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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 Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, on June 13, 2012:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2012-06-13-COLMAR-1

Summary:

On their website, the regional newspaper "L'Alsace" published that there was a fireball in the sky of Colmar on June 13, 2012, shortly after 5:00 a.m.

The newspaper said that a man from Pfaffenheim was on the parking lot of his workplace in Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, when he saw the "fireball, much bigger than a shooting star, with a long white trail."

It crossed the sky for a few seconds, east of Colmar, before going behind a cloud that it illuminated, and then it disappeared.

The man promised that he had not been drinking, that he had smoked nothing weird. He immediately thought it was "an asteroid", though he admits he has no scientific knowledge on the subject. He admitted having been slightly mocked by his colleagues, and said that his testimony was "motivated solely by a potential scientific interest."

While the newspaper suggested that this could be a "nice stunt" for the meteorites fair in Ensisheim, the Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory told them that there was no other witness, but that the phenomenon described corresponds to a meteor.

At least two "UFO" websites considered that this was ufology news, or even that it might have been a UFO.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: June 13, 2012
Time: ~05:05 a.m.
Duration: A few seconds.
First known report date: June 13, 2012
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine
Place: Parking lot in Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.000
Longitude: 7.384
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Young adult or adult.
Witness(es) types: A man from Pfaffenheim, with a job.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Told colleagues. Regional Press?
Type of location: From a parking lot in city, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
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: Asteroid.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable meteor.

Sources:

[Ref. la1:] SITE WEB DU JOURNAL "L'ALSACE":


Ball of fire in the sky of Colmar

on 06/13/2012 at 11:35 p.m. J-F.S

"A fireball with a long white trail" was spotted Wednesday shortly after 5 am in the sky of Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine. For the Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, the phenomenon can be explained."

[Ref. cm1:] CHRISTAN MACE:

On his "UFO - Paranormal" blog, Christian Macé who introduces himself as "Impassionate with UFOs, the paranormal and esoteric" titles "UFO or meteor in Colmar in the Haut-Rhin in Alsace in France" and invites to click on a link leading to the previous source [la1].

[Ref. od1:] "O.D.H Tv" UFO WEBSITE:

This website reproduced article from the newspaper L'Alsace's website [la1].

[Ref. sp4:] SPICA UFOLOGY GROUP:

City Date and hour of observation General shape
Identification
General color
Hypothesis
Conclusion
SAINTE-CROIX-EN-PLAINE Wednesday 13 June 2012 at 05:05 a.m. ball, balloon or melon (3D)
Natural reentry
red
Natural reentry
Solved

Discussion:

It might seem odd that there was only one witness to a meteor, and despite some research, I found no other.

But it was only visible for a few seconds, we are told. This is not the same situation as when a large, more luminous meteor, lasts several tens of seconds to minutes. In addition, it is five o'clock in the morning, and we hear of clouds, which may have created conditions of visibility limited to one or more small sectors only.

It does not appear that the witness said he saw a "UFO", it seems he said it was an "asteroid". But there is almost always someone who claims or speculate it is a UFO or maybe a UFO. I do not think this is the case here, and there is no strangeness at all in this story.

Asteroid, meteor, meteorite, shooting star, are terms sometimes wrongly used for each other. The witness might have said "asteroid" even if he thought it was a meteor.

Evaluation:

Probable meteor.

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 April 3, 2014 Creation, [la1], [cm1], [od1].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 3, 2014 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross June 4, 2015 Addition [sp4].

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This page was last updated on April 3, 2014