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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 Oberbruck, in October 1937:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1937-10-00-OBERBRUCK-1

Summary:

The press, at the time, reported that one Antoinette Lauber, of Oberbruck in Alsace, aged 16 and a half, seriously ill with prostate and heart conditions, already in the final steps, suddenly recovered.

She had prayed for several days aloud in Latin, French and German, and claimed to have seen the "Mother of God" appear to her, and promise her a full recovery. She later fell into a deep sleep, to awoke with a cry of joy, "Mom, mom, the miracle happened, I'm healed!"

The Press stated that one "will be able to make a judgment on the case when the competent authorities speak!" And it seems that the Church never said that there was a miracle there.

This story, easily explanaible in ordinary terms, and clearly without any relationship with the matter of UFO sightings in my opinion, nevertheless appeared in a catalogue of close encounters of the third kind.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: October 1937
Time: ?
Duration: ?
First known report date: November 27, 1937
Reporting delay: Days, months?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Oberbruck
Place: In witness' bedroom.
Latitude: 47.809
Longitude: -6.944
Uncertainty ratio: 3 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1
Witness(es) ages: 16
Witness(es) types: Girl, devout.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: Witness' bedroom.
Visibility conditions: ?
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
Entities: Yes
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: The "Blessed Virgin".

Classifications:

Hynek: CE3
ALSACAT: Possible hypnagogic hallucination, not UFO related.

Sources:

[Ref. lv1:] JOURNAL "LICHTENSTEINER VOLKSBLATT":

German text:

Interessantes aus aller Welt

Mehrwürdige Heilung

Die seit Monaten schwehr krank darnieder liegende und von den Hertzen bereits aufgegebene 16 1/2 jährige Antoinette Lauber aus Oberbruck hat plötzlich die Gesundheit wieder erlangt. Vor mehrere Tagen begann die Kranke in lateinicher, französischer und in deutscher Sprache laut zu beten und gab vor, Erscheinungen der Gottesmütter gehabt zu haben, die Ihr völlige Heilung versprochen hatte; Sie verviel später in einen tiefen Schlaf, aus dem sie mit dem Freudenruf erwachte: "Mutter, Mutter, das Wunder ist geschehen, ich bin geheilt!" Man wird über den Fall erst ein Urteil fällen können, wenn die zustandige Infantzen gesprochen haben!

English translation:

Of interest worldwide

Miraculous healinge

Antoinette Lauber, of Oberbruck, 16 and a half years old, seriously ill and in bed with a heart condition already in the final stage suddenly recovered. For several days the patient began to pray aloud in Latin, French and German, and claimed to have had apparitions of the Mother of God who had promised her a full recovery, later falling into a deep sleep she awoke of with a cry of joy, "Mom, mom, the miracle happened, I'm healed!" One will be able to make a judgment on the case when the competent authorities speak!

[Ref. ro1:] RAOUL ROBE:

The catalogue compiled by Raoul Robé is described as publishing the "humanoids" appearances - in a broad sense - that occurred since 1900 on the action area of the 'ufology group CNEGU, comprizine Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin. It is said the work has been done thanks to the collaboration of associations members of CNEGU, and people from "Lumières Dans La Nuit", including Alain Gamard.

There is a "List of the Humanoid cases in the N.E.", where this appears, inter alia:

CASE Nr DATE HOUR LIEU WITNESSES SEX
7 ??.10.37 ? M* Oberbruck (68) A Lauber F

Further on, the following information is given:

Case #7

In octobre 1937 in Oberbruck (68).

Blessed virgin appearance (not recognised by the Church) to Antoinette Lauber (Ref.: L. Blaise, Alonso).

[Ref. ls1:] RENE LAURENTIN AND PATRICK SBALCHIERO:

OBERBRUCK (France, Haut-Rhin, diocese of Strasbourg): In early October 1937, the "Blessed Virgin appeared eight times" to a suffering teenager, Antoinette Lauber, fifteen-year-old. At the last apparition, Antoinette receives this message "Now I go to Germany."

B.: Ernst, 1989, 143; Gamba, 1999, 446; Hierzenberger, 1993, 253-254 P.S.

[Ref. mh1:] "MIRACLE HUNTERS" WEBSITE:

The list of "unapproved" Marian apparitions below includes three types of apparition claims:

  1. Uninvestigated Marian apparition claims (including several to saints);
  2. Investigated Marian apparition claims that have been determined to not have any supernatural character;
  3. Investigated Marian apparition claims that have not been determined to have any supernatural character.
Year Place # People Involved Approval of Supernatural character
1937 Oberbruck (France) Antoinette Lauber (15) No decision

Discussion:

One may wonder why an alleged "appearance of the Blessed Virgin" appears in a ufology catalog.

I wonder about that myself. But since at least one source believes that this story is part of ufology, whatever the reason is, I also have to deal with it, to assess the meaning this "appearance the Blessed Virgin" case might have in connection with ufology, I need to see what this is all about before I can deny or accept the relevance of the story to ufology.

A part of the ufologists, usually those who consider the idea of extraterrestrial visitators false or stupid, blame others who do not agree to "ignore" or "silence" a range of "phenomena", such as the "apparitions of the Blessed Virgin." They consider that such events teach something to ufologists and that ignoring them is a methodological error, or a form of "closed mindedness" or even "stupidity".

So, they are wrong here, as I did not "reject" the matter without consideration, on the contrary, I looked for the best possible documentation on the case so that I can make a thoughtful assessment about it; and it is only after doing this that I state whether this case teaches something useful in ufology.

I should explain briefly to the possibly ufologically "novice" reader, the reasoning that some ufologists give to justify that a "Blessed Virgin appearance" would indeed be relevant to ufology. Many reasons are put forth, some of which are contradictory with the others. But they exist:

These are, in short, why "Blessed Virgin visions" are sometimes found in UFO literature.

Now, however valid or invalid the reasons which lead some ufologists to consider such cases as falling within ufology, there is obviously left to to check whether a trivial explanation can be found for the event.

If it is certain, or probable, or possible, that the whole story has no parnormal character, nothing to do with some mysterious unknown pehnomenon, nothing to do with aliens and UFOs, or nothing otherwise extraordinary, then, it is futile to ramble on about its relevance to the study of UFO sighting reports, it seems to me.

Well, indeed, this story has nothing to defend that it is "paranormal" in nature, or "inexplicable" and even less "extraterrestrial", of course.

In fact, all we have is an anecdotal narrative - we see that the "authorities" do not confirm anything, as far as we know - and everything is perfectly explicable. A sick girl whos mental functioning can be greatly altered by the disease, a girl who seems eagerly religious, may well, in bed at night, eperience a classical hypnagogic hallucination and end up convinced in all good faith - the word are quite appropriate here - that she saw the "Blessed Virgin." Miraculous healing ? Or spontaneous healing? Was the illness properly diagnosed? Were the heart diagnosis entirely reliable in 1937? And who says the girl did not die from her illness some time later?

How and why hypnagogic hallucinations occur can be discovered by reading these references:

Evaluation:

Possible hypnagogic hallucination, not UFO related.

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 March 14, 2014 Creation, [lv1], [ba1], [ro1], [ls1], [mh1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 14, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 14, 2014.