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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 Pfastatt, on July 24, 1952:

Case number:



In the 1970s, Mrs. Gueudelot, archivist of the ufology magazine "Lumières Dans La Nuit", collected information sent to her by local correspondents. One of the cases which was the subject of a file was said to come from the regional newspaper l'Alsace for July 26, 1952, about an observation in Pfastatt on July 24, 1952 at 9:15 p.m.

It was said that a Mr. Frossard was visiting his colleague, Mr. Charles Weiss in Pfastatt, joined by Mr. G. Fritsch, when around 9:15 p.m., while they were chatting in the street, Mr. Weiss let out "an exclamation of delighted surprise", which caused the other two to look up in the direction Mr. Weiss was pointing.

The three men then saw passing in the sky "two discs of fire, the size of the full moon, which, of an intense luminosity, glided towards the horizon."

One had arrived from the North-East, the other from the North-West, and both "disappeared on the other side of Guebwiller's mount, leaving behind them a double contrail which persisted in the sky for about 5 to 6 minutes."

Mr. Frossard had commented that he had never seen such a thing in his life.


Temporal data:

Date: July 24, 1952
Time: 9:15 p.m.
Duration: 5 to 6 minutes.
First known report date: July 26, 1952
Reporting delay: Hour, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Pfastatt
Place: From a street in Pfastatt.
Latitude: 47.768
Longitude: 7.301
Uncertainty radius: 2 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 3
Number of named witnesses: 3
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Male residents.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: From street in city.
Visibility conditions: Nightfall.
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: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Planes and their contrails.




JULY 24, 1952.-

PFASTATT. - (68)

Hour: 09:15 p.m.

Mr. FROSSARD was visiting his colleague, Mr. Charles WEISS in PFASTATT. Around 9.15 p.m., the two men, joined by a third Mr. G. FRITSCH, were in the street and were chatting[.] Suddenly, Mr. Ch. WEISS uttered an exclamation of delighted surprise, which made the two others look up, in the direction indicated by Mr. WEISS. And all three saw pass through the firmament two discs of fire, the size of the full moon, which, with an intense luminosity, glided towards the horizon. One had arrived from the NORTH.EAST, the other from the NORTH.WEST and both disappeared on the other [side] of Guebwiller's mount, leaving behind them a double contrail which persisted in the sky for 5 to 6 minutes approx. "I had never [seen] such a thing in my life," says M. FROSSARD.

"L'ALSACE" for JULY 26, 1952. page 5

(search by Mr. Mourier)



As for the other observations in the sector and at the same time, I explain this observation by planes with their contrails.

I think it wasjet fighters of the French Air Force, taking a reddish hue at that hour when sun is about to set. As rightly pointed out by Christian Valentin, jet planes were a novelty in France then.

However, even to this day - 2000's - I can still find cases in which contrails are believed to be "mysterious" or interpreted as UFOs not only by their witnesses, by the Press, but sometimes also by some ufologists.

Below: The Dassault Ouragan of the air and space museum in Paris - Le Bourget. Commissioned in December 1951. Photo by the author of this website in 2014.



Planes and their contrails.

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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross August 4, 2023 Creation, [1].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 4, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 4, 2023.