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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 Folgensbourg, on April 9, 1980:

Case number:



In issue 208 of October 1981 of the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit, appeared apparently a text indicating that there was a sighting on April 9, 1980, at 11:50 p.m., by two witnesses who observed from the German-speaking Switzerland at the level of Folgensbourg, a ball-shaped object, of very bright yellow color.

Under the ball, red rays reportedly appeared. The object was first motionless, then suddenly shifted to the northeast in a curve towards Hausgauen and reportedly "disappeared" in the clouds.


Temporal data:

Date: April 9, 1980
Time: 11:50 p.m
Duration: ?
First known report date: October 1981
Reporting delay: 18 months?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Folgensbourg
Place: Over France seen from Switzerland probably near the French border.
Uncertainty ratio: 10 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 0
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Newspaper?
Type of location: Above country.
Visibility conditions: Night
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: ?


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Low strangeness nocturnal light, possible plane.



Folgensbourg (68) on 09 avril 1980

General features

Num Base: 2535
Departement: Haut Rhin (68)
Place of observation: Folgensbourg
Latitude: 47.55
Longitude: +7.45
Date of observation: April 09, 1980
Hour: 23:50 hours
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 00:10:00
Weather: Overcast sky high altitude
Type of observation: Visual: Distant
Nbr of witness(es): 2
Official investigation: No

Features of the object

Nbr of object: 1
Type of object: Lumineous Ball
Size: Not specified
Color: Yellow
Luminosity: Brilliant
Visual characteristics: Rayon
Speed: not defined
Movement/Displacement: Not specified
Object on the ground: No
Instantaneous disappearance: No


Two witnesses observe from the German-speaking Switzerland at the level of Folgensbourg an object of very bright yellow color. Under the ball appearr [sic] red rays. The object is first motionless, then suddenly moves northeasterly along a curve towards Hausgauen and disappears into the clouds.


Lumières dans la Nuit issue 208


City Date and hour of observation General shape
General color
FOLGENSBOURG Wednesday 9 avril 1980 at 23:50 ball, balloon or melon (3D)
Unsolved -lack of info


Folgensbourg is indeed in the Haut-Rhin, but we are told the witnesses were in Swiss territory at the level of this village. The border, "at the level of" Folgensbourg, is at 4 kilometers at the nearest spot, where the Schoenenbuch Swiss village is located. The coordinate given by r [lcn1] are actually those of Folgensbourg, 4 km at least too much in the East.

Hausgauen is about 11 km in the Northeast (123 degrees) from Folgensbourg, so about 15 km and about the same direction from the likely sighting place.

The yellow line is the probable direction of the sighting at the end.

The green spot is the probable location of the witnesses.

The blue spot is Folgensbourg.

The red spot is Hausgauen.

I searched for a possible astronomical body that could be explanation. But the Moon is not visible, Venus is not visible. Mars and Jupiter are visible, but not in the right direction (240° and 230°). In the sky were only very ordinary star and at this time, nothing astronomical who would move to the North-East.

An airplane, airplane lights, remains a possibility, as the Basel - Mulhouse airport is in the vicinity, and big passenger planes approaches and departures, all lights on, are very visible about this location.

As the "UFO disappears" in high clouds, as often locals and elsewhere people believe in the immobility of a plane before seeing it in motion, this explanation makes some sense, in absence of any other.

I do not currently have the [ldl1] source - it is probably just a "Press summary" by the magazine, with little details - and I found no other source for this observation.


Low strangeness nocturnal light, possible plane.

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 May 7, 2015 Creation, [lcn1].
1.0 Patrick Gross May 7, 2015 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 11, 2015 Addition [spa1].

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This page was last updated on May 11, 2015.