The Fairies of Cornwall (6)

The story of Mr Noy which you read in Part 5 of “The Fairies of Cornwall”, has a good many parallels with quite a number of various themes. Those of you who have ever read the books of David Paulides about the huge numbers of people who have disappeared in the National Parks of the USA will feel almost uncanny connections with the prolonged search for Mr Noy. There is a further connection with those strange cases narrated by Paulides when:

“in the grey of the morning, a horse was heard to neigh and dogs were heard barking among a dense group of trees and bushes”

almost as if they were making a noise in a different dimension. This strange phenomenon occurs in one of Paulides’ books, when a lost woman’s voice is heard by several witnesses apparently inside the rock of a cliff in the desert. She was never found.

This incident with poor Mr Noy could well be an alien abduction of medieval times expressed in terms that an agricultural worker in, say, 1400 or 1500, could understand. Mr Noy is taken away into that thicket and kept separate from the world for several days. Anything could be happening to him, and, as in all the best sci-fi films, his memory has been wiped clean at the very end.

A further parallel with alien abduction comes with the idea of Mr Noy’s sleep and of his waking up days later although he thinks it is just the next morning. This is another very strong reminder of Rip van Winkle, a fictional story by Washington Irving but one which is closely connected to two folk tales, set nearly four thousand miles apart.

Washington Irving’s father lived in the Orkneys, islands to the north east of Scotland. He could not have avoided knowing the story of the drunken fiddler who hears music coming from the burial mound of Salt Knowe near to the Ring of Brodgar. He goes inside and finds a group of trolls having a party. He stays there for two hours but then discovers that fifty years have passed outside the mound. Here’s the Ring of Brodgar:

And here’s the nearby burial mound of Salt Knowe:

We have already seen how the plot of Rip van Winkle is very like the story of the Iroquois hunter in the twelfth century.  It is very similar also to an upstate New York legend told by the Seneca tribe. A young squirrel hunter encounters “The Little People”, and spends the night with them. When he goes back to his village, it is completely overgrown and his entire tribe has moved on. For them, a year has passed.

Most of the world’s religions have a very similar tale which usually takes place in a cave, or at least somewhere reminiscent of a cave. There is the story of the legendary sage Epimenides of Knossos who spent fifty-seven years in a Cretan cave. Here he is:

“The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus” spent three hundred years inside a cave near Ephesus and in Judaism, there is the story of Honi ha-M’agel. Here’s his tomb:

All of these widely scattered stories could conceivably be explained by superior beings who have mastered the manipulation of time.



Filed under Cornwall, Criminology, Cryptozoology, History, Literature, Personal, Wildlife and Nature, Writing

15 responses to “The Fairies of Cornwall (6)

  1. Makes one think, eh?
    Even as a fantasy, it is fun to think about. I suppose it is things like that caused Shakespeare to write: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    – Hamlet

    • Absolutely. We live our lives and by the end of it, if we’re not careful, we don’t have the slightest idea what’s going on outside our own existence. For me, the most intriguing events are those strange things that are repeated over and over again, across the world from Cornwall to Israel to the Catskill Mountains. They must mean something (although, as yet, I don’t have the foggiest idea what!)

    • It’s the way that they are repeated all over the world with no possible connection between them that intrigues me. Plus the fact that so many people disappear in the USA’s National Parks, quite often in the most ordinary of circumstances such as walking 200 yards back from the picnic area to their tent, and so on.

  2. Even as a s sceptic it does make you wonder what is going on in all these events. With so much in common you have to ask yourself, is there more to this than meets the eye? Are we actually being visited by superior. Beings? I think with so much ‘out there’ in space, surely we can’t be the only livings things around.

  3. Well, there are certainly some strange things going on, particularly in the American national parks. Here’s a short trailer:

    and this is his website with a large number of podcasts:
    His most intriguing story concerned a pair of 25 year old twins, both of them top quality athletes, who were hiking in the forest, up to a cafe on the opposite side of an almost circular lake with a good path all the way round it. They struck a bet that whoever got to the cafe first would have his meal paid for. One twin went left, one twin went right. Neither of them ever arrived at the cafe, and, despite exhaustive searches, neither were ever found.

  4. Chris Waller

    Absolutely intriguing! As J B S Haldane said, “The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.”

    • Paulides’ books are superb. So intriguing, although the costs of postage make them prohibitively expensive at the moment. With a little bit of luck, the Government will negotiate a trade deal with “All books are free” between the two countries.

      • Jeff

        The Missing 411 programme was broadcast in the UK recently on the high-quality Blaze TV channel. It’s on catch-up if you haven’t seen it. It covers a small number of child cases and although it doesn’t get into high strangeness it definitely acknowledges the mystery element in the whole thing.

      • Yes, Paulides’ work is so reminiscent of the traditional “droll tales” of medieval Cornwall. If you were intrigued by what I have written about what fairies can do, then try to find this programme. You will see the connection between the two quite easily.

  5. Jan

    You don’t have to be in the depths of the US National Parks to go missing. There was a case a few years ago of a car running off the motorway in Scotland. Despite the police attending the reported scene of the incident, the occupants were trapped (hidden from view) for a couple of days and rather fortunate to survive.

    • Apparently a similar situation led to the “Baby on Board” signs, when the police rescued a couple from a crashed car but missed the baby which had been thrown into the undergrowth. It was retrieved a few hours later, still alive, thank goodness.

  6. Pingback: The Fairies of Cornwall (7) | John Knifton

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