ALSACAT -> Homeclick!

Cette page en françaisCliquez!


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.

Previous case Next case >

Case of Illkirch-Graffenstaden, on July 24, 2013:

Case number:



In early March 2014, I found on a "UFO" website a reported about an orange ball, by "Vali", who indicated that the 5 minutes observation occurred on July 24, 2013, at 10 p.m. in Illkirch in the Bas-Rhin.

She said she was in the garden and looked at the sky, when she saw an orange ball she supposed to be Mars. However, it was too big, orange, and especially it moved, very slowly and with a faltering movement. She called her daughter to "confirm what I saw," they watched it for "a while", then the ball went high to the east and in ten meters, its circumference significantly reduced, then the ball went out suddenly.

Mars was not visible that night, but of course what we read here is a fairly good description of a Chinese lantern finally out of fuel.


Temporal data:

Date: July 24, 2013
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Duration: 5 minutes.
First known report date: March 1, 2014 or earlier.
Reporting delay: Hours, months?

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Illkirch-Graffenstaden
Place: A garden.
Latitude: 48.524
Longitude: 7.716
Uncertainty ratio: 3 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Woman and daughter.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Reported to the UFO website "".
Type of location: From the garden of the home in village, 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: ?


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lantern.



07-24-2013 - (Dep.67) - An orange ball

Date: 07-24-2013

Department: 67 (Bas-Rhin)

Localization: ILLKIRCH

Time: 10 p.m.

Numbers [sic] of witnesses: 2 people

Type of observation: NL: Nocturnal Lights

Approxima [sic] duration of the observation: 5 minutes

What was seen: an orange ball

Description of the facts:

I was in the garden and I looked at the sky when I saw an orange ball that I supposed was mars. However it as much too big, orange and above all in movement very slow and wobbly. I called my daughter to confirm what I was seeing. We stayed for a while watching then the ball rose to the east and in about 10 meters, its circumference diminished a lot and it extinct all of a sudden.




Since the witness thinks of Mars then rules it out because of the size and movement, there was little chance that this planet is the orange ball she said she observed. Nevertheless, I checked and found that Mars was not visible from this location at this date and time.

One, or more, orange lights, this kind of move, this obviously screams "Chinese lanterns."

Here, we have the observation of the extinction of a Chinese lantern out of fuel: in a dozen meters, the circumference decreased considerably and it went out suddenly."

This was on a Wednesday, a working day not quite fit for wedding parties or any parties or other events in which Chinese lanterns are launched. But what do the people do to prepare for a Chinese lanterns launch on the next Saturday? They try one; to check whether it "works". This is why we generally get flotillas of lanterns on Saturday nights, and single "orange balls" on the working days evenings.


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
Editeur: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross March 16, 2014 Creation, [ofe1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 16, 2014 First published.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict

 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on March 16, 2014.