The kidnappings of the Fairies and the mystery of the "Missing 411"

Every year dozens of people suddenly disappear in US National Parks, in unexplained situations and without leaving any trace; Detective David Paulides, who for decades has been studying these mysterious cases he defined as "Missing 411", has identified some recurring patterns which, analyzed with an eye to ancient traditions (both European and Native American), bring us back to the folklore beliefs concerning the "water-babies" and other feral entities residing in the "invisible world", to which it is sometimes believed that the human being, willy-nilly, is able to access, sometimes never to return to our world.

di Marco Maculotti
cover: Daniel Maclise, “The Disenchantment of Bottom” from “A Midsummer Night's Dream”, 1832

“I became convinced that almost all the popular traditions of the world are nothing but exaggerated accounts of events that really happened, and especially I was drawn to examine the stories of the fairies, the" good people "of the Celtic races. [...] in the most ancient tales, in the stories that prompted men to make the sign of the cross when they sat around the hearth, we find ourselves on a very different ground: I saw a completely opposite spirit in certain events involving children, men and women strangely disappeared from the earth. They were noticed by a farmer, in the fields, on their way to some green and rounded hill, and then no one knew anything about them anymore. "

- Arthur Machen, “The Novel of the Black Seal”, 1895

“A girl disappeared in a way that seems extremely mysterious. She […] she walked off telling her parents that she would take the shortcut through the hills. He didn't get to her aunt, and no one ever saw her again. […] People say a lot of nonsense […] they believe that the poor girl “went with the fairies”, or was “taken by the fairies”. "

- Arthur Machen, “The Shining Pyramid”, 1924

America and the supernatural, between "alternative reality" and cryptozoology

Although it has never had, since its foundation in 1776, a strictly its own religious tradition, the United States of America more than any other state in the world is configured as the geographical area that, between the last century and the present, has seen the birth of a series of currents attributable to the so-called "Alternative reality" that could be called pseudo-religious. These are movements which, although they cannot be cataloged stricto sensu as “religious”, they are based on very precise beliefs shared by internal members which often presuppose an unconditional faith in the subject, if not actually having personally experienced a catalyzing experience of the same.

The most famous case obviously remains there Ufological "religion", with all its drifts more or less New Age, from abductions to the fertilization vitro of human-alien hybrids, up to the most extreme conspiracy theories that speak of "reptilians" et similia. But many other examples could be given as examples: the belief in the existence of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch, counterpart of the better known Himalayan Yeti; the chupacabra, which many want responsible for the so-called "cattle mutilation"; the Mothman, whose sightings would occur shortly before unimaginable catastrophes (it is said to have been sighted even before the attack on the Twin Towers); the Jersey devil; and so on.

Juan O'Gorman, “The Vegetable Kingdom is a distant country”, 1947

You can also brand everything as "New Age crap" and science fiction stuff of the Z series - this, on the other hand, would seem absolutely legitimate in most cases - however a reflection on the subject (and more specifically, as we will see, on a "series" of cases brought to the attention of the public only recently) could lead us to hypotheses worthy of attention.

On the other hand, the testimonies of Folklore local half a century ago indicated that the bizarre superstitions of those who were the first settlers were far from being forgotten, and indeed still survived in a residual way. For example, again in 1960 in Ohio it was thought that having sons wear female clothes at an early age would prevent them fairies to kidnap them; a belief undoubtedly imported into America by Irish immigrants [Varner 51]. Still in the nineteenth century, therefore, i pleasant Americans held responsible for the disappearances of children precisely i fairies: paradigmatic in this regard is the case of kidnappings in Dubuque, Iowa, which occurred in 1886.

Arthur Rackham, “Taken by the Fairies in Dubuque”, for “Goblin Market”, 1933

It is also worth noting that the US area has always been well suited to a process of "supernaturalization" of the unknown: was born in the state of New York Charles Fort, "Investigator of the Disturbing and the Extraordinary", as well as John Keel, standard bearer together with the French Jacques Vallée of the so-called "Paraphysical hypothesis", which we have already talked about on these pages. America also gave birth to Richard Shaver, whose schizophrenic "visions" threw readers of Amazing Stories in total panic. Cinema and television, for their part, have rode the wave of "fever for the supernatural": just think of two of the most successful serials of the nineties, Twin Peaks e The X-Files, up to the most recent T, titles which among other things will return in this discussion for the connection with some of the cases we will deal with.

But even long before the modern era there mindset of the American man had to undergo a particular predisposition for the supernatural, since times of trappers and borders. “Residual traces” of folklore of the nations from which the first settlers came in search of fortune (often countries such as Ireland, Scotland, Germany) went to mix with the mythological corpus of native populations, which literally swarms with feral entities, similar to fairies Europeans, and other “mythical” beings that are difficult to frame from a European perspective, such as the Wendigo and skinwalker. "Demons" of indigenous folklore, these, which in recent years have also inspired some of the stories of a new kind of "alternative reality", particularly in vogue among young people: the so-called Creepypasta.


The "Missing 411" case: thousands of people vanished in the US National Parks

The topic we want to talk about here, however, does not speak of any of these supernatural currents, movements or entities ... but perhaps, at the same time, it has to do with each of them. Nominally in the USA these cases are referred to with the wording "missing 411", a label invented by a named detective David Paulides who, after a twenty-year career (1977-99) in the American law enforcement agencies, has written eight books on the subject, from which two documentaries have been drawn for now (released in 2017 and 2019).

In the cauldron of the so-called "Missing 411", according to Paulides, all those fall back cases of missing persons within the National Parks of the US territory, whose cause of disappearance (or death, in the cases - not many - in which the body is found) would not be attributable either to a personal act (a suicide attempt, for example), or to an action external violence (an aggression by third parties or wild animals), or other common hypotheses (frostbite, drowning, etc.). It would literally be thousands of unanswered cases.

David Paulides

Initially Paulides must have thought that behind many of these cases there was the hand - or rather the "zampone" - of Bigfoot / Sasquatch, otherwise he would not have given birth to the research group "North America Bigfoot Search", of which he was self-appointed director, nor would he have written two books on the subject, published between 2008 and 2009. In some cases - the most famous of which is that of Jaryd Atadero - actually we are talking about hairs found on the corpses which, analyzed by forensics, appeared to be neither of a human being nor of other known animals. However, the detective later realized that many cases could not be explained by citing the existence of an "abominable snowman", also because not all the geographic areas where the "Missing 411" occurred there seem to be beliefs or sightings. of the same (the area most affected by Bigfoot sightings is that of the west coast).

He thus began to collect hundreds of disappearances to be considered inexplicable according to rational logic, even if they did not match the Bigfoot hypothesis: thus an immense archive of cases was born that could well be studied by agent Fox Mulder and colleague Dana Scully or, alternatively, from Rust Cohle and Marty Hart. During the cataloging work, Paulides became aware of certain pattern which seemed to return in the vast majority of cases: one of them was the proximity of the missing person to a stream or to one mirror of water, and in no case was the victim found drowned.

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A map of missing persons in US National Parks. Most of the 1600 cases studied by Paulides concern the west coast, especially the parks of Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake. Many disappearances also in the Rocky Mountains.

It was also noted that, following the disappearances, the weather situation seemed to change suddenly and worse and worse, giving rise to storms, rains and clouds of fog, almost as if an "alien" force emerged directly from a Algernon Blackwood wanted to prevent the successful outcome of searches (note incidentally that such power in folklore usually is attributed to witches and "demons"). Many of these cases also occurred in the vicinity of rocky massifs - such as the granite one of Yosemite - giving rise to disturbing connections with the novel, which was then made into a film. Picnic in Hanging Rock. The footsteps of the missing persons sometimes continued for a certain stretch of the road, and then suddenly stopped, as if they had literally vanished.

Even the identikit of the missing persons without a trace follow apparently precise criteria: it is above all about children, sometimes even very young (2-3 years), but also of people with a few disability physical or mental or, on the contrary, highly gifted individuals or from a psychic point of view (scientists, researchers) or from a physical point of view (climbers, draws experts).


Paulides also notes that not infrequently they are among the family members of the abductees military or religious, in this being able to identify a connection respectively with X-Files e Twin Peaks on the one hand, and T on the other. In the Carter series, in fact, the abductees are taken by the aliens due to an infamous pact of the political and military class; in Lynch and Frost's, the Air Force investigates "Black Lodge" and it is Major Briggs himself who is kidnapped in the other dimension; in Pizzolato, finally, the ritual sacrifices seemed to gravitate around the religious schools scattered throughout the territory.

Incredible thing to say at times younger children are found after days of searching failed, at a distance of even tens or hundreds of kilometers, which they could never have traveled. In these cases, moreover, the little ones did not show any kind of injuries and their clothes were strangely neat, even if during the time frame of the research the weather had not been kind.

Yuliya Litvinova, “Fairies and the Peasant Girl”, 2018

There is in fact this particular to highlight: although most of the time people literally disappear into thin air and never be found again, in a smaller percentage of cases, missing persons are found, dead or alive. When they are found alive, they always appear in a state of semi-unconsciousness and almost numbness, with some line of fever. Most of the time they are found at a great distance from the place where they had disappeared and generally they cannot explain where they have been or how they have passed the time during that temporal hiatus.

Disconcerting is the case of Steven Kubacki, which took place in 1977: engaged in a ski excursion on Lake Michigan, he suddenly disappeared, only to "reappear" only 14 months later in Massachussets, over 1000 kilometers away, without any memory. Also Danny Filippidis he disappeared while he was skiing: he was in the state of New York and suddenly reappeared in California, about 5000 kilometers away, with his skis still on! 

In the episode of "The X-Files" titled "Detour" (season 5, episode 4), Mulder and Scully investigate a series of sudden disappearances within a National Park. It will be discovered that the perpetrators are a sort of semi-material "people" who live in symbiosis with the forest and who can drag intruders into its depths. The episode aired on November 23, 1997, 15 years before Paulides' first book on "Missing 411" cases.

Underground environments and infernal toponymy

Although many suggest the extraterrestrial hypothesis, the testimonies of some "reappeared" (especially children) are more easily ascribable to the "folkloric track": some claim to have been brought underground, in an environment that would remain bright for the whole time of their "abduction", despite the alternation of day and night outside, on the surface. Similar testimonies can only be linked to the folkloric tradition of "Little People", a mythical and semi-material offspring that would invisibly dwell in one dimension under o behind ours, present both in the foklore "imported" from Europe and in that of the native peoples of North America.

- "Access" to their secret world they would be placed right in the depths of wooded areas, in large trees or underground caves, and according to all these ancient traditions they would kidnap humans and lead them into their underworld, from which only a small percentage of the time they manage to return.

Unearthing a Devil's Corkscrew from a hillside
Since the time before the arrival of European settlers, certain extraordinary rock formations were considered, in native folklore, to be connected to certain myths or certain categories of spirits. Here in the picture you can see one of the so-called "Devil's Corkscrew" from Nebraska, a bizarre that enters right into the US "infernal toponymy".

It is worth noting that a certain percentage of disappearances occur in geographical areas considered taboo by native populations because they are considered the abode of spirits dangerous. Numerous disappearances occur in areas "marked" by one place names rather indicative: one of these areas is Devil's Head, in Colorado, where many disappeared, including - ironically - the theologian Maurice Dametz who, before "evaporating" in 1981, put pen to paper his conviction about the next coming fortune of the Antichrist. Little Ana disappeared in the state of Utah, a few kilometers from the named promontory Devil's Slide for its particular "slide" shape. Alfred Beilhartz, aged 5, vanished in 1938 on the Devil's Nest in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado.

These denominations most often derive from the process of "Christianization" of myths of native folklore, which evidently advised prudently to avoid these places. In this we must highlight another parallelism with the Gaelic tradition, according to which the kidnappings of the fairies mostly occur in "fairy" places, indicated as such also by toponymy, such as for example funerary mounds dating back to the Neolithic or ancient megalithic forts in ruins.

A vintage postcard from Devil's Slide, Utah

The kidnappings of fairies and the initiations of children

“It was his opinion that there, in the heart of the wilderness, they had witnessed something cruelly primitive. Something that had survived, somehow, the advance of humanity, and now had made its terrible appearance, revealing the existence of a primordial and monstrous dimension of life. Simpson considered that experience as a look at the prehistoric ages, when the heart of man was still oppressed by huge and savage superstitions; when the forces of nature were still intact, and the Powers that must have dominated the primitive universe were not yet defeated. Even today he thinks back to what, years later, he defined in a sermon "formidable and savage powers that nestle in the souls of men, not evil in themselves, but fundamentally hostile to humanity as it is". "

- Algernon Blackwood, “The Wendigo”, 1909

In full line with the percentages of "Missing 411" both the Gaelic and Amerindian folklore traditions mention children as favorite victims of kidnappings: the natives however generally (at least until a few generations ago) they did not care, as believe that these abductions serve as an "initiation" to some members of the clan who from an early age would be chosen by the spirit-guides to perpetrate the ancestral shamanic tradition.

The Indians Choctaws, for example, they tell of the kidnapping of a three-year-old boy who wandered through the woods. Went too far from the village, Kowi Anukasha, the vigilante of the People of the Forests, grabbed him and led him away, into the cave where the "Hidden People" lived. It is said that the cave where the spirit led the child was quite far from the places inhabited by the tribal communities, to the point that the two had to travel for a long time, overcome several hills and ford numerous streams. In this place the child was initiated into shamanic knowledge, then returned unharmed to our world.

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Even more surprisingly, the tradition of the British Isles, for example the treatise of Reverend Kirk The Secret Commonwealth, suggests that, in addition to children ("small children, not yet depraved by many objects, they see apparitions that are not seen by those of more advanced age") also the "feeble-minded" (or, to put it according to our Spirit of the Times, the "disabled people") are more likely to have contact with this "secret people": according to a belief collated by Evans-Wentz they would even be descendants from fairies themselves [Evans-Wentz 128]. According to Paulides, the people with very rare genetic abnormalities: in a case that occurred in Arizona, for example, two sisters with an extremely rare bone disorder disappeared (about 1 in 2/3 million cases).

Hilda Hechle, "A Moonlight Phantasy", 1930

As for the people of genius, in the Irish tradition they are said to be kidnapped and transformed by fairies in beings endowed with their own semi-physicality. Also qwhen it is told about the death of Robert Kirk himself, or that while walking at night near a "fairy" hill he had been "Kidnapped by the fairies in his second or double body" and instantly transported to fairy land, seems to confirm this third predilection for kidnappings. His parishioners and the people of Aberfoyle claimed that his body was never found and came to the conclusion that "the fairies, irritated by the revelation of their mysteries, had dragged him down, underground, to live in theirs underground city, pervaded by a green light, and there he will wait, prisoner of the fairy dream, until the last times, when all dreams will be dissipated ».

Some people missing in the "Missing 411" seem in fact literally vanish into the ground, as if they are suddenly "sucked" underground by a supernatural force. There have been incidents with visual witnesses of these sudden disappearances, which testified that, while the person literally disappeared underground at any moment, some clothes or accessories of the same remained on the ground, on the surface - for example shoes or watch. Some children who were found alive and unharmed after days of fruitless searching showed up clothes on the contrary, like overturned: and perhaps it is worth noting here how a leitmotif of European folklore (but not only) wants us to free ourselves from the influence of these subtle entities and escape from their own "underground kingdom" turning the other way around your own clothes (hat, jacket, etc.).

Henri-Camille Danger, "The Fireflies", 1896

There are some instances where children found claim to have been kidnapped and taken underground by some sort of "humanized" bear or big wolf, which would provide for their sustenance until their release. Many have seen this as evidence for the Bigfoot hypothesis. However, for our part, we limit ourselves to remembering that in the Native American folklore of the subarctic belt there is a real tradition of people kidnapped by the spirit-helpers who present themselves to them in the form of a bear, wolf or other animals [Comba, 263]. These zoomorphic spirits, who have the same role and the same function recognized to the spirit-masters in Austro-Asian and Mongolian-Siberian shamanism, await the winter period to kidnap the neophytes and then release them, once “transformed” into shamans.

Other tales of indigenous folklore have sensational correspondences with the cases studied by Paulides. The Eskimos Yup'ik, for example, they tell of humans who went to live in the underwater home of seals, which turn out to be people of different sizes [Fienup-Riordan 118-9]: a kind of fairy land submarine and zoomorphized, in short. In the Midwinter ceremony of the Iroquois, members of the "False Faces" fraternity are believed to be imitations of "Sun Faces", spiritual and terrifying entities that roam deep in the forests, at the extreme edges of the world. Their leader is said to live at the ends of the earth, that is, "at the extreme edge of the world, in that remote and mysterious area, where the ordinary and the supernatural world merge and intersect". It is thought that it is precisely in this "extreme limit" that neophytes are kidnapped by spirits in view of initiation [Comba 114-7].

Ernest Augustin Gendron, “The Undines or the Voice of the Torrent”, 1857

I water babies in Amerindian folklore

«Never, before or since, have I been attacked with such force by indescribable suggestions of a“ further region ”, of another scheme of life, another evolution not parallel to the human one. And, in the end, our minds would have to succumb under the weight of that frightening spell, and we would have been drawn across the border into their world. […] All these elements had been robbed of their natural characteristics, and had revealed something of another aspect of them: that which existed beyond the border, in the other region. And this distorted aspect, I felt, was foreign not only to me, but to the entire human race. The whole experience whose limits we were touching was completely unknown to humanity. It was another sphere of experience, "not earthly" in the truest sense of the word. "

- Algernon Blackwood, “The Willows”, 1907

Even more remarkable are the correspondences, always with the folklore of native peoples, regarding the huge number of cases of people who suddenly disappeared near some aquatic place, river, lake or spring. Keel already, analyzing his "Paraphysical X-Files", came to the conclusion that one of the peculiar traits of the entities he was trying to decipher was that of "appear almost always near water: lakes, streams, ponds, natural reserves»[Keel 107]. The cases collected by Paulides, in this, are fully attributable to those analyzed by the Keel-Vallée school, which attempted to combine the ancient beliefs of folklore with modern alien sightings and encounters with other entities of the "alternative reality" and of the cryptozoology like the Sasquatch and the other examples we mentioned above.

Illustration depicting an American "water-baby", circa 1930

Going back to native folklore, in fact, also in this case we discover that there are many tribes (Choctaw, Paiute, Shoshone, Washo, Achumawi, Cahuilla, Cupeno, Luiseno, Serrano, Yokuts, Salish) living in the National Parks affected by the "Missing 411 ”whose mythical tradition contemplates the existence of mysterious subtle beings commonly called "Water-babies" (or "water-spirits", or "rock-babies"): considered enigmatic and dangerous, they are said to inhabit water sources, ponds and all kinds of streams, from the river to the stream. Usually they appear to their victims in childish guise, and they call their attention crying: responding to the request for help would be equivalent to disappear immediately, dragged by water babies in their underwater realm. On the other hand, they are considered great helper-spirits and are attributed the power to increase the shamanic powers of the kidnapped individual [Varner 7]. THE Choctaws they call them Okwa Naholo (lit. "the white people of the water") and they describe them with white skin, but covered with scales like that of trout; they believe they kidnap humans and turn them into beings of their own kind.

Like the fairies of the European tradition, also i water babies Americans are responsible for the kidnapping of infants e of their replacement with an "enduring image" (changing) [Varner 8]. Cherokee folklore handed down named beings hat-en-na o "Water-grizzlies", who live "at the bottom of rivers" and can't wait to kidnap someone, preferably a child. Having identified the prey, they instantly hit it with an "invisible dart" (well known also in European folklore, and indeed throughout the world), then take the body underwater to feast. Sometimes, a changing: "Double-shadow", which nevertheless disappears completely after seven days [Varner 11].

Yaroslav Panushka, "Vampire", 1900

Here too, the apparently paradoxical connection with the plantigrade is curious, since the water spirits are called by the Cherokee "water-grizzlies". Once again the native tradition comes to our aid, according to which (among the Apache and other tribal groups), the bear he was considered a totemic animal connected with the power and sacredness of the waters, even because with its lethargy it symbolized rebirth and renewal. In California he was considered the creator of geysers: his relationship with the underground world is always clear, as well as with aquatic environments. It is said that the "bear doctors" (bear-doctors), ie the shamans who derived their powers from his help, could transform themselves into bears by immersing themselves in certain sacred natural pools [Varner 169].

In any case, whether they appear in ursine guise or otherwise, the presence of these "water demons" within the most varied corpora mythical of the entire North American territory, from the subarctic area to Mexico, is impressive. They are already present even within the Olmec tradition, dating back to at least 1500 BC: denominated chaneques, are described as "Old dwarves with baby faces" and they are said to dwell in waterfalls and more generally in the wilderness. Not only can they cause insanity in those who meet them, but they are even said to be able arouse rain on command [Varner 10] - which is extremely interesting if we think of the sudden weather changes in the "Missing 411".

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Even in the Fuegian tradition, at the southern end of the Americas, an invisible spirit is mentioned, called Taquatu, who sails day and night in a canoe on the waterways and, as soon as it finds lonely people in a wooded area, «Without too many compliments he kidnaps them on his boat and takes them very far from home" [Varner 41].

Frederick Ferdinand Schafer, "Sioux Village at Nightfall", circa 1900

The “John Doe” case and the robot-grandmother

There is also a "Missing 411" file, which significantly raises the stakes, perhaps creating a sort of connection between the tradition of fairies of which it has been said and the so-called "abduction alien ", and thus taking us from the folkloric hypothesis to that "Paraphysics", in line with Vallée and Keel's studies. This is the case of an anonymous child (the file is registered as "John Doe") aged three and a half, who suddenly disappeared in the late afternoon of 1 October 2010 during a campsite near the Mount Shasta (a place, moreover, favored by various strands of the "alternative reality", which see it from time to time the refuge of the Sasquatch breed or a colony of "Lemurians”, Perhaps equivalent to Giants who, according to native folklore, once inhabited the massif [Evans-Wentz 47, note 1]).

Little John was talking to his father, from whom he was a few meters away: suddenly he had disappeared. For five hours each search was useless. Then, suddenly, John reappeared on a path a short distance from the field, which had already been "beaten" several times. He looked dazed, almost in a dream state, and he would not have talked for weeks about what had happened to him during that time. When he did, he terrified his entire family. His story seemed to come from the psyche of some abductee subjected by Dr. John Mack to regressive hypnosis, or alternatively by some black tale of ETA Hoffmann o Thomas Ligotti.

Paul Ranson, “Sorcery,” 1898

In fact, he said he had been kidnapped and carried inside a mountain, in an underground cavity, by a kind of doppelganger of grandmother Kathy, who for a little while hearing the absurd testimony did not faint. This "double" of the elderly progenitor would have led him into the abyssal depths, until he arrived in a dark and narrow room, full of spiders and "immobile robotic humanoids" (motionless humanoid robots). Handbags and wallets along with various types of weapons were strewn on the floor.

Frightened, he looked closer at "Grandma Kathy" and realized that it wasn't really her, but rather a sort of robotic reproduction or mannequin molded on his likenessHe also noticed a ghostly red light coming from his head. After refusing to do disgusting actions, the "grandmother" gave up and she let go of the baby, who suddenly reappeared exactly where he had disappeared. But before bringing the baby back to the surface, she revealed a secret to him:

« She was implanted in your mother's womb, you are a native of space. »

Erik Thor Sandberg, "Distraction"

It should also be added that the "real" grandmother Kathy, shocked by the story she heard, remembered that she too spent a night on the place where the child disappeared, and that she inexplicably woke up in the morning outside her tent, with her face pressed into the earth and a kind of "Red sting" behind the neck. The last thing she remembers from the previous night, Grandma Kathy says, is "A pair of red eyes staring at us in the dark".

His companion also presented the same sting, and all day they both felt in pieces, as if sick: the same happens both in the folkloric literature of the fairies, the meeting with which it seems Literally "drain" the energies of the unfortunate, both in the case of close alien encounters (Keel reports as classic symptoms "conjunctivitis, dry throat, migraine and muscle pain" [Keel 102].

Ganesh Pyne, "The Masks", 1994

Paraphysical hypotheses

There is enough material to frame this "Missing 411" as a real "X-File", perfect in its oddities and contradictions in corroborating the aforementioned "paraphysical hypothesis" by Keel and Vallée, to get up to the dating of Terence mckenna in DMT with those entities he called "elven machines" (tykes). As a note Janet Bord,

“Humans generally act with a purpose, and expect other creatures to do the same; but it is possible that this concept is not common to beings from another world (or worlds, because there could be various types of entities involved, coming from equally different sources). " [Border 115]

John Keel, as we know, has a much more pessimistic view than Bord, considering these entities coming from the "Superspectrum" as energy vampires:

“Judged by human standards, these creatures appear to be afflicted with severe emotional disturbances. Scholars who have ventured into this field of research have done their best to frame them, striving to isolate human attributes in them and to find explanations for their own irrational behavior, in an attempt to justify their contradictory nature. Only a few have dared to face the hard and obvious truth: the source of these subhuman forms and hand guards is not healthy. [...] the source from which these phenomena arise is insane. » [Keel 132]

Otto Seitz, illustration for “Jugend”, 1896

On the other hand, i points of contact between folkloric tradition and "UFO mythology" are recognized by Keel himself, who notes that UFO sightings seem to occur in certain "windows" that in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys "tend to concentrate around the Indian burial mounds or near ancient archaeological sites »[Keel 62], that is to say the“ fairy ”places par excellence in the Scotus-Irish tradition.

In addition we add that, although it may seem strange, nature so to speak "robotic" or otherwise artifact of type entities fairies it is also documented in ancient traditions, in addition of course the ability to take the appearance of certain people. Reverend Kirk at the end of the seventeenth century wrote that these entities "if they have fits of fun and cheerfulness, it is like the fixed grin of a death's head or rather as if they were representing him on stage and being moved by someone else rather than coming from the inner feeling of themselves ”[Kirk 26] and an Irish testimony collated from Evans-Wentz reports that they "They look like toy soldiers, you know they are not living beings like we are" [Evans-Wentz 55].

The fairy dance, 1895 by Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach
Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach, “The Fairy Dance”, 1895

I fairies they would appear so, in a certain way, like puppets, of puppets mysteriously "made to move" by an external invisible agent, of which they would be a sort of "mask". For their part, the Araucans of Tierra del Fuego note the similarity of the "subtle" entities that in their tradition have dominion over water with gods mannequins.

To close the circle, perhaps it is necessary here to report a scene from the film Communion, taken from the autobiographical book by Whitley Strieber, in which the aliens who abduct him appear in all respects similar on the one hand to some feral categories of both American and European folklore, on the other to the pseudo-robotic entities of the "John Doe" case:


What to think of all this, in the light of what we have said? Let us limit ourselves, to conclude this hallucinating journey, to mention one last character protagonist of this saraband of enigmas: thel US reporter Brad Steiger.

Steiger spent years in the pristine nature of the American National Parks, collecting testimonies of people who claimed to have come into contact with spiritual entities of any kind: elves, angels and space cosmonauts who came from Elsewhere. A book was born, The Divine Fire, published in 1973, based on an intuition: the entities, whatever their external appearance or their presumed origin, always followed the same script and punctually played the same part. "Archangel Gabriel and the Moth Man", Sneers John Keel mockingly,"they are brothers»[Keel 212].

Edward Robert Hughes, “Midsummer Eve, 1908


BORD, Janet: Fate, Mondadori, Milan 1999

COMBA, Henry: Rites and mysteries of the American Indians, UTET

FIENUP-RIORDAN, Ann: “The Eye of Dance: Spiritual Life of the Central Yup'ik Eskimos,” in SULLIVAN, Lawrence E. (ed.): Cultures and religions of American Indians, Jaca Book, Milan 2000

EVANS-WENTZ, Walter Y .: The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, Citadel Press / Carol Publishing Book, New York 1990

KEEL, John: The eighth tower, Venexia, Rome 2017

KIRK, Robert: The secret kingdom, Adelphi, Milan 1980

MACULOTTI, Marco: Access to the Other World in the shamanic tradition, folklore and "abduction", in AXIS mundi, January 2018

MACULOTTI, Marco: Who is hiding behind the mask? Visits from Elsewhere and the paraphysical hypothesis, in AXIS mundi, June 2018

MACULOTTI, Marco: The kidnappings of the Fairies: the "changeling" and the "renewal of the lineage", in AXIS mundi, October 2017

MACULOTTI, Marco: The 'Little People' in Southeast Native American folklore, in AXISmundi, January 2016

MACULOTTI, Marco: Fairies, witches and goddesses: "subtle nourishment" and "bone renewal", in AXIS mundi, March 2019

VARNER, Gary R .: Creatures in the Mist. Little People, Wild Men and Spirit Beings around the WorldAlgora Publishing, New York 2007

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