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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 Colmar, on January 1, 2014:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2014-01-01-COLMAR-1

Summary:

A local news website of Besançon had published an article about "strange balls of light" seen there in the sky; which were obviously Chinese lanterns. Numerous readers commented it with their own story of "balls of light in the sky", all over France including Alsace.

Among these stories, there was that of a person saying they had seen very briefly in the night the New Year's Eve on December 31, 2013 to January 1, 2014 in Colmar, a "phenomenon", three "balls of fire that moved as if carried by the wind", finding it "very strange".

The same person or another published on a "UFO" website an observation report on the same date at 00:20 a.m. in Colmar, an approximately 2 minutes observation from the edge of some fields.

The person, "Sandy", said she came out to get some air after the Happy New Year wishes, and after walking in the street near the fields, she looked up at the stars because the sky was partly Clear.

She then noticed that two stars seemed to move away, and she followed their flight going from the plain towards the Vosges mountains.

Both lights were of orange color and quite bright. She saw no flashing light so she thought they weren't planes or helicopters. The two bright spots were advancing slowly on a curved path and she clearly saw their color and brightness.

These two orange lights eventually disappeared towards the mountains and the clouds.

Then a third light of the same type came from the same direction, while the other two were no longer visible, and it followed the same route and then disappeared into the clouds.

Meanwhile, fireworks were still underway in neighboring villages or in private homes.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: January 1, 2014
Time: 00:20 a.m.
Duration: ~2 minutes.
First known report date: January 2, 2014
Reporting delay: 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Colmar
Place: Near fields.
Latitude: 48.080
Longitude: 7.357
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: On the web in answer to article on orange lights, and to UFO website "OVNI-France.fr".
Type of location: Near fields.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanternes.

Sources:

[Ref. bt1:] WITNESS REPORT ON THE WEBSITE "LE BISON TEINT":

Following an article about "mysterious balls" - obviously Chinese lanterns seen in Besançon, readers commented with their own sighting report, including from Alsace, such as this one:

hartmann wrote on 02/01/2014 at 10:30 p.m.

On the night of Christmas Eve from 31 December 2013 to 1 January 2014 in Colmar in Alsace we have seen this phenomenon 3 balls of fire that followed each other as if carried by the wind it was really weird

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

01-01-2014 - (Dep.68) - Orange colored balls

Date: 01-01-2014

Department: 68 (Haut-Rhin)

Localization: COLMAR

Time: 00H20

Numbers [sic] of witnesses: 0 people

Type of observation: NL: Nocturnal Lights

Approxima [sic] duration of the observation: 2 minutes

What was seen: Orange colored balls

Description of the facts:

I went out to get some fresh air after the Happy New Year Wishes. 2014.

After walking in the street near the fields, I looked up at the stars because the sky was partly cloudy.

I then noticed that two stars seemed to move away. So I carefully followed their paths that led from the plain towards the mountains (Vosges).

Both lights were orange colored and quite bright. No light or flash suggested an airplane or a helicopter.

These two light points advancing gently on a curved path let clearly see their color and brightness.

These two orange lights then eventually disappeared towards the mountains and in the clouds.

Then a third point of the same type came from the same direction (the other 2 were no longer visible) and took the same route and then disappear into the distant clouds.

Meanwhile, fireworks were still underway in neighboring villages or in private homes.

Sandy

Discussion:

This was on a January 1st, just after midnight. New Year's Eve.

What do people often do then in Alsace?

Party, as everywhere in France, but more importantly, we launch Chinese lanterns, especially since firecrackers are severely regulated now.

And what does our witness describe? A Chinese lantern...

Of course, diehards might protest that I do not provide "scientific proof" it was Chinese lanterns and they may want to believe that this was perhaps alien spaceships or a "paranormal phenomenon" taking the looks and behavior of Chinese lanterns...

Evaluation:

Probable Chinese lanternes.

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 April 8, 2014 Creation, [bt1], [of1].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 8, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 8, 2014