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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 Ribeauvillé, maybe in the 1800's:

Case number:



An article by Frédéric Dumerchat proposing to bring together the study of UFO sighting reports and that of folklore, in particular Alsatian foloklore, by arguing about similarities in the events described, in the ufology magazine Lumières Dans La Nuit #237-238 of March / April 1984, reports this:

A young boy was caught by an empty coach, without a coachman, which was following a journey on Christmas night, near Ribeauvillé (Haut-Rhin). He climbed in and was found the next day perched on a poplar tree.

Frédéric Dumerchat indicated the 1919 book by folklorist Jean Jame Variot as the source; the story is in fact one of those collected by the very popular Alsatian foklorist Auguste Stoeber and published in his 1852 book.


Temporal data:

Date: In the 1800's
Time: Night.
Duration: Hours.
First known report date: 1852
Reporting delay: Decades.

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Ribeauvillé
Place: Near Ribeauvillé.
Latitude: 48.812
Longitude: 7.497
Uncertainty ratio: 4 km.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0
Witness(es) ages: Young adult.
Witness(es) types: Young man.

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Folklorist Auguste Stoeber.
Type of location: Outside.
Visibility conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: ?
Entities: No
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: A coach without driver.


Hynek: CE4
ALSACAT: Legend, no credibility.




A young boy was caught by an empty coach, without a coachman, which was following a journey on Christmas night, near Ribeauvillé (Haut-Rhin) (81). He climbed in and was found the next day perched on a poplar tree (82).

The source (82) is noted further non as: "Variot, t.II, p. 319-320."



I am willing to admit that a "flying saucer abduction" from the 1800's could have been described this way in folklore; however, it remains to be proven that this was what it was all about.

The "big" issue with this sort fof "cases" is that one "filters" folklore stories to keep those that may be related to the UFO sighting reports matter. But a huge proportion of the folklore tells stories that are can clearly not be linked to the UFO sighting reports questions, that are very varied and verge on the absurd:

This is essentially why, though I understand the effort, I cannot really believe that stories such as this one can really help ufology to decie what UFO sightings reports are. Other, more scientific approaches, must be used,


Legend, no credibility.

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 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.