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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 Strasbourg, on December 1, 2013:

Case number:



"Dany" - this is a pseudonym - contacted by electronic message a ufologist from Quebec whom she knew, to tell her she had seen, with her mother, on December 1, 2013, at 05:26 p.m. in Strasbourg, several orange spheres. At the request of the ufologist, she wrote a report published by the website of the Quebec Association of Ufology.

She recounted having seen, "about ten" for her mother, 8 of them for her, noting there were perhaps been others before her mother went to the window of their apartment on the 8th floor of a building.

She ensures that these were not lanterns because the wind would have shifted them a minimum, "whereas" they were taking off from the "green mountain and place Kleber" bus stop, just opposite her window; which gave them an excellent view.

Three balls passed at a few meters, or a good 13th or 14th floor, above their building, aligned perfectly with a distance of ten meters between them at eyes' estimate.

She leaned out the window watching the underside of these balls. They were balls of fire "whose light narrowed and increased somewhat" and they made no noise. The third one was a little shifted of a "few centimeters", then it again aligned behind the other two.

The time to see this, another ball took off from the same place, and several others did that afterwards.

She cannot give any direction because she has yet to find a compass. It was not raining, the sky was clear. She made two photo-editing of what she saw, visible below in this page.

Her brother's dog, a Golden Retriever, was in the room with the two women. The girl observed its behavior, because it looked out of the window: it was quiet, which relieved "Dany".

"Dany" then told, on January 1, 2014, that the day before, she had spent the whole evening at the window with her family observing a score of small orange dots that formed and deformed straight lines and triangles, taking off, moving slowly in the sky in silence. Between 11:30 p.m. and 0:37 a.m., there were about twenty small orange dots that "crossed the sky of Strasbourg....!"

Thinking "Did they come back or what ???", they thought it was an invasion. "Dany" asked herself "if I was in a movie or what ???"

She adds that with "with the fireworks there was at that time, others must have seen these dots too," and tells that a girl friend told her she saw then at the same hours.

The Canadian ufologist does not provide the explanation, instead, she ensures that the observation is similar to others, like a "worldwide wave of luminous orange spheres in 2013."


Temporal data:

Date: December 1, 2013
Time: 05:26 p-m-
Duration: ?
First known report date: December 5, 2013
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Strasbourg
Place: From inside apartment near "La Montagne Verte" bus stop in Strasbourg, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.564
Longitude: 7.707
Uncertainty radius: 1 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: To acquaintance, Canadian ufologist, by the web.
Type of location: From inside apartment in big city, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Evening
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): Yes.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Not lanterns as they do not separate.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Chinese lanterns.



Several orange spheres on Strasbourg

Several orange spheres on Strasbourg, Alsace, France on December 1, 2013

By Annie Thériault, AQU investigator



[Sketch published on another website, actually about another case in the Roussillon.]

Witnesses and author of the story: Dany and his mother

(BOTH PREFER TO KEEP ANONYMITY, so I used the alias Dany).

Presented by: Annie Theriault, investigator and Regional Director for the region 08, AQU

Date: December 1, 2013

Written and corrected the record: December 5, 2013 by Annie Thériault

Time: 5:26 p.m.

Weather: Clear, dusk, no rain and no strong wind.

Moon: No Moon

City nearest from the observation: Strasbourg. France Alsace

Observed phenomenon: 8-10 orange spheres that seemed on fire, silently.

Sunday I returned from lunch when a personal acquaintance of mine, Dany of Strasbourg(Alsace) in France contacted me by private message to report to me a sighting she had just made

with her mother, I proposed him to report it on our website of AQU, they immediately agreed and I am pleased to present it for them. The phenomenon is similar to some cases been [sic] reported previously here in Quebec. (Annie Thériault, AQU investigator)



Here is the story of the witness:

"We saw them at 5:26 p.m. (my mother said she looked at her watch).

We saw a good ten of them (me 8!), But there may have been others before my mother went to the window !!

Not lanterns I'm sure impossible, because with the wind they would have shifted a minimum! There it took off from the stop "montagne verte and place Kleber"! It's right in front of my window so I had an excellent view! 3 balls rose above the building aligned perfectly with a distance of ten meters between them (at first glance).

I leaned out the window watching the underside of the balls, but it was fireballs whose light narrowed and increased slightly and no noise! The third ball was slightly shifted of a few centimeters and again aligned behind the other 2 (that's when I really understood!) And the time to see it, bam !, another ball took off from the same place! And like this one after the other several others. They were flying so low, I live on the 7th floor and they were a few meters above (I would say a good 13 -14 nth floor to give you an idea)

It was not raining, clear sky, but I have to find a compass to find the direction.

PS: my brother's dog, a Golden Retriever, was in the room with us, I observed his behavior, because he looked out of the window and he was quiet (which relieved me!). Dogs feel everything..."


Down below she did her best trying to remake the image-editing of the balls as she saw them with the correct scales. So we better see she could not believe in airplanes or helicopters because of the distance. (What you see in the pictures is what she saw when arriving at the window). Then she saw several take off but at this place, there is a canal and wooded corners (lots of trees, mini forests) all mixed with the highway, tram, etc...


Source: Photo-editing 1 made by Dany to present the first vision she had of objects (with photo taking by day).


Source: Photo-editing 2 made by Dany to present the first vision she had of objects (with photo taken by day).

Several cases reported around the world in 2012 and 2013 have similarities with the case of Dany here are some of them:

-Orange luminous spheres flap in the world in 2013:

-The Mysteries of UFOs:

-In 2012: http: //

So here is in as much detail as possible what Dany saw, I want to thank her for her confidence and important contribution in the presentation of his case, and especially that it is the first time she witnessed such a phenomenon and is very open to the UFO problem.

Annie Thériault, Investigator AQU

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Posted by: Annie Theriault UFO Mundo // // December 7, 2014

About Annie Thériault

Investigator-ufologist for AQU, Annie Thériault is the Regional Director responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. She conducts research in the field of the paranormal and UFOs since 1982.

Annie Thériault, investigator AQU
2014/01/01 at 10:48

January 1, 2014

Here's what the Witness sent me this morning, I share it here with you:

Yesterday the whole evening, I spent it at the window with my family observed about twenty small orange dots that formed and deformed (straight lines and triangles, takeoff, slow movement in the sky without noise).

We told to ourselves "they came back or what ???" listen it was like an invasion and I do not lie! I wondered if I was in a movie or what ??? from 23:30 to 0:37, twenty small orange dots crossed the sky...... of Strasbourg. !

With all the fireworks that " there was at that time, others must have seen these dots too. A friend told me to have seen then at the same hours yesterday!


(I thank the witness for having given me this information)

Annie Thériault
AQU Investigator

Annie Thériault AQU
2014/01/01 at 11:24

Following the information received by the witness this morning:

Still no sound.

There were so many, some formed triangles, others went straight on glued to each other.

For me, what we saw yesterday was not like lanterns because one of the last orange lights moved closer to the building, (I thought it would again go over the building), hovered and slightly turned to go straight ahead and join the others. (like a 90 degree angle) what happened in the sky for almost 1:30 last night is really weird.

I do not draw any conclusions because the first time I saw it all from very NEAR, doubt was not allowed.

There, it was orange dots like orange stars that moved. So anything is possible but I remain convinced that weird stuff happens here. what's happening ??

I wanted to share this with you, I know you have to be careful with the sightings but really to see so much of them that is unimaginable. Already the first time they were many but this was worse! Who will believe this ????

We were 4 adults this time + a girlfriend who was in another neighborhood to have seen that.


Annie Thériault. AQU investigator
2014/01/02 at 6:22

A similar phenomenon took place in Californie at the same date!!!!!



The argument that it would not be Chinese lanterns because the wind did not separate them makes no sense: it is clear on the reconstitution pictures that these were lanterns launched one after the other, meaning that they were likely dropped by a single person. Therefore, they all follow approximately the same path driven by the same air stream. They would have separate, dispersed, only with changes in wind direction, not established here. It is actually if they had parted in different directions that we could have spoken of something weird!

When the orange lights are described as "triangles", it means that three people are performing the launch.)

For the observation during New Year's eve, there were so many lanterns released in the city that there is no wonder that one of them has taken a slightly different course from others.

As for the statement "to see so many of them it's unimaginable", just look at the launches in Thailand, country of origin of the lanterns:


For the first observation, "Dany" says they took of from the bus stop "Montagne Verte - Place Kléber".

The Place Kléber, is the central square of the old city, obvious venue for events and activities, and obvious place to let lanterns go.

But "Dany" and the Canadian ufologist must be thinking implicitly that on that evening, a dozen alien spaceships were parked on the busiest square of the great city in view of all, and would have teken off one after the other in full sight of the people, and no one else was thinking about reporting it... This is not quite fit to me to reconcile myself with Quebec ufology...

Besides, let's be serious: the next sighting by "Dany" is on December 31, 2013, to January 1, 2014, the evening of New Year, when obviously Chinese lanterns are launches. She was not tipped by the fact that there were fireworks, that it was the New Year's Eve, she sees lanterns and still does not recognize them...

The Canadian investigator does not recognize them either, for that matter. While the witness herself mentioned the possibility lanterns, the ufologist does not understand it, being so absorbed by the fact that "Similar phenomena occurred in California" on the same date (which one? December 1 or January 1st?). Amazing... There are millions of lanterns sold in these years all around the world and occasionally reported as "UFOs" by those people who do not know them yet. And some ufologists still do not know about that.

About Chinese lanterns:

Chinese lanterns are one cause of some old tales of UFO sightings: During the "airship" wave of 1896 - 1897 in the USA, during the wave of 1972 in the US Midwest, etc.

Since these miniature hot air paper balloons can be ordered on the Internet at very low cost - they also commonly found in Alsace now in stores - there is no need anymore to take the trouble of manufacturing them yourself.

So since 2005, about everywhere and of course in Alsace, many people who do not yet know about them report them as UFOs or at least as a subject of puzzlement: "It was not planes, not satellites, not helicopters, etc...", commonly appears in the stories. Indeed they aren't.

In principle, any ufologist worthy of the title should be able to recognize a story related for sure or at least possibly to Chinese lanterns, but there are still ufologists who do not want to listen, or quibble, demanding that a guilty lantern is handed to them otherwise they want the story to remain a "UFO report".

Most of the time, I certainly cannot "scientifically prove" or provide "hard evidence" that this or that report is explained by Chinese lanterns; but I see nothing opposes it and nothing would justify to call it spacecraft from another world or who knows what else.

It is sometimes possible to find that there was, precisely at that time, in the vicinity, a release of lanterns, during a party, a wedding party, a birthday party etc. But these releases are now so usual in Alsace at least that they are not necessarily mentioned on festivity calendars.

Since 2005, they constitute the bulk of the "testimonies" of UFOs found on websites devoted to the subject of UFOs and essentially publishing such "web report"; generally the only treatment is the publication, without any information on a possible cause, without any investigation or comment.

In Alsace, such releases are especially popular now since fireworks and firecrackers, long tolerated, are now prohibited for use unless special exemptions; Alsatians therefore largely adopted the lanterns.

As these lanterns are usually released at private or public parties, they are most often seen on Saturday nights, often at wedding dates or official festivities such as the National Day or New Year's Eve, usually between 10 p.m. and midnight. They are then usually released in clusters. But sometimes the purchaser performs a "test flight" a few days before, sometimes with a single lantern.

Note that the lanterns have also evolved: if initially they were almost always white in color, giving an orange light during their flight, there are now all colors available and they produce other colors in flight than the usual "reddish", orange, yellow.

Chinese lantern.

Above: a Chinese lantern.


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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross July 25, 2015 Creation, [aqu1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 25, 2015 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 25, 2015.