When we think of "fairy sightings," probably one of the last settings to come to mind is 1970s American suburbia. Nevertheless, we have this report from the (Rochester, New York) "Democrat and Chronicle," August 6, 1977:
Leprechauns? PURE TOMFOOLERY, RIGHT? Sure well, maybe.
On the afternoon of October 12, 1976, eight-year-old Tonnlie Barefoot was playing in a cornfield near his Dunn, North Carolina, home, when he spotted a curious little man "not much bigger than a Coke bottle." At least that's what the boy claims to have seen.
The creature, according to Tonnlie, wore black boots, blue trousers, a blue top made of "shiny stuff," a black "german-type hat" with a figure that looked like crossed rifles on it, and "the prettiest little white tie you ever saw." The little man, with mouth agape, reportedly shot a glance at the boy, then squealed like a mouse and ran off.
"Was it fast?" the boy was asked.
"Faster'n me," he replied.
In support of the boy's story, two sets of tiny tracks were found in the field. "The tracks were definitely those of little boots," local newspaper editor Fred Bost wrote in the Spring, 1977, issue of Pursuit. "Cleat marks were easily discernible.
"I failed to count the number in the first set, but there were 14 in the second set, which was clearer than the first. Individual prints were 2 1/4 inches long and about 1 inch wide at the broadest point."
Bost and Tonnlie's school principal questioned the boy, and came away convinced that he was telling the truth, or what he sincerely believed to be the truth. Tonnlie's mother concurred. "I know my son Tonnlie," she asserted. "He's telling the truth."
Two weeks after Tonnlie's alleged sighting, 20-year-old Shirley Ann McCrimmon was entering her home when she suddenly heard a strange rustling sound behind her. She quickly turned around and, to her astonishment, saw a tiny man staring at her. The woman reported that she watched the creature for several minutes, and then began to approach it for a closer look. Almost immediately the little man shined a "very bright yellow light" in the woman's eyes. She screamed, and her visitor fled around the side of the house.
The woman told police that the tiny man was either wearing a semitransparent costume or was naked. His skin (or clothes) appeared to be light brown, and he was wearing boots, but no hat. Two miniature footprints were discovered at the scene. The prints were less distinct than those in the cornfield, but they were the exact same size.
"The ground was hard where the footprints were found at the McCrimmon home," Bost noted, "yet around the back where the little man was said to have disappeared, there was a garden area with soft earth but here no footprints could be found."
Bost continued: "The strange part about the footprints was that they led nowhere in any of the locations where they were found. The ground was soft in both areas of the cornfield, yet in both cases the footprints ended abruptly." It was as if the tiny intruder had gone up.
Curiously, a UFO was sighted over Dunn the evening before the little man was first sighted. A witness described it as a "strange orange light which appeared in the sky." Moreover, soon after the little man sightings, a woman came into Bost's office to purchase some issues of the newspaper that contained stories of the weird goings-on. The woman explained that she was buying them for friends in Cleveland. She went on to say that her friends had written her not too long ago about a neighbor of theirs. The neighbor, her friends had informed her, insisted she had seen a man who was "very small, very little."