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Alpha
01-28-2007, 04:52 PM
I was fooling around with "Stumble" this morning, and found this recount that I have never seen before or heard about.

Wondering if any of you have or what you think about this.

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The Green Children of Banjos

The Legend:

In August 1887, two strange children were found near Banjos, Spain.
Workers were harvesting their fields when they heard frightened cries; investigating, they discovered two children, a boy and a girl, terrified and huddled near a cave.

They were screaming in a language that was not spanish, and their clothes were made of a strange metallic cloth... but stranger still, the children's skin was green.

The two were taken to the home of an important and respected man in the village, where the local populace attempted to take care of them, but the children refused to eat or drink anything that was offered. The boy soon sickened and died; but the girl finally began to eat a diet of uncooked vegetables, mostly raw beans, and was soon healthy and hearty.

The strange girl lived for five years after her appearance, during which time her skin slowly lightened to a normal caucasian tone; she also learned Spanish, but what she told of her origins only deepened the mystery.

She said that she and her brother had come from a land with no sun; the people there, all green skinned, lived in a perpetual twilight. There was a land of light, but it was beyond a great water.

When she was asked how she had come to be found outside the cave, she could only say that she had heard a loud noise and then been pushed through something... then she and her brother were in the cave and could see the light from the mouth of it.

With her death, any hope of solving the mystery faded.

Variations

The earliest version of this story that I've found is in John Macklin's Strange Destinies, published in 1965... it's far more detailed than the other accounts, and likely the initial source for this particular story. For reasons I'll make clear later, this variant will be examined separately.

Both Macklin's book and Charles Berlitz's book, Charles Berlitz's World of the Incredible but True, give the month of August as being when the children were found; Warren Smith's book, Strange Women of the Occult, only says that the children were found "in the autumn of 1887." And while both Macklin and Berlitz give the source of the location as being Banjos, Spain, Smith never mentions the location of the occurrence; instead, Smith claims that stories of similar children being found also occur in "France... Spain or Germany," which seems to indicate he thinks this occurrence was in none of those three countries.

I included his version here because of the correlation in the year given for it's occurrence... all agree it happened in 1887. (By the way, I've found no other indication of similar stories from France or Germany.)

Berlitz describes the children as having Asian shaped eyes; Macklin and Smith both describe the children as being slightly Negroid in appearance with deep-set and almond-shaped eyes.

There is disagreement also on how the children came to be in the cave.

Smith gives the version that appears above; Berlitz says that the girl claimed to have been deposited in the cave when she and her "companion" (Berlitz does not state they were siblings, though both Macklin and Smith do) were swept up by a whirlwind and dropped outside the cave where they were found.

Macklin quotes the girl as saying (to an un-named villager): "There was a great noise. We were caught up in the spirit and found ourselves in your harvest field."

Theories

Berlitz puts no theories forward in his book to explain the event, being content to simply recount the occurrence. Macklin, however, puts forward several theories -- not his own, he claims, but not ascribed to anyone in particular, either. The theories he briefly mentions are:

A) The children were from Mars.

B) The children were from a 'fourth dimension' existing next to ours.

C) That un-named 'scientists' know that "continual underground living brings on a bluish-green pallor."

Smith also forwards several theories about the origins of the children: that they came from an alternate "anti" dimension, that they may be related to tales of an underground race... but most interesting is that he acknowledges that there are variations of the story that claim it occurred in France, Spain or Germany. As he states the matter: "Whatever the country, investigators have discovered the details of the unsubstantiated legend are always the same...".

I've only found one variation of this tale, which claims it occurred in Woolpit, England, in the 1100's; and, as will be discussed below, it seems likely the Green Children of Woolpit story is the actual source for the story of the Green Children of Banjos [See also: The Green Children of Woolpit]. Having said that, let's examine Macklin's account of the story in more detail.

Answers

As I mentioned above, there is a second account of green children being found; this event is said to have occurred near the town of Woolpit, England, sometime between A.D. 1135 and A.D. 1154, far pre-dating the 1887 account of the Green Children of Banjos.

This similarity has been noted before; Rodney Davies, for example, points it out as suspicious in his book Supernatural Disappearances.

The earliest account I've found of the Green Children of Banjos is in John Macklin's book, Strange Destinies (1965), and it contains details that show a far-too-close correlation to the best known account of the Green Children of Woolpit. It's quite likely that Macklin simply took the Woolpit story and just changed a few details to create a "new" account of green children.


The most commonly quoted account of the Green Children of Woolpit is from The Fairy Mythology, by Thomas Keightley, published in 1850... a complete copy of this account is in the notes section of my Green Children of Woolpit article.

The Green Children story presented in Keightley's book is essentially the same as the Banjos account above: two green children wearing strange clothing, and speaking an unintelligible language were found near a pit near the town of Woolpit. The children were captured and taken to a local man's home, where they refused to eat until they were presented with fresh beans. The boy soon died, but the girl lived on, lost her green color and learned the language, and claimed to have come from a strange twilight land.


If this was all the resemblance there was between the two tales, it could be simply chalked up to a good story gaining different details with the re-tellings... something that happens all the time, and for which no one person can be blamed.

But Macklin's account of the Green Children of Banjos contains details that are all too obviously borrowed directly from Keightley's account of the Green Children of Woolpit, ear-marking it as a deliberate falsehood.
The first thing to notice is the similarity in both accounts when describing the children's discovery of beans as a good food. In Keightley's account of the Woolpit children, we read:


"...when some beans just cut, with their stalks, were brought into the house, they [the children] made signs, with great avidity, that they should be given to them. When they were brought, they opened the stalks instead of the pods, thinking the beans were in the hollow of them; but not finding them there they began to weep anew. When those who were present saw this, they opened the pods, and showed them the naked beans. They fed on these with great delight, and for a long time tasted no other food."

Compare this to Macklin's account of the Banjos children, as quoted from a unspecified 'report' (highlights are mine):


"...beans cut or torn from stalks were brought into the house, and they [the children] fell on them with great avidity. But they broke open not the pod but the stalks, evidently supposing that the beans were in the hollow of the stalks. When finding nothing, they again began to weep. Then someone showed them how to open the pods. Whereupon, with great joyfulness, they ate many beans -- and from then on would touch no other food."

Clearly, the account in Macklin's book is just a paraphrase of the earlier Keightley account; and the use of the phrase "with great avidity" is undoubtedly a direct steal.

The general description in both accounts of the children as having come from a twilight land is a forgivable similarity, but further descriptions of this land that are only found in the Keightley account and the Macklin account are suspiciously similar.

From Keightley's account of the Woolpit children, we are told that the girl said "...that there was a bright country which could be seen from theirs, being divided from it by a very broad river." Now compare to Macklin's account of the Banjos children, in which he quotes the girl as saying: "...there is a land of light to be seen not far from us, but cut off by a stream of great width."

Again, the paraphrasing is very clear.

Keightley's account claims to originally be from a priest named William of Newbridge, who is quoted as saying that "he long hesitated to believe it [the story], but he was at length overcome by the weight of evidence."

Compare this statement to a quote in Macklin's account that is attributed to an un-named priest from Barcelona: "I was so overwhelmed by the weight of so many competent witnesses that I have been compelled to accept it..."

The most glaring similarity, however, is in the name of the man whose home the children were taken to. In Keightley's account, the Woolpit children are taken in by a knight named Sir Richard de Calne; in Macklin's account, the Banjos children are helped by "the village's chief landowner," a man named Ricardo da Calno.

In the end, there is only one major difference between the two accounts: in Keightley's story of the Green Children of Woolpit, the girl survives to eventually marry, whereas in Macklin's story of the Green Children of Banjos, the girl dies after five years.

This can be seen as a story convenience on Macklin's part; after all, if the girl was found in 1887 and survived to a good age, researchers would expect to be able to find lots more evidence for the story... instead, I have only John Macklin's word in his account that there were documents, reports, and sworn witness statements in existence at least as late as 1965, when his book Strange Destinies was published.

In light of the similarity of Macklin's 1965 Banjos account to Keightley's 1850 Woolpit account, it seems likely that Macklin simply copied and doctored the earlier story to suit his own purposes; but I will endeavor to locate documents concerning events in Banjos, Spain, in the 1880's to be doubly sure. And if any reader out there has found a version of the Banjos story that pre-dates 1965, I would be most interested in hearing about it.

Until then, however, it appears that the real mystery lies not with the likely fictitious Green Children of Banjos, but with the earlier source of the story... the Green Children of Woolpit.

The Green Children of Woolpit (http://anomalyinfo.com/articles/sa00022.shtml)

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http://farm1.static.flickr.com/156/372417940_6bc6ec7203.jpg?v=0

MuseNoir
02-04-2007, 05:31 PM
I am very familiar with the Children of Woolpit story, which originates in Suffolk, England during the middle of the 12th century.

The description I am familiar with recounts that the boy was "depressed and languid" and finally died. The girl eventually lost the green pallor to her skin, and was "regenerated by the laver" of holy baptism. She continued to live in the service of the knight who had taken her in, although she developed a reputation for being "rather loose and wanton in her conduct".

She said that the country she came from had no sun, but enjoyed "a degree of light like what is after sunset."

Her brother and her had entered a cavern, heard the sound of bells, and followed the sound through the cave. Upon leaving the cave, they were "struck senseless by the excessive light of the sun and the unusual temperature of the air." This is how they were found by the inhabitants of Woolpit.

My source for this is written by Ralph Coggeshall, published in Keightley's "The Fairy Mythology" pp. 281-3.

A note I also read in reference to this story, is that beans are traditionally the food of the dead, and green is the Celtic color of death. This note is attributed to Katherine Briggs, author of "The Fairies in Tradition and Literature" and "The Vanishing People."

I think we all know enough here to draw the connections between documented Fairie lore and present day Alien experiences........

OldTimeRadio
10-27-2008, 12:32 AM
John Macklin seems to have updated the Green Children of Woolpit story by approximately 600 years to 1887, in an apparent attempt to make it more meaningful to modern audiences, moving the tale from England to Spain in the process.

Moreover, there is almost certainly no town in Spain by the name of "Banjos."

Things like this are one of the reasons the Skeptics laugh at us.

Project
04-05-2011, 06:02 PM
John Macklin seems to have updated the Green Children of Woolpit story by approximately 600 years to 1887, in an apparent attempt to make it more meaningful to modern audiences, moving the tale from England to Spain in the process.

Moreover, there is almost certainly no town in Spain by the name of "Banjos."

Things like this are one of the reasons the Skeptics laugh at us.

Ah, but could it be a transliteration or misspelling? :) http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ba%C3%B1os,+Spain&aq=&sll=38.171334,-3.774258&sspn=0.370853,1.056747&g=Ba%C3%B1os+de+la+Encina,+Jaen,+Andalusia,+Spain&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Ba%C3%B1os+de+la+Encina,+Jaen,+Andalusia,+Sp ain&ll=38.171341,-3.774254&spn=0.011589,0.033023&z=16&iwloc=A

Delphine
04-05-2011, 06:44 PM
I had never heard of this...but I'll believe anything that's GREEN! :yup:

pyrite
04-06-2011, 12:18 AM
7960

it would be a better story if it was green children with banjos :rolleyea:

OldTimeRadio
04-06-2011, 02:29 AM
ProJect, thank you very much for the correction! I first read Macklin's account 46 years ago, then tried for several decades to track down "Banjos, Spain," before eventually giving up in despair.

But what kind of "transliteration" shifts a story from the Thirteenth Century to the Nineteenth?

Sincerely,

Old Time Radio (in Cincinnati, Ohio)

Project
04-06-2011, 11:11 AM
ProJect, thank you very much for the correction! I first read Macklin's account 46 years ago, then tried for several decades to track down "Banjos, Spain," before eventually giving up in despair.

But what kind of "transliteration" shifts a story from the Thirteenth Century to the Nineteenth?

Sincerely,

Old Time Radio (in Cincinnati, Ohio)


hehe well that seems like one of the beautiful things about mythology, they are transposable and transliterable :)

pyrite
04-12-2011, 06:19 PM
http://www.travelwithamate.com/banos-de-la-encina-byzantine-castle-in-spain

altered the spelling to reflect the language..never heard of a spanish banjos...maybe this is the area

Project
04-12-2011, 07:33 PM
http://www.travelwithamate.com/banos-de-la-encina-byzantine-castle-in-spain

altered the spelling to reflect the language..never heard of a spanish banjos...maybe this is the area

hehe great minds, that is the link I posted http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ba%C3%B1os,+Spain&aq=&sll=38.171334,-3.774258&sspn=0.370853,1.056747&g=Ba%C3%B1os+de+la+Encina,+Jaen,+Andalusia,+Spain&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Ba%C3%B1os+de+la+Encina,+Jaen,+Andalusia,+Sp ain&ll=38.171341,-3.774254&spn=0.011589,0.033023&z=16&iwloc=A

pyrite
04-12-2011, 09:56 PM
should of opened it to see, my PC doesnt always work well with google earth stuff....but it does sound like one of those interesting places swimming with mystery and history...