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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 the Ile Napoléon, in 1948:

Case number:



According to a catalog of close encounters of the third kind compiled by ufologist Raoul Robé in the 1980s, in 1948 at the Ile Napoleon, a Marian apparition, not recognized by the Church, was witnessed by three little boys, according to "L. Blaise, Alonso."

A list of "appearances" of the "Blessed Virgin" of 2007 adds that this took place "in a parish church, according to Gamba, 1999."


Temporal data:

Date: 1948
Time: ?
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1948?
Reporting delay: Minutes, years?

Geographical data:

Department: Haut-Rhin
City: Sausheim, Illzach, Rixheim
Place: Ile Napoléon in a parish church.
Latitude: 47.770
Longitude: -7.387
Uncertainty radius: 1 km

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Type of location: Inside a church.
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".


Hynek: CE3
ALSACAT: Insufficient information, no credibility, not related to UFOs.


[Ref. rre1:] 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, comprizing 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:

11 ??.??.48 ? M* Ile-Napoléon (68) 3 children M

Further on, the following information is given:

Case #11

In 1948 in Ile-Napoléon (68).

Blessed virgin appearance (not recognized by the Church) to three little boys (Ref. : L. Blaise, Alonso).


ILE NAPOLEON (France): In 1948, the "Blessed Virgin appears" to three children* in a parish church, according to Gamba*, 1999, 478. P.S.



"Ile Napoleon" (Napoleon Island), is a place situated in the suburbs of Mulhouse and distributed on the communal grounds of Sausheim, Illzach, and Rixheim. It is no longer an island, as it was eliminated in 1968. The place is now (2014) essentiellemt a big mall.

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 visitors 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, what do we have regarding this case in the Ile-Napoléon in 1948?

Almost nothing from the point of view of the UFO investigator. There is no exact date, no hour, no exact location, no distance, no duration, no description, no witnesses names, no trace of any primary source, no investigation, no research, nothing. Here we are at level zero on the quality of the "case".

Imagine a case of an "encounter with an alien" for which all the information would be: "In 1948, at the Ile-Napoléon, 3 children said they saw an alien." Who, then, would proclaim that it is a proven extraterrestrial visitation? Or that any other explanation would be reliable?

It seems we have no UFO, and the "entity" allegedly seen seems to have had the looks of the "Blessed Mary" instead of looking like a being from another planet.

So many explanations are possible, which are all more or less of identical certainty, none can be "proven" as the story stands so far.

Maybe children in mistook an alien for the "Blessed Virgin." Maybe "real aliens" had fun making up a "fake Blessed Virgin." Maybe this was a misinterpretation of some kind. Maybe it had not happened at all, it was all invented, by the children perhaps - and this is the thesis that has my preference in the absence of other information. I think any sensible ufologist would find it hard to claim this is a reliable and credible report.

We know nothing of the context. What did the children do, where were they? It is perfectly possible that a child experienced a classic hypnagogic hallucination in his half-sleep, in all "good faith", and then convinced comrades to support his story. Perhaps the children had eaten some bread contaminated with ergot and it caused some hallucinations?

Who knows? Not me. If someone "knows", please share your knowledge, with the facts and arguments to support it.

For now, all I can conclude is that this case does not enlighten me at all when it comes to give an explanation either to this case or to "UFOs in general." And nothing shows me that this must be associated with the question of UFO sightings reports or UFO occupants.


Insufficient information, no credibility, not related to UFOs.

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 March 14, 2014 Creation, [rre1], [gaa1], [rln1].
1.0 Patrick Gross March 14, 2014 First published.

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This page was last updated on March 14, 2014.