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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 Lutterbach, on April 30, 2008:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2008-04-30-LUTTERBACH-1

Summary:

The regional newspaper L'Alsace for May 2, 2008, headlining "A UFO in Lutterbach?", told that a man from Lutterbach reported to the Gendarmerie on May 1st, that he had seen with his children, around midnight in the night from April 30 to May 1, 2008, "two orange starry balls" that rose to the sky towards Reiningue, to the north, passing over his house on the hill where the cemetery is located in Lutterbach.

He saidd that these two balls were going towards what seemed to be a large plane, with two large headlights and a flashing light, but making no noise.

The police had checked and found that the last civilian plane had landed at the Basel Mulhouse airport at 11:15 p.m., and that there was no military flight that night. The brigade of Morschwiller-le-Bas nevertheless opened an investigation and called for witnesses through the newspaper.

L'Alsace for the next mornong, May 3, 2008, then informed that "the mystery of the UFO" was clarified: to celebrate May 1st, managers of the Kalis discotheque, 12 rue de la Gare in Lutterbach, had launched during the evening several "small balloons of white paper, 30 to 40 cm in diameter," i.e. Chinese lanterns.

"We brought these little balloons from Thailand, where they are sent into the sky at the Chinese New Year eve", said the Kalis manager Serge Ugarenko to the newspaper.

Following the call for witnesses launched by the gendarmes of the Lutterbach Morschwiller-le-Bas brigades, a woman claimed she had seen the same phenomenon.

And on May 4, 2008, the day after the newspaper published the explanation, the man of Lutterbach phoned me, he did not want to agree with the explanation that he had read in the newspaper.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: April 30, 2008
Time: ~11:15
Duration: ?
First known report date: May 2, 2014
Reporting delay: Hour, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Lutterbach
Place: From home at the hill near the Lutterbach cemetery, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.760
Longitude: 7.285
Uncertainty ratio: 500 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 4
Number of known witnesses: 2
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: 2 adults, 2 children,
Witness(es) types: A man and his two children, a woman.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: From home at the hill near village cemetery, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Was not specified, but rejected the explanation.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Chinese lanterns.

Sources:

[Ref. la1:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:


A UFO in Lutterbach?

A resident of Lutterbach reported yesterday to the Gendarmerie that he saw, with his children, around midnight during the night from Wednesday to yesterday, "two orange and starry balls" that rose into the sky towards Reiningue and went to the north, passing over his house on the hill where the cemetery of Lutterbach is located.

He said the two balls went towards what seemed a large aircraft, with two large headlights and a flashing light, but did not make noise.

According to police checks, the last civilian plane, however, landed at EuroAirport at 11:15 p.m. and there was no military flight that night.

An investigation was however open by the brigade of Morschwiller-le-Bas (Phone. 03.89.42.44.45.) who calls for others who would possibly have seen this phenomenon.

[Ref. la2:] "L'ALSACE" NEWSPAPER:


The mystery of the UFO elucidated

We reported in our last edition that a resident of Lutterbach domiciled on the hill had seen two orange starry balls that rose in the sky around midnight during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. Following the call for witnesses launched by the police in the community brigades of Lutterbach / Morschwiller-le-Bas, a woman claiming to have seen the same phenomenon came to them.

The mystery is solved, however: to celebrate May 1st, managers of the Kalis discotheque, rue de la Gare in Lutterbach, had launched to the sky during the evening, several small balloons in white paper, 30 to 40 cm in diameter. The starry orange color that had intrigued the witnesses came from the fire in the pods creating hot air to raise the gear in the air. "We brought these little balloons from Thailand, where they are sent into the sky on the Chinese New Year Yeve," explained Serge Ugarenko yesterday, manager of the Kalis with his wife Valérie.

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

This website which catalogues sighting reports in France from 2005 on published the text of the two articles in L'Alsace as above, without the scan.

They used the title "04/30/2008 - 00:00 - Haut-Rhin (68) - Small hot air balloons in white paper".

[Ref. sp1:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

Lutterbach (68) April 30, 2008

Source: L'Alsace for 05/02/2008

A resident of Lutterbach reported to the gendarmes, that he saw with his children, yesterday around midnight in the night of Wednesday to yesterday, "two orange starry balls" that rose in the sky on the side of Reiningue and that went to the north, passing over his house on the hill where the cemetery of Lutterbach is located.

He said the two balls went towards what seemed to him to be a big plane, with two large headlights and a flashing light, but that did not make noise.

Identification: to celebrate May 1, owners od the Kalis disco, Lutterbach.

[Ref. is1:] "ISUNDGAU" BLOG:

Ce blog présente plusieurs cas alsaciens pêchés sur le web, dont:

April 30, 2008 – Lutterbach (Haut-Rhin)

Articles cited on the Réseau National Civil de Surveillance du Ciel (RNCSC)

"Source: L’Alsace for 05/02/2008

A UFO in Lutterbach?

A resident of Lutterbach reported yesterday to the Gendarmerie that he saw, with his children, around midnight during the night from Wednesday to yesterday, "two orange and starry balls" that rose into the sky towards Reiningue and went to the north, passing over his house on the hill where the cemetery of Lutterbach is located.

He said the two balls went towards what seemed a large aircraft, with two large headlights and a flashing light, but did not make noise.

According to police checks, the last civilian plane, however, landed at EuroAirport at 11:15 p.m. and there was no military flight that night.

An investigation was however open by the brigade of Morschwiller-le-Bas (Phone. 03.89.42.44.45.) who calls for others who would possibly have seen this phenomenon.

Source: L’Alsace for 05/03/2008

The mystery of the UFO elucidated

We reported in our last edition that a resident of Lutterbach domiciled on the hill had seen two orange starry balls that rose in the sky around midnight during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. Following the call for witnesses launched by the police in the community brigades of Lutterbach / Morschwiller-le-Bas, a woman claiming to have seen the same phenomenon came to them.

The mystery is solved, however: to celebrate May 1st, managers of the Kalis discotheque, rue de la Gare in Lutterbach, had launched to the sky during the evening, several small balloons in white paper, 30 to 40 cm in diameter. The starry orange color that had intrigued the witnesses came from the fire in the pods creating hot air to raise the gear in the air. "We brought these little balloons from Thailand, where they are sent into the sky on the Chinese New Year Yeve," explained Serge Ugarenko yesterday, manager of the Kalis with his wife Valérie.

[... other stories ...]

In many testimonies and explanations of these phenomena, we find that the famous "Chinese lanterns" are rampant in the French sky. (See video testimony Vendeheim - 2008). But hey, that does not explain everything!

Addition to this file: Following our article of 14 February 2011, it actually turns out that the famous lights spotted in the sky of Brunstatt were Chinese lanterns launched on the occasion of a birthday party! (Article in L'Alsace February 15).

At the end of the article, a series of links to several ufology websites and web pages, including a link to the old URL of the home page of my own website.

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
LUTTERBACH Thursday 1 May 2008 at 00:00 ball, balloon or melon (3D)
Aeronautic reduced
orange
Aeronautic reduced
Solved

Discussion:

The witness of this observation phoned to me on May 4, 2008, the day after the newspaper published the explanation.

I had previously read the newspaper articles in L'Alsace [la1] and [la2] reproduced above. The witness had, at least, read the second as he protested about the explanation. Based on the description and newspaper information, it was obvious to me that it was indeed Chinese lanterns, something very common in our skies.

The witness was not at all convinced, but the telephone conversation I had with him gave me no reason to question this explanation.

The observation time was never clearly given, but it is obvious that it was about 11:15 p.m. when the last airliner flew over to the Basel Mulhouse airport, as reported by the Gendarmes.

The Kalis people had launched more than two Chinese lanterns, it is not certain that the man and woman saw the same at the same time.

Note that it is with this case that the newspaper L'Alsace first discovered the existence of Chinese lanterns. Many such mistakes had already occurred in the region.

Evaluation:

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
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 29, 2014 Creation, [la1], [la2], [rn1], [is1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 29, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross May 5, 2015 Addition, [sp1].
1.2 Patrick Gross June 1, 2015 Addition, [sp4].

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