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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 February 13, 1982:

Case number:



The regional newpspaper L'Est Républicain, of Nancy, reported on February 15, 1982:

About fifteen police officers from Mulhouse observed Saturday morning, above the city, the moves of what they believe to be an "unidentified flying object" (UFO). The object, described as "a large ball emitting an intense light", moved "at a fairly slow speed, from the North-West to the South-East, between 6:30 and 7:40, then it disappeared." The sighting was recorded in the daily police report, pending a thorough investigation by specialists, to establish whether it was really a UFO, or, for example, a sounding balloon.


Temporal data:

Date: February 13, 1982
Time: 06:30 a.m.
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes.
First known report date: 2015
Reporting delay: Day, 2 decades.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: City.
Latitude: 47.750
Longitude: 7.333
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 15
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults
Witness(es) types: Policemen.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Press.
Type of location: Outside in city.
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: Unidentified, insufficient information.


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


A UFO in the sky of Mulhouse
yesterday morning?

For more than an hour
fifteen police officers followed and observed a "white ball"

Fifteen police officers from the Mulhouse central police station and several other witnesses observed yesterday at dawn, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:40 a.m., a "white ball of high intensity, fifteen to twenty times the size of a star" moving in the sky of the city of the Bollwerk [= Mulhouse]. Photos were taken by the police - but without a special filter on the lens - and after development, the phenomena followed with the naked eye did not appear on the film.

So UFO (1) or not UFO?

Some say yes, others think it was just a weather balloon reflecting the first rays of the sun. In our region where several unexplained phenomena of the same type were already observed in recent years and in particular in Kembs where in April 1980 a young woman, Patricia Dziomba had been pursued by a UFO - these new testimonies may be of some importance.

The intensity of a neon light

The first witnesses to the phenomena are two guards, one from the 4th section and the other from the canine brigade, who in a police vehicle patrolled the streets of Mulhouse. They had started their shift at 5 a.m.. At 6:30 a.m., being rue Lavoisier, in the Cité, one of the police officers said to the other: "Here, look there is a UFO in the sky". A white ball, very strong, like a neon light and 15 to 20 times bigger than a star, was moving slowly above the city, from Bourtzwiller (in the north) towards Riedisheim (in the south) and at an altitude quite low (from 500 to 800 m). The two guards observed the ball for three to four minutes, before it was hidden by buildings.

By radio, the police then alerted the command room of the central police station, where they went.

At the police station (Coehorn barracks) the patrol again saw the ball which was above them and which was heading this time towards the tower of Europe, still moving at low altitude and slow speed. "The sky was clear, the day was beginning to dawn and we could not confuse it with a star," said one of the witnesses.

In their vehicle, the police decided to follow the ball of light. The latter, which was then above the Tower of Europe, suddenly accelerated and took the direction of the zoo. "We followed it to the Allée des Ecureuils in the Rebberg where other witnesses, people from the neighborhood who were already up, also followed the development of the phenomenon," say the policemen.

A plane nearby

Another patrol of four officials, in the police-rescue van, was in Riedisheim around 6:40 a.m. The three guards and the sergeant also saw this white, shiny ball, which seemed to have changed shape, like a drop of oil."

Other witnesses say that after having stared well at the phenomena, they believed to distinguish kinds of antennas, as well as a cloudy trail behind the craft. About twenty police officers and residents met after 7 p.m. in the Rebberg. A plane, which had taken off from Bâle-Mulhouse had just passed some 500 meters from the ball. But it seems that neither the pilot nor the Basel-Mulhouse airport radar control noticed anything. At the same time, the police officers, really intrigued, decided to send for the duty superintendent, Mrs. Soranzo, who also witnessed the phenomenon. One also called the officials of the accident brigade who came to the allée des Ecureuils with a camera. A policeman from the motorcycle brigade also photographed the ball with his personal camera. Two films with different sensitivities. "This ball, it stood out clearly in the clear sky, still dark, and yet there is nothing on the film", notes a police officer.

Around 7 a.m., the "UFO" remained motionless above the zoo, then it moved strangely up and down and from right to left. Until 7:40 a.m. After stopping dead, the ball of light rose sharply straight into the sky and gradually disappeared towards the south, in the direction of Switzerland.


(1) UFO: unidentified flying object.



UFO observed

About fifteen police officers from Mulhouse observed Saturday morning, above the city, the moves of what they believe to be an "unidentified flying object" (UFO). The object, described as "a large ball emitting an intense light", moved "at a fairly slow speed, from the North-West to the South-East, between 6:30 and 7:40, then it disappeared." The sighting was recorded in the daily police report, pending a thorough investigation by specialists, to establish whether it was really a UFO, or, for example, a sounding balloon.


ON FEBRUARY 15, 1982 IN MULHOUSE (Ht-Rhin) - Between 6:30 a.m. and 7:40 a.m., around fifteen police officers, on duty in various parts of the city, observed "a white ball of high intensity, 15 to 20 times bigger than a star" moving at low altitude 500 to 800 ms. and at slow speed. Photos were taken, but without a special filter on the lens. At development the phenomenon did not appear. The sighting has been recorded in the daily police report, and a commission of specialists is examining the issue.

(L'Est Républicain for 2/15/82)
(N. République-Tours 2/15/82)


This bulletin published a xerox of the article in L'Est Républicain for February 15, 1982 - see [ler1].


City Date and hour of observation General shape
General color
MULHOUSE Saturday 13 February 1982 at 06:30 a.m. ball, balloon or melon (3D)
information not communicated
Unsolved -lack of info



The slowness and duration probably exclude a plane, a meteor. The "intense" luminosity does not correspond well to a balloon, although with the sun which was about to rise...

It remains for me to verify wether Mars or Venus or other remarkable celestial bodies had been in the sky:

At 6:30 a.m., it is still pitch dark. At 7:40 a.m., the end of the observation, the sun is just appearing on the horizon, and the night is almost over.

We had Mars at 220°, elevation 29°, distant (248 million km) but with 93.73% of its surface illuminated.

We had Jupiter not far from Mars apparently, at 196° and almost the same elevation at 27°, with 99.22% of its surface illuminated.

We had Venus at 121° with a low elevation of 7°, 50.98 million km but with only 14.5% of its surface illuminated. Venus will only set at 03:35 p.m.

An apparent problem is that all these stars "rise" in the sky, but at the same time, at the end of the observation time, the sun appears so that the three planets would no longer be visible. The celestial vault where these planets are has an apparent displacement of 15° from the left to the right of the observers.

We are told that "at a fairly slow speed" there has been a movement of the phenomenon "from the North-West to the South-East". Taken literally, it would involve a complete crossing of the sky; but it could simply mean "from our right to our left"... which would exclude the planets mentioned.

The police could have, or perhaps have, given clear and precise information; but it went through the journalistic filter. The police officers may have said: "at the beginning of the observation, the ball was in the North-West, at the end of the observation it was in the South-East", or "angular displacement of 180 °°; which would have really excluded the mentioned planets.

For lack of really precise information, for the moment anyway, given the above, I cannot identify the phenomenon.


Unidentified, insufficient information.

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 March 15, 2016 Creation, [spa1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 15, 2016 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 31, 2021 Additions [ler1], [lbs1]. Summary changed, was: "In a listing of UFO sighting reports in the Haut-Rhin on their website, the Alsatian ufology association SPICA noted that on Saturday, February 13, 1982, at 06:30 a.m. in Mulhouse, a "ball, balloon or melon (3D)" was seen; which remained unidentified for lack of information." discussion changed, was "My information is totally insufficient for now."
1.2 Patrick Gross July 7, 2021 Addition [ldl1].

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This page was last updated on July 7, 2021.