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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 the Fackenthal, on July 20, 1976:

Case number:



A 64-year-old pensioner under pseudonyme reported to the ufology forum "Les Mystères des OVNIS" on March 9, 2011, about his observation at a place called the Fackenthal in the Lower Rhine on July 20, 1976 around 09:30 p.m. ot 10:00 p.m., of a "luminous sphere."

Leaving an inn to reach his vehicle, he looked up reflexively to observe the heavens, being an astronomy buff.

He immediately noticed a particularly bright "star". As he drove down the departmental road through a large forest, he still saw this "star", which was so brilliant that he decided to stop and observe it better.

Some 20 to 30 seconds later, to his astonishment, this "star" had "dropped off its Ovservation Station, to RUSH in my direction", at a speed he estimates at about 100 km / h. It stopped after some "jerks" on the last meters and stopped at about 100 to 120 meters in front of him, on the left of the road, and at a height that he evaluates as 35 or 40 meters.

After 20 to 30 seconds, "The ARTEFACT because this is what it was, moved to cross the road, quietly at about 30 Km/h and moved away grazing the tree tops and this IN AN ABSOLUTE SILENCE! ... The road on which I was (D 204 connecting GRENDELBRUCH to ROSHEIM is surrounded by thousands of hectares of forest, in 1976 there was very little traffic around 10 p.m.!... What is CAPITAL, is the CAUSE to EFFECT relation between my stop on the low side and the pseudo Star which came to 'present' itself to me (?) or to identify me (?)... "

He is certain that this luminous sphere of 4 to 5 meters in diameter had no supporting mass or structure, because the night was very clear and the thing came closer to him and went to his right "at an angle estimated at 120/130 degrees from its 'stationary' situation in front of me."

He notes other elements that greatly puzzled him: the thing was probably posted a few hundred meters high and close to the facilities of the 5th Gresswiller Equipment Regiment, as well as 6 or 8 kilometers in straight line from the Mutzig Fort, a very ancient military area dedicated since 1994 to Electronic Warfare Surveillance.

He said the sighting lasted about 4 to 5 minutes, that there was a magnificent starry sky, that he was the only witness and did not report to the authorities.

In the next fortnight, he had searched in vain for a mention of the event in the local press, because he was convinced that the "star" must have been seen at least by the guard on duty night and day at the entrance of the Gresswiller base.

In the discussion he added:

"On the one hand there was a "vision" close to the phenomenon (probably less than 100 or even 80 m when the ARTEFACT crossed the forest road, to quietly go away shaving the treetops.) But also 2 others "strong" facts: a CERTAIN CAUSAL relationship between "him" AND me, since after a very short observation time (I would say as soon as it spotted me... It could stand then 2 km or MORE (a ladle) and a few hundred meters above ground level. It came to "present" to me nevertheless staying at a distance that I call a "safe" distance... I was indeed going to run away like a rabbit to take refuge in my vehicle when it stopped after a few jerks! Finally let us not forget the presence of two military bases: that of GRESSWILLER that it was almost to overfly! And the famous Fort of MUTZIG, Telecom and electronic surveillance Center (see WIKIPEDIA for more information). I forgot to specify that ALL occurred in TOTAL silence, the environment being almost exclusively "the forest", the first small towns being located at two or three kilometers from my "observation post (GRENDELBRUCH, MOLLKIRCH, and finally GRESSWILLER a little further).

The witness provided maps of the sighting, shown below in this file.

At the end of 2018, the witness contacted me by email to provide more details about himself and his experience, the emails are readable in this file.


Temporal data:

Date: July 20, 1976
Time: ~09:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Duration: 4 to 5 minutes.
First known report date: March 9, 2011
Reporting delay: 35 years.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Rosheim
Place: From edge of street, Neuhiesel - The Fackenthal
Latitude: 48.492
Longitude: 7.346
Uncertainty ratio: 100 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: 29
Witness(es) types: Man.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Secret foreign or alien craft.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Unidentified.



Exceptional participation
Male Age: 64
Number of messages: 775
Registered on: 03/09/2011
Localization: ALSACE
Job: Retired
Hobbies: Astronomy anthropology , music, travels, nature, news

Subject: 1976: on 07/20 at 09:30 p.m. 10 p.m. -luminous sphere - Place called Fackenthal (67) Tu 09 Mar 2011, 11:13 p.m.

1976: on 07/20 at 09:30 p.m. 10 p.m. -luminous sphere - Place called Fackenthal (67)

Firstname or pseudo : STANALPHA1


Department: 67

Region or Country: ALSACE

Date: 07/20/1976

Hour of the start of the observation: ABOUT 08: 30 p.m. / 10 p.m.

Duration of the observation: ABOUT 4 TO 5 MINUTES


Number of witnesses: 1

Type of phenomenon: LUmINOUS SPHERE

Officially reported: No

Complete observation story:

As I left a hostel to reach my vehicle, I looked up to see the celestial vault (it is a reflex because i love the stars), I immediately saw a particularly bright "star." While driving on the departmental road crossing a hug forest, I still saw this " Astre "so brilliant that I decided to stop to observe it better. Some 20 to 30 seconds later, to my amazement, the "STAR" left its OBservation Station, to RUSH in my direction ( estimated possible speed: around 100 KM)..To stop after a few "jerks" on the last meters and become motionless at about 100 to 120 M in front of me, on the left side of the road, and at a height which I estimate at 35 / 40M approximately. After 20 to 30 seconds, THE ARTEFACT because that is what it is, shook to cross the said road, gently at about 30 KM / H and to go away near the summit of the trees and this in an ABSOLUTE SILENCE!...The road on which I was located (D 204 connecting GRENDELBRUCH TO ROSHEIM is surrounded by thousands of hectares of forest, in 1976 it was very little attended around 10 pm! What is CAPITAL, it is the relation of CAUSE to EFFECT between my stop on the low side and the pseudo Star that comes to "introduce to me (?) Or to identify me (?) ...

I have the certainty that this luminous sphere (4 to 5M in diameter) had no supporting mass / structure ... because the night was very clear and the "object" came closer to me sinc it directed to my right with an angle estimated at 120/130 degrees relative to its "stationary" position ahead of me ... Other very disturbing elements: th Artefact was probably positioned a few hundred meters in height and near the 5TH REGIMENT OF HARDWARE OF GRESSWILLER, as well as a few KMS in straight line (6 or 8) FROM THE FORT OF MUTZIG, very old military zone, but since 1994 it is now dedicated to Surveillance to Electronic Warfare. ... Here is on honor what was my "experience" ... I am ready to answer all your questions ...

Precise description:

Size of the phenomenon:


Angular height:

Specific noise: not specified

Similar photo: not specified

Direction of the object relative to the wind: not specified

Presence of installations: not specified


I certify on my honor the accuracy of the information provided and the authenticity of the documents provided. I do not know how to identify this phenomenon thank you in advance for your answers.


Forum manager
Male Age: 37
Number of messages: 12577
Registered on: 03/11/2007
Localization: France
Job: Private
Hobbies: Ufology, History, reading

Subject: Re: 1976: on 07/20 at 09:30 p.m. 10 p.m. -luminous sphere - Place called Fackenthal (67) Th 10 Mar 2011, 01:45 p.m.


Thank you very much for your testimony, which is very interesting. You're talking about a military zone and it's a safe bet that the UFO in question was interested in this area. I will see if there are any testimonies in the area.

I found this interesting document:

Alsace Region - Establishment holding radioactive waste

Goo day

Exceptional participation
Male Age: 64
Number of messages: 775
Registered on: 03/09/2011
Localization: ALSACE
Job: Retired
Hobbies: Astronomy anthropology , music, travels, nature, news

Hello Benjamin,

Thank you for this information about radioactive waste/Gresswiller..I wanted to complete my story yesterday by saying that I was during this observation persuaded that I had seen something really exceptional (applying to my "lived history" a grid of strangeness like the case of BELGIUM ERNAGE 1989 colonel AMOND-cf page 35 of the report) .. I ended up at an equivalent level! However, being informed at the time of existing varieties of aircraft (and their performance)? I PERSUADED myself that I had attended this night of July 1976, either a military exercise in connection with the GRESWILLER Base, or (small delirium) with a foreign aircraft coming to "observe" knowing that within a radius of one hundred kilometers to there were several military bases of the former Allies of the Second World War..Or from a power coming from the EAST? ... nevertheless I did not wish to make deposition with the gendarmerie to avoid being "annoyed" and to be taken for a crackpot, I tried in vain in the fortnight that followed an article in the local press related to the event: I was convinced that the said "Star "had been seen, if only by the guard post on duty night and day at the entrance of the base of GRESSWILLER .... A suggestion: this grid seems to me very useful. You already use your team to "sort" events when the reported events are reported to you.

Several UFO sightings having taken place in ALSACE, especially in the bas rhin are told via the following website: mine is not there because as I wrote in a previous message, I did not want to "lose" time with the "cops" and to be seen as a crackpot!. In fact I had only my sincerity to bring them, but no evidence (photo or trace ..).

Best regards STANALPHA 1 ON 03 11 2011

Exceptional participation
Male Age: 64
Number of messages: 775
Registered on: 03/09/2011
Localization: ALSACE
Job: Retired
Hobbies: Astronomy anthropology , music, travels, nature, news

Hello clasnco,

Very good remark indeed..!Of course, if you could interview the other people they will assert that THEIR testimony is important ... For WHAT CONCERNS ME: there was on the one hand a "vision" close to the phenomenon(probably less than 100 or even 80 m when the ARTEFACT crossed the forest road, to go quietly by shaving the tops of the trees ..But also 2 other "strong" elements: a relation of CERTAIN CAUSALITY between "it" AND me, since after a very short observation time(I would say as soon as it spotted me...It might have been then at 2 KM or more (roughly) and a few hundred meters above sea level. It came to "show itself" to me while still standing at a distance that I will call "safe" ...I was indeed going to flee like a rabbit to take refuge in my vehicle when it stopped after a few jerks !..Lastly we must not forget the presence of two military bases: that of GRESSWILLER and the famous Fort of MUTZIG, Center of telecoms and electronic surveillance (see on WIKIPEDIA for more information). I forgot to specify ALL in TOTAL silence, the environment being almost exclusively "the forest", the first small villages are located two or three kilometers from my "observation post (GRENDELBRUCH, MOLLKIRCH, and finally GRESSWILLER a little further) ... Sincerely STANALPHA1


From: [Nane and email address given but not published here.]
Date: October 1, 2018

I have just discovered with "happiness" that my FACKENTHAL UFO sighting is now listed in your ALSACAT catalog:


I would like to congratulate you (without flogging) for your titanic and "Benedictine's" work on the topic that unites us. Moreover, I had sent you, from memory during the summer of 2011 (in August it seems to me), an account of my UFO experience AT FACKENTHAL. No answer from you, but you needed at that time, for personal reasons, to take a step back with UFOLOGY... With as a corollary, your website on standby.

Moreover, if I take the pen again to write to you, it is to provide you with several elements of precision that seem very important to me (in particular to "qualify" my observation) and to correct some inaccuracies.


I was at the time a young man of exactly 25 years and 8 months (let's round it up to 26 years old).

University, (Bac plus 5 in 1976), scientific training: Maths - physics - chemistry then D.E.S in Economics (option Business Management). Anyway, someone very rational, summing up "someone who doesn't get fooled"!

In addition, and this is an element that seems important to me: since being a teenager, I was passionate about the conquest of space, astronomy and astrophysics: in short, I knew things in the sky very well ! So much so that if I had been able to integrate the Maths Sup. then Maths Spé. I could have been an astrophysicist one day.

I was an avid reader of the journals: Science et Vie, Science et Avenir, as well as Pour la ScIence

I was also already interested in UFOLOGY, subscriber to Lumières dans La Nuit.

Finally, I was in full possession of my physical means, with perfect vision and hearing. I didn't drink a drop of alcohol or take drugs!

Now retired for about ten years (former bank executive in STRASBOURG), I immersed myself in the study and history of Ufology and this intensively, in depth - but pure Cartesian that I am - And I pride myself on knowing well its modern history (since 1947), thanks to you too of course.

For reference, I produced two studies for the FORUM OVNI UFOLOGIE website, under the Pseudonym of STANALPHA1, namely:

** The 1954 UFO wave (Monday 02/02/2012 at 6:32 PM) that you can find on the said forum (topic seen more than 9000 times.)

** Return on the UFO sightings of the HUDSON RIVER: the American wave on the East Coast that is not spoken about enough and which however was important (I had the opportunity to go there and to talk about it with a New York witness).

It seemed very useful to me, Mr Gross, to write this long introductory "part", so that you know who you are dealing with.


I am not going to rewrite it, since you published the story, BUT complete it with additions and details which are decisive to "qualify" this UFO experience or vision.

Indeed, in my deposition & story from February 2012, I VOLUNTARILY did not specify "certain things", of this extremely impressive experience. Quite simply, again, for fear of appearing like an ordinary person having been the object of a hallucination, or worse, a storyteller.. which would have been unbearable to me!

Here is my precise and exhaustive experience (I had mentioned it with the CORWIN member who proposed to make an "animation" youtube or dailymotion style) to post on our Forum... Also I went several times on the site in order to recognize the places and especially to carry out measurements.

A precision of importance, NOTHING has changed, except the height of the trees, or the replanting along this departmental road. The meadow above which the ARTEFACT hovered, and the limit of the forest in the background are still present The reproductions & CORWIN geolocation images corroborate this

THE RUN OF THE SCENARIO: the very luminous star observed, first when I left the inn, then while driving, and finally after stopping at the right edge of the road .. the said "pseudo-star" therefore, left its initial place (which I later located later - see my testimony - with a high probability of possible) .. to literally tumble over me, after a short phase of setting in motion, after having left its "observatory".

On the last part of the journey (two hundred and three hundred meters maybe), this luminous "diamond" extinguished, to be only a "flying spherical object / vehicle, with the approximate volume of a small car (about 4-5m?) grayish / brownish in color like a dark car...

From: [Nane and email address given but not published here.]
Date: October 1, 2018

continuation of my story:

The said ARTEFACT, because that's what it is (and I expressed it this way in 2012), after a few jerks and hiccups over the last tens of meters of the race, came to a stop AT LESS THAN 100 METERS from me (80 to 90 Meters maybe, within a few meters of uncertainty)...

This flying vehicle remained thus posted a few tens of seconds, WITH THE FOLLOWING PARTICULARITY: a lighting that I will qualify as "subdued", with a picture window or a central cokpit in a way…. And it is precisely during this face to face with the stationary object that I felt observed (it was perhaps only an interpretation I grant you… Indeed:

Why would a pseudo "star" posted at an altitude of a few hundred meters and a few kilometers from me leave its observation post (on one side the Fort de Mutzig, and on the other, the Regional Center of Military Equipment) - which star turned out to be a flying vehicle - to tumble over to me and park less than 100 meters, a few tens of meters above a meadow, with an illuminated observation post? ... If not to "see" more closely or introduce themselves to the intruder, the curious who had stopped by the side of the road to observe better? Clearly, this flying object had spotted me!

On reflection, I also had the strange feeling that said object had positioned itself at a reasonable distance, so that I did not run away, precisely...

After these few tens of seconds of face to face. (For my part I was paralyzed, dumbfounded but ready to "jump" to take refuge in my car because I had got out of my Renault 17 to precisely observe the said star in the distance)... This flying vehicle shook gently, again with two or three "hiccups", then accelerated to move majestically, gently, to move to the right of the meadow, cross the department road and rise above the pine trees on the other side (maybe 10 - 15 meters from their tops, no more).

The other PARTICULARITY, and we get the extraordinary, is that as it took off, the ARTEFACT literally swelled, very significantly, to double, even triple in volume maybe, to become only A SPHERE OF PINK ORANGE LIGHT, with a perfectly clear edge, but where ALL STRUCTURE WAS INVISIBLE… As when I observed the star which was tumbling down on me and which on approach, did not became a spherical or spheroid object, dull grayish, which I would call "nuts and bolts".

I draw the parallel of the behavior of the UFO, with that of an airplane at the time of take-off .... Passengers are asked to turn off the lights so that the plane has all its power ... Whereas the more the UFO picked up speed, the more its lighting intensified!


After this literally extraordinary sighting, I had the strange feeling of having been "rewarded", of having had the "honor" of being able to be in the presence of a real UFO .... But with the doubt - we are in 1976 - that this flying object was perhaps only a secret military device, since we were in the immediate vicinity of two strategic sites of the French Army…

It is after having documented myself enormously via the internet that I am now almost certain that I was indeed in the presence of an Alien craft, not belonging to our World ... With the conclusion that we are visited by One or More Forms of Non-Human Intelligence(s), let's say the word clearly so that there is no ambiguity: an Extraterrestrial Intelligence, coming from another Planet! Not fairies, nor korrigans and other Djinns, much less an unknown "intraterrestrial" race.

Why this near certainty?…. I discovered during my reading other testimonies which evoked the "swelling", the increase in volume of the said apparatuses, and this non-dazzling and perfectly chiseled luminosity.

In fact, the phenomenon described above is due to the AIR IONIZATION enveloping the flying vehicle in question, which ionization turns out to have this orange-pink color...

..As a corollary, one can quite legitimately deduce from it that these flying machines use a mode of propulsion which produces said ionization (the theory of JEAN PIERRE PETIT on the mode of propulsion by MHD could prove to be exact, even if of course, it is only efficient when traveling in the atmosphere).

I also started from the postulate according to which it is impossible that a terrestrial power (reduced moreover to two countries: the USA and the former USSR because we were in 1976), could keep for more than 40 years in in short, the secret of a revolutionary mode of propulsion.

I will finish Mr. GROSS, by asking you please, following this complete testimony, to also modify:

The distance between this UFO and me was in the order of 85 to 90 meters at the most, most likely less than 100 meters.

… But above all the HYNECK classification: It was obviously not a simple NL, but an CE1, on the grounds that the light became an aerial vehicle that I could observe when stationary, with MANIFESTLY INTELLIGENT behavior (movement with changes of direction, temporary stop, approach and distance with hiccups, jerks and change of light).

I sincerely hope that this testimony will have convinced you... I really wanted it to complete and enrich the initial statement made six years ago on the FORUM OVNI UFOLOGIE site

I remain of course at your disposal for any information & questioning on your part-IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT I WISH TO KEEP MY ANONYMITY (namely my nickname STANALPHA in UFOLOGY) -I trust you in this regard.

Wishing you good luck with your documentation and archiving work, and with my best regards



Note: comme je n'avais pas eu le temps de répondre dans un délai raisonable, le témoin [tem1] m'avait gentiment "relancé", ce à quoi j'avais répondu, et il avait alors ajouté:

From: [Nane and email address given but not published here.]
Date: November 1, 2018

Thank you Mr. GROSS, for your responsiveness this time…

I use this feedback to come back to an element which for me seems "almost determining" to classify this "affair" with a very strong index of strangeness: the fact being that when the artefact, positioned less than a hundred yards from me, moved to leave his position, overlooking the field, and whose appearance was "dull, grayish, dark brown (as can be a dark painted vehicle at the end of a street)…. Said artefact "illuminated" with increasing intensity, while literally "inflating" in a very significant way (several times the initial diameter), in total silence, THE ENVELOPE OF LIGHT having totally obscured its structure, as I wrote to you previously… I learned much later that this phenomenon was very probably the result of the highly ionized air envelope, RESULTING from the mode of propulsion of said "machine" (probable MHD?)… Let us recall us that this event took place in the summer of 1976, and that then (and probably even today) no "Earthly" industry was (is) capable of producing such airspace-moving aircraft with such characteristics and capabilities.



The Gresswiller base is at about 6 to 8 kilometers approximately in the northeast of the sighting places.

2017 picture of the first sighting spot at the Neuhiesel - the witness sees the thing on the left, standing on the right side of the road on the car park area of the inn:


2017 photo of the D 204 road in the forested part:


General map with the mentioned locations:




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 January 19, 2018 Creation, [myo1].
1.0 Patrick Gross January 19, 2018 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross July 11, 2021 Addition [tem1], [tem2]. In the Summary, addition of the part "At the end of 2018..."

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This page was last updated on January 19, 2018.