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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 Betschdorf, on March 15, 2005:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2005-03-15-BETSCHDORF-1

Summary:

Christian Morgenthaler, an experienced investigator who is a member of the SPICA Alsatian ufology and astronomy association, reported about a sighting of March 15, 2005 at 4:45 a.m. - so at night - in Betschdorf in the Bas-Rhin on which he conducted an investigation.

That morning, the witness was leaving his home to go to his work place. He came outside, and before leaving de decided to checked his goldfish pool. He found that it was less cold than the previous days, and thought his pond would thaw.

At that moment, he saw an orange ball that seemed stationary in the sky. It had an apparent thickness of 9mm, and did not seem to be in motion.

After about twenty seconds, the ball came closer. It turned out that its trajectory was almost directed towards the witness, which explains why he had not thought at first that the ball was moving.

The ball was concealed at the sight briefly by fir trees, then the witness saw it pass to what he estimated to be about 50 meters from him. It is only then that he saw that it is not a simple ball, but something that has a rather wird shape, shown on a sketch:

The thing was entirely luminous, of a non-blinding light, like a 40-watt light bulb behind a lampshade, and orange-colored, including the kinds of "antennas" below and the back part with the "drawings."

At the back, there was that part with lines, circles and other geometric shapes, very thin, "as if drawn in Indian ink", which seemed to particularly intrigue the witness.

Darker shadows were moving throughout the structure, but the witness could not tell if they were going sor far as the fresco at the back of the phenomenon. These shadows formed like a multitude of spots.

The witness did not hear any noise. He estimated that when the thing was closest to him, its apparent length was 13 centimeters, its overall apparent height of 4 to 5 centimeters, the fuselage part making only an apparent height of 2.5 centimeters. The weather was a "clear and cold weather" with about 10°C of temperature.

The total duration of the observation is estimated at 40 seconds. The first phase of the observation, that of the luminous ball, lasted about 20 seconds. The second phase, after its reappearance from behind the fir trees and until its disappearance behind the small wood, lasted 15 to 20 seconds.

People reportedly told the witness that other people "would have been aware of this phenomenon."

On the advice of members of his family, the witness reported his observation to the gendarmerie, but has not heard from them since.

According to the information gathered during his investigation, Christian Morgenthaler represented on a map the position of the witness, the directions of observation, its steps, and the possible trajectory of the thing. He sais he is continuing the investigation, looking for other witnesses. Bur nothing new surfaced since.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: March 15, 2005
Time: 04:45 a.m.
Duration:
First known report date: August 2006
Reporting delay: Day, months.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Betschdorf
Place: Outside near home, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.898
Longitude: 7.901
Uncertainty ratio: 500 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Male resident, worker.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Allegedly to the Gendarmes, to ufology group SPICA.
Type of location: Outside near home, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): Yes.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: ?
ALSACAT: High strangeness, but apparent inconsistencies in report.

Sources:

[Ref. sp1:] ASSOCIATION UFOLOGIQUE "SPICA":

March 5, 2005, Betschdorf (67)

On March 15, 2005, around 4:45 a.m. leaving his home to go to work, a person observes an unusual phenomenon in Betschdorf (67).

The witness first observed an orange ball that seemed stationary in the sky. After about twenty seconds he saw that the phenomenon was getting closer by the fact that its trajectory was at a slight angle relative to him. He saw the phenomenon go about fifty meters from him. It was at this point that the witness saw that it was not a simple ball, but that the phenomenon had a rather odd shape (see sketch) of orange color, luminous but not blinding. At the back of the phenomenon is a drawing representing drawings, made of very fine lines, "as drawn in Indian ink". The whole phenomenon was luminous, even the kinds of antennas at the bottom of the phenomenon. Darker shadows were moving throughout the structure, but the witness can not tell if they were going as far as the drawings behind the phenomenon. The witness did not hear any noise.

In the first part, in the shape of a luminous ball, the witness observed the phenomenon for about 20s, in the second part, at the moment when he saw that it was not a simple luminous ball, and until its disappearance behind the little wood, the duration was 15 to 20 s.

At the closest, the witness gives the following apparent dimensions:

-length of the phenomenon: 13 cm
total height of the phenomenon: 4 to 5 cm
height of the fuselage: 2.5 cm

From the durations given by the witness and considering that the phenomenon was flying at a constant speed, we can assume the trajectory of the phenomenon (blue line). The red lines represent the beginning and the end of the witness's observation, the yellow line represents the direction from which the witness saw the phenomenon with more precision.

[Ref. sp2:] "SPICA" UFOLOGY GROUP:

March 15, 2005 Betschdorf 67

May 3, 2006

Hello

We are looking for other witnesses

Thanks in advance

Regards

CKR

The website of the SPICA association

http://www.spica.org

On March 15, 2005, around 4:45 leaving home to go to the workplace, a person observes an unusual phenomenon in Betschdorf (67).

The witness first observed an orange ball that seemed stationary in the sky. After about twenty seconds he saw that the phenomenon was getting closer because its trajectory was with a slight angle relative to him. He saw the phenomenon pass at about fifty feet away. It's at this point that the witness saw it was not a simple ball, but the phenomenon had a weird shape (see witness sketch) of orange color, bright but not blinding. At the back of the phenomenon a drawing, a drawing representing very fine features, "like drawn with Chinese ink." The whole of the phenomenon was luminous, even the kind of antennas at the bottom of the phenomenon. Darker shadows moved over the full structure, but the witness can not say wether they were running to the drawings in the back of the phenomenon. The Witness perceived no noise.

In the first part, in the shape of a ball of light, the witness observed the phenomenon for about 20s, in the second part, when he saw that it wasn't just a ball of light, and up to its disappearance behind the little wood, the duration was 15 to 20 s.

At the closest, the witness gave the following apparent dimensions:

- Length of the phenomenon: 13 cm

- Total height of the phenomenon: 4 to 5 cm

- Height of the fuselage: 2.5 cm

According to the timing given by the witness and considering that the phenomenon was flying at a constant speed, we can assume the trajectory of the phenomenon (blue line). The red lines represent the start and end of the observation by the witness, the yellow line represents the direction from which the witness saw the phenomenon the most accurately.

[Ref. rn1:] "RESEAU NATIONAL CIVIL DE SURVEILLANCE DU CIEL":

Message 03/15/2005 - 04:45 - Bas-Rhin (67) - Unknown craft

Testimobid published [sic] on the website of the SPICA association:

http://www.spica.org/faq.php?lng=fr&pg=&id=7

Quote:

On March 15, 2005, around 4:45 leaving home to go to the workplace, a person observes an unusual phenomenon in Betschdorf (67).

The witness first observed an orange ball that seemed stationary in the sky. After about twenty seconds he saw that the phenomenon was getting closer because its trajectory was with a slight angle relative to him. He saw the phenomenon pass at about fifty feet away. It's at this point that the witness saw it was not a simple ball, but the phenomenon had a weird shape (see witness sketch) of orange color, bright but not blinding. At the back of the phenomenon a drawing, a drawing representing very fine features, "like drawn with Chinese ink." The whole of the phenomenon was luminous, even the kind of antennas at the bottom of the phenomenon. Darker shadows moved over the full structure, but the witness can not say wether they were running to the drawings in the back of the phenomenon. The Witness perceived no noise.

In the first part, in the shape of a ball of light, the witness observed the phenomenon for about 20s, in the second part, when he saw that it wasn't just a ball of light, and up to its disappearance behind the little wood, the duration was 15 to 20 s.

At the closest, the witness gave the following apparent dimensions:

- Length of the phenomenon: 13 cm

- Total height of the phenomenon: 4 to 5 cm

- Height of the fuselage: 2.5 cm

According to the timing given by the witness and considering that the phenomenon was flying at a constant speed, we can assume the trajectory of the phenomenon (blue line). The red lines represent the start and end of the observation by the witness, the yellow line represents the direction from which the witness saw the phenomenon the most accurately.

[Ref. mo1:] CHRISTIAN MORGENTHALER:

3. What the two or three Alsatian cases that seem the most puzzling to you?

[Other case]

The second case is that of Betschdorf, north of Strasbourg, on March 15, 2005, where a witness observed a rather unusual phenomenon with a fairly precise shape that we had never seen in other testimonies. (SPICANEWS 8")

[Ref. sp3:] "SPICA" UFOLOGY ASSOCIATION:

Unusual pehneomenon in Betschdorf

Temporal data: March 15, 2005
Hour of observation: 4h45
Observation duration: 40 seconds
Number of witness [sic]: 1
Weather: clear and cold about 10

That morning, leaving his home to go to his workplace, the witness observes an unusual phenomenon in Betschdorf (67).

Leaving his house, and before leaving, he wants to check his pool of red fishes. Noting a less cold temperature than the previous days, he thought his pond would defrost. At that moment, the witness first sees an orange ball that seemed stationary in the sky. Of an apparent size of 9mm, no movement is observed. After about twenty seconds the phenomenon gets closer. This is related to his trajectory; which had only a slight angle to the witness. After a short disappearance behind fir trees, the witness sees the phenomenon about fifty meters from him (distance estimated by the witness). It is only then that he sees that it is not a simple ball, but that the phenomenon has a rather wird shape (see drawing), is of luminous orange color but not blinding, like a light bulb of 40 watts behind a shade. At the back of the phenomenon is a drawing, depicting features, circles and other geometric shapes, very fine, "as if drawn in Indian ink". This engraving seems to particularly intrigue the witness. The whole phenomenon was luminous, even the kinds of antennas at the bottom of the phenomenon. Darker shadows were moving throughout the structure, but the witness cannot tell if they were going to the fresco at the back of the phenomenon. These shadows formed like a multitude of spots. The witness did not hear any noise. At the moment when the phenomenon was closer to our observer, he estimated the apparent length of 13 centimeters for an overall height of 4 to 5 centimeters, the fuselage part being only 2.5 centimeters.

In the first phase of the observation (luminous ball-shaped phenomenon), the witness observed the thing for about 20 seconds. In the second phase, after its reappearance behind the fir trees and until its disappearance behind the small wood, the duration was 15 to 20 s.

According to some information, that the witness has received from various people, others would have been aware of this phenomenon.

On the advice of members of his family, Mr. X reported his observation to the gendarmerie, and he had received no news since.

According to the information gathered during the investigation, it is possible to represent (without certainty) the phenomenon (blue line). The red lines represent the beginning and the end of the witness's observation, the yellow line represents the direction from which the witness saw the phenomenon with more precision.

The investigation continues and we hope other witnesses will come forward. This will make it possible to draw a more precise trajectory.

Morgenthaler Christian

[Ref. sp5:] ASSOCIATION UFOLOGIQUE SPICA:

BETSCHDORF (67) le 15 mars 2005

On March 15, 2005, around 4:45 a.m. leaving his home to go to work, a person observes an unusual phenomenon in Betschdorf (67).

The witness first observed an orange ball that seemed stationary in the sky. After about twenty seconds he saw that the phenomenon was getting closer to the fact that its trajectory was at a slight angle to him. He saw the phenomenon go about fifty meters from him. It was at this point that the witness saw that it was not a simple ball, but that the phenomenon had a rather odd shape (see drawing) of orange color, luminous but not blinding. At the back of the phenomenon is a drawing representing drawings, made of very fine lines, "as drawn in Indian ink". The whole phenomenon was luminous, even the kinds of antennas at the bottom of the phenomenon. Darker shadows were moving throughout the structure, but the witness cannot tell if they were going as far as the drawings behind the phenomenon. The witness did not hear any noise.

In the first part, in the shape of a luminous ball, the witness observed the phenomenon for about 20s, in the second part, at the moment when he saw that it was not a simple luminous ball, and until its disappearance behind the little wood, the duration was 15 to 20 s.

At the closest, the witness gives the following apparent dimensions:

- length of the phenomenon: 13 cm
- total height of the phenomenon: 4 to 5 cm
- height of the fuselage: 2.5 cm

To date, no explanation has been given for this observation. According to the trajectory, the phenomenon had to pass in front of the base of Drachenbronn, military radar for the north-east of France. According to a rumor, the base would have had a power failure, but no certainty of this fact, nor certainty with the date of the observation.

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
BETSCHDORF Tuesday 15 March 2005 at 04:45 elongated (cigar)
Unidentified
orange
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

I plotted on this aerial view the elements given on the map by Christian Morgenthaler.

The witness is positioned in the red circle, the estimated path of the thing is the blue line, the two red lines show the direction of the observation at the start (bottom) and end of observation (top) and the yellow line the moment where the thing was seen with the most details.

Note that the yellow line would have a length of 1.25 kilometers. According to this map, the thing could not have been 50 meters away from the witness. The green line I placed on the bottom right shows a distance of 50 meters.

The Drachenbronn military radar station, mentioned by SPICA, is located 9 km north of the observation site. The radars are not positioned there but in height in the Vosges, which would have allowed a detection even with the UFO near the ground. Drachenbronn housed only the operators of the radars sets.

Below: Typical view towards the forest where the "ball" appeared at the beginning of the observation. In the sector of the place of observation, trees, fir trees or other, could have, apparently, hid the "ball" at its approach.

These trees ought to be fir trees, the other trees being leafless at the date of the observation.

I spotted fir trees at the entrance of Schwabwiller, and several other groups in the gardens of the houses towards the exit of Betschdorf, one of them could have done the business, except that in this case, the thing should also have been hidden several times by houses.

(With an outstretched arm of 80 cm, an object of apparent size of 13 cm has an angular size of almost 10°.) An object of 10° located at 50 meters would have a size of 8 meters 75. If it had been at 1.2 km, it would have been 210 meters wide.)

If the sketch of the UFO is truthful, I do not see how it could be an aircraft from our planet, much less a "natural phenomenon". To see details as shown in the drawing, especially since the UFO would have been entirely luminous including in the part showing the "fresco", the UFO could not have been very far away, or else it must have been gigantic. But I really have a big problem with this passage at 50 meters according to the witness while the passage or the thing would have been at its best view at 1.25 kilometers on the map of the investigator. Note that no angular elevation information is given.

According to a list of articles in the SPICA newsletters on their website (www.spica.org/Page_Revues.htm), there seems to have been no new information on the case since then.

The witness contacted the gendarmerie to testify, we read. But no corresponding report is on the GEIPAN website to date (2018).

Evaluation:

High strangeness, but apparent inconsistencies in report.

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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 20, 2018 Creation, [sp1], [sp2], [rn1], [mo1], [rn1], [sp5], [sp4].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 20, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 20, 2018.