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Saturday, 17 November 2012

I Still Don't Believe in Fairies, BUT . . .

     As I said in my last post, I don't believe in fairies as such. But suppose you did happen to see - ahem! - a tiny humanoid creature, who're you gonna call? Probably not your local newspaper - not unless you've forgotten what "laughing stock" means. You could google "tiny humanoid creature", but it won't get you to any central registry. In the bad old (pre-internet) days it was even worse. However, any sizeable telephone directory is likely to contain an entry commencing,"UFO" or "Flying saucer". And since ufologists have a penchant for weird stories anyway, they have a tendency to accumulate such accounts over the years.
     The following reports, except for the last one, were collected by ufologists. It is important to note, however, that no UFO was present in any of the cases.

     Western Australia. Do you believe in goblins? Australian UFO societies attempt to standardise their report sheets. This one was sent to me by Keith Basterfield, one of our most efficient ufologists. The witness's name was naturally whited out, but she was a 67-year-old lady, recounting her experience in Mandurah in 1930, when she was 15 years of age. Mandurah (32° 30' S, 115° 45' E) is situated on the coast, where Peel Inlet opens to the sea. The actual occurrence took place in a "humpy" (ie shack) in Greary Road, not far from the Mandurah Estuary and bridge. The other witnesses, her mother and father, were deceased at the time of the report.
While sitting reading with my parents in a humpy on a block in Mandurah in Greary Rd by the light of a hurricane lamp with the door partly open, the time about 8 pm, as we went to bed early, a little pink creature walked in - about 24 inches in height, large ears, big, bulbous eyes covered with a film, small hands, large feet, slit of a mouth, no hair, and shiny as if wet or oily. We were terrified, and my father went white and being a religious man, said it was the work of the Devil. Picking up a prawning net, he picked it up and it made a noise like EE EE, and my father put it outside. We never saw it again, and went to bed feeling very scared. This was in 1930 and I never thought any more about it until I saw a picture of E.T., although only its eyes were the same.
      Further information gives the witness's name as Beryl Hickey, and she decided to break her silence after the release of the film, E.T.  Her story was originally published in The Western Mail (Perth) on 25 December 1982. She added: "The picture in The Western Mail is very like it, except it did not have a round body, more straight down like a child's body. I cannot remember seeing any sex organs."

     The following accounts are taken from Flying Saucer Review (FSR), although no UFOs were recorded nearby.

     Ohio. On 20 August 1980, Mrs Joy Barish of Massachusetts addressed a letter to FSR, which published an extract on p 32 of volume 26, no. 6, of March 1981.
     In the 1930s a friend of mine, who now lives in Michigan, but who was then a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio - a little girl of 8 at the time - picked up what she called a "tiny man" from a rain-swept gutter. Her description of it, and the illustration she sent me, was of an elf . . . as described in Geoffrey Hodson's Fairies at Work and Play.   
     She said it had "petrified eyes" and she was all but persuaded to hand it over to a neighbour who regarded her discovery with a cold fish eye. He asked her to give "it" to him, but she let it go and it scampered away between two houses. It had a tight-fitting suit. Its face was small and triangular with pointed ears, and slanting eyes too. It was as agile as any insect, but it certainly was not the "praying mantis" the cold-eyed neighbour insisted it might be. Right before she picked up this tiny entity she saw a balloon-shaped object fly over hills  beyond the city.
     The entity in Hodson's book in the category 3 to 6 inches have large ears, little thin legs and fit the entity my friend picked up.
     For many years after that she had grotesque nightmares of terrible-looking creatures dancing in a mad circle behind her house. The following day she would check the dream site, and the grass there had been flattened into a circle, and seemed to remain greener than the rest of the yard.
     Regrettably, I did not think to write to Mrs Barish until 1995, by which time she was able to provide no further documentation or information except that her penfriend who had the experience was called Jackie Workman, and she had passed away ten years or more before. Indeed, Mrs Barish's somewhat incoherent letter suggested that she was becoming somewhat demented. Nevertheless, she appeared completely compos mentis, albeit rather "new ageish" in her views, in her 1980 letter. It is perhaps worth noting that in that letter she also added:
     I myself saw a UFO 200 feet away on June 25, 1970, hovering behind a telephone pole just beyond the house of our neighbours immediately across the road. This one had a brilliant (thin) yellow line about it, and 10 or 11 balls attached by spikes, or spokes . . . what I saw looked real. I don't believe I was out of my body, but I think if I had approached it, it wouldn't [have] remained "solid" that long . . .
     And while we are on the subject, here is an interesting article which I really did discover by googling "tiny humanoid creature". Of course, there are some spoil-sports who would say there is a prosaic explanation.

     Colombia. Ibagué (4° 26' N, 75° 14' W) is a regional capital in Colombia. On 10 August 1973, four of the pupils at the local Escuela Normal (Normal School), named Medardo Martinez, Hipolito Garcia, Hernán Manjarras, and Mario Fernandez had a remarkable experience. I gather that they were accompanied by an unnamed policeman at the time.
    The boys were outside the town and were approaching a ravine (quebrada) known as El Jordán which lies just a few miles distant from Ibagué. They were on an expedition to gather botanical specimens from the semi-dry bed of a nearby rivulet.
    Arrived at the banks of the stream, the boys observed, with vast astonishment, four small beings no more than 20 cm. in height standing beneath and slightly in front of a little stone footbridge and seemingly engaged in searching for something in the mud of the river-bed. [Emphasis in the original; 20cm = 8 in.]
     The boys described the little creatures as "dressed in white, with tiny grey caps on their heads, and with humanlike features." The boys walked on towards them, and then suddenly the little creatures were gone "disappearing in the air as though by magic."
     In the stream bed was found what was interpreted as a series of tiny footprints. However, a photo (which I have not seen) was said to indicate six or seven deep, roundish impressions which did not really resemble footprints. The policeman is said to have made an official report to his superiors identical in substance to the boys' account. Needless to say, once the story broke, the ravine became the focus of a vast crowd of sightseers.
Reference: Gordon Creighton: "Tiny entities reported in Colombia", FSR 21(5), p 31 (Feb. 1976), citing an article by Sr. Rafael Barrero Cortes in Cuarta Dimensión, no. 23. (Although I can read Spanish, I have not been able to obtain a copy of this article. Can anyone help?)

     Peru. It is probably best to quote the entry in its entirety, and leave you to make of it what you will. It comes from FSR 23(5), p iii (Feb 1978).
     The English-language Buenos Aires Herald of January 12, 1977 carried a Reuters report from Lima, Peru, about a twenty-year-old Peruvian university student, Jorge Alvarez, who, in a radio broadcast in a programme entitled "Interplanetary Contacts", claimed that he had been saved from drowning by weird little humanoids.
     He said that he had been going down to the bank of a river in Huanaco Province (420 km. east of Lima) to get water, when he fell into a swamp. He was sinking rapidly and had given up all hope, when "four scaly little creatures of human appearance, but with three fingers on each hand," came suddenly, and, grunting and gesticulating, extended several branches with which they pulled him on to the dry land. He then collapsed with exhaustion and, on recovering, found that the little creatures had vanished.
     Alvares described them as less than one metre in height, and covered with green scales. Their three-fingered hands were cold and clammy. A local UFO investigation group known as the Peruvian Institute of Interplanetary Relations (sponsors of the radio programme) were reported to be taking an interest in the case and their president, Sr. Carlos Paz Garcia, was planning to lead a party to investigate this case at the site.
     Credit: Miss Jane Thomas, Buenos Aires.
It would have been interesting to know whether anything more substantial was published in the Peruvian press.

     France. The site of the following adventure is described as "on a forest path in a slightly marshy meadow land close to he Franco-Belgian frontier" in the Ardennes. It was the evening of Sunday, 2 May 1976, the sky overcast, warm and stormy. Twenty-one year old butcher, Dominique Menuge (who, it was admitted, was interested in UFOs) did not have a watch, but he estimated the time as between 9 and 9.30 pm. He had turned on the lights of his car, because it was now semi-dark. (Australian readers must understand that this is daylight savings time in summer, in a high latitude, where the twilight tends to linger.)
     Suddenly, just as his car was about ten metres before the left-hand turn-off to Fontaine, he caught sight of about fifty little men in the beam of his lights (at point (A) on Map). The little men were quite close, to his left, in the field, which is level with the road. They were green and froglike (see sketch No. 2), standing erect and quite still. Some were facing him, and some in profile.
     Although they were green, they did not appear to be wearing overalls. If indeed they were in overalls, then these were tightly fitting. They had long arms hanging down as far as half way down their legs. They had webbed hands. Their legs looked normal, but the feet were also webbed, like the feet of frogs. Their heads appeared to be covered with masks or helmets with two big eyes 10 cm. [4 in] or so in diameter resembling highway traffic lights. Their height was about 1 metre 15 cm. [3 ft 9 in] and their bodies were fairly corpulent. Their eyes emitted no luminous rays or beams, and they were simply standing there stationary, doing nothing.
     It was the "red lights" which had first caught his attention, so it is likely they displayed eye-shine. Note that, just as in the case of the Little Blue Man of Studham Common, no UFO was seen.
     M. Menuge didn't hang around. Negotiating a three point turn, he shot off back the way he had come, on the way passing another of the entities at in the bushes point B, and didn't stop till he reached his brother's place. There he spent a disturbed, sleepless night.
     This was one case that was investigated. Although M. Menuge made no official report, for fear that his sanity would be questioned, the story leaked out to a ufologist named M. Spingler. The upshot was that Menuge told him the whole story on 8 May (ie  six days later), by which time he had regained his composure. On M. Spingler's advice, they then went to report it to the local Gendarmerie two days afterwards. All of them - the witness, the ufologist, and the police - investigated the site thoroughly, but could find no sign of any traces, nor did M. Menuge display any sign of apprehension. His behaviour in fleeing to his brother's home, initially failing to report it, and then co-operating with the Gendarmerie, is consistent with his truthfulness. However, when M. Spingler and the police returned to the site in his absence at about 9.15, they expressed doubts about whether his light would have reached the alleged position of the little men. Nevertheless, an earlier case was recalled in which webbed footprints had been found in fresh snow.
Reference: "Fifty little green 'frogmen'" by M. Spingler, FSR 22 (6), pp 21-22 (April 1977), translated by Gordon Creighton from an original article in Lumières dans la Nuit, No. 160 (December 1976).

     Fiji. The following did not come from any ufological journal. It turned up in an Australian newspaper, so when I visited Fiji a few years later, I took the opportunity to check up the original report in the Fiji Times of 19 July 1975.
     According to students from Lautoka Methodist Mission School, about 8 mysterious little figures two feet in height and covered with black hair have been seen near the school. The figures, believed to be dwarfs, hastily moved away into nearby bushes when the children began to approach them. As the news spread, scores of neighbours rushed to the scene. The "dwarfs" could not be found upon further investigation, and seemed to have jumped inside a pit near a bush.
     Since the first sighting, dozens of people have gathered near the pit in the hopes of seeing the dwarfs. Some sat there for hours with sticks and torches, in the event the "little men" might be harmful.
      The head teacher of the Methodist School, Mr. Narayan, said he threatened the children with punishment for made-up stories, "but they remained firm in whatever they have said about the mysterious figures."
     Apparently six different students, ranging in age from 10 to 14, actually saw the figures while returning home from school. One student said: "I saw his white gleaming eyes and black hair. I was frightened."
     "One showed me his teeth and then ran away," claimed another student.
     David, a student who apparently saw eight of the little people, wanted to speak to them but as he approached them, "the little ones ran away."
     Mr Peniasi Tora, a long-time villager who went to the scene after hearing the news, mentioned that when his forefathers came to Fiji, they saw little men already living here.
    Apparently, Tony Healy attempted to follow it up, as can be read here.

    Finally, a coworker of mine once told me how, when he was in bed one night as a child, he saw a troop of glowing winged fairies. I naturally assumed it was a hypnagogic or hypnopompic vision. However, here is an account by somebody who claims to have seen something similar while fully awake. And if you want a few more accounts of tiny humanoids, see this website, and this one. Here is another one for good measure. And here is a story of a little girl who found and held a tiny humanoid in Argentina.
     So there you have it. Are any of these stories true? As with most of the items in this blog, the only major case against them is that they are fantastic. On the other hand, none of them really meets any gold standard for authenticity, so if you feel they are all too fantastic to be true, you can feel free to reject them one by one. That way the evidence will never accumulate. But don't say the stories aren't out there. And if more of them come in from the cold, what does this tell us about reality?

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