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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 Molsheim - Dorlisheim, on September 2, 2013:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2013-09-02-MOLSHEIMDORLISHEIM-1

Summary:

On a "UFO" blog, on September 8, 2013, the administrator, "Era Admin", published a report he said he received from one of his Facebook contacts, a sighting dated September 2, 2013, at 10 p.m.:

"I wanted to share with you my observation on Monday 10 p.m. at the foot of the Vosges, it was above molsheim, dorlisheim and headed towards the Vosges... In reading the testimony on your website made??me say that i saw the same thing ... 3 red lights in triangle... flew slowly... approx 500 to 1000 m ... then it made a turn it was 5 intense red lights and not orange as i have already seen in 2010 above Germany .... and then two white lights in the center ... i stopped on roadside no sound yet i live next to an airport therefore familiar with the different planes which mke lots of noise ... my observation lastted approx 6-7 minutes because i was on the phone with a friend who experienced this observation from a distance."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: September 2, 2013
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Duration: 6 to 7 minutes.
First known report date: September 6, 2013
Reporting delay: 1 to 6 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Molsheim - Dorlisheim
Place: In the sky, seen from car on edge of the road near Vosges mountains.
Latitude: 48.533
Longitude: -7.488
Uncertainty ratio: 10 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: In the sky, seen from car on edge of the road, in the country.
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: ?
Witnesses interpretation: UFOs

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible Chinese lanterns.

Sources:

[Ref. ea1:] BLOG "ERA ADMIN":

Call to witnesses – 3 red lights in triangle in the Vosges

Era Admin note :
I appeal for witnesses after receiving the testimony of one of my Facebook contacts. The sighting took place on Monday, September 2, 2013 at 10 p.m. in the Vosges. If you also have witnessed it, please contact Area51blogue@gmail.com or ufoetscience@live.fr.
Do not contact me if you are not serious

"I wanted to share with you my observation on Monday 10 p.m. at the foot of the Vosges, it was above molsheim, dorlisheim and headed towards the Vosges... In reading the testimony on your website made??me say that i saw the same thing ... 3 red lights in triangle... flew slowly... approx 500 to 1000 m ... then it made a turn it was 5 intense red lights and not orange as i have already seen in 2010 above Germany .... and then two white lights in the center ... i stopped on roadside no sound yet i live next to an airport therefore familiar with the different planes which mke lots of noise ... my observation lastted approx 6-7 minutes because i was on the phone with a friend who experienced this observation from a distance."

Discussion:

Note that the observation is at the foot of the Vosges mountains, in the department of Bas-Rhin, not in the department of the Vosges.

The testimony was published on a website with "New Age" and mystical decorations and links to crackpot websites, it really does not look serious and sober. The website has a menu button to contact G.E.R.U., a UFO group. Maybe this site is their new website? Or the personal blog of a G.E.R.U. member?

The story is presented as a "call to witness", but apparently nobody responded.

According to the story, these were lights in the sky, red and white, apparently moving slowly, turning, seen for six or 7 minutes. There are no angular sizes, no elevations, no weather indications. The "triangle" should be understood soberly, as 3 lights necessarily form the corners of a triangle, there is no reason to imagine they would be attached to anything such as a spacecraft.

There seems to be successive phases: first three lights, then five, then two in the center of these five, if I understand correctly.

So an ordinary explanation is obviously possible, without invoking airplanes or helicopters, as I note that the witness tells us explicitly that he would have heard the noise if these were planes.

The most obvious explanation is that it was some Chinese lanterns.

Chinese lanterns are certainly more often of orange color than any other color. But manufacturers have been selling Chinese lanterns of all colors in the recent years (see the image below, from a well-known dealer's website), including red and white.

The altitude, the "gentle" flight, the silence, the duration, everything in the report is perfectly consistent with this explanation.

In general, that day in the Bas-Rhin, there was a south wind with an average speed of 5 km / h. The witness does not give a direction, does not give his own localization, but if it went from Molsheim - Dorlisheim towards the Vosges, it was going East to West, visually from his position.

I do not claim to provide a "scientifically proven" explanation here. Maybe it was a fleet of extraterrestrial spacecraft, why not? But I see that the most obvious explanation has not been mentioned, and that no one conducted any investigation - which could have confirmed or rejected my proposed explanation.

Evaluation:

Possible 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 March 17, 2014 Creation, [ea1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 17, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 17, 2014