The Bizarre Hochries Mountain Incident

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
January 6, 2020
Last Updated
October 5, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
8 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Close Encounters

A UFO sighting in the picturesque setting of the Hochries Mountains in Germany was witnessed by the owner and caretaker of an Alpine lodge in December 1973 – right at the end of a year that saw an explosion of both UFO sightings and claims of humanoid occupants around the world.

A UFO superimposed on a night sky

The Hochries Mountain incident in 1973 came at the end of a wave of such reports

Although this particular incident didn’t feature any direct interaction between the respective craft and the witnesses, nor was there any sign of any actual occupants, it is intriguing nevertheless. It is yet another sighting that features multiple witnesses that would view the encounter at the same time but from different positions to each other. That something occurred that evening in the mountainous woodlands of south Germany is surely beyond doubt.

Furthermore, that the incident takes place around the mountain regions of the Alps, makes it another encounter to take place in the various mountainous regions of the planet. What might be special about these naturally forming features of our landscape and why do may UFO incidents take place there?

The account comes to us from the files of MUFON’s Illobrand von Ludwiger.

A Strange Red Light In A Picturesque Setting

The owner of the Alpine lodge – referred to as Mr. L in the report, although named in NICAP’s files as Friedrich Lennartz – along with the property’s caretaker, Peter Zettel, were appreciating the stunning view of the snow-covered landscape through the equally impressive panoramic window of their picturesque building at around 8:30 pm on 10th December 1973. [1]

Dominant in this picture, even at a distance of several miles, was Weitlahner Kopf, a mountain of some 1600 meters. However, on this particular evening, the two men could see a strange red light on or hovering just over the mountain top. They first believed it was a helicopter and so reached for their binoculars to attempt to confirm this.

A UFO superimposed on a picture of lodge setting at night

The incident was investigated by NICAP

After 20 minutes of watching the red light, and still believing it to be the cockpit light of a helicopter, Lennartz would fire a red flare gun into the air outside the property. If the pilot of the helicopter was in trouble, he reasoned at the time, then the flare would make them aware of help nearby.

However, within moments of him firing the flare, the object appeared to respond. And not at all in the way the witness would expect a helicopter to. It began to glow a deeper, brighter red color while at the same time, rising into the air, stopping and hovering at an approximate distance of 200 meters above the ground.

Then, it moved toward the two men’s location.

Activity Proceeds Across The Austrian Border

The witness would estimate that the object – which he could now see most certainly wasn’t a helicopter – was around two miles away. What’s more, it was decidedly egg-shaped with a transparent upper dome. Around the underside were rotating, flashing lights, seemingly moving and flashing at random.

Lennartz would recall how the lights went in a counterclockwise direction and “without any apparent system”. He would also recall how the flashing lights had the appearance of fluorescent tubes.

Of most interest to the two men, however, was how absolutely silent the craft was.

Witness sketch of the UFO

Witness sketch of the UFO

Given their location at the southern border of the country, Lennartz had remained in contact with mountain rescue services in Austria and Czechoslovakia. Especially when the object appeared to head over the Austrian border in the direction of the Klausenberg mountain. It appeared to hover directly over the top of the mountain for a short time.

After several moments the strange object began in motion again, this time heading to a nearby lodge (the Klausner lodge). It remained over the top of the building for some time, during which Lennartz would make radio contact with the owner to advise them of the bizarre object overhead. As it happened, they too had been observing the object.

Two Hours Previously In France!

The craft would remain in its hovering position for some time. Ultimately Lennartz would fire off another red flare wondering if it might move or respond once again. At the Klausner lodge, the dogs were, according to the later report, “whimpering” and pawing at the cabin door in an effort to gain entry to the building and out of sight of the mysterious object.

Although the response was not as rapid as it had been before, the aerial vehicle began to rise into the air once more shortly after. It would do so slowly at first before zipping into the distance at “breakneck speed” and vanishing from sight.

A UFO superimposed on a picture of a cloudy mountaintop

Other sightings were reported on the same evening in France

Unbeknown to the witnesses on the German side of the border, around two hours previously on the French side of the mountainous divide in Ouzoues-sur-Loire, a married couple in their 50s, along with several other witnesses who were with them, as well as “several gendarmes” who would respond to the incident, would witness a “5-meter tall cone-shaped” craft hovering only a matter of feet from the surface of the ground. The object would then move off, calmly into the distance and disappear.

The similarities of a “cone-shaped craft” and an “egg-shaped” one are perhaps obvious to all of us. As is the close proximity of the sightings to each other. Might the craft viewed in France in the early evening and the one viewed by the lodge owner and caretaker in the German mountain forests several hours later be one and the same thing?

What Is Special About These Mountainous Regions?

What is perhaps worth mentioning about the sighting is the apparent amount of time the object spent hovering over or near the mountains. As we have examined previously, there are many UFO sightings and incidents over mountains. And some researchers even suggest that such areas may house and disguise top-secret alien bases. And while such suggestions are speculative at best, it is intriguing that such regions experience regular UFO activities.

From the ancient astronaut perspective, many Biblical accounts that are proposed to actually be UFO or alien encounters in antiquity quite often unfold near or over mountains. Perhaps the best example of this, again as speculative as it is, is the telling of Moses and Mount Sinai when he received the Ten Commandments.

A UFO superimposed on to an aerial picture of the mountains

Might the location be what attracts UFOs?

While there was certainly no hint of anything of a “divine” nature taking place that evening in December 1973, it is interesting, nonetheless. For example, what was the purpose of the craft seemingly moving from one mountain top to another? Remember, the object was hovering over the Weitlahner Kopf mountain when the men first noticed it before moving to their lodge and then off to the Klausenberg mountain. Was this some kind of reconnaissance or inspection mission? And if so, is there something of importance in this region for the UFO and alien question?

As we might expect, especially coming at the end of a worldwide wave of sightings, there are several other UFO incidents on record in various places throughout Europe around the same time.

Multi-Witness Sighting Over Turin Only Days Earlier

For example, on 30th November near Caselle Airport in Turin [2] in Italy, pilot, Riccardo Marano was preparing to land his Piper Navajo plane when he noticed a “luminous multicolored ball of light” hovering over the runway. He would note who the strange object was “changing from violet to blue to dark red”.

Marano would bring his plane in a little closer. As he neared the craft, however, it would move suddenly and take off “in a most irregular fashion”. It would make movements that the witness had “seen no plane do”, including “sudden vast jumps to and fro”. Even more bizarre to Marano was that his calculations would suggest the object was traveling around 900 miles per hour.

Further to Marano’s sighting, a corroborative report would come from Colonel Rustichelli from the Caselle military facility. He would confirm that he had viewed the anomaly on the base’s radar screen. Another witness, Commander Tranquillo who was piloting an Alitalia Air Line DC-9 on its way to Rome. He would claim that what it was definitely “solid” and “lit up like a plane on my radar”. Visually, the pilot could see “a shining thing giving out intermittent flashes of light”.

Yet another pilot who was coming into land, Commander Mezzalami, would state that he saw “something very strange indeed”. Although he didn’t wish to guess as to what it might have been.

Four days later, the strange objects were seemingly back over Turin.

An Object “Clearly Visible” To “Thousands Of People!”

According to a story that appeared in the Washington Post, as the night took control of the skies over Turin on 4th December, “thousands of people” would witness a huge object simply hovering overhead. And once more, like the sighting four nights earlier, corroborative radar sightings would come from the nearby military facility. As well as further sightings by members of the local police department.

Furthermore, the incidents over Turin that we have highlighted here are but a small number of the mini-wave of sightings over the north Italy region at the time.

The object was “clearly visible to the naked eye”. And hovered overhead for several minutes in full view for anyone who cared to look skyward. So seriously did the local police treat the incident that they would dispatch no less than six patrol units to investigate the reports.

A UFO superimposed on a picture of a snowy mountaintop

Many reports have multiple witnesses

They would arrive “at a spot more or less underneath the object”. Before they could investigate further, though, the mysterious craft “shot upwards at great speed and disappeared”.

On the evening of 11th December, the night following the Hochries Mountains incident, multiple witnesses would see and report a “circular (object) like a flying saucer” over Spain, which had “an intense red light”. It would remain visible for a quarter of an hour before disappearing without warning.

A “Strange Helicopter-Like Craft” Coming Out Of The Afternoon Fog!

Another case we might wish to examine occurred during the afternoon of 13th December just outside of Auvernge in France. It comes to us from The Evidence For UFOs by Hilary Evans. And what’s more, the incident would unfold near another mountain, the volcanic Puy-de-Lassolas.

The witness, Claude Vorilhon, was driving along near the mountain when he decided he would pull the car to the side of the road so that he could stretch his legs for a moment. Although it was still afternoon, a heavy fog gave the day an oppressive feel. As he stepped outside of his vehicle, though, he witnessed a “strange, helicopter-like craft” emerge from the fog. And what’s more, it was heading toward where he stood.

The top of the strange craft was clearly dome-shaped while the bottom was equally clearly flat. Furthermore, a red and white light was visible on the top of the craft.

As the witness continued to watch the scene unfold, he noticed that the craft had come to a stop. It was now hovering only a matter of feet from the ground. Then, a door on the underside of the object opened and a “small figure” came into view. Despite its size, it was very much humanoid, with dark hair and what appeared to be a beard. It also had on a one-piece green outfit.

Another Humanoid Encounter With Links To The Ancient Astronaut Theory

Amazingly to the witness, the humanoid would speak to him in French, even inviting him to come on-board their craft. All the while, information about these mysterious visitors would enter his mind. As if the humanoid had intentionally placed it there.

Then, an already bizarre encounter took an even stranger twist. And another one that ties in very nicely with elements of the ancient astronaut theory.

According to Vorilhon’s report, the humanoid would claim he was “Yahweh”. And furthermore, that he and his race, were called Elohim. According to the humanoid, humans described this race in their ancient writings of “beings from the sky”. They were, however, responsible for beginning the human race around 25,000 years ago by mixing their DNA with hominids.

Perhaps for obvious reasons many were (and are) dismissive of such claims. Especially when given to individuals who are the only witnesses. However, such notions certainly resonate with those who subscribe to such ideas. That extraterrestrials began humanity many thousands of years ago. And it is this connection between us and them, that results in the persistent “visits” to Earth throughout history.

The opening weeks of December 1973 were certainly active over the skies of mainland Europe as far as UFO sightings were concerned. Whether there is a connection between them or not is open to debate. As are the potential reasons behind such a wave of activity.

The video below looks at UFO sightings in a little more detail.


1 Best UFO Cases, Europe, Illobrand von Ludwiger, ISBN 9780966 607703
2 UFO Darts To & Fro, Observed From 3 Aircraft & Gnd Radar, Richard Hall, NICAP

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • Fervar says:

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