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ALSACAT:

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 the Spitzling, in the 1800's:

Case number:

ALSACAT-1800-00-00-LEPITZLING-1

Summary:

An article by Frédéric Dumerchat proposing to link the study of UFO sighting reports and that of folklore, particularly the Alsatian folklore, by arguing similarities in the events described, in the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit #237-238 of March / April 1984, reports as an example that on the Spitzling, between eleven o'clock and midnight, one can see an empty carriage drawn by two horses. Two men who were going to Bouxwiller met it and went up there, it rose in the air, they just had time to jump, and followed it with their eyes until it disappeared in the sky. The men claimed to have heard wonderful music coming from the car, still long after it was gone.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: The 1800's
Time: ?
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1852
Reporting delay: Decades.

Geographical data:

Department: Bas-Rhin
City: Bouxwiller
Place: Road on the hill called the Spitzling.
Latitude: 48.820
Longitude: 7.504
Uncertainty ratio: 2 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Adults.
Witness(es) types: Residents.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Folklorist August Stoeber.
Type of location: Road on a hill in the country.
Visibility conditions: ?
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Yes
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: A coach.

Classifications:

Hynek: ?
ALSACAT: Folklore, not UFO-related.

Sources:

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

Scan.

On the Spitzling (85), between eleven o'clock and midnight, one could see an empty carriage drawn by two horses. Two men who were going to Bouxwiller (86) met it and climbed in it. It rose in the air, they just had time to jump off. They followed it with their eyes, it finally disappeared into the sky. They claimed to have heard wonderful music emanating from it, it was heard long after it had disappeared (87).

The note "85" refers to "County capital" and the note "87" refers to "Variot, t.III, p. 332-333."

Discussion:

Map.

The "Spitzling" is a hill between Kirrwiller and Bouxwiller, where the road connecting these two villages (distant of 3 km) passes.

There are many other stories linked to the Spitling and other surroundings of Bouxwiller at that time: a vision of will-o'-the-wisps, an apparition of children "with red breastplates and shirt-arms", a white goose who misleads travelers, a black cow "with silver horns and a silver glass bell around its neck" etc.

The story, undoubtedly collected by the Alsatian folklorist Auguste Stoeber, and later by others including Jean James Variot, has variants, for example:

On a hill called Spizling, where the road from Kirrwiller to Bouxwiller passes, you can see between midnight and eleven in the morning, a large empty coach, drawn by two black horses. Two citizens of Bouxwiller wanted to settle there, passing by there; at the same time the harnessed coach rose higher and higher in the air and disappeared, letting a very beautiful music hear inside.

The version in [ldl1] comes from "Légendes et traditions orales d'Alsace - Volume 3", book by Jean James Variot, France, page 333. 1919.

It also appears in "Légendes d'Alsace - Volume 1" by Gabriel Gravier, "Mouton bleu bêle fort" publisher, page 105 1986, and the electronic book "Légendes effrayantes d'Alsace, en page 43.

Is this a "UFO sighting"? Nothing proves it. The simple fact that we are told there were horses harnessed to the coach makes me think that it is absolutely not.

Evaluation:

Folklore, 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 17, 2021 Creation, [ldl1].
1.0 Patrick Gross June 17, 2021 First published.

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This page was last updated on June 17, 2021.