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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 Niedermodern, on July 7, 2012:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2012-07-07-NIEDERMODERN-1

Summary:

A 37-year-old military air controller, on the terrace of his home in Niedermodern made an observation of what he thought must have been a satellite re-entry or the re-entry of something unidentified in the atmosphere.

He said that at about 10:40 p.m., he was chatting with the family, 6 people, when he saw 8 to 10 "balls of fire" go from East to West on an almost perfected heading of 270°, clearly at a very high altitude.

There were initially 2 balls, then 2 to 3 minutes later, a group of 6 to 8 balls all aligned and ant equal intervals one behind the other with a gap of 3 to 5 seconds.

He indicates that one could "guess" the movement of the flames of these balls of yellow-orange color; which made no sound.

The sky was black, cloudless, few stars were visible because the terrace was lighted.

He contacted his former colleagues from the military radar station of Drachenbronn unsuccessfully: the station was closed for the weekend and he did not have the phone number of the station on duty. He called the gendarmes, and filled the GEIPAN sighting report form.

GEIPAN felt he had probably seen Chinese lanterns.

An anonymous witness on the web in the same area on the same day and almost the same hour also mentioned Chinese lanterns - it is not sure whether this was the same person or another observer.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 7, 2012
Time: ~10:40 p.m.
Duration: ~5 minutes.
First known report date:
Reporting delay: Hour, days.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Niedermodern
Place: From home terrace in Niedermodern, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.847
Longitude: 7.615
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 6
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: 37
Witness(es) types: Male, military air traffic controller.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Call to military radar station, call to gendarmes, by form to GEIPAN.
Type of location: From home terrace, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Surprized, excited, curious.
Witnesses interpretation: UFO or IFO reentry.

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Chinese lanterns.

Sources:

[Ref. ge1:] GROUPE D'ETUDES ET D'INFORMATIONS SUR LES PHENOMENES AEROSPATIAUX NON IDENTIFIES (G.E.I.P.A.N.):

NIEDERMODERN (67) 07.07.2012

Observed on: 07-07-2012
Region: Alsace
Department: Rhin (Bas)
Class: B
Summary: Observation by a witness of the silent move from 8 to 10 balls of ted-orange [sic, "red-orange"]: probable observation of the passage of Chinese lanterns.
Description:

A witness reported a sighting made on Saturday, July 7, 2012, at 10:40 p.m.. He observes the silent East-West passing of several balls of orange-yellow color all aligned and equidistant one behind the other.

The description of the witness immediately [sic, "makes think of"] Chinese lanterns: horizontal passage of balls of fire, in a group, silently, from East to West. In Strasbourg, the slow winds blew from North at 111 p.m. but from South at 8 p.m.; it is difficult to say that the wind blew from east in Niedermodern, but it is possible.

The private parties are numerous on the summer evenings Saturdays, and many end with a drop of Chinese lanterns.

GEIPAN classes this case "B" probable observation of Thai lanterns

Report: None.


Details of the testimony

Witness
Date of the observation 07-07-2012
Document number
Age Adult (more than 18)
Occupation High and Middle Executives
Sex Male
Reaction Active Curiosity
Credibility
Conditions
Environment Other
Weather conditions out of clouds
Hour of the observation Numbered: 10 p.m. - 00 a.m.
Reference frame Sky or clouds
Distance between phenomenon and witness Other (other words used, comparisons, etc.
Start of the observation Start of the observation by witness
End of the observation End of the observation by phenomenon
Localization
Angle of site Not-Specified;Not-Specified
Direction of observation Not-Specified
Heading East
Trajectory
Nature of the observation Others;Descriptive terms (lights, etc)
Characteristic of the observation Multiples
Global shape Round, circular, ball
Color Orange, fire
Apparent size Not-Specified
Apparent speed Not-Specified
Noise no noise
Effect on the environment Not-Specified
Number 2





CNES
geipan

JOINT HEAD OF THE TOULOUSE SPACE CENTER
GROUPE D’ETUDES ET D’INFORMATIONS SUR LES PHENOMENES AEROSPATIAUX NON IDENTIFIES
Phone: 05 61 27 48 01
Email: geipan@cnes.fr
Website: www.cnes-geipan.fr

FOREWORD
Standard testimony

As part of the activity of expertise of unidentified aerospace phenomena of the CNES, GEIPAN is working to collect, analyze and carefully consider testimonies gathered during observations of Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (UAP) while guaranteeing absolute privacy to the witnesses.

The rigor of the scientific process requires us to gather the most accurate and complete as possible information, without any intermediary. The best information document is thus one that is freely written by the witness himself. This is the purpose of the questionnaire we offer and which should be individual and be completed separately by each witness of the observation. It is divided in several parts:

  • A narration of the observation that we ask you to do before you read on the questionnaire. Even if you think you have already told your comment in a previous mail, thank you to kindly retell your observation.
  • A list of specific questions to make you clarify a number of data needed to analyze your observation. It is important to respond as fully as possible to the questions.
  • One or more photographs or one or more free sketches in order to work best on the cartographic restitution.

This questionnaire will be studied with the other documents dealing with the same phenomenon. When work is completed, we will let you know the conclusions we reach. These findings, attachments and the questionnaire will be published anonymously on the GEIPAN website.

Very important: if you are equipped with a computer and text software, Open Office or equivalent, save the document, fill it on your computer, and send it by email to GEIPAN in .doc or .pdf format. For possible handmade sketches, thank you to scan and insert them in the electronic document; if you do not have this option, send them by mail. For the signature, insert your scanned signature, or simply type your name.

If you do not have a computer, have it printed by one of your friends, or ask for a copy at GEIPAN and complete the document by hand and send it by mail after having kept a copy. We thank you in advance for your contribution to our work.

The GEIPAN



FRAME FOR GEIPAN USE ONLY

Name of the case:

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS QUESTIONNAIRE WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS

Witness information sheet

Name:

Date of birth: 08 / 26 / 1974 Sex: [ ] F [X] M

Home address

City:

Email:

Mobile phone

Professional occupation: military air traffic controller

Level of studies: BTS

Did you already testify? If so, you did it to:

[X] Gendarmerie Squad:
[ ] GEIPAN Name:
[ ] Private investigator(s) Name:
[ ] Ufologist(s) Name:
[ ] Journalist(s) Name:
[ ] Internet (Forum) Website:
[ ] Other(s): Name:

CNES-GEIPAN STANDARD INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONNAIRE v 2.01 Page 2



Observed phenomenon

Place of observation of thephenomenon:

Precise address:

City: NIEDERMODERN. Zip code: 67350

Date of observation: 07/07/2012

Age at the time of the observation: 37 ans

Hour of the start of the observation: At about 10:40 p.m.

Duration of the observation: 5 min

Dis other witnesses see the same phenomenon, if so, how many people: 6 people

Can you identify with the Google Map website (http://maps.google.fr) the place of observation, placing the phenomenon and yourself with a pencil.

1. Print the map from Google Map
2. Indicate your position, and that of the observation

When you have filled the questionnaire, check the documents you have filled or attached:

[ ] Free narrative
[ ] Questionnaire
[ ] Photographs of the environment (number: )
[ ] Sketch of the observed phenomenon (number: )
[ ] Google Map maps or plans (number: )
[ ] Photographs of the observation (number: )
[ ] Videos of the observation (number: )
[ ] Other:

CNES-GEIPAN STANDARD INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONNAIRE v 2.01 Page 3



Free narrative: part 1

This and the following pages are intended to be used to write independently, the story of your observation.

You are completely free of the form, substance and duration of your account (you can add additional pages if necessary).

Hello, I share with you my testimony about a phenomenon that probably must have been a satellite reentry. 8 to 10 "balls of fire" that is how I would describe this phenomenon, passing fom east to west on an almost perfect heading of 270°, clearly at very high altitude. First 2 separate balls, then 2 to 3 minutes later, a row of 6 to 8 ball (in the excitement I forgot to count precisely !!) all aligned and at equal intervals one behind the other with a difference of 3 to 5 seconds. You could "guess" the movement of the flames of the yellow-orange color balls, without any noises. I am at your disposal for any phone conversation. Regards

CNES-GEIPAN STANDARD INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONNAIRE v 2.01 Page 4



INFORMATION ON THE OBSERVATION ENVIRONMENT

This part is about knowing the physical environment in which you were at the time of observation. Be as specific as possible with maximum numerical indications. Always indicate the margin of uncertainty of the numbers you provide.

weather conditions at the time of observation

1.1 Indicate the color of the sky: Black sky cler cloudless

1.2 Indicate the weather at the time of observation, try to give the most possible detail even those who do not seem interesting, describe if there have been developments or changes before, during and after the observation.

No change of weather.

1.3 Indicate the presence of stars in the sky:

[ ] No visible stars
[X] Few stars
[ ] Starry sky
[ ] Extraordinarily starry sky
[ ] I did not pay attention
[ ] An obstacle prevented me to observe them

CNES-GEIPAN STANDARD INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONNAIRE v 2.01 Page 8



Description of the environment

Try to take one or more pictures of your observing site. Photos are a great help for investigations.

1.4 Describe the environment in which you find at the time of observation. Provide as much detail as possible, even those that do not seem important, such as soil type, lights etc.

Observation carried out on a concrete terrace with outdoor lights relatively strong hence the weak observation of stars.

1.5 Were you moving? Yes No [X]

1.6 Were you in a car? Yes No [X]

[ ] Bicycle
[ ] Car
[ ] Bus
[ ] Train
[ ] Montgolfier
[ ] Deltaplane
[ ] Ultralight
[ ] Small plane
[ ] Commercial plane
[ ] Helicopter
[ ] Boat
[ ] Other

Model and identification: ...

1.7 Were you in a building? Yes [ ] No [X]

Nature

Nature of the building and room(s) of observation:

1.8 Lighted or active equipment:

[ ] Radio (frequency: ) [ ] Headlights (number: )
[ ] Indoor lights (number: )
[ ] TV set (channel:)
[ ] Engine
[ ] Phone
[ ] Radar set
[ ] Other

CNES-GEIPAN QUESTIONNAIRE STANDARD INDIVIDUEL V2.01 Page 9



1.9 Did you see the phenomenon directly with your eyes? Yes

CNES-GEIPAN STANDARD INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONNAIRE V2.01 Page [?]



1.10 Indicate the presence of installations within a 20 km ray:

If you can, put these installations on a map or a Google Map image.

[ ] Power plant
[X] Discotheque
[X] Commercial mall
[ ] Military area
[ ] Nuclear plant
[X] Stadium
[X] Highway
[X] Radio Antennas
[ ] solar power plant
[ ] Airport
[ ] Harbor
[ ] Lighthouse
[X] Phone antennas
[ ] Windmill
[X] Electric line
[X] Railway
[X] Industrial area
[ ] Plant. Specify the associated type(s) of activities:

Property of castle hosting events (weddings, parties):

Other, specify:

Additional details about facilities, if necessary

1.11 1.11 Were there known noise sources at the time of observation, were these sounds intense, permanent (conversations, aircraft engines, automobiles, electric motors, television, radio):

CNES-GEIPAN STANDARD INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONNAIRE V2.01 Page [?]

The next page contains only one piece of information given by the witness: the observation was not interrupted by continuous.


In the next pages, the witness provided no informaiton.



Information about you

3.1 What was your occupation before your observation?

Discussion with family

3.2 What caused the end of the observation?

[X] The phenomenon [ ] Yourself

Specify:

3.3 What did you do after your observation?

I tried to contact my former colleagues in the detection and control center of DRACHENBRONN by phone to see if they had radar information. Unfortunately the site was closed for the weekend and I did not have the phone number of the center on duty. So I contacted the police via the 17 and my call led me to the duty service STRASBOURG, who took my statement.

3.4 What interpretation do you give to what you have observed?

The re-entry of several identified or unidentified objects.

3.5 Does this observation change your opinion on unidentified aerospace phenomena?

No.

3.6 Describe the emotions you felt during and after the observation.

The surprise then excitement and cool to keep a clear head and gather a maximum of information.

CNES-GEIPAN STANDARD INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONNAIRE V2.00 Page [?]

In the next pages, to use for maps and sketches, the witness provided no information.

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

LOOKING FOR WITNESS OBSERVATION BALLS OF FIRE VAL DE MODER AREA (67) ON 02/07/12 at about 10:30 p.m.

Message by Admin on Tue Jul 24 - 10:28 p.m.

By thomas

Did someone observe the move of objects fire ball style (or chinese lantern) in the number of 8 . Because after much research i find no document telling of a launch of lampoons in the area, knowing that i could observe the same phenomenon last year in august.

Admin

Discussion:

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 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 April 21, 2016 Creation, [ge1], [sp1].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 21, 2016 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 21, 2016