Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 17th, 2008
A little gnome with a pointed cap has been captured on a cellphone digital video camera. With a pointed cap?
Where have we all seen gnomes like this before?
Two years ago, the 30th anniversary edition of the coffee-table book Gnomes hit the bookstores. It reflects how successful the popular cultural icons of the gnomes pictured on the cover and within that book have become. We are surrounded by gnomes.
Gnomes was the product of Rien Poortvliet (1932-1995) and Wil Huygen (1925- ), who supposedly made alleged observations of the local gnome population in Holland. The cryptofictionalization of these beings was taken to the extreme, as noted by the book’s publisher: “Until Gnomes was first published in Dutch in 1976, these friendly nocturnal creatures were only represented in folklore; descriptions were often incomplete or simply inaccurate.”
The publisher’s blurb continues: “Poortvliet and Huygen, having studied and interviewed gnomes for two decades, set out to fill this gap with their own encyclopedic tome. Gnomes covers all areas of gnome culture, including architecture, education, courtship, medicine, industry, and relationships with other mythical creatures. Huygen’s sober descriptions are balanced by Poortvliet’s light-hearted portrayals of gnomes at work and at play.”
Now, in 2008, we live in a world in which red-pointy-capped garden and Travelocity gnomes are in lawns, within ads, and on the internet. They are everywhere.
Should we be surprised that a new video shows one with a pointy hat walking down a northern Argentine road, scaring some young people?
St. Patrick’s Day seems an appropriate time to post the video here, with some details, as the footage has now appeared on the UK’s Sun website, on Fox TV News, and at YouTube.
The creature was filmed by teenager Jose Alvarez. Alvarez told the Argentine newspaper El Tribuno on March 10, 2008, that he and his friends saw the creature while “larking about” in their hometown of General Guemes, in the province of Salta, Argentina. It had on a pointed hat and walked strangely sideways.
The eyewitness Alvarez relates what happened:
We were chatting about our last fishing trip. It was one in the morning. I began to film a bit with my mobile phone while the others were chatting and joking. Suddenly we heard something — a weird noise as if someone was throwing stones. We looked to one side and saw that the grass was moving. To begin with we thought it was a dog but when we saw this gnome-like figure begin to emerge we were really afraid….
This is no joke. We are still afraid to go out — just like everyone else in the neighborhood now. One of my friends was so scared after seeing that thing that we had to take him to the hospital. ~ Jose Alvarez.
Other Argentine locals have now come forward to say they had spotted the gnome.
South America, traditionally, has been populated by little hairy cryptids (Proto-Pygmies), as mentioned here. The 1950s’ reports of Latino ufonauts merge into beings who were often little and hairy. Does this gnome come out of this same background? It certainly seems like a hefty little one.
The entire incident is receiving more and more media attention, and I was called today by Wireless News Flash for a comment.
I am left with lots of questions: Is the video a hoax? An adolescent prank? A real event that goes beyond the imagination? Why the side shuffle? The pointy hat? Why the Argentine setting? Are other video copycats far behind?
Remember two years ago, what was reported around this same time of year, from Mobile, Alabama?