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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.

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Case of Folgensbourg, on April 11, 1980:

Case number:



In the October 1981 issue 208 of the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit, there is a report about an observation on April 9, 1980 at 11:50 p.m., by a Swiss citizen, Philippe Kellerhals, 29, bank employee, living in Allschwill in Switzerland.

The magazine reports that this same witness saw the same phenomenon again on Friday April 11, 1980 at 11:50 p.m. French time, from the same position, his home in Allschwill, Switzerland, not far from the church.

The phenomenon was also heading west in the region between Folgensburg and Hausgauen but much further away. This observation had lasted from 11:50 p.m. to 00:25.

Under the ball, rays of red color reportedly appeared. The object was, this time again, first fixed, then suddenly moved towards the northeast following a curve in the direction of Hausgauen, and it also reportedly "disappeared" in the clouds.


Temporal data:

Date: April 11, 1980
Time: 11:50 p.m
Duration: 25 minutes.
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.
Latitude: 47.541
Longitude: 7.500
Uncertainty radius: 10 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: 29
Witness(es) types: Swiss citizen, bank employee.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Ufology investigation LDLN.wspaper?
Type of location: Above country.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: No.
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: Medium strangeness, possible plane.





(Investigators' hypothesis)

Witness: Mr. KELLERHALS Philippe, 29 years old living in ALLSCHWILL (Switzerland). Bank employee.

Atmospheric conditions: See Appendix.

Map used: I.G.N. ALTKIRCH - Sheet XXXVII-21 1/50.000.

Position of the witness: ALLSCHWIL, longitude: 7° 32' 08'.' EAST, latitude: 47° 32' 53" NORTH.

Date and time of the sighting: Wednesday, April 9, 1980, 11:50 p.m. French time, time taken from the church tower. The witness lives near it.

The witness saw at 11:50 p.m. above FOLGEN80URG (West - France, distance 4 km) a yellow ball brighter than 100 on the PANTONE color chart.

Ball size: 7 to 8 at the comparator. Beneath this ball appeared rays directed downwards in a red color brighter than WARM RED in the color chart.

Mr. KELLERHALS observed the phenomenon which remained motionless, for 10 minutes then suddenly as a plane arrived from the west and heading east passing overhead NEUWILLER, the phenomenon suddenly moved to the NORTH-WEST, following a curve in the direction of HAUSGAUEN (grid 7 40-74 0 on the map by executing jolts. The witness was able to follow this ball until 00:10 before it disappeared in the clouds.

Witness: Identical.

Date and time of the sighting: Friday, April 11, 1980, 11:50 p.m. French time.

Position of the witness: ALLSCHWIL same position.

The witness saw that evening the same phenomenon identical to the evening of Wednesday April 9, 1980, having the same characteristics.

The size given to the comparator was 5. The phenomenon was also heading WEST in the region between FOLGEN80URG and HAUSGAUEN but much further. This sighting lasted from 11:50 p.m. to 12:25 a.m.



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.


Above: 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.


Medium strangeness, 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 February 6, 2023 Creation, [ldl1].

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This page was last updated on February 6, 2023.