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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 Champenay, on October 13, 2013:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2013-10-13-CHAMPENAY-1

Summary:

In early March 2014, I found on a UFO website a report by anonymous witness who said that on October 13, 2013, at 09:35 p.m., he made an observation of about 3 seconds in Champenay the in Bas-Rhin, of a teardrop-shaped green light illuminating like a full headlight.

The witness, who said he does not drink and was wearing his glasses, indicates that according to the notes he took, he was walking his dog returning to his house at 150 meters, when a light illuminated the trees as if a car had been coming from behind him. He was surprised because he did not hear a car.

He saw that the light came from above and moved fast and he looked up, and then see a teardrop-shaped green light two or three bigger than a smoke device of firework that would have been launched in that direction.

He says, to give a comparison, that if there had not been a total absence of sound, before, during, and after the event, if the size had not been too big and too the light had not been too strong, it could have been a "smoke device or firework" that would have been launched in the forest behind him 200 meters away.

He indicates that the distance on which the light was visible was about as long as that of a "beautiful shooting star", but he thought it was too close to be a shooting star, given the movement of the shadows on the lighted trees.

Then, in about 1-2 seconds maximum, the light disappeared "about 200 meters" in front and above his garden, as no obstacles or clouds could have hid it there: there was a slight fog around, but the sky was clear at that time and the light was well-defined.

He indicated that the speed was too fast to distinguish anything more than vague contours "like a comet?". The size was similar to that of the lamppost in front of him at 100 meters.

The UFO" "website that received and published this testimony offers no explanation and no comment, but it is beyond doubt that this person saw a meteor; which was seen and filmed by others in the area at 09:36 p.m. that night.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 13, ,2013
Time: 09:35 p.m.
Duration: ~3 seconds.
First known report date: March 1, 2014, or earlier.
Reporting delay: Hours, months?

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Champenay
Place: Outside near home, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.414
Longitude: 7.15
Uncertainty ratio: 1 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: On the web to the UFO website "OVNI-France.fr".
Type of location: Outside near home in village, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Uncertain
UFO departure observed: Uncertain
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: UFO

Classifications:

Hynek: LN
ALSACAT: The 9:36 p.m. meteor on the Vosges.

Sources:

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

10/13/2013 - (Dep.67) - Green light lighting more than full headlights, teardrop shape

Date: 13-10-2013

Département: 67 (Bas-Rhin)

Localisation: champenay

Time: 21h35

Numbers [sic] of witnesses: 1 people

Type of observation: NL: Nocturnal Lights

Approxima [sic] duration of the observation: 3 secondes

What was seen: green light lighting more than full headlights, teardrop shape

Description of the facts:

hello, I do not drink, I had ma glasses on, here are my notes:

1st reaction: Walking my dog while going back to my house, at 150m, a light illuninates the trees like if a car was coming from behind me. I tell to myself that I did not hear anything.

2nd phase: the light comes from above and moves very fast, I look up.

3rd: vision of a green teardrop which is two/three times bigger than a snoke device/fireworks that would have been launched in that direction. to give a comparison, if there had not been the total lack of sound during before and after, the too large size and the too strong light, it could have been a fireworks of the smoke device kind that would have been launched in the forest behind me at 200.

4th phase: distance visible about as long as a big shooting star, but much too close to be one of them given the movement of shadows on the lighted trees.

5th phase: about 1 to 2 seconds maximum, the light disappears approximately 200m in front above my garden, without obstacle that could have hid it or clouds.

Despite the slight fog, the sky was lear at that time and the light was well-defined.

Speed too fast to distinguish anything else that vague contours (like a comet ?) of a size similar to that of the lampost in front of me at 100m.

jfk2539

Discussion:

By reading the description, everything suggests it was a meteor. A large, green and fast meteor.

Above: a green meteor.

The witness thinks that it was not a meteor because of the movement of shadows on the ground. His idea was that since these shadows changed direction, the object was necessarily close. But in fact, this is happening also if the object is far away and fast and crosses an important angle of the sky. That is what this sort of meteor does, velocities relative to the ground being in the 20,000 to 80,000 kilometers per hour.

I searched other witnesses reports of a meteor at that date and time and in a consistent place.

I found a meteor that day seen from Rosheim at 09:36 p.m.:


The meteorite-fireball of October 13, 2013

October 15, 2013 10:51 PM

Sunday evening October 13, 2013, at 09:36 p.m. Local Time 07:36 p.m. UTC, observed from Rosheim near Obernai in Alsace, a very large meteorite was seen entering the atmosphere between the stars Alpha and Gamma Cygni south of Zenith. It went across the entire south-eastern part of the sky to disappear between Delta and Eta Aquarius. Its trajectory stretched over more than 50 degrees across the sky. The track began with a beautiful golden yellow color to green at Epsilon Pegasus. Then it expanded by taking a fluorescent green color. Its speed slowed down to a fifth during the travel. At Lamda Aquarius the meteorite exploded in a violent green ball surrounded by a yellow halo. The size of the ball had reached the diameter of the Moon (~ 0.5°). The light was so violent that it lit the place of observation more than the Moon in Aquarius with its 0.71 gibbous phase and its -11 magnitude. However no particular sound was heard in the minute that followed. The phenomenon lasted between 3 and 4 seconds, resulting in a very strong emotion.

So we see it crossed a large portion of the sky, 50°; which confirms the trees shadows direction change.

In fact, witnesses are not lacking, I found for example, at allskycamfrance.frenchboard.com/t557-bolide-au-dessus-de-la-lorraine-13-10-2013-21h36-13-lt :

Hello,

This won't serve much, but I want to emphasize that this re-entry [sic] was reported to me by a relative last night Sunday, October 13th at 10 p.m. (he gave me a probable time between 9:40 p.m. 9:30 p.m.)

He was then on the road from Mulhouse to Strasbourg (northbound), specifically on the RN83/A36 between Colmar and the Haut-Koenigsbourg which should be in the left visual field.

He and his wife did not see the object directly, but saw the sky light in blue "like a full moon night" for 3 to 4 seconds. The moon was already present in the South (Gibbous 189 ° and 29 ° az elec, -11.61 mag according to Stellarium), it seems to suggest a magnitude much higher than the measure actually recorded by the fireball camera.

I will try to clarify the observation according to the witnesses feedback.

[...]

This website provides a video of this meteor recorded on an automatic camera.

A participant in the website's forum indicates that despite the lack of astrometric data, this meteor likely disintegrated and/or fell down in a triangle roughly formed of Luneville - Epinal - Saint-Dié.

Finally, there is at least one other case in which it was reported in a UFO context: case ALSACAT-2013-10-13-CHAMPENAY-1.

Above: a green meteor.

Evaluation:

The 9:36 p.m. meteor on the Vosges.

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 10, 2014 Creation, [of1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 10, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 10, 2014