Long time readers of Magonia and its predecessor MUFOB might remember the huge catalogue of  ‘Type 1’ UFO reports that featured in its pages. This was the continuation of the catalogue that featured as an appendix to Jacques Vallee’s Passport to Magonia. The work began in 1971 and publication of reports began in the Autumn of 1972 and continued until the early months of 1982, at which time it was felt that it no longer reflected the ethos of what was then Magonia.

Originally it was constructed with some distinctly Old Ufology biases, with attempts to separate out ‘true’ and ‘false’ cases, those with conventional explanations being excluded. By 1982 it was becoming clear that this could easily mean very little would be left, and there were endless arguments about which case was true or false. Interest was failing, the old Vallee classification of Type 1 (below 100 feet or 30 metres or treetop height) made little sense (who can safely estimate height, how high is a tree etc.).  It also has to be said that many of the stories thus included were very banal indeed.

By 1982 I had compiled the catalogue 1880-1980 and assumed the work was finished, there were various plans to get it ‘onto computer’ a rare beast in those early days. For several years the complete catalogue of over 5,000 entries was housed in the then ASSAP library in the basement of Purley Library where John Rimmer was librarian. When that closed in the early 1990s the catalogue came home, I occasionally used bits of it in articles, but it was not until the rise of the Internet that I considered transcribing it to computer. The task of transcribing 5,000 plus entries is more than a little daunting, so I decided to concentrate on a more realistic sample, the entity cases.

Readers must understand that these stories are presented as just that, stories, examples of modern folklore, products of the human imagination. The “aliens” presented here, with a handful of exceptions that never made the canon, are far too human to be the real thing. They belong in traditional folkloric categories, and the observant reader will detect many traditional motifs. This human imagination can be assumed to manifest in various forms, in the spontaneous imagination of dreams, hypnogogic hallucinations or waking visions, or manifest in the misperception of conventional natural or human phenomena (or unconventional or even exotic natural phenomena if such exist), in the more crafted imagination of “told as true” tales, whether by the “witnesses” or journalists, ufologists or popular writers, to the more sophisticated hoaxes, whether played by or on the “witnesses”

These stories show how UFO stories meld imperceptibly into ghost and fairy tales. They encode the mysteries of the night and wild and liminal places and show interesting constants of the imagination. Their patterns hint at the kinds of things that are misperceived (how many spaceships, complete with crew at the controls are misperceptions of the moon and its markings low on the horizon or seen through foliage and mist? They merge traditional motifs with modern imagery (the little people of tradition come complete with diving suits or space suits, they do things that people imagine human astronauts would do, such as gather soil samples (but also linking to themes of vegetation and fertility).

What most separates these memorates from ghost stories, traditional and often modern, is that they are located in time and space, they occurred to so and so and such a time and such a place, not the vague “people say” or “it is said” of much ghost-lore.

The catalogue here is compiled as it was up to 1982, no new cases or information has been added. All I have done is make some clarifications in the text, added sub-national geographical areas and modernised the references. In doing so I may have made an error or two in cases where there are prolific authors. 

The sources are based on those in George Eberhart’s monumental UFO’s and the Extraterrestrial Contact Movement: A Bibliography. 2 volumes, Scarecrow Press, 1986. Downloadable here:

Readers will find most items in the catalogue of the AFU archives:

I have kept witnesses names where these are in the public domain, in the case of children however I have checked other sites. Where their names are widely available I have not redacted them on this one, where they are not, I have done so.

In compiling INTCAT I had the support of Jacques Vallee and the collaboration of Richard Heiden, Jacques Bonabot, Alain Gamard, Vincente-Juan Ballester Olmos, Maurizio Verga, Eduardo Russo, Barry Greenwood, Keith Basterfield and the late J. B Delair. The views expressed in this introduction are, however, my own.