“Woolpit is an ancient English village situated between the Suffolk towns of Bury St. Edmunds and Stowmarket. And it’s a village with a very strange story attached to it. So the tale goes, back in the 12th Century, a young girl and boy, of strangely green-hued skin, appeared in Woolpit one day, claiming to have come from a magical place called St. Martin’s Land. It was, they said, a place which existed in an atmosphere of permanent twilight, and where the people lived underground, on nothing but green beans. While the story has been relegated by many to the realms of mere myth and folklore, it may not be just that. It might, actually, be much more.”
Although there are those who have embraced the theory that the green children may have had supernatural origins – fairies, for example – I personally think there is a much more likely scenario, as I also noted in 2013 article: “The pair may have been suffering from a condition called Hypochromic Anemia, in which the sufferer – as a result of a very poor diet that, in part, affects the color of the red blood-cells – can develop skin of a noticeably green shade. In support of this scenario, Hypochromic Anemia was once known as Chlorosis, a word formulated in the early 1600s by a Montpellier professor of medicine named Jean Varandal. And why did Varandal choose such a name? Simple: It came from the Greek word Chloris, meaning greenish-yellow or pale green.”
Although I don’t personally think that the mystery is one which has supernatural origins, I thought today I would share with you the words of those who have commented on the theory that the Green Kids of Woolpit may have been extraterrestrial in nature. Little Green Men? Well, some might say “Yes.” Dr. Karl Shuker, one of the world’s leading Cryptozoologists, wrote of this ancient affair:
“In his book Mysteries: Solved and Unsolved (1959), [Harold T.] Wilkins boldly proposed that the green children may have entered our world from a parallel version (existing in a separate dimensional plane but directly alongside our own), by accidentally passing through some form of interdimensional ‘window’ bridging the two. Another dramatic proposal is that the green children are extraterrestrials. As long ago as 1651, Robert Burton opined in his tome Anatomy of Melancholy that they may have come from Venus or Mars.”
Tristan Eldritch provides the following: “To a modern reader, the children might suggest stranded extraterrestrials of some kind, and this interpretation of the tale goes back much further than you would imagine.” Eldtritch adds that, “the story found its way into Francis Goodwin’s fancy The Man in the Moone (1638), a work sometimes regarded as the very earliest example of science fiction.”
Melanie Koslovic offers this: “It has also been suggested that the children may have been aliens, or inhabitants of a world beneath the Earth. In 1996 an article was published in the magazine Analog concerning this mystery; astronomer Duncan Lunan hypothesized that the children were accidentally sent to Woolpit from their home planet due to a malfunction in their ‘matter transmitter.’ Lunan thinks that the planet from which the children originated may be trapped in a 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 believes the children’s green color is a side effect of consuming genetically modified alien plants eaten on their planet.”
As I said, I am firmly in the down-to-earth camp when it comes to the matter of the strange children of Woolpit. It’s unlikely, though, that the matter will ever be resolved to the satisfaction of everyone.