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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 Sierentz, on May 23, 2009:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2009-05-23-SIERENTZ-1

Summary:

In their January 2010 newsletter, the SPICA Alsatian ufology association reported that on May 23, 2009, at 11:10 p.m., a large orange luminous ball was seen standing in the sky by a woman who had gone outside to see it better after waking up her husband.

Both observed other smaller balls, which joined the first and placed themselves in a triangle. The balls went towards Kembs in triangular formation. The triangular formation reportedly lasted 2 minutes.

According to the SPICA, the witness made a statement to the gendarmes and they came came to see her the morning of May 24. The gendarmes took the three or four photographs that had been taken by the witness, promising to return them the following day.

In the evening, around 10:10 p.m., the witness called SPICA to inform them that a neighbor had also seen the phenomenon, and that according to this new witness, filaments were hanging after the balls.

SPICA indicates that this case is solved, these were Chinese lanterns released at a wedding party.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 23, 2009
Time: 11:10 p.m.
Duration: 2 minutes or more.
First known report date: May 23 or 24, 2009
Reporting delay: Minutes, day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Sierentz
Place: From outside home, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.654
Longitude: 7.455
Uncertainty ratio: 3 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: Married residents, a female neighbor.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: To the gendarmes and to the ufology association SPICA.
Type of location: From outside home, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: ?
Entities: No
Photographs: Yes.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Chinese lanterns

Sources:

[Ref. sp1:] ASSOCIATION UFOLOGIQUE "SPICA":

Sierrentz [sic] (68) May 23, 2009 at 11:10 p.m.

Source: SPICA

The witness observed on the 05/23/2009 from 11:10 p.m. on a luminous orange ball, quite big, which was stationary in the sky. To see better, she came outside after waking her husband up. Both observed other smaller balls, which joined the first and placed themselves in a triangle. The balls went towards Kembs in triangular formation. The triangular formation would have lasted 2mn. The witness made a statement to the gendarmerie who came to see her this morning of the 24th. They took the photographs that were made by the witness (3 or 4), promising to return them to her on Monday the 25th. At around 10:10 p.m., the witness called again to inform us that a neighbor had also seen the phenomenon, according to this new witness, filaments were hanging after the balls. She is ready to testify.

Identification: The case of Sierentz is solved. It was Chinese lanterns of a wedding.

Discussion:

Since 2005, Chinese lanterns 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 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 February 12, 2018 Creation, [sp1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 12, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 12, 2018.