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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 Strasbourg, on December 14, 2016:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2016-12-14-STRASBOURG-1

Summary:

On December 15, 2016, I received an email from a lady giving her name, first name, telephone number, and indicating that she saw on December 14, 2016, at 10 p.m., a "phenomenon in the sky" of Strasbourg.

She said that at 09:45 p.m., a very bright white ball appeared in the sky of Strasbourg at 126░ in the Southeast, seen from the balcony where she was with her husband.

This luminous ball "was moving horizontally and slowly enough and we thought it was a plane although there are no planes usually in this area."

It stayed there until 10 p.m. at 132 ░, and because of its immobility, they thought it was a drone.

The lady took more pictures and also filmed the thing, she attached 5 photos, visible lower in this file.

As the ball seemed to be still, she took her binoculars to see what it was and she could see that there were blue, green, yellow and red lights flashing very quickly, though this was not visible to the naked eye.

While she was watching with the binoculars, the ball moved and seemed to come in the direction of the couple, the shape grew very quickly, "like a soccer ball," "super bright"; they got scared and hurried back into their apartment.

From the photos, I was able to determine that it was actually the moon.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: December 14, 2016
Time: 21:44
Duration: More than 27 minutes.
First known report date: December 15, 2016
Reporting delay: 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Strasbourg
Place: From residence, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.576
Longitude: 7.744
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adults or aged.
Witness(es) types: Couple.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: From home balcony, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: N/A
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: The Moon.

Sources:

[Ref. pg1:] EMAIL SENT TO ME:

Subject: 12/14/2016 STRASBOURG at 10PM phenomenon in the sky Sent on: December 15, 2016, 11:05 p.m. From: [First Name] [Name] - [Name].[First Name]@gmail.com To: patrick.gross@inbox.com

Good evening,

I wanted to inform you that last night (12/14/2016) at 9:45 pm a very bright white ball appeared in the sky of Strasbourg at 126 ░ SE latitude taken from the balcony where I was with my husband.

This luminous ball was moving horizontally and slowly enough and we thought it was a plane although there are no planes usually in this area.

It stayed there until 10 PM at 132 ░ SE, because of its immobility we then thought it was a drone.

I took several pictures and I filmed too.

As this ball seemed to be motionless I took my binoculars to try to see what it was and then I could see that there were blue, green, yellow and red lights flashing very quickly (while nothing was visible to the naked eye).

While I was watching with the binoculars, the ball moved and seemed to come in our direction, the shape grew very quickly (like a soccer ball) super bright; we got scared and hurried back to the apartment.

Have you had other identical testimonies? because this story has really upset my husband and me.

Attached are the photos I took.

My phone [Phone number]
Waiting to read you, thank you

The attached photographs were as follows:

Discussion:

Here firstly, data about the photographs I received.

I published them above without any editing, including no change in their size, they are here as I received them.

The EXIF data indicate that these images come from a SAMSUNG SM-C101 photo camera. This is a camera per se, not a mobile phone camera, its resolution is 16 megapixels. The images are 1920 by 1080 pixels, "1080p" or "Full HD", with a vertical and horizontal resolution of 72 dpi. The flash was not used. The sensitivity is ISO-1250. The white balance was in automatic mode.

Date and time Focal Exposure Focal sistance Max. aperture
14/12/2016 21:44:44 F4/9 1/6 second 13 mm 4.58
14/12/2016 21:45:25 F4/9 1/6 second 13 mm 4.58
14/12/2016 22:11:40 F5/4 1/6 second 18 mm 4.86
14/12/2016 22:11:45 F6/3 1/6 second 43 mm 5.31
14/12/2016 22:11:55 F6/3 1/6 seconde 240 mm 5.31

From this can be deduced that the observation started no later than 09:44:44 p.m., and ended no earlier than 10:11:55 p.m.. This is consistent with the observation start at 09:45 p.m. and the end of observation at 10:00 p.m. indicated by the witness.

Some ordinary explanations can be easily excluded:

Chinese lantern: These miniature hot air balloon, since 2005, explain a large majority of sightings in Alsace - and elsewhere - but here they cannot be the cause of the sighting. First, the images show no resemblance to those of Chinese lanterns, then, tit is a fact that the lanterns can not stay in the air for 27 minutes or more, they exhaust their fuel in 5 to 10 minutes.

Plane: no plane would remain like that in the air at an almost fixed position in the sky during such long time.

Astronomical: meteors and shooting stars are obviously out of the question. A fixed luminous "thing" is often Venus, or some bright star or planet. The witness gives us a direction "126░ SE", so it would be unjustified - even if the images seem too "impressive" for an astronomical explanation - not to check the corresponding map of the sky.

Two notable celestial bodies are in the sky then. The Moon, at 104░ and an elevation of 37░34', a full moon with 98.7% of its surface illuminated, and Sirius, almost "dead on" at the azimuth of 124 ░ 29' and the low elevation of 6░34', with a significant visual magnitude (BSC5) of -1.46.

However, it turns out that if we look at the first two images, those with the lowest focal length, we see that there are around the "UFO", small luminous dots. One is lower on its right. This small, star-like luminous body is probably a star. On its right, higher, we would have another star (Note that at this moment I could still think that these lights could be planes or "noise" or something else, however.) Venus is down since 20:03.

Using a strong contrast on the first image, I was able to highlight more "stars":

As I wanted to make sure that the dots were not just electronic noise I did the same with the second photograph:

It seems that I get the "same stars", quite certainly. This also indicates that the luminous power of the "UFO" is incomparably stronger than that of stars or planets, and that a mistake with a star or even a planet can be excluded.

So there remains the moon.

Here is what I find about it.

We see that there is a bright enough star, the most visible, and on its right and lower, a "row" of three stars. On the right and higher than the strongest star, another star is quite visible. I searched for a correspondence with the stars visible from this place and at that moment and in this direction, and I get:

I can now put the stars names on the photo:

Yes, this is it: the UFO was the Moon.

Evaluation:

The Moon.

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 February 3, 2018 Creation, [pg1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 3, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 3, 2018.