In the mid-twentieth century, people who saw strange circles of flattened, dark grass attributed the phenomenon to a UFO’s landing. In earlier times, however, they attributed them to dances held by fairies and called the circles fairy rings. According to folklore, if a person steps into a fairy ring, dancing fairies will carry that person away to a land where time moves so slowly that if the person ever returns, his relatives will have grown old in what for the abductee only seems to have been a few minutes.
Researchers into the alien abduction experience, whereby people claim to have been abducted by extraterrestrials, note similarities between such stories of fairy abductions and alien abduction stories; this has led some to develop complicated theories connecting abduction scenarios to folklore and the notion that there is a collective unconscious—that is, a body of symbols, images, and concepts shared by all human minds—that recalls human interactions with aliens in prehistoric times.
Today, scientists know that most flattened circles of dark grass are caused by a type of fungus, Marasmius oreades, which gradually kills plants in a way that makes them look like they have been flattened from a point in the centre outward. Still, many people today use the term fairy rings to refer to the manifestations of this fungus infestation.
- Alien Abduction Experiences
- Crop Circles
- Fairies Faith Healing
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning