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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.

Case of Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, on January 7, 1977:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1977-01-08-STECROIXENPLAINE-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace for January 8, 1977, wondered whether a UFO had been seen in the sky of the Haut-Rhin.

The newspaper told that the previous night, January 7, 1977, several witness reports could indicate it, "though, as always in such cases, one should be cautious."

The most interesting of these reports, according to the newspaper, came from of a couple living in Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine. The spouse, who remained anonymous, said that at 05:45 am, she and her husband were awakened by the barks of their dog. They tried to silence it, but there was nothing to do. They then looked out of the window bay in the direction that the dog was staring at.

They then saw three lights "like headlights" above the trees of the forest of Herrlisheim. These three lights were one next to each other, and below, were two smaller lights of reddish color.

These lights went, came back, went away in a kind of horizontal swing. Zhis lasted two to three minutes, and then the lights disappeared behind the buildings of a factory; which ended their observation.

The paper said a Mulhouse resident made a "similar observation." The man came at the Colmar airfield control tower on January 7, 1977, in the morning, to ask whether they had noticed something unusual, like he had. The answer was negative, the air traffic control function of the airfield baginning only a bit later.

The newspaper article gives no further details about this observation, stating only that there was then no movement of planes from the Air Force base of Colmar-Meyenheim and the Colmar airfield, as the first plane took off at 06:28 a.m.

In the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit #164 of April 1977, it was reported that according to the newspaper Le Républicain Lorrain for January 9, 1977, there had been a UFO sighting on January 8, 1977 at Herrlishein: around 5:50 a.m., the dog of a couple from Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine started to howl, and then the witnesses were able to see at above the forest of Herrlisheim a luminous object.

In 1981, the ufology group Cercle Vosgien Lumières Dans La Nuit published an article of the newspaper La Liberté de l'Est for January 9, 1977, which reported that a "UFO circulated in the Haut-Rhin sky on Friday night" therefore on January 8, 1977.

The article said that a couple from Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, around 5:50 a.m., noticed that their dog had started to howl, and they then saw above the trees of the forest de Herrlisheim, an object with weird lights. There were three of them that looked like headlights, next to each other. Below these headlights were two slightly smaller, reddish headlights. These lights would turn on and off "in a sort of horizontal sway".

The phenomenon lasted about two minutes, then the UFO disappeared behind the buildings of a factory.

It is said that a resident of Mulhouse made the same observation, and a fourth person reported his observations to the control tower at the airfield of Colmar.

The newspaper said that after a quick investigation, it turned out that there had been no movement of planes neither from the air force base of Meyenheim nor from the aerodrome of Colmar at the time when this UFO was seen.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: January 7, 1977
Time: 05:50 a.m.
Duration: 2 to 3 minutes.
First known report date: January 8, 1977
Reporting delay: Hours, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine
Place: From behind the window bay at home, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.012
Longitude: 7.384
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults or aged.
Witness(es) types: A married couple of residents.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: From behind the window bay at home, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
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: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified but sparse information.

Sources:

[Ref. dna1:] "DERNIERES NOUVELLES D’ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:

Scan

A UFO in the sky of Haut-Rhin?

An unidentified flying object may have crossed the Upper Rhine sky last night. In any case, several witnesses reports may indicate this, though, as always in such cases, one should be cautious.

The most interesting of the stories that reached us comes from a couple living in Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine. "It was 5:50 a.m., explained the lady who wishes to remain anonymous, when my husband and I were awakened by the barks of our dog. We tried to silence it, but there is nothing to do. So we looked out of the window bay in the direction it was staring.

"That's when we saw above the trees of the forest of Herrlisheim, lights: there were three that could be described as headlights, one next to the other, and, below, two smaller reddish lights; the lights went, came back, went away in a kind of horizontal swing. It lasted two to three minutes, then the lights disappeared behind the buildings of a factory; which prevented us from continuing our observation."

A resident of Mulhouse also made a similar observation. Yesterday morning a man came to the Colmar aerodrome control tower to ask if they had noticed something abnormal, like he did. The answer was negative, as the control work started only a bit later.

This observation could be interesting. Indeed, it is not common that an animal gives the alert, but it is a phenomenon already observed that animals are affected by an unusual presence of this type, the description of the lights is of a classic UFO type; the witnesses were at different locations.

Moreover, there was no movement of planes from the base of Colmar-Meyenheim and the Colmar Airfield, where the first plane took off at 6:28.

[Ref. rln1:] NEWSPAPER "LE REPUBLICAIN LORRAIN":

Scan

A UFO in the sky of the Haut-Rhin

Mulhouse. -- A UFO circulated in the Haut-Rhin sky on Friday night. According to a couple from Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, around 5:50 a.m., their dog started to howl. It was then that the couple saw an object with odd lights above the trees of the Herrlisheim forest.

[Ref. ldl1:] UFOLOGY MAGAZINE "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT":

Scan.

ON JANUARY 8, 1977. HERRLISHEIM (Haut-Rhin)

Around 5:50 the dog of a couple from St Croix en Plaine began to howl, so the witnesses could see a luminous object above the forest of Herrlisheim.

("Républicain Lorrain" for 1/9/77)

[Ref. lbs1:] UFOLOGY BULLETIN "LA LIGNE BLEUE SURVOLEE?":

Scan.

C.V.L.D.L.N.

ARCHIVES de PRESSE

- I -

Année I977

Journal: LA LIBERTE DE L'EST (quotidien)
(40, Quai des Bons Enfants 88000 EPINAL)

Dimanche 09 Janvier I977 - page 17

UN OVNI APERCU DANS LE CIEL DU HAUT-RHIN PAR PLUSIEURS PERSONNES.

MULHOUSE (ACP) - Un OVNI a circulé dans le ciel du Haut-Rhin dans la nuit de Vendredi. Selon un couple de Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, vers 6h moins 10, son chier s'est mis à hurler. C'est alors que le couple a aperçu au-dessus des arbres de la forêt de Herrlisheim, un objet pourvu de curieuse s lumières. Il y en avait trois qui ressemblaient à des phares, l'un à côté de l'autre.

En-dessous de ces phares, deux légèrement plus petits et rougeoyants. Ces lumières s'allumaient et s'éteignaient "dans une sorte de balancement horizontal".

Le phénomène a duré deux minutes environ puis l'OVNI a disparu derrière les bâtiments d’une usine.

Un habitant de Mulhouse a fait la même observation. De plus une quatrième personne a fait part de ses observations à la tour de contrôle de l'aérodrome de COLMAR.

Après enquête rapide, il n'y avait eu aucun mouvement d'avion de la base de COLMAR-¬MEYENHEIM pas plus que de l'aérodrome de Colmar au moment où l'OVNI a été aperçu.

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

Ste Croix en Plaine (68) on 08 janvier 1977

General features

Num Base: 3022
Department: Haut Rhin (68)
Place of observation: Ste Croix en Plaine
Latitude: 48.016
Longitude: +7.383
Date of observation: January 08, 1977
Hour: 05:50 hours
Duration (HH:MM:SS): N.C.
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual: Distant
Nbr of witness(es): 2
Official investigation: No

Features of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Non-defined
Size: Not specified
Color: not defined
Luminosity: Briliant
Visual characteristics: No indication
Speed: not defined
Movement/Displacement: Not specified
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No

Type od effects noted

Physical effects: Reaction of the animals,

Observation

A couple's dog starts to yell, the two witnesses then observe above the forest of Herrlisheim a luminous object.

Sources

Lumières dans la Nuit

[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 tells that on January 7, 1977, in Sainte-Croix-En-Plaine, this observation occurred, reported in the newspaper DERNIERES NOUVELLES D’ALSACE for Saturday, January 8, 1977:

A UFO in the sky of the HAUT-RHIN?

An unidentified flying object may have crossed the Upper Rhine sky last night. In any case, several witnesses reports may indicate this, though, as always in such cases, one should be cautious.

The most interesting of the stories that reached us comes from a couple living in Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine. "It was 5:50 a.m., explained the lady who wishes to remain anonymous, when my husband and I were awakened by the barks of our dog. We tried to silence it, but there is nothing to do. So we looked out of the window bay in the direction it was staring.

"That's when we saw above the trees of the forest of Herrlisheim, lights: there were three that could be described as headlights, one next to the other, and, below, two smaller reddish lights; the lights went, came back, went away in a kind of horizontal swing. It lasted two to three minutes, then the lights disappeared behind the buildings of a factory; which prevented us from continuing our observation."

A resident of Mulhouse also made a similar observation. Yesterday morning a man came to the Colmar aerodrome control tower to ask if they had noticed something abnormal, like he did. The answer was negative, as the control work started only a bit later.

This observation could be interesting. Indeed, it is not common that an animal gives the alert, but it is a phenomenon already observed that animals are affected by an unusual presence of this type, the description of the lights is of a classic UFO type; the witnesses were at different locations.

Moreover, there was no movement of planes from the base of Colmar-Meyenheim and the Colmar Airfield, where the first plane took off at 6:28.

[Ref. spa1:] "SPICA" UFOLOGY ASSOCIATION:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
HERLISHEIM Friday 7 January 1977 at 05h50 various others
Unidentified
information not communicated
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

It should be noted from the outset that the "Herrlisheim" in question here is not "Herrlisheim"; which is located in the Bas-Rhin, but Herrlisheim-prés-Colmar.

It is clear that the newspaper published only partially the information they probably received. Thus, it is by no means clear that the two observations mentioned are the only two, it is by no means clear that they relate to the same phenomenon, it is not known what the man who went to the airfield had seen or when and where he had seen it.

Let's not even talk about quantitative data such as viewing directions, elevation, angular sizes etc., none is given. As often, the Press prefers to issue words of "caution" rather than give useful information.

Crucial information for example would be the presence or absence of noise. With noise, the Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine couple might have seen one or more maneuvering helicopters. The newspaper excludes planes, but says nothing about a presence or absence of helicopters.

All this means that although I can not give an identification of what was reported, for lack of information we do not have a "good case" or two "good cases."

The best I can do is to provide some indications on the locations.

We have a couple witnesses from Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine watching the lights in the direction of the forest of Herrlisheim, so apparently between their southeast and northeast.

The man from Mulhouse came to the control tower at the Colmar-Houssen airfield, but we do not know where his sighting occurred. The Meyenheim Air Force Base is at BA132.

From the Colmar-Houssen airfield to Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, there are approximately 11 kilometers.

Evaluation:

Unidentified but sparse information.

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, 2015 Creation, [dna1], [lcn1], [cvn2], [spa1].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 10, 2015 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross June 3, 2021 Addition [rln1].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 7, 2021 Additions [ldl1], [lbs1]. In the Summary, addition of the information from [ldl1], [lbs1].

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This page was last updated on June 7, 2021.