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The mysterious green children of woolpit

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posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 05:35 PM
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There is a legend here in the UK, which stems from the town of Woolpit near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk and happened at some point during the 12th century.



There are two accounts of the story, one of which was in Ralph of Coggeshall's Chronicum Anglicanum written around 1220. Ralph was the abbot of a Cistercian monastery at Coggeshall, approx 26 miles (42 km) south of Woolpit. His sources for the story were directly from Sir Richard de Calne of Wykes who had given the children shelter at his manor approx 6 miles from Woolpit.

And the second was written by William of Newburgh (Newbury) in his work Historia rerum Anglicarum (A history of English Affairs) Which mainly documents the turmoil during the reign of King Stephen.
The account of the green children is believed to be written around 1189 and his sources are cited as coming from several trustworthy sources.
He states ‘I was so overwhelmed by the weight of so many and such competent witnesses’.


(William of Newburgh)

The tale is also mentioned in William Camden's Britannia in 1586 and Bishop Francis Godwin's fantastical The Man in the Moone but both stories are believed to be taken from William of Newburgh's account.

The story tells of a strange event that happened at some point during King Stephens reign, which would have been between 1135-1154. Taking place in the sleepy village of Woolpit during harvest time when workers were out reaping the fields.



During this time huge trenches were dug to trap wolves, which is where the name woolpit comes from (wolfpittes) also where the last wolf in the England is said to have perished during the 12th century.

One of the days during this harvest two children are said to have emerged from one of the wolf pits, one boy and a girl, believed to be brother and sister. They were frightened and disorientated.

It is said their skin was green and they wore clothes made from strange materials of odd colour. They wandered around bewildered for a few minutes before the harvest workers brought them to the village.
They spoke in a strange language that no one could understand and were taken to the home of Sir Richard de Caine at Wilkes, a local landowner.



They were clearly hungry but refused to eat any food that was brought to them. For days they declined to eat bread and all other food that was offered to them, until the villagers brought freshly harvested beans with their stalks still attached. They were shown how to open the pods and ate nothing else for several months, although they did eventually aquire a taste for bread.
The boy who was said to be the younger of the two remained depressed all the time, he eventually got sick and died shortly after.



The girl did adjust to her new life, she learnt to speak English, got baptised, began to eat normal food and eventually lost her green skin colour.
after learning English the girl was able to tell people of their sudden appearance in Woolpit.
She confirmed they were in fact brother and sister. She claimed to come from ‘the land of Saint Martin’ where there was no sun and it was always twilight, all the other inhabitants were also green in colour.
She wasnt sure where this was located but did say another land could be seen across a huge river seperating the two lands.


(please note this image is for illustration purposes only)

She recounted that one day the siblings were watching over their fathers herds in the fields and followed them into a cavern. They could hear the sound of bells, the music had enchanted them and they wandered through the darkness in search of the sound. They eventually came upon the mouth of the cave where they were blinded by dazzling sunlight.
They lay down in a daze trying to adjust to the atmosphere and temperature until they heard the noise of the workers reaping the fields, this scared them and they rose to try and escape. They tried to search for the entrance to the cave but were unable to locate it, eventually being caught by the reapers.



The girl who was named Agnes eventually became a healthy young woman. She was said to have been 'rather loose and wanton in her conduct'
She is believed to have married Richard Barre becoming Agnes Barre. Richard Barre was a senior royal official working with Henry II and Richard I.
He became the archdeacon of Ely. Although this part of the story is quite vague without much evidence.


(Ely cathedral)

There are many theories to this story some of which include the children being inhabitants of an inner earth or possibly aliens which were either crash landed or somehow found themselves teleported to earth. Other theories include alternate dimensions or timelines.

The more realistic theory, but also the most mundane comes from Paul Harris who put forward his theory in Fortean times 4, which basically states the children were from Flemish immigrants who were persecuted and their parents killed. The children fled into the woods getting lost and disorientated finding themselves wandering through 4000 year old flint mines, eventually ending up in Woolpit.
The strange language and clothes are said to add weight to this thoery and the green skin colour was said to be chlorosis due to malnutrition.

Although this is the most realistic and plausable theory to date it doesnt completly stand up. Firstly this region had many Flemish immigrants and the language possibly would have been recognised by some of the villigers, especially those more eductated like Richard de Calne who gave them refuge, or those dealing directly with the Flemish.
There are many other points of this theory that doesnt explain the appearance of these strange children.

Also something I found interesting is this story could be the inspiration of the 'Babes in the woods' childrens tale, which was first published several hundreds of years later.

There is also another story of green children that originates from spain many years later, but the tale is almost identical and could be a retelling of this story.

Whatever the explanation may be, I have always found this a fascinating story which is still an unsolved mystery..

So what are your thoughts and theories ATS?

p.s Please excuse any spelling mistakes for some reason my spellchecker isnt working, its late here and to be honest am too tired to go through it all making sure spelling and grammer is correct..

Sources
link
link
en.wikipedia.org...
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edit on 23/2/16 by Misterlondon because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 05:45 PM
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I don't have much to add to this mister London, but it's interesting and a nice story. I think I've heard of these children before, but not in such great detail.

S&F


+4 more 
posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 06:05 PM
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I'm digging into this tonight but wanted to say... Great Job!!!

This kind of thing is what ATS is all about IMO. The woo, the mystery, the many unanswered questions, the search for who, what, why, how...

Just excellent.




posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 06:12 PM
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a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

Exactly! Glad to see your enthusiasm, I have some too, but it didn't come across in my post. I too, am digging a little, and it looks like the OP has given some good links too! (I want to know why they were green. Too many green beans, lol!)

eta: All I could find about green skin --


Green Skin

A greenish color of the skin is rare. It is never considered to be normal although it may be caused by veins that are visible through the skin as is seen with conditions like varicose veins especially on the legs. Some people have more visible veins that others, particularly on the face, hands and feet. These veins are more visible in light skinned individuals.
◾Pseudomonas infection of the skin caused by bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause a slightly bluish-green tinge of the skin or green discoloration of an infected nail.
◾Jewelry made of copper or silver, and sometimes certain low grades of gold mixed with other cheaper metals, can cause green discoloration of the skin. The metal is oxidized by acids on the skin surface to discolor the skin underneath it.

www.healthhype.com...

Not really a suitable explanation for this situation........
edit on 2/23/2016 by ladyinwaiting because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 06:23 PM
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a reply to: Misterlondon

Green skin discoloration can be caused by Pseudomonas bacteria.

Also, Julius Caesar reported that early Britons painted their skin blue with what he called vitrum (which means 'glass'). It is often suggested that it was Woad, but Woad as a dye does not last on the skin and it is too toxic to tattoo. The Picts (or 'painted ones') came from Northern England.

Could be an attempt at survival by some orphan children, by appealing to the curiosity of the wealthy.

edit on 23/2/2016 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 06:28 PM
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originally posted by: Kangaruex4Ewe
I'm digging into this tonight but wanted to say... Great Job!!!

This kind of thing is what ATS is all about IMO. The woo, the mystery, the many unanswered questions, the search for who, what, why, how...

Just excellent.



Thanks


I too think this is what ATS is all about..



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: Misterlondon



The more realistic theory comes but also the most mundane comes from Paul Harris who put forward his theory in Fortean times 4, which basically states the children were from Flemish immigrants who were persecuted and their parents killed. The children fled into the woods getting lost and disorientated finding themselves wandering through 4000 year old flint mines, eventually ending up in Woolpit.
The strange language and clothes are said to add weight to this thoery and the green skin colour was said to be chlorosis due to malnutrition.


That seems more plausible to me. I tend to look for more reasonable explanations, but of course they are not nearly as fun as the less plausible theories.

Great post that I enjoyed very much!!!



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 06:41 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Misterlondon

Green skin discoloration can be caused by Pseudomonas bacteria.

Also, Julius Caesar reported that early Britons painted their skin blue with what he called vitrum (which means 'glass'). It is often suggested that it was Woad, but Woad as a dye does not last on the skin and it is too toxic to tattoo. The Picts (or 'painted ones' came from Northern England.

Could be an attempt at survival by some orphan children, by appealing to the curiosity of the wealthy.




Nice idea , although Blue Woad has a long association with East Anglia and would have been heavily used in this area at his time. Everyone in the village would have known if this was painted on the childrens bodies.

edit on 23/2/16 by Misterlondon because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 06:53 PM
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a reply to: Misterlondon

Nice job op! These are my favorites threads too.

a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

Shameless plug but did either of happen to read any of my Lesser Known Mysteries threads?

Lesser Known Mysteries: Mysterious People
- The Green Children of Woolpit
- Monsieur Chouchani
- Captain Charles Johnson

Lesser Known Mysteries: Enigmatic Inscriptions
- Spider Rock Treasure Maps
- Judaculla Rock
- The Monte Video Inscription

Lesser Known Mysteries: Unexplained Artifacts
- Glozel Tablets
- California Cogged Stones
- Carved Stone Balls

Lesser Known Mysteries IV: Strange Seas
- Bouvet Island Lifeboat
- The Sarah Joe

Lesser Known Mysteries V: Disturbing Disappearances
- Diane Louise Augat
- Tara Leigh Calico

You might also enjoy:

When the Devil Came to Widecombe-in-the-Moor
Cappella Sansevero's Macabre and Mysterious Anatomical Machines
A Roman Shipwreck in Rio de Janeiro? The Amphorae in Guanabara Bay

and the one I probably enjoyed researching the most (Irish Mythology + Biblical Sorcerer + Archaeological dig in progress) which ironically got 9 stars and like 3 replies


Simon Magus, Mug Ruith, Tlachtga, a Flying Machine and the Earliest Samhain Bonfire?
edit on 2016-2-23 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)

edit on 2016-2-23 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 08:10 PM
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originally posted by: ladyinwaiting
I don't have much to add to this mister London, but it's interesting and a nice story. I think I've heard of these children before, but not in such great detail.

S&F


I too have heard of this fascinating story, but not in such great detail. I had forgotten all about it. I find it strange that they weren't able to find the entrance to the cave when they tried to escape. I mean, that's how they entered, how is it that they couldn't find their way back?



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 09:22 PM
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I too agree that topics like this are fascinating and would love to see more of these mysteries on ATS rather than the egotistical royal rumbles that many threads eventually turn into.

That being said, I expect criticism for my view on The Green Children of Woolpit haha.
I first learned of this subject about 5 years ago. Back then and now after years of scrutiny i believe this was a rare case of inner earth inhabitants winding up on earth's surface.

Far fetched? Depends on your view of earth's history

Would it explain some of the mysterious details? Yes

Ready for pure speculation?

1.) The children spoke of coming from a place without a sun and continuous dusk. They also emerged from a cave.

2.) Even while very hungry, the children denied the common foods being offered to them.

3.) The girl said her native land consisted of green skinned people. In cases of Pseudomonas an ENTIRE civilization wouldn't be affected. Not to mention that there are NO cases in history that I've found in which the discoloration affects the entire body.

4.) They spoke a strange language that nobody could decipher. I think the Flemish theory gets tossed here bc Flemish would have been at least somewhat recognizable to Richard De Calne and Richard Barre.

5.) The boy eventually died very young. Barring any significant disease he may have been born with, we're led to assume he wasn't able to assimilate into the conditions of earth's surface.

Personally, the hollow or "honeycomb" earth idea is very plausible to me. To some, it's pure horse#. It's very easy for scholars to deny and even ridicule this theory. However, if you spend some time in Tibet speaking to some extremely enlightened natives I can almost garuntee you that your mind will be blown.

Any thoughts?

edit on 23-2-2016 by AgarthaSeed because: Grammar



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 10:06 PM
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colloidal silver ingestion....turns the odd person blue.......



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 10:09 PM
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This is an old story.

I think it was decided it was copper mines. (Or another mineral).

But, that they worked in a mine.
edit on 23-2-2016 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 12:28 AM
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a reply to: ladyinwaiting

id think it from too much copper in the water supply from its oxidation the same way silver in a water supply can turn people blue sans a heart defect as thats also a cause for blue skin, lips etc.

if the children were a part of or near copper mining operations then that is another correlation to consider... as well as tests on any remains that may be in possession for copper in larger amounts than trace deposits found in the general population... another possibility is from diet much the way too much beta carotine can turn the skin orange... the bacteria formation sounds like an evolution between whatever the children were exposed to and the white blood cells attempting to fight off the imbalance since it was deemed an infection.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 05:19 AM
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a reply to: AgarthaSeed


3.) The girl said her native land consisted of green skinned people. In cases of Pseudomonas an ENTIRE civilization wouldn't be affected. Not to mention that there are NO cases in history that I've found in which the discoloration affects the entire body.


a reply to: ladyinwaiting

I've never read of a hypothesis of the green skin color possibly resulting from a Pseudomonas infection until this thread. What I have seen put forth as a possibility on a number of occasions is hypochromic anemia aka chlorosis.


Hypochromic anemia is a generic term for any type of anemia in which the red blood cells (erythrocytes) are paler than normal. (Hypo- refers to less, and chromic means color.) A normal red blood cell will have an area of pallor in the center of it; it is biconcave disk shaped. In hypochromic cells, this area of central pallor is increased. This decrease in redness is due to a disproportionate reduction of red cell hemoglobin (the pigment that imparts the red color) in proportion to the volume of the cell are red blood cells will also be small (microcytic), leading to substantial overlap with the category of microcytic anemia. The most common causes of this kind of anemia are iron deficiency and thalassemia.

Hypochromic anemia was historically known as chlorosis or green sickness for the distinct skin tinge sometimes present in patients, in addition to more general symptoms such as a lack of energy, shortness of breath, dyspepsia, headaches, a capricious or scanty appetite and amenorrhea.


It has the added benefit of contributing to an explanation for their initial refusal to eat and potentially the boy's early death.
edit on 2016-2-24 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 12:05 PM
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a reply to: Misterlondon

Blood disorder, cure discover for a family of blue skinned children and adults in Appalachia mountains in America. A brother and sister came down into town and were tired of being "different".

Local doctor discovered anomality of cyanosis(blue) deficiency, came up with serum. When administered, the 2 blue children's blood balanced the red cells and their skins turned normal white.

Nothing was mentioned about the rest of the large family clan seeking the cure that cured the 2 siblings.

At work, sorry I can't provide any links here, but it can be searched for and much is available on Americas blue children.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 02:23 PM
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Well written and well presented. Posts like this are what ATS is all about. I commend your efforts and duly starred and flagged of course.

I think I first heard about this story from a book or maybe it was Fortean Times. It's always interesting to guess how much of it is true and how much is just folklore. I would guess that much of our folklore has a kernel of truth in it. The green colour and the inability of the children to speak English (as it was spoken back in the day) seem to be the overriding factors here.

Is it beyond possibility that the children were Welsh or Cornish? Both languages are very different from English. I would find it difficult to believe as people did trade with each other in other parts of the nation. But maybe initially no one understood them and that part of the story has been lost with modern interpretation.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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As you stated:

Green Sickness

I know of that tale from Ireland in my youth and it was always attributed to Hypochromic anemia.

There were far more local languages back then so it's easy to believe they spoke one nobody was familiar with.
edit on 24-2-2016 by raymundoko because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: Misterlondon

Think i remember reading about this incident in the Branton files or Grand Cosmic Conflict. Certainly very interesting but considering the United Kingdom has numerous mines and quarry pits all over the place one would imagine any entrance to an underground city would have been discovered by now. Good read all the same.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 03:24 PM
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I've partied too hard and turned a shade of pale and green.
This may not be related.


Either way, an interesting story!
Thanks for posting



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