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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 Osenbach, on January 1, 2014:

Case number:



In early March 2014, I found on a "UFO" website a report submitted anonymously about the observation of a "spherical orange light that disappears quickly," seen by two people on January 1, 2014 at 00:20 a.m. for about 3 minutes from Osenbach in the Haut-Rhin.

The person who gave the testimony stated it was a clear starry night, "we watched the fireworks towards the plain, when high in the sky appeared a mobile spherical orange light, slightly sparkling, we initially thought it was a plane. But observed with binoculars, it was only a bright orange gleam that quickly moved vertically while losing its intensity and its size, and totally disappeared behind a slight cloud."

It is obviously impossible to me not to think that it was probably a Chinese lantern launched like many others in Alsace to celebrate the New Year's Eve.


Temporal data:

Date: January 1, 2014
Time: 00:20 a.m.
Duration: ~3 minutes
First known report date: March 1, 2014 or earlier.
Reporting delay: Hours, weeks?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Osenbach
Place: ?
Latitude: 47.987
Longitude: 7.221
Uncertainty radius: 3 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Web report to the UFO website "".
Type of location: ?
Visibility conditions: Night, clear starry sky, at least slight cloud.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Uncertain
UFO departure observed: No
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lantern.



01-01-2014 - (Dép.68) - Spherical orange light that disappears quickly

Date: 01-01-2014

Department: 68 (Haut-Rhin)

Localization: osenbach

Time: 0h20

Numbers [sic] of witnesses: 2 people

Type of observation: NL: Nocturnal Lights

Approxima [sic] duration of the observation: 3 minutes

What was seen: spherical orange light that disappears quickly

Description of the facts:

Clear starry night, we watched the fireworks towards the plain, when high in the sky a mobile spherical orange light appeared, slightly sparkling, we first took it for a plane. But observed with binoculars, it was only a bright orange gleam that quickly moved at the vertical while losing intensity and its size, and has totally disappeared behind a slight cloud.




This was on a January 1st, just after midnight. New Year's Eve.

What do people often do then in Alsace?

Party, as everywhere in France, but more importantly, we launch Chinese lanterns, especially since firecrackers are severely regulated now.

And what does our witness describe? A Chinese lantern...

Of course, diehards might protest that I do not provide "scientific proof" it was a Chinese lantern and they may want to believe that this was perhaps an alien spaceship or a "paranormal phenomenon" taking the looks of Chinese lantern...

Chinese lantern.

Above: a Chinese lantern.


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 6, 2014 Creation, [ofe1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 6, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 6, 2014.