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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 Mittelbergheim, on June 26, 2011:

Case number:



About March 2014, I found a sighting report filed by "Raphael M" on a UFO website. He told he saw with two other people "luminous elements floating in the sky" in the night of June 26, 2011, at 10:25 p.m., for two minutes, in Mittelbergheim in the Bas-Rhin.

He said they were "yellow, orange" and "hovered and were certainly between Itterswiller and Epfig", then they "came back" after 15 or 20 minutes.

He added that at 11:20 p.m. at the level of Eichhoffen there was: "light moving speeds range various direction then disappeared as fast as appeared."


Temporal data:

Date: June 26, 2011
Time: 10:25 p.m.
Duration: 2 minutes.
First known report date: March 1, 2014, or earlier.
Reporting delay: Hour, months?

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Mittelbergheim
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.396
Longitude: 7.441
Uncertainty ratio: 500 m

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: Male.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: On the web to UFO website "".
Type of location: ?
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.



06/26/2011 - (Dep.67) - Luminous floating elements in the sky

Date: 06/26/2011

Department: 67 (Bas-Rhin)

Localization: Mittelbergheim

Hour: 10:25 p.m.

Numbers [sic] of witnesses: 3 people

Type of observation: NL: Nocturnal Lights

Aproximate [sic] duration of observation: 2 minutes

What was seen: Luminous floating elements in the sky

Description of the facts:

Several luminous objects in the sky.

Of yellow,orange color hovering probably between Itterswiller and Epfig, then came back after 15 , 20 minutes.

About 11:20 p.m. level of Eichhoffen, light moving speeds range various direction then disappeared as fast as appeared.

Raphael M



Positions of the villages mentioned in the report.

There is no precise localization, no elevation angle, no angular velocity, not angular size, we do not know if there was noise or not, we do not know how many these "elements" were, we do not know if they were close together or widely separated, we know nothing of a relationship of their move and the possible wind direction, etc.

The very short and rather fragmentary and sketchy report tells me only one thing: these were probably Chinese lanterns again.

That Sunday, June 26, 2011, in Eichhoffen, 1.3 km south of the village given as observation place, the Association of Firefighters held a flea market, a good opportunity to finish in the evening - but not too late because the next day is a working day - with a launch of lanterns.

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.


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 9, 2014 Creation, [ofe1].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 9, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 9, 2014.