Carl Tanzler


Carl Tanzler, or sometimes Count Carl von Cosel (February 8, 1877 – July 3, 1952), was a German-born radiologic technologist at the United States Marine Hospital in Key West, Florida who developed a morbid obsession for a young Cuban-American tuberculosis patient, Elena Milagro “Helen” de Hoyos (July 31, 1909 – October 25, 1931), that carried on well after the disease had caused her death. In 1933, almost two years after her death, Tanzler removed Hoyos’s body from its tomb, and lived with the corpse at his home for seven years until its discovery by Hoyos’s relatives and authorities in 1940.

Tanzler went by many names; he was listed as Georg Karl Tänzler on his German marriage certificate. He was listed as Carl Tanzler von Cosel on his United States citizenship papers, and he was listed as Carl Tanzler on his Florida death certificate. Some of his hospital records were signed Count Carl Tanzler von Cosel.

Early life

He was born as Karl Tänzler or Georg Karl Tänzler on February 8, 1877 in Dresden, Germany. Around 1920 he married Doris Anna Shafer (1889–1977) and he was listed as “Georg Karl Tänzler” on the marriage certificate. Together they had two children: Ayesha Tanzler (1922–1998), and Crystal Tanzler (1924–1934), who died of diphtheria.

Tanzler grew up in Germany. The following “Editorial Note“ accompanying the autobiographical account “The Trial Bay Organ: A Product of Wit and Ingenuity” by “Carl von Cosel,“ in the Rosicrucian Digest of March and April 1939, gives details about his stay in Australia before and during World War I and his return to Germany after the war:

Many years ago, Carl von Cosel travelled from India to Australia with the intention of proceeding to the South Seas Islands. He paused in Australia to collect equipment and suitable boats, and to become acquainted with prevailing weather and sea conditions. However, he became interested in engineering and electrical work there, bought property, boats, an organ, an island in the Pacific—so that he was still in Australia at the end of ten years. He had just begun to build a trans-ocean flyer when the war broke out and the British military authorities placed him in a concentration camp for ‘safe-keeping’ along with many officers India and China who were prisoners of war. Later he was removed to Trial Bay to a castle-like prison on the cliffs, and there the work in this narrative was accomplished. At the end of the war no prisoner was permitted to return to his former residence, but all were shipped to the prisoner’s exchange in Holland. When Carl von Cosel was released he set out to find his mother from whom he had not heard since the beginning of the war. Finding her safe, he remained with her for three years, witnessing the chaos that followed in the wake of the war. … Finally, she suggested that her son return to his sister in the United States …

Tanzler’s account of Trial Bay Gaol, his secret building of a sailing boat, etc., is confirmed by Nyanatiloka Thera, who mentions that he planned to escape from the Gaol with ”Count Carl von Cosel” in a sailing boat, and provides other information about the interment of Germans in Australia during WWI.

Tanzler emigrated to the United States in 1926, sailing from Rotterdam on February 6, 1926 to Havana, Cuba. From Cuba he settled in Zephyrhills, Florida, to where his sister had already emigrated, and was later joined by his wife and two daughters. Leaving his family behind in Zephyrhills in 1927, he took a job as a radiologic technologist at the U.S. Marine Hospital in Key West, Florida under the name Carl von Cosel.

During his childhood in Germany, and later while traveling briefly in Genoa, Italy, Tanzler claimed to have been visited by visions of a dead ancestor, Countess Anna Constantia von Cosel, who revealed the face of his true love, an exotic dark-haired woman, to him.
Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos

On April 22, 1930, while working at the Marine Hospital in Key West, Tanzler met Maria Elena “Helen” Milagro de Hoyos (1909–1931), a local Cuban-American woman who had been brought to the hospital by her mother for an examination. Tanzler immediately recognized her as the beautiful dark-haired woman that had been revealed to him in his earlier “visions.” By all accounts, Hoyos was viewed as a local beauty in Key West.

Elena was the daughter of local cigar maker Francisco “Pancho” Hoyos (1883–1934) and Aurora Milagro (1881–1940). She had two sisters, Florinda “Nana” Milagro Hoyos (1906–1944), who married Mario Medina (c.1905–1944) and also succumbed to tuberculosis; and Celia Milagro Hoyos (1913–?). Medina, Nana’s husband, was electrocuted trying to rescue a coworker who hit a powerline with his crane at a construction site.

On February 18, 1926, Hoyos married Luis Mesa (1908–?), the son of Caridad and Isaac Mesa. Luis left Hoyos shortly after Hoyos miscarried the couple’s child, and moved to Miami. Hoyos was legally married to Mesa at the time of her death.

Hoyos was eventually diagnosed with tuberculosis, a typically fatal disease at the time, that eventually claimed the lives of almost all of her entire immediate family. Tanzler, with his self-professed medical knowledge, attempted to treat and cure Hoyos with a variety of medicines, as well as x-ray and electrical equipment, that were brought to the Hoyoses’ home. Tanzler showered Hoyos with gifts of jewelry and clothing, and allegedly professed his love to her, but no evidence has surfaced to show that any of his affection was reciprocated by Hoyos.
Morbid obsession

Despite Tanzler’s best efforts, Hoyos died of terminal tuberculosis at her parents’ home in Key West on October 25, 1931. Tanzler paid for her funeral, and with the permission of her family he then commissioned the construction of an above ground mausoleum in the Key West Cemetery, which he visited almost every night.

One evening in April, 1933, Tanzler crept through the cemetery where Hoyos was buried and removed her body from the mausoleum, carting it through the cemetery after dark on a toy wagon, and transporting it to his home. He reportedly said that Elena’s spirit would come to him when he would sit by her grave and serenade her corpse with a favorite Spanish song. He also said that she would often tell him to take her from the grave. Tanzler attached the corpse’s bones together with wire and coat hangers, and fitted the face with glass eyes. As the skin of the corpse decomposed, Tanzler replaced it with silk cloth soaked in wax and plaster of paris. As the hair fell out of the decomposing scalp, Tanzler fashioned a wig from Hoyos’s hair that had been collected by her mother and given to Tanzler not long after her burial in 1931. Tanzler filled the corpse’s abdominal and chest cavity with rags to keep the original form, dressed Hoyos’s remains in stockings, jewelry, and gloves, and kept the body in his bed. Tanzler also used copious amounts of perfume, disinfectants, and preserving agents, to mask the odor and forestall the effects of the corpse’s decomposition.

In October, 1940, Elena’s sister Florinda heard rumors of Tanzler sleeping with the disinterred body of her sister, and confronted Tanzler at his home, where Hoyos’s body was eventually discovered. Florinda notified the authorities, and Tanzler was arrested and detained. Tanzler was psychiatrically examined, and found mentally competent to stand trial on the charge of “wantonly and maliciously destroying a grave and removing a body without authorization.” After a preliminary hearing on October 9, 1940 at the Monroe County Courthouse in Key West, Tanzler was held to answer on the charge, but the case was eventually dropped and he was released, as the statute of limitations for the crime had expired.

Shortly after the corpse’s discovery by authorities, Hoyos’s body was examined by physicians and pathologists, and put on public display at the Dean-Lopez Funeral Home, where it was viewed by as many as 6,800 people. Hoyos’s body was eventually returned to the Key West Cemetery where the remains were buried in an unmarked grave, in a secret location, to prevent further tampering.

The facts underlying the case and the preliminary hearing drew much interest from the media at the time (most notably, from the Key West Citizen and Miami Herald), and created a sensation among the public, both regionally and nationwide. The public mood was generally sympathetic to Tanzler, whom many viewed as an eccentric “romantic”.

Though not reported contemporaneously, research (most notably by authors Harrison and Swicegood) has revealed evidence of Tanzler’s necrophilia with Hoyos’s corpse. Two physicians (Dr. DePoo and Dr. Foraker) who attended the 1940 autopsy of Hoyos’s remains recalled in 1972 that a paper tube had been inserted in the vaginal area of the corpse that allowed for intercourse. Others contend that since no evidence of necrophilia was presented at the 1940 preliminary hearing, and because the physicians’ “proof” surfaced in 1972, over 30 years after the case had been dismissed, the necrophilia allegation is questionable. While no existing contemporary photographs of the autopsy or photographs taken at the public display show a tube, the necrophilia claim was repeated by the HBO Autopsy program in 2005.
Later life and death

In 1944, Tanzler moved to Pasco County, Florida close to Zephyrhills, Florida, where he wrote an autobiography that appeared in the Pulp publication, Fantastic Adventures, in 1947. His home was near his wife Doris, who apparently helped to support Tanzler in his later years. Tanzler received United States citizenship in 1950 in Tampa.

Separated from his obsession, Tanzler used a death mask to create a life-sized effigy of Hoyos, and lived with it until his death on July 3, 1952. His body was discovered on the floor of his home three weeks after his death. He died under the name “Carl Tanzler”.

It has been recounted that Tanzler was found in the arms of the Hoyos effigy upon discovery of his corpse, but his obituary reported that he died on the floor behind one of his organs. The obituary recounted: “a metal cylinder on a shelf above a table in it wrapped in silken cloth and a robe was a waxen image”.

It has been written (most notably by Swicegood) that Tanzler had the bodies switched (or that Hoyos’s remains were secretly returned to him), and that he died with the real body of Elena


Maria Elena Milagro de Hayos corpse





Telepathy (from the Greek tele (distant) and patheia (feeling)) is a type of extra-sensory perception, defined in parapsychology as the paranormal acquisition of information concerning the thoughts, feelings, or activity of another person. The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Fredric W. H. Myers, founder of the Society for Psychical Research, and superseded earlier expressions such as “thought-transference.” Telepathy is often associated with other paranormal phenomena, such as precognition, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis. As with these related phenomena, there is great controversy surrounding their existence and explanation. While many skeptics and disbelievers dismiss the “proofs” as fraud or explained by chance, others continue to report and study this phenomenon indicating a deep-seated desire in humankind that there exist more than can be experienced through our physical senses alone.

Types of telepathy

Latent Telepathy is telepathy in which a time lag is observed between the transmission and receipt of the telepathic communique. Precognitive Telepathy occurs when a telepath obtains paranormal knowledge about what the state of another person’s mind will be in the near or distant future.
History of Telepathy

Unlike paranormal abilities such as precognition, there are very few accounts of telepathy recorded by any ancient cultures. Primitive and ancient cultures often relate instances of prophecy and precognition, but there is little record of individuals sending and receiving messages from mind to mind. Where the idea of telepathy does appear, it is generally in the form of “dream telepathy,” where communication occurs while individuals are in a dream state. The Greek philosopher Democritus postulated the first physical theory of dream telepathy, which stated that emotionally charged images could be projected by living beings, and transmitted to a dreamer through the dreamer’s pores.

Research interest in telepathy had its beginning in mesmerism, where subjects would display telepathic abilities, carrying out unspoken instructions. Psychologists like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung both observed telepathic phenomena, and the psychologist/philosopher William James encouraged more research be done on the subject.

Western scientific investigation of telepathy is generally recognized as having begun with the early research of the Society for Psychical Research. In 1886, the Society published their findings in a two-volume work entitled Phantasms of the Living, which included findings on telepathy. Most of the evidence gathered consisted of anecdotes and follow-up investigations, with some experiments on alleged telepaths. Experimental protocols, however, were not strict by current scientific standards.

The best-known early experiments in telepathy were those of J. B. Rhine and his associates at Duke University, beginning in 1927. Rhine used distinctive cards designed by his colleague Karl Zener. These experiments in “parapsychology” involved more rigorous and systematic experimental protocols than those from the nineteenth century, used what were assumed to be “average” participants rather than those who claimed exceptional ability, and took advantage of new developments in the field of statistics to evaluate results. Results of these and other experiments were published by Rhine in his popular book Extra-Sensory Perception. Rhine determined that it was often difficult to determine if information was communicated through telepathy, clairvoyance, or precognition, and concluded that all are the same psychic function, albeit manifested differently.

One of the most popular early books about telepathy was Mental Radio, written by the Pulitzer prize-winning author Upton Sinclair and his wife (with foreword by Albert Einstein). Sinclair included his findings from reading hundreds of volumes on psychic research, as well as three years of hands-on investigation, and described the apparent ability of his wife at times to reproduce sketches made by himself and others, even when separated by several miles.

One of the most popular types of experiments to test for telepathy has been ganzfeld experimentation. Beginning in 1974 with the work of Charles Honorton, ganzfeld (meaning “whole field”) experiments have been widely used by parapsychological researchers. In ganzfeld tests, there is a receiver, who attempts to receive the telepathic message, and a sender who attempts to send the message. The receiver is placed in a soundproof room and sits reclining in a comfortable chair. He or she wears headphones which play continuous white noise or pink noise. Halves of ping pong balls are placed over the receiver’s eyes, and a red light is shone onto their face. These conditions are designed to cause the receiver to enter a state called the “ganzfeld state,” similar to being in a sensory deprivation chamber. The sender, also isolated, is shown a video or still image, and asked to attempt to mentally send that image to the receiver for anywhere from twenty to forty minutes. Afterwards, the receiver is asked to pick which of four images was the “sent” image. After collecting the results of approximately 700 individual sessions conducted by about two dozen investigators, parapsychologists claimed that the correct image is selected 34 percent of the time, significantly higher than the 25 percent that would be expected by chance alone.
Testing and Controversy

Parapsychologists have conducted numerous scientific experiments seeking evidence of telepathy, and claim that many have yielded significant results supporting the existence of telepathy, particularly the ganzfeld experiments. However, a technique which always shows statistically significant evidence of telepathy with 100 percent reliability has yet to be discovered.

In the area of telepathy research, ganzfeld experiments, being the most prominent means of testing for telepathy, are often the most criticized. Charles Honorton was the first to perform such experiments for telepathy, and took great care in creating an experimental protocol that would not be subject to criticism. Even so, critics have pointed out flaws that may have influenced Honorton’s positive results: it may have been possible for the researchers scoring the experiments to have peeked at the film clips that were being shown, thereby subconsciously leading the receivers during scoring. Some critics conclude that Honorton’s experiments provide the best evidence yet, but that telepathy still remains unproven.

Other ganzfeld experiments were also critiqued for having potential design flaws. Some studies did not use truly soundproof rooms, and videos may have been heard by the experimenters, whose discussions may have then been overheard by the receiver. When presenting the group of the target image and three decoys, the target image may have subtle “handling cues” that gave it away, such as smudges, creases, or other marks that were made by the sender while attempting to send the image. A lack of randomization of the images may have also constituted a problem. Many of these issues were later addressed with “autoganzfeld” experiments, where images were chosen and displayed by computer. The autoganzfeld experiments were considered to be significantly more reliable, even when examined by mentalists Ford Kross and Daryl Bem, who agreed that the automated system provided “excellent security against deception.” However, problems were still pointed out: with the automated video images, the target may have been played repeatedly during the sending session, thereby creating a slight decay in image quality that would be detectable by the receiver. On the whole, reported rates of success among all ganzfeld experiments have been remarkably consistent. There have been numerous meta-analyses done, combining groups of experiments that provide evidence for telepathy. Critics argue that some of these meta-analyses are too accepting of studies as “reputable.”

Another argument against the so-called “successes” of telepathic experiments is that it is not necessarily accurate to assume that any statistical deviation from chance is evidence for telepathy. While a moderate deviation from chance may be evidence of psi phenomena, it could also simply be evidence of a rare, statistically unlikely occurrence, and therefore not a significant indicator of telepathy.

Tests have also been done for telepathy using EEG and fMRI equipment. Tests done by researchers at Bastyr University in Seattle and the University of Washington focused on identifying similar brain patterns. They produced similar results to tests done at other laboratories: correlated EEG and fMRI signals occurred in 15 to 30 percent of the participating pairs of subjects.
Telepathy and Quantum Theory

In seeking a theory to explain telepathy, some parapsychologists have looked to aspects of quantum theory. Apparent parallels with telepathy exist in the quantum world; two quantum particles that bump into one another become “entangled,” and afterwards retain a connection despite being a great distance apart. A change in one half of the entangled pair instantaneously effects a change in the other half. This quality, known as “non-locality,” was dubbed “spooky action at a distance” by Albert Einstein, who had difficulty accepting such a concept. If quantum particles can seemingly communicate to each other instantaneously, the question is raised, “why can’t humans also do so?”

Some physicists have pondered whether quantum mechanical effects would permit forms of communication, perhaps including telepathy. However, they expressed the view that, according to quantum theory, it may be possible to share raw awareness or emotion, but not to transfer data.

Green Children of Woolpit


The legend of the green children of Woolpit concerns two children of unusual skin colour who reportedly appeared in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, England, some time in the 12th century, perhaps during the reign of King Stephen. The children, brother and sister, were of generally normal appearance except for the green colour of their skin. They spoke in an unknown language, and the only food they would eat was beans. Eventually they learned to eat other food and lost their green pallor, but the boy was sickly and died soon after he and his sister were baptised. The girl adjusted to her new life, but she was considered to be “rather loose and wanton in her conduct”. After she learned to speak English, the girl explained that she and her brother had come from St Martin’s Land, an underground world inhabited by green people.

The only near-contemporary accounts are contained in William of Newburgh’s Historia rerum Anglicarum and Ralph of Coggeshall’s Chronicum Anglicanum, written in about 1189 and 1220 respectively. Between then and their rediscovery in the mid-19th century, the green children seem to surface only in a passing mention in William Camden’s Britannia in 1586, and in Bishop Francis Godwin’s fantastical The Man in the Moone, in both of which William of Newburgh’s account is cited.

Two approaches have dominated explanations of the story of the green children: that it is a folk tale describing an imaginary encounter with the inhabitants of another world, perhaps one beneath our feet or even extraterrestrial, or it is a garbled account of a historical event. The story was praised as an ideal fantasy by the English anarchist poet and critic Herbert Read in his English Prose Style, published in 1931. It provided the inspiration for his only novel, The Green Child, written in 1934.


The village of Woolpit is in the county of Suffolk, East Anglia, about 7 miles (11 km) east of the town of Bury St Edmunds. During the Middle Ages it belonged to the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, and was part of one of the most densely populated areas in rural England. Two writers, Ralph of Coggeshall (died c. 1226) and William of Newburgh (c. 1136–1198), reported on the sudden and unexplained arrival in the village of two green children during one summer in the 12th century. Ralph was the abbot of a Cistercian monastery at Coggeshall, about 26 miles (42 km) south of Woolpit. William was a canon at the Augustinian Newburgh Priory, far to the north in Yorkshire. William states that the account given in his Historia rerum Anglicarum (c. 1189) is based on “reports from a number of trustworthy sources”; Ralph’s account in his Chronicum Anglicanum, written some time during the 1220s, incorporates information from Sir Richard de Calne of Wykes, who reportedly gave the green children refuge in his manor, 6 miles (9.7 km) to the north of Woolpit. The accounts given by the two authors differ in some details.


One day at harvest time, according to William of Newburgh during the reign of King Stephen (1135–1154), the villagers of Woolpit discovered two children, a brother and sister, beside one of the wolf pits that gave the village its name. Their skin was green, they spoke an unknown language, and their clothing was unfamiliar. Ralph reports that the children were taken to the home of Richard de Calne. Ralph and William agree that the pair refused all food for several days until they came across some raw beans, which they consumed eagerly. The children gradually adapted to normal food and in time lost their green colour. The boy, who appeared to be the younger of the two, became sickly and died shortly after he and his sister were baptised.

After learning to speak English, the children – Ralph says just the surviving girl – explained that they came from a land where the sun never shone and the light was like twilight. William says the children called their home St Martin’s Land; Ralph adds that everything there was green. According to William, the children were unable to account for their arrival in Woolpit; they had been herding their father’s cattle when they heard a loud noise (according to William, the bells of Bury St Edmunds) and suddenly found themselves by the wolf pit where they were found. Ralph says that they had become lost when they followed the cattle into a cave and, after being guided by the sound of bells, eventually emerged into our land.

According to Ralph, the girl was employed for many years as a servant in Richard de Calne’s household, where she was considered to be “very wanton and impudent”. William says that she eventually married a man from King’s Lynn, about 40 miles (64 km) from Woolpit, where she was still living shortly before he wrote. Based on his research into Richard de Calne’s family history, the astronomer and writer Duncan Lunan has concluded that the girl was given the name “Agnes” and that she married a royal official named Richard Barre.


Neither Ralph of Coggeshall nor William of Newburgh offer an explanation for the “strange and prodigious” event, as William calls it, and some modern historians have the same reticence: “I consider the process of worrying over the suggestive details of these wonderfully pointless miracles in an effort to find natural or psychological explanations of what ‘really,’ if anything, happened, to be useless to the study of William of Newburgh or, for that matter, of the Middle Ages”, says Nancy Partner, author of a study of 12th-century historiography. Nonetheless, such explanations continue to be sought and two approaches have dominated explanations of the mystery of the green children. The first is that it is a folk tale, describing an imaginary encounter with the inhabitants of a “fairy Otherworld”. The second is that it is a garbled account of a real event, although it is impossible to be certain whether the story as recorded is an authentic report given by the children or an “adult invention”. His study of accounts of children and servants fleeing from their masters led Charles Oman to conclude that “there is clearly some mystery behind it all [the story of the green children], some story of drugging and kidnapping”.

Folklore explanations

Scholars such as Charles Oman note that one element of the children’s account, the entry into a different reality by way of a cave, seems to have been quite popular. Gerald of Wales tells a similar story of a boy who, after escaping his master, “encountered two pigmies who led him through an underground passage into a beautiful land with fields and rivers, but not lit by the full light of the sun”. But as a folk tale the story is rather rare; E. W. Baughman lists it as the only example of his F103.1 category of English and North American folk tales: “Inhabitants of lower world visit mortals, and continue to live with them”. Martin Walsh considers the references to St Martin to be significant, and sees the story of the green children as evidence that the feast of Martinmas has its origins in an English aboriginal past, of which the children’s story forms “the lowest stratum”. E. S. Alderson suggests a Celtic connection in a 1900 edition of Notes and Queries: ” ‘Green’ spirits are ‘sinless’ in Celtic literature and tradition … It may be more than a coincidence that the green girl marries a ‘man of [Kings] Lynn.’ Here the original [Celtic word] would be lein, evil, i.e. the pure fairy marries a sinful child of earth.”

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen proposes that the story is about racial difference, and “allows William to write obliquely about the Welsh”: the green children are a memory of England’s past and the violent conquest of the indigenous Britons by the Anglo-Saxons followed by the Norman invasion. William of Newburgh reluctantly includes the story of the green children in his account of a largely unified England, which Cohen juxtaposes with Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain, a book that according to William is full of “gushing and untrammeled lying”. Geoffrey’s history offers accounts of previous kings and kingdoms of various racial identities, whereas William’s England is one in which all peoples are either assimilated (in the case of the Normans) or pushed to the boundaries (the Welsh, the Scots, and the Picts). According to Cohen, the green children represent a dual intrusion into William’s unified vision of England. On one hand they are a reminder of the racial and cultural differences between Normans and Anglo-Saxons, especially because of the children’s claim to have come from St Martin’s Land, named after Martin of Tours; the only other time William mentions that saint is in reference to St Martin’s Abbey in Hastings, which commemorates the Norman victory in 1066. But the children also embody the earlier inhabitants of the British Isles, the “Welsh (and Irish and Scots) who [had been] forcibly anglicized … The Green Children resurface another story that William had been unable to tell, one in which English paninsular dominion becomes a troubled assumption rather than a foregone conclusion.” The boy in particular, who dies rather than become assimilated, represents “an adjacent world that cannot be annexed … an otherness that will perish to endure”.
Illustration of the abandoned Babes in the Wood by Randolph Caldecott, 1879

In a modern development of the tale the green children are associated with the Babes in the Wood, who were left by their wicked uncle to die; in this version the children’s green colouration is explained by their having been poisoned with arsenic. Fleeing from the wood in which they were abandoned, possibly nearby Thetford Forest, the children fell into the pits at Woolpit where they were discovered. Local author and folk singer Bob Roberts states in his 1978 book A Slice of Suffolk that “I was told there are still people in Woolpit who are ‘descended from the green children’, but nobody would tell me who they were!”

Other commentators have suggested that the children may have been aliens, or inhabitants of a world beneath the Earth. In a 1996 article published in the magazine Analog, astronomer Duncan Lunan hypothesised that the children were accidentally transported to Woolpit from their home planet as the result of a “matter transmitter” malfunction. Lunan suggests that the planet from which the children were expelled may be trapped in synchronous orbit around its sun, presenting the conditions for life only in a narrow twilight zone between a fiercely hot surface and a frozen dark side. He explains the children’s green colouration as a side effect of consuming the genetically modified alien plants eaten by the planet’s inhabitants.

Lunan was not the first to state that the green children may have been extraterrestrials. Robert Burton suggested in his 1621 The Anatomy of Melancholy that the green children “fell from Heaven”, an idea that seems to have been picked up by Francis Godwin, historian and Bishop of Hereford, in his speculative fiction The Man in the Moone, published posthumously in 1638.

Historical explanations

Many Flemish immigrants arrived in eastern England during the 12th century, and they were persecuted after Henry II became king in 1154; a large number of them were killed near Bury St Edmunds in 1173 at the Battle of Fornham fought between Henry II and Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester. Paul Harris has suggested that the green children’s Flemish parents perished during a period of civil strife and that the children may have come from the village of Fornham St Martin, slightly to the north of Bury St Edmunds, where a settlement of Flemish fullers existed at that time. They may have fled and ultimately wandered to Woolpit. Disoriented, bewildered, and dressed in unfamiliar Flemish clothes, the children would have presented a very strange spectacle to the Woolpit villagers. The children’s colour could be explained by green sickness, the result of a dietary deficiency. Brian Haughton considers Harris’s explanation to be plausible, and the one most widely accepted, although not without its difficulties. For instance, he suggests it is unlikely that an educated local man like Richard de Calne would not have recognised the language spoken by the children as being Flemish.

Historian Derek Brewer’s explanation is even more prosaic:

The likely core of the matter is that these very small children, herding or following flocks, strayed from their forest village, spoke little, and (in modern terms) did not know their own home address. They were probably suffering from chlorosis, a deficiency disease which gives the skin a greenish tint, hence the term “green sickness”. With a better diet it disappears.


The English anarchist poet and critic Herbert Read describes the story of the green children in his English Prose Style, published in 1931, as “the norm to which all types of fantasy should conform”. It was the inspiration for his only novel, The Green Child, written in 1934. A 1994 adaptation of the story by Kevin Crossley-Holland tells it from the point of view of the green girl.

Author John Macklin includes an account in his 1965 book, Strange Destinies, of two green children who arrived in the Spanish village of Banjos in 1887. Many details of the story very closely resemble the accounts given of the Woolpit children, such as the name of Ricardo de Calno, the mayor of Banjos who befriends the two children, strikingly similar to Richard de Calne. It therefore seems that Macklin’s story is an invention inspired by the green children of Woolpit, particularly as there is no record of any Spanish village called Banjos.

Australian novelist and poet Randolph Stow uses the account of the green children in his 1980 novel The Girl Green as Elderflower; the green girl is the source for the titular character, here a blond girl with green eyes. The green children become a source of interest to the main character, Crispin Clare, along with some other characters from the Latin accounts of William of Newburgh, Gervase of Tilbury, and others, and Stow includes translations from those texts: these characters “have histories of loss and dispossession that echo [Clare’s] own”. The green children are the subject of a 1990 community opera performed by children and adults, composed by Nicola LeFanu with a libretto written by Kevin Crossley-Holland. In 2002 English poet Glyn Maxwell wrote a verse play based on the story of the green children, Wolfpit (the earlier name for Woolpit), which was performed once in New York City. In Maxwell’s version the girl becomes an indentured servant to the lord of the manor, until a stranger named Juxon buys her freedom and takes her to an unknown destination.

Conch Republic


The Conch Republic (República de la Concha) is a micronation declared as a tongue-in-cheek secession of the city of Key West, Florida, from the United States on April 23, 1982. It has been maintained as a tourism booster for the city since. Since then, the term “Conch Republic” has been expanded to refer to “all of the Florida Keys, or, that geographic apportionment of land that falls within the legally defined boundaries of Monroe County, Florida, northward to ‘Skeeter’s Last Chance Saloon’ in Florida City, Dade County, Florida, with Key West as the nation’s capital and all territories north of Key West being referred to as ‘The Northern Territories'”.

While the protest that sparked the creation of the Conch Republic (and others since then) have been described by some as “tongue-in-cheek,” they were motivated by frustrations over genuine concerns. The original protest event was motivated by a U.S. Border Patrol roadblock and checkpoint that greatly inconvenienced residents and tourists.

The Conch Republic celebrates Independence Day every April 23 as part of a week-long festival of activities involving numerous businesses in Key West. The organization — a “Sovereign State of Mind”, seeking only to bring more “Humor, Warmth and Respect” to a world in sore need of all three according to its Secretary General, Peter Anderson — is a key tourism booster for the area.


In 1982, the United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock and inspection point on US 1 just north of the merger of Monroe County Road 905A/Miami-Dade County Road 905A onto US 1 (they are the only two roads connecting the Florida Keys with the mainland), in front of the Last Chance Saloon just south of Florida City. Vehicles were stopped and searched for narcotics and illegal immigrants. The Key West City Council complained repeatedly about the inconvenience for travelers to and from Key West, claiming that it hurt the Keys’ important tourism industry. Eastern Air Lines, which had a hub at Miami International Airport, saw a window of opportunity when the roadblocks were established; Eastern was at the time the only airline to establish jet service to Key West International Airport, counting on travelers from Key West to Miami preferring to fly rather than to wait for police to search their vehicles.

When the City Council’s complaints went unanswered by the U.S. federal government and attempts to get an injunction against the roadblock failed in court, as a form of protest Mayor Dennis Wardlow and the Council declared Key West’s independence on April 23, 1982. In the eyes of the Council, since the U.S. federal government had set up the equivalent of a border station as if they were a foreign nation, they might as well become one. As many of the local citizens were referred to as Conchs, the nation took the name of the Conch Republic.

As part of the protest, Mayor Wardlow was proclaimed Prime Minister of the Republic, which immediately declared war against the U.S. (symbolically breaking a loaf of stale Cuban bread over the head of a man dressed in a naval uniform), quickly surrendered after one minute (to the man in the uniform), and applied for one billion dollars in foreign aid.

Conch Republic officials were invited to the Summit of the Americas in Miami in 1994, and Conch representatives were officially invited to 1995’s Florida Jubilee.

The faux secession and the events surrounding it generated great publicity for the Keys’ plight — the roadblock and inspection station were removed soon afterward. It also resulted in the creation of a new avenue of tourism for the Keys.
Invasions of 1995

On September 20, 1995, it was reported that the 478th Civil Affairs Battalion of the United States Army Reserve was to conduct a training exercise simulating an invasion of a foreign island. They were to land on Key West and conduct affairs as if the islanders were foreign. However, no one from the 478th notified Conch officials of the exercise.

Seeing another chance at publicity, Wardlow and the forces behind the 1982 Conch Republic secession mobilized the island for a full-scale war (in the Conch Republic, this involved firing water cannons from fireboats and hitting people with stale Cuban bread), and protested to the Department of Defense for arranging this exercise without consulting the City of Key West. The leaders of the 478th issued an apology the next day, saying they “in no way meant to challenge or impugn the sovereignty of the Conch Republic”, and submitted to a surrender ceremony on September 22.

During the U.S. federal government shutdown of 1995 and 1996, as a protest, the Republic sent a flotilla of Conch Navy, civilian and fire department boats to Fort Jefferson, located in Dry Tortugas National Park, to reopen it. The action was dubbed a “full scale invasion” by the Conch Republic. Inspired by efforts of the Smithsonian Institution to keep its museums open by private donations, local residents had raised private money to keep the park running (a closed park would damage the tourist-dependent local economy), but could find no one to accept the money and reopen the park.[citation needed]

When officials attempted to enter the monument, they were cited. When the citation was contested in court the following year, the resultant case, The United States of America v. Peter Anderson, was quickly dropped.
The annexation of Seven Mile Bridge

In yet another protest on January 13, 2006, Peter Anderson (the defendant in the Dry Tortugas case from 1995–1996) purported to annex the abandoned span of Seven Mile Bridge, which had been replaced by a parallel span in 1982. The move was in response to a recent event regarding Cuban refugees. On the previous January 4, fifteen Cuban refugees reached the bridge, but were returned to Cuba by the U.S. Border Patrol because the U.S. government had declared the bridge a “wet feet” location under the wet feet, dry feet policy. The rationale was that, since two sections of the span had been removed and it was no longer connected to land, it was not part of U.S. territory subject to the “dry feet” rule, and thus the refugees could not stay.

Anderson, seizing upon the U.S.’s apparent disavowal of the abandoned span, claimed it for the Republic. He expressed hope to use the bridge for affordable, ecologically friendly housing. In response, Russel Schweiss, spokesman for Florida Governor Jeb Bush, declared “With all due respect to the Conch Republic, the bridge belongs to all the people of Florida, and we’re not currently in negotiations to sell it.” The refugee decision was later overturned, but only after the refugees had been returned to Cuba.
Recent history

In another protest, beginning in 2008, the northern keys including Key Largo formed a separation of the Conch Republic known as the Independent Northernmost Territories of the Conch Republic. Proponents claim this separation is a result of disagreements over the definition and use of the term ‘Conch Republic’.
Souvenir passports and vehicle registration

Through their website, the Republic issues souvenir passports. These are issued as souvenirs, but some have evidently bought them in the mistaken belief they are legitimate travel and identity documents. Shortly after the September 11 attacks, FBI investigators thought that hijacker Mohamed Atta had possibly purchased a Conch Republic passport from the website. International Country Code stickers can also be purchased from vendors in Key West, bearing the initials KW and “CR”—the country codes for Kuwait and Costa Rica, respectively.

The Conch Republic actively maintains an Army, Navy, and Air Force whose primary duties are to help re-enact the Great Sea Battle of 1982 and the retaking of Fort Jefferson. The Navy comprises no fewer than 10 civilian boats and the schooner Wolf under the command of RAdm Finbar Gittelman. The Army consists of the 1st Conch Artillery, garrisoned in Fort Taylor. The Conch Republic Air Force has more than a dozen appointed aircraft in its fleet. The flagship, a 1942 Waco, was flown by Fred R. Cabanas, a legendary stunt pilot and Ambassador for the Conch Republic at air shows worldwide. He flew “Conch Fury” in the 2005 Reno Air Races. Fred was declared General of the Air Force by the mayor of Key West after intercepting a defecting Cuban MiG-23 with his Pitts Special in 1991. Following his death in January 2013, Fred was succeeded by his son, Raymond Cabanas.
In literature

Some of the action in Joe Haldeman’s 1989 science fiction novel Buying Time takes place in the Conch Republic, a lawless place where assassination and other activities are perfectly legal.

National anthem

In 1994, Joe and Meri-Lynn Britz wrote the National Anthem for the Conch Republic, Conch Republic. It was recorded by the Key Lime Pie band and voted on and accepted by the city of Key West City Commissioners.



Scatomancy is the reading of a person’s fortune by examining their bodily excrement. It is also known as spatalomancy, spatilomancy, copromancy, and spatalamancy.


Scatomancy is literally “divination by excrement”. The process by which excrement is scrutinized is referred to in modern medical terminology as a scatoscopy.


In ancient times scatomancers were often influential members of their community called upon to assist in medical diagnosis and trial by ordeal. In one of scatomancy’s forms, popular in ancient Egypt, kleptoparasitic dung beetles were employed. These insects were held sacred and immortalized by the Egyptians. They shape, roll and weave dung balls as a sexual display and courtship attractor. The beetles speed and behavior, as well as the appearance of the dung balls, were all taken into consideration for the prognostications.

The examination of feces and urine by physicians and folk medicine practitioners has also been performed since ancient times. Medicine men and women were knowledgeable on it, and made predictions as well as diagnoses from feces examination, resembling today’s medical professionals and laboratories.

Beast of Gévaudan


The Beast of Gévaudan is the historical name associated with the man-eating wolf, dog or wolf-dog hybrid which terrorised the former province of Gévaudan (modern-day département of Lozère and part of Haute-Loire), in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France between 1764 and 1767. The attacks, which covered an area stretching 90 by 80 kilometres (56 by 50 mi), were said to have been committed by a beast or beasts that had formidable teeth and immense tails according to contemporary eyewitnesses.

Victims were often killed by having their throats torn out. The French government used a considerable amount of manpower and money to hunt the animals; including the resources of several nobles, the army, civilians, and a number of royal huntsmen.

The number of victims differs according to sources. In 1987, one study estimated there had been 210 attacks; resulting in 113 deaths and 49 injuries; 98 of the victims killed were partly eaten. However, other sources claim it killed between 60 to 100 adults and children, as well as injuring more than 30.


Descriptions of the time vary, but generally the beast was said to look like a wolf but about as big as a calf. It had a large dog-like head with small straight ears, a wide chest, and a large mouth which exposed very large teeth. The beast’s fur was said to be red in colour but its back was streaked with black.



The Beast of Gévaudan carried out its first recorded attack in the early summer of 1764. A young woman, who was tending cattle in the Mercoire forest near Langogne in the eastern part of Gévaudan, saw the beast come at her. However the bulls in the herd charged the beast keeping it at bay, they then drove it off after it attacked a second time. Shortly afterwards the first official victim of the beast was recorded; 14-year-old Janne Boulet was killed near the village of Les Hubacs near the town of Langogne.

Over the later months of 1764, more attacks were reported throughout the region. Very soon terror had gripped the populace because the beast was repeatedly preying on lone men, women and children as they tended livestock in the forests around Gévaudan. Reports note that the beast seemed to only target the victim’s head or neck regions.

By late December 1764 rumours had begun circulating that there may be a pair of beasts behind the killings. This was because there had been such a high number of attacks in such a short space of time, many had appeared to have been recorded and reported at the same time. Some contemporary accounts suggest the creature had been seen with another such animal, while others thought the beast was with its young.

On January 12, 1765, Jacques Portefaix and seven friends were attacked by the Beast. After several attacks, they drove it away by staying grouped together. The encounter eventually came to the attention of Louis XV who awarded 300 livres to Portefaix and another 350 livres to be shared among his companions. The king also directed that Portefaix be educated at the state’s expense. He then decreed that the French state would help find and kill the beast.

Royal intervention

Three weeks later Louis XV sent two professional wolf-hunters, Jean Charles Marc Antoine Vaumesle d’Enneval and his son Jean-François, to Gévaudan. They arrived in Clermont-Ferrand on February 17, 1765, bringing with them eight bloodhounds which had been trained in wolf-hunting. Over the next four months the pair hunted for Eurasian wolves believing them to be the beast. However, as the attacks continued, they were replaced in June 1765 by François Antoine (also wrongly named Antoine de Beauterne), the king’s harquebus bearer and Lieutenant of the Hunt who arrived in Le Malzieu on June 22.

On September 20, 1765, Antoine had killed his third large grey wolf measuring 80 cm (31 in) high, 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in) long, and weighing 60 kilograms (130 lb). The wolf, which was named Le Loup de Chazes after the nearby Abbaye des Chazes, was said to have been quite large for a wolf. Antoine officially stated: “We declare by the present report signed from our hand, we never saw a big wolf that could be compared to this one. Which is why we estimate this could be the fearsome beast that caused so much damage.” The animal was further identified as the culprit by attack survivors who recognised the scars on its body inflicted by victims defending themselves. The wolf was stuffed and sent to Versailles where Antoine was received as a hero, receiving a large sum of money as well as titles and awards.

However on December 2, 1765, another beast severely injured two men. A dozen more deaths are reported to have followed attacks by la Besseyre Saint Mary.

Final attacks

The killing of the creature that eventually marked the end of the attacks is credited to a local hunter named Jean Chastel, who shot it during a hunt organized by a local nobleman, the Marquis d’Apcher, on June 19th, 1767. Writers later introduced the idea that Chastel shot the creature with a blessed silver bullet of his own manufacture and upon being opened, the animal’s stomach was shown to contain human remains.


According to modern scholars, public hysteria at the time of the attacks contributed to widespread myths that supernatural beasts roamed Gévaudan, but deaths attributed to a beast were more likely the work of a number of wolves or packs of wolves. In 2001 the French naturalist Michel Louis proposed that the red-colored mastiff belonging to Jean Chastel sired the beast and its resistance to bullets may have been due to it wearing the armoured hide of a young boar thus also accounting for the unusual colour.

Devilish Cunning Panther


The Leopard of the Central Provinces, also known as the Devilish Cunning Panther, was a man-eating male Indian leopard which over the course of a couple of years, killed over 150 people, all women and children, in the Central Provinces of British India in the early 20th century. The leopard reportedly claimed a victim once every 2-3 days, each time in a different area to the last, with the killings sometimes taking place 20-30 miles apart. The leopard caused such panic that the native communities in its range rarely left their homes alone or unarmed.

Hunt for the leopard

An unnamed British hunter set up headquarters in a large village, where he compiled information on the leopard’s depredations with the local thana. Ten days later, a man entered the hunter’s camp one morning, and claimed that the leopard had entered a hut in a village a mile from the camp, and had unsuccessfully attempted to carry off a small girl the previous night. The hunter dressed the girl’s wounds and she recovered. The leopard struck again two days later in another village. The hunter searched for the leopard from his camp for three weeks without success.

With the body count rising, the hunter considered moving camp, until a boy from a village four miles away came to him, and stated that the leopard had dragged off his brother when they were driving cattle. At 14:00, the hunter set himself on a tree overlooking the boy’s corpse, in the hope that the leopard would return for it. The leopard came at night, though the hunter was unable to get a clear shot due to the darkness, and the canopy of dense creeper vine. The hunter attempted to startle the leopard into coming out for a clear shot, but all attempts failed to intimidate the leopard, even firing in the air had no effect. The shots got the attention of the villagers, but the hunter called at them to clear the area. After a few hours, the hunter fell asleep at 1:00, and upon waking, found the leopard clawing at the foot of the tree. The leopard left after a few moments, but returned three hours later to finish its meal. By sunrise, all that remained of the boy’s body were hands, feet and a few bones. The hunter attempted to track down the leopard in case it was still in the area, but after a search spanning one mile, he gave up. A few days later, the hunter moved camp ten miles away, hoping for more success. On the second night of his arrival, the hunter was awoken from his sleep by the leopard scratching outside his tent, though it was driven off by the shouting of the villagers.

Death and post mortem

Three days later, the leopard attacked the goats of a Gond farmer, but was driven off. Upon shortly returning however, it was fatally shot with a projectile propelled from a gas pipe five yards away from it. The Gond presented the hunter with the leopard’s skin and stomach contents, among which was a ball of human hair, thus confirming it as the man-eater. The hunter purchased the hide for 10 rupees, later noting that the fur and claws were in fine condition, not what was to be expected from an old, infirm animal. There were no signs of past injuries which could have prevented it from hunting, thus leaving the hunter to conclude that the leopard had probably been fed human flesh as a cub by its mother, a likely man-eater herself.