Wednesday, December 7, 2011

FAERIE ?: A small data-set indicating that folkloric entities or something very much like them could be real, Part Five; the second hundred cases.


The Sun is shining in Michigan and the day inspirational of speaking of the strange and the wonderful. Fortunately for me, I've just managed to complete the logging of the second hundred Little People case files and may have something modest to say. The following will NOT, however, rival that shining Sun for Light-giving. But we do what little we can, so here goes. The above is a nice Faerie kingdom picture by James Christensen, which illustrates all the beings we could ever wish for.

These hundred cases were in most ways like the previous hundred. There were some notable exceptions.

A). because there were not a lot of cases taken en masse from a dedicated internet site for fairy encounters, and because those that did come from the internet were from sites not predominantly geared to younger girls, the number of tiny winged Tinkerbell-type encounters diminished from 17 to only four. There were still a fairly large number of diminutive little folk, but wingless they be. What exactly this is telling us about"sociology" I can't in honesty say, but it must be telling us something. Before writing off Tinkerbells as a purely culturally-induced artifact conjured up in the minds of young females, though, I'll remind everyone that a fair percentage of the previous Tinkerbell reports were from [allegedly; you can't really say with these website things] older women remembering incidents of their youth.

B). A minor [statistically] but major [phenomenologically] difference in the sets of 100, was the emergence of seven knock-out Pookha cases from Ireland. These glimpses of the huge friendly fairy dog are owed entirely to Diarmuid MacManus, as cases from his great book are included in this set.

C). Recognizing the changes in numbers caused by losses of Tinkerbells and gains of Pookhas, the rest of the numbers are very much in order. 20th century experiences dominate the case files, showing, to me anyway, that such encounters can still be expected to occur. The "smalls" absolutely dominate the reports. I am sure that there is a powerful filtering bias operating here, but I'm still surprised at the lack of normal height Fairyfolk and the almost complete absence of extra-large folk entities. One needs to meditate on this a lot more before sticking ones foot in ones mouth in any attempt at "solution". But I'll say a little bit more VERY tentatively below.

D). I have been forced to change my early opinion of the "smalls" already, due to the trend in the data. I'll probably change it again; this is called "doing rudimentary science" and letting data drive the conclusions. I suspected that I'd see a large clump of "smalls" of the 1 1/2-4 1/2-foot stature, who would "peak" at about three foot tall and generally be "garden Gnomish" or "Leprechaunish" or "Trooping Fairy" in nature. These guys would be the typical brightly-dressed bunch with old faces and beards, who'd mess with you if they felt like it. And, on the other hand, there would be the very tiny, less than a foot, "fairies", who would be seen typically in dancing circles and very fine raiment and rarely if ever interacting with humans. These I had split from the "smalls" as the "tinies", and assumed a fairly clean disconnection. Well..... maybe not. Some of these cases may show that the overlap might be more significant than I thought both up and down. Maybe the third [and fourth?] hundred will sort it out better.

E). The problem of the lack of "norms" [in height -- 5' to 6'+]: a guess--- these experiences are being shunted off into report-collections of apparitions. Some might even make it into cryptozoology collections. Having said that, though, I am still surprised that there are not a significant group of full-sized "Pans" or "forest elves" [there is no evidence of people reporting human-sized "elf-like" beings yet in my files] or "mountain trolls", etc etc. What we get are "black-hooded monks" and similar figures of dread. [and the occasional merfolk]. In fact, the smaller the beings get, it seems the more filled with joy they are.

F). On the absence of extra-talls: I'd expect the random giant here or there; no soap. I'd even expect the odd hero/demigod; nope. Perhaps all of this has migrated to cryptozoology, where at least very large near-apes abound. If Nessies and ABSMs are Faerie denizens, even that would be a surprising "specialized pair of choices" of appearance by the otherworld denizens. Why not then a greater variety of shapes? As to size: There has been a lot of writing both in scholarship and fantasy-fiction about "diminishment" in Faerie. Maybe that's even measurably literal.

G). On whether any of these cases are true: taking off my conical Faerie hat for a moment, and putting on the space-helmet of the UFOlogist, there ARE a few things that can be said. The UFO researcher judges "good" cases on the twin grounds of "strangeness" and "credibility". And we should do exactly that here, of course. When you look at "fairy encounter" claims, the Strangeness issue is almost always immediately laid to rest. Basically all fairy encounters are the UFOlogical equivalent of very close Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Any thought of mundane explanations of the narratives themselves is immediately moot.

Credibility is where it's at here --- entirely. And Faerie lacks SIGNIFICANTLY in comparison to UFOlogy in this area. Modern fairy encounter claims are rarely investigated by any independent investigator who interviews witnesses cleverly and thoroughly, publishes results in detail, and becomes known as to competence by other investigators in the field. Almost every story from the internet is purely believe-it-or-not. Most others are as well. Thankfully there is the occasional Diarmuid MacManus. One case investigation by him is worth several dozen other basically anonymous reports. If it were not for MacManus, and the old great gatherers led by WYEvans-Wentz, I'd give up on any effort to make sense of any of this. But they are thankfully there to establish some sort of foundation on which to tentatively stand.

Later this week I'll begin to thumbnail specific cases and you'll be able to see what I see, and hopefully much more. Till then... watch the skies.. no, the bushes.


9 comments:

  1. Hello, Prof.

    In your faerie research, have you or others come upon what could be called 'trace evidence'? Footprints? Fire ashes? Grassy circles? Interesting series of articles, enjoyable to read and ponder.

    Regards,

    richard

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  2. As to "trace evidence": Rare cases do speak of tiny "fairy footprints" but nobody seems to get on the stick and do a UFO-like documentation of them. In the much older literature there are things like the famous miniature fairy shoe, but again no proper "laboratory" style testing seems ever to materialize. Fairy mushroom circles come to nothing for obvious biological reasons, even if the claim be made that they occurred immediately after a fairy dance --- for the rest of us non-seers, it isn't convincing when we know how other fungal circles are made. Fairy crosses turn out to be natural crystal formations well known to mineralogists. Photos tend to have no better luck than the hoard of UFO photo candidates. Actual physical damages and injuries are extremely rare and have no particularly supranormal element about them [say as would a UFO CE2p "radiation-sunburn". ] So, CE3s are ubiquitous but CE2s are nearly absent, at least in modern times.

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  3. I think the absence of actual physical evidence -- rumors of physical evidence don't count, obviously -- shows that these phenomena happen at the experience, not the event, level. Trying to prove that fairies exist in the ordinary sense of the verb is a hopeless, maybe even a farcical, enterprise. There will be no faery equivalent of ufology's RB-47 case. On the other hand, an effort to show that such entities can be experienced, and in what varieties, is an eminently worthwhile effort.

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  4. Yep, I'm with you there. But if I get the energy I might post a mini-entry on that North Carolina "UFO/CE3" case which left miniature footprints... just to show the diabolical nature of all this.

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  5. b"h

    I like your posts Professor - thanks for this blog.

    It is my un-expert opinion as well that the phenomena are "real" at an experience level, though I believe caused by conscious external agents, not internal mental processes.

    Somewhere down the line Professor, perhaps you could post some info (if you have any) on a comparison of human consciousness in the awake state, the dream state and the hypnotic state. In our awake state we evidently are receiving "external" sensory input to form a mental "picture" of what is happening around us. Does the conscious also receive from external sources during the dream state (and I don't necessarily mean from the five senses)? Can the conscious mind receive during the awake state input that seems more like that received during the dream state (like your posts here describe)?

    I've had experiences both in awake and dream state that convince me our minds receive input beyond the five physical senses, and that the agents of that input are conscious and have agendas. Thankfully I left philosophical materialism for Theism, and that change of worldview helped me find convincing explanations (in my opinion anyway) for these phenomena.

    Best wishes.

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  6. Very tough subjects.

    As to the dream state: one thing that most would agree to is that this is an altered state of brain function wherein serotonin takes over the reins of "consciousness", and dopamine gets a rest to replenish for the next "day". So, normal beta and alpha rhythm states are not dominating. A slow rhythm called theta becomes significant. But what does that mean?

    Some theorists say that theta rhythm is one way to open the windows to the psychic. Is there any evidence for that? Heavily debated, but the central study of the idea is in Ullman and Krippner's DREAM TELEPATHY. They felt that they got enhanced "psi hitting" during the dream state. In Benjamin Wolman's Handbook of Parapsychology, Robert Van de Castle has a terrific review chapter on the dream state and psi up to the mid-70s when the handbook was published.

    Hypnosis is a much wormier can. To begin, "hypnosis" seems to be a sliding slope of "not really" to modest to deep. So-called UFO hypnotists seem mainly to achieve "modest" at best, and often not even that. Hypnosis is typically more akin to "relaxation" or alpha-wave states than dream states, but "serious" relaxation or meditative mind-quieting states have great claims in monkish mind technologists of the East.

    Deeper hypnosis can mimic dream imagery, but in the estimation of the great hypnosis expert. Ernest Hilgard, produced "dreams" built largely around the desire to please the hypnotist. Attempts to use hypnosis to enhance psi have been attempted in the laboratory. I have not heard that they were impressive. The Hungarian [?] expert, Milan Ryzl, though claims outstanding results.

    Whatever method one chooses, the underlying idea is to tap into the paranormal world by altering the noisy mind-state of beta-rhythm and achieve more spiritual/paranormal "receptivity". Modernity severely hampers such mental quiet discipline. CHATTER_Chatter chatter ccccccchhhcccccccccccccchhhhcccccccccccccccccccchhhhhhhhccccccccccccccccccccc.

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  7. Faeries / elementals are real, but they exist in the eatheric / mental realm and do not conform to the laws of our reality. In simplistic terms, they are SPIRITS, and while they do affect our world, they do it electromagnetically. They do have form and can be seen with the aid of certain drugs and the altered states (altered frequencies via chemicals) the drugs facilitate. They can also be seen more easily and sober with still photography and/or with the naked eye at twilight (when looking through the branches of trees for example as they literally manipulate the branches and leaves with whatever kinetic energy to resemble what we can identify and recognize such as faces, bodies both human and inhuman or combinations of both. Nature spirits move at the speed of thought or with the wind, and intersect our reality as a fractal in an infinite array of form and variety at every size and shape, and much like an MC Escher illustration with those ones with the animals interlocking with one another and the empty spaces also form another discernible shape. This is why you don't have physical evidence, they are as elusive and provable as a ghost.

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  8. I should say they don't conform to the laws we westerners collectively and generally recognize as reality. Once you realize we live in a holographic illusion where material reality is just part of the veil, the material world begins to breaks down or rather, opens up to something much greater. Again certain mind altering drugs can facilitate this perspective.

    The fae are part of consciousness and have individual and collective consciousness and are an inseperable part of us and are EVERYWHERE, they are thought, and are AMAZINGLY creative (artistic and beautiful) and consciousness in every imaginable way. Again, they are spirit beings but can be seen and can be felt by anyone at any time anywhere. For a specific example - consider wind pushing a plastic bag, when it raps around your leg, that is more than you realize. =)

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  9. Well.... that's one view. On this blog I've tried to state things a bit less "authoritatively" as to how certain we can be about any of these mysteries.

    Also, in my humble opinion, we need to preface any "facts" receivable by the technology of mind-altering drugs with a LOT of caveats, especially when the "facts" received are composed of iconic imagery and other elements already in the cultural context.

    Approaching the anomalies with the attitude of a sympathetic scientist can be irritating in its slow pace, I understand. But it is the only intellectually honest way that this old teacher can view his duty to whomever the reader may be. So.... I hold onto the reins a bit, and don't let the horse completely run wild.

    Your view may have much truth in it. I'm not there yet.

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