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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 Husseren-les-Châteaux, on August 1, 1996:

Case number:



In the "Banque OVNI" file of the ufologist Franck Marie, which was on the web in 2002, there was a record of an observation of August 1, 1996, at 10:20 p.m. in Husseren-les-Châteaux, of a "round object", or a "glow, passing between two mountains."

Franck Marie indicated that according to the newspaper L'Alsace for Saturday August 3, 1996, which headlined "The night of the UFOs", it was written that in "the night from Thursday to Friday, different brigades gendarmerie recorded four calls reporting to them 'the passage of UFOs' in the sky", and that at 10:20 p.m., a similar testimony had been recorded for Husseren-les-Châteaux, evoking "a ball of fire, something yellow, passing behind the hill."

The gendarmes of Wintzenheim reportedly investigated the next day, heard people from the area, took a walk in the forest, without finding the slightest clue.


Temporal data:

Date: August 1, 1996
Time: 10:20 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: August 3, 1996
Reporting delay: 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Husseren-les-Châteaux
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.034
Longitude: 7.280
Uncertainty radius: 2 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: To the Gedarmerie and regional Press.
Type of location: ?
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: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible space junk reentry.


[Ref. fme1:] FRANCK MARIE:

1996,08,01 - 10:20 p.m. - 068 - Husseren les Châteaux 48°02 -7°16

art: - round object, gleam, passing between two mountains, sd - "*/30974



sa August 03 1996



In the night from Thursday to Friday, several gendarmerie squads recorded four phone calls reporting "the padding of ufos" in the sky.


At 10:20 p.m., a similar tetimony is recorded for HUSSEREN-LES-CHATEAUX. It evokes "a ball of fire, something yellow, passing behind the hill". The gendarmes of WINTZENHEIM investigated the next day, heard the people of the area, made a patrol in the forest, without finging anything. What were they looking for? "Anything an nothing in particular".

and informed the COG od Strasbourg. The squad of Obernai heard him.

The times of the phone calls and the direections of the passing reported reveal incoherences, but "this type of event occurs once of twice a year", concludes one gendarme.


Nota Banque Ovni : incoherence if one stubornly considers a single phenomenon, whereas it is more logical to consider the simultanous occurrence of several distinct phenomena.

Franck MARIE, Banque - Copyright Franck MARIE, Banque Ovni - 971224. All rights reserved.

Banque OVNI - Box 41-92224 Bagneux Cedex - France

Central File - Case 30974




On May 5, 1996, the Russian automated and unmanned logistics spaceship "Progress M-31" was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan by the Roscosmos agency using a Soyuz-U rocket, to bring cargo to the Russian space station MIR, which was done successfully. It was deorbited at 19:44 UTC, then re-entered and burned in the atmosphere on August 1, 1996 until 20:33 UTC i.e. 09:33 p.m. local time in Alsace.

Below: Progress M52, similar to Progress M31.

Progress M52.

The sources are numerous, see for example or

The most complete data I had (below) was on


Unfortunately I have not yet managed to obtain its reentry trajectory.

Like ufologist Charles Garreau did in the 1950s, some ufologists still take hours of reported sightings as necessarily accurate, which is not a good idea. Most often, the witnesses do not check a watch immediately after the observation, and give a more or less rounded time, such as "08:30". Here, it is true that the time difference is quite important compared to the reentry time of Progress M-31; but there have been dozens of sightings of this event in Alsace alone, and it is not absurd to think that one or the other witness was seriously mistaken about the time.

Of course, the error can also come from the newspaper, or from a bad reading of the newspaper, which could have for example received the call of this witness at 10:20 p.m. for an earlier observation.

The information is anyway too meager at the moment to state anything with much certainty.

As there is this discrepancy, instead of noting "space junk reentry" I note out of caution "Possible space junk reentry."


Possible space junk reentry.

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
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 6, 2022 Creation, [fme1].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 6, 2022 First published.

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This page was last updated on September 6, 2022.