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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.

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Case in Alsace, in 1275:

Case number:



It was indicated in the chronicles and annals of the Dominican monks of Colmar, written from 1294 to 1296, that in 1275, around Easter, two circles having the color of the rainbow were seen near the sun; which were interrupted and seemed to form two crosses.


Temporal data:

Date: About easter.
Time: ?
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1296
Reporting delay: 4 decades.

Geographical data:

Department: ?
City: ?
Place: Colmar?
Latitude: 48.078
Longitude: 7.356
Uncertainty radius: 60 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: Contemporary local chronicle.
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: ?
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: ?
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: ?


Hynek: ?
ALSACAT: Probable solar halo.


[Ref. hby1:] HENRI BARDY:


About the climate of Alsace in the XIIIth century

The following facts are recorded in the Annales des Dominicains de Colmar, a work from the 13th century which constitutes one of the important monuments in the history of Germany in the Middle Ages, and which is, without a doubt, the capital document of the history of Alsace during the period to which it refers (1211 - 1308).

These notes are given according to the excellent edition of the royal library of Stuttgart, by Messrs. Gérard, lawyer at the imperial court of Colmar, and Liblin, director of the Revue d'Alsace (Colmar, 1854).


1276. -- [...]

A red cloud appeared above the city of Strasbourg which turned into a cross after Palm Sunday. The previous year, around Easter, one had similarly seen, near the sun, two circles having the color of the rainbow, which were interrupted and seemed to form two crosses.


I am personally not very keen on calling "UFO" this sort of things that can be found in ancient chronicles.

But many ufologists reported such things, usually with the idea of showing that aerial phenomena that may have qualified as UFOs exist since "time immemorial", not just since the beginning of a "flying saucer hype".

That's why I noted down that phenomenon, especially as a trivial explanation seems to me less obvious than many other ancient stories of this kind, quickly called "UFO of the past."

The place is probably Colmar, but it is not certain.

The phenomenon strongly resembles a solar halo, a phenomenon of diffraction of sunlight by clouds of ice crystals, as shown below:

Halo solaire.


Probable solar halo.

Sources references:

* = Source is available to me.
? = Source I am told about but could not get so far. Help needed.

File history:


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

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 5, 2023 Creation, [hby1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 5, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 5, 2023.