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Re: UFOs & Fairies? - Aubeck

From: Chris Aubeck <caubeck.nul>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2004 21:30:35 +0000 (GMT)
Fwd Date: Fri, 05 Mar 2004 18:58:11 -0500
Subject: Re: UFOs & Fairies? - Aubeck

>From: Tom Benson <sparkle.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 12:06:05 -0500
>Subject: Re: UFOs & Fairies? - Benson

>>From: David Rudiak <DRudiak.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 19:26:23 -0800
>>Subject: Re: UFOs & Fairies?

>>UFOs & Fairies? (& Little Green Men)

>>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 13:36:05 -0600
>>>Subject: Re: UFOs & Fairies? - Clark


>>A side-bar on the possible connections between
>>fairies and aliens concerns the the origins of the
>>term "Little Green Men."
>>We delved into this back in December, 2001, two of
>>my posts on possible comic book origins below:


Hi Tom, David, List,

The question of how the term "little green man" entered ufology
is a reoccurring one. I carried out some research into this
myself, finding the expression "little green men" used as far
back as the early 19th century, and the presence of little green
Martians in the 1890s.

I realised was that there have been four main categories of

1) In very old legends and folklore


I recommend anyone to do a Google search, which produces
hundreds of hits.

2) In later fairytales and childrens's literature


A typical instance can be found in the Fort Wayne Journal
Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana), published on August 27th, 1911:

The Children's Corner

When Boo the Cow Woke the Rain Man
by Murrat Fisher

[long story, here are some lines from it:]

"Immediately the door opened sharply outward, and next instant
they were both on their backs in the swirling water. Through the
open door they could see a long and narrow passage and through
this passage a small green man was hurrying toward them and he
looked very worried and upset."

"Rupert the Cat glared with his eyes. The little green man
didn't look at all frightening."

3) As an expression of sarcasm (applying to aliens, fairies or
imaginary beings in general, especially when referring to


>From the Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin)
Wednesday, November 4th, 1936:

My New York
by James Aswell

[in a light-hearted discussion of doctors]

"That's the way doctors talk. A man can pull down a couple of
little shades in his head and shut out thought, even the
automatic, surface cerebrations of a New York chatterist. That's
what doctors tell you; and they are the same doctors who, very
likely, will go to pieces suddenly at 50 because they hear bells
ringing and are being followed about by a little green man with
big ears."

4) In ufology, usually in order to mock believers, witnesses or
the subject of ufology itself.


>From the Newport Daily News (Newport, Rhode Island),
December 7th, 1953 (p.10):

The Saucers Again

Everyone "knows" that there is nothing to the flying saucer
thing, but, just in case, the Air Force is taking steps. It has
distributed to some 75 bases a double-barreled camera it hopes
may solve the flying saucer mystery.

When any Air Force man sights what seems to be a saucer, or
reasonable facsimile thereof, he has orders to point the camera
at the thing and snap. What, if anything, will result nobody
knows. Maybe a shot of a little green man from Mars leaning out
and grinning at the Air Force? Could be!

So here we go again, trying to prove "is they or ain't they?"
flying saucers. Maybe the Air Force, with its double-barreled
cameras, will
prove a point, or disprove one.

[End of quote]

The first reference to a short, green-skinned extraterrestrial
that I have seen is in the "Atlanta Constitution" (Georgia) of
October 8th 1899. Here we read a tale about the "Green Boy From
Hurrah," "Hurrah" being another planet.

Maybe the earliest use of the exact expression "little green
men" that I have found was published in "The Galaxy, An
Illustrated Magazine of Entertaining Reading." The edition is
dated "September 1st-December 15th 1866."

The text gives the impression that the term was already in
common usage then:

[From a tale called "Dies Irae," by Lily Nelson]

And then we got up and went to breakfast. While we sat there, a
vague something that had been hovering on the horizon all the
morning, rolled nearer and nearer over the placid ocean-floor
"Where has Spars disappeared?" said Seyd, suddenly pausing in
his coffee. "Have we altered the course so much, Padroncello?"

"By Jove!" said the Padron, and put duwn his cup. Palinurus, at
the wheel, gave one of his odd snorts, between disgust and
laughter, and we girls looked out in amaze.

"Do islands often skip round in this singular manner?" said Miss
Duck, indolently, helping herself to a jacketed potato. "Or is
it one of the fairy doings with which you so constantly assail
our ears?"

This last to me, and delivered with great scorn, for Miss Duck
prides herself on her practical good sense, and utterly refuses
to believe in little green men to be sought for under mossy
stones. A gnarled tree, for Miss Duck, encloses no lovely maiden
with oaken bodice..."

Finally, evidence that the term "little green man" was used in
early post-Arnold years, but not necessarily in reference to
aliens, comes in items such as the following, from the Waterloo
Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) of March 2nd, 1948 (p.4):

Strictly Personal

Harris Bids Farewell
fo Frightful Bogeyman


CAROLYN has a little green man, but he is a pleasant creature
who does nice things and plays with her when no real children
are around. She has never heard of the bogeyman.

The only real progress we have made in child education the last
50 years, it seems to me, is the abolition of the bogeyman and
other mythical monsters who used to frighten kids. Only the most
stupid and backward of parents do that nowadays.

It is just recently that we have become aware of the frightful
consequences such bogeyman scares can have for a child's
imaginative mind. Every people, from antiquity to the present
time, have threatened their offspring with some bogeyman or

[leads on to a discussion of the bogeyman legend follows]

My personal conclusion is that the term "Little Green Men" was
in use long before 1947 to describe supernatural beings of
various kinds, and that the flying saucer age only redefined it
for a new generation. 


Chris Aubeck

Chris Aubeck                                             
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Carrera de S. Jeronimo, 17, 1=BA - A
Madrid 28014

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