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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 Barr, on May 5, 2017:

Case number:



A witness whose name was not disclosed communicated about a sighting to the Alsatian ufology group "SPICA", the latter publishing about it on May 8, 2017.

The witness said that on May 5, 2017, starting at 09:12 p.m., from the rue de la Vallée in the city of Barr, "in the Haut-Rhin" - actually Barr is in the Bas-Rhin - he saw "a UFO on flame that directed itself from the center of Barr to the vineyards of the Zotzenberg and disappeared at the horizon.

He said it was of light yellow color, floating in the air and on flame, with a rather slow speed "2 ou 3m /s" as if it was "a very small balloon on flame", the flame being as large as the object."

He said it was in the Nord-East at a 20° elevation at the beginning of the sighting and the South-West at a 50° elevation at the end of the sighting. He said the sky was clear and the Moon was visible in the South.


Temporal data:

Date: May 5, 2017
Time: 09:12 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: May 8, 2017
Reporting delay: 1 to 3 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Barr
Place: From the rue de la Vallée, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.405
Longitude: 7.421
Uncertainty radius: 2 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: By the web to the ufology group SPICA.
Type of location: From road, UFO in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
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: Possible Chinese lantern or plane contrail lght by set sun.



On May 5, 2017 at 9:12 pm, the witness saw a flaming UFO that headed from the BARR town center to the vineyard (ZOTZENBERG) and disappeared on the horizon. The object was floating in the air and was flaming quite slow speed 2 or 3m / s it looked like a very small flaming ball the flame was as big as the object. It could be a Chinese lantern, did anyone else see this phenomenon or could he confirm this hypothesis? Please contact our association


3 rue des Pierres
Phone: 03 88 50 64 26


Barr (67) 05/05/2017 luminous phenomenon

Message by Admin on Mon 8 May - 12:09

Temporal localization (When did it happen ?) in local time on May 05,2017

Hour of the start of the observation : 09:12 p.m. – in the evening

Geographical localization of the witness (where were you?) : France 67 BARR

Precise location (hamlet, place, road, street, number etc...) : BARR rue de la vallée

Description of the phenomenon (what you saw or heard) : a UFO in flame directed itself from BARR city center to the vineyard (ZOTZENBERG) and disappeared on the horizon

Color of the phenomenon: yellow

Luminosity: light

Behavior (describe the trajectory, the movements, the estimated speed, the potential stops...... : the object floated in the air and was in flame speed quite slow 2 ou 3m /s you would have said a very small plane on flame the flame was as large as the object

Orientation in the start of the observation (North, South etc...) : North-East

Orientation in the end of the observation (North, South etc...) : South-West

Angular height (in degrees upwards starting from the horizontal) :

Start of the observation : 20°

End of the observation : 50°

Weather condition: clear sky

Where where the celestial bodies (Moon, Sun, others) : the moon was visible in the south

Other witnesses? Thanks for contacting us



While the report looks complete in some aspects, important data is missing. For example, there is no information about the duration of the sighting. We only guess it somehow lasted as it is said it was a slow move and the sighting direction at the start and end of the sighting changed significantly.

The "obvious" explanation may be that of a Chinese lantern, of course. But for the pleasure of nitpicking I could propose another explanation:

Objects that look a bit like a "flaming plane" are often planes. The "flaming" is the contrail lighted by the setting sun or the sun already just set below the horizon, with its rays still lighting objects in the high sky.

We are told it occurred at 09:12 p.m. The sun set there at about 8 p.m., and 09:12 is actually the "last chance" for the Sun to light a plane's contrail.

I would favor this second explanation for one reason: the witness said the "flame was as large as the object", and this does not fit well with Chinese lanterns.

Note that the moon was indeed in the south (186°), as the witness told.

Anyway, there is no strangeness in the report allowing a claim of extraterrestrial craft or anything even more exotic.


Possible Chinese lantern or plane contrail light by set sun.

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 August 24, 2017 Creation, [spa1], [spa2].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 24, 2017 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 24, 2017.