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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 Mertzen, on October 2, 1977:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1977-10-02-MERTZEN-1

Summary:

In a catalogue published in May 1980 in the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit, ufologist Eric Zurcher said that according to a communication to ufologist Alain Gamard by Mr, Seray, there was a case on October 2, 1977 in Mertzen in the Haut-Rhin:

An object landed in a field and a being all dressed in white came out of it.

Zurcher said there was an "ongoing investigation" about it.

I was then writing that this story could be an incorrectly dated and mistyped location to mention the very famous Merxheim case on November 6, 1977.

In 2021, I find that the first mention of this seems to be in the ufological magazine of GEOS of April 1978. On the occasion of an investigation report on an August 28, 1977 observation in the forest of Hardt, we find a mention that "Five weeks after this event" of August 28, 1977, "in Mertzein [sic], an object lands in a field and a white man comes out..."

This confirmed my idea of a mishmash due to errors of place and date, since this time it is no longer "Mertzen" but "Mertzein" - which does not exist, needless to say - and a big suspicion about the date since here the only indication of date here was "5 weeks after August 28, 1977", so approximate enough not to doubt a precise date such as "October 2, 1977".

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 2, 1977
Time: ?
Duration: ?
First known report date: May 1980
Reporting delay: 3 ans.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mertzen
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.590
Longitude: 7.129
Uncertainty ratio: 500 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: ?
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Personal communication from ufologist Patrice Seray to ufologist alain Gamard.
Type of location: In a field.
Visibility conditions: ?
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
Entities: Yes
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: CE3
ALSACAT: Possible misdated case with mistyped place.

Sources:

[Ref. geo1:] GROUPE D'UFOLOGIE "GEOS":

This ufology group presents an investigation of a case on August 28, 1977, in the Hardt forest near Mulhouse; and adds among other things this comment:

Scan.

Five weeks after this event [of August 28, 1977], in Mertzein [sic], an object lands in a field and a small white man comes out ...

[Ref. ezr1:] ERIC ZURCHER:

201. 10/02/77. Mertzen (68)

Observation of an object that lands in a field and of a being all dressed in white that comes out of it. Ongoing investigation.

Communication from Mr Seray to Alain Gamard.

[Ref. rre1:] RAOUL ROBE:

The catalogue compiled by Raoul Robé is described as publishing the "humanoids" appearances - in a broad sense - that occurred since 1900 on the action area of the 'ufology group CNEGU, comprizine Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin. It is said the work has been done thanks to the collaboration of associations members of CNEGU, and people from "Lumières Dans La Nuit", including Alain Gamard.

There is a "List of the Humanoid cases in the N.E.", where this appears, inter alia:

CASE Nr DATE HOUR PLACE WITNESSES SEX
35 02.10.77 ? Mertzen (68) ?

(There are possibly details in the following pages but unfortunately I do not have them for now).

[Ref. mye1:] UFOLOGY MAGAZINE "LES MYSTERES DE L'EST":

Scan.

Case nr38:

On Sunday October 2, 1977, in Mertzen (68), an object landed in a field and a small man came out.

Note: No press or investiagtion reference is mentioned for this case by GEOS? The local press does not mention this sighting.

Source: reviw "Les Extraterrestres" #6 page 13 of the GEOS.

[Ref. mye2:] UFOLOGY MAGAZINE "LES MYSTERES DE L'EST":

Scan.

The case nr38 Martzen on October 2, 1977; réf. LDLN #195 may 1980 page 28 who signals that an investigation by Patrick Seray is being made. We would very much like to know its result.

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

Mertzen (68) on 02 October 1977

General features

Num Base: 1402
Département: Haut Rhin (68)
Place of observation: Mertzen
Latitude: 47.583
Longitude: +7.133
Date of observation: 02 October 1977
Hour: Hour not known
Duration (HH:MM:SS): N.C.
Weather: No weather indication
Type of observation: Visual close with figures
Nbr of witness(es): undetermined number
Official investigation: No

Features of the object

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

Features of the entity/entities

Number: 1
Description: Non defined
Action:

Observation

An object is said to have landed, and a white humanoid shape is said to have emerged from the object. No other detail.

Sources

Lumières dans la Nuit issue 195

[Ref. oio1:] "OVNIS INFO":

1977

- In Mertzen, October 2, 1977

[Ref. spa1:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
MERTZEN Sunday 2 October 1977 information not communicated
Unidentified
information not communicated
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

The communication by Patrice Seray may have been correctly quoted by Mr. Zurcher or not, I however have the strong feeling that this is possibly a mixup about the case in Merxheim, not Mertzen, also in the Haut-Rhin, and on November 6, 1975, not October 2, 1977. The Merxheim case - a hoax as I found out - has its own file.

Indeed, we have only the repetition of the first sources by the others with absolutely no added value.

Update on May 24, 2021:

Now that I found [geo1], apprently the earliest source, the foul up is even more obvious. There is no "Mertzein", and this looks more like "Merxheim" than "Mertzen" did.

I am now 90% convinced that this is only confused mentions of the Merxheim affair, investigated, and found out to be a hoax when I heard a resident from the village who knew the main witness when they were kids.

Evaluation:

Possible misdated case with mistyped place.

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 June 2, 2015 Creation, [ezr1], [rre1], [lcn1], [oio1], [spa1].
1.0 Patrick Gross June 2, 2015 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 24, 2021 Additions [geo1], [mye1], [mye2]. In the Summary, addition of "I was then writing that this story..." and what follows. In the Explanations, addition of the ">Update on May 24, 2021" part.

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This page was last updated on May 24, 2021.