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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 Altkirch, on August 14, 2005:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2005-08-14-ALTKIRCH-1

Summary:

On August 14, 2005, I received an email from someone, not anonymous, telling what would be a UFO sighting.

The sender indicated that he and three friends were watching the sky from the vicinity of Altkirch, on the night of August 13 to 14, 2005, because it was "the night of the shooting stars."

Around 3 a.m. this August 14, 2005, they discovered that a white light was "coming out" of the sky.

They initially thought it was a plane, but the light that appeared increasingly intense to them was not like an airplane; they could also easily observe planes because of the proximity to the Basel Mulhouse airport.

The light approached them, growing very slowly, now resembling the glow of a star but much too intense to be a star.

They watched it for a short time since it left pretty quickly "into the stars, to disappear completely."

They could not explain this phenomenon, hence the testimony.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: August 14, 2005
Time: ~03:00 a.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: August 14, 2005
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Altkirch
Place: Outside near Altkirch, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.622
Longitude: 7.236
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 4
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Four friends.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported to me by email.
Type of location: Outside near city, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: Yes
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Not a plane, not a star.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible plane or Chinese lantern.

Sources:

[Ref. op1:] REPORT SENT TO ME:

Basic indications:

Number:FR0068
Date written:August 14, 2005
Date received:August 14, 2005
Date published:September 4, 2005
Date of sighting:August 14, 2005
Place of sighting:France, Haut-Rhin, near Altkirch
Original language of report:French
Reported using:e-mail
Unreleased information:Name, firstname, email address
Investigation, additional information:None
Explanation:[Was previously:] Not looked for. Several possibilities.

The report:

Subject: "UFO sighting"
Date: August 14, 2005
From: [firstname_name]@yahoo.fr

we were 4 friend at see the sky last night, for the night of the shooting stars in the night from saturday 13 to sunday 14 august 2005 near altkirch.

it was around 3 in the morning, when we realized that a light came out of the sky. we first thought of a plane, but this ligh of white colour which semmed more and more intense to us did not really resemble an airplane. airplanes that we can easily observe because of the proximity of the airport near our place. this light did came more and more closer to us very slowly. at this point this light resembled the gleam of a star but of a too important intensity to be one. we have looked at it during a short while for it then to go further fast in the stars to dissapear totally. we could not explain this phenomenon, hence my testimony.

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

08/14/2005 - 03:00 a.m. - Haut-Rhin (68) - Intense light

Witness report picked up on the SPICA association website:

http://www.spica.org/faq.php?lng=fr&pg=&id=13

Quote:

Title: strange light in the haut rhin

Message: we were 4 friend at see the sky last night, for the night of the shooting stars in the night from saturday 13 to sunday 14 august 2005 near altkirch.

it was around 3 in the morning, when we realized that a light came out of the sky. we first thought of a plane, but this ligh of white colour which semmed more and more intense to us did not really resemble an airplane. airplanes that we can easily observe because of the proximity of the airport near our place. this light did came more and more closer to us very slowly. at this point this light resembled the gleam of a star but of a too important intensity to be one. we have looked at it during a short while for it then to go further fast in the stars to dissapear totally. we could not explain this phenomenon, hence my testimony.

regards

[Ref. sp2:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

ALTKIRCH (68) Sunday, August 14, 2005

Unknown source

It was around 3 a.m. when we noticed that a light came outof the sky. We first thought it was a plane, but this white light that seemed to us more and more intense actually did not look like a plane.

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
ALTKIRCH Sunday 14 August 2005 at 03:00 a.m. luminous dot
Unidentified
White
None
Unsolved -lack of info

Discussion:

The "Réseau National Civil de Surveillance du Ciel" ("National Civilian Sky Monitoring Network") [rn1] indicates that the source of this report is the Alsatian ufology association SPICA, but the first source is actually my website. In the SPICA newsletter, the source is claimed "unknown" and the report is very shortened.

The international "Euroairport" of Basel - Mulhouse is located about 20 kilometers to the East from downtown Altkirch.

True, my witness stated that it was not a plane, compared with the planes he saw, often visible in the area.

However, the appearance of airliners cruising there often varies; what probably happened is that an airliner, circling there waiting for landing clearance, had its landing lights directed gradually ("more and more intense") towards the observers at a time. These powerful headlights match what is described. Continuing its turn, the airliner then seems to disappear. Clouds of fog might also have helped to create such effects.

In that area, where hills give a very good view in the direction of the Basel - Mulhouse airport, there were a number of similar cases of slow "lights" so described, mostly planes under a less usual appearance than others because of their landing lights seen during turns.

And we also have the possibility that it was a Chinese lantern.

Evaluation:

Possible plane or Chinese lantern.

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 5, 2014 Creation, [pg1], [rn1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 5, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 5, 2015 Addition, [sp2], addition in the Discussion "In the SPICA newsletter, the source is claimed "unknown" and the report is very shortened."
1.2 Patrick Gross May 10, 2015 Addition, [sp4]

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This page was last updated on May 10, 2015