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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 Labaroche, on January 1, 2010:

Case number:



On the popular astronomy website "Ciel des Hommes", Kevin, from Freland, asked if what he and friends had seen on the night from December 31, 2009, to January 1, 2010, from the town hall of Labaroche in Alsace were meteorites.

He said that they were "relatively large" orange dots that followed each other by groups of two or three and suddenly disappeared in the sky at the horizon without exploding. They had seen a dozen of them, and it looked nothing like fireworks.

He was answered the next day January 2, 2010, that what was seen does absolutely not resemble meteorites, but much more Chinese lanterns, and it was noted that the festive date was logical for this kind of activity.


Temporal data:

Date: January 1, 2010
Time: Night
Duration: ?
First known report date: January 1, 2010
Reporting delay: Hours, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Labaroche
Place: Near the town hall of Labaroche, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.111
Longitude: 7.192
Uncertainty radius: 100 m

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Question to popular astronomy website "Ciel des Hommes".
Type of location: From city center, 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: Maybe meteorites.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanterns.



Meteorites in the sky in Alsace in the night from December 31, 2009, to January 1, 2010

question asked on 01-01-2010 by Kevin, de Freland

I observed in the sky, and some of my friends too, relatively big orange dots. They followed each others by groups of 2 or 3 and suddenly disappeared in the sky at the horizon without exploding. We saw a dozen of them. Could they be meteorites? this looked nothing like fireworks. I saw this from the town hall of Labaroche in Alsace.

answer 02-01-2010 by Didier Jamet

No, the behavior you describe does not correspond to that of meteorites, but much more to Chinese lanterns (well Alsatian lanterns in this case...) Note that your observation was made in the night from December 31 to January 1, a particularly festive date and therefore conducive to this kind of activity... But it is probably still better than burning cars...



There is nothing much to add to the answer by Didier Jamet, except for noting that for once, Chinese lanterns were not mistaken for UFOs but for possible meteorites.

Chinese lantern.

Above: a Chinese lantern.


Probable 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 May 13, 2015 Creation, [cdh1].
1.0 Patrick Gross May 13, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on May 13, 2015.