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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 Strasbourg, on August 13, 2005:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2005-08-13-STRASBOURG-1

Summary:

On the website of the Alsatian ufology association SPICA, there was apparently a witness report by one Mrs. S.L., 21-year-old, on her observation on August 13, 2005, at approximately 10 p.m. in Strasbourg.

The young woman was having dinner at a friend's, on a terrace with a view over the rooftops of Strasbourg and the Cathedral, when one of the friends said:

"There's something strange in the sky!"

Immediately, the guests looked up and saw five silent yellow dots, moving above Strasbourg. There was a first pair of these lights side by side, a second pair, and a fifth was following behind or below, while flickering.

The formation passed over the roof, and the young woman crossed alone the apartment, which also had a view to the other side, where she was also to see again the lights until they disappear completely.

It is then specified that the sky was clear, cloudless, that it was 5 small round forms, of orange color, that in each pair the two lights were about 200 meters away from each other. The whole was at a distance difficult to assess, but approximately 700 meters. Their flights was very slow, the observation lasted about 5 minutes.

The brightness of the objects was weak, the young woman thought they were maybe reflecting the city lights.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: August 13, 2005
Time: ~10:00 p.m.
Duration: ~5 minutes.
First known report date: September 4, 2005
Reporting delay: Hours, weeks.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Strasbourg
Place: From a friend's terrace in the center of Strasbourg with a view to the cathedral, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.581
Longitude: 7.751
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3 or more.
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: 21, adults.
Witness(es) types: A woman and her friends.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Website of the regional ufology group SPICA.
Type of location: From a friend's terrace in the center of a big city with a view to the cathedral, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
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: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanterns.

Sources:

[Ref. jy1:] JEAN-JACQUES YVARS:

Hello all,

Here are some observations received by the Journal de l'Ufologie, that may of course interest investigators.

Good reading !

CU

JJ.Y.

[Other case outside from Alsace.]

Me [sic, Mrs.] S.L., aged 21, testifies of an observation made on Saturday, August 13, 2005 at (abouts [sic]) 10:00 p.m. above the town center of Strasbourg.

Quote:

I was dinning [sic, "dining"] with a friend on the terrace, that overlooks the rooftops of Strasbourg and the Cathedral. While we were eating, one of my friends said: "There's something strange in the sky!" Immediately, we looked up. Indeed, 5 yellow dots were proceding [sic] silently over Strasbourg, 2 next to 2 others and one who followed behind while vobling [sic, "wobbling"]. They went over the roof and alone I crossed the apartment which also gave to the other side, where I was able to again observe until they disappeared completely.

End of quote.

OTHER DETAILS:

Weather: very clear sky, no cloud.

Visual appearance: 5 orange color dots: 2 pairs on a horizontal line each spaced of about 200 meters and the fifth above the four which moved in an anarchy manner.

Luminosity: weak orange color, which lets me think that the objetcs must have reflected the luminosity of the city lights.

Form: small round shape

Distance: Hard to explain, about 700 meters, I gues [sic].

Speed: moving slowly.

Venus: present but very weak, because much city light

Duration of the observation: abouts [sic] 5 minutes

No sound.

[Other case outside from Alsace.]

[Ref. rn1:] "RESEAU NATIONAL CIVIL DE SURVEILLANCE DU CIEL":

08/13/2005 - 10:00 p.m. - Bas-Rhin (67) - 5 orange dots

Witness report gatherd [sic] on the website of the SPICA association:

http://www.spica.org/faq.php?lng=fr&pg=&id=12

Quote:

Source: RIO

Me [sic, Mrs.] S.L., aged 21, testifies of an observation made on Saturday, August 13, 2005 at (abouts [sic]) 10:00 p.m. above the town center of Strasbourg.

Quote:

I was dinning [sic, "dining"] with a friend on the terrace, that overlooks the rooftops of Strasbourg and the Cathedral. While we were eating, one of my friends said: "There's something strange in the sky!" Immediately, we looked up. Indeed, 5 yellow dots were proceding [sic] silently over Strasbourg, 2 next to 2 others and one who followed behind while vobling [sic, "wobbling"]. They went over the roof and alone I crossed the apartment which also gave to the other side, where I was able to again observe until they disappeared completely.

End of quote.

OTHER DETAILS:

Weather: very clear sky, no cloud.

Visual appearance: 5 orange color dots: 2 pairs on a horizontal line each spaced of about 200 meters and the fifth above the four which moved in an anarchy manner.

Luminosity: weak orange color, which lets me think that the objetcs must have reflected the luminosity of the city lights.

Form: small round shape

Distance: Hard to explain, about 700 meters, I gues [sic].

Speed: moving slowly.

Venus: present but very weak, because much city light

Duration of the observation: abouts [sic] 5 minutes

No sound.

[Ref. sp2:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

STRASBOURG (67) Samedi 13 août 2005

Source: RIO

Vers 22h00 au-dessus du centre ville de Strasbourg, 5 points jaunes silencieux progressaient au-dessus de Strasbourg, 2 à côté des 2 autres et 1 qui les suivaient derrière en vacillant. Ils sont passés au-dessus du toit et seule j'ai traversé l'appartement qui donnait aussi de l'autre coté, où jai pu de nouveau les observer, jusqu'à leur disparition totale.

STRASBOURG (67) Saturday, August 13, 2005

Source: RIO

Around 10:00 p.m. above the city center of Strasbourg, 5 silent yellow dots progressed over Strasbourg, 2 next to 2 others and one who followed behind while wobbling. They went over the roof and alone I crossed the apartment which also gave to the other side, where I was able to observe them again, until their complete disappearance.

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
STRASBOURG Saturday 13 August 2005 at 10:00 p.m. luminous dot
Unidentified
orange
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

The link to report on the SPICA website no longer functions.

The observation as described is probably once again that of Chinese lanterns. Of course I cannot "scientific proof" of this explanation, but I do not see why it would be anything else.

In 2005, Chinese lanterns were still almost a novelty in Alsace - although there have been a few much earlier cases of such miniature hot air balloons. Most ufologists did not know about them either.

Above:

A Chinese lantern.

Evaluation:

Probable Chinese lanterns.

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 December 3, 2014 Creation, [jy1], [rn1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 3, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 5, 2015 Addition [sp2].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 12, 2015 Addition [sp4].

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This page was last updated on June 12, 2015