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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.

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Case of Sobache, on May 1950:

Case number:



Christian Valentin indicated in 2012 that an investigation by Antoine in 1987, and himself in May 2009, resulted in the report for the observation in Sobache near Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines, one evening in May 1950, at night.

A Mrs. Villemin, accompanied by her son André, aged 11, and a young neighbor, Simone Michel, was returning from picking up "Meadowsweet", a herbal plant, when on the path down to the chapel, shortly before reaching the path to Sobache, they saw a large bright white ball a bit bigger than the moon come from the Hury and head north.

The ball stopped for a moment above the witnesses who are threw themselves to the ground in the bushes. Andrew remembers his mother shouting at them "Hide, hide, don't look it will burn your eyes."

Young Andre nevertheless looked, and saw he the ball turn then stop a few seconds on a hill on the north side of the valley of St. Marie and then the ball came back to the witnesses before disappearing silently in the reverse direction, to the north-north-west.


Temporal data:

Date: May 1950
Time: Night
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1987?
Reporting delay: 57 years?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Sobache
Place: Path going to Sobache, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.259
Longitude: 7.231
Uncertainty radius: 300 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 1?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adult, 11, younger than 11.
Witness(es) types: A mother, her son, a young girl from the neighborhood.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Investigation?
Type of location: Path at exit of village.
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: Scared, puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Hynek: NL or RR1.
ALSACAT: Unidentified, but meager data.



Former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a very interesting book telling the story of UFO sightings, flying saucers sightings, in Alsace, from the beginning to 1980.

In this book, he reports that that in Sobache (Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines), one evening in May 1950, at nightfall, Mrs. Villemin with her son André, aged 11, and a young neighbor, Simone Michel, returned from picking up "meadowsweets", a herbal plant that blooms from May to July .

On the path down to the chapel, just before reaching the path of Sobache, the group saw a large white luminous ball of a size slightly larger than the moon, coming from le Hury and heading north. The ball stopped for a moment above the witnesses who threw themselves to the ground in the bushes. André remembers his mother shouting to the young people "Hide, hide, don't look it will burn your eyes."

The young André nevertheless still looked and saw the ball turn and then stop for a few seconds on a hill on the north side of the valley of Ste-Marie. The huge ball then returned to the witnesses before disappearing silently in reverse direction to the north-north-west.

Christian Valentin says this comes from an investigation by Eric Antoine in 1987 and himself in May 2009.



About Christian Valentin's book:

It is not at all my habit to "advertise" a book or anything, and I have no interested relationship with the author, but I wanted to say a word on the book by Christian Valentin, "Mythes et Réalités des Phénomènes Aériens Non Identifiés" (i.e. "Myths and Realities of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (cover on the left) , ref. [cvn2]; which, as its subtitle indicates, is about Alsatian UFO sighting reports and the saucer lore in Alsace.

I think Alsatian ufologists and, generally, people interested in the UFO question, or in the history of Alsace, my region, would probably like this book.

The 144 pages book is sober but well presented, unbiased, richly documented and illustrated. It is the first work in print specifically about UFO sightings in Alsace. (There was another one a few years ago, but it was partly made by copying - pasting without mention of the sources, portions of my website, especially the Alsatians cases I almost exhaustively documented in my catalog of UFO sightings in France in 1954, and copies from another websites; the trivial explanations I proposed or gave there being almost always stripped off!)

The author does not want to prove or disprove the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors or some other so-called "extraordinary" explanation, he rather offers a chronologically ordered review of Alsatian UFO reports, starting from the origin and stopping in 1980, based on known sources ufology, on the articles of the regional Press, and cases less known or even unreleased so far that he collected directly with the witnesses. His own comments are printed in a different color, references to the sources are always given. A very nice work in my opinion!

The author currently has a blog where he shows what libraries in Alsace have the book available, see:


I am not sure about that; but the only "Eric Antoine" I know who is interested in strange phenomena is the illusionist well known for his TV appearances. Eric Antoine did some work to show that one can create illusions, that our senses can deceive us.

The case presented here by Christian Valentin seems totally unknown, completely new.

I do not have any serious trivial explanation to offer. I would like to think this was a meteor, but a meteor that flies back does not seem very likely to me...

Of course, some may argue that it is a case of a very, very late report, and that the witness must have a faulty recollection of the event.



"Sobache" seems to be a location probably where the "Auberge de Sobach", the "Sobache Inn" is.

The yellow line shows a "Dead-end of Sobache" in Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines, the blue line shows the "Sobache viaduct", the green line is along which the path that was probably the path to Sobache indicated in the report, now called "Sobache Street".

"Le Hury" is in the Southwest of the witnesses, la "Valley of Sainte-Marie" would be in their Southwest, the north side of that Valley would be from their South-East to their West.

In did not find the mentioned chapel.

The landscape probably looked like this, but in the night:




Unidentified, but meager data.

Sources references:

* = Source is available to me.
? = Source I am told about but could not get so far. Help needed.

File history:


Main author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 8, 2014 Creation, [cvn2].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 8, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 8, 2014.