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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 Colmar, on June 19, 2013:

Case number:



On the UFO website "", I found in early March 2014 a report by "Nejma", of colmar, indicating that on June 19, 2013, she saw for three minutes "three orange balls like giant lanterns."

At 11:40 p.m., returning by car, she sees a first "ball" floating in the air just above the roofs of houses. This did not initially puzzle her: "It looked like a bright orange fire a giant lantern. I thought that was a lantern."

Coming at 20 meters from it, she and her girl friend see this "huge lantern" above them, and "suddenly a second one instantly by its side! I started to freak out because in addition there was no noise! This was in June we had the car's windows opened we drove at slow speed!"

With these two "huge lanterns balls" floating above, she admitted that "it's scary but exciting too!" She tried to get her cellphone from her purse but did not find it, and at the same time "a third ball of lights alongside the other two," also silent and low, just above the rooftops.

The "balls" take a little speed and ago way before us at about 200 m and suddenly each of them took an opposite direction, but at "such a rate of speed that we couldn't understand anything!!"

"Nejma" explains she was bewildered, not knowing what to think, because she does "not believe in UFOs and E.T.", and she and her girlfriend remained "awestruck". She says she would like to get an explanation.


Temporal data:

Date: June 19, 2013
Time: 11:40 p.m.
Duration: 3 minutes.
First known report date: March 1, 2014, or earlier.
Reporting delay: Hours, months?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Colmar
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.079
Longitude: 7.355
Uncertainty radius: 3 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Female witness and girl friend.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: On the web to UFO website "".
Type of location: From inside car, UFO above houses rooftops.
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: ?


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Possible Chinese lanterns.





Date: 06/19/2013

Department: 68 (Haut-Rhin)

Localization: colmar

Time: 23h40

Numbers [sic] of witnesses: 2 people

Type of observation: RR1: Rencontre Rapprochée du 1er type

Approxima [sic] duration of the observation: 3 minutes


Description of the facts:

Going home this evening, there i see in the distance a ball floating in the air but just above the roofs of far nothing special it ressembled a very luminous giant fire orange lantern..i thought that's what it was.

getting closer thus at a distance very cloe (20 m) above us, we see this huge lantern and suddenly instantaneously a second one by its side ! i start to freak out because in addition there is no sound no noise !! it is in june we have the car's window opened and we drive slowly !

so these two huge balls lanterns hover above us, i admit it is freaky but exciting too ! i try to get my cellphonein my purse(chick's purse) and i can't find it ! at the same time a third ball lits up next to the two others, still as silent and as low, just above the houses roof..eerie ! wow what a show !!!!

they take some speed and go away in front of us at 200 m approximately and all of a sudden each one took an opposite direction, but at such a speed that we were unable to understand a thing !!!!! wooooohhhh but what was it ?! !!

without noise....anyway today i don't know i don't believe in ufos or e.t..but then i was baffled !

my girl friend too !

if you could tell me what it is or if you've seen something similar...

i'm from Colmar in Alsace !!

thank you




The witness clearly describes Chinese lanterns: she speaks of giant lanterns, fiery orange color, floating in the air, low and silent.

It is obvious she did not know about Chinese lanterns. Had she known, and with her wording so evocative of Chinese lanterns, she would certainly have explained specifically why those were not Chinese lanterns.

One might think, however, that these were not Chinese lanterns because of the speed mentioned at the end of observation. But this speed is not specified, and may be an illusion of movement as the witnesses are in a car, and may have taken a turn. (Some cases exist in which people driving in a car and mistaking the moon for a UFO said it had quickly crossed the road ahead, for example. It is the car's movements and turns that create such illusions. )

There was also an indication that a ball "instantaneously" lit next to the first one, and then a third ball "lit up". Chinese lanterns obviously not light up once in the air, they are lit on the ground, and then rise in the air and eventually go off, out of fuel. But again an explanation can be given. Witnesses in the car are close to these lights at least at time, and the "balls" are above the roofs of houses. So there are houses around, and it may be that the ball did not "lit up" but appeared suddenly into the view after a house had hidden it before.

We note the lack of quantitative data on the orange balls: no angular size, no angular velocities. A precise location is also missing; the witness gave Colmar as sighting place, but did not specify where it happened in this city.

Chinese lantern.

Above: a Chinese lantern.


Possible 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 19, 2014 Creation, [ofe1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 19, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 19, 2014.