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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 Landser, on August 1, 1996:

Case number:



A ufological source noted that the newspaper L'Alsace for August 3, 1996, had published an article titled "the night of the UFOs", reporting that "during the night from Thursday to Friday", different brigades of gendarmerie had recorded four calls which signaled to them "the passage of UFOs" in the sky.

It reportedly started at 10:03 p.m. in the Landser area, where a witness said he saw "a ball with a trail moving in the southeast/northwest direction, a kind of shooting star or rocket of fireworks, but which passed horizontally". This witness had alerted the COG in Colmar and the Gendarmerie brigade at Basel-Mulhouse airport, and he had been heard on the morning of August 2, 1996 by the Sierentz gendarmes, who had "alerted the prefectural authorities."

It is also said that the times of the calls and the directions of travel reported revealed inconsistencies, but that "this kind of event happens once or twice a year", according to a gendarme.


Temporal data:

Date: August 1, 1996
Time: 10:03 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: August 1, 1996
Reporting delay: Minutes, hour.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Landser
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.683
Longitude: 7.388
Uncertainty radius: 3 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 airport and to the Gemdarmes.
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: Night.
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
ALSACAT: Space junk reentry.


[Ref. uwb1:] "UFOWEB" WEBSITE:

Sierentz 68 47.667 7.467 1996



1996,08,01 - 22:03 - 068 - Landser (Habsheim) 47°40 -7°23

art: - boule à traînée (= fusée feu d'artifice), vol horiz. SE/NO, sd - **/30972



sa 03 août 1996



Dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi, différentes brigades de gendarmerie ont enregistré quatre appels leur signalant "le passage d'ovnis" dans le ciel.


L'étrange ballet a débuté à 22h 03 dans le secteur de LANDSER. Un témoin dit avoir vu "une boule avec une traînée se déplaçant dans la direction sud-est/nord-ouest, un genre d'étoile filante ou de fusée de feu d'artifice, mais qui passait à l'horizontale". Il alerte le COG à Colmar et la brigade de l'aéroport de Bâle-Mulhouse.

Il a été entendu hier matin par les gendarmes de Sierentz. Ces derniers ont prévenu les autorités préfectorales.


Les horaires des appels et les sens de déplacement signalés révèlent des incohérences, mais "ce genre d'événement arrive une fois ou deux par an", conclut un gendarme.


Nota Banque Ovni : incohérence si l'on s'obstine à considérer un phénomène unique, alors qu'il est plus logique de considérer la simultanéité de plusieurs phénomènes distincts.



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.


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 February 19, 2023 Creation, [uwb1], [fme2].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 19, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 19, 2023.