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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 of Lautenbach-Zell, on February 3, 2006:

Case number:



The Alsatian ufology group SPICA reported in their newsletter an observation they apparently received by email; which they date from Saturday, February 3, 2006, and locate in Lautenbach-Zell in the Haut-Rhin.

The person wrote that on Saturday, February 3rd at 09:30 p.m. at a few meters from their home in the forest in Lautenbach-Zell in the Florival valley, with his/her friend, he/she had seen two red luminous dots that rose at about 20 meters from the ground, then went very quickly horizontally, then went up again and hovered a few seconds.

But they never saw them go down again "because the red lights were no longer lit." At least four or five times, there was also a sound, a kind of whistling, "like a remote-controlled device," but they think it could not be that because the sound was coming from the forest.

They went to check the next day but saw nothing abnormal.


Temporal data:

Date: February 3, 2006
Time: 09:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: May 2007
Reporting delay: Days, 15 months.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Lautenbach-Zell
Place: From front of the home near the forest, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.938
Longitude: 7.153
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported to the SPICA Alsatian ufology group.
Type of location: From front of the home near the forest, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
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: Unexplained.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible Chinese lanterns.



Lautenbach zell (68) - Saturday, February 3, 2006

I am writing to you because Saturday, February 3, at 09:30 p.m. in front of our home, or rather a few meters from us in the forest at Lautenbach Zell in the Florival Valley, my friend and I saw 2 red points of light that rose about 20 m ground and then went quickly horizontally, and again went up and stagnated a few seconds. But we never saw them go down again because the red lights were not illuminated anymore. At least 4 or 5 times, there was also a kind of a noise, a hiss in fact, like a remote-controlled device, but it could not be that because it was coming from the forest. We went there to check the next day but did not see anything wrong, what do you think?



The color, the light going off, the successive appearances, make think these were possibly Chinese lanterns. The report is not precise enough to be really sure, but it seems very possible or even likely.

Since 2005, Chinese lanterns constitute the bulk of the "testimonies" of UFOs found on websites devoted to the subject of UFOs and essentially publishing such "web report"; generally the only treatment is the publication, without any information on a possible cause, without any investigation or comment.

In Alsace, such releases are especially popular now since fireworks and firecrackers, long tolerated, are now prohibited for use unless special exemptions; Alsatians therefore largely adopted the lanterns.

As these lanterns are usually released at private or public parties, they are most often seen on Saturday nights, often at wedding dates or official festivities such as the National Day or New Year's Eve, usually between 10 p.m. and midnight. They are then usually released in clusters. But sometimes the purchaser performs a "test flight" a few days before, sometimes with a single lantern.


A Chinese lantern.


Possible Chinese lanterns.

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 March 15, 2018 Creation, [spa1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 15, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 15, 2018.