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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.

Case of Ferrette, on February 1997:

Case number:



The regional newspaper L'Alsace for March 1, 1997, reported a "strange UFO" seen in Delle and Ferrette: two young people of Delle, in Territoire de Belfort, believed they saw a UFO over Switzerland, earlier this week.

The two brothers had described precisely to the Delle gendarmes the spacecraft they had observed from their window: circular, equipped with green and red flashing lights, it was 30 meters in diameter and moved slowly and silently.

Before alerting the Air Force, the gendarmes investigated, because a similar phenomenon had already been observed on the side of Ferrette.

The origin proved the same: a very powerful light beam, with a magnifying glass, sent above the Relais d'Ajoie, a disco bar of Asuel, near Porrentruy, Switzerland.

The manager, Jacques Boulanger, had explained that one talks about it a lot in the region, but it happens regularly that people reported it to the police. He is very pleased with the effects of his "beam" bought 25.000 Francs in Belfort, and uses it every night for several hours.


Temporal data:

Date: February 1997
Time: Night
Duration: ?
First known report date: March 1, 1997
Reporting delay: Hour, days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Ferrette
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.496
Longitude: 7.313
Uncertainty ratio: 4 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: To the police or regional Press.
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: Skytracer.


[Ref. lae1:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:


Regional information - Saturday, March 01, 1997

Two young inhabitants of Delle, in the Territory of Belfort, believed they saw a UFO coming from Switzerland, at the beginning of week, but the investigation of the gendarmes cleared the case: the laser show of a discotheque, on the other side of the border, was the cause of their observation. The two brothers described very precisely to the gendarmes in Dell the spaceship which they had observed from their window: a circular shape, with green and red twinkling lights, it had 30 meters in diameter and moved slowly and silently. Before alerting the Air Force, the gendarmes searched for information, as a similar phenomenon had already been observed from Ferrette. The origin was the same: a very powerful laser light show, equipped with a magnifying glass, sent from the roof of the Relay d'Ajoie, a bar-discotheque of Asuel, near Porrentruy, in Switzerland. "It is often discussed in the area, it regularly happens that people report its lights to the gendarmes", explained the manager, Jacques Boulanger, very satisfied with the repercussions of its "ray". Bought 25 000 F in Belfort, he turns it on every evening during several hours.



One sometimes call them "discotheque lasers", it is often so in the regional Pres, as a cause of UFO sightings. They are actually not lasers but projectors of ordinary light.

The purpose of these Skytracers is to get attention from far away, up to miles away. Lasers are mostly effective on location, inside a nightclub or on a concert place.

Their light can be white, but it can also have a green, blue, red, yellow hue... Motors are used to move the projections on 1, 2 or 3 axis. By software, they can be programmed to perform sequences of more or less repetitive figures; as witnesses often report.

When there is vapor in the air from the ground up, the Skytracer produces a beam of light, fixed or mobile.

It can produce the impression of a "luminous cigar."

But id a low cloud layer tops a mass of dry air on the ground, there is no visible beam, one sees the projection of the beam on the bottom of the clouds. It is mostly in such conditions that people sometimes are unable to recognize projectors.

With several networked and programmed Skytracers, it is possible de produce shows of the "flying saucer" or "flying saucers formation" kind.



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 July 30, 2015 Creation, [lae1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 30, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 30, 2015.