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ALSACAT:

As its name suggests, 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 Haut-Koenigsbourg, on May 4, 2003:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2003-05-04-HAUTKOENIGSBOURG-1

Summary:

On May 5, 2003, I received an email with an attached "ufo.jpg" image.

The sender told me he took the photograph on May 4, 2003 at 01:48 p.m., in clear weather and a temperature of about 25░C. The subject of the photo was the castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg and its surroundings.

The photographer noticed on this photo a "strange object" with a shape that "evokes a saucer, smoke escapes and it seems to move towards me or from bottom to top. Its altitude seems modest as well as its size."

He does not know at all that this object was present at the time he took the photo. It was when watching it on his computer that he noticed it.

The image file he sent, "obviously has not been edited. I simply cropped it to reduce its weight."

He adds that he has the original digital picture with all its EXIF data available to me, and that when a digital photo is edited by any means whatsoever, the EXIF data disappear, and of coursethey are present present in his original.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 4, 2003
Time: 02:03 p.m.
Duration: N/A
First known report date: May 5, 2003
Reporting delay: 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Orschwiller
Place: Near the Hochkoenigsburg.
Latitude: 48.249
Longitude: 7.344
Uncertainty ratio: 1 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Email to me.
Type of location: Foothills of mountain, tourist place with famous castle.
Visibility conditions: Day, clear weather.
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
Entities: No
Photographs: Yes.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: UFO.

Classifications:

Hynek: BLURFO
ALSACAT: Bird or insect.

Sources:

[Ref. pg1:] COURRIEL RECU DIRECTEMENT:

Topic: Strange Photo attached

Date: Mon, May 5, 2003 11:25:36 PM Paris time

From: [pseudonym email address]

File: ufo.jpg

hello,

I allow myself to write to you to share with you a photo a little weird that I took on May 4, 2003, so very little time ago.

The photo was made in Alsace, in clear weather and the temperature was about 25 degrees, it was 1:48 p.m.. The subject of the photo is the castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg and its surroundings. A plane flies high into the sky, you can see its fumaroles. Further down, a strange object is visible. Its shape evokes a saucer, smoke escapes and it seems to move towards me or from bottom to top. Its altitude seems modest as well as its size. I did not know at all that this object was present at the time I took the photo. It's when watching it on my computer that I noticed its presence. The photo obviously has not been edited. I simply cropped it to reduce its weight.

I have the the original digital picture with all its EXIF data available to you. If a digital photo is edited by any means whatsoever, the EXIF data disappear. They are of course present on the original!

Thank you for reading to the end.

Discussion:

It is true that when one "saves as..." a new image from an original one, the EXIF metadata are usually not preserved in the copy. But some software retain these data if the image is just cropped without other changes.

Here, the EXIF data are almost all in the file, indicating this:

The camera is a Minolta DiMAGE Xt. The focal is F/8, 16 mm focal length, maximum aperture 3.6, no flash used. The exposure is missing.

According to the EXIF data, the image was taken at 02:03 p.m., not 13:48 p.m. - but it does not matter much in this case.

Here, enlarged by me without smoothing, 400% (4 times), the portion of the image with the supposed UFO:

What we have here is that the English speaking ufologists called "BLURFO", an acronym for "blurred UFO". The French ufologist speak of "surprise picture" as the photographer in such cases had not seen anything special in the sky, with the eyes; it was only when he looked at the picture on a computer or TV screen that he had the "surprise".

Obviously, it is rarely possible to "scientifically prove" that it was not an "alien spaceship" or some "real UFO" or "unexplained phenomenon".

But such "UFOs" are easily repeatable: just take digital photos outside when there are birds or insects in the air; it is this type of image that is obtained.

Sometimes, the wings are visible, the shape is recognizable. Not always. The movement of the bird or insect creates a stretched shape not always recognizable.

Since the wide availability of digital cameras, thousands of such "UFOs" came up, and there are still ufologists who do not want to admit they are not "real UFOs."

More information on BLURFOs and other examples here.

Finally, I want to note that the Hochkoenigsburg and its surroundings, with this beautiful weather, around 2 p.m. is not at all a desrted place, it is crowded with visitors and wanderers, and a real intriguing object in the sky would have been seen by many witnesses.

Evaluation:

Bird or insect.

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
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 13, 2014 Creation, [pg1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 13, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on December 13, 2014