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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.

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Case of Illzach, on July 10, 2002:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2002-07-10-ILLZACH-1

Summary:

On July 10, 2002 at 10:30 p.m., the secretariat of the French Federation of Ufology received a non-anonymous telephone call from a lady who reported that from their apartment on a second floor of a residence on the rue de l'Hiver in Illzach, she and two others from the family, were seeing, still at the very moment of her call, a very bright luminous object in the sky, motionless for twenty minutes and then heading towards Guebwiller and the Vosges.

The person, on usual interrogation, said she made contact with us following the call to witness made by us in the newspaper L'Alsace this same day July 10, 2002 (which was about another observation, anterior and in another place, the Basel - Mulhouse highway).

The secretariat of the Federation dated for an appointment for July 13, 2002 at 6:00 p.m.

On July 3, 2002 at 6:00 p.m., myself and my colleague ufologist met the three witnesses at their home, ie, a father, his wife, and their son who was about 10.

The father explained that looking through a window of the living room he indicated to us, on July 10, 2002, around 10:15 p.m., he had seen a very brilliant luminous object in the sky. He told his wife, she and their young son also looked at the thing. At 10:30 p.m., the thing was still there, and it was when the mother called our secretariat.

A few minutes later, the father went out, took the family car, determined to drive in the direction of UFO to better see it, but in vain, he no longer spotted it.

After receiving the statements of the witnesses, concordant, we had asked the questions on the elevation, the direction, and especially the angular size of the thing.

It turned out that it had been seen through the curtains of the window; white curtains in "fishnet", leaving small "square" holes, and this is how it appeared that the thing "held" in one of these small squares seen for a distance of about 1 meter. In simple terms, the UFO was the size of a brilliant star.

The description, like the white color, made us think that it was indeed either a big star or the planet Venus. At one point, the family's daughter, about 12 years old, said to herself, apart, from another room, that the thing was "just a star." We overheard this.

The observation direction was between 266 and 280 degrees, west. It was almost at their horizon, they thought, seeming to go down slightly, shifting a little to the right.

The observation had started around 8:15 p.m. when the father had spotted the thing, the family had watched it until around 08:40 p.m., time when the father left to drive after it.

Back, we had checked with astronomy software the presence of Venus in the sky, and it was well where the UFO had been located.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 10, 2002
Time: 10:30 p.m.
Duration: 20 minutes.
First known report date: July 10, 2002
Reporting delay: None.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Illzach
Place: From inside apartment on 3rd floor in building rue de l'Hiver.
Latitude: 47.771
Longitude: 7.349
Uncertainty radius: 100 m.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 4
Number of named witnesses: 4
Witness(es) ages: 2 adults, 1 or 2 children.
Witness(es) types: Couple and children.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Phone call to the FFU.
Type of location: From inside apartment on 3rd floor in building.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: No.
UFO departure observed: No.
Entities: No.
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: UFO, star.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Venus.

Sources:

[Ref. pgs1:] MOI-MEME:

On July 10, 2002 at 10:30 p.m., the secretariat of the French Federation of Ufology received a non-anonymous telephone call about a sighting made from an apartment on the third floor of a residence on rue de l'Hiver in Illzach. The secretariat filled out our usual telephone observation report form, and sent it immediately by email to the local members of the Federation, myself and another ufologist.

In summary, the person had stated that with two other members of his family, he saw at the very moment of his call, a very bright luminous object in the sky. Motionless for twenty minutes and then heading towards Guebwiller and the Vosges.

The person, on the usual questioning, indicated that he had contacted us following the call for witnesses made by us in the newspaper L'Alsace that same day, July 10, 2002 (which was about another observation, earlier and in another place, the Basel - Mulhouse motorway).

The secretariat of the Federation has set a date for an appointment for July 13, 2002 at 6:00 p.m.

On July 13, 2002 at 6:00 p.m., myself and my ufologist colleague met the three witnesses at their home, namely, a father, his wife, and their son of about 10 years old.

The father explained that looking out of a window in the living room that he pointed out to us, on July 10, 2002, at approximately 10:15 p.m., he saw a very bright luminous object in the sky. He told his wife about it, she and their young son also watched it. At 10:30 p.m., the thing was still there, and that's when the mother of the family called our secretariat.

A few minutes later, the father got out, took the family car, and decided to drive in the direction of the UFO to see it better. But this was vain, he no longer spotted it.

Scan.

Above: photo taken by us at the window behind which the witnesses stood during the sighting. During the observation, the curtains were closed and it was dark. I masked the buildings in front of the witnesses' residence in black.

After having collected the accounts of the witnesses, concordant, we asked the questions about the elevation, the direction, and especially the angular size of the thing.

It turns out it was seen through the window curtains; white "fishnet" curtains, leaving small "squares" holes, and this is how it appeared that the thing "held" in one of these small squares seen from a distance of about 1 meter. Simply put, the UFO was the size of a bright star.

The description, like the white color, made us think that it was indeed either a large star or the planet Venus. At one point the daughter of the family, about 12 years old, said to herself, from another room, that the thing was "just a star." We overheard this.

The sighting direction was approximately between 266 and 280 degrees, due west. The thing was almost at their horizon, for them, seeming to slightly go down, shifting a little to their right.

The observation had started around 8:15 pm when the father had spotted the thing, the family had watched it until around 8:40 p.m., time when the father had left in the car to try to find it.

Back, we had checked with astronomy software the presence of Venus in the sky, and it was well where the UFO had been located.

Discussion:

Map.

During the on-site investigation, we both quickly suspected that the UFO was simply Venus. The little girl's remark did not contradict us.

From the observation location and at 10:30 p.m. local time, the approximate end time of the observation, Venus was at azimuth 279░ and elevation 9░, and setting. This corresponds perfectly to the direction of observation and the elevation that we had collected from the witnesses.

From the place of observation, the visible horizon is not at zero degrees due to the presence of a curtain of trees, this still corresponds to the end of the observation which takes place before the Venus effective setting at 11:29 p.m..

At the time of the observation, Venus was 67.92% illuminated by the Sun, its distance from Earth was 153 million km - this distance varies from 42.5 million km to 256 million km. In short, Venus was not at its peak of brilliance, but was still above its average brilliance.

When the father had gone by car in search of the UFO, it is not surprising that he could no longer see it: the area is very urbanized, it includes buildings, curtains of trees, and driving by car is not the same advantageous position of the 3rd floor of the building where the observation had started.

Evaluation:

Venus.

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 March 3, 2023 Creation, [pgs1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 3, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 3, 2023.