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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 Saint-Louis, on May 8, 2013:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2013-05-08-SAINTLOUIS-1

Summary:

In early March 2014, I found on a "UFO" website a report by a witness under a pseudonym claiming to have observed for 2 minutes on May 8, 2013 at 2 p.m. an oval object in the sky from her garden in Saint-Louis, in the Haut-Rhin, 4 km from the airport.

The person said she was lying on a deck chair in the garden, there were a few clouds in a generally clear sky, and she watched the planes that went high in the sky, there were four at the same time and she could clearly see their trails, in the south.

She then saw an object that had a different shape from that of the observed planes. She spotted it because it shone, and she concluded that it was because the sun reflected off the object. It flew lower than the planes, and she was able to distinguish its oval shape, like a rugby ball.

She went to the shade for a better look. It traveled a great arc of circle, "south/south-west." She went to get her camera and when she got back, the object was not in sight anymore.

At the time, she thought of a satellite, and the next day at the same time slot, she observed the sky, but in vain.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 8, 2013
Time:
Duration: ?
First known report date: March 1, 2014, or earlier.
Reporting delay: Hours, months?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Saint-Louis
Place: In the garden of a home.
Latitude: 47.586
Longitude: 7.563
Uncertainty ratio: 1.5 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: On the web to UFO website "OVNI-France".
Type of location: From home garden, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Daylight, sunny.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: No
Entities: No
Photographs: No, no time to get camera.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: DD
ALSACAT: Possible helicopter or other aircraft, low strangeness.

Sources:

[Ref. of1:] "OVNI-FRANCE.FR" WEBSITE:

05/08/2013 - (Dep.68) - observation of an oval Object high in the sky

Date: 05/08/2013

Department: 68 (Haut-Rhin)

Localization: Saint-louis

Time: 2 p.m.

Numbers [sic] of witnesses: 1 people

Type of observation: DD: Daylight Discs

Approxima [sic] duration of the observation: 2 minutes

What was seen: observation of an oval Object high in the sky

Description of the facts:

On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, around 2 p.m., I was lying on a lounge chair in my garden,the sky with some clouds but quite clear anyway, I watched the planes that went very high in the sky because there were 4 at the same time and I distinguished their trails well (full south). I specify that I live 4 km from an airport.

Then,there appeared an object with a different shape from that of the observed planes, I spotted as it shone, I deduced that it was the sun that reflected on this object.It was flying lower than the planes, I was able to distinguish its oval shape, like a rugby ball.

I went to the shade for a better look, it followed a wide arc,south/southwest, I went to get my camera but when I came back I had lost it.

At the time,I thought of a satellite.

The following day, in the same time slot, I watched the sky, in vain!

Auraxia68

Discussion:

The report lacks too much information to decide for some certain explanation. The angular displacement - the portion of sky covered - is not specified, the angular size of the object is missing, its angular velocity - how long did t take to traveled the portion of the sky - is missing, and we should have been told whether the object was noisy or silent.

It might have been a helicopter. I have often seen one or the other helicopter in that French border sector. From a distance, it can appear oval-shaped, and it can reflect the sun. Its noise is indistinguishable when it is too far, when there is too much noise of cars or airplanes in the area.

I obviously cannot prove that it was a helicopter; it is just what I see as a possibility among others. Nothing in the report suggests something more extraordinary.

Below:

I took this photo of a distant but still visually recognizable helicopter on February 1, 2014 at 02:26 p.m. from the Swiss-French border near Saint-Louis before Basel, and in the direction of the Basel-Mulhouse airport the witness said is 4 km from the place of her observation. The helicopter was probably from the French law enforcement: it flew above a demonstration that took place there that day.

With the nearby road traffic the helicopter was still audible when paying attention. It is pictures from the front, so the shape is not oval. But higher, seen from below, reflecting the sun, it could be what the witness saw.

Evaluation:

Possible helicopter or other aircraft, low strangeness.

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 March 21, 2014 Creation, [of1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 21, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 21, 2014