p.m.:

"""On Monday, May 26, 1980, at about 7 p.m., wandering, with my spouse, at the harbor [] of [], I noted the following facts:

"""An object of metallic aspect, was in the sky, approximatively above [] and it did not possibly compare to an aircraft I would know. This object was at an altitude of about 200 to 300 meters and was "stationary". During the observation, it oscillated on its axis, giving the impression of a flapping as if it had difficulties of stabilization. In the observation, he showed on its top part, the shape of a cuppola. Its lower part was darker almost black and intermittently a red gleam was visible there. Our observation lasted about 6 mn. At the end of the observation, the object disappeared little by little in the clouds, as if it made pauses and this at a relatively slow speed.

"""O. Q. [On questionning] I am particularly interested in these phenomenon because of my job.

"""I therefore give you the report I wrote immediately after the fact and that I forwarded to the Commander of the Airport of [].

"""There had been no noise activity or even condensation in the proximity of the object.

"""This is all that I can tell you on this case.

On May 27, 1980, at 6:30 p.m.:

Havind read the above statement, I persist in it and I have nothing to change, to add or to remove from it.

The heard person: [signature]

The Agent of judicial Police. [signature]

DATE OF CLOSURE ON 02 JUNE 1980

At the end of Mr. D[]'s interview, we made contact with Mr. S[] R[], Head of the Electronic Division at [the Basel-Mulhouse] Airport. The latter, after reviewing the tape recorder radar image, informed us by telephone that at the time and in the sector concerned, there is indeed an echo, but it was drowned in the middle of the private and general navigation traffic, thus hardly exploitable.

The location of the witnesses and the area of ??observation were materialized by the witness on Situation Maps 1 & 2 (cf Attachments 3 & 4).

The technical report submitted by the witness is attached to the present proceedings under Nr. 2.

During our investigations, we also contacted the police [] of [] ([]), which is territorially competent for the observation area. They informed us that no testimony had been collected from the population of [].

Since no other witness has appeared at our Brigade, we close this proceeding on June 2, 1980.

PREPARED IN SEVEN SHIPMENTS for recipients::

The first: To Mister the Judge of the Republic at ...

The second: To Mister the Prefect of [] at .....

The third: To Mr. the General commanding the [] Military Region at .....

The fourth: To Mister the General commanding the [] Air Region at .....

The fifth
the sixth: To minster the Minister of the Armies - Head of the Gendarmerie and the Military Justice - Employ-Information Office a ....

The seventh: To the archive.

Written at [] On May 27, 80

Mister A[] D[].
Flying mechanic officer
[] airlines at []

About: Observation of an unknown flying object.

On Monday, May 26, 80, around 19:00, I was walking with my wife on the banks of the [Rhine] (harbor area of []).

My attention was attracted by the flicker of a metallic-looking object with a round base, whose upper part was shaped like a dome

CONDITIONS D'OBSERVATION:

- visibilité: supérieure à 10 Km

- ceiling: 6/8 at 1800 m (informations given by the control tower of [Basele-Mulhouse airport])

Lighting: good

- Haze: none

POSITION IN RELATION TO THE AIRPORT:

- In the 90 ° / 100 °

from the observation point, about 60 ° above the horizontal

estimated height 200 to 300 m above the ground

- "[]" estimated, side [] of [].

SHAPE AND PROBABLE DIMENSIONS:

[Sketch with "height 2 m" and "diameter 4 to 5 meters]

OBSERVED BEHAVIOR:

- Stationary (about 3 minutes) with oscillation around a horizontal axis N / S, [?] for lack of seeing:

- the base: circular or slightly elliptical, dark in color, with peripheral redness

- the dome: silver metal color, high gloss.

The inclination on both side of the horizontal is estimated at 25 °, the rotation on itself has not been observed.

- Displacement: (about 3 minutes) In the direction of the east, with incrase of altitude, still while oscillating, and loss of sight in the clouds. It was 07:12 p.m. local time.

[Sketches "Base", "cupolla"]

Remarks:

This object cannot be mistaken with:

- neither a weather balloon or a free balloon
- nor wuth a kite
- nor with a helicopter

The shape and the flight of this object, do not match with any of my knowledge aquired in 25 years of aeronautics

WITNESS Mrs D[] [signature]

A[] D[] [signature]

SITUATION MAPR Nr 1

[Captionned map]

Area above which the craft was observed

SECRETARY OF THE TRANSPORTS
GENERAL OFFICE OF THE CIVILIAN AVIATION
North Aerial Region
AIRPORT OF []

Nr 042807

At [], on June 02, 1980

GEPAN - CENTRE NATIONAL D'ETUDES SPATIALES
18, avenue Edouard Belin
31055 TOULOUSE CEDEX

SHIPPING SLIP - MESSAGE (1)

Report form for the observation of unexplained aerocpace phenomena .... 1

Checking of the identity done and observations confirmed

AIRPORT OF []
The engineer of the Studies and Exploitation of the Civilian Aviation
Head of the Air Traffic Subdivision

CENTRE NATIONAL D'ETUDES SPATIALES
GROUPE D'ETUDES DES PHENOMENES AEROSPATAUX NON-IDENTIFIED

REPORT FORM (STATEMENT)

Form to be used by the pilots who wish to send reports of sightings of unidentified aerospace phenomena, and by the agents of the air traffic control services who note or receive such reportsby phone, teletype or radio.

A PILOT CONTROLLER
B Rank, name firstnames
(rank/name)
D[] mechanic officer
C Company or service (company or flight control center) Address S.A.T.T.
D Identification of the aircaft (aircraft identification)
E Type
F Call number (call or flight number)
G Start airport (departure airport)
H Destination
I Estimated position and heading at the start of the observation Observation made from the ground at []
J Date and UTC time of the start of the observation (Zoulou time) 17 40
K Altitude/altimetric position at the start of the observation (flight level) ... m/ft
[N/A]
L type of flight plan IFR () VFR ()

SECOND PAGE OF THE REPORT (STATEMENT)

M Weather [N/A]
N Description of the observation / of the phenomenon / trajectory / relative position / duratio / shape / color / other
sketch (drawn it [sic])
grey white metallci-looking object on its top part. the to, black in its central part and orange colored with reflections on the rest. The object had the shape of a disc. duration of the phenomenon 5 minutes, mostly in stationary flight. Then fast ascent while oscillating -
+ height ~200 m/ground
+ place: [], direction []
O Ground dara [N/A]
P On board radar (bord radar [sic]) [N/A]
Q CAI, TAC detector [N/A]
R Abnormal functioning of fligh instruments (anormal [sic] function [sic] of flight instruments) [N/A]
S Was the observation rsreported by radio / phone / teletype? To what service? Yes - Phone - Civilian service
T Date: 05/26/80
UTC hour of the report (of the statement): 17 55
Signature of the reporter (sign [sic])

FORM TO SEND TO THE AIR TRAFFIC BASEL-MULHOUSE

These documents were composed by the GEPAN (Groupe d'Etudes des Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non Identifiés)

[GEPAN Address] [unreadable]

[Ref. lc1:] LUC CHASTAN - "BASE OVNI FRANCE":

Huningue (68) on May 26, 1980

General features

Num Base: 2471
Department: Haut Rhin (68)
Place of observation: Huningue
Latitude: 47.6
Longitude: +7.583
Date of observation: May 26, 1980
Hour: 07:00 p.m.
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 00:06:00
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual: Distant
Nbr of witness(es): 2
Official investigation: Yes

Features of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Half sphere
Size: 2 to 5 meters
Color: Metallic (silver,)
Luminosity: Not specified
Visual characteristics: No indication
Speed: Motionless then slow
Movement/Displacement: Ascending by steps
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Observation

A couple walks along the banks of the Rhine in the harbor area when the man's attention is attracted by the glitter of an apparently metallic object with a round base whose top is dome-shaped on the German side of Rhine. The object oscillated on its axis. It remained stationary for about 3 minutes, and then moved towards the east for about 3 minutes uphill to finally disappear in the clouds, marking during this phase steps at slow speed. Estimated size of 4-5 m by 2 m high.

Sources

Lumières dans la Nuit issue 227/228

Sketch validated by the witness

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

26 May 1980 19:00

Huningue, Alsace, France

A hovering object was observed. One object was observed by two witnesses in a town for over three minutes.

Hynek rating: DD

Vallee rating: FB1

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

[Ref. ct1:] CLAUDE THINNES WEBSITE:

HUNINGUE(68) - 1980

Observation of an object in the shape of a cuppola.

On May 26, 1980, around 7 p.m. two walkers see an unusual object in the clear sky. A navigating engineer officer, one of the witnesses describes an object of metallic appearance which on a round base, with the shape, in its upper part, of a dome of silver color. The object hovering at 200 or 300m from the ground seems to oscillate on its axis. Its lower part is darker and intermittently presents a reddish luminescence. During 6 minutes of observation, no noise and no condensation were noticed. The object disappeared in the clouds by marking successive levels. At Basel / Mulhouse airport a radar echo was recorded but drowned in the traffic of the private and general navigation and therefore not very exploitable. No other witnesses or other information was collected in France or in the German border area. This phenomenon remains unexplained.

OFFICIAL REPORT. : HERE [broken link]

MINISTERE DES TRANSPORTS : ICI [broken link]

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
HUNINGUE Monday 26 May 1980 at 19h00 saucer, rugby ball (3D)
Unidentified
red
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

The two witnesses were walking somewhere on the yellow line. On the witness's map, it can be seen that the reporting witness places the UFO in the yellow circle on the other side of the Rhine.

On the left of the witnesses, Huningue, on the left of Huningue, the strips of the Basel Mulhouse airport.

If the position, in terms of distance, was the right one, this gives a maximum observation distance of 3.5 km and a minimum of 300 meters. The uncertainty is great, since the witness did not indicate exactly his position, given only as the harbor area of Huningue, an area of about 3 kilometers long.

The direction of observation is thus between 60° and 150°.

In the report form for aviation personnel, the time of observation seems to be indicated as 17:40 (05:40 p.m.). This is in universal time, it corresponds to 07:40 p.m. in local time. So there is probably a mistake since the witness said the sighting ended at 07:12 p.m. This is a "non-round" hour that probably corresponds to a look at his watch. It should be noted that this report was not completed by the witness, but by a person at the airport at 07:55 p.m., while the witness had telephoned the airport. 07:40 p.m. could then be the time of the beginning of his call.

In that same report, he gave a place and a direction, but it was censored.

It is still daylight at the hour of observation. The moon was at 131°, and an elevation of 21°, and it was a full moon. But the object was at 60° elevation, which is really much higher. The moon does not oscillate by 25°, does not produce reflections, and does not resemble the object described.

What is unfortunate is that there is no angular direction, no exact position of the witness, no angular size. Nevertheless, the case does not seem to me to correspond to any ordinary explanation.

Evaluation:

Possible extraterrestrial craft.

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 June 5, 2018 Creation, [lc1], [ge1], [ud1], [ct1], [sp4].
1.0 Patrick Gross June 5, 2018 First published.

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