ALSACAT -> Homeclick!
Cette page en franšaisCliquez!

ALSACAT:

As its name suggests, 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 October 21, 1996:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1996-10-21-MONSWILLER-1

Summary:

Christian Morgenthaler and Dominique Schall, of the ufology group SOS OVNI Est, reported in the ufology magazine Phenomena #36 of January 1997, an observation by a male resident Monswiller in the Bas-Rhin, who told them:

"On October 21, 1996, it was 2:05 a.m. when I was at my bedroom window to smoke a cigarette. A strong glow over the Vosges suddenly caught my attention. At the start of the observation I think it was an airplane. The phenomenon consists of two powerful yellowish lights. Their apparent size is about 1 cm wide at arm's length. There are clearly two separate lights."

The investigators explained that the phenomenon was composed of two yellow headlights, only visible lights at first, but also of a red light, that the witness did not see any shape or outline connecting these three light sources, which came from northwest and moved towards him.

It was when the phenomenon came closer that he saw the third light, smaller and red.

The brightness was comparable to that of the lighting of a football stadium: dazzling. The lights remained equidistant from each other throughout the observation. Around each of them stood out a light crown of light, like the headlights of a car produce. Vertically, the third red light source, placed behind and in the middle of the two yellow lights, gave the appearance of a triangle.

The phenomenon finally disappeared above the witness's house after about 45 seconds, or 1 minute maximum. He heard no noise, despite the open window and the low altitude he estimated.

The investigators published this reconstruction of the first phase of the observation:

Scan.

The witness reported having also observed the passage of an airliner, from East to West, of which he clearly recognized the various red and green lights as well as the white flashing light.

During the investigation, this plane was identified: a Boeing 737 departing at 06:59 p.m. from Strasbourg, bound for Roissy Charles de Gaulle.

The only landing that could correspond to the phenomenon observed by the witness was the one arriving in Strasbourg at 07:12 p.m., but it was an Airbus A300, equipped with three white headlights, which does not match the observation. The investigators note all the same that the pilots can turn on up to eighteen different lights and that the light configuration presented by an aircraft depends on the judgment of the crew, this according to the weather, the altitude and the proximity to the strip.

The investigators considered the hypothesis of an ultralight flight equipped with headlights, since at 3 km in stright line from the observation spot, the Saverne aero-club is specialized in the ultralights and delta wings flights. A pilot, questioned, nevertheless excluded this possibility. According to him, it would be "impossible" and "crazy" to fly an ultralight plane at night. In addition, the law prohibits any flight of this kind which could, in the event of a breakdown, quickly turn into a tragedy.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 21, 1996
Time: 09:05 p.m.
Duration: 45 seconds.
First known report date: January 1997
Reporting delay: Days, 3 months.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Monswiller
Place: From home window.
Latitude: 48.755
Longitude: 7.376
Uncertainty ratio: 1 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: Local investigators to ufology magazine Phenomena.
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: Male resident.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Local investigators to ufology magazine Phenomena.
Type of location: From home window.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: No
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible plane.

Sources:

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

Bas-Rhin: Overflight of a witness by three lights

"On October 21, 1996, it was 2:05 a.m. when I was at my bedroom window to smoke a cigarette. A strong glow over the Vosges suddenly caught my attention. At the start of the observation I think it was an airplane. The phenomenon consists of two powerful yellowish lights. Their apparent size is about 1 cm wide at arm's length. There are clearly two separate lights."

It is in these terms that MM., living in Monswiller, told us about his observation. The phenomenon will be revealed, in fact, as composed of two yellow headlights - only ones visible at first - but also of a red light. The witness did not see any form connecting these three light sources, coming from the northwest and heading towards him. It was when the phenomenon came closer that he saw the third light, smaller and red. No shape or outline, no aspect whatsoever was reported by the witness. He can't even tell if the phenomenon obscured the clouds.

The brightness was comparable to that of the lighting of a football stadium: dazzling. Despite the lack of apparent structure, the lights remained equidistant from each other throughout the observation. Around each of them stood out a light crown of light, like the headlights of a car. Vertically, the third red light source, placed behind and in the middle of the two yellow lights, gave the appearance of a triangle.

The phenomenon finally disappeared above the witness's house after about 45 seconds, or even 1 minute maximum. He did not hear any noise, despite the open window and the low altitude estimated by the witness.

Scan.

[Photo caption:] Reconstruction of the first phase of the Monswiller sighting, as carried out by the witness. The lights seem to go up in a north-westerly direction, then, move towards the witness who can then distinguish a red glow.

MM. reports having observed the passage of an airliner, from East to West, of which he clearly recognized the various red and green lights as well as the white flashing light.

During the investigation, we found this plane. It was a Boeing 737 departing from Strasbourg at 6:59 p.m., bound for Roissy Charles de Gaulle.

The only landing that could correspond to the phenomenon observed by the witness was the one arriving in Strasbourg at 07:l2 p.m.. But the latter is an A300, therefore equipped with three white headlights, which does not correspond to the indications of the observation. That said, it should be remembered that pilots can turn on up to eighteen different lights and that the light configuration presented by an aircraft depends on the judgment of the crew, this depending on the weather, altitude and the proximity of the landing strip (cf. Phenomena n'7, The Alfarano affair: a bad film).

There was also the hypothesis of an Ultralight flight equipped with searchlights. Indeed, 3 km as the crow flies is the Saverne aero-club specializing in the flight of ultralights and delta wings. A pilot, questioned, nevertheless excluded this possibility. According to him, it would be "impossible" and "crazy" to fly an ultralight plane at night. In addition, the law prohibits any flight of this kind which could, in the event of a failure, quickly turn into a tragedy.

Christian Morgenthaler and
Dominique Schall
SOS UFO East

Discussion:

Map.

The sighting shows almost no strangeness, the possibility of an airplane seems the best one to me.

Evaluation:

Possible plane.

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 13, 2021 Creation, [pha1].
1.0 Patrick Gross June 13, 2021 First published.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict



 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on June 13, 2021.