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ALSACAT:

As its name suggests, 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.

Case of Guebwiller, on October 20, 1954:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1954-10-20-GUEBWILLER-1

Summary:

On page 5 of the Mulhouse issue of the regional newspaper L'Alsace for October 21, 1954, several sightings were reported, including this one, on October 20, 1954, at approximately 07:40 a.m.

Pierre Ackermann, employee at the Guebwiller tissue factory, coming out of the street of Lure, had seen "a round disc of an intense brilliance", coming from the height of the Oberlinger, to "disappear" behind the Kreyenbach.

The sighting had lasted only about 10 seconds, and there was no noise.

Pierre Ackermann stated that it was a flying saucer, and that it had flown at an altitude of 300 to 400 meters, measuring "at that distance about 30 to 40 centimeters."

The newspaper commented that Pierre Ackermann was really at the right place "to follow the moves of the saucer, since he was moving perpendicularily to the latter."

The newspaper added that two pupils of the Classic Boys College who were going there at the same hour stated they also saw the "flying disc."

The observation reached other newspapers in France, such as Centre-Matin in their issue for October 22, 1954, telling:

"In Guebwiller, Mr. Pierre Ackerman stated he saw in the sky a shiny disc that moved silently at about 400 meters of altitude. Two college boys confirmed this statement."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 20, 1954
Time: ~07:45 a.m.
Duration: ~10 seconds.
First known report date: October 21, 1954
Reporting delay: Hours, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Guebwiller
Place:
Latitude:
Longitude:
Uncertainty ratio:

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 3
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: 1 adult, 2 teenagers.
Witness(es) types: 1 local tissue factory employee, 2 college boys.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions:
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: No
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: Flying saucer.

Classifications:

Hynek: ?
ALSACAT: ?

Sources:

[Ref. lae1:] NEWSPAPER "L'ALSACE":

Scan

REGIONAL NEWS

A saucer, a cigarr and a flying sphere above Guebwiller

Yesterday morning, around 7:40, Mr. Pierre Ackermann, employee at the tissue factory of Guebwiller, saw, while he came out of the street of Lure, a round disc of an intense brilliance, coming from the heights of Oberlinger and which disappeared behind the Kreyenbach. The whole had lasted only approximately 10 seconds. What Mr. Pierre Ackermann states to have been a saucer moved without noise at a height of 300 to 400 meters. The disc measured at this distance approximately 30 to 40 centimetres. It is to be noticed that Mr. Pierre Ackermann was particularly well placed, to follow the evolution of the saucer, since he moved perpendicular to the latter.

Two pupils of the Classic Boys College, who at the same hour went to school, also affirm to have seen the flying disc.

In addition, a young man of Rouffach, Mr. Lucien Flesch, affirms to have seen, while he was going to his work and that he passed near Issenheim, a spherical object, with metallic reflections. This object, which had a diameter of approximately 5 or 6 meters, seemed to be stopped one meter above the ground.

Terrified in front of this at the very least strange appearance, the young man pedalledat full speed and reached his workplace in Guebwiller, where he told his colleagues about his weird adventure. In addition, five residents of Bergholtz who went to their work, also reprtedly saw this sphere, while it rose in the airs. Mr. Flesch, wanting to check whether this mysterious machine had left some trace, returned to the place, but however found nothing particular there.

While she helped pick up the grapes last Monday at the Zinnkoepfle, a girl of Soultzmatt, Miss Mimie Fleck, saw in full day, at a height from 2.000 to 3.000 m, a shining flying object of a lengthened form. The apparatus, coming from the direction of Guebwiller, advanced at a very high speed, then, arrived above the vineyard of Soulztmatt, it stopped during a few moments to finally disappear in direction opf the North.

[Ref. cmn1:] NEWSPAPER "CENTRE MATIN":

A flying saucer of car size land in Oran

THE FLYING SAUCERS APPEARED LAST NIGHT MAINLY ABOVE NORMANDY. IF WE ARE TO BELIEVE SEVRAL PEOPLE, AMONG THEN MISS MICHELLE VITKOSUSKY, CLERK OF NOTARY, SEVERAL UNIDENTIFIED MACHINES HAVE EVOLVED DURING TWO HOURS. OF A MACHINE VIOLENTLY ENLIGHTENED, AND POSED IN A FIELD, AT THE LEFT OF THE ROAD OF SAINT-VALERY-EN-CAUX, ESCAPED LUMINOUS DISCS WHICH TOOK ALTITUDE QUICKLY, TO THEN REGAIN THEIR INITIAL LOCATION.

A flying cigar carried out the same things. Two other machines seen not far from the cliff of Mers-les-Bains, seemed to communicate by signals with the first group. It should be added that the gendarmes who carried out an investigation on the spot did not find any trace of this mysterious carrousel.

A phenomenon a bit similar is said to have been observed above Vic-Bigorre, by a group of ten students who were training on a sports ground. They are said to have seen four discs in formation which seemed to rotate at high speed.

Several testimonys were gathered in Alsace. One of the witnesses, Lucien Fiesch [Fisch] saw close to Issenheim a spherical machine of approximately 6 meters in diameter which stationed within one meter of the ground. Frightened, Mr. Fiesch [Fisch] went away and regained his workplace.

In Guebwiller, Mr. Pierre Ackerman stated to have seen in the sky a brilliant disc which moved silently at approximately 400 meters of altitude. Two schoolboys confirmed this statement.

A resident [female] of Soultzmatt, stated to have observed a machine of elongated form which moved at very high speed.

Another testimony comes from the Nievre. The Lormes-Nevers bus moved towards this latter city, when, near Saxi-Bourdon, the driver stopped and exclaimed: "a saucer", all the passengers went down and distinguished, if they must be believed, a disc shining like aluminum, at 70 or 80 meters of altitude.

The last testimony is that of a factor of the Saint-Pierre-la-Cour station, who saw a disc in the sky, spreading luminous orange rays.

* * *

Wednesday morning, around 3 hours, Mr. Gaston Blanquère, resident in Oran, was returning with passengers on board his car. A little after the village of Jean-Mermoz, the attention of the motorists was attracted by a sharp gleam coming from the south and which grew bigger quickly.

A luminous disc crossed the road above them, descended a few hundreds meters further and appeared to contact the ground.

The machine had the size of a small car. It was composed of a higher cupola from which came out a yellow gleam. The lower part of the disc let escape a bluish luminous sheaf. Kinds of very powerful headlights swept the plain.

Ten minutes later, the luminosity dimmed and the machine, taking height, moved away quickly and without noise.

The police chief of the Sig, during his investigation, had these statements confirmed by a fellah of a nearby douar.

[Ref. ppe1:] NEWSPAPER "PARIS-PRESSE":

Scan.

The latest flying saucer trend is in the shape of a 4 CV.

The most disturbing thing about the mystery of the flying saucers is that they show themselves to the eyes of people that higher primary education and the gravity of their functions protect from vulgar superstitions and the dreams of old women.

How to doubt the word of Mr. Jean Gambier, sworn police officer in Hesdin (Pas-de-Calais) and Mrs. Michèle Vitkosusky, notary clerk in Normandy! Mr. Jean Gambier going to his service saw, above the forest an elongated apparatus whose upper part was bright red. The center of a bright white and whose lower part left behind a trail of stars. The craft quickly took to the vertical and disappeared at a dizzying pace.

Other observers have seen the saucer of Mrs the notary clerk. It was near Saint-Valery-en-Caux. Several unidentified objects - saucers, dammit! - have maneuvered for two hours. One of them, violently lit, landed in a field. Two others, seen not far from the cliff of Mers-les-Bains, seemed to correspond with the first group. Alas when the gendarmes arrived, to fine them, gosh! The saucers were gone: they must not have been in good legal standing.

The Lormes-Nevers coach driver and his passengers, also saw a saucer. Mr. Lucien Fiesch, from Issenheim in Alsace, also, who seized with fear is still running. And also Mr. Pierre Ackermann, from Guebwiller. And again Miss Fleck, from Soulzmatt (Bas-Rhin). Without forgetting the Pyreneans of Vic-Bigorre, the postman of Saint-Pierre-la-Cour station, Mr. Roumy, Houard and Fressard, at Cheverron [sic]; and the students of the Saint-Cyr Institute, in Clevers.

Flying pumpkin

The most extraordinary case was noted by an Algerian motorist, Mr. Gaston Blanquère who, near the village of Jean-Mermoz saw a saucer in the shape of a 4 CV Renault. It consisted of an upper dome from which a yellow glow came out, let out a bluish luminous spray at its lower part and finally swept the plain of very powerful headlights.

Impossible to confuse this saucer with the humble pumpkin emptied and lit by a candle that the villagers of Momy (Basses-Pyrénées) chased yesterday armed with pitchforks, picks and rifles.

[Ref. nll1:] NEWSPAPER "NORD LITTORAL":

Scan.

THE FLYING SAUCERS
in Normandy and Alsace

Paris, Oct. 21

The flying saucers mainly appeared last night, over Normandy. To believe several people including Mademoiselle Michèle Vitkosuski, notary's clerk, several unidentified vehicles moved for over two hours. From a violently lit machine, and posed in a field, to the left of the road to Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, luminous discs escaped which quickly took height, to then return to their starting spot. A flying cigar performed the same ride. Other machines seen not far from the cliff of Mers-les-Bains seemed to correspond by signals with the first group. It should be added that the gendarmes who carried out an investigation on the spot did not find any trace of this mysterious carousel.

A somewhat similar phenomenon was reportedly observed above Vic Bigorre, by a group of ten students who were training on a sports ground. They reportedly saw four discs in formation which seemed to spin on themselves at high speed.

Several testimonies were collected in Alsace. One of the witnesses, Lucien Fiesch, saw near Issenheim, a spherical craft about six meters in diameter which was hovering one meter above the ground. Frightened, Mr. Fiesch went and returned to his workplace.

In Guebwiller, Mr. Pierre Ackermann said he had seen in the sky, a brilliant disc which moved silently at about four hundred meters of altitude. Two middle school students confirmed this statement.

A resident of Soultzmatt, Miss Fleck, said that she had observed this afternoon, an elongated machine which was moving at great speed speed.

Another testimony comes from the Nièvre. The Lormes-Nevers bus was on its way to the latter town when, near Saxi-Bourbon, the driver stopped and shouted: "A saucer!". All the passengers alighted and distinguished, if they were to be believed, a disc shining like aluminum, at an altitude of seven or eight hundred meters.

The last testimony is that of a postman from Saint-Pierre-la-Cour station, who saw in the sky a disc spreading orange luminous beams.

[Ref. fle1:] FERNAND LAGARDE:

Cet ufologue pensait que les observations d'OVNIS surviennent sur des lieux géologiquement actifs, et notait ce cas dans un tableau:

This ufologist thought that UFO sightings occur at geologically active places and noted this case in a table:

FLYING SAUCER Ref. Departements Nr. Localities name Fault just above Fault at 2.5 km Fault at à 5 km Observations Numbering
146 68 GUEBWILLER 1 in the angle of 2 faults b 117

[Ref. bph1:] "BUHL - PAGE D'HISTOIRE":

[...]

Source: "L'Alsace" from October 1st to December 31, 1954

[...]

On October 20: a saucer, a cigar and a sphere "fly" above Guebwiller

At about 7 h 40, on October 20, Mr. Pierre Ackermann, employee with the Spinning Company of Guebwiller, saw, whereas he came out of the street of Lure, "a round disc of an intense brilliance," coming from the heights of Oberlinger and which disappeared behind Kreyenbach. The whole had lasted only approximately 10 minutes. What Pierre Ackermann claims to have been a saucer evolved without noise at a height from 300 to 400 meters. The disc measured at this distance 30 to 40 cm. Two pupils of the Traditional College boys who at the same hour went to school also affirm to have seen the flying disc.

[Ref. cvn1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Christian Valentin indicates that on October 20, 1954 to 07:40 a.m., Mr A., an employee of the mill of Guebwiller, saw from its workplace a round amd shining disc which evolved without noise at a height from 300 to 400 meters. The flying disc was also seen by two pupils who were on the way to their high school.

[Ref. lcn1:] LUC CHASTAN:

Luc Chastan indicates in his database that in the "Haut Rhin (68)" in Guebwiller on October 20, 1954, 07:40 hours, a witness "sees, whereas he came out of the street of Lure, 'a round disc of an intense brilliance,' coming from the heights of Oberlinger and which disappeared behind Kreyenbach. The whole had lasted only approximately 10 minutes. It moved without noise at a height from 300 to 400 meters. The disc measured at this distance 30 to 40 cm. Two pupils of the Collège Classique de garçons [Traditional College for boys] who, at the same hour, went to the school, also said they saw the flying disc."

The source is indicated to be my website.

[Ref. rre1:] RAOUL ROBE:

In the article on an Alsatian alleged sighting, that of Merxheim, the author shows a series of other "known UFO sightings around" that location, including:

GUEBWILLER - 10/20/54 at 4,800 km West [from Merxheim]

[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 on Wednesday, October 20, 1954 at 7:40 in the Haut-Rhin in Guebwiller there was an observation published by the newspaper L'Alsace for Thursday, October 21, 1954, page 5 of the French edition:

A flying saucer over GUEBWILLER...

Yesterday morning, around 7:40, Mr. P. A., employee at the tissue factory of Guebwiller, saw, as he left the rue de Lure, a round disc with a high gloss, from the heights of Oberlinger and it disappeared behind the Kreyenbach. All only lasted about 10 seconds. Mr. A. that claims to be a flying saucer evolved without noise at a height of 300-400 meters. Disk, at this distance, measured from 30 to 40 centimeters. It should be noted that MA was particularly well placed to monitor developments in the saucer, because it ran perpendicular to the path of it.

Two Classical Boys College students, who at the same time went to school say they have also seen the flying disc.

[Ref. spa1:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
GUEBWILLER Wednesday 20 October 1954 at 07:40 Circular, round or disc (2D)
Unidentified
information not communicated
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

Evaluation:

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 December 27, 2004 First published in the France 1954 catalogue.
1.0 Patrick Gross March 24, 2009 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version. Additions [lc1].
1.1 Patrick Gross May 27, 2010 Addition [la1].
1.2 Patrick Gross February 20, 2014 Addition [rre1].
3.0 Patrick Gross October 15, 2014 Addition [cvn2].
3.0 Patrick Gross October 15, 2014 First published in the ALSACAT catalogue.
3.1 Patrick Gross May 11, 2015 Addition [spa1].
3.1 Patrick Gross May 27, 2021 Additions [ppe1], [nll1], [fle1].

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This page was last updated on May 27, 2021.