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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 Strasbourg, on December 1, 1953:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1953-12-01-STRASBOURG-1

Summary:

In his 1954 book on the flying saucers, author Jimmy Guieu said that in the afternoon of December 1st, 1953, two workers in the botanical garden of the University of Strasbourg looked up and saw two jet planes disappear at very high altitude.

They "suddenly noticed" a craft in the form of "a shiny disc, almost as big as the sun, which twirled in the sky and disappeared at high speed towards the South."

The case seems to have been reported as soon as December 1953 in a monograph of the American ufologist Loren Gross.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: December 1, 1953
Time: Afternoon
Duration: ?
First known report date: December 1953?
Reporting delay: Hours, weeks?

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Strasbourg
Place: In the sky seen from the botanic Garden of the Strasbourg university.
Latitude: 48.584167
Longitude: -7.766667
Uncertainty ratio: 0.5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 0
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults
Witness(es) types: Men, gardeners.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: In the sky seen from the botanic garden of the university, in the middle of a big city.
Visibility conditions: Daylight, outside.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: DD
ALSACAT: Insufficient information, possible military flare.

Sources:

[Ref. jgu1:] JIMMY GUIEU:

In the afternoon of December 1, 1953, two workers were working in the botanical garden of the University of Strasbourg. Looking up to see disappear at high altitude two jet planes, they suddenly noticed a bright disk, almost as big as the sun. This machine whirled into the sky and disappeared at high speed towards the south. Fifteen days ago, a police secretary, also in Strasbourg, observed a similar phenomenon.

[Ref. uwb2:] "UFOWEB" WEBSITE:

CITIES DEPT LATITUDES LONGITUDES YEARS
Strasbourg 67 48,583 7.750 1953 2000

[Ref. djn1:] DONALD JOHNSON:

Encounters with Aliens on this Day

December 1

On this day in 1953, some gardeners in Strasbourg, France watched a brilliant disc move back and forth in the sky. It shot off to the south at a very high speed. (Source: Loren Gross, UFOs: A History 1953, p. 056).

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

Strasbourg (67) on 01 December 1953

General features

Num Base: 671
Département: Bas Rhin (67)
Place of observation: Strasbourg
Latitude: 48.583
Longitude: +7.75
Date of observation: 01 December 1953
Hour: Hour not known
Duration (HH:MM:SS): N.C.
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual: Distant
Nbr of witness(es):
Official investigation: No

Features of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Disc
Size: One time the sun
Color: not defined
Luminosity: Brilliant
Visual characteristics: No indication
Speed: not defined
Movement/Displacement: Various maneuvers
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance:

Observation

Two workers at work in the botanic garden of the university, look up to observe two jet planes. They notice suddenly a brilliant disc almost as large as the sun. The objet twirled in the sky and disappeared at great speed to the south.

Sources

Les soucoupes volantes viennent d'un autre monde par Guieu Jimmy ** Fleuve Noir 1954

[Ref. cvn2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

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 early ufologist Jimmy Guieu stated in his book "Flying saucers come from another world" that in the afternoon of December 1, 1953, two workers who were working in the Botany garden of the University of Strasbourg looked up and saw disappear at high altitude a shining disc almost as big as the sun.

The craft spun in the sky and disappeared at high speed towards the south.

Christian Valentin regrets that as it often was at the time, there is no reference and no source.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

1 December 1953 :

Strasbourg, Alsace, France

Gardeners incident.

Some gardeners in Strasbourg, France watched a brilliant disc move back and forth in the sky. It shot off to the south at a very high speed.

Brilliant disc moves back and forth in sky, shoots moving rapidly to the south at very high speed. An object was observed. It moved with a falling-leaf motion. One disc was observed by two witnesses in a city for over one minute.

Hynek rating: NL

Vallee rating: MA1

The sources are indicated as: "Gross, Loren E., UFOs: A History. 1953: August-December, Author, Fremont; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002."

[Ref. occ:] "LES OVNIS COMMENT NE PAS Y CROIRE?" WEBSITE:

Strasbourg Bas Rhin (67)

Date of observation : 01 December 1953 Hour : not known

Type of observation: Visual : Distant Nbr of Witnesses:2

Two workers at work in the botanic garden of the university, look up to observe two jet planes. They notice suddenly a brilliant disc almost as large as the sun. The objet twirled in the sky and disappeared at great speed to the south.

[Ref. spa4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
STRASBOURG Tuesday 1 December 1953 Circular, round or disc (2D)
Unidentified
information not communicated
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

Map.

I cannot say much of this observation that could be interesting, but also very trivial. Accurate information on the movements is missing, there are no verbatim witness statements, let alone an investigation report. At that time, ufology was something quite new in France, authors and newspapermen were content to briefly note things they were told.

The Botanical Garden of the University of Strasbourg is mostly surrounded on all sides by multi-storey buildings, it was already so in 1953, and many trees. I think that there was little chance that the UFO was very low on the horizon, it would probably have been hidden from view. It could rather have been at a fairly high angle, and therefore located above the city and not far outside the city limits.

The presence of two jets planes suggest some military drill was going on, perhaps with the release of a flare; it does not sound very convincing, of course: one may argue that such maneuvers are not performed above a big city, a flare makes little sense in daylight, and a flare is not likely to "disappear at high speed. But who knows, this last detail may have been a distortion of the witness report...

We can of course, also imagine that the two jet planes were actually in pursuit of an extraterrestrial spacecraft.

Above: the Botanic Garden, ground view.

Above: the Botanic Garden, aerial view.

Evaluation:

Insufficient information, possible military flare.

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 September 10, 2014 Creation, [jgu1], [uwb2], [djn1], [lcn1], [cvn2], [uda1], [occ1].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 10, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross June 12, 2015 Addition [spa4].

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This page was last updated on June 12, 2015.