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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 Mulhouse, on August 18, 1972:

Case number:



The newspaper L'Alsace for Sunday, August 20, 1972, reported that on August 18, 1972, at about 11 p.m., two big red balls seeming connected by a bundle flew above Mulhouse-Dornach.

One of them reportedly dissipated while the second was heading towards the Vosges to disappear after a few minutes.


Temporal data:

Date: August 18, 1972
Time: ~11:00 p.m.
Duration: A few minutes.
First known report date: August 20, 1972
Reporting delay: Hours, 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: From Dornach, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.746
Longitude: 7.308
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1 or more.
Number of known witnesses: 1 or more.
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: The regional Press.
Type of location: From city, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes
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: Probable space junk reentry or double meteor.





August 18, 1972


The press reports that a resident of Bourtzwiller looking out of his window saw at Mulhouse-Dornach two large red balls moving in the sky and appearing to be connected by a beam. One of them dissipated, the other, which continued its trajectory towards the Vosges, became smaller and smaller before disappearing after 5 minutes. The witness's wife also observed the phenomenon.

Communicated by Mr. Drexler


Former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a very interesting book telling the story of UFO sightings, flying saucers sightings, in Alsace, from the beginning to 1980.

In this book, he reports that the newspaper L'Alsace for Sunday, August 20, 1972, reported that on the 18th at 11:02 p.m. large red balls seeming connected by a beam flew over Mulhouse-Dornach.

One of them dissipated while the second one was heading towards the Vosges to disappear after a few minutes.



About Christian Valentin's book:

It is not at all my habit to "advertise" a book or anything, and I have no interested relationship with the author, but I wanted to say a word on the book by Christian Valentin, "Mythes et Réalités des Phénomènes Aériens Non Identifiés" (i.e. "Myths and Realities of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (cover on the left) , ref. [cv2]; which, as its subtitle indicates, is about Alsatian UFO sighting reports and the saucer lore in Alsace.

I think Alsatian ufologists and generally people interested in the UFO question, or in the history of Alsace, my region, would probably like this book.

The 144 pages book is sober but well presented, unbiased, richly documented and illustrated. It is the first work in print specifically about UFO sightings in Alsace. (There was another one a few years ago, but it was partly made by copying - pasting without mention of the sources, portions of my website, especially the Alsatians cases I almost exhaustively documented in my catalog of UFO sightings in France in 1954, and copies from another websites; the trivial explanations I proposed or gave there being almost always stripped off!)

The author does not want to prove or disprove the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors or some other so-called "extraordinary" explanation, he rather offers a chronologically ordered review of Alsatian UFO reports, starting from the origin and stopping in 1980, based on known sources ufology, on the articles of the regional Press, and cases less known or even unreleased so far that he collected directly with the witnesses. His own comments are printed in a different color, references to the sources are always given. A very nice work in my opinion!

The author currently has a blog where he shows what libraries in Alsace have the book available, see:

There is the possibility of a double meteor.

The "beam" that connected the two parts would simply be the trail, appearing as a connexion by perspective.

The indication of a "dissipation" of one of the two balls would corresponds to the complete combustion of the smaller of the two fragments.

The disappearance over the Vosges suggests that it was something far away crossing a good portion of the sky. The slopes of the Vosges mountain start at about 20 kilometers from the sighting place.

Obviously the information is very thin, not allowing to be assertive about this explanation.

Two things may weaken it a bit: the duration of "a few minutes", unless we admit that witnesses may have said "a few minutes" for an event of one or two minutes at most; and the fact that I found no other report for this date and area whereas meteors often cause multiple witnesses reports.

In terms of duration, a re-entry of space debris could be a better match.


Probable space junk reentry or double meteor.

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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 17, 2015 Creation, [cvn2].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 17, 2015 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 23, 2021 Addition [ldl1].

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This page was last updated on May 23, 2021.