Green Children Of Woolpit (And Maybe Spain)

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Anonymous

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#1
I remember reading about two children(a girl and a boy)who were discovered in a cave after a particularly violent storm.I think the location was northern Spain and the time frame very early twentieth century.

Apparently they spoke an unknown language and were described as of green appearance with golden hair.The boy died shortly afterwards and the girl learned a few words of the local language and indicated they had come from a place in the skies..

No further information is available and I read this in a compilation of the worlds greatest UFO mysteries where there was reference to the purpose of alien visitations to the planet.

Can anybody shed light on the incident mentioned above?
 
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Anonymous

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#3
Thanks for that;dont know where the twentieth century comes in,probably a mistake in the book I referred to.
 
A

Anonymous

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#4
i've got a vague memory there was another similar event reported in spain, recently, that might be the one you're thinking of... but i think it was also investigated and found to be derived almost entirely from the Woolpit tale (shrugs)
 
A

Anonymous

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#5
Looking at the web site linked to above, you will find immediately following the woolpit story the tale of the green children of Banjos in Spain. Thanx for the link
 
A

Anonymous

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#6
Intriguing... the description of "a land without sun" or "where the sun does not rise very high" suggests somewhere in the far north/Arctic circle... "another land visible across a river" suggests perhaps a narrow strait of sea dividing two countries, or perhaps something like a fjord (not fnord ;) ), and the children spoke an unknown language, and recognised beans but not bread as food... i am speculating wildly here, but are there any diseases or deficiencies (of vitamins etc) that could turn people's skin green?

Perhaps these children were abducted from another country, maybe eastern Europe or Scandinavia, and brought (maybe unconscious) to Wolfpit and abandoned there, for some unknown reason? Illness caused by the journey could have caused them to turn green, the boy dying because he did not recover, but the girl recovering and becoming "normal" in appearance (thus wherever they came from can't have been too far from England as they must have been vaguely European looking - the St Martin and church reference also suggests wherever they were from was within the area colonised by Christianity at the time)... or perhaps they were cast away because they had the green illness, and it was seen as an omen or a curse...

I seem to recall something about a family in the mountains of some remote part of America who had a rare genetic condition turning their skin blue (the Fugates or something like that?)... could this be similar?

Is there any record of descendants of the "Green Girl"?
 

Jerry_B

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#7
Two articles in Fortean Studies have picked apart this story about 'The Green Children of Woolpit'. The most likely explanation (taking into account that alot of versions of this story are inaccurate) is that the children were probably Flemish, and possibly survivors of a nearby massacre that took place a short time before.
 
A

Anonymous

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#8
Yes I once went to Flemland (Flemia? Flemany? Flemada?) and the people there were all green.
 
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Anonymous

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#9
Riverman

Belgium mate. Well kind of, the borders are probably all different nowadays.
 
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#10
Green-skinned Children

Hi, I'm a long time browser of but first time poster to this Forum...
You seem a very friendly and well informed bunch so I'm dipping a toe in the water with a question.

In the seventies, I remember reading several "strange but true" books written by Peter Haining (can't remember the exact title of the series). The books always had 10 chapters and covered (among other subjects) a vengeful Scottish lake monster (not Loch Ness) and the kidnapping of a gold prospector by a Sasquatch type creature.

One chapter featured an account of two green skinned children (a boy and a girl) who turned up in a village in Spain (I believe) in the 19th century. They spoke no Spanish and would only eat raw green beans..
The children stayed in the village (I believe the girl died) and eventually the boy was able to speak some Spanish but could still shed no light on where he had come from..

I'm sorry that's all a bit vague. My recollection is now a bit hazy but I've often wondered about this story and have never found any accounts of it in other publications.

Do any contributors to this Forum know anything more about the green-skinned children?
 
A

Anonymous

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#11
That sounds like a slightly garbled version of the Green Children of Woolpit. Article by Karl Shuker here:- http://www.fln.vcu.edu/struwwel/struwwel.html

I'm sure if you google or do a search of these boards you can find more. I'm sure we have a thread on it somewhere.


edited for surreal amount of typos. I think they breed every time I press submit
 

Timble2

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#12
The original green children story is from Woolpit in Suffolk, it's supposed to have happened in the 12 century.

There's a version here:
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/folk ... ldren.html

An article here:
http://www.llewellyn.com/archive/fate/175/

But IIRC, there's now some doubt as to whether the story actually appears in one of its cited sources, and it could be a lot later.

There's a thread about this somewhere if I can find it.


The Spanish version of the story is here with a bit of background (doesn't appear to go back before 1965):

http://anomalyinfo.com/articles/sa00018.shtml
 
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#14
Yes, it must have been a hazily remembered account of the children of Banjos, which as your helpful replies make clear was lifted directly from the story of the children of Woolpit

Not sure what to make of the original, the theory that they may have been survivors from a massacre and who had some kind of dietary deficiency seems most probable. As the story gains wider currency and moves beyond first hand witnesses then the descriptions of the children's appearance become exaggerated and more "alien".
 

Stormkhan

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#15
Any kid who'll eat nothing but green beans is a bloody alien! It's hard enough to get the blighters to stop flicking their sprouts at each other!
 

dreeness

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#16
Green children?

Maybe they were moldy?
Maybe they had been living in some damp ditch or other mildewed milieu, and they had become greenish from living amongst mosses and roots and things.
Or maybe they appeared "greenish" because they were malnourished and sickly.
 

BaronVonHoopla

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#17
Goldstein said:
I seem to recall something about a family in the mountains of some remote part of America who had a rare genetic condition turning their skin blue (the Fugates or something like that?)... could this be similar?
Ahhh, the Blue Fugates . . . yes, some of them still live I believe. They hailed from the mountains of rural Kentucky, near Hazard.

Here is a link to a Straight Dope article about them, if anyone is interested:

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a980724.html

-Fitz
 

Graylien

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#18
Another problem with the Spanish variant of the story is that there is no village or town in Spain called Banjos.
 

fortist

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#19
New article on the Green Children of Woolpit

Sorry I can't provide the text, but here's the info and abstractL

John Clark, ""Small, Vulnerable ETs": The Green Children of Woolpit", Science Fiction Studies 33:1 (March 2006).

Abstract. -- This article considers the multifarious interpretations and influences of the story of the two green-skinned children who, as it was reported by two medieval writers, suddenly appeared in the fields of an English village in the middle of the twelfth century. Some have explained it as a folktale, some as a garbled account of unusual but mundane events, and some as a record of intervention by extraterrestrial beings in human affairs. Other authors have found in it inspiration for fictions of their own: not just simple retellings, but stories that draw on it or refashion it in unexpected ways. In particular, the paper considers two cases where the Green Children have found a place in works of science fiction: Francis Godwin’s The Man in the Moone in the seventeenth century and Herbert Read’s The Green Child in the twentieth. Some of the most effective versions have been those that have best retained the inherent mystery and romance of the original story
 

rynner2

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#20
From R4:

The Green Children of Woolpit

Sometime in the Twelfth Century two children appeared from a pit on the edge of a field in the Suffolk village of Woolpit. They were coloured green and spoke a unknown language. They sickened until they were allowed to eat green beans. The boy died but the girl revived and grew up learning English, marrying a man from Kings Lynn, and speaking of the place she and her brother had come from. Susannah Clapp and Richard Mabey investigate the story and its remarkable enduring appeal to villagers, visitors and a succession of folklorists and writers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... f_Woolpit/
 

Cultjunky

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#21
These green children, were they especially angry at all? :lol:

Seriously though, dodgy gold can cause your skin to turn green, but usually just around the part of the body that has been in contact with said gold, e.g. ear lobes. I would guess that had they been living on a diet that included a significnt trace element of certain chemicals, (copper comes to mind, due to it's discolouration when oxidized) it might be feasible.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11990922

The above link suggests that green skin discolouration may be a side effect of multiple organ failure, although relating to dyes in feeding tubes, which I doubt applies to the two children.
 

GNC

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#22
Interesting Radio 4 documentary, I liked hearing the allegorical interpretations of the story. Sounds like a foaftale that got lucky, on that evidence.
 

Mythopoeika

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#23
Cultjunky said:
Seriously though, dodgy gold can cause your skin to turn green, but usually just around the part of the body that has been in contact with said gold, e.g. ear lobes. I would guess that had they been living on a diet that included a significnt trace element of certain chemicals, (copper comes to mind, due to it's discolouration when oxidized) it might be feasible.
Good point!
Copper poisoning springs to mind.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#24
I first encountered the "Banjos, Spain" nonsense in 1965, in a paperback collection by the British pop-Fortean writer John Macklin. Since I was already quite familiar withe the Woolpit legend I was not fooled by this drastically-updated and geographically-challenged version.

What has disheartened me, however, is how many Fortean researchers, some of them otherwise first-rate, took (and indeed continue to take!) Macklin's yarn seriously.
 

Mister_Awesome

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#25
Time Life's excellent Mysteries of the Unexplained has the Banjos version of the green children story. The great thing about this book is it references the sources on all its material. This one is attributed to Enigmas and Mysteries, by Colin Wilson. According to Amazon.com, that book is from 1977. Just thought I'd throw all that in there.

Be careful about dismissing the Banjos version as an attempt to mislead. I expect it's just mutated, as a form of folklore, as old stories often do. Among my own collection of books, I have SEVEN versions of one story -- someone maims an animal, to find the next day that a local woman is missing the same limb he lopped off the animal: the animal was a witch in animal form! Stories naturally mutate to fit the needs of the storytellers.

Anyway, the version I read in Mysteries of the Unexplained always fascinated me, being one of my favorites in the book, perhaps due to its strangeness and lack of a real resolution.

The exact text from that book: "Two children appeared from a cave near Banjos, Spain, in August 1887. Their skil was green, and their clothes were of an unfamiliar material. They could not speak Spanish and their eyes appeared Oriental.

"At first they would not eat, and the boy died, but the girl survived and learned enough Spanish to explain that they came from a sunless land, where one day a whirlwind had swept her and her companion away and deposited them in the cave. Understandably, this did little to dispel the onder surrounding her. She died in 1892, her origins still unknown."

There's even a piece of art that goes with it that is attributed to: "BPCC/Aldus Archive" It's black and white, but seems like it was originally in color.
 

myf13

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#26

OldTimeRadio

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#27
Mister_Awesome said:
Time Life's excellent Mysteries of the Unexplained has the Banjos version of the green children story. The great thing about this book is it references the sources on all its material. This one is attributed to Enigmas and Mysteries, by Colin Wilson. According to Amazon.com, that book is from 1977. Just thought I'd throw all that in there.
The fact that Wilson was taken in by this fraud doesn't make it one whit truer.

Be careful about dismissing the Banjos version as an attempt to mislead.
But isn't it the very purpose of frauds to mislead?

Among my own collection of books, I have SEVEN versions of one story -- someone maims an animal, to find the next day that a local woman is missing the same limb he lopped off the animal: the animal was a witch in animal form!
But if werewolves actually exist mightn't this be a comparatively common occurrence?

Stories naturally mutate to fit the needs of the storytellers.
Sorry, but some of us believe there's SUPPOSED to be a DIFFERENCE between Fortean reporting and creepy yarns told around the campfire.
 

guestus

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#28
I heard of this too on some website, although I dont remember if it was presented as an alien encounter. I think I heard of also blue skinned children who spoke a lanuage unlike any on earth, and eventually learned the english language or something like that.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#29
guestus said:
I heard of this too on some website, although I dont remember if it was presented as an alien encounter. I think I heard of also blue skinned children who spoke a lanuage unlike any on earth, and eventually learned the english language or something like that.
I've heard the story related as a meeting with UFOnauts, an encounter with fairies, the sudden appearance of a new species of green "plant" children, and of two members of a subterranean race who escaped (if that's the correct word) to the surface.
 
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