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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 Bartenheim, in May 2000:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2002-05-00-BARTHENHEIM-1

Summary:

Following publication by the Swiss ufology group GREPI about an observation on the A35 highway between Mulhouse and Basel, in our region, I and another local ufologist, colleague of mine, also passed a call to witnesses in the newspaper L'Alsace, published on July 10, 2002. This brought back to us a lot of sighting reports in this area, none temporally matching the one that prompted our call for for witnesses.

Among this series, I received by email on July 11, 2002, the report of someone anonymous who has read the calls for witnesses and wanted to inform us seeing an object that strongly resembled the one described, three lights arranged in a triangle, making a slow flight over the A35 motorway.

The observation was dated "three months ago", thus in May 2002.

This person was returning from a business meeting, at 9 p.n. or 09:30 p.m.

Shortly after entering the motorway at Bartenheim, the witness saw "this thing; which seemed motionless. I clearly distinguished the three lights in a triangle, but I do not remember more details."

The person was sorry not to be able to give a more detailed testimony.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 2000
Time: ~09:00, 09:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: July 11, 2002
Reporting delay: 3 months.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Bartenheim
Place: From the car driving on the A35 highway shortly after the Bartenheim crossing, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.644
Longitude: 7.495
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: From a car driving on highway in line with airport landing strip 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): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Insufficient information, probable plane.

Sources:

[Ref. pg1:] REPORT I RECEIVED BY EMAIL:

From: [X]@infonie.fr

Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2002 1:41 PM

Subject: testimony

Following the testimony of a resident of the Mulhouse region (published in a local newspaper a few days ago), I [female] want you to know I saw an object that is very similar to that described (three lights in a triangular formation, very slow flight) above the A35, three months ago, as I was returning from a business meeting at 9 p.m. - 09:30 p.m. Shortly after I entered the highway at Bartenheim, I actually saw this craft, which seemed to be hovering. I clearly distinguished the three lights in a triangle, but I do not remember details. I'm sorry not to be able to bring you more specific testimony, but I give you my email address anyway: [X] @ infonie.fr

At the time, I did not have the "Your reports" section of my own website, and I published this report on the website of the Fédération Française d'Ufologie (French Federation of Ufology, FFU), in the "Sighting reports" section, both in English and French:

Barthenheim, Alsace, May 2002:

Date: Estimated May 2002
Time: Estimated around 9:00 or 9:30pm
Duration: ?
Department: Haut-Rhin, Alsace
Location: After Bartenheim entrance of motorway A35
Number of witness: 1
Number of objects: 3 lights
Shape of object: None seen
Other objects: None described
Sound: ?
Color: ?
Flashes, rays: ?
Color of flashes, rays: ?
Contrail, exhaust, ejection: ?
Color of contrail, exhaust, ejection: ?
Moon visible: ?
Clouds: ?
Rain: ?
Wind: ?

The report:

"Following the testimony of an inhabitant of the Mulhouse area (appeared in a regional daily newspaper a few days ago), I make a point in announcing to you that I have seen an object which strongly resembles the one described (three lights laid out in triangle, very slow flight) iver the A35 motorway, three months ago, while returning from a workshop at about 9:00pm - 9:30pm. Little after I engaged on the motorway at the level of Bartenheim, I actually saw this machine, which appeared hovering to me. I clearly distinguished the three lights in triangle, but I do not remember of any more details. I am sorry to be unable to give more specifics to you, but I leave you nevertheless my eMail: [Retained by FFU]"

Note:

The publication of a sighting report does not mean that the FFU Committee is clueless about it. At this time, investigations are lead and we do not wish to disturb the investigation process with any premature explanation.

[Ref. uw1:] "UFOWEB" WEBSITE:

UPDATED ON 08/05/02

2002/028: Observation in May 2002 department 68.

Source Fédération Française d'Ufologie

Date: Estimated during May 2002

Time: About 09:00 p.m. 09:30 p.m.

Duration of observation: ?

Department: Haut-Rhin

Place of observation: Highway A35, shortly after the entry on the highway at the level of Barthenheim.

Number of witnesses: 1

Number of objects: Three lights

Shape of objects: Not seen

Other shapes: None indicated

Report: "Following the testimony of a resident of the Mulhouse region (published in a local newspaper a few days ago), I [female] want you to know I saw an object that is very similar to that described (three lights in a triangular formation, very slow flight) above the A35, three months ago, as I was returning from a business meeting at 9 p.m. - 09:30 p.m. Shortly after I entered the highway at Bartenheim, I actually saw this craft, which seemed to be hovering. I clearly distinguished the three lights in a triangle, but I do not remember details. I'm sorry not to be able to bring you more specific testimony."

Call to witnesses: thanks to the web users to report to us all the unusual observations that occurred in that department during this period. Thanks!

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

Bartenheim (68) in May 2002

General features

Num Base: 1283
Department: Haut Rhin (68)
Place of observation: Bartenheim
Latitude: 47.633
Longitude: +7.466
Date of observation: May 2002
Hour: 09:00 p.m.
Duration (HH:MM:SS): N.C.
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual: Distant
Nbr of witness(es): 1
Official investigation: No

Features of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Triangle
Size: Not specified
Color: not defined
Luminosity: Not specified
Visual characteristics: Numerous lights
Speed: Motionless
Movement/Displacement: Not specified
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Observation

A witness on the A35 observed three lights in a triangular formation, flying very slowly over the highway. The witness had just entered the highway and drove towards Mulhouse. The object seemed to hover.

Sources

Fédération française d'ufologie ** http://f.f.u.free.fr

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
BARTENHEIM May 2002 at 21h00 Triangular
Unidentified
Information not communicated
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

Through the regional newspaper L'Alsace for July 10, 2002, a local member like me of the Fédération Française d'Ufologie (French Federation of Ufology, FFU) had a call to witness published about a sighting report in our area, the Haut-Rhin department:

Following this call to witnesses, the secretariat of the FFU had received a dozen phone calls, all without direct connection with the observation that motivated our call to witnesses.

We also received reports by email, such as this one.

I know the place very well, having traveled at least a hundred times there for decades, by day and night, and having checked the location for several UFO investigations. Here is the landscape seen in daytime:

The situation is as shown on this satellite image:

The witness was on the A35 shortly after the Bartenheim ring road, thus about the red dot on the A35.

The blue dot indicates the "Euroairport" of Basel - Mulhouse, an international airport, with its runway almost perfectly in line with the highway.

There, airliners in landing approach are seen very often. The fly low above the highway, they are visible straight ahead, with their landing lights and their navigation lights on. They seem to hover, but this is an illusion. They are generally lost from sight when they go down apparently behind the treetops on the left of the highway.

Obviously, most people realize sooner or later that these are landing airliners; but not always, and the place is a "hot spot" for false UFOs that are only very close airliners. As there was a call for witnesses, the person who did not recognize a plane had thought it was a UFO.

Note that the witness says at no time "I know that planes fly there," or "it was not a plane because of this and that..."

This is at least what I see as the most likely scenario. I absolutely cannot "scientifically prove" that it was not an alien spacecraft. But I strongly doubt it was.

Evaluation:

Insufficient information, probable plane.

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 17, 2014 Creation, [pg1], [uw1], [lc1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 17, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 11, 2015 Addition [sp4].

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This page was last updated on May 11, 2015