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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 Turckheim, on May 26, 2013:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2013-05-26-TURCKHEIM-1

Summary:

On July 9, 2014, Christian Valentin, a former journalist who wrote in 2012 a very interesting book about the history of UFO sightings in Alsace, published on his blog a report of an observation of the night from Saturday to Sunday, May 26, 2013.

Mr. M. B., a retired policeman, and his mate, drove their vehicle on the D 417 road, from Munster towards Colmar. There was a full moon that the witness located on the right of the vehicle, on the south side of the valley.

At 01:15 a.m., at the level of the roundabout of Saint Gilles, M. B. noticed several bright discs on his left. His mate stopped the vehicle about 200 meters after the roundabout on the side of the road, and both got out of the car to watch.

The first two discs were located next to the poer tower, above the Letzenberg hill. and the last one was to the right, towards Colmar. All three were motionless under the cloud layer. Two of them were of substantially equal diameter. The third, the largest, had the apparent size of a thumb at arms outstretched, about 2 degrees (the note on the apparent size comes directly from the control). The discs were all of bright orange color, with sharp contours, and were visible for about a minute. The gap between the larger discs and the farthest disc, on the right toward Colmar, represented the distance between the tip of the thumb and the little finger of his outstretched hand, fingers spread, an angular distance about 20 degrees.

The three discs disappeared suddenly and simultaneously like a lamp that goes out, after that a new disc of the same color appeared for ten seconds, smaller, and it seemed located farther above the Kaysersberg Valley.

M. B. immediately went to the nearest police station of Colmar to register his testimony.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 26, 2013
Time: 01:15 a.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: July 9, 2014
Reporting delay: 2 weeks.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Turckheim
Place: From the edge of the D 417 road 200 meters after the Saint-Gilles roundabout, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.077
Longitude: 7.273
Uncertainty ratio: 50 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1 or 2
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Aged.
Witness(es) types: Retired policeman and his mate.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Local ufologist Christian Valentin.
Type of location: Roadside in the country, 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: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanterns.

Sources:

[Ref. cv3:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2013 - TURCKHEIM Sector

Published July 9, 2014, by VALENTIN Christian

Mr. M. B., a retired policeman, and his mate, circulated at the wheel of their vehicle on the night from Saturday to Sunday, May 26, 2013, on the road D 417 from Munster towards Colmar. The moon was full that night and stood, in the words of the witness, on the right of the vehicle, in the south side of the valley.

It is 1:15, at the level of the Saint Gilles railway crossing, when M.B. noticed several bright discs on his left.

His mate stopped the vehicle about 200 meters after the crossing on the side of the road, and both get out of the car to watch.

The first two discs were located next to the power tower, above the hill of the Letzenberg and the last to the right, towards Colmar. All three were motionless under the cloud layer. Two of them were of substantially equal diameter. The third, the largest, had the apparent size of a thumb at arms outstretched, about 2 degrees (the remark on the apparent size comes directly from the witness). The discs were all of bright orange color, with sharp contours, and were visible for about a minute. The gap between the larger discs and the farthest, on his right toward Colmar, representing the distance between the tip of the thumb and little finger of his outstretched hand, fingers spread, an apparent diameter of about 20 degrees.

The three discs disappeared suddenly and simultaneously like a lamp going out, after which appeared for ten seconds a new disc of the same color, smaller, that seemed located farther above the Kaysersberg Valley.

M. B. immediately went to the closest police station of Colmar to have his testimony recorded.

Discussion:

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.

In this case, I think they are the dieal culprit.

Evaluation:

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:

Authoring:

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

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross July 26, 2015 Creation, [cv31].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 26, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 26, 2015