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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.

Case of Monswiller, on September 6, 1991:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1991-09-06-MONSWILLER-1

Summary:

The ufology magazine Phenomena, of the UFO group SOS OVNI, #6, of November - December 1991, reported that three young people, friends, who wanted to remain anonymous, observed on Friday September 6 at 10:45 p.m. from the main artery of the small village of Monswiller in the Bas-Rhin, two flame-colored lights, which crossed the sky and then "disappear behind buildings."

They were on a sidewalk facing a cafe. One of the witnesses said:

"I was chatting with JK, I was looking in his direction, when I saw behind him in the sky, a shiny object that caught my attention. I told JK to turn around so that he too sees the object. The latter was made up of two objects, the first, the larger of the two, at the head, the second, about half the size, followed closely behind. Both had the same shape, they were partly spherical, with a more pointed front. Their color was dark and bright yellow. The luminosity was much lower than that of the Sun, because the phenomenon could be seen easily, but nevertheless brighter than the Moon. The size was about two-thirds of that of a full moon. Behind it was an orange and yellow luminous trail that looked a bit like flames. This trail was about three times the length of the largest object. The trajectory was slightly downward, the speed was fast, the observation lasted about 5 to 6 seconds. When the phenomenon passed behind the wall of the sports cafe, we tried to follow its path by running across the building towards the railway tracks, but unfortunately we lost sight of it."

The phenomenon was first towards the southwest, and moved silently.

The magazine explains: "Although the trajectory is unusual, this sighting had all the characteristics of a fireball re-entering the atmosphere. If we decided to report it to you, it is because our friends from Ovni Nord-Alsace are said to have identified other witnesses, of another phenomenon, which took place a few hours later, a few kilometers away."

A site map is published, visible in this file.

The magazine indicates that the report was written by Perry Petrakis (its editor) based on an investigation by Thierry Meckes, and that it is "a case to be followed, therefore."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: September 6, 1991
Time: 10:45 p.m.
Duration: 5 to 6 seconds.
First known report date: December 1991
Reporting delay: 4 months.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Monswiller
Place:
Latitude: 48.753
Longitude: 7.382
Uncertainty ratio: 20 m.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Young or teens.
Witness(es) types: Three soung friends.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Local investigator to ufology magazine Phenomena.
Type of location: Center of village, on the sidewalk.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: No
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: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable meteor.

Sources:

[Ref. pha1:] UFOLOGY MAGAZINE "PHENOMENA":

Testimonies

UFO or foreball?

Three young people observe, in the Bas-Rhin, two flame-colored lights, which cross the sky then, disappear behind buildings.

It is 10:48 p.m., it is Friday September 6th. Three friends, in the main artery of the small village of Monswiller (1820 inhabitants) are discussing. SM, JK, and EH (who requested anonymity), are located on a sidewalk facing a cafe. SM tells...

"I was chatting with JK, I was looking in his direction, when I saw behind him in the sky, a shiny object that caught my attention. I told JK to turn around so that he too sees the object. The latter was made up of two objects, the first, the larger of the two, at the head, the second, about half the size, followed closely behind. Both had the same shape, they were partly spherical, with a more pointed front. Their color was dark and bright yellow. The luminosity was much lower than that of the Sun, because the phenomenon could be seen easily, but nevertheless brighter than the Moon. The size was about two-thirds of that of a full moon. Behind it was an orange and yellow luminous trail that looked a bit like flames. This trail was about three times the length of the largest object. The trajectory was slightly downward, the speed was fast, the observation lasted about 5 to 6 seconds. When the phenomenon passed behind the wall of the sports cafe, we tried to follow its path by running across the building towards the railway tracks, but unfortunately we lost sight of it."

The phenomenon in question first manifested itself towards the southwest and moved silently. Although the trajectory is unusual, this observation has all the characteristics of a fireball re-entry into the atmosphere. If we decided to report it to you, it is because our friends from Ovni Nord-Alsace have identified other witnesses, of another phenomenon, which took place a few hours later, a few kilometers away.

Case to be continued.

Perry Petrakis
according to an investigation by
Thierry Meckes

Scan.

[Captions:] Photo in the center: view of the place from the location of the witnesses in Monswiller (photo x). Drawing below: General situation and course of action, Witness A: SM, Witness B: JK, Witness C, EH.

Discussion:

Map.

The magazine [pha1] was right to publish the report even if the meteor explanation seems fit. On the other hand, I do not understand why they said the trajectory was unusual, nothing in the report or in the plan seems to indicate it to me.

Evaluation:

Probable meteor.

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 June 12, 2021 Creation, [pha1].
1.0 Patrick Gross June 12, 2021 First published.

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This page was last updated on June 12, 2021.