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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 Oberschaeffolsheim, on December 26, 2017:

Case number:



An anonymous 45-year-old contributor to a ufology forum published on December 26, 2017 that the same day at 05:15 p.m., he and four other people saw during 5 minutes in a clear sky over fields in Oberschaeffolsheim about ten bright orange or red balls.

There was no noise. The balls became bright and shiny at times. He and his wife each filmed the balls with their cell phones. He filmed some of them in front of his house, then he went outside near the fields to film the rest of these balls.

He says that the balls took different directions quickly before disappearing, and that he could not follow all of them.


Temporal data:

Date: December 26, 2017
Time: 05:15 p.m.
Duration: 5 minutes.
First known report date: December 26, 2017
Reporting delay: Hours

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Oberschaeffolsheim
Place: From the street near home in Oberschaeffolsheim, UFOs in the sky.
Uncertainty radius:

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 5
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: 45, adults.
Witness(es) types: Residents.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: By the web to the ufology forum "Les Mystères des OVNIS."
Type of location: From the street near home, UFOs in the sky.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
Entities: No
Photographs: Yes. Video.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanterns.



Relevant participation
Male Age: 45
Number of messages: 24
Subscribed on: 04/13/2008
Localization: strasbourg
Job: public agent
Hobbies: sport

2017: on 12/26 at 05:15 p.m. - Orange luminous balls - oberschaeffolsheimBas-Rhin (dep.67)

On Tue 26 Dec 2017, 11:29 p.m.

Firstname or alias: titi67

City: oberschaeffolsheim

Department: Bas-Rhin (dep.67)

Region: Alsace launch a call for witnesses:

Country: France

Date: 12/26/2017

Hour of the start of the observation: 05:15 p.m.

Duration of he observation: 5 minutes

Weather conditions: Clean sky

Number of witnesses: 5

Type of phenomenon: Orange luminous balls

Official report: No

Full report of the observation:

We saw very bright red balls (about ten) above the fields. There was no noise. These balls became bright and brilliant at times ...... I had my cell phone with me to film (in 3 clips). The balls took quickly different directions before disappearing ... I did not follow all of these bright balls (orange).

I filmed a part in front of my house and then I went outside near the fields to film the rest.

Precise description:


Size of the phenomenon:

Behavior: mouvement longitudinal puis épariller très rapidement

Trajectory: not - specified

Specific noise: No

Specific odor: No

Direction of the objet relative to the wind: controled/independent move

Presence of installations: not specified

Similar photo: not specified

Table: not specified


Contact made with the witness: yes

Investigator in charge of the file:

Je certifie sur l'honneur l'exactitude des renseignements communiqués et l'authenticité des documents fournis. Je ne sais pas identifier ce phénomène merci à l'avance pour vos réponses.

Regards titi67

Relevant participation
Male Age: 45
Number of messages: 24
Subscribed on: 04/13/2008
Localization: strasbourg
Job: public agent
Hobbies: sport

Re: 2017: on 12/26 at 05:15 p.m. - Orange luminous balls - oberschaeffolsheimBas-Rhin (dep.67)

on 12/27/2017 11:09


Here is an additional video that my wife filmed with her cellphone:

Also attached is a similar testimony on the following link (in the 84 on December 25):

Forum manager
Male Age: 39
Number of messages: 12704
Subscribed on: 03/11/2007
Localization: France
Job: Private
Hobbies: Ufologiy, History, reading

Re: 2017: on 12/26 at 05:15 p.m. - Orange luminous balls - oberschaeffolsheimBas-Rhin (dep.67)

on 12/27/17 11:21

Thank you Titi 67 for your testimony. I am waiting for the opinions of the board specialsists before making a conclusion.

Good day


Images from the videos:

On the first image, the "balls" are the three dots on the left off the house roof. I rotated the image by 90°.


On this second image, the light halo on the bottom is a streetlamp as clearly visible on the full video. The "ball" is the luminous dot higher in the image.




The videos just as the report indicate that the obvious probable explanation is that these were Chinese lanterns.

Chinese lantern.

Above: a Chinese lantern.

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 2018 (when I write these lines - in Alsace, most so-called "UFO sightings" that were reported were actually caused by Chinese lanterns.


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 15, 2018 Creation, [lmo1].
1.0 Patrick Gross January 15, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on January 15, 2018.