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 Illzach, on July 9 and 10, 2002:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2002-07-09-ILLZACH-1

Summary:

Following a call for witnesses in the regional newspaper L'Alsace for July 10, 2002, the French Federation of Ufology (FFU) had received a dozen phone calls with other observations in the Mulhouse area. Among these calls, there was the call of a man wishing that his name is not be published, who reported that in Illzach, his son had seen UFOs, and was deeply upset about that, even crying, and that he accepted a ufology investigation into the matter. This was done by myself and another FFU member in August 2002.

The observation place was in the street, about fifty meters from home, in a residential area in Illzach, Mulhouse suburb in the Haut-Rhin, where we went.

The son made his second observation in the company of a friend, who also came long. Both were educated teenagers.

We started by taking apart the first boy, the one whose father had contacted us. We asked the other boy to stay away during this time, he could not hear what his comrade told us.

The boy said the first sighting was on the night from July 9 to 10, 2002, at 01:15 a.m. The second sighting took place on the night from July 10 to 11, 2002, at 11:30 p.m.

He spoke of smooth movement, but at one point he also spoke of "a turn impossible to a plane"; he told this only once, he did not repeat it. After talking about this turn he said that the UFO then became motionless, and then it went away living a very slight luminous trail.

He said that the move was done without noise. About the duration, he spoke of "minutes" but without elaborating, he had not measured the durations at the time.

He never made specific distinction between the two observations of the two consecutive nights, as if these two sightings were identical, with the "same UFO" coming back to perform the same show.

As usual, we identified the positions of the boys, we had then show us the direction and elevation of the "UFO", independently by two boys from their positions on the street, we took pictures of the place.

About sketches made by the son, on his own initiative before we met; which he handed to us spontaneously (they are reproduced below in this case), here are some comments:

For him, there was something in the center was rather like a star, it was "flashing", he said, but it seemed he meant "sparkling" like a star. He said it was "a bit" flashing. The color of the central light was white or slightly yellowish, as he said. This is the kind of "star" in the middle of his sketches.

The circle drawn by pencil around it is fictional - we had made it clear when we asked. He has not "seen" a circle, he just wanted to indicate that around the central light, other lights seemed to move along a circle. They blinked perhaps, but essentially he thought they "turned" around the central light, in circular manner. What was clear is that he said that these lights were red, and moving, and the move - if there really was a move - was counter-clockwise, he said when we asked.

The boy had also previously mentioned one or more green lights, but had not put any green in his sketches, and when he explained the sketches he seemed to have forgotten there was one or more green lights; he only talked of the red lights and the white light in the center.

We then interviewed the second boy separately. Obviously, he was much less prone to talk of UFOs than his comrade, he looked rather annoyed, as embarrassed, as if he had something to add to all this without daring to.

He gave the same directions and angular heights, his description was not very different, though more vague: lights, with red, white, green colors, some blinking but not all.

At this point we already had a clue, and it was confirmed: the second boy, with the embarrassment we had already noticed, eventually explained that whereas his friend thought he had seen "UFOs", he had thought these were just airliners, based on the "UFO" that his friend had shown him in the second observation.

But he said he had not wanted to upset or disappoint his comrade, who held that he had seen UFOs.

The father played a role in the affair: he also saw a UFO, years earlier, he was obviously ready to accept that his son saw UFOs too, and so he cared to contact us, what the son probably would not have done.

In conclusion, with all the information we collected, it seemed perfectly clear to both of us that the boy misinterpreted as "UFOs" airliners bypassing Mulhouse to land at the Basel - Mulhouse airport, 23 kilometers in the Southeast. What the boy had described really looked like airliners lights, and his comrade had interpreted them as such.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 10, 2002
Time: ~01:15 a.m., ~11:30 a.m.
Duration: ~Minutes.
First known report date: July 11, 2002, 05:15 p.m.
Reporting delay: 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Illzach
Place: From the street in suburb, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.771
Longitude: 7.362
Uncertainty ratio: 10 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 2
Number of named witnesses: 2
Witness(es) ages: Teenagers.
Witness(es) types: Male teenagers.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The father, phone call to the French Federation of Ufology after seeing call for witnesses in the newspaper.
Type of location: From the street in residential suburb, 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): Yes.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): Yes.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled, impressed, other witness not impressed at all.
Witnesses interpretation: UFO, other witness: plane.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable plane.

Sources:

[Ref. pg1:] PATRICK GROSS:

This is one of the sightings reported to us following this call for witnesses we had published in the newspaper "L'Alsace" for July 10, 2002:

Our hotline of the French Federation of Ufology took a dozen calls, collected and noted by our secretary. Among them, the father of a witness contacted the hotline to tell that his son told him he had seen UFOs, and that he was very impressed: he was upset and even wept.

The father said his son made a first observation alone on July 8, 2002, and a second observation, this time with another witness, on July 9, 2002.

The father agreed that we meet with his son at their home, however, he requested anonymity - our call sheet said "name to withhold on request, authorizes the publication of the initials if the address is not published."

An appointment was made for August 2002. The place of observation was in the street about fifty feet from the boy's home, and he had made his second observation in the company of a comrade, who came by too.

We started by taking apart the first boy, the one whose father had contacted us. We asked the other boy to stay away during this time, he could not hear what his comrade said.

The boy said the first sighting was on the night of July 9 to 10, 2002, at 01:15 am. The second was on the night of July 10 to 11, 2002, at 11:30 p.m.

He spoke of smooth movement, but at one point he also spoke of "a turn impossible to do by plane", but only once, he never mentioned it again. After talking about this turn he said that the object was then motionless, and then it went away with a slight luminous trail.

He said that the move was done without noise. About the duration, he spoke of "minutes" but without elaborating, he had not measured the durations at the time.

He never made any specific distinction between the two observations of the two consecutive nights, as if these two sightings were identical, as if the "first UFO" came back the next night to perform the same show.

As usual, we identified the positions of the boys, we asked them for the directions and elevations of the "UFO", independently by the two boys. We took pictures, such as this one, where the UFO had been spotted, as having been from their position on the street between the pair of power wires going up and to the left of the pole:

I cropped the photograph so that the houses cannot be located.

The boy handed us his drawings:

These two sketches were drawn by the boy on his own initiative before we met, and he gave us spontaneously. Here are a few comments about them:

For him, there was something in the center that was quite like a star, it was "flashing", he said, but it seemed he meant "sparkling" or "flickering" like a star. He said it was flashing "a bit". The color of the central light was white or slightly yellowish, he said. This is the sort of "star" in the centers of the sketches.

The circle drawn by pencil around it is fictional - we had made it clear by asking him about that. He has not "seen" a circle, he just wanted to indicate that around the central light, other lights had seemed to move along a circle. They blinked perhaps, but essentially he thought they "turned" around the central light, in a circular manner. What was clear is that he said that these lights were red, and moved - if they actually moved - counter-clockwise, he said when we asked.

The boy had also previously mentioned one green light or green lights, but had not put any green color in his drawings, and speaking of his drawings he seemed to have forgotten the green color, speaking only of the red lights and the white light in the center.

We then interviewed the second boy separately. Obviously, he was much less prone to speak of a UFO that his comrade, he looked rather annoyed, as if embarrassed, as if he had something to add to all this without daring to.

He gave the same directions and angular heights, his description was not very different, though more vague: lights, with red, white, green colors, most but not all of them were blinking.

At this point we already had a clue, and it was confirmed: the boy, with the discomfort we had already noticed, eventually explained that whereas his friend thought those were "UFOs", he had thought they were just airliners, based on the "UFO" that his friend had shown him in the second observation.

But he said he had not dared to upset or disappoint his comrade, who was so sure he had seen UFOs.

The father played a role in the affair: as he had seen a UFO himself years earlier he was obviously ready for the idea that his son saw UFOs too, and he took the initiative to contact us - something the son probably would not have done.

In conclusion, with all the information we collected, it seemed perfectly clear to both of us that the boy interpreted as "UFO" what was just airliners bypassing Mulhouse to land at the Basel Mulhouse airport, 23 kilometers in the southeast. What was described the boy really looked like airlines lights, and his comrades had interpreted them as such.

Discussion:

When I write "we" in this investigation report [pg1], I mean, myself, at that time a member of the French Federation of Ufology and its acting president, and a colleague ufologist of the region, also a member of the French Federation of ufology and member of its Steering Committee. I did not give his name here because I do not know if he would like me to. But I want to tell that, as a witness himself, when he was a schoolboy, in the late 1970s, of a high strangeness UFO, he had studied the issue ever since. He conducted many field investigations, and was a member of local UFO associations. He was more experienced than me - I was a debutant field investigator back then - he was the "main investigator" here, while I focused on taking notes of everything, checking the boys' attitudes and reactions, etc.

The names and addresses of the witnesses we were obviously known to us, but we respect their request to remain anonymous. The location of the observation is known to the meter, it is not in the home or close to the home, it is several houses away from the home.

I wrote about all there is to say in the investigative report [pg1].

Airliners lights can produce different shows depending on the angles, distance, weather, lighting or not of the landing lights etc. Sometimes it's a real "flying Christmas tree" up there.

In this case, the alternate flashes, unsynchronized, of the numerous aircraft warning lights (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), red light (4) and green light (3) flashing at the wingtips, gave the illusory impression to the boy of lights moving on a circular path around the steady central white light - the landing lights (9).

(7 and 8 are apparent only from the front when the landing gear is down, which was not the case in Illzach. 10 are headlights to allow the pilots to check for any icing on the wings; which were certainly not on in that summer month in Alsace).

Evaluation:

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 14, 2014 Creation, [pg1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 14, 2014 First published.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict



 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on December 14, 2014