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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.

Case of Kaysersberg to Lapoutroie, maybe about 1800:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1800-00-00-KAYSERSBERGLAPOUTROIE-1

Summary:

The famous Alsatian folklore specialist Auguste Stoeber reported the legend that follows; which he says he had heard.

"A man from Kaysersberg had business to deal with at two strong more hours in the mountains located in Schnierlach (La Poutroye) [Lapoutroie ], he took the road even before day dawned. And suddenly there came rolling behind him a large, heavy carriage. At the invitation of the coachman he stepped into it, but was not a little surprised, because he felt lifted into the air. The coachman did not listen the man's louds and repeated calls. But when the first pale light of the day came in the sky, he felt a bump of the carriage, and the unwilling aerial passenger was deposited on the top of a high mountain, opposite Lapoutroie."

Some ufologists see in such ancient stories a reason to defend this or that theory about flying saucers, and cite similar stories - this one seems to have been unnoticed so far.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: Maybe about 1800
Time: Early morning.
Duration: Minutes, hours?
First known report date: 1852
Reporting delay: Years, decades, centuries?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Kaysersberg to Lapoutroie
Place: In the Vosges mountains between Kaysersberg and Lapoutroie, inside UFO.
Latitude: 48.146
Longitude: 7.216
Uncertainty ratio: 4 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 0
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adult.
Witness(es) types: Man.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Told as tale by someone to local folklorist.
Type of location: In mountains, inside UFO.
Visibility conditions: Early in the morning.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: Yes
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Hynek: CE3
ALSACAT: Local folklore, unverifiable, probably not related to the question of UFOs.

Sources:

[Ref. as1:] AUGUSTE STOEBER:

In modern characers:

Die Teufelskutsche

Mündlich

Ein Mann aus Kaysersberg hatte ein Geschäft in dem zwei starke Stunden weiter im Gebirge gelegenen Schnierlach (La Poutroye), zu besorgen un begab Sich, schon bevor es Tag graute, auf den Weg. Da kam plötzlich eine grosse, schwere Kutsche hinter her gerollt. Auf die Einladung des Kutscher stieg er hinein, war aber nicht wenig erstaunt, da er sich mit dem ganzen Fuhrwerfe in die Luft gehoben fühlte. Der Kutscher hatte ein Gehör für kein lautes und wiederholtes Rufen. Als aber der erste blasse Schein des Tages sich am Himmel zeigte, fuhr der Schlag der Kutsche auf und der Luftreisende wider Willen wurde auf dem Gipfel eines hohen, Schnierlach gegenüber liegende Berges abgesetzt.

In English:

A man from Kaysersberg had business to deal with at two strong more hours in the mountains located in Schnierlach (La Poutroye) [Lapoutroie ], he took the road even before day dawned. And suddenly there came rolling behind him a large, heavy carriage. At the invitation of the coachman he stepped into it, but was not a little surprised, because he felt lifted into the air. The coachman did not listen the man's louds and repeated calls. But when the first pale light of the day came in the sky, he felt a bump of the carriage, and the unwilling aerial passenger was deposited on the top of a high mountain, opposite Lapoutroie.

[Ref. lm1:] GUENTER LIPOWSKI AND DANIEL MORGEN:

Günter Lipowsky and Daniel Morgen worked for more than two years to create a new version of the legends of Alsace collected and published for the first time by Auguste Stoeber (1808-1884). Here is one of them:

Teufelskutschen

1. Die Teufelskutsche.
(Kaysersberg)
Stöber, 1852, S. 106.
Stöber
Mündel 1892, S. 96
97.
(Anthologie, 2009, S. 317 und 325.)

Ein Mann aus Kaysersberg wollte ein Geschäft in Schnierlach (La Poutroye), das ungefähr zwei Stunden weiter entfernt im Gebirge liegt, erledigen. Schon bevor es Tag wurde, machte er sich auf den Weg, Da kam plötzlich eine große, schwere Kutsche hinter ihm angerollt. Der Kutscher bot ihm an einzusteigen. Der Mann staunte, als sich die Kutsche plötzlich in die Luft erhob. Das laute und wiederholte Rufen des Mannes wollte der Kutscher nicht hören. Als aber sich der erste blasse Schein des Tages am Himmel zeigte, ging die Tür der Kutsche auf, und der Luftreisende wider Willen wurde auf dem hohen Gipfel des Berges, der Schnierlach gegenüber liegt, abgesetz.

In English:

"A man from Kaysersberg wanted to do business in Schnierlach (La Poutroye) [Lapoutroie], which is about another two hours away in the mountains. Even before it was day, he started his trip, when suddenly a large, heavy carriage came up behind him. The coachman offered him to enter. The man was surprised when the coach suddenly rose in the air. The coachman did not want to hear the man's loud and repeated calls. But when was the first pale light of the day appeared in the sky, the door of the carriage opened, and the air traveler in spite of himself was deposited on the summit of the mountain that sits above Lapoutroie."

Discussion:

Some ufologists or Fortean researchers focus, for various reasons, to looking in old texts, dated before the "flying saucers era", for stories that would relate to this topic.

Among their reasons, some are contradictory. Some seek to demonstrate that "flying saucers" cannot be a "modern hype" since ancient stories from before this supposed hype were already reporting UFOs. Others want to show that "flying saucers" are indeed the modern version of old nonsense such as religious appearances or stories of "flying coaches" whose only connection with the UFO question is that nonsense always existed.

Some of these researchers have become specialists in such ancient stories, foaming libraries to find in old newspapers or books of legends texts recounting alleged facts more or less obviously suggestive of "flying saucers". We can think of Jacques Vallée, Jean Sider, Chris Aubeck and many others, including the Alsatian Christian Valentin who listed some stories of this kind in my area - with caution, as I do.

To be clear, I do not think any argument can be seriously held from such documents. These are not established "facts", there is almost never any contemporary investigation or verification, it is usually too late to try to establish any "truth" in it. Sometimes, however, we can show that the "case" was only a misinterpretation, sometimes a hoax, usually we can only pronounce that the story cannot be taken at face value, that nothing can demonstrate that it is a factual narrative.

So then I would not have to mention cases like the one I'm filing here.

But that would expose me to a critique regularly made by some ufologists who think that a priori rejection of such material is to be "blind" or close minded or in denial of this or that thesis.

So as I don't want to be subjected to this sort of criticism, I document this case. Even though there is no mention of the story in the UFO literature, apparently nobody found out about this story yet, I give the report, documented and referenced, and my comment.

Here we have a story of a flying coach and its involuntary passenger. Such stories have been published in the UFO literature as falling within the ufology topic. This is one more, unpublished as such so far. It is quite remarkable in the genre because the lack of descriptions and of both the coach and the coach driver, the absence of any human character such as some words said by the coach driver or mention of horses allows to imagine that this was of a flying saucer and its alien pilot, undescribed because it could not enter into the concepts of that time. This would be no less than the old version of an "alien abduction". There would be an effect of incommensurability here. "Flying coach" was used for flying saucers, "devil" for the pilot, for lack of better concepts.

Who knows? I cannot claim that it is impossible. But I cannot claim and will not claim that this is the case here. I rather think it's just a popular local legend without any basis to conclude anything more than the fact such stories exist.

Note: There are about 7 kilometers between Kaysersberg and Lapoutroie.

Evaluation:

Local folklore, unverifiable, probably not related to the question of UFOs.

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 August 24, 2014 Creation, [as1], [lm1].
1.0 Patrick Gross August 24, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on August 24, 2014.