Friday, April 3, 2020

Dafydd Fawr: A Riddle Within This Enigma

THE DAFYDD FAWR INCIDENT is there something more than odd here? 

Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales. c. early to mid 1800s. Everybody who reads this story seems to like it a great deal. Many seem to think that it is extremely insightful into the Faery Mystery. I lean in their direction too. 

The story: About 50 years or more from when the story was collected , a young woman and the family servant began a trip back to the woman's home, night having just set in. The servant was a local strong man, and had the nickname "Fawr" for "Big", therefore Big David. His real last name was Williams --- so Dafydd Fawr Williams was walking with the young mistress of the house and carrying a huge side of pork (a "flitch" of bacon) to that home. She was walking ahead and he taking his time behind. Thinking nothing of his absence, she continued her quicker pace and arrived safely. But Dafydd did not show up for several (three) hours. What happened? 

Dafydd didn't think that he'd been delayed at all, but did admit that he'd stopped for a moment to watch something very interesting. He said that he saw a meteor which was followed by a Ring of Fire. The Ring came down to the ground. Standing in it were two small beings, a man and a woman, well-dressed and holding onto the Ring's edge. When the Ring touched down, the two stepped off it.

The beings made a circle on the ground. (what was meant by this is not said). As soon as they had completed their circle, a number of small people appeared therein, both men and women, and they began dancing a circle round-dance to sweet music --- the sweetest that Dafydd had heard. The circular area was illuminated by a pleasant white light, and Dafydd looked on entranced for what he believed to be three minutes. Then the fiery hoop again appeared in the air, and came to ground. The original pair lept back into it, and sailed away. Dafydd then went his way home, still carrying the flitch of bacon. 

His subjective feeling was that the dance had lasted three minutes. The "real world" however said that he was three hours late. The meaning of any of this, other than it was the doing of the fairies, never (of course) surfaced. 

Well, it's a good story --- decent linkages to the original witnesses, and a high strangeness drama, but without any storybook drama. Dafydd came, he saw, he left. Of course those who would hypothesize would like to bend this out of its original simplicity to make it a UFO case from 1800. Do as you wish. I'm not going there myself, as I don't feel the "mechanicalness" or the "UFO coldness" here at all. There is almost no "life" in any UFO case. Faery cases are full of life (in my opinion.) 

But why did I say "Riddle Within The Enigma" and "is there something more than odd here?" in the words above? Just blame me entirely, but I think that the following is a bit weird.

 (Yeh. Same illustration as the top-of-page, I know; but it's very germane here.)

Ystradgynlais, Wales c. early-mid 1800s. 

"Once upon a Time" a blogster picked up an old volume of the Folklore Journal (1888) and read an article by a gentleman named E. Sidney Hartland, a well-known accomplished folklorist. The article was titled "Dafydd William Dafydd and the Fairies." Hmmmmm ..... 

Hartland had just received this story from his Welsh contact the previous week, and thought it interesting enough to rush right into The Folklore Journal. The contact had heard the tale from a very old man who knew Dafydd William Dafydd well. 

Lets call this witness DWD to distinguish him from our original bacon-carrier DFW.

DWD was a farmer-stock rancher and had the twin reputations of being a very religious and a very musical fellow. He was a well-known flutist throughout his area. As was usual for him, he went out in the morning to look after his sheep and cattle, carrying his flute along. On this particular day, however, he did not return. His wife was naturally alarmed, and she and many friends began scouring the area that very night. This continued for several days, and included dragging the ponds and the river in search of his body. 

Three weeks later, he casually appeared at the door as if nothing unusual had gone on. His wife was grateful but mystified. DWD was (to begin with) merely puzzled by her (what was to his view) strange questions, until the truth settled in that she and everyone else believed him to be gone three weeks. All that he could say was this:

    While playing his flute at the Llorfa (a natural place near a pool called Van) he noticed that a group of fairies had encircled him, though still at a distance. They began to sing and to dance and to approach closer. Finally he was enclosed in a very small circle, entranced by the music and song. They offered him "small beautiful cakes" which he happily consumed. He said that he "had never enjoyed himself so much in his life." The revel ended (undescribed) and he took himself up and returned home after what was to him about a three hour party as guest of the fairies. 

Well, it's another charmer. However, maybe some of you (like myself) are a little fidgety about this. This is what is (irrationally) bugging me: (sorry for the date errors on the cartoons below --- when I first made them my estimating was off --- best guesses are early 1800s instead of late 1700s.)

1. Dafydd Williams has an encounter with a group of fairies in a circling dance.
1a. Dafydd William Dafydd has an encounter with a group of fairies in a circling dance.
2. DW's encounter occurs in early 1800s Wales.
2a. DWD's encounter occurs in early 1800s Wales.
3. DW's encounter has a time distortion.
3a. DWD's encounter has a time distortion.
4. DW's encounter's distortion is based upon "3s". 
4a. DWD's encounter's distortion is based upon "3s". 
5. DW's encounter is published for the first time in 1887.
5a. DWD's encounter is published for the first time in 1888. (by a different folklorist.) 

Am I off-base to worry about this ? It's the old paranoid UFO researcher in me I suppose. 

I can't make much headway on this Riddle within the Enigma. 

I can only say this: the two sites are about 80 kilometers apart "as the Crow flies." Both stories have pretty strong assurances given that the central witnesses lived in those two different places, and were good fellows. 

The two witnesses are very different sorts of guys --- one a strongman laborer and the other a musical farm owner. I mention this because stories which "drift" and get retold tend not to radically alter the central figures in the tales. 

But IF THEY ARE BOTH TRUE, what would THAT tell us? 

Were fairy time distortions rampant in Wales in those areas and times? Is "THREE" supposed to have significance or is this just accident or human preference for the number "three?" Big Dafydd didn't interact with the Dance; Musical Dafydd in a way started it AND ate some cakes --- the difference between three hours and three weeks? 

I'll leave it to you to solve the Riddle of the Two Dafydd's. 


Till next time --- hmmmm there's that distortable time-business again. Can't seem to get away from it.

1 comment:

  1. Check this, a very similar event occurred in late 1750's in Bodfari in Mold:
    Edward Williams studied law but became a minister and founded a charity in London, I don't think he would have admitted to this event lightly as it might have cast doubt upon his credibility.



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