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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 Heimsbrunn, on July 14, 2013:

Case number:



On July 14, 2013 at 01:40, someone posted a message on, a web forum that it very popular among young people, saying that right now, with friends, they came to see three red lights near Heimsbrunn. The person asked if anyone in the area also saw something.

The person said he/she did not understand at all what it could have been, that it was the first time he/she saw it, that he/she did not believe in it before, and that "the lights formed a triangle" and then dispersed to finally disappear in the sky one by one.

On August 2, 2013, someone replied that those were Chinese lanterns. This other person says he/she saw at least six of them pass near Heimsbrunn under a fairly strong wind towards Belfort. He/she says that when one does not know the sky lanterns, it can be puzzling.


Temporal data:

Date: July 14, 2013
Time: ~01:40 a.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: July 14, 2013
Reporting delay: Minutes, hours?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Heimsbrunn
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.725
Longitude: 7.227
Uncertainty radius: 1 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 2
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: ?
Witness(es) types: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Web forum popular to the youth.
Type of location: Village?
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: N/A
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: 1 puzzled, 1 explains.
Witnesses interpretation: 1 did not know, 1 recognized Chinese lanterns.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Highly probable Chinese lanterns.



Attaquer: Posted by cellphone on July 14, 2013 at 01:40:03

Right now with buddies we saw 3 red lights near Heimsbrunn. Did someone in the area see something?

The lights formed a triangle, then they split to finally disappear in the sky one by one.

I don't see at all what that could have been.

It's the first time i see that I didn't believe in it but now...


Posted August 2, 2013 ar 14:19:07

These are lanterns.

I saw at least 6 of them pass at the level of Heimsbrunn.

There was a quite strong wind in the direction to Belfort [West-South-West].

But of course when you don't know about them you can wonder about it.



Obviously, that evening was the National Day. Nightly on the 12th or 13th or 14th or 15th in July, Alsatian towns have parties, and for some years, Chinese lanterns are often launched. In this case, with the wind direction and as they are at the end of life, the lanterns probably came from Morschwiller-le-Bas.

In the popular imagination, and to some "ufologists", a "triangle" is immediately associated with a UFO. In reality, there are many cases like this, where it must just be kept in mind that three lights always form a triangle.

Here we have a case with a "negative witness", a witness does not identify what he sees, the second does.

See also here.

Chinese lantern.

Above: a Chinese lantern.


Highly 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 18, 2014 Creation, [jvo1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 18, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 18, 2014.