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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 Bischwiller, on September 23, 1986:

Case number:



The ufology bulletin La Ligne Bleue Survolée?, of the Cercle Vosgien Lumières Dans La Nuit, in their issue 18, in 1987, noted in a catalog of cases from the East of France, without indicating a source, that in Bischwiller, in the Bas-Rhin, around 07:30 a.m. on September 23, 1986, a dozen high school students and two independent adults testified to the passage from the North-North-East to the South-South-West of a luminous phenomenon.

The bulletin noted that this sighting is part of the large-scale observed phenomenon reported in the regional and national press, and that the likely explanation is an "atmospheric (re)entry".


Temporal data:

Date: September 23, 1986
Time: 07.30 a.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1987
Reporting delay: Days, 1 year.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Bischwiller
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.766
Longitude: 7.858
Uncertainty ratio: 6 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 12
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: High school students and 2 adults.
Witness(es) types: High school students and 2 adults.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Ufology bulletin "La Ligne Bleue Survolée?"
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: Day.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
Entities: No.
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Hynek: NL




Ref: F/96/67860923 (01)

BISCHWILLER (67) - around 7:30 a.m. LT - Tuesday 23 September 86 -

A dozen high school students and two independent adults testify to the passage from NNE to SSW of a luminous phenomenon.

This observation is part of the phenomenon observed on a large scale (see catalog, national and regional press).

Classification: EXPLANATION probable by atmospheric (re)entry.

It is specified that this case falls within those of "the theoretical territorial coverage of the "CNEGU" [committee of Northeastern France ufology groups] but located in departments not yet covered in practice more than occasionally."



"(r)atmospheric entry", the explanation given in [lbs1], which we sometimes see in other catalogs by the way, leaves me perplexed.

Either this was a "re-entry" or "re-entry" into the atmosphere, i.e. an object that had left it and came back in, in simpler terms, a debris or debris from a spacecraft or a satellite, or we have an "entry" into the atnosphere, for example a meteor. [lbs1] therefore leaves me with a doubt, while it seems that the thing had a national echo, according to their evocation, and that we therefore certainly it was known wether it was a meteor or space junk.

With a brief search, I found that it was indeed a meteor, that passed over France in particular that day around 05:32 UTC, also seen in the Netherlands, Germany and up to Czechoslovakia, see:

"Le brillant météore du 23 septembre 1986: 2ème partie" by Sauval, J., in the Astronomy journal Ciel et Terre, Volume 103, pp 149-152, 1987.

Also note that [lbs1], which does not specify any source, does not tell us whether these witnesses said they saw a "UFO" or a meteor.


Probable meteor.

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 August 4, 2022 Creation, [lbs1].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 4, 2022 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 4, 2022.