LEPRECAT Three, Part 2
A: Connacht, Ireland. This is one of a pair of cases separated by several years and two different groups of witnesses that I reported upon in a previous post. They are Diarmuid MacManus cases and he knew all the witnesses. I'll just mention the 1940s incident here, the case of The Thornhill Fairy. This is the one where the visiting young woman and a younger daughter see a little man c. 4-foot tall with green cap, green waistcoat, yellow shirt, buff trousers, blue eyes. Both observations in this later case involved sudden disappearance.
B: Monguap Valley, NY. I like this case despite taking a chance on the witness that others might not. The situation is that the witness is a somewhat well-known writer/investigator of claims of the anomalous world. He is Ron Quinn. Quinn was (now deceased) an Arizona author interested in buried treasure legends, paranormal stories, and one book on "Little People." I became aware of Ron Quinn from a couple of borderline UFO incidents which came to him. I thought that he was interesting and intelligent. I didn't know how to take him however, having not met him. Then his book "Little People" fell into my lap. This was a topic that I hadn't seen from him, and reading it told me why. Ron Quin had a Little People experience when he was ten years old and living in the New York hills. It seems that this was that early "special" experience that motivated his lifelong interests in the unknown. It had a "purity" to it that I suppose is easy for me to relate to, but maybe not others. Anyway, the way he speaks about this experience is so simply natural that I can't help believe it.
He was on a family vacation and he and three other kids often left the cabin to go off doing what kids do romping around the woods. He was misbehaving this day and his parents stepped in and grounded him. He was sent back to the cabin where he moped about feeling sorry for himself. Then came a tapping on the window. Just outside that window stood a one-foot tall man. He was tapping with his walking cane. He had a crumpled hat, gray beard, silky hair, gray shirt with baggy sleeves, belt around the waist, gray soft boots. He was smiling and waving. Quinn doubted his vision if not his sanity. He did those little things trying to shake himself out of whatever this was, but the smiling Little Man still stood there. Encouraged by being waved on, Quinn went right to the window and opened it. They stared and Ron reached out. The Little Man just smiled again and turned away, moving with loping long strides into the woods.
No one, of course, believed him. But Ron Quinn cherished this experience his whole life. And one day, being interviewed by a radio program in the Hudson Valley area, he mentioned it on air. The audience became alive with listeners wanting to tell how they had seen the Little People in that area too. Quinn collected those tales and published them in a very compelling thin volume that he called Little People. I like almost all the cases in there.
C: Oxeford Hill, Dorset. Post-Cottingley Fairy publications, as was said in previous posts, both Edward Gardner and A Conan Doyle were deluged with reports from others scattered about the UK. Gardner got this brief description from a well-known dowser named J. Foot White. It's brief enough to quote:
"I was walking with my companion, who lives in the locality, some little distance from the main party, when to my astonishment I saw a number of what I thought to be very small children, about a score in number, and all dressed in gaily colored short skirts, their legs being bare. Their hands were joined, and all held up, as they merrily danced round in a perfect circle. We stood watching them, when in an instant they all vanished from our sight. My companion told me they were the fairies, and they often came to that particular part to hold their revels. It may be our presence disturbed them."
I have no doubt that the information to Gardner was transmitted accurately by him, and I must assume that White was well known to him. Beyond that who knows as far as credibility is concerned. The tale itself matches other tales widely told in the UK.
D: unnamed Fairy Fort, county Limerick, Ireland. This report comes out of Simon Young's Fairy Census. It is therefore anonymous sadly and not interviewed, so we take it for what it is --- an undocumented claim. As these Census entries go, however, it is a pretty good one. Again despite being told by the child of the prime witness it is reported earnestly and in fine context.
A young girl was sent by her mother to fetch a bucket of water. The well was some distance away and after drawing the bucketful, she walked a little while and then sat to rest on a little knoll to enjoy the surroundings. Down in the field there was a "fairy fort" (a name for an ancient structure more or less circular in shape and demarcated by a ditch or depression.) All round this fort were small people dancing in a circle. They were dressed in reds and greens and blues, and had caps on their heads. She knew well enough that these were no ordinary people but the Little Folk and that she should probably not be sitting there watching them. Growing afraid, she grabbed her water bucket and lugged it away home as fast as she could.
She kept the experience to herself, not wanting to endure any mockery. But years later, now grown and a mother herself, an odd coincidence occurred. Sitting with her child (gender not stated), they were listening to a radio program discussing Irish Folklore. A caller phoned in and told a similar story. It was even possible that the incident had happened in the same location and around the same calendar era. Very small people in gaily colored clothes dancing round the fairy fort --- the coincidence moved the mother to tell her child of her own nearly identical experience.
Tough to rate this story TOO highly because of the anonymity issues, but the narrative rings particularly in harmony with the intuition. A keeper, I think, though not a foundationstone.
E: Noorvik, Alaska. This comes from a book titled Moonlight at Midday by Sally Carrighar. Ms. Carrighar did a lot of "fieldwork interviewing" to substantiate the material of the book, and much of that were "stories" of happenings and folklore of the Eskimo people. In the chapter "The Missing Spirit" she explores the legends of The Little People --- briefly, though she says that this part of Eskimo culture fascinated her more than any other.
The encounter reported here was, as she says, the last authentic encounter (1946) that she was told. It was winter in Noorvik and time for a hunting expedition --- something which occupied most of the village. On these affairs, the men would pack what food they had and strike out hunting caribou. This time their luck was bad and the food ran out. There was no choice but to turn back for home. However, in the night by the light of a bright Moon, one hunter looked out of his tent to see hundreds of The Little People running past on the nearby slope and beckoning to him to follow them. The number was so great that "they looked like tall grass when the wind bends it down." Arousing everyone, the hunters rapidly followed the beckoners, and came upon a herd of caribou. The hunt was wholly successful, and the men returned home with the slaughtered meat and skins packed away. Once in camp, they began the unpacking and storing. One woman, unpacking the skins, uncovered one of the Little People hiding in the pile. He jumped out and ran away.
Interesting to say the least. The main part is pure congruent folklore as the Little People of the North definitely have their helpful moments. The last action is pure Inukin i.e. trickster, playful in nature. What to believe? Ms. Carrighar gives no hint of whether she finds such things credible or just lore.
F: Adiopodoume, Ivory Coast. Well here we go again with a story that came to the great cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans. Heuvelmans was reporting these claims in aid of making a case that some sort of unknown homonid may be existing today somewhere across the central face of Africa. The previously reported incident (in this blog) was Eastern Africa; this one is many miles away in West Africa. According to Heuvelmans, the alleged creatures are very similar if not identical, differing only in the shade of their hair/fur.
I have nothing but respect for Heuvelmans, but this is a weak case, especially for my survey. The secondary reporter is impressive --- Professor Ledoux head of the Zoological Institute in Adiopodoume. The primary witness is an unnamed young man who worked in the Professor's lab. I can translate some credibility here since Ledoux must have known his lab assistant well. But it sure isn't ideal as Heuvelmans knew no one else but the professor.
The actual observation is mediocre in that it is a chimpanzee-like creature in chimpanzee country. One would assume that this particular trained scientist would have easily been able to recognize the difference between a chimpanzee or a big monkey from an unknown. There isn't much to the encounter but it was at least a CLOSE encounter (which should have allowed an identification.) All the witness could say was that he suddenly was confronted by a small reddish fur-covered "man"? "ape"? "man-ape"? looking very like a humanoid (rather than like an ape.) It was naked and totally furry, and with long red hair depending from its head. Both participants in the confrontation immediately started and ran in opposite directions.
This story meshed with folkloric claims from the area as to the reality and the danger of interacting with them. Thus the scared running retreat. Whether this sort of evidence can be used to forward the cause for Hairy Little People in Africa, is tough. We have some evidence for hairy little people in America and some boggarts in the UK, so maybe it's not a conceptual stretch, but as to evidence .... ?
G: Catskill Mountains, NY. This is the Ron Quinn case from his book Little People which is the most charming incident in the entire literature of encounters --- that's my opinion and I'm firm on it. This is also Ron Quinn's favorite and if it's not yours, well, meet with your personal physician to check if you still have a heart.
A group of family members (of all ages) were having a vacation get-together in the Catskills and during one party/playtime the kids all went off for a romp near the woods. One of them was a little girl named Jill (5 years old.) While the kids played together, Jill was fascinated by a bunch of butterflies and began following them. It was a joyful thing for the little girl and she wasn't paying attention to where she was going. As the minutes went on, she suddenly realized that she had lost sight of the cleared fields and was lost with no idea where to go.
She felt that she heard someone calling her name but faraway. She did as best she could to follow but only came to a clearing and sat on a fallen tree. She was sad and lonely. She remembered that she had a candy bar in her pocket, and ate some of it as she sat there. Looking toward a rock, she saw two "dolls" dressed in shiny green clothes with small hats and silvery hair. She smiled at them and offered them some of her candy bar. They didn't respond.
She began to break down, and with tears in her eyes asked: " Do you know where my aunt's house is." The "dolls" nodded to her. They waved to her to follow. The Sun was setting and the forest was becoming dark and scarier, but Jill walked as quickly as she could to trot after. As the darkness began to settle in, little balls of colored lights sparkled and moved around her new friends. They seemed to speed up and Jill did too, but she didn't feel that she was doing this. She seemed swept along.
After what seemed a few hundred yards of this, everything slowed down and the "dolls" pointed to the Aunt's home. Around the house dozens of family and neighbors, who had been looking for her for hours, were milling around. Jill turned to thank her new friends, but they had vanished. She then ran to her mother.
.... a sad little girl lost alone in the woods offers some of her only candy bar to two small strangers .... I almost cried about this one myself (even having been trained as a high-testosterone male that I'm not supposed to.)
H: Isle of Hoy, Scotland. This was a case where it was hard to track down where in the world it came from. There are internet mentions, and a somewhat off-tune "description" in a book which tries to put a negative connotation to practically everything associated with trolls or fairies or gnomes or whatever. That led to a reference in a more neutral book by Ernest Marwick (Folklore of Orkney and Shetland) which stood in some minds as the prime reference, but still doesn't get at the witness issue much. Finally came a notice of an article in The Scot's Magazine of 1964. So why do I care? Because if one knows nothing about the prime witness any claim is pretty lame as to credibility.
So, fortunately, the earliest reference does have a little about the witness. The fellow was a military officer stationed on Hoy during WWII. That seems better than nothing. He wrote a letter to The Scot's Magazine describing his encounter. (at least that's how I read this.) He was walking alone near the top of the cliff called Tor Ness. Up there in the wintry mist, he was surprised to notice that nearby he was accompanied by a crowd of little men. These beings were "wild" in appearance with long bedraggled hair --- clothing not described. They had round faces and sallow complexions. The dance was so wild that the whole troop seemed to dance itself right over the cliff.
An odd story but incomplete enough so as to be in coherence with the uglier more boggart-like trolls of the north. This area uses "trous" to label both brounie types of Little People as well as trickster types of fairy an all of the strange crowd. In an early post we saw a hairy wildman type not unlike what's described here.
I: Putney, UK. This case comes from a news article from the Sunday Express of London. The article was from 2005 but recalled the story of a boy during WWII. The then-young man was interviewed and quoted in the article, so that's good for provenance/credibility. ... not great but at least something personal. The case, however, is/was ripe for a UFO investigation due to the recent willingness of the witness to talk and the character of the details as below. Perhaps someone in the UFO community (who had an open mind) has done so. I don't know that.
As a young boy (8) he was coming home from what in America would be called a Cub Scouts meeting (I thought that in the UK this had a different name) when before him he saw lights shining in the treetops. (with no intermediate "time" comments in his narrative) The witness then said that he "was in a very dark place" surrounded by beings that he could best compare with the Seven Dwarfs of Disney fame --- that is, classic somewhat old and ugly looking gnomes (he did use the word "ugly.") No further details. Now he was back on his path but it was darker and by the time he got home he was a few HOURS late, and his parents and the police wildly concerned.
Well, we all know what a too-modern UFO researcher would tend to do with that even if the scanty facts didn't warrant it. I have no real right to critique this claim from my "distance", but to my knowledge this witness has become a crop circle and CE4 "enthusiast" editing his own newsletter. That shouldn't discount a claim (as a true experience could set off such a lifelong fixation) but it should also give us pause as to any details long buried in memory. So, the claim is brief and tainted a bit.
J: Garganta la Olla, Spain. A brief case description from the catalog of humanoid cases by Ballester-Olmos. The just-mentioned author has evolved from being an excellent UFO case investigator-reporter to a full-out debunker these days (an astonishing transformation but not a unique one in this field) but this catalog is from his former personality's days (and is a collection of several different investigators' cases) so I trust that it is being presented neutrally.
It's only mildly amusing to me how some of my colleagues will stretch to try to cram cases of other anomalies into the UFO files. COULD it be? Well, "anything's possible" would be the universally comprehensive (and mindless) comment, but on this case? Really? On the other hand, do I just do the same thing? I suppose I'd question my humanity if I didn't, but I'm at least trying NOT to do that much cramming, especially without acknowledging it. As the UFO Bible says"Neither a Lumper nor a Splitter be." All that said: this REALLY looks like a potential Pan or Faun incident rather than UFOlogy.
Showing my humanity, I have some degree of faith in the cases which made the cut to get into the Ballester-Olmos catalog. So, I like this case albeit wishing for more detail.
K: New Stuyahok, Alaska. (and environs). I can't get my eyes on a good original source here, but if I could, I believe it would be valuable. The sources that I have (a magazine article and a travelers tales book) are identical in their words, and since I merely have a clipping (the older of the two) I can't really get a handle even on the writer. But the witnesses are quoted as if interviewed "in the bush" so to speak, like anthropologists might. These witnesses are Eskimo elders who are speaking of encounters with the area's "hairy man" beings. Most of their tales of the Hairy Man picture what you and I would expect: Bigfoot-like beings. Two of them do not: one from Perryville and one from New Stuyahok.
The Perryville incident is interesting but as is true of both these not well enough detailed. In this encounter the witness is hunting and thinks that some of the others in his band are messing with him by stalking and making noises. He challenged "them" and shown a light. No eskimo there but instead a small hairy man with a face composed of all wrinkles. He looked like a bearded old man with facial hair but otherwise "human". From that I'm left to guess that this fellow was not naked but clad in eskimo garb just as other such beings that we have encountered earlier have been.
The New Stuyahok incident is even more interesting and frustrating. In this case a Yupik tribal elder described a somewhat different type of iircingarak. These beings live up in the hills and seldom allow themselves to be seen. But this elder did see one. It was a small man, but not particularly hairy. In fact it resembled regular people, but had a walking stick and, amazingly, A TALL POINTED HAT!! Shades of Celtic Gnomes!! The being did the fairy trick of the instant disappearance before the witness' eyes. Please! More description! John Roth's encyclopedia AMERICAN ELVES indicates that creatures with names similar to iircingarak exist elsewhere in the Alaska/Aleut region and that the word means something like Little People, Dwarves, Elves, and that the creatures are about two foot tall, look just like the local people and are very strong.
Maybe that's a keeper despite the slim description.
Northern New York. This is a Ron Quinn case that he got after doing the radio program and taking all the surprising citizen calls about their own encounters.
The tale: A young boy and his parents were sitting on their porch after dinner. The family dog had gone into the nearby woods, and yapped loudly and came running back to the house whimpering. Everyone thought that the dog had encountered an animal. This thought was supported by the noise of something moving in the bushes. The father tossed a few stones at the bushes to drive the animal (perhaps a raccoon?) away. The boy caught a glimpse of something. He excitedly told his parents that he'd seen a "little man." Both parents doubted that with a bit of humor in their voices.
Then the mother stood up to go inside. She shouted that she now too had seen the little man. She called her husband over and he laughed at both of them. But they decided to go make a bit of a search. Two eyes then appeared near their fence. Then they vanished. The boy went one way along the fence and his parents the other. The boy then saw the little man again. He was small (about one foot tall) with long hair, a beard in a large face quite "puffy", and gray clothing. He seemed like a short gnomish denizen who should have been seen in Great Britain. Whether he was more like a British gnome or a Native American memehwesug (a la the Hudson River story) is not clear. But a boy and his mom seem to have seen one of "them" in just the right location.
There are about 65-70 cases in each volume of Leprecat. The two early ones were relatively dense with encounters that I particularly am interested in (and we selected about 50 of those 140 in our small statistical look at height.) But here, in Leprecat 3 the pickings were a little slimmer --- we looked at what? A couple of dozen? That's about the same "rate" but my feelings about the quality were that it dropped off a little. Still there were a few good ones, and Diarmuid MacManus gives me hope to go on.
And that brings me to my point: part of Leprecat 3 contained five cases by MacManus which I consider quite good but did not report upon. Why? Because maybe they're not Faery, even though VERY anomalous. They are so-called Black Fairy Dog cases. I want to cover them in the next post, but many other Black Dog cases as well.
But ... this will be much more complicated a post, so just maybe I'll be buried under the research for a few days.
See you then.................. but just one last weird thing. There was a case in the UFO files where a person wrote to a minor UFO columnist (Otto Binder) who put cartoons of cases in a regular column. This witness said that he had seen the following in the area around Syracuse NY (uh, upper NY) and there were two Little People with colored lights around them. as below ....
... just what we need to clearly separate UFOs from Fairylore eh?