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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 Ingersheim, in the 1800's:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1800-00-00-INGERSHEIM-1

Summary:

Some ufologists believe that "UFOs" and other "alien beings" are "real appearances" but not extraterrestrials, to be classified with the appearances of fairies, ghosts, etc., and other "paranormal" phenomena; others believe for various reasons that the "non-UFO" stories of the folklore have something to tell us about the UFO question.

Thus an article by Frédéric Dumerchat in the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit #237-238 of April 1984, tells us from a secon hand source, a story which had in fact been collected by the famous Alsatian folklorist Auguste Stoeber (1808-1884) in 1852 [asr1]:

Between the Fecht and Ingersheim, at dusk, one saw a young white girl by the stream. A village child, who ignored this, suddenly saw her walking lightly a few steps away from him. He called out to her to help him find his ducks he had lost. She turned away. He went to find his brother. They saw her sitting in the grass. "As soon as they got too close to her, she got up, quickly crossed the footbridge of the valve and disappeared into the vines. After a while she reappeared, a white veil on her head and her hands crossed over her chest."

Again she didn't answer his questions. She walked up to him, he threw a stone over her head, she disappeared "into the ground" and they heard her voice lamenting.

"According to the children, the young white girl advanced in successive leaps, or rather, lifting herself at a certain height above the ground."

A young girl passing the bridge was punched in the face by this white lady, because she had not said goodnight to her. Then she gave her a message, which she never revealed, and asked her to come back the next day. She returned there with her mother, on their knees they prayed, but nothing came. Subsequently this young girl was seized with terror when she saw somehting of white color.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: The 1800's.
Time: Dusk.
Duration: ?
First known report date:
Reporting delay:

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Ingersheim
Place: On the edge of the La Fecht brook.
Latitude: 48.096
Longitude: 7.307
Uncertainty ratio: 5 km

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 3
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Young, children.
Witness(es) types: Young, children.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Folklorist Auguste Stoeber.
Type of location: Outside, edge of brook.
Visibility conditions: ?
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
Entities: Yes
Photographs: N/A.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Varied.
Witnesses interpretation: A young woman.

Classifications:

Hynek: CE3
ALSACAT: Legend, not UFO-related.

Sources:

[Ref. ldl1:] UFOLOGY MAGAZINE "LUMIERES DANS LA NUIT":

Scan.

Between the Fecht and Ingersheim (Haut-Rhin) (70), at dusk, one saw a young white girl by the stream. A village child, who ignored this, suddenly saw her walking lightly a few steps away from him. He called out to her to help him find his ducks he had lost. She turned away. He went to find his brother. They saw her sitting in the grass. "As soon as they got too close to her, she got up, quickly crossed the footbridge of the valve and disappeared into the vines. After a while she reappeared, a white veil on her head and her hands crossed over her chest."

Again she didn't answer his questions. She walked up to him, he threw a stone over her head, she disappeared "into the ground" and they heard her voice lamenting.

"According to the children, the young white girl advanced in successive leaps, or rather, lifting herself at a certain height above the ground."

A young girl passing the bridge was punched in the face by this white lady, because she had not said goodnight to her. Then she gave her a message, which she never revealed, and asked her to come back the next day. She returned there with her mother, on their knees they prayed, but nothing came. Subsequently this young girl was seized with terror when she saw somehting of white color (71).

The notes are detailed as: "(70) County of Kaysersberg" and "(71) Variot, t.II, p. 268-270."

Discussion:

Carte.

Ufologists cite such stories with very different motivations:

For me, this is purely a "story", a legend, without any real basis, or at best a very, very distorted one; and which tells us absolutely nothing solid about UFO sighting reports.

I think it suffices to see that such legends are "varied" in the extreme, by no means limited to "appearances" of beings more or less supernatural, and that it is only by "filtering out" these vers varied stories to retain only those which go in the direction of the defended thesis, that some think they demonstrate one or the other of the theses which I described above.

I see no objection at looking at folklore from a UFO perspective, on the contrary, but I have serious objections to the conclusions drawn from it. Such accounts have not been "verified", they are rumors at best, their "collectors", such as Auguste Stober had absolutely no concern of establishing any "veracity" of the stories.

I readily agree that a UFO sighting in the past would be interpreted very differently than the "modern" interpretation, but the modern demand for credibility must still apply. I subscribe very well to the idea that "one always told stories"; but I do not subscribe to the idea that this is sufficient to solve the issue of UFO sighting reports.

Evaluation:

Legend, 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 June 4, 2021 Creation, [asr1], [ldl1].
1.0 Patrick Gross June 4, 2021 First published.

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This page was last updated on June 4, 2021.