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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 Alsace, on February 18, 2005:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2005-02-18-ALSACE-1

Summary:

In a listing of UFO sighting reports in the Haut-Rhin on their website, the Alsatian ufology association SPICA noted that on Friday, February 18, 2005, at 10:30 p.m., from an unknown place of Alsace, a "luminous trace" of "several colors" was seen, said by the SPICA to be both "unidentified", and by "hypothesis" a "natural reentry" - in other words, a meteor.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: February 18, 2005
Time: 10:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 2015?
Reporting delay: Hours, 1 decade.

Geographical data:

Department: ?
City: ?
Place: ?
Latitude:
Longitude:
Uncertainty ratio: 100 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: ?
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Listing of sightings by the regional ufology group SPICA.
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: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: The February 18, 2005, meteor.

Sources:

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
UNKNOWN-LOCATION Friday 18 February 2005 at 22h30 Luminous trace
Unidentified
Several colors
Natural reentry
Natural reentry

Discussion:

At the time, there was an Agence France Presse article reproduced on the popular astronomy website "Webastro"; which said:

A fireball crossed the Vosges sky last February. Since then, expeditions have followed one another to find the place where the object from heaven could have crashed.

Since February 18, when a large luminous ball has been seen in the Vosges sky by hundreds of people, the team of the planetarium of Epinal (Vosges) is in search of a meteorite fallen in the forest.

Some 700 testimonies were collected by telephone, mail or email after tonight when, at 10:25 p.m., motorists, passers-by and even firefighters in intervention witnessed the phenomenon. From Epinal to Baccarat via Gérardmer, Saint-Dié and Vittel, to Alsace and even to Dijon, some saw that evening "a strong bluish luminosity invade nature", others say they attended "an eclipse in reverse".

"Like daylight"

"We received very poetic testimonials from people who had the feeling of having experienced something grandiose," says Didier Mathieu, scientific coordinator of the Belle Etoile planetarium at Epinal; which coordinates the research. "They suddenly saw" nature as in broad daylight; some said they were drowning into a river of diamonds. One person even sent us a sample of sky blue tulle tissue to describe what she saw," he adds. Since then, not a week goes by without the planetarium being contacted by people who wanted them to identify a suspicious pebble. Because now, the team of astronomy enthusiasts of the only planetarium of Lorraine is desperately looking for the meteorite whose trajectory and the place of fall are difficult to appreciate.

The Strasbourg seismographs reacted to the sound waves of the object that emitted a "bang" like a plane crossing the sound barrier, but did not record any impact on the ground. By default, it was deduced that the pebble was no bigger than a handball. It would have fallen into a triangle situated between Vittel, Neufchateau and Bourdons-sur-Rognon, on the borders of the Haute-Marne and the Vosges, admitted with difficulty the person in charge of the planetarium who would prefer to discourage the curious.

"Big cometary cloud"

He has already conducted three expeditions with a dozen amateur astronomers to evaluate "suspicious craters" which turned out, there, a collapse of gallery, elsewhere, a badger's burrow. Additional disappointment, the vast area of ??research is "90% of forest almost impenetrable since the storm of 1999". "Still, we're looking for it. If we can relate this stone to a planet formation residue of 4.5 billion years old to all those who could see it, we will have done our job!", says Didier Mathieu. Even though every day there are meteorites falling on the earth, the latest in the Vosges dates back to 1822, in La Baffe.

Since February, local newspapers have reported at least three times testimonies of visions of green or bright balls in the region. "The earth has passed through a big cometary cloud and we see fireballs, big shooting stars", confirms the person in charge of the planetarium of Epinal. And to note: "You know, in the last century, there was less light pollution and no television, one saw a lot more meteorites".

Virginie MONTET (AFP)

Evaluation:

The February 18, 2005, meteor.

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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross July 11, 2018 Creation, [sp4].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 11, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 11, 2018.