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ALSACAT:

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 Colmar, on May 30, 1952:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1952-05-30-COLMAR-1

Summary:

Several newspapers in France reported on June 1, 1952, that on Friday, May 30, 1952 at 11:30 p.m., there has been or may have been a flying saucer sighted from Colmar.

The papers say that Mr. "Kurt Folt", night watchman of a transport company in Colmar, and his assistant Mr. Xavier Schaffhauser, saw in the sky north of Colmar, a white disk that moved at great speed from east to west, leaving behind red-bluish trails.

The guard and his friend said formally that the disc; which took "the direction of Freiburg", disappeared after a few moments behind the Haut-Koenigsbourg and had the shape of flying saucers they had seen in magazines.

I had the opportunity to publish two of these newspaper articles earlier, and stated that this was probably a meteor, but two UFO websites have found it useful to make a "real UFO" of it again, one of them mistakenly putting Colmar in Mallorca!

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 30, 1952
Time: ~11:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: May 31, 1952
Reporting delay: Minutes, hours, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Colmar
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.08333
Longitude: 7.3666
Uncertainty ratio: 10 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 2
Number of named witnesses: 2
Witness(es) ages: Adults
Witness(es) types: Men, a night warden and his assistant.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Press?
Type of location: North of city, UFO crosses Rhine Valley.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
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: Flying saucer like those in some magazines.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: NL probable meteor

Sources:

[Ref. dnh1:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES DU HAUT-RHIN" NEWSPAPER:

Flying saucers observed in Colmar?

Colmar. -- Last night, around 11:30 p.m., two people, the well known night watchman of the "SITRAP" Mr. Kurt Folt, and his accompanist, Mr. Xavier Schaffhauser, of Wettolsheim, saw in the sky on the north side, an amazing glow moving at high speed from east to west, from Fribourg to beyond the Hochkönigsburg in the Vosges. It looked like a round and white disc large of about fifteen centimeters, leaving behind a blue red trail. The appearance resembled almost perfectly to the description that was made in a weekly magazine.

The witnesses formally admit that it was a flying saucer, not a large shooting star.

[Ref. dnh2:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES DU HAUT-RHIN" NEWSPAPER:

A flying saucer observed north of Colmar (Continued)

Colmar. -- In yesterday's issue we mentioned, just before closing, the curious observation made??by two residents of Colmar Friday night north of the city.

Yesterday , Mr. Folt, the night watchman with his colleagueSchaffhauser. who witnessed this strange apparition, brought us some details:

It was exactly 10:35 p.m. (not 11:30 p.m. ) when they saw a white disc at high speed coming from the Black Forest in a horizontal path toward the West, only to disappear two or three seconds later above des Vosges, in the direction of Hochkönigsburg.

The disc was followed by a tail in the colors of the rainbow, like drops of water raised by the rapid passage of a car's wheel.

The witness confirmed once again that the object had the appearance of a flying saucer seen recently in a weekly publication.

In addition, a third witness came forward, Mr. F. J. , who had left Mr. Folt and Schaffhauser, to return home shortly before observing the same phenomenon.

[Ref. lml1:] "LE PROVENCAL" NEWSPAPER:

FLYING SAUCERS ABOVE COLMAR

Colmar. -- Yesterday evening, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Mr. Kurt Folt, night watchman of a transport company, in Colmar, and his assistant, Mr. Xavier Schaffhauser, saw in the sky, in the north of Colmar, a disc of white color which was moving at a great speed from East to West, leaving behind red-bluish trails.

The guard and his comrade are formal in affirming that the disc, which took the direction of Freiburg, disappeared a few moments afterwards behind the Haut Koenigsbourg, and that it had the shape of flying saucers that they had seen reproduced in a weekly magazine.

[Ref. lml1:] "LE MERIDIONAL" NEWSPAPER:

FLYING SAUCERS ABOVE COLMAR

Colmar. -- Yesterday evening, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Mr. Kurt Folt, night watchman of a transport company, in Colmar, and his assistant, Mr. Xavier Schaffhauser, saw in the sky, in the north of Colmar, a disc of white color which was moving at a great speed from East to West, leaving behind red-bluish trails.

The guard and his comrade are formal in affirming that the disc, which took the direction of Freiburg, disappeared a few moments afterwards behind the Haut Koenigsbourg, and that it had the shape of flying saucers that they had seen reproduced in a weekly magazine.

[Ref. vmr1:] "VAR-MATIN - REPUBLIQUE" NEWSPAPER:

Flying saucer above Colmar

Colmar, 31 mai. -- Yesterday evening, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Mr. Kurt Folt, night watchman of a transport company, in Colmar, and his assistant, Mr. Xavier Schaffhauser, saw in the sky, in the north of Colmar, a disc of white color which was moving at a great speed from East to West, leaving behind red-bluish trails.

The guard and his comrade are formal in affirming that the disc, which took the direction of Freiburg, disappeared a few moments afterwards behind the Haut Koenigsbourg, and that it had the shape of flying saucers that they had seen reproduced in a weekly magazine.

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN - "BASE OVNI FRANCE":

Colmar (68) on 31 mai 1952

General features

Num Base: 2848
Département: Haut Rhin (68)
Place of observation: Colmar
Latitude: 48.083
Longitude: +7.366
Date of observation: 31 mai 1952
Hour: 23:30 hours
Duration (HH:MM:SS): N.C.
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual: Distant
Nbr of witness(es): 2
Official investigation: non

Features of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Disque
Size: Not specified
Color: White
Luminosity: Not specified
Visual characteristics: Trail
Speed: Fast
Movement/Displacement: En ligne droite
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Observation

Two witnesses saw in the sky north of Colmar, a disc of white color that moved with great rapidity from east to west, leaving red streaks. The object that took the direction of Freiburg disappeared a few moments later, behind the Haut Koenigsbourg.

Sources

Var Matin
Le Méridional

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

30 May 1952 23:30
Colmar, Alsace, France

A meteor-like object was observed. One object was observed by two witnesses. Explanation: Meteor.

Hynek rating: NL

Vallee rating: FB1

The sources are indicated as: "National Investigations Committee Aerial Phenomena, NICAP investigation files".

[Ref. uda2:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

2 June 1952:
Colmar, Alsace, France

An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed by two witnesses.

Hynek rating: NL

Vallee rating: FB1

The sources are indicated as: "Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".

[Ref. sua1:] "SATURDAY NIGHT UFORIA" WEBSITE:

Marseille, France Le Meridional - 1 Jun 52

Luminous Object Seen Over Mallorca

Colmar. -- Yesterday evening, at approximately 23 h. 30, Mr. Kurt Folt, night watchman of a transport company, in Colmar, and his assistant, Mr. Xavier Schaffhauser, saw in the sky, in the north of Colmar, a disc of white color which was moving at a great speed from East to West, leaving behind red-bluish trails.

The guard and his comrade are formal in affirming that the disc, which took the direction of Freiburg, disappeared a few moments afterwards behind the Haut Koenigsbourg, and that it had the shape of flying saucers that they had seen reproduced in a weekly magazine.

[Ref. cvn2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a quite intersting book tracing the history of UFOs or flying saucers in Alsace, from the origins until 1980.

In his book, he tells that on Friday evening, May 30, 1952, a witness from Colmar referred to a photo published in a weekly to describe what he had seenand thus insist on the extraordinary aspect of his sighting, illustrating on this occasionthat the "flying saucer" became a label. He cites a first article in Les Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin, German-speaking issue of Colmar, for May 31, 1952:

Flying saucers observed in Colmar?

Colmar. -- Last night, around 11:30 p.m., two people, the well known night watchman of the "SITRAP" Mr. K. F., and his accompanist, Mr. X. S., of Wettolsheim, saw in the sky on the north side, an amazing glow moving at high speed from east to west, from Fribourg to beyond the Hochkönigsburg in the Vosges. It looked like a round and white disc large of about fifteen centimeters, leaving behind a blue red trail. The appearance resembled almost perfectly to the description that was made in a weekly magazine.

The witnesses formally admit that it was a flying saucer, not a large shooting star.

He quotes the continuation published in Les Dernières Nouvelles du Haut-Rhin, German-speaking issue of Colmar, for June 1st 1952:

A flying saucer observed north of Colmar (Continued)

Colmar. -- In yesterday's issue we mentioned, just before closing, the curious observation made??by two residents of Colmar Friday night north of the city.

Yesterday , Mr. F, the night watchman with his colleague S. who witnessed this strange apparition, brought us some details:

It was exactly 10:35 p.m. (not 11:30 p.m. ) when they saw a white disc at high speed coming from the Black Forest in a horizontal path toward the West, only to disappear two or three seconds later above des Vosges, in the direction of Hochkönigsburg.

The disc was followed by a tail in the colors of the rainbow, like drops of water raised by the rapid passage of a car's wheel.

The witness confirmed once again that the object had the appearance of a flying saucer seen recently in a weekly publication.

In addition, a third witness came forward, Mr. F. J. , who had left Mr. F. and S., to return home shortly before observing the same phenomenon.

[Ref. spa4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
COLMAR Saturday 31 May 1952 at 23:30 Circular, round or disc (2D)
Unidentified
white
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

Map.

In the night, a "disc of white color that moved with great rapidity from east to west, leaving behind red-bluish trails" is a very good description of a meteor.

Regarding the course followed by the thing, there is likely an error in the Press. Since it had been lost from sight over the Haut-Koenigsbourg, so westward, since it was going from east to west, while Freibourg is in the East in Germany, Freibourg is not the direction it took, but the direction it came from.

Above: The two men were likely at the blue spot "north of Colmar", the blue arrow shows the direction of Freiburg in Germany to the castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg, in the Vosges. The flying saucer or meteor could naturally be much further north than this line, which only indicates a direction, not a position. The north is at the top.

In addition, the two men said that it looked like the flying saucers they had seen in some magazines; but nothing says that these magazines were not actually showing meteors mistaken for flying saucers.

Above: a meteor.

Note that for no reason some newspapers put a plural onto the thing seen, in their title, "flyings saucers", while obviously only one thing was seen.

Luc Chastan [lcn1] catalog this observation with sources giving the two newspapers that were then only available on my website. It so happens that I wrote down with these articles that this was probably a meteor, but Luc Chastan silenced it and did not provide links to these Press articles and my comments.

When Luc Chastan used my information without citing the source, I had published only [lml1] and [vmr1] who wrote it happened "last night" as indication of the date. As the two articles were published on June 1, 1952, Luc Chastan dated the case May 31, 1952. Having found the [lpl1] source that says "Friday night," I can correct the date. Friday night indicates May 30, 1952, since May 31, 1952, was a Saturday. When the papers say "last night", one must be wary and understand that it could really be the night before last night, especially when they publish information coming from earlier, more local, newspapers.

The likely explanation appears in "UFOdna" [uda1]. Unfortunately there is a duplicate for [uda2] is indeed the case in [uda1], mistakenly dated.

In 2012, the "Saturday Night Uforia" website also took information from my website, without indicating that I was the source, also omitting my suggestion that it could have been a meteor, and moreover, they mistakenly mixed the headline of another newspaper article from my website, resulting in that the "bright object" was seen over "Mallorca" as if Colmar was in the Balearic!

The name "Kurt Folt" given in the press is probably actually "Kurt Foltz," a much more common name in Alsace.

Note that last curiosity: there is a "Xavier Schaffhauser street" in Cernay, near Mulhouse. But the name is obviously quite common in Alsace.

Evaluation:

Probable meteor.

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 March 14, 2014 Creation, [lpl1], [lml1], [vmr1], [lcn1], [uda1], [uda2], [sua1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 14, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 11, 2015 Addition [spa4].

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This page was last updated on May 11, 2015.