9/3/17 #921 http://www.conspiracyjournal.com
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This week, Conspiracy Journal brings you such table-tapping stories as:
- Strange Murder Stirs MH370 Conspiracy Concerns -
- 5.7 Million Year Old Fossilised Footprints Found in Crete -- 19 Diplomats Suffering From Mysterious "Sonic" Attack -
AND: "Sinister" Fairies the Cause For Strange Events
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
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Strange Murder Stirs MH370 Conspiracy Concerns
REVELATIONS that a Malaysian diplomat murdered in Madagascar last week was tasked with transporting pieces of suspected MH370 wreckage to investigators in Malaysia has fuelled more dark conspiracy theories about the missing plane.
Honorary Consul of Malaysia Zahid Raza was gunned down in the centre of the island nation’s capital Antananarivo in an apparent assassination on August 24.
American adventurer-detective Blaine Gibson, who has been gathering suspected MH370 debris as it washes up on Madagascar and Mozambique, said Mr Raza had been due to deliver new items to Malaysian investigators in Kuala Lumpur when he was unexpectedly slain.
The timing has rattled Mr Gibson, who says he has been receiving death threats because of his self-financed mission to solve the baffling aviation mystery.
He had planned to keep details of his latest finds — which included two items he considered particularly promising — under wraps until they had been safely transported off the island but changed his mind after Mr Raza was killed.
“For the protection of those involved we decided not to make this report public until the debris was safely delivered to Malaysia,” Mr Gibson reported in his blog.
“However tragic events have intervened. Under the agreement between the two countries, debris is supposed to be collected by Hon. Zahid Raza, the Honorary Malaysian Consul in Madagascar, and delivered by private courier to Malaysia.
“On August 24, the Hon. Zahid Raza was assassinated in Antananarivo.”
Dr Victor Iannello, who was an original member of the independent group of specialists that helped Australian investigators try to pinpoint MH370’s crash site in the southern Indian Ocean off WA, said Mr Gibson had good reason to be concerned.
“Last December, Reuters reported that Mr Raza assisted Blaine Gibson in transferring the custody of pieces believed to be from MH370 from Madagascar to Malaysia,” Dr Iannello wrote in his blog about the disturbing chain of events.
“At that time, six pieces were transferred. This has raised questions as to whether there was a link between those MH370 parts and Mr Raza’s death.
“What makes a possible link to MH370 even more suspicious is that in the time period surrounding his death, Mr Raza was expected to visit the Malagasy Ministry of Transport, retrieve additional recovered pieces, and deliver those pieces to Malaysia.”
Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 vanished on August 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 crew and passengers, including six Australians, on board.
Multiple pieces of wreckage, including a barnacle entrusted flaperon, the iconic “No Step” piece and at least one section of interior cabin, have been confirmed as having come from the missing Boeing 777 after washing up on islands off Africa’s south-east coast.
The fuselage and black box have never been found, leading to countless conspiracy theories about how, where and why the plane went down and whether authorities and associated companies such as Boeing orchestrated a cover up to protect their interests.
So it should come as no surprise that Mr Raza’s assassination is being viewed by some as a warning to anyone getting close to the truth.
However, local reports suggest Mr Raza was a marked man long before Mr Gibson came along.
The French-language news website ZINFOS 974 speculated Mr Raza was killed as payback for his alleged involvement in the 2009 abduction of several residents of Indo-Pakistani descent known collectively as Karens.
“Zahid Raza was the manager of an office supply business, Z & Z Center, in the Malagasy capital. He lived a few years in La Reunion before returning to Madagascar about three years ago to take up the post of consul in Antananarivo,” the article, published the day after the slaying, said.
“In Madagascar, his name is associated with the kidnapping of members of the Karen community in Fianarantsoa in 2009. Suspected of having participated, he is imprisoned in Tsiafahy and then in Antanimora prison. He was able to return to his country freely in December 2010, provoking indignation within the Karen community.”
But Dr Iannello said it appeared Mr Raza had not been convicted of any such crime.
“The association of Mr Raza with the kidnappers has not been confirmed, and could be disinformation,” he said.
“Hopefully, the facts surrounding this will surface. Surprisingly, the assassination of Mr Raza has been met with stony silence from both Malaysia and France, despite his ties to both countries.”
Meanwhile, as the investigation into Mr Raza’s murder continues, Mr Gibson’s new possible MH370 debris remains with Madagascar authorities until new arrangements can be made to send them to Malaysia.
5.7 Million Year Old Fossilised Footprints Found in Crete
A trail of 5.7 million-year-old fossil footprints discovered in Crete could upend the widely accepted theories on early human evolution.
The new prints have a distinctly human-like form, with a similar big toe to our own and a ‘ball’ in the sole that’s not found in apes.
But, the researchers say the prints found on the Greek island were created during a time when it’s thought early human ancestors were still in Africa – and, when they still had ape-like feet.
‘What makes this controversial is the age and location of the prints,’ says Professor Per Ahlberg at Uppsala University, one of the authors on the new study.
Studies in recent decades have led to the conclusion that all fossil human-ancestors older than 1.8 million years lived and evolved in Africa.
The new fossil footprints are not the oldest hominin evidence to be found, but they could drive a wedge in the timeline of evolution.
It’s thought that human ancestors of the last few million years directly derived from a genus known as Ardipithecus.
And, as a set of ‘reasonably complete’ 4.4 million-year-old Ardipithecus ramidus fossils discovered in Ethiopia was found to have an ape-like foot, it was thought that the human-like foot had not yet evolved by that time.
Several other fossil discoveries in South and East Africa have further supported the idea that the evolution of human bipedalism took place on the continent, including the 3.7 million-year-old Laetoli footprints from Tanzania, which provide evidence of human-like feet and upright locomotion.
According to the new study, however, the new footprints discovered in Trachilos have an ‘unmistakably human-like form.’
‘The interpretation of these footprints is potentially controversial,’ the authors wrote in the study, published to the journal Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association.
‘The print morphology suggests that the trackmaker was a basal member of the clade Hominini, but as Crete is some distance outside the known geographical range of pre-Pleistocene hominins we must also entertain the possibility that they represent a hitherto unknown late Miocene primate that convergently evolved human-like foot anatomy.’
The prints were found in a type of sedimentary rock that formed when the Mediterranean Sea briefly dried out, 5.6 million years ago.
This knowledge, coupled with dating methods based on marine microfossils, indicates that the prints are about 5.7 million years old.
The shape of the fossil prints suggests the suspected hominin who left them was more primitive than the Laetoli.
The foot is proportionately shorter, though it shares the same general form.
While the Trachilos prints were created on the sandy shore of the Mediterranean, the Laetoli tracks were made in volcanic ash.
The researchers now say that during this time, before modern day Crete detached from the Greek mainland or the Sahara Desert even existed, early hominins could have lived across southeast Europe as well as Africa.
‘This discovery challenges the established narrative of early human evolution head-on and is likely to generate a lot of debate,’ said Per Ahlberg.
‘Whether the human origins research community will accept fossil footprints as conclusive evidence of the presence of hominins in the Miocene of Crete remains to be seen.’
Source: The Daily Mail
15 New Fast Radio Bursts Detected From Deep Space
One of the most mysterious objects in space just got even weirder. A group of researchers just found 15 new fast radio bursts, all from the only one of these objects that we’ve ever seen repeat.
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are some of the universe’s strangest phenomena: powerful radio signals that flash from distant space for milliseconds and then disappear. They have been attributed to everything from black holes to extraterrestrial intelligence.
Because they’re so brief, and because radio telescopes can only watch a small area of the sky at a time, only about 2 dozen FRBs have ever been detected. Of those, only one has been observed to repeat: FRB 121102, which resides in a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years away from Earth.
Now, researchers with the Breakthrough Listen initiative, a $100 million search for signs of intelligent life in the universe, have detected 15 more pulses from FRB 121102.
These signals were at higher frequencies than any FRB we’ve seen before. It’s still unclear what that means for these elusive events, but researchers hope that it will help narrow down the field of potential explanations.
“Previously we thought there wasn’t much emission at high or low frequencies, but now it looks like there is,” says Avi Loeb at Harvard University. “It’s twice as high as the typical frequency that was previously claimed for this repeater.”
A higher range of frequencies could make repeating FRBs like 121102 easier to detect, which is crucial because all of the current attempts to explain them have only one source to work from. But it also adds another layer of weirdness which could make the mechanism producing FRBs even more difficult to pin down.
“It’s very funky how the individual bursts can pop up anywhere in this wide range of frequencies, even though each individual burst has a relatively narrow frequency coverage,” says Peter Williams, also at Harvard University. “I have yet to see anyone offer up a good explanation for how that might happen.”
First identified in 2007, fast radio bursts are still fundamentally enigmatic. Scientists don’t know what powers them, but they do know the blasts come from very, very far away and occasionally from sites with fantastically strong magnetic fields.
Designed to search the skies for signs of intelligent radio transmissions, the Breakthrough Listen team took aim at FRB 121102 to help them test equipment for that search. They also wanted to understand, among other things, how narrow, pulsed signals are modified as they travel through interstellar plasmas and other intergalactic junk.
After all, those types of signals are among the main emissions the team expects from extraterrestrial civilizations, says Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center.
For a while, though, FRB 121102 seemed to have run out of steam. Then, when the Breakthrough team took a look on August 26, they saw 15 bursts within an hour of observing—the most FRB 121102 had produced since this time last year. They also caught the bursts coming in at the highest frequencies yet seen, which could suggest a large amount of variability in its emission.
No one knows why FRB 121102 has turned on again, or if this new round of bursts is a clue about the astrophysical engine driving the phenomenon. Some scientists suspect it doesn’t have much to do with what powers the object and instead depends on the various cosmic lenses that periodically magnify its songs.
With FRB 121102, “we’ve seen ‘burst storms’ before, including last August through September when the Very Large Array came up empty, empty, empty, and then boom, there it was at every session,” says Cornell University’s Shami Chatterjee.
“The month coincidence has also raised eyebrows,” he says. ”Are we more likely to see bursts during particular seasons, when the lensing geometry lines up just so? This is as yet wild, wild speculation—people apologizing for bringing it up—but who knows.”
Source: New Scientist
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19 Diplomats Suffering From Mysterious "Sonic" Attack
Another 'sonic' attack against US diplomats at the embassy in Havana is feared to have taken place in August.
The newest incident is said to have affected another three diplomats, bringing the total number of people harmed to 19.
It comes after a spate of attacks between November 2016 and April 2017 which left 16 diplomats suffering severe health problems.
Some lost their hearing and others suffered mild brain injuries as a result of the undetected attacks which authorities fear took place at their homes or nearby.
It is not clear where exactly the most recent incident occurred.
All are being investigated by the State Department which fears it may discover more yet. The American Foreign Service Association said recently that its representatives met in Washington, D.C., with Foreign Service Officers posted at the U.S. embassy in Havana who have faced diagnoses including mild traumatic brain injury and permanent hearing loss, but also loss of balance, severe headaches, cognitive disruption and brain swelling.
Traumatic brain injury is caused by a violent blow or jolt to the head or body that may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells or more lasting damage, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms can be immediate or appear days or weeks later, ranging from loss of consciousness or confusion to sensory problems, memory loss, or headache and nausea. AFSA said they only met with 10 affected because the others were not available; the State Department has said that some of those affected have remained at their posts in Havana.
Sources have said that some U.S. officials were exposed to a sonic device in Havana that caused serious health problems and physical symptoms. Sound waves above and below the range of human hearing could potentially cause permanent damage, medical experts have said.No device or piece of equipment has been discovered yet, according to Nauert. Some of the affected Americans are still experiencing symptoms "because the symptoms are experienced at different times, because the symptoms are different in various people," according to a State Department official.
The embassy in Havana reopened in 2015 after decades of hostility between the US and Cuba. U.S. officials said that the attacks, initially started in fall 2016 and continued until spring 2017.
Diplomats complained of symptoms including severe headaches and dizziness. They are believed to have taken place either inside or near their residences.
And in Canada, a government official said that the Canadian government had first learned in March 2017 that one of its citizens was affected. Ottawa had previously confirmed that at least one Canadian diplomat was involved, but had not revealed any timeline for when it occurred or came to light.
Source: NY Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/embassy-cuba-hit-new-sonic-attack-19-americans
- FLIGHT FROM VENUS ARRIVING AT GATE 23 DEPARTMENT -
UFOs Cause Concerns Over Delhi Airport
By Micah Hanks
In at least some of the incidents, air traffic controllers have halted flights as a safety measure, although a majority of the incidents involving “mystery objects” have not resulted in flight interruptions, Hindustan Times reported. While police say they have been unable to identify a number of the objects in the reports, this has been due in part to the reports being logged by pilots in nautical miles.
In the past two years alone, there have been hundreds of reports of the mystery objects logged by authorities.
Explanations for the “UFOs” ranges from drones, to balloons, and even bright lights flashed at events nearby, which include wedding celebrations. Aviation authorities have advised partygoers to refrain from using brightly lit fixtures and other light emitting sources when in near proximity to the Delhi airport.
Much like in the United States, the use of lasers, when directed at aircraft in flight, is a punishable offense.
This, under the local legislation section 144 CrPC, states that, “Any person, group of persons, organizers, owners, occupiers, employees contravening these orders shall be liable to be punished in accordance with provisions of section 188 of the IPC.”
UFO sightings near airports have apparently been on the rise in other locales around the world, particularly since the advent of the modern drone era. Popular varieties available online can be obtained for just a few hundred dollars, available to hobbyists and other aviation enthusiasts. However, regulations in most countries prohibit operation of drones in close proximity to airports, due to the safety concerns involved.
Drones and balloons aren’t the only strange objects reported by pilots near airports. In 2010, a truly bizarre incident occurred, which involved a “flying egg” that was observed by a pilots during a training flight near the Anoka County-Blaine Airport (ANE), outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The pilots noted that, “other aircraft were on the frequency but no other aircraft were in our area,” despite the sudden appearance of a strange looking, egg-shaped object near them on their approach for runway number nine.
The pilots in question attempted to establish radio contact with the mystery craft, but to no avail, reporting that the pilot of the mystery object, “was heading slightly southeastward. They were pushing us off our final approach to Runway 9. As we corrected to the southeast to avoid this aircraft I told Tower we had an aircraft out our left window within probably 200 [feet]. He did not have him on a transponder and was able to visually see him with field glasses out the Tower window.”
The only other descriptions given in pilot’s report had been that, “This unidentified aircraft appeared to be a homebuilt (ultralight?) with an enclosed cabin that looked as if it seated two. It looked similar to a flying egg.” Who knows what the aircraft in question was, or who its pilots had been, since there didn’t appear to be radios or transponders on board (interestingly, there is a bit of history to these odd, “egg shaped” objects in UFO lore. For more on this subject, see my article from last year on pilot encounters with egg shaped UFOs).
Could there be some hobbyists at work in Delhi, India, as well? Regardless, it seems that with the use of conventional drones on the rise, similar reports of “mystery objects” by pilots will no doubt continue.
Source: Mysterious Universe
The Haunted Home of Joan Crawford
By Brad and Sherry Steiger
Few actresses have rivaled Joan Crawford for star glamour and staying power as one of Hollywood's top movie queens. Her stardom spanned an amazing five decades and included such films as Our Dancing Daughters (1928), Rain (1932), Johnny Guitar (1954), and her Academy Award-winning performance in Mildred Pierce (1945).
Joan Crawford epitomized the essence of the Hollywood rags-to-riches story-a poor shopgirl who, in the 1920s, becomes the very embodiment of America's "flaming youth" and then transcends the role of "dancing daughter" to emerge the heroine of America's favorite melodramas.
In 1978, Christina Crawford, Joan's adopted daughter, wrote Mommie Dearest and shocked the United States with her heart-wrenching story of what it was really like growing up with one of Hollywood's most famous leading ladies. Mommie Dearest was on the New York Times best-seller list for forty-two weeks and was made into a 1981 film starring Faye Dunaway.
In 1989, we heard rumors of haunting manifestations in Joan Crawford's former home, and Christina seemed genuinely surprised that we knew about the stories.
"Not many people know that the house I grew up in may be haunted. It is not in print anywhere," she said.
When asked if there were manifestations or hauntings that she could remember as a child living there, Christina recounted the following:
I have vivid memories of some things, but when you are severely abused, you tend to block out other things. I'm positive that there were manifestations occurring when I was little. I saw them! There were places in the house that were always so cold that nobody ever wanted to go in them.
As a child, I was always told that I had an active and vivid imagination; I was always scared by things, but people just told me that I just had an "active imagination." Years later, I thought, oh well, maybe that was good to have had an active imagination, and I became a writer because of that.
But as a child, I saw things in the house! There was, of course, no context or framework in which to put what I saw and felt. I had nobody to speak to about the occurrences.
Any time I would become extremely frightened and would get out of my bed to try and find somebody, I was always treated as though I were just being a "bad child" that didn't want to go to sleep. I always expressed my fear to my mother because it was she that I went to find to help me ... because I would be very upset and I'd be crying.
I used to have terrible nightmares and that kind of thing, but a lot of it had to do with the fact that I saw things in the night; so the solution to that finally was just to leave the lights on everywhere. One of the things I saw seemed like an apparition of a child ... or children, but as I said, I may have blotted out a lot.
Christina told us that she had not been back to the house since she was seventeen. "That was when I went to college [in 1956], at which point, Crawford still owned the house."
Christina recalled her last day there:
I remember the woman who had taken care of me and my two younger sisters since I was four years old just watching me, without saying a word. I was going from room to room in the house, without saying anything, just standing in the middle of each room, then going on to the next one. She finally asked me what I was doing. I told her that I would never see this house again, therefore, I was saying goodbye to it.
Many years after I had left, we met again. She was now an elderly woman and had retired. We always had been quite close. She told me she had always remembered the look on my face when I said my goodbyes to the house. It seemed a strange thing to do, to say, 'I'll never see this house again,' when at that time there was absolutely no inkling of the house being sold. In fact, it was not sold for another two and a half to three years, and, indeed, I never have been back.
Christina had learned recently that the current owners of the house had called in the Reverend Rosalyn Bruyere of the Healing Light Center to work with the house:
Rosalyn described what she had seen in the house when she went there. She picked up on some things that astounded me because they seemed to validate what I may have seen and experienced when I was little. It gave me goose bumps when Rosalyn told me that she discovered so many spirits in the house and there had been signs of ritual abuse in one of the rooms. Many of the spirits had "underworld" connections.
I was sent to boarding school when I was ten years old. I came home infrequently after that. I always believed that I was sent away partly because I was too much the eyes and ears to the world, a witness. I saw too much, I guess.
Some of the things that I saw that were going on were very violent. Her [Joan Crawford's] relationship with men, a number of men, was extremely violent. I was getting too old, and I was beginning to understand what was going on.
That house is so weird! Now, evidently, the walls are starting to catch fire! Other people have heard children's cries in the walls! Every single owner has had trouble.
The first one was Crawford. She built the majority of the house. It was a small cottage when she bought it, but most of the house, she built. She sold it to Donald O'Connor, who sold it to the Anthony Newleys. They sold it, I think, to the current owner, who is a friend of the Reverend Rosalyn Bruyere, and they asked her to "work" on the house.
Every single family that has lived in that house has had horrible things happen . . . illnesses, alcoholism, addictions, relationship problems, and now, evidently with the current owner, the walls are breaking out in flames! I've heard that in particular it's the wall that was behind Crawford's bed.
Although the scene is in her book, Mommie Dearest, Christina re-minded us that the last words that Joan Crawford uttered were to a woman who was kneeling at the foot of her bed, praying for her.
"As she was dying," Christina said, "Crawford opened her eyes and said directly to the woman, 'Don't you dare ask God to help me!' ... and then she died." It was such arrogance, Christina said, that she believes is a major part of the difficulty with the seemingly accursed house.
And that has nothing to do with me! So it would not surprise me in the least if the "haunting" spirit that is in the house is Crawford! She was capable of real evil. If you have never experienced that "look" from another human being, it is almost impossible to believe that such an experience could even exist! I think perhaps that's why so many people are unwilling to deal with the shadow side because they can't really get themselves to believe that such a dimension exists.
My brother and I were absolutely terrified of her. In fact, there is a passage in Mommie Dearest that describes ('the look" on her face) when she tried to kill me when I was thirteen. We all saw "that look." My brother and I talked about it extensively ... it was not of an ordinary human being!
Later, we were able to contact the Reverend Rosalyn Bruyere of the Healing Light Center, who kindly agreed to share her thoughts on the manifestations in Joan Crawford's former home.
"It is true that the house was afflicted with spontaneous fires, primarily in the wall behind where Joan Crawford's bed used to be. However, I did not pick up that Joan Crawford's ghost was there."
The Reverend Bruyere expressed her opinion that the house had been poisoned in some way before Crawford had moved into the place but that the evil in the house had added to Joan's neuroses. The actress had apparently built onto a pre-existing cottage in a very chaotic man-ner.
"Nothing is where it should be," Rosalyn commented. "She added dining rooms and hallways that led to other dining rooms. It all combines to form an H-shaped house. Turn a corner and you're lost."
The noted healer, who in this case served as an exorcist to clear the home, said that she found the haunting existing in levels.
"It was a place of conspicuous negativity. I called it an 'Astral Central,' a gathering of spirits that were attracted to the negative vibrations. People had been tied up and tortured in that house. I picked up on gangland figures, corrupt politicians. There is an area in the house where a child [not Christina] had been tortured and molested. Terrible things went on in that house."
The Reverend felt that ghosts themselves were trying to burn the house down.
"Once the Beverly Hills Fire Department spent four days there attempting to solve the mystery of the spontaneous fires that would break out on the walls," she said. "I feel the spirits were trying to burn the house down to protect some horrible secret. There is something hidden there. I am certain that there are bodies buried in that basement."
She said that there had only been one recurrence in the house after she had exorcised and cleared it. "The house had become an astral dumping ground, but it seems clean now."
When we [Brad and Sherry] visited the former Crawford home in the early 1990s, the current owners graciously allowed us to enter to film a segment for an HBO special on haunted Hollywood. The couple told us that they had experienced some mysterious pyrotechnic phenomena and had witnessed quite a number of apparitions of quite a wide variety of entities in various parts of the home. The couple said that the small cottage next to the swimming pool very often seemed to be center of haunting phenomena.
We kept in touch with the couple for quite some time. It was not long after we had filmed in the Crawford home that they decided to move. We have no comment from them whether or not it was because of any haunting phenomena.
It would seem over the past decade that the once haunted mansion of Joan Crawford has found peace, for we have heard of no further ghostly activity occurring in the home.
Source: Alien Seeker News
- NOT YOUR AVERAGE DISNEY FAIRY DEPARTMENT -
"Sinister" Fairies the Cause For Strange Events
By Richard Sugg
But one small stretch of this route has become a recurring headache for the local council.
More than once in recent years the road has suffered a dip at a spot on the outskirts of Killarney, near Glenflesk, and despite a bill of around £40,000 and much engineering brain-power, the problem was still vexing experts at the start of August 2017.
So, When Kerry politician Danny Healy-Rae stood up to offer his answer , everyone was all ears...
Although some may have thought Healy-Rae had reached this solution after a few pints of Guinness , he was in fact referring to age-old reverence for peculiar fairy-haunted parts of the Irish landscape.
For all the derision which Healy-Rae’s response has provoked, his views would have made good sense in Celtic fairy territory around 100 years ago.
The real fairies, a very far cry from the prettified versions seen in Disney’s Tinkerbell or Cinderella's godmother, were dangerous.
At very worst, they could kill you. ‘Killer fairies caused four deaths’ ran the headlines of several British dailies in November 2006.
The deaths were not recent. A list of causes of death from the parish records of Lamplugh in Cumbria stated that four people had been ‘frighted to death by fairies’ in the period 1656-1663.
Bizarrely enough, the claim may well have been true. Many other British people really were frightened to death by their belief in witches or ghosts, right down to the late Victorian age.
A bit less drastically, fairies were the first point of blame for just about anything bad in your household or village, from sickness through to crop failure.
In the early twentieth century one old man stated that fairies had caused the devastating Irish famine of 1846-7.
Most of all, fairies liked to steal children. When they did, they would leave a ‘fairy changeling’ in its place.
Throughout the nineteenth century a startling number of parents across Britain and Ireland ritually abused their own children so that the fairies would reverse this swap.
In reality, many of the supposed changelings were suffering from inherited genetic disorders. These could make them look or behave oddly, and the fact that such conditions predominate among males of Irish or English descent supported the belief that fairies liked to steal boys in particular.
Having said that, one fairy kidnap in Donegal sounded eerily real. When applying for a pension in 1909, elderly Annie McIntire could not recall her exact age, but did know one thing: as a child, she had been stolen by the fairies on Halloween, 1839.
Luckily, her brother was passing, saw the elfin child-thieves dancing round Annie in the wood, and managed to rescue her by flinging a book at them.
In a world where every child was raised in terror of fairies, the idea of filling your kid’s bedroom with fairy fun and magic would have been very strange indeed.
No less serious was the risk of angering fairies by encroaching on their territory. Healy-Rae implied that the Killarney road problem was linked to the many fairy forts in this area, whilst Irish folklore expert Eddie Lenihan presently wondered if there was an invisible fairy path linking two fairy forts, and crossing the road at the afflicted spot.
Along with forts (often Iron Age hill forts) and paths, the third danger spot was Fairy Trees.
In Athlone, Westmeath in 1911, labourer John Seery vacated his cottage, erected on a fairy fort, because the site was ‘haunted by fairies’, prompting local Councillor Molloy to admit that: ‘no luck ever came out of interfering with such places’.
In early 1912 another man, Kilduff, refused the council’s offer to build him a cottage over the county border in Lackan, Wicklow, because the plot had a fort on it, and ‘on no account would he interfere with “the fairies’ home”’.
If fairy trees were anything to go by, these two had good reason to be afraid.
In County Antrim in 1938 people still recalled the man who had recklessly cut down a fairy tree when drunk one night.
Next morning he got out of bed to find that his head was facing backwards, as if in some out-take from The Exorcist.
In other cases interference with fairy trees was held to be the cause of mysterious deaths. But one case especially echoes the current problems on the N22 road.
In spring 1905 the Daily Mail reported: ‘as soon as earth is dumped into a ravine near Ballintra to make a bed for the new Donegal and Ballyshannon railway, it disappears down the hillside’. Why? A fairy thorn tree had ‘been removed to make way for the track, and local opinion lays the difficulty at the door of the angry fairies.’
Fairy saboteurs did not go away in a hurry.
In late 1951 ‘workmen employed by Limerick Corporation to build 475 houses refused to clear the mound on the site because it was a fairy fort’.
Echoing Healy-Rae, who has said he would rather starve than damage a fairy fort, Limerick City Mayor Matthew Macken declared: ‘if I have to get a gun to defend the fort’ from the bulldozers, ‘I will certainly do it’.
Corporation overseer John McNamara claimed that ‘several members of the bulldozer crew said they saw leprechauns making shoes there’; and when replacement labourers came in and ‘built a few house gables … next morning not one of the gables was standing’.
The result was that thirty of the proposed houses went unbuilt.
In 1999 a fairy tree threatened by a new motorway bypass at Ennis, County Clare, was saved after warnings by Eddie Lenihan. Was he right?
A few years later, in 2007, he could point to the repeated mysterious toppling of new electricity poles installed dangerously close to a fairy fort in Sooey, County Sligo.
In 2015 the BBC reported on the powerful fairy thorn located on the green of Ormeau Golf Club in Belfast.
Greenkeepers would not dare to so much as trim this tree, whilst golfers who struck it without apologising were plagued with bad luck for the remainder of their game.
Fairy paths were no less perilous. Around 1910 elderly John Boylin recalled how, during his Kilmessan childhood in County Meath, he and other kids were subject to a Fairy Curfew each evening.
A fairy procession was known to march at this time from the fort at Ringlestown, circling fairy bushes near Boylin’s house, and everyone must be safely indoors before this occurred.
One man who broke the curfew was later found dead. Some time before 1895 a farmer’s family living near Mitchelstown, County Cork, moved out of a house built on a fairy track, after two of the family had died.
It is very clear that fairies were made scapegoats for ordinary, though misunderstood sicknesses or deaths.
But there remain a handful of fairy disturbances which look very much like genuine paranormal activity – or, in a word, poltergeists. What on earth is it that causes these sudden household outbursts, with their hammering noises and inexplicable flinging about of objects and furniture?
Mind-bending as all this is, it actually does seem to happen. As recently as August 2016, two sets of police witnessed it when called into a poltergeist house at Rutherglen in Glasgow.
Faced with something as crazy as a poltergeist, fairies are as good an explanation as any (and arguably better than no explanation at all).
And so, when a Northern Ireland farmhouse was attacked by poltergeists in 1907, locals held that ‘fairies caused the problem, as the farmer had swept his chimney with a bough of holly’ – and the holly was, as any fool knew… a fairy tree.
In Portarlington, Queen’s County, a man spent £500 building his new house on ‘what was reputed to be a fairy path’.
On his very first night inside, ‘strange noises were made; chairs, beds, and dishes began to move, at first gently, then with more violence, until at the end of an hour everything was smashed and the man himself was very seriously hurt’.
The man lost all his savings when he abandoned the house, which was still empty in 1915.
One particular nuisance of fairy paths was that, unlike well-known trees and forts, they were not always spotted until it was too late.
Some time before 1959, Paddy Baine and his bride, Biddy Callan, moved into a new house near the Ox Mountains in County Sligo.
Presently (wrote Diarmuid Macmanus), ‘they began to experience very frequent disturbances at one end of it which abutted on the little village road.
Some nights it appeared as if the whole house was about to tumble down’.
A local wisewoman explained that one corner of the house was blocking a fairy path. Paddy had a stonemason cut off the offending corner, and the problems apparently ceased.
The researcher Paul Devereux confirms that many houses in the West of Ireland were modified for this kind of reason.
It may just have been a happy coincidence that Baine’s poltergeist went quiet after the corner of the house was sliced off.
Some such incidents stop for no obvious reason after a few days or even hours. But there is also a lot of evidence to show that poltergeist outbreaks feed on fear and stress. If this negative energy can be banished, the problems can stop.
So – in some cases people had good reason to be afraid of the supernatural; and appeasing the fairies could also be genuinely useful.
Richard Sugg is the author of eight books, including Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires, A Century of Ghost Stories, and A Singing Mouse at Buckingham Palace and other amazing animal stories. Fairies: A Dangerous History is due out with Reaktion in May 2018. He is currently completing his next book, The Real Vampires, and beginning a novel about poltergeist experiences.
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