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ALSACAT:

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 Mulhouse, on April 14, 1986:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1986-04-14-MULHOUSE-1

Summary:

The National Gendarmerie wrote reports on April 15 - 22, 1986 stating the following facts:

On 15 April 1986 at 7:15 p.m., a man with a censored name, residing in a censored place, manager of a store in the Centrale de Charcuterie Alsacienne, went to the office of the brigade to report that he had seen a UFO the previous evening around 11:45 p.m., while he was at his home.

From his bedroom, he had seen in the sky at an altitude he estimated to be around 200 to 300 meters, an elongated shape resembling a huge delta wing, white un color, which moved in the sky without emitting the slightest sound, neither radiation, nor light.

He had noticed no change in shape or characteristics during the entire sighting, which lasted 30 to 40 seconds, before the object disappeared behind the horizon line.

The gendarmes recorded his statement on April 15, 1986:

"That night around 11:45 p.m., I was in my bedroom. The sky was very clear and very cloudless. There were no clouds. I opened the "VELUX" to observe the stars and possibly see a shooting star."

"I had been scanning the sky for 5 minutes when I saw above me at an altitude that I estimate to be around 200 to 300 meters, an elongated shape of a white color verging on grey-black. This object had the shape of a huge delta wing and is very elongated. There was no noise, no light, no smoke, no appearance of a trail of fire. I saw this object for 30 to 40 seconds. It moved in a perfect straight line at a speed I can't estimate, but quite fast. It came from the direction of the [-], direction the [-], that is [-] to [-]."

"During the displacement there was no shine and no shape change during the observation period."

"This afternoon, I phoned the [Basel-Mulhouse] airport. I got in toich with someone in charge of the weather to whom I explained what I had seen. This person told me to make a statement to the nearest gendarmerie. I am working at [-], so I came to you."

"To come back to the object seen, it had a very elongated shape as I told you, the upper end was rounded, it was longer than it was wide. However I don't remember how the other end was made. I think it was straight, but I'm not sure."

The case, unknown in the ufological literature, only surfaced in 2007, when the GEIPAN ("Groupe d'Etude et d'Informations sur les Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Unidentifiés") the official service of the "Centre National des Etudes Spatiales" (CNES) in charge of the UAP question, published the two anonymized sheets written by the Gendarmerie, situating the case in Mulhouse, and specifying that no additional information made it possible to carry out a serious analysis about this observation.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: April 14, 1986
Time: 11;45 p.m.
Duration: 30 to 40 seconds.
First known report date: April 15, 1986
Reporting delay: 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: From the roof window of the bedroom at home.
Latitude: 47.750
Longitude: 7.335
Uncertainty ratio: 10 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Butcher, married, father of 2.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: To the Gendarmerie Nationale.
Type of location: From the roof window of the bedroom at home.
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: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: ?
ALSACAT: Unidentified, possible plane.

Sources:

[Ref. gen1:] GENDARMERIE NATIONALE:

Scan.

GENDARMERIE NATIONALE

[-] [-]

REPORT (Nr / YEAR)
Nr 786

MINUTES
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

(X) REPORT OF WITNESS HEARING

DOCUMENT Nr SHEET Nr 1

ANALYSIS AND REVERENCES (POTENTIALLY)

This day April 15, 1986 at 7:35 p.m. at the office of our Brigade

We, the undersigned [-] Gendarme, Judicial Police Officer

Given Articles 16 to 19 and 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,

report the following operations that we carried out, acting in uniform and in accordance with the orders of our leaders.

PERSON CONCERNED
[-]

SEX M - [date of birth] at [place of birth]

FAMILY STATUS
M / 2 [= married, 2 children.]

[-], head of C.C.A. [Centrale de Charcuterie Alsacienne], phone [-], which tells us:

That night around 11:45 p.m., I was in my bedroom. The sky was very clear and very cloudless. There were no clouds. I opened the "VELUX" to observe the stars and possibly see a shooting star.

I had been scanning the sky for 5 minutes when I saw above me at an altitude that I estimate to be around 200 to 300 meters, an elongated shape of a white color verging on grey-black. This object had the shape of a huge delta wing and is very elongated. There was no noise, no light, no smoke, no appearance of a trail of fire. I saw this object for 30 to 40 seconds. It moved in a perfect straight line at a speed I can't estimate, but quite fast. It came from the direction of the [-], direction the [-], that is [-] to [-].

During the displacement there was no shine and no shape change during the observation period.

This afternoon, I phoned the [Basel-Mulhouse] airport. I got in toich with someone in charge of the weather to whom I explained what I had seen. This person told me to make a statement to the nearest gendarmerie. I am working at [-], so I came to you.

To come back to the object seen, it had a very elongated shape as I told you, the upper end was rounded, it was longer than it was wide. However I don't remember how the other end was made. I think it was straight, but I'm not sure.

April 15, 1986 at 7:55 p.m.

I have read the statement above, I abide by it and have nothing to change, add or subtract from it.

The person heard
[signature.]

The OPJ
[signature.]

Scan.

GENDARMERIE NATIONALE

COMPANy OR SQUADRON
[-] [-]

UNIT
[-]

REPORT (Nr / YEAR)
Nr 431 / 86

REPORT
OF
ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

(X) REPORT OF WITNESS HEARING

DOCUMENT Nr 01 SHEET 01

PRECISE NATURE OF THE FACT - REFERENCES

Collection of information reporting the appearance of UFOs

WE UNDERSIGN(S) [-], Gendarme

REPORT THE FOLLOWING OPERATIONS WE HAVE PERFORMED, ACTING IN UNIFORM AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDERS OF OUR CHIEF.

THAT DAY April 15, 1986 at 7:15 p.m., Mr. [-], store manager, residing [-], comes to the office of our brigade and informs us of having seen an Unidentified Flying Object, the night before around 11:45 p.m., while he was at his home.

From his bedroom, Mr. [-] saw in the sky at an altitude that he estimates to be around 200 to 300 meters, an elongated shape having the appearance of an immense delta wing, of a white color. This object moved in the sky without emitting the slightest noise [sic], nor radiation. There was also no light. This object moving in the direction [-] to [-].

Mr. [-] noticed no change in shape or features during the entire sighting which lasted 30-40 seconds. The object disappeared behind the horizon line.

The hearing of Mr [-] is the subject of exhibit no. 2.

From the investigation carried out, we have drawn up this report which we are sending to the following recipients:

CLOSING DATE
APRIL 22, 1986

[Ref. gei1:] GROUPE D'ETUDES ET D'INFORMATIONS SUR LES PHENOMENES AEROSPATIAUX NON IDENTIFIES (G.E.I.P.A.N.):

LUTTERBACH (68) 1986 [Renamed "MULHOUSE (68) 14.04.1986"]

SUMMARY

Observation of a delta wing shape: lack of information.

DESCRIPTION

On April 15, 1986, a witness observed for 30 to 40 seconds from his bedroom a silent object in the shape of a delta wing. No additional information allowed to make a serious analysis regarding this observation.

DATE OF OBSERVATION 04/14/1986
REGION Alsace
DEPARTMENT Haut-Rhin
CLASSIFICATION C
DATE OF UPDATE 03/22/2007
TYPE OF PHENOMENON Lack of reliable information

WITNESS
DATE OF THE OBSERVATION 04/14/1986
GENDER H
CONDITION
ENVIRONMENT GROUND OCCUPATION Artificialized territories - Urban areas
WEATHER CONDITIONS Sun of clear night
LOCAL DATE AND HOUR 04/14/1986 11:45 p.m.
REFERENCE FRAME Sky
START OF THE OBSERVATION Conditions of appearance provoked by the witness
END OF THE OBSERVATION Conditions of disappearance provoked by the witness
LOCALIZATION
HORIZONTAL DIRECTION OF OBSERVATION 315.00
NATURE OF THE OBSERVATION OR DESCRIPTIVE TERMS Object
CHARACTERISTIC OF THE OBSERVATION Single object
GLOBAL SHAPE Other shape not categorized
APPARENT SPEED Fast
BRUIT Aucun, Silence total
EFFECT ON THE ENVIRONMENT Unknown - Not specified

[Ref. spa1:] UFOLOGY ASSOCIATION "SPICA":

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
LUTTERBACH Tuesday 15 April 1986 triangular
Unidentified
information not communicated
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

Map.

The data is quite poor since it is limited to the witness statement recorded by the Gendarmes. You should know that in the mid-1980s and until around 2005, "official" interest in the issue was at its lowest.

The procedure put in place in the 1970s was that the Gendarmes would collect statements from witnesses of sightings of unidentified flying objects, conduct an initial investigation aimed at establishing the credibility of the witness(es) with their neighborhood, find possible other witnesses, question airports and local air bases to inquire about possible passages of known aircraft and so on.

It is clear here that this was not done.

Some important data were not collected, because one did not consider useful to explain their importance to the Gendarmes. For example, there is almost never an angular size (the number of degrees of angle that the phenomenon occupies), with therefore too often unusable sizes such as "big as an orange."

The data was then sent to a specific service of the Centre Nationale des Etudes Spatiales, successively named GEIPAN (1977-1988), SEPRA (1988-2005), and then, GEIPAN.

From 2007 on, GEIPAN undertook to publish these data, sometimes with a brief evaluation due to the lack of data like in this case, sometimes with a new investigation or analysis.

In the present case, we have a possibly reliable maximum angular displacement: the witness sees the object initially above him, saw it pass behind his horizon, this in 30 to 40 seconds. It would therefore be a displacement of 90° at most covered in 30 to 40 seconds, that is to say approximately 150° per minute. Unfortunately the altitude can only be an estimate and there is no angular size, which makes it impossible to give a speed estinmate to the object.

With the description "delta wing" and the color seeming white (but also "tending to gray-black" (?)), we can obviously think it was an airplane. But "there was no sound, no light."

I just want to point out something from my local experience as a Mulhouse resident. In fact, from time to time, in those years, in the sky of the Mulhouse region, one could see a plane that was particular enough to possibly cause some astonishment. I saw it personally 4 or 5 times, in those years, and I noted a so-called UFO sighting for which I also thought of this plane as an explanation.

My reasoning is that for someone to report as a UFO what is only an airplane, somewhat special circumstances certainly help, and in this case, since it passes overhead and gets lost in the horizon, it is certainly its very appearance that must have prevented recognition of what would have been an airplane.

The plane I am atalking about is the Beech 2000A "Starship 1" from the manufactured by Beechcraft:

Beech 2000A Starship 1.

It was a rare aircraft: only 11 were put into service. Five seem to be still used in 2006, all in the USA. I know there had been one at Le Bourget in Paris in June 1987. Granted, it doesn't exactly have what is formally called a "delta wing", but I wouldn't be surprised if at night, a person not specialized in aircraft uses this term for this aircraft with swept back wings compensated by "canards" at the front. The one I saw in the area was also painted white.

Obviously I'm not saying this plane is the solution. I'm just indicating that it was flying in the area in those years. The absence of noise and lights are obviously obstacles to this possible explanation, in this case.

GEIPAN initially located the case in Lutterbach; Lutterbach is a commune of the suburbs of Mulhouse.

Evaluation:

Unidentified, possible plane.

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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross August 23, 2022 Creation, [gen1], [gei1].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 23, 2022 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 23, 2022.