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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 Rohrwiller, on June 4, 2011:

Case number:



I found in March 2014 that someone filed a report on a UFO website, telling he saw with ten other people on June 4, 2011 at 11:30 p.m. for about fifteen minutes twenty orange lights in the sky in the Bas-Rhin in Rohrwiller.

Traveling by car, they were surprised by several lights moving at different speeds, "in the form of a triangle," taking the direction of Strasbourg. They, and people in other cars, stopped at the roadside to watch it. The lights then took a "a straight line" trajectory and there were "about twenty" of them moving randomly.

A friend told him that according to him there were about thirty of these lights.


Temporal data:

Date: June 4, 2011
Time: 11:30 p.m.
Duration: 15 minutes.
First known report date: March 1, 2014, or earlier.
Reporting delay: Days, months?

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Rohrwiller
Place: From a car stopped at a crossroad, UFOs in the sky.
Latitude: 48.747
Longitude: 7.915
Uncertainty radius: 500 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 10
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Young adults, adults or aged.
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: On the web to UFO website "".
Type of location: From a car stopped at a crossroad, UFOs in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
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: UFO


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanterns.



06/04/2011 - (Dep.67) - A score of orange color lights in the sky

Date: 04-06-2011

Department: 67 (Bas-Rhin)

Localization: Rohrwiller

Time: 11:30 p.m.

Numbers [sic] of witnesses: 10 people

Type of observation: NL: Nocturnal Lights

Approxima [sic] duration of the observation: 15 minutes

What was seen: score of orange color lights in the sky

Description of the facts:

During a travel, we were surprised by several lights moving at different speeds in the form of triangle taking the direction of Strasbourg. We stopped with other cars at the roadside to watch. They then took the form of a straight line and were twenty, they moved randomly.

Since then according to a friend, there would have been about thirty of them (I do not think I saw the beginning).




Although the story is very short, it does not take a genius to understand that this was probably again a launch of Chinese lanterns.

Around Rohrwiller are the villages Bishwiller, Herrlisheim Drusenheim, Gries Weyersheim. Lanterns could have been launched at a wedding party for example from any of these villages.

The first "false UFOs" caused by Chinese lanterns that I identified were in the United States during the airship wave of 1896-1897, it also happened during the 1954 French "saucers" flap, including in Alsace (Example), it happened during the wave of 1973 in the United States (Example), etc. As there are years-long gaps in their use, some ufologists, too many ufologists, and of course the witnesses, forget them as a possible cause for UFO sightings.

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
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 11, 2014 Creation, [ofe1].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 11, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 11, 2014.