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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 Didenheim, on November 5, 1990:

Case number:



On the web forum Ufologie & Paranormal, on August 3, 2009, "Dam" said he is communicating the testimony of "Niela", a rewsident of Didenheim, indicating that he had to insist a little to get it from him, because the latter did not want to be disturbed by disturbers:

"Niela" is quoted as reporting that around 7 p.m. on November 5, 1990, he was reading, sitting, one shoulder against the window, in his kitchen located at the back of a building at 18 rue des Careers in Didenheim. The window, which faced northeast, was to his right.

Suddenly he became aware of a movement out of his field of vision, he looked up and saw towards the northeast at 70-80° on the horizon three round white lights which looked like three spotlights white lights behind frosted glass. It seemed very close, he compares it to an "Airbus at 200m landing without landing lights (but where?)."

He reports that the light was soft and slightly bluish, the whole forming an isosceles triangle whose base was rather longer than the other two sides which occupied about 60° at arm's length. He immediately had an impression of strangeness that took him a while to identify: it looked like an airplane landing at the start of the runway, but the noise was missing.

The object slid northeast and disappeared behind trees on top of a nearby hill towards Bellevue Street. As it moved away he had noticed a fourth light which looked like a white cylinder rsembleing neon tube; which was comparable in length to the base of the triangle and which seemed to be directed backwards relative to the movement of the object.

He had the strong impression that it was going to fall on Mulhouse, so much so that he called his wife, shouting "come quickly, there is a UFO." Then he phoned a friend who is a ufology buff to tell him "go out on your balcony, you're going to catch a UFO coming towards you"... The friend did so but only stayed for a few seconds on the balcony and saw nothing because the portion of sky he could watch was too narrow.

Nilea does not venture to estimate the speed of the object, but it seemed to him that it had crossed 80 to 90 degrees of the sky in 5 or 6 seconds.

In his memories, when it was at 45° above the horizon, it passed by the Coteaux incinerator.

A few days later, he found two other witnesses, adult men who were at the Louis Armand high school.

He then found it most strange that the two men had been flown over vertically by a huge craft which seemed to them to be dotted with red lights, which had three round orange lights and in the center a ball of some kind of fire orange speckled with white, a gigantic thing "that covered the whole sky for them when it passed over them."

One of them recalled that when the object moved away, the central orange ball began to look like "the nozzle of a fighter plane in afterburner."

These two witnesses being about 1700 meters from him, if the object was really at 45° on the horizon for him when it passed over them, then, "Niela" estimates, it was about 1700 m altitude and its dimensions were counted in hundreds of meters while its speed was very low for such a large craft.

He thinks that since they had seen the object vertically whereas for him it was at 45° from the horizon, this totally excludes an object at an altitude of 80 km (meaning: the rocket debris that passed exactly there at that time), and he concludes that it was indeed a "UFO", or that there had been both the rocket debris and a UFO.


Temporal data:

Date: November 5, 1990
Time: 07:00 p.m.
Duration: 5 or 6 seconds.
First known report date: August 3, 2009.
Reporting delay: 2 decades.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Didenheim
Place: From kitchen on Northeast side of building at 18 rue des Carrières, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.720
Longitude: 7.300
Uncertainty radius: 20 m.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Residents.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Ufology / paranormal Web board.
Type of location: From home inside building, UFO in the sky.
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: Unidentified, UFO.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Space junk re-entry.




Member - Level1

Message Nr. 10

Re: November 5, 1990

Message by the Dam Mon, 3 Aug 2009 - 11:29

Hello friends, I will communicate the testimony of Niela living in Didenheim, near Mulhouse, his testimony is very accurate and consistent, I do not deny that I had to insist a bit so that the shares it with me, he does not like to be disturbed by unwelcome people:

"Well, I quickly give you an outline.

I lived in Didenheim, near Mulhouse. it was around 7 p.m. and I was just reading a book in my kitchen on the back of a building at 18 rue des cerrières (visible on google maps). I had a window overlooking the northeast, to my right.

It's just at the lower end of the building marked "rue des Carrières" there;,7.300667&spn=0.001007,0.002199&t=h&z=18

Suddenly I am aware of a movement outside my field of vision (I was reading seated shoulder against the window). I look up and there I see towards the northeast at 70-80 ° above the horizon three round white lights that looked like three white spotlights behind a frosted glass. This seemed very close. If someone had asked me I would have said it was an Airbus at 200 m altitude trying to land without landing light (but where?). The light was soft and slightly bluish. The whole formed an isosceles triangle whose base was rather longer than the other two side occupying say 60 ° at arms' length. I immediately had a feeling of strangeness that I took a while to identify: it looked like a plane in early landing phase and at the beginning of the runway but the problem is that the sound was missing.

The object has slid northeast and disappeared behind high trees of a nearby hill to towards the rue Bellevue... As it was going away I noticed a fourth light that looked like a white cylinder neon tube type whose length was comparable to that of the base of the triangle and that seemed directed rearwardly relative to the movement of the object.

I really felt that this thing was going to fall on Mulhouse, to the point that I shouted to my wife who was bathing our son, "come quickly, there is a UFO." Then I phoned a UFO buff UFO friend telling him "go out on your balcony, you'll grab a UFO that comes to you" ... The guy did it but stayed only a few seconds on his balcony and therefore saw nothing because the portion of the sky that he could monitor was too narrow.

I do not venture to estimate the speed of the object, but it seemed it went through from 80 to 90 degrees of sky in 5 or 6 seconds.

In my memory, when it was at 45° above the horizon when it passed to the incinerator which is now demolished and that was in the rounded rectangle to the left of the roundabout in this view:,7.305286&spn=0.004027,0.008798&z=16

This detail is important because a few days later I found two other witnesses, adult men who were at the Lycée Louis Armand (therefore in the axis connecting my window to the incinerator) here right under the entry "Parc des collines",7.306101&spn=0.004027,0.008798&z=16

The strangest thing is that the two men were overflown vertically by a huge contraption that seemed to them dotted with red lights presented three round lights of orange color and a ball at the center of a sort of amber light speckled of white. A huge thing that covered their entire sky as it passed over them.

One of them recalled that when the object moved away, the central orange ball began to look "lke the exhaust of a jet fighter in afterburner mode" in his own words.

Both guys were roughly 1700 meters of mes... Do your calculations ... If the object really was 45° above the horizon for me when it rose at their vertical then it was at 1700 m of altitude (roughly of course) and size could be counted in hundreds of meters while its speed was very low for such a big vehicle.

Besides the fact that we saw the object in directions so different (vertical for them when it was at 45° from the horizon for me) totally excludes an object at 80 km altitude. This thing was a UFO ... Unless we observed two different passages but then in this case one of the two objects is an intruder."


In their documentation on the cases of November 5, 1990, around 7 p.m. over France, the GEIPAN published this map of the trajectory of the rocket debris, and a simulation of the view of their passage over Mulhouse:




The links to "Google Maps" maps given in the report do not work; however it is possible to reconstruct maps of the places, especially since I lived in Brunstatt for years and know the area like the back of my hand.

The first place is the situation of the witness who speaks, who is "in my kitchen located at the back of a building" at 18 rue des Carrières in Didenheim. This witness is therefore behind one of the windows of this building:


The two men at the "Louis Armand" were not 1,700 meters from the first witness but between 1,100 and 1,500 meters from him in straight line. If they were in the schoolyard, they were 1370 meters away from him.

However, despite this slight distance error, the reasoning of the first witness is correct. It is perfectly obvious that if at the same time he sees the thing at an elevation of 45° and the two men see the thing at an elevation of 90° ("above them"), then the thing is not 80 kilometers above the ground. At a distance of 80 km, the thing would be seen with almost the same elevation by witnesses distant from 100 or 1700 meters.

The reason the witness mentioned these "80 kilometres", was obviously to allude to the explanation of the sighting by the re-entry of rocket debris. These 80 kilometers are the approximate altitude, the one where they begin to burn up in the very high layers of the atmosphere. Then there is a descent, of course.

But while I understand the reasoning, I doubt, not the description of the first witness, but the precision of the report of the two men at the Louis Armand. Here is why:

I think when the two men said the thing went "above" them, it was not worth a strict 90° translation. From where they were placed, they could see the rocket debris coming in from the southwest long before the first witness could see it; they were hidden from him by the sides of his building. This first witness describes the passage well, with its slow descent towards the horizon; the other two witnesses give no description of the movement of the thing. They are certainly exaggerating when they say that it "covered the whole sky" for them, and it is reasonable to think that "above" was to be taken with a grain of salt as well. "Above me" does not necessarily always mean "at the wenith", sometimes it must be understood as "higher than me".

Of the 26 accounts I have documented that can be linked to the re-entry of Russian rocket debris on November 11, 1990 around 7 p.m. as seen from Alsace, there are few such anomalies; but it is evident that once in a while there must have been some anomaly of direction or elevation in these reports. It was, I think, inevitable; this also happens with meteors. Times, directions, elevations are generally consistent, but not always hundred percent consistent.

What is certain is that if a "real UFO" had passed there at 7 p.m., it is incredible that the remains of the Russian rocket were not also seen. It was impossible to miss it from Didenheim or from the Louis Armand high school!


Above: Passage of the Russian rocket debris over the Haut-Rhin.


Space junk re-entry of November 5, 1990.

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 July 28, 2022 Creation, [upl1], [gei1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 28, 2022 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 28, 2022.