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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 Mulhouse, on September 20, 2011:

Case number:



On September 22, 2011, "Anthony" wrote a report to a UFO blog created by a Mulhouse resident who thought he saw UFOs on June 12, 2011 - they were actually Chinese lanterns.

"Anthony" says that on September 20, 2011, at about 11:30 p.m. in Mulhouse, with a friend, he had seen "a werd thing in the sky", "orange, brown" in color, that "went very fast and without any noise."


Temporal data:

Date: September 20, 2011
Time: ~11:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: September 22, 2011
Reporting delay: 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.747
Longitude: 7.335
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: Message to a blog about UFOs in Mulhouse.
Type of location: City, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
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: A weird thing.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lantern.


[Ref. ome1:] "OVNI MULHOUSE" BLOG:

anthony on 09/22/2011

On 09/20//2011 at about 11:30 p.m. in mulhouse one friends and i saw a werd thing in the sky, of orange color, brown and went very fast without any noise.


Chinese lanterns are regularly launched in Mulhouse and the suburb since 2008 - more rarely before. A few months later, from the "Place de la Réunion" in the center of the city, people celebrated Valentine's Day with Chinese lanterns. Here are images extracted from videos I've taken, using an iPhone 3S to get the "poor quality" result that people sometimes get filming these Chinese lanterns they sometimes interpret as "UFOs" with mobile phone cameras. On the left the lantern on the ground, on the Place de la Réunion, right, a lantern flies away.

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.

In the years 2005 to 2014 (when I write these lines - in Mulhouse and around Mulhouse, a dozen so-called "UFO sightings" occurred that were actually caused by Chinese lanterns, and on several occasions, the local press had first headlined about "UFOs" before correcting it the next day. Now, in 2013, 2014, newspapermen are starting to know what the Chinese lanterns are, and often give the explanation immediately.

Now what about this report? There is almost no information, except for the color and the silence, perfectly typical of a Chinese lantern.


Probable Chinese lantern.

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 14, 2015 Creation, [cu1].
1.0 Patrick Gross May 14, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on May 14, 2015.