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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 between Guémar and Sélestat, on January 1, 2002:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2002-01-01-GUEMAR-1

Summary:

In the May 2002 issue of the French ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit, ufologist Pierre Naigeon gave this report ny Mr. Denis Petit:

"On January 1st, 2002 at 3 p.m., while I drove on the A35 in the direction from Colmar to Strasbourg (thus approximately north-south), my attention was attracted by an unusual light on my left, seeming to hover and apparently above the Hochkoenigsbourg (apparently because with the perspective, it might as well be located beyond) and at an altitude that I cannot determine exactly; I drove at 130 km/h and could not constantly give my attention to this phenomenon, which was thus on my left, and was visible by the door window, driver's side. I noticed this thing by chance, from Guémar (68) on and up the Sélestat exit that goes to Châtenois and further on the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines tunnel. From there, my back to the azimuth of the phenomenon, I could not continue watching. Then housing and urban landscape hid the Hochkoenigsbourg and the Vosges emerging mountains."

"What surprised me, in addition to being the witness of such an appearance, is that I had an impression of deja-vu. Indeed, Mr. Naigeon, whom I know well, showed me the original of a HI/8 video he shot last August, and one which appeared, apparently above the Ungersberg, then further away towards Ribeauvillé and the Haut Koenigsbourg approximatively, a luminous "object", circular, with like six "lamps" on the rim (see LDLN 362, p. 32, Editor's note), seeming to hover in altitude."

"So it was for several minutes that I could make this observation, while being attentive to my driving. I think, from memory, that the circular shape and bright on the periphery could be about 2-3 mm at arm's length, and it seemed absolutely motionless. the sky was clear and white cottony, with high clouds very far on the Vosges, in the west. I am convinced I had the chance to witness an apparition of a UFO because it was unlike anything seen before. The exact resemblance of shape, luminosity, lights and place, as well as the apparent altitude, well above 1000 m (the Hochkoenigsbourg lying around 900), with the object filmed by Mr. Naigeon reinforce my idea. I attach two sketches so that I'm better understood."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: January 1, 2002
Time: ~03:00 p.m.
Duration: Several minutes.
First known report date: May 2002
Reporting delay: 5 months or less.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Between Guémar and Sélestat
Place: From vehicle driving on the A35 highway between Guémar and Sélestat, UFO in the sky
Latitude: 48.232
Longitude: 7.406
Uncertainty ratio: 3 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Male.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported to his friend local ufologist Pierre Naigeon.
Type of location: From vehicle driving on a highway, UFO in the sky
Visibility conditions: Day.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: No
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): Yes
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): Yes
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Nothing known.

Classifications:

Hynek: DD
ALSACAT: Unidentified.

Sources:

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

January 1st, 2002,
between Guémar (Haut-Rhin) and Sélestat (Bas-Rhin)

Pierre Naigeon now reports to us the testimony of Mr. Denis Petit:

On January 1st, 2002 at 3 p.m., while I drove on the A35 in the direction from Colmar to Strasbourg (thus approximately north-south), my attention was attracted by an unusual light on my left, seeming to hover and apparently above the Hochkoenigsbourg (apparently because with the perspective, it might as well be located beyond) and at an altitude that I cannot determine exactly; I drove at 130 km/h and could not constantly give my attention to this phenomenon, which was thus on my left, and was visible by the door window, driver's side. I noticed this thing by chance, from Guémar (68) on and up the Sélestat exit that goes to Châtenois and further on the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines tunnel. From there, my back to the azimuth of the phenomenon, I could not continue watching. Then housing and urban landscape hid the Hochkoenigsbourg and the Vosges emerging mountains.

What surprised me, in addition to being the witness of such an appearance, is that I had an impression of deja-vu. Indeed, Mr. Naigeon, whom I know well, showed me the original of a HI/8 video he shot last August, and one which appeared, apparently above the Ungersberg, then further away towards Ribeauvillé and the Haut Koenigsbourg approximatively, a luminous "object", circular, with like six "lamps" on the rim (see LDLN 362, p. 32, Editor's note), seeming to hover in altitude.

So it was for several minutes that I could make this observation, while being attentive to my driving. I think, from memory, that the circular shape and bright on the periphery could be about 2-3 mm at arm's length, and it seemed absolutely motionless. the sky was clear and white cottony, with high clouds very far on the Vosges, in the west. I am convinced I had the chance to witness an apparition of a UFO because it was unlike anything seen before. The exact resemblance of shape, luminosity, lights and place, as well as the apparent altitude, well above 1000 m (the Hochkoenigsbourg lying around 900), with the object filmed by Mr. Naigeon reinforce my idea. I attach two sketches so that I'm better understood.

Discussion:

Above: on the A-35 highway at the closest of the Hochkoenigsbourg. The witness was traveling from left to right on the right lane. The Haut-Koenigsbourg castle is under the red line.

Above: the witness drove on the A35, indicated by my red line, from bottom to top, so indeed roughly from south to north. The Hochkoenigsbourg is on his left.

The bottom green line is the direction towards the castle at the beginning of the observation, the top green line is the direction at the end of the observation. He sees the thing after Guémar and until the Châtenois exit ("exit to Châtenois"). As the thing is said to be stationary above the Hochkoenigsbourg, all along the trip, triangulation suggests that there is little chance that it was elsewhere than above the castle.

If the witness made the observation from the level of Guémar until the A35 highway exit to Châtenois (or maybe even to the tunnel of Ste-Marie-aux-Mines), he traveled at least 8.4 kilometers. He said he drove at 130 km/h, so he made the observation in 130/60*8.4 minutes, i.e. 18 minutes, more than the "several minutes" he indicated, unless he took into consideration the times when had not observed as he was absorbed by the driving. In any case, this reinforces the idea that the thing was above the Haut-Koenigsbourg and remained there about 18 minutes at least.

The date of January 1st, 2002, may be significant: flare, pyrotechnics show at the Haut-Koenigsbourg to celebrate the new year? But motionless for so long? Or, were several "things" there in succession giving the impression of a single thing because he was unable to watch constantly? By searching on the web, I did not find information on a show or party there for New Year 2002 that could explain the observation.

Two to three millimeters at arm's length, the size is compatible with the size of a plane arriving opposite the observer with its headlights on to pierce the "white cottony" sky. But the immobility above the castle on such a period with this pretty good triangulation excludes it. A helicopter or a group of helicopters hovering there?

The witness, however, seems convinced that it was nothing known, a real UFO, and he may be right, I cannot say. But observation is of low strangeness, and video to which it is related is another case in August 2001 without temporal relationship.

Evaluation:

Unidentified.

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 December 19, 2014 Creation, [ld1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 19, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on December 19, 2014