ALSACAT -> Home 

Cette page en françaisCliquez!


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.

Previous case Next case >

Case of Lutterbach, on February 22, 1977:

Case number:



In the ufology magazine Lumières Dans la Nuit #221-222 for November / December 1982, local ufologist J. Journot reported on his investigation into a case à in Kaysersberg in 1982; on thos occation ufologiyt Fernand Lagarde made his comments, and listed some other sightings around this town, including one noted "Lautenbach" on February 22, 1977.

The case was included without further information in the "Catalogue of observations year 1977" of the Comité Nord-Est des Groupements Ufologiques (CNEGU) (North-East Committee of Ufological Groups), around 1987.

Subsequently, I found out that this case was the subject of a file in the archive of the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit in the 1970s or 1980s.

The sheet included the report of a witness herself, Marie-Thérèse Paslawski, resident of Jebsheim, no profession, 28 at the time of the observation.

This lady reported that on February 22, 1977, around 05:55 p.m., she was the passenger in the car driven by her gendarme husband, on the departmental road linking Thann to Mulhouse.

Night was about to fall and the sky was getting darker, when, finding themselves in the open countryside about 10 kilometers from Mulhouse on the outskirts of the commune of Lutterbach, they both saw "an extremely luminous ball of silvery clarity."

She estimated that the shiny ball was about 8 to 10 kilometers from them, and that its altitude was 500 or 1000 meters. At eyesight, she estimated that it must have been located significantly above the western outskirts of Mulhouse, above the localities of Bourtzwiller or Illzach.

Her husband had to stop his observation after about 2 to 3 seconds because he was looking at the luminous dot while driving; she was then alone in observing what happened next: the round object "instantly transformed into an oval shape, pale yellow surrounded by a white halo." In the space of a short moment, which she estimated to be around 2 seconds, she saw this oval shape gradually diminish before immediately disappearing.

She added that "the craft was surrounded by a very luminous white ring."

She estimated the total duration of her observation at around 5 seconds, with the phenomenon remaining still and silent for the duration of the observation. She thought that seen "from a distance" the circular object "must have had a diameter of approximately one centimeter, which suggests that the craft must have been relatively large."

She expressed her astonishment to have noted that there were no other witnesses, no press article having reported the facts. She assured she was trustworthy, as well as her gendarme husband.


Temporal data:

Date: February 22, 1977
Time: 05:55 p.m.
Duration: 5 seconds.
First known report date: November 1982
Reporting delay: 5 years?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Lutterbach
Place: In car driving on road from Thann to Mulhouse, 10 km from Mulhouse.
Latitude: 47.785
Longitude: 7.187
Uncertainty radius: 2 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 2
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Couple, husband gendarme.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Ufology magazine LDLN.
Type of location: In car driving on country road.
Visibility conditions: Nightfall.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
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: Luminous object.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible plane or helicopter.




in LUTTERBACH (Haut-Rhin)

Witnesses: PASLAWSKI Marie-Thérèse residing at 5, Grand-Rue in JEBSHEIM 68350, no profession, 28 years old. Investigation written by me.

Observation duration: 5 seconds.

On February 22, 1977 around 5:55 p.m. I was in the car driven by my husband and I witnessed a mysterious event.

We were driving on the departmental road linking Thann to Mulhouse. As night fell and the sky darkened, we both saw an extremely luminous ball of silvery clarity. We were then in the open countryside about 10 kilometers from Mulhouse on the grounds of the commune of Lutterbach.

The shiny ball I saw was about 8 to 10 kilometers from us. As for its altitude I estimated it at 500 or 1000 meters. At first glance I estimated that it must be located significantly above the western outskirts of Mulhouse above the localities of Bourtzwiller or Illzach which are part of the suburbs of the aforementioned city.

This apparition lasted approximately 2 to 3 seconds. My husband had to stop his observation because we were looking at the bright spot while driving. Consequently, I was the only one able to observe the second phase of the phenomenon. The round object instantly transformed into an oval shape, pale yellow surrounded by a white halo. In the space of a short moment, which I estimate at around 2 seconds, I saw this oval shape gradually diminish and immediately disappear. I will add that the craft was surrounded by a very luminous white ring.

The overall time of the two phases of the apparition lasted a short time which I estimate at around 5 seconds. I would add that the phenomenon remained motionless and silent throughout the observation. Seen from a distance, the circular object must have had a diameter of approximately one centimeter, which suggests that the craft must have been relatively large.

In conclusion, I am still surprised to note that my husband and I were the only ones to notice the phenomenon, no press article having reported the facts. I think that my good faith can hardly be doubted, as well as that of my gendarme husband.




It should be mentioned, however, that the Haut-Rhin department, in addition to BAVIC crossing its south, has been well supplied with observations since 1952. There are 110 of them in our archives, and it is certain that this number represents only a small part of reality.

If, around KAYSERSBERG as the center, we draw a circle with a radius of 15 km (good viewing distance for a phenomenon of the observed type) we find as observations (Michelin map #62 folds 17-18-19) by turning from the left to the right: Ste Marie-aux-Mines: 20.5.52; Bergheim: 9.1.54; Colmar: 31.5.52, 20.3.77; Wintzenheim: 18.1.54; Eguisheim: 14.10.54; Voegtshoffen: 12 et 14.11.72; Munster: 18.10.78; Lutterbach [sic]: 1951, 53, 68, et 22.2.77; Labaroche: 7.7.67; Soultzeren: 17.12.75; Lapoutroie: 14.10.54. That is a total of 16 observations, 12 of which are concentrated in the south, where, 20 km from Kaysersberg, is the source of helium of Soultzmatt where an observation was made on 10/18/54.

Notes: In the years 1960-1980, ufologist Fernand Lagarde searched for "connections" between UFO observations places and, among other things, "geological faults". Without wishing to specify what such a link would demonstrate, he had often commented on reports of investigations by local investigators published in the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit, intending to show that such geographic connections did exist.

In the case of Alsace, the task is easy: the whole of the plain of Alsace is a basin of collapse of the old Hercynian mountain range top, of which only the "edges" remain, the Vosges and the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine River, in Germany. As a result, one should claim that all observations in Alsace are located on a geological fault! Is there anything to be concluded from this as to the nature of the observations? In my opinion, absolutely nothing.

As for "BAVIC", mentioned by Lagarde, it was about a line across France passing by the cities of BAyonne and VIChy, on which the pioneer ufologist Aimé Michel had thought in the years 1950, that on September 24, 1954, there were such a large number of "aligned" sightings on this line that mere chance could not account for it.

Michel, not having the resources to go check each observation report, argued that this alignment signified the reality and the remarkable nature of these observations since hallucinations, lies and misinterpretation could not be propagated on such a straight line.

In reality, the "statistically improbable" character of this alignment has been questioned, but above all, most if not all of the cases he cited for this day are not only explained by trivial causes (mistakes, hoaxes ...), not only were they badly dated and almost never occurred on September 24, 1954, but also, Aimé Michel had not at all been aware of all the cases of that day.

Aimé Michel, at the end of the 1960s, admitted that the "BAVIC line" had no reality; but many others like Fernand Lagarde continued to promote it as a "fact", "extending" the line geographically all around the world and extending it temporally to any observation on this line whatever the date, but without ever verifying that it there would really be a statistical anomaly in this.



Ref. F/00/68/77 02 22 (01)

On Tuesday, February 22, an unusual observation was made in Lutterbach (68).

Source: J. Journot (LDLN nr 221/222 p. 32)



The witnesses are in "W", 10 km from Mulhouse, on the road linking Thann to Lutterbach:


The "ball" is located by the witness towards the Illzach - Bourtzwiller area, therefore between 88° and 105°.

The distance and altitude estimates, in themselves, are not worth much since we have an unknown "object", certainly outside of stereoscopic vision at 50 m, and without background landmarks. However, the distance - height relationship may suggest that the object was not very high. The indicator gives a distance of 8 to 10 km, an altitude of 0.5 to 1 km:


We can then think of a helicopter or airplane headlight, the white halo surrounding it possibly being caused by fog - it is February. The disappearance can be explained if the craft veered. Immobility does not pose a problem since the witnesses are moving and the observation is very brief.

An astronomical explanation is more doubtful: it is not yet really dark, and the sky map for this place does not show anything particular towards the East of the witnesses, in particular, absence of Venus which is at 234°.


Possible plane or helicopter.

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 February 14, 2022 Creation, [ldl1], [cnu1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 14, 2022 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross September 7, 2023 Addition [ald1]. Addition of the Discussion. In the Summary, addition of "Subsequently, I found out..." and what follows. Evaluation changed, was "Totally insufficient information."

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict

 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on September 7, 2023.