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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 the A4 Reichstett - Strasbourg, on January 16, 2010:

Case number:



A 30-year-old man contacted GEIPAN on June 15, 2010, by sending them their completed observation form, about his 6-minute observation at 9:00 p.m. on January 16, 2010 on the A4 motorway while traveling from Reichstett to Strasbourg.

He was in a car with a couple of friends, going to join other people living in the center of Strasbourg. The car took the A4 motorway at Brumath, after a few kilometers, at the level of Reichstett, he was pensive while looking at the sky, and then saw a bright light in the sky.

He peered into the light and initially thought it could be Jupiter, due to its size and luminosity, but upon looking at it even more closely, he began to doubt it as he found it too big to be Jupiter.

After about 2 minutes of observation, he saw it "approaching us while hovering at plane height", and was then so amazed that he said nothing, rubbing his eyes.

The light, in the West, then began to take the same direction as their car, at the same speed, as if it were following the car.

At this time, he told his friends about it, inviting them to look at the light, saying that it was strange. The driver did not see it, his companion located on the same side as him could see it, and commented that it must be a plane or a helicopter.

The witness replied that a plane near an airport with only one light would be unheard of, but the friend didn't care. The witness continued to watch, he saw a plane pass below this light, which was moving much faster even as it began to land.

The witness noted that he knows that an airplane has "a left light to port and a green light to starboard", and that this was not the case. The night was so clear that he had clearly seen the cabin of the plane that had passed below, and felt that if the strange light was a plane or a helicopter, he should have seen such details as well.

The light followed them "so to speak until the Strasbourg center exit" where, because of the buildings, he no longer saw it.

In his response to the GEIPAN questionnaire, he indicated a night sky with very good visibility, and that the white light was very bright but without flickering, perfectly constant.

The GEIPAN published their analysis of the case, concluding in a reasoned way that this case of weak strangeness was to be classified "B", as probably a misinterpretation of the approach lights of an airliner.


Temporal data:

Date: January 16, 2010
Time: 09:00 p.m.
Duration: 6 minutes.
First known report date: June 15, 2010
Reporting delay: 6 months.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Reichstett
Place: From a car traveling on the A4 motorway.
Latitude: 48.643
Longitude: 7.732
Uncertainty radius: 1 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Passengers of a car.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: To the GEIPAN.
Type of location: From a car traveling on motorway.
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.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable airliner in landing approach.




Observed on: 01/16/2010
Region: Alsace
Department: Rhin (Bas)
Class: B
Summary: Observation of a luminous phenomenon following the witness in the car: probable observation of an aircraft.

During a trip on the A4 motorway towards Strasbourg, a witness observed for a few minutes a light comparable to Venus which seemed to accompany the vehicle. The light maintains a constant altitude and apparent speed from Vendenheim to Strasbourg, where the witness loses sight of it hidden by buildings.

This case of observation is slightly strange and most likely corresponds to a misinterpretation with the approach lights of an airliner, the plane being observed from the front.

This case is classified as B: probable sighting of an aircraft.

Report: from REICHSTETT (67) towards STRASBOURG (67) 01/162010 [E-Cgei Cm CR T,C S] investigation report.pdf

Details of the testimony

Date of the observation 01/16/2010
Document number
Age Adult (more then 18)
Profession Employees, Workers
Sex Male
Reaction Active Curiosity
Environment Departmental ways,Roads
Weather conditions Clear sky
Hour of the observation Numbered: 8 p.m. 10 p.m.
Reference frame Sky or clouds
Distance between phenomenon and witness Others (other terms used, comparisons, etc.
Start of the observation Start of observation by witness
End of the observation End of observation by phenomenon
Angle of the site Not-specified;Not-specified
Direction of observation West
Heading Geographical landmarks (Name of city, village, numbered, etc.)
Trajectory Motionless;Ascending;Straight line
Nature of the observation Descriptive terms (lights, etc)
Characteristic of the observation Unique
Global shape Beam
Color White (light)
Apparent size Not-specified
Apparente speed Others
Noise Not-specified
Effect on the environment Not-specified
Number 1


Telephone: 05 61 27 48 01


Standard Testimony

As part of CNES's activity of expertise in unidentified aerospace phenomena, GEIPAN works to collect, analyze and rigorously study the testimonies collected during observations of Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (UAP) while guaranteeing witnesses absolute discretion.

The rigor of the scientific approach requires us to gather the most precise and complete information possible, without intermediaries. The best information document is therefore one that is freely written by the witness himself. This is the purpose of the questionnaire that we are proposing to you and which must be individual and be completed separately by each of the witnesses to the observation. It is structured in several parts:

This questionnaire will be studied with the other documents dealing with the same phenomenon. When the work is completed, we will let you know the conclusions we have reached. These conclusions, the attachments and this questionnaire will be published anonymously on the GEIPAN website.

We thank you in advance for your contribution to our work.



Witness Information Sheet

Name: [-]

Date of birth: 09 / 04 / 1979 .................. Gender: [ ] F [X] M

Home address: [-]

City: [-]

Email: [-]

Mobile phone: [-] ....... Office phone: ........

Professional activity: Technician in sanitary troubleshooting........

Training level: C,A,P .........

Have you ever testified? If so, at:

Brigade: .............

Name: ...................

Private investigator(s)
Name: ..................

Name: ..................

Name: ..................

Internet (Forum)
Website: ...................

Other(s): Name: .......


Page 2


Observed phenomenon

Place of observation of the phenomenon: A4 motorway .....

Precise address: airway at the level of Vendenheim (Bas Rhin)........

City: Vendenheim...... CP: 67 ...........

Date of sighting: 01/16/2010..............

Age at time of sighting: 30 years old ...................

Time of the start of the observation: around 9:00 p.m. ................... Duration of the observation: 6 min........

Did other witnesses see the same phenomenon, if so how many: yes 1 .....

Can you indicate using the Google Map site ( the location of the observation, by placing in pencil the phenomenon and yourself.

  1. Print the map from Google Map
  2. Indicate your position, and that of the sighting

When you have completed the questionnaire, tick the documents you have attached or completed:

Free narrative ...........
Questionnaire ...........
Photographs of the environment (number: ......... )
Sketch of the observed phenomenon (number: ......... )
Maps or plans Google Map (number: ......... )
Photographs of the sighting (number: ......... )
Videos of the sighting (number: ......... )
Other: ...............


Page 3


Free storytelling: part 1

This page and the following are intended to be used to independently write the story of your observation.

You are entirely free to choose the form, content and duration of your story (you can add additional pages if necessary).

I found myself in a car with a couple of friends, we were going to join other people living in the center of Strasbourg, We got on the motorway at Brumath and while I was in my thoughts while looking at the sky I see a bright light in the sky, At that time we had already traveled a few km and our location was now at Reichtett, 8 minutes north of Strasbourg, This light that I scrutinize makes me first think of Jupiter called the evening star, it was so big and bright, Looking at it even more attentively, I began to ask myself questions because I found it much bigger than usual, After around 2 minutes of observation I see this light approaching us by hovering at the height of planes, at this moment I am so amazed that I say nothing, I rub my eyes and the light is but to take the same direction as us keeping its altitude but at the same speed as if it were following us at this time I share it with my friends, I tell them look at this light as it is strange!!! The driver being located on the left side of the car did not see it quite logically but his companion being located on the same side as me could see it,

As I hadn't mentioned what I had already seen, he replied that it had to be a plane or a helicopter, I replied, have you already seen a plane near an airport with only one light! he doesn't care more than that, I continued to look and I see a plane pass below the light it was going much faster than this plane when it began to land, In addition being at the time in the merchant navy I know that a plane has a left light on the port side and a green light on the starboard side, there was nothing!! The night was so clear and bright that I could see the cabin of the plane perfectly so if it had been a helicopter I would also have seen a helicopter with a light on the tail of the aircraft; There were none !! Finally the light followed us in a manner of speaking to the Strasbourg center exit where the surrounded by buildings I had more visibility, you know everything,

I am at your disposal if you need more information, ..........


Page 4

[Les pages 5, 6, 7, ne contiennent rien.]



This part is about knowing the physical environment in which you were at the time of the observation. Be as specific as possible with as many figures as possible. Always indicate the margin of uncertainty on the figures you provide.

Weather conditions at the time of observation

1.1 Indicate the color of the sky:

clear sky at night but very good visibility ........

1.2 Indicate the weather conditions at the time of the observation, try to give as many details as possible even those which do not seem interesting to you, describe if there were any developments or changes before, during and after the observation.

1.3 Indicate the presence of stars in the sky:

No visible stars

Few stars Very starry sky Extraordinarily starry sky

I didn't notice

An obstacle prevented me from observing them


Page 8


Description of the environment

Try to take one or more photos of your observation locations. Photos are a great help for investigations.

1.4 Describe the environment you were in at the time of the observation. Give as many details as possible, even those which do not seem important to you, such as the nature of the ground, the lights etc.

1.5 Were you moving? Yes

1.6 Were you in a vehicle? Yes

Bike Car Bus Train Hot-air balloon Hang-glider ULM Private plane Commercial plane Helicopter Boat Other .....

Model and identification: .......

1.7 Were you in a building? No

Nature of the building and observation room(s): ...

1.8 Devices on or active:

(frequency: .................?
(number: ..)
Interior lights
(number:......... )
(channel: ...................)


Page 9


Motor Phone Radar Other.......

1.9 Did you directly see the phenomenon with your eyes? Yes


Page 10


1.10 Indicate the presence of facilities within a radius of 20 km:

If you can, position these facilities on a map or on a Google Map image.

Power station Nightclub Commercial area Military area
Nuclear power station Stadium Highway Radio antennas
Solar power station Airport Port, Lighthouse Telephone antennas
Wind turbine Electric line SNCF line Industrial zone
Factory. Specify the type(s) of associated activity(ies): ........

Reichtett Refinery ........

Property or castle receiving events (weddings, parties): ....

Other, specify:.....

Additional details of the facilities, if necessary: ......

1.11 Were there known sources of noise at the time of the observation, were these noises intense, permanent: (conversations, aircraft engines, cars, electric motors, television, radio):


Page 11

[This is followed by two blank pages, and the page numberng is missing from there on.]


Viewing conditions

Try to take one or more photos of your observation locations. Photos are a great help for investigations.

1.12 What was your visibility at the time of the sighting?


1.13 Were objects placed between you and the phenomenon during the observation?

Window Tinted window Window with mist
Video device
Telescope Binoculars
Other ...................

If you used an optical device, specify the model, its main characteristics. If you were behind a tinted window specify its color, etc.:

1.14 What was the minimum distance separating you from the observed phenomenon? Try to justify this assessment.

Off the ground then normal flight height for an airplane..........

1.15 Describe anything that could be disturbing to the observation.


1.16 Was the observation carried out continuously or discontinuously?

X Continuous Discontinued



In this part of the questionnaire, the aim is to precisely describe the appearance of the phenomenon based on its shape, size, color, luminosity, noise, trajectory, etc. ... Remember that every detail is important.

Description of the phenomenon

2.1 Describe the phenomenon observed by giving as much detail as possible, indicate the dominant color(s), its size, its luminosity, its noise, the number.

(Feel free to compare the overall shape to a known object)

Global shape of the phenomenon.

Very bright white light but not shining!!! the light was perfectly constant,......


Your observation in different sequences

Each sequence corresponds to an episode of your observation. Each notable modification of behavior, activity, form or trajectory of the phenomenon will have to be described by a different sequence.

(Start time, end time, duration)
Place of observation
(where exactly were you?)
Viewing direction Speed
(encrypted or otherwise)
Direction of movement of the phenomenon
(it was going in the direction of, nature of the movements)
Horizontal (cardinal points, geographical landmarks or numbered) Vertical (between the horizon and the zenith or numbered)
9:02 p.m.VendenheimwestUnable to tellvertically shiny
9:02 p.m.vendenheimwest90 km/hhorizontallyshiny
9:07 p.m.strasbourgwest90 km hhorizontallyshiny



Information about you

3.1 What were your occupations before your observation?

In my thoughts .........

3.2 What caused the end of the observation?

[ ] The phenomenon [ ] yourself


3.3 What did you do after your sighting?

Nothing for fear of looking crazy, .....

3.4 What interpretations do you give to what you have observed?

I'm more than sure of that...

3.5 Did this observation change your opinion about unidentified aerospace phenomena?


3.6 Describe the emotions you felt during and after the observation.

It can't even be explained, it calls everything into question, in any case, I didn't take my eyes off the thing until I couldn't see it anymore......



In order to produce a restitution of the observed phenomenon, we must have as much information as possible. This last step is very important for the investigation.

4.1. Make a sketch of what you saw

Take a picture of the surroundings as if the camera were your eyes while observing. Do not hesitate to draw on the photo(s) what you observed.


If you don't have the ability to take photos, draw or sketch what you observed including the environment as you saw it. Give as many elements as possible to allow us to reconstruct the scene.

- You are completely free of your sketch
- No drawing skills required
- Color accuracy is important, especially if the level of contrast between the observed phenomenon and the environment is low. Try to be as precise as possible even if it means writing it on the sketch.

4.2. Make a reconstruction of your observation on one or more shots.

If you can, present your observation with a top view. To do this, you can print a Google Map of your place of observation on which you will report your different positions and directions of observation. You can also note the number of the previously detailed sequences.

- Google Map website:

[The witness did not draw a sketch. The following is the investigation report document.]


Toulouse, December 3, 2012


(A4) FROM REICHSTETT (67) TO STRASBOURG (67) 16.01.2010


The GEIPAN is contacted by the witness by email on June 15, 2010, about an observation of a light on the evening of Saturday January 16, 2010, almost 6 months after the events.

He attaches the completed Terrestrial Questionnaire (QT).

He is the only one to have testified to this observation, while he was accompanied by at least one other person who observed the facts.


During a trip on the A4 motorway towards Strasbourg, the witness observed for a few minutes a light comparable to Venus which seemed to accompany the vehicle. The light maintains a constant altitude and apparent speed from Vendenheim to Strasbourg, where the witness loses sight of it because of the buildings.

Headquarters: 2 place Maurice Quentin – 75039 Paris cedex 01 – Phone: 33 (0)1 44 76 75 00 -
Direction of launchers: Rond Point de l’Espace – Courcouronnes – 91023 Evry cedex – Phone: 33 (0)1 60 87 71 11
Toulouse Space Center: 18 avenue Edouard Belin – 31401 Toulouse cedex 9 – Phone: 33 (0)5 61 27 31 31
Guiana Space Center: BP 726 – 97387 Kourou cedex – Phone: 594 (0)5 94 33 51 11
RCS Paris B 775 665 912 Siret 775 665 912 000 82 code APE 731 Z VAT identification number FR 49 775 665 912




The witness observes the phenomenon from a car, as a passenger, on the A4 motorway towards Strasbourg near Reichstett:


Source: Google Maps



The closest active station for the date in question is that of Strasbourg-Entzheim airport, located about fifteen kilometers south-southeast of the place of observation.



A well-established southerly wind is blowing over the Strasbourg region that Saturday, January 16, and the weather is rainy. Satellite images confirm overcast skies that evening.



The witness does not mention any astronomical landmark, and in his speech confuses Jupiter with the evening star (Venus).

No planet is visible in the direction of observation (West, cf. QT p.16):

[Sky chart.]


The witness mentions the passage of a plane at low altitude (QT p.4). The wind blowing from the south, aircraft approaching the Strasbourg-Entzheim airport are forced to land on runway 23, the instrument approach chart available on the SIA website (see next page) gives us more clarification: all flights to this airport must first converge on point STA17 then STA12 (framed in red by us) before lining up on the runway.

The aircraft seen by the witness must have been in this last phase of flight, but it is quite possible that the approach lights of an aircraft en route to STA17 could have been seen by the witness while he was still at a good distance (more than 10 km), and with an imperceptible movement for the witness. At this distance, facing the aircraft, we only see these approach lights; the position lights and anti-collision flash, much less powerful, are not visible to the naked eye at this distance.

On the next page, we added the direction of the A4 motorway at Reichstett in green on the approach map, the position of the witness is represented by the red circle and his field of vision is delimited by the blue lines.




This case of observation is mildly strange and most likely corresponds to a misinterpretation with the approach lights of an airliner.

This case is rated B.



GEIPAN said what had to be said.

The appearance of a large, stationary white light, is typical for an aircraft several miles away, flying slowly for a landing approach. It is the landing lights that produce this intense white light, and the GEIPAN is right: in these circumstances, it is not possible to distinguish the other lights, such as the flashing red and green navigation lights.

Below: the mentioned places.


The witness spoke of an entrance on the A4 motorway at Brumath, and gives the order of the places during the observation as Reichstett, Vendenheim, Strasbourg. It can be seen that he was mistaken, the order being Vendenheim, Reichstett, Strasbourg.

The witness did not draw a map, so probably did not consult a map, and reported the sighting after 6 months, so it is not very surprising that there are location errors.

It is likely that the sighting had started after Vendenheim, at Reichstett and ended on arrival in the suburbs of Strasbourg, on a journey of 3 to 4 kilometers. With a car speed of 90 - 100 km/h, logical on this motorway, the observation would therefore have lasted around 4 minutes rather than 6 minutes.

When the witness alerted about the supposed UFO, the passenger in the front of the car replied that it must be a plane or a helicopter. That would go along the lines of the explanation, but it is not that simple:

In 2014, a couple of my very good friends came across Chinese lanterns in the Haut-Rhin. None of them knew about the lanterns. One had considered them as something unidentified (not necessarily an alien craft) and the other had replied that they must be helicopters. He had simply "rationalized" the observation, but he was wrong mistaken.


Probable airliner in landing approach.

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 March 28, 2023 Creation, [gei1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 28, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 28, 2023.