Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

31 January 2010

Fairy Shoes And Other Artifacts

(photo from The Fortean Photo Library)

The picture above is of a "Fairy Shoe". According to Patrick Harpur's book Daimonic Reality, the shoe was found in 1835 by a farmer on a remote sheep trail on the Beara Peninsula in Ireland. It measures 2&7/8" long and 7/8" at its widest.It is black and shows wear at the heel. The farmer gave the shoe to the local doctor, and eventually it was passed to the Somerville family. It was reportedly examined by scientitsts at Harvard University and found to have tiny hand stitches, well-crafted eyelets, and appeared to be made of mouse skin. I've been unable to determine its current whereabouts, or even verify the story. Harpur mentions that other such shoes have been found in Ireland, along with other items of "Fairy" clothing, such as a coat found in 1868 measuring 6&1/" long and 1&3/4" across at the shoulder.The coat was fully lined, had cloth covered buttons, and exhibited considerable wear at the neck & collar. Other parts were frayed and even scorched, "as if from a tiny pipe."
In the book Mysteries Of Time And Space, Brad Steiger provides a veritable grocery list of anomalous objects and finds. A device resmbling a spark plug found inside a geode rock, a fish caught in a US river with a centuries-old Greek coin in its stomach, fossilized trilobites that appear to have been stepped on by a shod human foot.
Are these bizarre finds evidence of the existence of otherworldly beings or intelligences? Do they point to portals to other realities? Is the fabric of time and space more permeable than we think?
Or is it all just a series of intricate, elaborate frauds, hoaxes, and lies, like the "Cottingly Fairies" or the Surgeon's Photo played out on a larger scale?
Or, does the Great Cosmic Joker just enjoy messing with us?


Autumnforest said...

Oh, that's a fascinating post! I think that it's worth observing discrepancies. One of my biggest fascinations is with time travel and evidence of people having done it, or should I say, doing it from the future. I have upon occasion had a creepy feeling around certain people as if they don't belong here, as if they're alien in some way and I wonder if it's that intuitive knowledge they came from another time... So, Gummer, can we expect you on a fairy hunt in the near future? What caliber weapon does one use? Hmm....

Jeff said...

I've heard that story about the fairy shoe before (or at least a similar story, even if it's not the same one). The other clothing is interesting too. What's really interesting is that the clothing shows signs of wear. A story like that can be difficult to verify though.

Gummerfan said...

From what I've gathered regarding fairy lore, I think I'd rather tangle with a demon or vampire. Fairies (or more properly, "fays") are probably the least understood and potentially most dangerous (if you get on their bad side) of all "supernatural entities".
Some researchers believe they're responsible for a great deal of the high strangeness humans encounter.

You're right about being unable to verify so many of the accounts. I thought the story bore repeating for what it's worth.
What's funny is that we read or hear about one anomalous event or another, but eventually it just falls off the radar and we never hear anything else about it. It's like science either dismisses them as hoaxes, or decides they're unwirthy of further investigation, or just sweeps everything under the rug if it doesn't fit our paradigm.