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ALSACAT:

As its name suggests, 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 Houssen, on December 31, 2019:

Case number:

ALSACAT-2018-12-31-HOUSSEN-1

Summary:

On January 3, 2019, the anonymous administrator of the ufological Web forum of the Alsatian ufology association "SPICA" announced that there was an observation in Houssen in the Haut-Rhin on December 31, 2019.

On New Year's Eve, there were "reports [s] of sightings of red balls over Houssen" at midnight.

There were reportedly first a red ball then "three in the shape of a triangle" then, and "twice one after another", coming from the direction of Germany, then changing direction to go to the North, this at a height said as "equivalent to that of a plane."

There was one female witness, it is said, and she "doesn't think of Chinese lights" because she is "used to see them and it didn't look like it."

The administrator of the forum says that after "consultation on the internet" "red balls have been reported in the East and North region with various possible causes"; he asks any witnesses to contact the SPICA.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: December 31, 2019
Time: 00:00
Duration: ?
First known report date: January 3, 2019
Reporting delay: 3 days.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Houssen
Place: ?
Latitude: 48.126
Longitude: 7.378
Uncertainty ratio: 1 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Web board of the SPICA ufology group.
Type of location: ?
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: Not "Chinese liaghts".

Classifications:

Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Probable Chinese lanterns.

Sources:

[Ref. spa1:] UFOLOGY WEB BOARD "SPICA":

Scan.

Houssen (68) on 12/31/2018

Message by Admin Thu Jan 3 - 9:37

Report of sightings of red balls above Houssen on New Year's Eve.

Time 00:00 01/01/2019

Frequency first one reds [sic] ball then three triangle-shaped then and twice one thereafter.

Direction from Germany border towards Houssen then the direction changed to the north.

Height. equivalent to that of an airplane.

The observer does not think of Chinese lights she is used to seeing them and it did not look like it.

After consultation on the internet, red balls have been reported in the East and North region with different possible causes.

Thank you to any witnesses for contacting us

Spica.57

Discussion:

Map.

"Red balls" in the sky on December 31 at midnight, and these would not be Chinese lanterns?

Whereas nothing in the short report tells us why it wouldn't be?

I have big doubts!

I can see clearly that the witness (we are told of the female "observer", which suggests that there are no other witnesses) assures that it was not "Chinese lights" for she would have already seen them; but the argument is not very strong. Did she say it spontaneously? Did she answer a question a posteriori? Was she explained exactly what Chinese lanterns are, when she calls them, strangely, "Chinese lights"?

A few years ago I had a witness on the phone. The press had reported his story, then proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had indeed seen a Chinese lantern. But the newspaper had explained to him a little awkwardly that a "Chinese lantern" is a "Montgolfier", and he concluded that what he saw was absolutely not that. Nobody was really wrong here: a "Chinese lantern" is indeed a kind of Montgolfier, for its principle of flight. But the classic hot-air balloon with its passengers and its basket does not look at all like a Chinese lantern.

An investigation would certainly have lifted doubts about the sighting at Houssen, but to my knowledge there was no investigation, and also no other witness report.

Evaluation:

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:

Authoring:

Main author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross July 9, 2021 Creation, [spa1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 9, 2021 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 9, 2021.