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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 SÚlestat, on August 7, 2016:

Case number:



On August 8, 2016, CÚdric Mathiot published on Youtube a video of what he thinks is UFOs, filmed from SÚlestat, on August 7, 2016, around midnight.

He and a girl friend had watched while he was filming them for over three minutes. On the video, visible in this file below, one sees orange lights in the night sky, the witness explaining that they flashed most of the time, regretting the flashing does not show on the video.


Temporal data:

Date: August 7, 2016
Time: ~00:00 a.m.
Duration: 3 minutes 33 seconds or more.
First known report date: August 8, 2016
Reporting delay: 1 day.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: SÚlestat
Place: From SÚlestat, UFO in the sky.
Latitude: 48.260
Longitude: 7.446
Uncertainty ratio: 3 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: Young adults.
Witness(es) types: A young man and a girl friend.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Video published on Youtube.
Type of location: From the town, UFO 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: UFOs.


Hynek: NL
ALSACAT: Chinese lanterns.


[Ref. 1:] :

On August 8, 2016, one Cedric Mathiot publishes on Youtube a video titled "Alsace UFO 08/07/16"; which as of July 13, 2018, has 351 views and no comment.

The 3 minutes 33 second video has a soundtrack, letting hear:

Male voice: "I'm filming."

Male voice: "It's going to take off soon, it's flashing."

Female voice: "Nice."

Male voice: "Look."

Male voice: "So, this is a video of the Haut-Koenigsbourg, from SÚlestat, I do not what time it is, it must be uh ... midnight, something like that, and a strange light, that I did not see, but, I don't know."

Male voice: "It's August 7th."

Male voice: "Just now during five minutes there was nothing, when it happened, after we saw lights, but like lights of one or two seconds, in the area."

Male voice: "There, I don't know, it's flashing, I think there's something."

Male voice: "Weird anyway, there it flashes more, it flashes less, [inaudible], I feel it blinks less ... there are two flashes of light we don't see well, f... there are far in fact, huh."

Male voice: "Actually you do not see it but it flashes slowly, tic tic tic tic, there, a second light above to the right."

Male voice: "It's weird."

Male voice: "It's flashing full, f... we don't see."

Male voice: "It stopped flashing, it flashes again."

Male voice: "Oh f... that makes a flash further."

Male voice: "It's really weird, huh."

Male voice: "It will soon take off I'm sure."

Male voice: "Ah baby you have to see this it's too much."

Male voice: "I don't see, come quickly, look where exactly it is flashing, wait, don't go in front of the camera because if I have to film... no but, oh, come next to me."



The human eye has a much better resolution than video cameras. This is why the witnesses saw the flashing, although it is not really visible on the video. The flashing of Chinese lanterns is not very important, and varies with blows of the winds.

The video shows exactly what can appear when filming a Chinese lantern. And the report contains absolutely nothing that would suggest this explanation should be discarded.

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.


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 July 15, 2018 Creation, [you1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 15, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 15, 2018.