Trolls in Staffordshire (in the 1970s!) June 13, 2012Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern , trackback
***With thanks to Invisible***
Beach usually limits his cryptozoology to historical sightings and is a little uneasy at reporting an event from his own lifetime. But this particularly rumpus in the dark has a lot to recommend it in fairy terms so it caught his interest: the full account can be found at Nick Redfern’s site. In 1975 a young couple Barry and Elaine are returning from a Christmas party in the early morning with their two children asleep in the back seat and driving towards their home in Slitting Mill (Staffs).
The car stalled and Barry, then in his twenties jumped out to check the engine, while he was returning to his wife she saw ‘something’ that the then young couple later described as ‘trolls’.
At that point, however, their plans were thrown into complete and utter disarray. According to Barry, Elaine let out a loud scream, terrified by the sight of a small figure that ran across the road in front of them at a high rate of speed. She explains: “I just about saw it at the last second, and then another one followed it, and then a third one. The best way I can describe them to you is like a hairy troll or something like that. We had some moonlight and they were like little men, but with hunchbacks and big, hooked noses and not a stitch on them at all. Not a stitch, at all; just hair all over them. I’d say they were all four-feet-tallish, and when the third one crossed by us, you could see them at the edge of the trees – wary, or something, anyway.” Things became very hazy indeed, says Barry: “We both know from memory that they came forwards, towards us, very slowly to us, and I’ve thought since that they were interested in us or wanted to know who we were. They came very slowly, and it was a bit like we were being hunted, to me. Elaine was hysterical; and with the kids with us, I wasn’t far-off, either.
There are many interesting features here for anyone interested in fairyism. First, there are two features associated with UFO experiences, the stalled car and memory/time loss. When most fairy sightings were taking place the motor engine remained generations in the future. And while time distortion is a characteristic of visits to fairy land it does not seem to include amnesia. Yet anyone who follows the link above will find that this is what then occurs to B&E. Beach, in any case, notes here previous posts about the linkages between fairy and UFO sightings: Magonia etc.
In fairy terms these creatures cannot be trolls for the simple reasons that trolls were not sighted south of the Orkneys. So what are they? Beach can’t deal with/handle these creatures as biological entities. But in folklore terms they are presumably ‘solitaries’ (ironically they are spotted as a group), the visiting fairies who come to houses to help householders. These creatures are invariably portrayed as being nude and hairy: in fact, an important part of their interaction with humans is that they flee when offered clothes. In Scotland they are known as Brownies. In the south-west as Pixies (where they often appear in groups though with less emphasis on hair). On the Welsh borders, where Staffordshire is, Beach is guessing that they will be Pucks, though he knows less about this part of the world.
NR notes in his piece that the event took place at Stone House (just outside Slitting Mill) ‘that dates back to 1584, two centuries prior to the emergence of the village in the 1700s’. Did the Stone House have its own Brownie? Quite possibly… Of course, there will be no records now. There is a Lady Hill nearby that might be a cause for excitement…
Any other thoughts on the identity of the ‘trolls’: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com
22 june 2012: Invisible writes in with another NR link here. Then Larry has his own thoughts on Trolls and their connection with UFOS: It is interesting to note that reports of UFO aliens in the 1950s often told of short hairy creatures with claw like hands, nothing at all like later descriptions. The only differences between them and the troll reports is that they sometimes wore outfits and they were seen emerging from some kind of craft. The famous Betty and Barney Hill case of 1961: The aliens were first described as having long noses, big ears, and wearing uniforms with caps. The Hills later changed the description to large bald heads, no ears, and tiny noses. Some say they were influenced by an Outer Limits episode. Who can say in the crazy world of UFO studies. The Count takes this one further: Hairy aliens in Britain in 1975? If UFOs were more your bailiwick, you’d be familiar with the Aveley Alien Abduction of 1974, the UK’s first multiple-witness incident of this nature (and one of only two significant British alien abduction cases before Whitley Streiber suddenly made them fashionable in 1987), in which a very surprised family were allegedly put through all sorts of indignities by, amongst others, ugly, hairy troll-like midget aliens in lab-coats (newspaper account attached – in very small print, unfortunately, but readable if you hit the zoom button). And here’s another account of hairy aliens (some type of gonk, apparently) from South America, where furry little gnomes and trolls emerge from flying saucers far more often than those totally bald “Greys” that North Americans know and love. Meanwhile over in Russia, your typical ufonaut is about 10 feet tall – either multiple races of ETs have been allocated one major land-mass each, or the folkloric element is considerably more important than the saucer nuts would like it to be. Oh, and in Africa, tales of nasty little goblins going by a myriad of names are almost universal, but they only arrive in spaceships in areas that were dominated by Europeans well into the second half of the 20th century, and Africa’s sole ufologist of note (Cynthia Hinds) was white. I think that says it all. For your further information, here’s a by no means exhaustive list of case summaries from around the world in which furry space goblins and the like were involved. Make of it what you will… Then Shimei has an interesting folklore reference: can anyone help us with this? This brought to mind another curious story I was trying to follow on the “Dwarfs of Dalton” which is mentioned in a “book of curiosities” which is itself unnamed. I thnk it refers to the dwarves of the Simonside Hills in Northumbria since Dalton is a village not too far south. Do you know much about these or that “book of curiosties”? Thanks to Shimei, Invisible, the Count and Larry!
31 August 2012: Larry writes ‘Having recently read of that 1974 case in England of a family having an interrupted journey, I must regale you with a tale from 1955 that took place in Kentucky. As you can read here, the moral of the story is, if you are an alien, even one with claws, do NOT land where lots of rednecks live! As you have encountered many times, stories like this border on the edge of rejection and wait a minute. Most UFO stories are mistaken identities of natural or terrestrial objects or hoaxes or delusions, but there are a few that cannot be easily dismissed. I just wish a few scientists could investigate them without having their professional reputations besmerched.’ Thanks Larry!!!