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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 Kingersheim, on January 1, 2013:

Case number:



In March 2014, I found on a "UFO" website a report about nocturnal lights, that is to say "red dots in the sky" observed by "Pascal" on January 1st, 2013, at 00:15 a.m. from Kingersheim, near Mulhouse in the Haut-Rhin.

He says that in the south-south-westerly direction, he observed five red dots, "stabilized", "pentagonal" and another isolated one in the East, and the five red dots did not look like stars and had "nothing to do with firecrackers" because they "are aligned as if they respected a specific distance" but "lined up at different speeds."

He added that there was another person with him who observed this, he was not drunk, he knows the difference "between a plane, a star and firecrackers in the sky" and that he should not be scoffed.


Temporal data:

Date: January 1, 2013
Time: 00:15 a.m.
Duration: 2 minutes or more.
First known report date: August 30, 2013 or earlier
Reporting delay: Minutes, months?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Kingersheim
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.790
Longitude: 7.334
Uncertainty ratio: 1 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: ?
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: Not planes, not firecrackers, not stars.


Hynek: LN
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanterns.



01-01-2013 - ( Dép.68 ) - Red dots in the sky

Date: 01-01-2013

Department: 68 (Haut-Rhin)

Localization: kingersheim

Time: 00:15 a.m.

Numbers [sic] of witnesses: 2 people

Type of observation: NL: Nocturnal Lights

Approxima [sic] duration of the observation: 6 minutes

What was seen: points rouges dans le ciel

Description of the facts:

From kingersheim, direction" south south West ", 5 red dots stabilized in the shape of a pentagon and another one alone in the direction "east" far on the side

the 5 red dots do not ressemble stars and have nothing to do with firecrackers .

the proof is, the 5 dots lined up as if they were respecting a precise ditance.

then once in a line, they followed th one that was alone for 2 min before disappearing.

the 5 that have fromed a line ,did it with different sppeds , you would have said they respected a distance to maneuver.

i specify that this phenomenon was seen by a person with me, and that i had not been drinking and i am able to make a didderence between a plane, a star and firecrackers in he sky.

so the morons that laugh about everyone, thanks letting go

happy new year to all in the meantime


August 30, 2013 by matkab

I saw the same thing last night. I was with a friend on my terrace and that was not a hallucination! 7 red dots appeared, disappeared and moved slowly losing the intensity .. I tried to find that that could have been on the web and there wasnt really much convincing stuff .. Frankly given the brightness of the thing (very bright red) and their move (speed, trajectory and accurate alignment) I do not believe too much in these stories of Chinese lanterns pushed by the wind.

In short, a mystery that puzzled us a lot ...


Many ufologists know the situation of the "three lights, which formed a triangle": three points always form a triangle, by definition, and the question of whether the three lights are attached to a single object, triangular or not, is an entirely different matter.

Here we have "five lights that form a pentagon". This is the same situation: five points always form a pentagon, by definition. It has nothing to do with a demonstration that the 5 lights are part of a single object, pentagonal or not.

It is quite obvious that the description of what was seen is a description of a flight of Chinese lanterns. Coincidentally, this was New Year's Eve, just after midnight, one of those occasions where Alsatians launch Chinese lanterns, especially since the use of firecrackers is strongly regulated. We also see that the witness says "firecrackers in the sky" for "fireworks". We see that he is probably right, those were not planes, not fireworks, not stars, but we also see that he did not seem to have heard of Chinese lanterns, he did not mention them.

The first "false UFOs" caused by Chinese lanterns that I identified were in the United States during the airship wave of 1896-1897, it also happened during the 1954 French "saucers" flap, including in Alsace (Example), it happened during the wave of 1973 in the United States (Example), etc. As there are years-long gaps in their use, some ufologists, too many ufologists, and of course the witnesses, forget them as a possible cause for UFO sightings.


Probable Chinese lanterns.

Sources references:

* = Source is available to me.
? = Source I am told about but could not get so far. Help needed.

File history:


Main author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 24, 2014 Creation, [of1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 24, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 24, 2014