Coincidence: 2. a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.
Synchronicity: the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible connection
(both from The Concise Oxford Dictionary)
Synchronicity: ‘an acausal connecting principle’ – C.G. Jung, Collected Works 8
Synchronicities: ‘people who investigate the daemonic are particularly prone to these — although they can happen to anyone who is engaged on a search for some sort of knowledge or truth (every scholar, for instance knows how the very book he requires can fall off a library shelf at his feet!)’ – Patrick Harpur, Daemonic Reality
STONED KNICKERLESS ALIENS ETC.
Those old dependables, the Irish Centre for UFO Studies, never seem to stray far from the attention of Blather or its readers. Anthony McCann spotted a wonderful piece by Martin Breen on Page 13 of the August 22nd issue of the Belfast Telegraph.
The article was headlined Aliens Target Stone!, and told of how ‘UFO investigators’ — or at least Alan Sewell of ICUFOS — had put two and two together to get twenty-three.
Exhibit A: actress Sharon Stone has been viewing property on the shores of Carlingford Lough — an inlet on Ireland’s east coast, with Co. Louth on the Republic side, and Co. Down on the Northern Ireland side. She’s even been spotted in PJ’s bar in Carlingford village, the area in which she plans to reside, a splendid choice as it commands an unsurpassed view of the Mountains of Mourne.
The Belfast Telegraph, a.k.a. (as this property agent provocateur has been informed), The Belly Telly, takes careful note of Ms. Stones acclaimed performance, sans lingerie, in the movie Basic Instinct.
Exhibit B:Sewell, true to form, claims that a ‘huge 80-metre long mothership’ has been lurking in the Carlingford sky. This circular mothership has been apparently drawn in by an ‘energy field’, which leaves me wondering if a tractor beam from some form of agricultural machinery was implicated in the shenanigans. I’m also left wondering if 80 metres (262ft) can really be regarded as ‘huge’ for a mothership. Angels tangoing on the head of a pin…
Mr. Sewell told the BT that ‘”People who have seen activity there are adamant that it was definitely a UFO in the skies.”‘
So whatever it was, it was definitely unidentified. No doubt about it…
DAMN THESE SYNCHRONICITIES
After considering the matters above, I tore open Praeger’s The Way That I Went, but found no Carlingford matters of any consequence. Next to be perused was the Fortean Times General Index Issues 1-66 where I found that Carlingford Lough was mentioned in an article by Bob Rickard, Fairy Remains at Carlingford in FT52:11. He told of how none other than local publican PJ O’Hare had found an alleged ‘leprechaun suit’ on December 19th, 1988. Mr. O’Hare is presumably the proprietor of PJ’s bar, so recently solicited by Ms. Stone.
To synopsise Bob’s article, Mr. O’Hare, a ‘well-known insomniac’, was out in the early hours removing litter from the streets, when he heard ‘”the most awful scream”‘ coming from the mountains. He looked up and saw ‘dancing lights’ there. He got into his car, and headed for the hills, encountering along the way Brendan McKevitt, the local schoolmaster.
McKevitt was out jogging (are they all insomniacs?), and hadn’t heard a thing. He accompanied O’Hare to the ‘mountain gate’, where he too could see the ‘dancing lights’. There was no sound, other than dogs in the village. They made for the lights, but when around 300 yards (274m) from them, the source of illumination vanished. When the men arrived at where the lights had been, they found what O’Hare described as ‘leprechaun clothes’, with gold sovereigns in the left trouser pocket. To the left of the clothes was scorched ground scattered with bones, bearing any relation to the size of the clothing (no mention is made of what the bones are from. The two men gathered the evidence and brought it all back down the mountain. The impression given is that some member of gentry had experienced a rather nasty abduction experience of some sort.
Much of Bob’s article is culled from an article in the Dundalk Argus of January 13th 1989, written by a conspicuously unnamed journalist. O’Hare was pictured with the ‘leprechaun suit’ which acompanied him on a tour of radio and TV chat shows and a ‘public exposition’ at Jury’s Hotel, Dublin. The whole matter seems to have eventually descended into bickering and controversy concerning allegations of a hoax to further the tourist potential of the area.
(Another apparent ‘fairy relic’ fell into the hands of the famous Sommerville family of Castletownesend, West Cork. It was a tiny fairy shoe, worn at the heel, 2.875 inches (73mm) long and 0.875 inches (22mm) wide. Other Irish claims of fairy shoes and clothes have been recorded. See Harpur, Daemonic Reality p140, and Country Life (Irish edition), 24 May 1973)
Tickled by the coincidence of finding PJ O’Hare implicated in two different stories, I recalled Robert Anton Wilson’s essay Synchronicity & Linguistics in Finnegans Wake, which was published in Fortean Times 39:4 (also published as Synchronicity and Isomorphism in Finnegans Wake, found in his book Coincidence). I dug it out, mindful of the synchronicities that are known to plague fortean scholars.
This Blatherskite resides but a few minutes walk from the perimeter of Dublin’s Phoenix Park (fionn uisce [fi-yonn ishka], or clear water), fictintimately featured in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. I was flicking through the aforementioned article when I found an included clipping from a Reuters report (from the Niagra Falls Review, Ontario) of October 20th 1953. One of the FT editors noted that this was ‘another Phoenix Park coincidence’, as it had arrived the same week as Wilson’s manuscript.
It told of how a couple, Kathleen and Mary Maguire, claimed that they had found a little dead fairy man underneath a mushroom in the Phoenix Park, the previous August (is there a mycologist in the house?). They proceeded to bottle the deceased homunculus and charged threepence-a-look at nearby Crumlin funfair, collecting Â£35 in seven weeks. One day, however, ‘four country lads’ liberated the bottle and occupant never seen to be seen again. The Maguires issued a solicitors letter to one Gordon Hunt, manager of the affair, who disclaimed liability, insisting that he was not responsible for the payment of Â£100 compensation (a fair amount in 1953).
As if all the aforementioned coincidences/synchronicities weren’t enough, the 1953 article was titled Suit Claims Leprechaun Kidnapped. I think I’d better end this week’s blathering here…
Dave (daev) Walsh
18th September 1998