Fairies and aliens

I had an idea lately for a story with the Fae in it. (Too much immersion in Dresden and Grimm and other fantasy type media, I think.)

Anyway, as I started researching the Fae and Fairyland and Faerie, I remembered this old idea I had once. Let’s see if I can explain it without sounding too oddball.

Hundreds of years ago, before modern science, people lived in fear of fairies. That’s why there’s trees and bushes and charms and herbs and cold iron and all kinds of things meant to ward off fairies. If a fairy caught you, they’d drag you off to fairyland and you’d never be seen again. If you did get back, you’d be forever changed. Right?

It’s almost as if there’s some kind of actual malevolent force out there that interacts with human beings sometimes. Evil spirits, demons, whathaveyou. And people called it the Fae and lived in terror of it.

Fast forward to modern day and modern science. Nobody believes in fairies anymore. However, we do believe in aliens. Beings superior to humanity who live on other planets among other stars, and who, for whatever reason, have an inexplicable interest in Earth. I’m talking about UFOs, alien abductions, that sort of thing.

Aliens who take people away on their space ships, and when the people come back, they’re forever changed.

Sound familiar?

Their looks haven’t even changed all that much.

Big head, big eyes, little nose and mouth, and antennae. We’ve added leaves and wings and such to fairies. We’ve added rayguns and space ships to aliens.

But I think the malevolent force behind them hasn’t changed. It still interacts with humans and does bad things to them. As we learned more about science, this malevolent force had to withdraw elsewhere that we don’t know much about–from nature out into the cosmos.

All my own conjecture, of course. I’m just reading all these old stories about the fae and noticing how similar they are to alien abduction stories ..

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5 thoughts on “Fairies and aliens”

  1. *laugh* Ahh, this takes me back to Mythology 101. Let see… If I recall right… One of the more common formulas for folklore was along the lines of: “Hey you, confrom to the rules of our society – no matter how ridiculous they may sound – or else *insert name of monster here* will destroy you.”

    Seriously. That was the way the lessons were taught – peer pressure plus the looming threat of some monster. And of course any monster that was mysterious, capable of proving that humans were not at the top of the food chain and/or superior to humans in any way (stronger, faster, etc) was automatically classed as evil. It may geniunely have been a case of the humans needing to have – and therefore, inventing – a common enemy to fear in order to work and stay together. Or it may have been yet another example of the ‘anything different from us must be evil’ mindset. So alongside the fae and aliens you might as well include ghosts and sea monsters, who often served the same role in lore.

    Isn’t it interesting that nowadays we more frequently tend to regard these same types of creatures as friendly and wise?

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    1. Yes, and our aliens usually come and take over the world in our current mythology. Much more than kind, friendly aliens. Also, talking about “actual” alien encounters, they’re never nice. They always abduct and probe and terrify. I think the fae were something similar. Something that people had actual encounters with. Assuming that alien encounters are real. That’s reaaaallly weird territory there.

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  2. If we are alone in the universe… If we are not alone in the universe… Both ideas are equally profound. *shrugs*

    As for the scary capture, isolate, probe and study type stories… You know… At least in fiction, there always seems to be a human government or group of scientists who are eager and determined to capture and dissect the alien. So if aliens ever get to do this sort of thing to people… Then in a way, they are behaving towards us exactly as we might behave towards them. So… Poetic justice? Irony? A sign that maybe, in spite of the many obvious differences, our species have more in common than we might expect? Meh. Fun to speculate, anyway.

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