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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 Brumath, on January 1, 2009:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2009-01-01-BRUMATH-1

Summary:

An anonymous chap testified under the pseudonyms "Krysaor" and "titilapin" (littlerabbit) on many websites about his observation of Thursday, January 1, 2009, around half past midnight, in Brumath.

He was out to listen to the firecrackers and see the fireworks of New Year's eve with friends, and saw a sphere followed by four others to finally count seven of them. They were red - orange in color, appearing and disappearing as they moved in all directions, accelerating and slowing down in the the South/East of Brumath at a distance of about 10 km and 1500 meters in altitude, according to him.

He ensures that these were no "headlights", that there was no moisture in the air and that the sky was clear, so there were no lights cones, but "balls" of light, sometimes in line, sometimes spread all around.

He assured that there were many people outside, so that it was impossible ignore them.

Following some questions on one of the websites, he added that the balls came from the north and headed towards the Southeast. They seemed to come from the north of Brumath, at variable speed, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, and before arriving above the city, they disappeared.

Sometimes they were aligned on a horizontal axis, then again on a vertical axis, and sometimes they positioned quite randomly.

He said we could not see the stars, but the visibility was very good, unlike in Strasbourg where the sky was covered with rain. In Brumath, the weather was clear.

He thinks that many of the witnesses thought perhaps they were airplanes or helicopter, but apart from the sound of firecrackers and rockets, there was no noise, and planes and helicopters would not change direction so fast.

He said he had not felt the wind, and that to his knowledge if it were "lanterns", they must have been equipped with big engines and wings, otherwise he does not know what could have allowed them to move like flies in the sky.

He did not check the local press, he does not drink alcohol, "so no risk of 'visions'." He says he just does not know what it was, "maybe UFOs, perhaps more concrete things I do not know about."

He went away at 01:30 a.m. while the phenomenon was still visible but with less spheres.

Following an intervention of a member of the SPICA ufology group about the possibilities of misinterpretaions due to the effects of "different perspectives and levels of atmospheric layers", he said that it is "quite possible, the concern is that they were on one level I would say. The altitude varied from 200 / 300 meters approximately when they did not stand still." He suggests that one questions the people of Brumath; which could solve the mystery.

One website comments that "the problem in this kind of observation is that we are facing an unidentified phenomenon close to conventional objects at a very particular hour. Here, half an hour after midnight."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: January 1, 2009
Time: 00:30 a.m.
Duration: ~1 hour.
First known report date: January 1, 2009
Reporting delay: Hours, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Brumath
Place: Outside next or in Brumath, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.734
Longitude: 7.710
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reports by the web to UFO websites.
Type of location: Outside next or in village, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
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: Not planes, nor helicopters, nor headlights.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Chinese latnterns.

Sources:

[Ref. im1:] WEB WITNESS REPORT COPIED ON "ICI ET MAINTENANT":

titilapin2:

Topic #220 new year's ufo in brumath by krysaor - visitor on 01/01/2009 @ 01:54

This Thursday January 1st, 2009, around midnight and a half. Outside for the firecrackers and other fireworks with friends in the city of Brumath in the bas-rhin.

1 sphere followed by 4 others to end with 7 of red / orange color appearing and disappearing while moving in all directions, accelerating and slowing down in the south / east of Brumath at a distance of approximately 10km - 1500m of altitude. This were not headlights, there was humidity in the air but the sky was cleqr so no cones of light but "balls" of lights. Sometimes lined, sometimes scattered.

A lot of people outside s-aw them!!!! Impossible to ignor them.

Source: http://www.spica.org/sujet-ovni-ufo-474614.php

Congratulation to Spica for his website.

The witnesses reports are sent be email.

Lapin

es

[Ref. rn1:] WEB WITNESS REPORT ON THE "R.N.C.S.C" WEBSITE:

Message 01/01/2009 - 00h30 - Bas-Rhin (67) - 7 luminous red/orange spheres

Witness report published by krysaor on 01/01/2009 on the SPICA Forum.

Direct link: http://www.spica.org/sujet-ovni-ufo-474614.php

Title: ufo of the new year in Brumath

Citation:

This Thursday January 1st, 2009, around midnight and a half. Outside for the firecrackers and other fireworks with friends in the city of Brumath in the bas-rhin. 1 sphere followed by 4 others to end with 7 of red / orange color appearing and disappearing while moving in all directions, accelerating and slowing down in the south / east of Brumath at a distance of approximately 10km - 1500m of altitude. This were not headlights, there was humidity in the air but the sky was cleqr so no cones of light but "balls" of lights. Sometimes lined, sometimes scattered.

A lot of people outside s-aw them!!!! Impossible to ignor them.

Following some questions by the RNCSC, the Witness adds:

Citation:

Hello

It camz from the north and it was going to the Southeastt. In fact it seemed to come from the North of Brumath at variable speed (sometimes slowly, sometimes fast), and before arriving above the city, it disappeared. Sometimes they were on a horizontal axis, another time on a vertical axis, and some other times positioned in a totally random manner.

Balls of red/orange color, it varied according to their speed in fact. o­ne did not see the stars but the visibility was very good. Contrarily to Strasbourg where the sky was cloudy and it rained. In Brumath, the weather was clear. Fot the witnesses it was simple: the people outside to fire their firecrackers downtown Brumath and in the streets. Like all the people who were looking up to the fireworks, they h­ave noticed quite easily the lights. Many thought maybe to planes but except the noise of the firecrackers and fuses,... nothing else and as said, planes don't change axis suddenly and helicopters don't either.

I did not particularly felt wind, and to my knowledge it these were lanterns, they must have been quite big and equipped of engines and wings of whatever that would have allowed them to move like flies in the sky.

I did not check in the local Press. I do not drink alcohol, so no risk of "visions".

That's it, I don't know ahat it was quite simply, maybe ufos, maybe more concrete things that I do not know.

I left at about 1:30 and the phenomenon was still visible but with less spheres.

Following the intervention of Spica57 on the possibility of confusions due to the efects of perspective and the different levels of atmospheric layers, the witness specifies:

Citation:

Good evening

What you says is entirely possible, the trouble is that they were on a same elevel o­ne can say. The altitude varied from 200/300 meters approximately when they were not hoverings.

On occasion, ask the question to Brumath residents that were here on the New Year's Eve downtown. Maybe they can give you more informationabout this and the mystery will be solved at last.

Goodbye.

Note by RNCSC: the problem with this kind of observation, is that we are dealing zith an unidentified phenomenon, close to conventional objects, at a very particular hour. Here, half an hour after midnight.

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
BRUMATH Thursday 1 January 2009 at 00:30 ball, balloon or melon (3D)
Aeronautical reduced
orange
Aeronautical reduced
Solved
BRUMATH Thursday 1 January 2009 at 01:30 ball, balloon or melon (3D)
Aeronautical reduced
orange
Aeronautical reduced
Solved

Discussion:

The address of the web source given by [rn1], www.spica.org/sujet-ovni-ufo-474614.php, corresponds to another observation report. I looked for the correct observation on the SPICA website but did not find it.

What would have been extraordinary in this case is that Chinese lanterns would not have been released for the new year's eve.

Chinese lanterns are one cause of some old tales of UFO sightings: During the "airship" wave of 1896 - 1897 in the USA, during the wave of 1972 in the US Midwest, etc.

Since these miniature hot air paper balloons can be ordered on the Internet at very low cost - they also commonly found in Alsace now in stores - there is no need anymore to take the trouble of manufacturing them yourself.

So since 2005, about everywhere and of course in Alsace, many people who do not yet know about them report them as UFOs or at least as a subject of puzzlement: "It was not planes, not satellites, not helicopters, etc...", commonly appears in the stories. Indeed they aren't.

In principle, any ufologist worthy of the title should be able to recognize a story related for sure or at least possibly to Chinese lanterns, but there are still ufologists who do not want to listen, or quibble, demanding that a guilty lantern is handed to them otherwise they want the story to remain a "UFO report".

Most of the time, I certainly cannot "scientifically prove" or provide "hard evidence" that this or that report is explained by Chinese lanterns; but I see nothing opposes it and nothing would justify to call it spacecraft from another world or who knows what else.

It is sometimes possible to find that there was, precisely at that time, in the vicinity, a release of lanterns, during a party, a wedding party, a birthday party etc. But these releases are now so usual in Alsace at least that they are not necessarily mentioned on festivity calendars.

Since 2005, they constitute the bulk of the "testimonies" of UFOs found on websites devoted to the subject of UFOs and essentially publishing such "web report"; generally the only treatment is the publication, without any information on a possible cause, without any investigation or comment.

In Alsace, such releases are especially popular now since fireworks and firecrackers, long tolerated, are now prohibited for use unless special exemptions; Alsatians therefore largely adopted the lanterns.

As these lanterns are usually released at private or public parties, they are most often seen on Saturday nights, often at wedding dates or official festivities such as the National Day or New Year's Eve, usually between 10 p.m. and midnight. They are then usually released in clusters. But sometimes the purchaser performs a "test flight" a few days before, sometimes with a single lantern.

Above:

A Chinese lantern.

Evaluation:

Chinese latnterns.

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 August 26, 2014 Creation, [im1], [rn1], [sp4].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 26, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 26, 2014