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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 Mulhouse, on March 1, 1978:

Case number:



The regional newspaper L'Alsace for March 4, 1978, published that one of their female readers, of the Mathias Grunewald street in Mulhouse, from her balcony on the tenth floor, had seen above the Rebberg, on March 1, 1978, around 11:30 p.m., a dark red ball, black in the center, motionless.

The ball disappeared and immediately five very bright pink glows appeared, also motionless, arranged in a line and regularly spaced.

These five "headlights" then vanished, reappeared and went off.

The initial ball relit for a short while; after that the woman observed nothing more.


Temporal data:

Date: March 1, 1978
Time: ~11:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: March 4, 1978
Reporting delay: 3 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: From 10th floor of a building on Mathias Grunewald street, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.738
Longitude: 7.298
Uncertainty ratio: 100 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: Adult or aged.
Witness(es) types: Female resident.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: From the 10th floor of a building in a city, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
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: ?


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified, low strangeness.


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

UFO here, UFO there...

Wednesday evening [March 1, 1978] in the Mulhousian area. At about 11 p.m., in Eschentzwiller, a couple noticed an odd object flying in the sky. Ovoid, of red, blue and green scintillating colors, the UFO appeared to move in direction of Bruebach, then seemed to duplicate, before disappearing.

In Mulhouse, a reader of the Mathias Grunewald street, from her balcony, on the 10th floor, saw above the Rebberg, at about 11:30 p.m., a dark red ball, black in its center, and motionless. The ball disappeared, and at once five pink gleams appeared, very sharp, also motionless, laid out on a line and very regularly spaced.

The five "headlights" disappeared, reappeared, and died out. The ball of fire was re-ignited during a few moments. After that the observant did not see anything any more.

[Ref. ofe1:] FORUM "OVNIS FRANCE":

The article I published in [lae1] was copied as is without source reference onto this forum, introduced as "Forum of discussion and information about the ufo phenomenon, ufo, secret, conspiracy, manipulation etc... Welcome on our forum."


Unidentified, low strangeness.



It may be vers telling that there is no indication of any movement of the phenomenon, and no clue of an altitude - ita may have been on or near the ground. The date is also not certain.

The "Rebberg" is the residential area on the hills, quite extensive, southeast of Mulhouse between Riedisheim and Brunstatt. From her position, the woman therefore observed the phenomenon in a direction between 88░ (right to the East) to 133░ (South-East).

In this area, we have the tower of the television transmitter. One can think of some work on the tower with projectors, but the description does not seem very consistent with such an operation.

One can think of an airliner passing with all lights on, but the pink color, the extinctions and relights not argue much in favor of this; even if it were several planes or helicopters.

One can think of a military drill with flares, in Switzerland for example - there have been precedents in the 1950s. There are no French military drills in this direction in principle.

Projectors or nightclub lasers cannot be totally excluded. But they probably would have been hidden from Mulhouse by the Rebberg hills; nightclubs beyond it cause UFO sightings from the hills of Riedisheim, but I know no related sightings from Mulhouse.

We can think of some party fireworks or projectors, perhaps at the zoo located in the area.

A helicopter frequently lands and takes off from the Emile Muller Hospital in the line of sight, but that was not the case at the time.

However, in 1978, the first part of the hospital buildings were inaugurated. I was unable so far to find a source giving the exact date, much less a source that would tell of the use of any fireworks or projectors; the possibility remains.

In short, I find no impressive strangeness in the story, it lacks essential data such as angular sizes, durations, precise direction, the orientation of the line of five lights, and especially the angular elevation; but I cannot yet give a reliable explanation.

Having lived in Brunstatt, Riedisheim, Mulhouse, for five decades, and with very good knowledge of the premises, I never saw such a phenomenon exactly. The closest was a strong pink light for about twenty seconds from a single firework used a July 14th in the 2000s, that I saw from Mulhouse at or near the gazebo close to the TV transmitter tower.

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
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross July 12, 2015 Creation, [lae1], [ofe1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 12, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 12, 2015.