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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 Landser, on July 9, 1987:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1987-07-09-LANDSER-1

Summary:

From a report by the local National Gendarmerie, anonymized and declassified by the official UAP study group GEIPAN in the 2010s, it appears that on July 10, 1987, a man presented himself spontaneously to their brigade where the duty Gendarme collected his statement about an unidentified flying object.

The man explained that on July 9, 1987, he was home, watching television, and at 11:45 p.m., after the series "The Invaders" on the TF1 TV channel, he went to the window from his kitchen to get some fresh air and have a last cigarette.

While staring up at the sky, he noticed a flying object of an elongated cigar-like shape, copper-red in color, which immediately made him think of "a tracer bullet and a July 14 fireworks."

The phenomenon passed just above him, took the direction of the northeast, at a very high speed, the man specifying that he had never seen an object go so fast, that there was no noise and that it left no trail.

It only lasted a few seconds, as if it had been a shooting star, and disappeared either behind a cloud or died out when it was far away on the horizon.

He could not assess the size of the craft, nor its altitude.

At the same time, he had seen two planes, one which had just taken off from an airport or airfield (the name is censored, it could be Basel-Mulhouse or Habsheim) which had "flashing traffic lights", and the other which must have come from the same place and which took a direction censored in the report. The man thought that the pilots of these two small planes could have seen the same phenomenon.

The sky was then slightly cloudy and he was beginning to see the stars.

The gendarmerie conducted an investigation in Landser to find other witnesses, questioning the young people who often stay out late at night, and the municipality, but in vain. The Gendarmerie contacted the airport or airfield, where nothing was known of the phenomenon and where no pilot had written a report of such an observation. The Gendarmerie believed that the witness had probably seen a July 14 firework rocket.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 9, 1987
Time: 11:45 p.m.
Duration: Few seconds.
First known report date: July 10, 1987.
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Landser
Place: From home, looking out of the open kitchen window.
Latitude: 47.683
Longitude: 7.388
Uncertainty ratio: 1 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Male resident.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported to the local Gendarmerie.
Type of location: From home, looking out of the open kitchen window.
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: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Resembles a tracing bullet or a fireworks rocket.

Classifications:

Hynek: Nocturnal light.
ALSACAT: Unidentified, low strangeness, poor data.

Sources:

[Ref. gen1:] GENDARMERIE NATIONALE:

Scan.

NATIONAL GENDARMERIE

COMPANY [-]
UNIT [-]
UNIT CODE 03553
MINUTES No. 614/1987

MINUTES
OF
ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

PART NUMBER 01
SHEET No. 01

PRECISE NATURE OF THE FACTS - REFERENCE
Testimony on an unidentified flying object.

Witness: [-]

WE UNDERSIGN(S) [-]
REPORT THE FOLLOWING OPERATIONS WE HAVE PERFORMED, ACTING IN UNIFORM AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDERS OF OUR CHIEF.

THAT DAY, July ten, nineteen hundred and forty seven, at eight thirty, finding ourselves a permanent police officer in our unit, we receive Mr. [-], from [-]. This person wishes to give us a testimony on the appearance of an unidentified flying object which saw him during the past night.

We hear:

[-], unemployed, residing [-], [-], rue de [-] born on [-] in [-], son of [-] and [-], divorced, who states:

"""" Last night I was at my home, I watched television and at 11:55 p.m., after the series "The Invaders" on TF 1, I went to the window of my kitchen to get some fresh air and have a last cigarette.

While I was staring at the sky I noticed a flying object of an elongated shape similar to a cigar, copper red in color. I could not assess the size of the craft, nor its altitude.

Immediately it made me think of a tracer bullet and a July 14th firework.

The phenomenon happened just above me, took the direction of the northeast, at a very high speed. I have never seen an object go so fast, without noise and leaving no trail.

The fact lasted only a few seconds, as if it had been a shooting star, and disappeared either behind a cloud or died out when it was far away on the horizon.

Last night at the time of the incident the sky was slightly cloudy and I was beginning to see the stars.

At the same time I saw two planes, one which had just taken off from [-] which had the traffic lights flashing, and the other which was also supposed to have come from [-] and which was heading for [-]. I think the pilots of these two small planes could have seen the same phenomenon."""""

July 10, 1987 at 8:55 a.m.

Reading made by me of the civil status information and the statement above, I persist in it and have nothing to change to add or subtract from it.

(Signed in the statements log)

.../...

Closing date July 24, 1987

Scan.

Part n° 1 sheet n° 2

Following this testimony, we tried to obtain other information from the population of [-].

During our investigations in the village we made contact with the young people, most of whom stay on the streets until late at night. We also contact municipal services; no information was obtained to confirm the testimony of Mr. [-].

For verification, we contact the airport of [-], Mr. [-], Chief of Air Traffic did not receive any information that day about the phenomenon. The pilots saw nothing, otherwise they would have made a mandatory report.

In this whole affair it appears that Mr. [-] must have mistaken a July 14 rocket for a UFO, otherwise other witnesses among the local population would have been found, and no doubt the pilots would also have seen the phenomenon.

ACTIONS TAKEN

ATTACHMENT

Done and closed at [-] July 24, 1987

The Constable [-]

RecipientS

Scan.

Caption

Route and direction taken by the UFO.
Itinerary taken by the 1st plane.
Itinerary taken by the 2nd plane.

[Ref. jbu1:] JEROME BEAU:

1987

July

Thursday 9 at 11:55 p.m. A Sierentz (Haut Rhin), one witness observed from his window an elongated shape similar to a cigar. From this observation which lasted only a few seconds, it appears that this object was a coppery red color, it moved very quickly without trace 4.

Note: the "4" footnote indicator at the end leads to no source reference.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

9 July 1987 :

Sierentz, Alsace, France

GEPAIN SIERENTZ (68) 1987

Hynek rating: DD

The sources are indicated by a link to the GEIPAN home page at http://www.cnes-geipan.fr/geipan/index.html

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

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
SIERENTZ Thursday 9 July 1987 at 11:55 p.m. elongated (cigar)
Unidentified
red
None
Unsolved -lack of info

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

LANDSER (68) 09.07.1987

SUMMARY

Observation o an object in the shape of a cigar moving at high speed.

DESCRIPTION

On July 9, 1987 around 11:55 p.m., a witness observed from his window an elongated object similar to a cigar. From this observation which lasted only a few seconds it appears that this object had a coppery red color, that it moved very quickly without leaving a trace. No further observations of this phenomenon will be reported.

WITNESS
DATE OF THE OBSERVATION 07/09/1987
AGE 60
SEX M
CONDITION
ENVIRONMENT OCCUPATION OF GROUND Artificialized territories - Urban areas
WEATHER CONDITIONS Unknown
LOCAL DATE AND TIME 07/09/1987
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
NATURE OF THE OBSERVATION OR DESCRIPTIVE TERMS Object Phenomenon
CHARACTERISTIC OF THE OBSERVATION Single object
GLOBAL SHAPE 3D - 1 symmetry axis - Cylindrical
COLOR Red
APPARENT SPEED Fast
NOISE None, total silence
EFFECT ON THE ENVIRONMENT Unknown - Not specified

Discussion:

A peculiarity of this case is that, while the place is censored in the Gendarmerie report, the GEIPAN who declassified it had initially titled "Sierentz", then in a later version, "Landser". Basically, [gei0] and [gei1] were the same except for tris change of location.

Map.

The case is not very strong due to the uniqueness of the witness. The "skeptics" would smile at the fact that the man had just watched the TV series "The Invaders."

What he saw was perhaps a firework rocket, a test for July 14, the national holiday. This is not certain because the description bears little resemblance to this.

I do not follow the reasoning of the Gendarmes: they believe that the man must have mistaken a July 14 rocket for a UFO, because "otherwise witnesses among the local population would have been found, and no doubt the pilots would also have seen the phenomenon".

But if there was a fireworks display, we can find it just as surprising that there were no other witnesses.

In the end, the case is of modest strangeness, and rather poorly documented (no angular sizes, no angular displacement etc.)

Evaluation:

Unidentified, low strangeness, insufficient information.

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 July 27, 2022 Creation, [gen1], [gei1].
0.1 Patrick Gross February 7, 2018 Creation, [gen0], [gei0], [jbu1], [uda1], [spa1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 7, 2018 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross July 27, 2022 Addition [gen1], [gei1], Place changed from Sierentz to Landser, explained and reflected in the Discussion.

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This page was last updated on July 27, 2022.