This posting is about the cases in the Leprecat catalog for the 1960s. That catalog is not my favorite as far as good incidents. But there are a few worth noting.
Let's try to look a little closer at this bunch. Some are pretty good. Others are weaker in appeal to our confidence, but intriguing in their claims. The two strongest encounters are the two Scandinavian ones (Kolmarden, SWE and Luumaki, FIN.) Those of you who have been reading these entries understand that this means "credibility" strength --- the interpersonal direct investigation involved by the people who ultimately reported the case.
The relatively solid cases are in pink above. The second tier of cases are in gold. The cases where I'd like to believe the details (and have a little confidence gained by the sound of the narratives alone), are "romantically" included as possibles in green. The three incidents in gray violet are OK in credibility but my guts take me more towards UFO or Apparition-like explanations.
LUUMAKI, FINLAND. 1965. Encounter was investigated by Finnish UFO investigators. There were two witnesses. Their event went this way: several people were on a berry-picking trip (which seems to be quite the common activity in Scandinavia as we have a pretty good CE3 early, 1954, case involving berry-pickers as well.) One of the pickers saw a being on a rise ahead. It was small, about three-foot tall. The two stared at one another and the being began to walk closer. The closest approach was about 30 feet.
This entity had a somewhat enlarged head and shoulders. More strangely, the being was colored carrot-red, and dressed in close-fitting green clothes. The being then took a sharp angle, walked towards a bog, and simply vanished. While observing this entity, the witness either could not alert the others or was "entranced" to the point he didn't think of it. A second witness later saw the entity also, and that time the being simply vanished as well.
None of the investigators thought that this was ufological, but the thought that it was like a Scandinavian troll immediately arose.
KOLMARDEN, SWEDEN. 1967. This incident was investigated by a good well-known Swedish UFO researcher (Sven Schalin.) The witnesses were two 15 year olds, a boy and a girl. Schalin saw the witnesses at two different interviews, and found that they were quite conservative and shy. The two were interviewed separately. The stories matched.
The youngsters were walking in the evening. They noticed low hanging red light over and down into the forest. Nothing came of this. Further on in their walk, the red glow persisted in their vicinity. This coming and going began to creep them out and they decided to retreat into an abandoned cabin beside the road. Inside, some poltergeist-like actions occurred (yellow lights and thumping noise.) Another outside light moved about (the UFO researcher tried to see this in UFO terms but it is far more like the folkloric fairy-led will o' the wisp phenomenon.) This freaked the two even more and they hurried home.
That house was currently empty. The next house (one of the witness' sisters,) was also empty. Near that house hung a glowing ball of light about ten feet in diameter. This looked like the light of a large diameter flashlight, but was a ball. A whistling occurred at the same time but not coming from the BOL. The witnesses heard what they thought might be footsteps. They got out of there and took another forest path. Something jumped out behind bushes close by. This could have been a prodigious leap, as they focused on a short "man" now standing 35 feet away.
The creature was four foot and a few inches tall. The girl didn't see this first glance clearly and thought that it might be another schoolmate and began to go toward it. It then straightened up, turned and raised its arms. The boy yelled a warning. The head was very large. Above the eyes was a dark mass, probably hair but maybe a hat or hood. Eyes were much bigger than mouth and nose. Thin arms and legs. Dark clothing. Seemed to shimmer. The thing carried something in its hands; a box shape with a tube sticking out (when reading this I noted that the UFO researcher was seeing this as something technological, but it seemed more to me like "a box with a handle".) Supposedly it had a shining line along this handle. Similar lines of shining light existed down below near the ankles.
Although the "intent" of this being was impossible to ascertain, (it had not done anything aggressive), the youngsters became terrorized and ran. The next day, going to the site in daylight, they found small (six-inch) footprints of bare three-toed feet.
Strange stuff indeed. Good investigation though. UFOnaut with a Ball-of Light? or Troll of the Scandinavian sort with a Jack O' Lantern?
Those are the best two investigations. There are four others which are softer, but could well be real interactions. I'll go briefly on with those:
1. COLERAINE, QUEBEC. 1968. Several children, and then one or two adults (description here of one party doesn't make this clear, )saw a strange being on three successive days. The being was like a dwarf, four foot tall, with very red skin. The skin was "horny" as if belonging to a reptile. This entity had normally proportioned structure otherwise (head and torso) with a bald head and dark black beard. The being simply vanished before their eyes. Sort of coincidentally, the boys said there was a red, white, and blue "vessel" of some sort in the air. This was not connected with the ground story in any obvious way, as it did not occur at the same time --- UFO researchers of course want to connect it.
2. St. ASAPH, WALES. 1961. The claim here is that the reporter is a well known person. (there is/was a well known person by the name of Richard Holland at the time, but ...?). The incident is: A man was walking his dog in muddy conditions, when he stopped near a road sign. He tapped his walking stick on the metal sign to clean it --- three times. At the third tap, a little man appeared beside the sign post. The little man looked angered, as if this tapping had irritated him in some way. The creature had an ugly brownish face (gnomish/brounie-ish?) and was dressed all in green. He stood three feet tall. The dog didn't like the little man either and growled and raised hackles. After a staring stand-off, the gnome suddenly vanished. That's "good old fashioned gnome encountering."
3. south of LONDON, UK rural farm area. Several incidents in 1960s. These are reports sent to Gordon Creighton at Flying Saucer Review for his follow-up. He reports them briefly. Many of the incidents were about machinery malfunction and other breakages that were being attributed to little people. The area however actually WANTED to retain their presence, as they also had been associated with boons. Witnesses, both male and female adults, had reported seeing gnomes messing about in the farm fields and even inside, dancing on tables. These creatures were described as having "classic gnome features" and being about three feet tall. Of particular interest to me was the claim that locals didn't want academics coming in there and spoiling the area as a home of the fairies. "They feared that the fairies might go away if too much prying went on."
4. NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA. 1967. [I could use some help from someone on this report. I've lost my primary "piece of paper" wherein I noted the case and where it came from. I'm still reporting it here because my brief notes on this were in a category of incidents where I judged them to be pretty good possibilities. ... I'm not beating myself up too badly on this since there have been hundreds of references and pages to keep track of, and a move from a house with luxurious workspace to this retirement apartment's cramped facility. SO ... if any of you know exactly where this one comes from, please post it here. ... I also enjoy reading your own cases and even other non-you cases that you feel are important --- so feel free to share.] But back to my notes on this one:
The witness described walking somewhere and seeing ahead the approach of an "old elf" (a gnome?) dressed in a farmer's outfit. (blue clothes and suspenders) and having a brown tall hat. The entity was only one and a half foot tall. It carried an ax over its shoulder, and simply walked on past the witness, whistling to itself, and apparently taking no notice. There was no instant vanishing in this case, merely continuing to walk away.
These four cases could be good ones. The entities are close to standard looking gnomish beings ranging from 1 and 1/2 to 4+ foot tall. Two Canadian (Eastern) and two UK.
I'd like to end this elf-tour of the 60's with three reports that I like on non-scientific grounds --- that is, I cannot make a credibility case for these because two of them are from Simon Young's Fairy Census and therefore give me no interpersonal closeness to the witness to aid me in believing those claims. (I'm including them anyway, because they fit certain prejudices that are forming in me from the other cases as to "how things might really be.") The third of these things is really high strangeness and from a site claiming to be a research site. The problem that I have with that is that this site is not very sharing of information --- and I REALLY HATE THAT. If I could get over the latter, I'd have to say that the provenance is good in that the site owner speaks of personal interviews. So FWIW (for what it's worth in neo-web-language) here are these last three incidents. First the website case:
======================================================================== MINI-Tolkien-ENT? SECHETT, BRITISH COLUMBIA. 1960s. Two people are on a forest walk in the southern Pacific Northwest coastal forest zone. It's Douglas fir country and sort of magical with or without Little Folk. Nevertheless they get one. Suddenly, just three to four feet away, one such being steps into their path. It itself is about 3 and 1/2 feet tall and appears to be a combination of a gnome and a Tolkien tree-man (though obviously much smaller.) The head and face are old, the witnesses saying "wizened." This sort of thing is described often with these solitary gnomish beings. The body color is brown, apparently tree or root brown, as it looks toned but "sinewy" all over, with arms and legs looking like they are more akin to tree roots than flesh. He raises and shakes his hand apparently in anger at them. then he slips back to where (behind bushes?) they can no longer see him. All of this took place in just a few seconds, but the young man and woman agreed that the experience was so intense that they had no doubts as to what they saw.
... Maybe this is what the Olde People meant when they referred to a Dryad male.
CLASSIC GNOME in ARKANSAS? 1960s. A young girl was walking from their back lot towards the family house. In that lot there was an old peach tree. From the vicinity of that tree she heard a noise. When she looked, she saw a little man that she said reminded her of a leprechaun. This being was two foot tall and looked old --- white hair, facial wrinkles, and a gray-white beard. He was dressed in browns and greens. His clothes were layered, but just how was not remembered. His shoes were more like moccasins than, say, boots or brogues. He had a sack slung over his shoulder (curiously this is an odd feature of some leprechaun sightings in old Ireland.) The witness and the "leprechaun" stood motionless staring at one another for a few minutes. Then the folk creature turned and "shot toward the peach tree and disappeared down a hole close to the trunk." The witness had played many many times at that old tree and knew that no hole was there. Later she went over to it and tried to reach into it. Her grandmother, who apparently knew about these beings, cautioned her NOT to do this and "leave the little people alone." The witness lay in wait many times thereafter to see the little man again, but never did he return.
... despite being a believe me or not Fairy Census case, the narrative is both realistically stated, and coherent with other encounter reports. (We BADLY need fairylore field investigators to anchor such potentially walloping good cases, as to witness credibility.)
ELF QUEEN in the CALIFORNIA MOUNTAINS? 1960s. Another Fairy Census case and frankly my favorite. Since this is a believe me or not case AND my favorite, I am in particularly deep biased water here --- just so you know. Also, I have written up this experience elsewhere so I'd like to just use that self-plagiarized write-up.
I'd really like that one to be true.
And I really don't have much of a clue as to whether it was.
I'll try the 70s next time.