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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 Wintzenheim, on mid October 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-00-WINTZENHEIM-1

Summary:

Former journalist and UFO researcher Christian Valentin found a story in the regional newspaper Le Nouveau Rhin Français, German-speaking issue, of Colmar, France, for October 16, 1954. The negative case occurred in mid-October 1954, and came from a factory worker in Wintzenheim who, after the evening shift on his way home, experience the following:

"I wanted for a long time to meet a flying saucer, and now the opportunity came up: it was about 11 p.m., and I was returning home by bicycle. There was fog, the road was wet and I was driving slowly. Suddenly, I saw at a short distance a luminous ball, from which emanated a ray of light. I do not hide that I got chills, but despite that I headed, swaggering, straight to the round and bright thing that hovered silently at 3 or 4 meters above the ground. As I approached, I felt panicked when I perceived voices coming from above. Would I be the first person in the world to actually make contact with a Martian?"

"I overcame my fear and continued to advance; and my beautiful adventurous dream was rudely interrupted."

"The luminous ball was a projector mounted on a mobile chassis on which two men were repairing the electrical cable of the Wintzenheim trolley. My fear was relieved, but I stayed disappointed and a little sad, for some reason..."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: mid October 1954
Time: ~11:00 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: October 16, 1954
Reporting delay: Days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Wintzenheim
Place: From the road on a bicycle, UFO 3 to 4 meters above the ground.
Latitude: 48.072
Longitude: 7.290
Uncertainty ratio: 10 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Factory worker, man.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Wrote to the regional Press, giving the explanation he found on his own.
Type of location: From the road on a bicycle, UFO 3 to 4 meters above the ground.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: N/A
Entities: Yes
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Curious and frightened.
Witnesses interpretation: First possibly Martians; then saw it was workers with projector repairing a power cable.

Classifications:

Hynek: CE3
ALSACAT: Negative case, confusion, workers with projector repairing a power cable.

Sources:

[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 among the misinterpretations in 1954 in Alsace, there has been one in mid-October, from a factory worker in Wintzenheim who, after the evening shift on his way home:

I wanted for a long time to meet a flying saucer, and now the opportunity came up: it was about 11 p.m., and I was returning home by bicycle. There was fog, the road was wet and I was driving slowly. Suddenly, I saw at a short distance a luminous ball, from which emanated a ray of light. I do not hide that I got chills, but despite that I headed, swaggering, straight to the round and bright thing that hovered silently at 3 or 4 meters above the ground. As I approached, I felt panicked when I perceived voices coming from above. Would I be the first person in the world to actually make contact with a Martian?

I overcame my fear and continued to advance; and my beautiful adventurous dream was rudely interrupted.

The luminous ball was a projector mounted on a mobile chassis on which two men were repairing the electrical cable of the Wintzenheim trolley. My fear was relieved, but I stayed disappointed and a little sad, for some reason...

He indicates that the source of the story is the Nouveau Rhin Français for Saturday, October 16, 1954, in the German-speaking issue of Colmar.

Discussion:

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. [cv2]; 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: christian.valentin.overblog.com

Map.

Evaluation:

Negative case, confusion, workers with projector repairing a power cable.

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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 7, 2015 Creation [cvn2].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 7, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 7, 2015,