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ALSACAT:

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 of Bergheim, on June 27, 1866:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1866-06-27-BERGHEIM-1

Summary:

Ball lightning, a natural phenomenon occurring extremely rarely in stormy weather, is one of the many "ordinary" explanations that can be found, extremely rarely in this case, to UFO sighting reports.

Besides, just like "the UFO phenomenon", that of ball lightning had its deniers for a long time, assuring that this phenomenon simply did not exist.

There was a "special ball lightning" issue in UFO Informations, the ufology magazine of the "Association des Amis de Marc Thirouin" - Thirouin can be considered as the first French ufologist to carry out field investigations on sighting reports - #37, in 1982.

Among other things, there was a rich inventory of phenomena of the "ball lightning" type, and in a section "Unusual fantasies of lightning", we get this story, unfortunately without sources:

On June 27, 1866, in Bergheim (Haut-Rhin), a thunderbolt photographed the leaves of a lime tree on the backs of two men, overturning them, without killing them either. The learned physicist Hirn, of the Institute, wrote to me that the most skilful draftsman could not have done better.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: June 27, 1866
Time: ?
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1982
Reporting delay: Day, a century.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Bergheim
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.205
Longitude: 7.362
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 0
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Men.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Ufology magazine AAMT.
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: ?
UFO observed: ?
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: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: CE2
ALSACAT: Uncertain credibility, not UFO-related.

Sources:

[Ref. amt1:] UFOLOGY MAGAZINE "UFO INFORMATIONS":

Scan.

On June 27, 1866, in Bergheim (Haut-Rhin), a thunderbolt photographed the leaves of a lime tree on the backs of two men, overturning them, without killing them either. The learned physicist Hirn, of the Institute, wrote to me that the most skilful draftsman could not have done better.

Discussion:

Map.

Of course the story seems to be very anecdotal, maybe invented. I do not know whether ball lightning could really produce such an effect or not.

Evaluation:

Uncertain credibility, not UFO-related.

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 May 23, 2021 Creation, [1].
1.0 Patrick Gross May 23, 2021 First published.

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This page was last updated on May 23, 2021.