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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 Mulhouse, on October 4, 2014:

Case number:



On October 6, 2014, a non-anonymous man communicated to me by email about his UFO observations on Mulhouse and tue surround area. He had just visited my website and was happy to find a website gathering information on UFO sightings.

He stated that he personally "observed a relatively large ship on November 5, 1990, in the Kingersheim township (68260) and it was observed by many people that same evening."

He added that "last year" he observed an object that flew over the Mulhouse region for several days on several directions. He took a picture, but he says it only shows a rough shape. He said it was a very bright object that was moving quite slowly about 1000 meters above the ground.

He says he saw it three more times from home and from another place several days later, and that he has the dates "on another computer."

On Saturday, October 4, 2014, driving with his wife, at 11:00 pm, he had seen a group of 5 or 6 bright balls, which were to be 500 or 1000 meters high on the Kingersheim limit, again, with Mulhouse. Very luminous, they went very slowly and went to the north and "went out" one after the other. He had tried to film them with his mobile phone, "but zooming in is not clear because I was moving a lot."

He adds that he lives in Mulhouse, that he passed his private pilot licence in 1986, and that he is able to "rather quickly analyze whether it is a plane or something else."


Temporal data:

Date: October 4, 2014
Time: 11:00 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: October 6, 2014
Reporting delay: 2 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Mulhouse
Place: From car driving near Kingersheim limit, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 47.781
Longitude: 7.331
Uncertainty radius: 2 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Man and woman.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Email sent to me.
Type of location: From car driving in urban area, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
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: No airplane.


Hynek: LN
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanterns.


[Ref. pgs1:] EMAIL SENT TO ME:

Subject: Observation on Mulhouse and arounds
Sent on: Oct 6, 2014, 1:59 PM
From: [email]


I just saw your website regarding sightings of UFOs or other flying objects and I'm happy to see a wesite that gathers this information.

Personally, I observed a relatively large ship on November 5, 1990 in the town of Kingersheim (68260) and it was observed by many people that same evening.

Last year I observed an object that flew over the Mulhouse region for several days on several axes. I took a picture, but one only sees a rough shape. It was a very luminous object that advanced quite slowly at about 1000 meters of the height off the ground.

I saw it three more times from home and from another place several days later. I have the dates on another computer.

And Saturday, October 4, 2 days ago, by car with my wife, at 11:00 p.m. a group of 5 or 6 bright balls, which were to be 500/1000 meters high on the limit of Kingersheim (again) and Mulhouse. Very luminous, they went very slowly and went to the north and "went out" one after the other. I tried to film with my cellphone, but zooming in is not clear because I moved a lot.

If I can contribute in my own way to your work of recouping, I would be happy.

I reside in Mulhouse (68200)

Best regards

[Firstname] [NAME]

PS: I passed my private pilot's license in 1986, so I can quickly analyze whether it's an aircraft or something else.



I quite agree that these observations were probably never of airplanes, but really other things.

On November 5, 1990, what so many people saw had a totally unusual aspect, and was not a plane. It was indeed a sort of "ship", but not extraterrestrial, very terrestrial. It was not the "ship" per se but its debris burning up in the upper atmosphere. It was the reentry into the atmosphere of debris from a Russian rocket. Refer to the other observations at this date in this catalog for more information.

All the following observations are certainly not of planes either. But there are certainly Chinese lanterns. In particular, the observation on October 4, 2014, describes exactly Chinese lanterns that have been launched in succession and are obviously going out one after the other.

Since the mid-2000s, a majority of "UFO sightings" in Alsace have actually been Chiness lanterns. More and more people are recognizing them, but there will still be for a long time, occasionally, people who have never heard of it, and who are legitimately astonished by the display.

Chinese lanterns are regularly launched in Mulhouse and the suburb since 2008 - more rarely before. A few months later, from the "Place de la Réunion" in the center of the city, people celebrated Valentine's Day with Chinese lanterns. Here are images extracted from videos I've taken, using an iPhone 3S to get the "poor quality" result that people sometimes get filming these Chinese lanterns they sometimes interpret as "UFOs" with mobile phone cameras. On the left the lantern on the ground, on the Place de la Réunion, right, a lantern flies away.

Chinese lanterns.

Chinese lanterns.

The first "false UFOs" caused by Chinese lanterns that I identified were in the United States during the airship wave of 1896-1897, it also happened during the 1954 French "saucers" flap, including in Alsace (Example), it happened during the wave of 1973 in the United States (Example), etc. As there are years-long gaps in their use, some ufologists, too many ufologists, and of course the witnesses, forget them as a possible cause for UFO sightings.

In the years 2005 to 2014 (when I write these lines - in Mulhouse and around Mulhouse, a dozen so-called "UFO sightings" occurred that were actually caused by Chinese lanterns, and on several occasions, the local press had first headlined about "UFOs" before correcting it the next day. Now, in 2013, 2014, newspapermen are starting to know what the Chinese lanterns are, and often give the explanation immediately.


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
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross January 31, 2018 Creation, [pgs1].
1.0 Patrick Gross January 31, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on January 31, 2018.