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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 Eguisheim, on May 9, 1998:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1998-05-09-EGUISHEIM-1

Summary:

The regional press reportedly told that on May 9, 1998, the SATER air crash rescue operation was set up in the evening and continued the next day after two airliners picked up and recorded between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. a distress call confirmed by the signals of a distress beacon.

The call came from an airplane, probably a passenger plane, flying west of Eguisheim.

About 60 people, mainly gendarmes and firefighters, were assigned to the search, with the assistance of two helicopters.

The searches covered the triangle Colmar - Guebwiller - Le Bonhomme and up to the north of Sélestat, and gave no results. The SATER plan was interrupted on Sunday at noon. In the afternoon, there was still a search by the helicopter of the Gendarmerie in the Westhalten area with the support of about thirty Gendarmes.

In the evening, the chief of staff of the Préfet in Colmar reportedly stated that no aircraft was reported missing, and the case stopped there.

This affair, which has no relation with UFOs at all, entered ufology through ufologist Joël Mesnard, who advocates that there is a phenomenon of "crashes of nothing", related to UFOs according to him, that he describes as follows:

Witnesses observe the passage of an aircraft (plane, ultralight, helicopter, balloon, parachute) which seems in difficulty, loses altitude and crashes in the distance. The alerted authorities undertake searches in the indicated area, but no trace of a possible crash is found, and we learn that no aircraft disappearance has been reported, so, the search is stopped and the case closed.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 9, 1998
Time: 03:00 p.m.
Duration: N/A
First known report date: May 10, 1998?
Reporting delay: Day, years?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Eguisheim
Place: West of Eguisheim.
Latitude: 48.043
Longitude: 7.345
Uncertainty ratio: 20

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2 or more.
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults
Witness(es) types: Airliners pilots.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Airliner pilots by radio.
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: Day.
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
Entities: No
Photographs: N/A
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: Distress call by small plane.

Classifications:

Hynek: N/A
ALSACAT: No proven relation with UFOs.

Sources:

[Ref. ld2:] MAGAZINE "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT":

The magazine lists "Crashes of Nothing", including one "in the West of Eguisheim, Haut-Rhin, F" on 5/9/1998, with, as sources: "Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace" and "LDLN 360".

[Ref. od1:] "OVNI-DIRECT" WEBSITE:

"Crashes of nothing" or "Ghost Crashes"

Published 11/13/2013

Source : Joel Mesnard of the LDLN magazine

A "Crash of nothing" is an object that crashes in the distance although no debris is found.

That is to say that the witnesses observe the passing of an aircraft (plane, Ultralight, helicopter, balloon, parachute) that seems to be in trouble, loses altitude and crashing [sic] in the distance. It is whe [sic] the authorities are immediately alerted then searches are started in the indicated area. But is is only after several hours of search of the area that one finally notices no trace of a supposed crash. Then it is learnd [sic] that no aircraft disappearance was reported and at the end the searches are paused. The case thus remains without continuation !!!

This unbelievable characteristic of the ufo phenomenon represents an essential feature never to be ignored and the cases are much more frequent that one images.

What relationship with the flying saucers, cigars or luminous balls that are usually observed?

There exist numerous observation in which the witnesses tell they are observing a plane or another conventional craft when this one suddenly changes into an unidentified flying object following out of the ordinary trajectories.

One knows now how manipulatory the ufo phenomenon behaves, blurry and intelligent. It often tries to cast confusion in the brain of the witnesses.

Somes cases partially listes in this table

Date Place Description Source
05/09/1998 In the West of Eguisheim (68) Plane + distress call Derniéres Nouvelles d'Alsace, LDLN 341

[Ref. jm1:] JOEL MESNARD:

This ufologist indicates that on May 9, 1998, west of Eguisheim, in the Haut-Rhin, the SATER 1 and 2 plan - an important research operation - was put in place that evening and maintained the next day after two airliners picked up and recorded between 03:00 p.m. and 03:30 p.m. a distress call confirmed by the signals of a distress beacon.

The call came from an airplane, probably a small plane, flying west of Eguisheim.

About 60 people, mainly gendarmes and firefighters, were assigned to the research, interrupted at midnight, and resumed at 6 a.m. with the assistance of two helicopters.

The searches covered the triangle Colmar - Guebwiller - Le Bonhomme and up to the north of Sélestat, and gave no results. The SATER plan was interrupted on Sunday at noon. In the afternoon, there was still a search by the helicopter of the Gendarmerie in the Westhalten area with the support of about thirty Gendarmes.

In the evening, the cabinet director of the Préfet in Colmar reported that no plane was reported missing and the case stopped there.

Joël Mesnard indicates that the source is "Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace" and LDLN 360 page 33.

Discussion:

No UFO at all is involved here: this would be about a distress call by radio, very human, and nobody saw anything. I have no explanation about the event, I did not find anything about what seems a false alarm.

I found nothing on the content of the distress call: was the plane from which it originated in trouble, or was it reporting real or supposed difficulties of another aircraft?

The "closest" to the case I found is only that there was on November 7, 1998, a SATER drill in Grosmagny in the north of Belfort territory whose topic was: "a distress beacon was heard in the north of the Territoire de Belfort" (Department bordering the south of Haut-Rhin).

Evaluation:

No proven relation with UFOs.

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 January 20, 2018 Creation, [ld2], [od1], [jm1].
1.0 Patrick Gross January 20, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on January 20, 2018.