Tales of castaways, recovery of mysterious missing children and people appeared out of the blue are not so unusual in literature. Some of those stories are so strong and rooted within a culture to become legends.

How much truth hides inside of those legends, though?

Hard to say, even though it is likely to support the idea that most of those come from the pen of many writers. However it is still fascinating to read and discover something unusual that triggers our curiosity.

5. The Green Children of Woolpit

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The legend of the Green Children of Woolpit talks about two children found in Suffolk, England, in the 12th century. The green appearance of their skin wasn’t the only odd detail in the two children: the two had a normal physiognomy yet they would eat only raw beans and would not talk any English or other known language.

The boy, the youngest amongst the two brothers, died shortly after their recovery in a “Wolf Pit”, which gave the name to the English village. The girl got used to the English  habits and customs and started to speak and behave like a perfect Brit, although with a more uninhibited attitude for the medieval times.

When she was fully able to express herself through the language, she said that she was coming from a far away underground land where the sun would never shine named Saint Martin. She, along with her late brother, had reached Woolpit after getting lost in a cave. The girl, named Agnes, got married to the officer Richard Barre and lived her life by his side. It is said that in Woolpit there are still descendants of the girl.

The sources of this tale come from William of Newburgh in his “Historia rerum Anglicarum” from the 1189 and from Ralph of Coggeshall in his “Chronicum Anglicanum” from the 1220. The two anthologies were discovered in the mid of the 19th century and during all that time we find references of the children of Woolpit only in “Britannia” by William Camden 1586, and  in “The Man in the Moone” by the monk Francis Godwin.

4. Jerome Sandy Cove

Jerome is the name assigned to an unidentified man found on the beach of Sandy Cove, in Nova Scotia, Canada on the 8th of September 1863. The man had both his legs amputated and when he was interviewed not much was understood since he didn’t speak any English. When they asked him his name, he mumbled something like Jerome, which ended up becoming the name people would remember him with. George Albright was the one who found Jerome, and took him to the village of Digby Neck in order to be medicated.

Both his amputations were just above the knees, trims which look like they had been performed by expert surgical hands and were still in a healing phase. Many curious people would get close to his bed, but he’d repel them all with his growl.

Jerome did not understand any language spoken in Canada, no French, Latin, Italian or Spanish whatsoever. His hands appeared to be fragile and delicate, detail which would suggest he had never done any heavy work. After his rescue, he got sent all over the country and the government of Nova Scotia granted him a salary of 2 dollars a week for his own support. Eventually, Jerome went to live with Jean Nicola, deserter from Corsica who knew different languages. Nicola didn’t succeed in the attempt of making Jerome talk. Despite that, he stayed with him for more than 7 years, becoming one of the favourite members of the family especially for his wife Jean Julitte and the stepdaughter Madeleine.

After the death of Julitte, Jean came back to Europe and Jerome moved to Dedier e Zabeth Comeau’s house, Saint Alphonse near Meteghan. Mr and Mrs Comeau utilised Jerome fame to their own advantage: they would charge people to see him as well as they would use his government salary. Jerome lived there until his death which occurred on the 15th of April 1912.

The hypothesis about the mystery are several. Some people believed Jerome was a sailor who mutinied and for this they trimmed off his legs for desertion. Some people thought he was a rich heir whose legs got cut off to silence him. Others thought he was a stranger that had appeared a few years before in Chipman (still Nova Scotia), who got his legs amputated due to gangrene. In 1994 a film inspired by the events came out with the title of “Jerome’s Secret”.

3. Jophar Vorin

The story of Jophar Vorin is mysterious and controversial and it appeared on many European and American magazines in 1851. This man was found in Frankfurt an der Oder , in the district of Lebus, Germany. The mayor of the city himself interviewed the man, affirming to come from a place named Laxaria, in a part of the world named Sakria. Vorin would speak a very rough German and he did not understand any other European languages. He was, anyhow, able to write in two mysterious idioms called Laxarian and Abramian, which were according to him, languages from his land used by ecclesiastical and common people.

In the tale, Laxaria was hundreds of miles away from Europe and it was divided from the continent by huge oceans. The purpose of his journey was finding his missing brother, but the boat where he was boarded got shipwrecked. Apparently, the land from which he came was formed by the continents of Sakria, Aflar, Astar, Auslar, ed Euplar. Vorin was taken seriously and shortly after sent to Berlin for further investigation. The man though, disappeared mysteriously.

2. Utsurobune

Several Japanese tales affirm that in 1803 a charming young girl arrived in the harbour of Hitachi, Japan on board of an definitely weird vessel. The boat was 5.4 meters (18 ft) long and 3.3 meters (11 ft) high with crystal and glass windows. The name Utsurobune identified the shape of the boat (literally meaning “hollow ship”) as empty on the inside.

The woman was taken to the village to be questioned by the locals but due to a lack of knowledge of the Japanese language, the woman was accompanied back to the ship and there she disappeared in the blue of the ocean. The myth and legend about the mysterious woman have never been revealed, and each version became more and more tangled up in strange details.

1. The strange man of Taured

It is a hot day in July 1954 when a man arrives at the airport of Tokyo, Japan. His appearance is Caucasic and his garments are normal. Some officers noticed  his unusual behaviour though, get suspicious and start keeping an eye on him. At the check in of his passport, they notice he comes from a nation called Taured, which does not appear anywhere in the known world. The man go through an interview and ask him to indicate his nation on the map.

He looks at the Principality of Andorra but he gets infuriated when he does not find any Taured on the map. According to him, his country had been there for over 1,000 years. What seemed extremely strange here was both the presence of notes of a different currency ever existed  as well as a passport which had been stamped by many different airports in the world, including Tokyo itself.

How could he have a made up passport officially stamped by many nations?

Bewildered, the officers took him to a room with two guards outside the entrance, in order to take some time and figure out what mystery that man was hiding behind his nonsense story. The society for which the man affirmed to work declared to not know him, but the abundant documentation of the man seemed to prove them wrong.

The officers started the investigation but, after a few hours, they came back to the man to ask some further questions.

When they opened the door the man of Taured was gone

He could have not left from the door (checked by the guards) and not ever from the window, since the room was a few dozens of meters high. As he had appeared, he disappeared too, leaving loads of questions behind him that no one will ever answer to.

Matteo Rubboli

I am a publisher specialised in the digital distribution of culture and founder of the portal Vanilla Magazine. I don't wear a tie or branded clothes, I keep my hair short so I don't have to comb it. That's not my fault but just the way I've been drawn as...

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