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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > May/Jun 17 > The Return of the Fairies

The Return of the Fairies

Massimo Polidoro is an investigator of the paranormal, lecturer, and cofounder and head of CICAP, the Italian skeptics group. His website is at

One winter evening a few years ago, G.F., a banker in Cesena, Italy, was traveling with his wife in the Apennines Mountains. Their destination was the hut that the two owned within the Lama Forest. Since it had snowed and the road was getting icy as they climbed, the banker decided to stop the car to apply tire chains. As he was about to begin, the man realized he was not alone. A few meters away from him in the fresh snow there was something unusual.

Instinctively, the banker took out his cell phone and took a picture with the flash on. In the grainy image, there is a creature with human features on its hands and knees, perhaps busy eating snow, looking at the viewer. There’s only one problem: the creature looks smaller than normal and resembles in every way an elf, including its elongated ears.

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