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Monday, 22 June 2020

The Pixie on the Plane

     If you have been following this blog from its inception, you will probably be aware that, over the decade, I have gradually come to the conclusion that there really is something to sightings of the "little people", even if it is not possible to accept the whole of the fairy mythology. (If you want further information, see here.) However, there is one place I never expected to find them.
     In 1995 a then British police officer, John Hanson got interested in UFOs. After being joined by Dawn Holloway, they began a project of producing a comprehensive history of the the phenomenon. It is an indication of the immensity of the subject that they ended up with a series of ten (yes, ten) volumes entitled, Haunted Skies. And it must have been sometime in 2008 or 2009 that they received a communication from a retired headteacher on the Isle of Wight, who had an incredible story to tell.
     His name was William Davis, born 7 May 1923, and former RAF Pilot/Navigator Sergeant, serial number 1805619. During the Second World War, many imperial pilots were trained in Canada under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. (In my thirty years with the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs, I remember many files stamped, "E.A.T.S. Case" for "Empire Air Training Scheme", because they held dual eligibility.) In Sgt.  Davis' case, he was posted to the Gimli RAF Base in Manitoba. It was 10 December 1944, and he had completed a two hour 45 minutes' flight on board an Anson V aircraft, in order to gain his "wings". Avro Anson aeroplanes, it is important to note, possessed a propeller on either wing, but none in front.  There, at the end of his flight, he was waiting for the lights at the control tower to come on, and, naturally, was constantly checking both the instrument panel and the horizon. Let us now hear it in his own words:
     "I noticed what looked like two curious bumps, one either side of the nose of the aircraft, like tiny exhaust pipes, although the nose itself was empty. I decided to carry out a proper check when I landed and dismissed it from my mind. Suddenly, my eyes flashed back again to the nose. The 'exhausts' had begun to move. They now looked like hands. I thought this cannot be happening and checked to see if it wasn't some kind of reflection. Then a small entity, resembling a pixie, or elf - the ones associated with folklore, appeared outside the aircraft, a few feet from where I sat. I thought this cannot be happening and pinched my thigh hard and tried to think what checks I could carry out inside the aircraft.
     I will never forget its pinkish face - European in nature, with a thick, short trimmed beard, close cut, covering its features, reminding me of an old English Naval seaman, dressed in some sort of green garb, height approximately 18in tall, apparently watching something in the sky to my left, moving slowly in a nonchalant manner - as if walking around the estate. I was close enough to see instead of fingers, he had what looked like little exhaust stubs, no thumbs, and pointed shoes made of velvet or some such material, rather than leather. He began to stroll towards me and was no more than 12-15in way, when something appeared to catch his eye. By this time I was shouting and gesticulating through the window, trying to attract his attention, but then realised he was unlikely to hear me because of the sound of the aircraft engines. "I had the impression he could not see me at all and was probably unaware of my existence. After about 30 seconds he sat down, looked below, gave a slight lift with his hand on the side and pushed himself off the nose before disappearing from view."
     The strange shape of the fingers is an unusual twist which is unlikely to have been invented. I don't know the significance of the second set of quotation marks in the above text; I suspect it is an editorial oversight. It is not stated whether it formed part of a letter or an interview. Both Bill and his son were interviewed. He told them that when he landed, he was exhilarated, but when he related his experience his comrades burst out laughing. I can't imagine why! Just the same, the next day a senior flying instructor visited him and informed him that he wasn't the only pilot to have had the experience.
     In a letter sent in October 2009, he said, "I still think we will eventually get to the bottom of these sightings and what's behind them." Not in our lifetimes, I'm prepared to bet!

Reference: John Hanson and Dawn Holloway, Haunted Skies, vol. 1, pp 44 - 45
I was alerted to this by Kandinsky01, one of the commentators on Michael Swords "Big Study".

1 comment:

  1. Great story but it took me about 20 seconds to confirm that the aircraft he was flying normally has a pilot and co-pilot. If he was flying alone that should be mentioned as well as the reason why as it would have been unusual to send off a rookie pilot by himself.