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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 Schwindratzheim, on May 12, 2013:

Case number:



On a website that is not about UFOs, someone said that in the night from Saturday 11 to Sunday 12 of May 2013, at 00:45 a.m. or 01:00 a.m., he or she has "seen the phenomenon again", that was aleardy seen on July 14, 2013, in the Schwindratzheim region.

The "phenomenon" this is all about is only described as "Several fire orange balls, moving fairly quickly to the east... and in a line..."


Temporal data:

Date: May 12, 2013
Time: ~00:45 a.m. 01:00 a.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 2014
Reporting delay: Minutes, months?

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Schwindratzheim
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.756
Longitude: 7.600
Uncertainty radius: 3 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported to a popular website.
Type of location: Village?
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: UFOs


Hynek: LN
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanterns.



7. Night of May 11 to 12, 2013 (Saturday to Sunday), saw the phenomenon again... around 0:45 to 1:00 Schwindratzheim Region in Alsace. Several fire orange balls, moving in the east ... Fairly quickly and in a line ...



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 Alsace, most so-called "UFO sightings" that were reported were actually caused by Chinese lanterns.

In this case, I obviously do not have some "scientific evidence". Simply, the meager description is consistent with that. So if diehards insist that these were not Chinese lanterns, let them demonstrate it.

If the lanterns were in the East, they probably came from Mommenheim, and this would not be novelty in that area.

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
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 20, 2014 Creation, [tao1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 20, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 20, 2014.