Fairies Sightings

Traditionally, the fairies are a race of beings who are the counterparts of humankind in physical appearance but, at the same time, are nonphysical or multidimensional. They are mortal, but lead longer lives than their human cousins. Fairies have always been considered very much akin to humans, but also as something other than mortal. The fairies are said to be able to enchant humans, to take advantage of them in numerous ways, and even cast a spell on likely young men or women and marry them. They often seem intent upon kidnapping children and adults and whisking them off to their underground kingdom. Those who return from the magical kingdom have experienced missing hours, days, weeks—even years. On the plus side, fairies have also been reported to help farmers harvest their crops or assist housemaids in cleaning a kitchen. There are accounts of fairy folk guiding humans to achieve material successes, and stories are told of fairy midwives who stand by to assist at the births of favored human children and who remain to guide and tutor them for the rest of their lives.

Some scholars and researchers of the considerable body of worldwide fairylore maintain that fairies are entities who belong solely to the realm of spirit. Many of the ancient texts declare that the fairies are somehow of a “middle nature betwixt Man and Angel.” Some biblically inspired authorities have sought to cast fairies as an earthly incarnation assumed by the rebellious angels who were driven out of heaven during the celestial uprising led by Lucifer. These fallen angels, cast from their heavenly abode, took up new residences in the forests, mountains, and lakes of Earth. As fallen angels, they now existed in a much-diminished capacity, but still possessed more than enough power to be deemed supernatural by the human inhabitants of the planet. In a variation of that account of the fairies’ origin, other scholars contend that after the war in heaven, the dispossessed angels materialized on Earth and assumed physical bodies similar to those of humans—those beings declared “a little lower than the angels.” Eventually, these paraphysical beings took humans as mates, thereby breeding a hybrid species of entities “betwixt Man and Angel.” William Shakespeare (1564–1616) made fairies famous in a number of his masterworks. He is largely responsible for the concept of the wee folk as mostly benign—mischievous, perhaps, but never evil. Alexander Pope (1688–1744) wrote lovely passages idealizing fairies, but once satirically remarked that he believed many of the woodland sprites were possessed by the souls of deceased socialites who even after death refused to give up earthly amusements.

In 1188, a Welsh cleric named Elidyr told Gerald of Wales that when he was twelve years old, he had encountered two tiny men who led him through a dark tunnel and into a fantastic realm of little people ruled by a king. He returned to visit several times until he tried stealing a golden ball. The little men pursued and took it back from him, after which he could no longer find the tunnel.

In 1757, when British cleric Edward Williams was seven years old, he and some other children playing in a field in Wales saw a group of tiny couples dressed in red and carrying white kerchiefs. One of the little men, who had an “ancient, swarthy, grim complexion,” chased the children. The incident puzzled Williams all his life. In the early twentieth century, W. Y. Evans Wentz traveled throughout Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall , and Brittany, gathering many oral traditions of Fairies from all social classes. One informant, named Neil Colton, told him about Fairies he had seen in the mid-nineteenth century at Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland. He and some other children were gathering berries when they heard music and saw six to eight of them dancing a few hundred feet away. A little woman came running toward them and hit a girl on the face with a green rush. The girl fainted after they all ran home and was revived only with the help of a priest . The notorious Cottingley

Fairy photographs, taken by Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, somehow fooled many people over the years. It was only in 1983 that the women finally admitted to using cutouts from Princess Mary’s Gift Book (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), by Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood, on two of the photos taken in 1917. Three other photos taken in August 1920 with a different camera were probably double exposures. However, they never denied seeing real Fairies in the back near Cottingley, Yorkshire, and claimed the hoax was done to demonstrate their reality. The photos and related documents sold for £22,000 at an auction in July 1998.

On April 30, 1973, Mary Treadgold was traveling by bus on the Island of Mull in Scotland when she looked out the window and saw a small figure, about 18 inches high, who appeared to be digging peat with a spade. It was dressed in bright-blue pants and suspenders and a white shirt with rolled-up sleeves, and it remained completely still as the bus passed. Unexpected mishaps during construction of a new road at Akureyri, Iceland, in 1984 were blamed on the local fairies. Helgi Hallgrimsson, director of the Akureyri Natural History Museum, has collected many eyewitness reports from the district around Eyjafjörur, where a Fairy town is said to be located. Brian Collins, age fifteen, was vacationing on Aran Island, County Donegal, Ireland, around 1992 when he saw two men about 3 feet 6 inches tall, talking in Irish and dressed in green with brown boots. They were sitting on a bank, fishing in the ocean, but suddenly they jumped away and disappeared. Collins retrieved a pipe one had been smoking, but it later disappeared from a locked drawer.

Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) emphasized the beauty of the fairy realm and the struggle of the fairies to achieve humanlike souls. The famed poet William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) had a nearly obsessive interest in the supernatural and strongly believed in fairies. It was the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930), who came to the defense of Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, the two little girls who allegedly photographed fairies in the famous Case of the Cottingley Fairies in 1917. Doyle became convinced that fairies are genuine psychic phenomena and that just as some people can act as mediums and others have unusual powers of extrasensory perception, so do others—especially certain children— have the ability to see fairies. Concerning fairies themselves, Doyle theorized that they are constructed of material that emits vibrations either shorter or longer than the normal spectrum visible to the human eye.

In 1997 a motion picture entitled Fairy Tale: A True Story chose to emphasize the magical qualities of the Cottingley incident. Charles Sturridge, the director, was quoted in Premiere, November 1997, as saying that he didn’t want to make a film about whether or not the two young girls had faked the fairy photographs. Sturridge emphasized that his film was really all about, “The need to believe beyond what you can see.” Interestingly, yet another film about the Cottingley fairies, Photographing Fairies, appeared in 1998, and director Nick Willing chose to depict the elemental beings primarily as spirits.

(Sources : Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things; and Mysterious Creatures : “A Guide to Cryptozoology” by George M. Eberhart)

(Pic source : Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things page 101)



Written By Tripzibit on Nov 13, 2009 | 14:17

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