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UFOS where I live?

I wondered if there are UFO observations in my own region, Alsace, in France. What are the cases? How many are there? Were they investigated, mentioned in the local or national media? What is the proportion of hoaxes, misinterpretations? Time to start to investigate...

Observation at Champ du Feu, May 1967:

A general interest article from the daily regional newspaper "Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace" on Sunday 22, June 1997 mentions a case at "Le Champ du Feu", of which I have only vague souvenirs myself. I remember it was a UFO landing case with ground traces that made quite an impression in the region a long time ago. I hope to retrieve more information on that case as I continue this study...

We learn in this article that there were two cases, at the "Champ du Feu", in May 1967, and at least one of the cases is about the observation of a lenticular object above their country cottage by firemen, and that both cases remain "unexplained".

200 cases in Alsace:

The article of the Dernières Nouvelles D'Alsace indicates that a number of 200 cases of UFO observations in Alsace occurred since the end of World War II.


For 50 years, UFOs, these "unidentified flying objects", have haunted minds, their apparitions followed by strange appearances and bizarre encounters, visits by extraterrestrial beings and abductions. But there is also a serious manner to consider this intriguing phenomenon...

"The majority of the world's scientific community took, with regard to the problem of the UFOs, a position which is far from being rational: they are quite simply satisfied to ignore the question", Philippe de Cotardière, former president of the French Astronomical Society wrote (1). It is true that the avalanche of pseudo-scientific writings and wild speculations on the question or the proliferation of eccentrics organizations of all sorts in need for encounters with humanoids from another star are hardly appealing to the scientific minds.

Many "apparitions" are explained by completely natural phenomena: brilliant stars or planets, meteorites, sounding-balloons or clouds, pieces of rocket returning in the atmosphere, etc. However, Philippe de Cotardière notes (2), "there remains approximately 20% of unexplained observations" since Kenneth Arnold, that June 24, 1947, had observed from his plane above the Rockies the nine luminous objects of discoid shape:; which became "flying saucers" later.

The "scientific" hunt:

Christian Morgenthaler tracks UFOs since 1985. Initially member of the association "Lumières Dans la Nuit", he joined "S.O.S OVNI" in 1990, the other large organization which deals with these phenomena in France and which appeared more serious to him. "Our objective is to treat the events scientifically in close connection with scientists to eliminate all the possible mistakes", Mr. Morgenthaler explains, president of the East section of "S.O.S OVNI" (3). To this end, the association formed a "Committee of scientific and technical consulting" with a climatologist, a meteorologist, an air transport engineer, a neuropsychiatrist, etc.

"Our association gathers eleven regional delegations which cover all France and two sections in Belgium and in Quebec. We have seven investigators for the East, more than 100 for all the hexagon", Mr. Morgenthaler continues. "We also made contact with German groups, we work with all serious associations, with this those I would call the skeptics. Since the end of the war, we indexed 600 cases in the East of France, including 200 in Alsace". And to recall the two "affairs" of May 1967 at the Champ du Feu: which remained unexplained, when the firemen observed "an object of lenticular form above their country cottage".

The observations reported by the various witnesses to the investigators of the association are catalogued thoroughly on cards informing about the date and the hour, the place, the type of observation, the quality and strangeness index noted from 1 to 5, etc.

In spite of this effort of serious, Mr. Morgenthaler has the impresssion that " our association is not too much liked by the SEPRA, the Service of study of the phenomena of atmospheric re-entry", which succeeded in 1988 to the GEPAN, the Group of study of Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena, created in 1977 within CNES, the French Space Agency.

Cooperation with amateur astronomers:

"The SEPRA does not start any study if it is not reported to the gendarmerie or the Air Force or civil aviation". For Mr. Morgenthaler, such a method limits the investigations. Moreover, he thinks that the SEPRA sometimes tries to provide an explanation to certain phenomena a little bit to quick.

But the activities of S.O.S UFO East are not limited to the tracking of the "phenomena". With associations of amateurs astronomers, they are involved in the presentation of the wonders of the sky to the general public. Their next event is on July 25/26 and August 8/9 at the time of the traditional Nights of Stars.

Willy Bodenmuller

  • (1) In his book "Astronomie", Larousse publisher, 1989.
  • (2) Dictionnaire de l'Espace, Larousse 1995.
  • (3) Christian Morgenthaler, "SOS OVNI Est" - 3, rue des Pierres, 67520 Odratzheim, Phone Since 1991, the association published a bulletin, "Phénomèna", they had a special issue about the 50th birthday of the UFOs.

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This page was last updated on January 13, 2001