Our legends and folklore must begin somewhere, and if not from the creative imagination of a single individual then perhaps they are born from the collective experiences of a particular group. While it is difficult to trace the exact nascency of certain legends, we may be able to get a clearer idea of where a specific mystical being came to be known, the gremlin. The British pilots and aircrew of the Royal Air Force during the WWI and WWII eras began to experience baffling and inexplicable problems with their aircraft and missions. Wires that appeared to have been chewed through, sand particles found in machinery where none should be, punctures and damage that was incomprehensible were just some of the numerous mysterious problems they encountered. But with no known cause, blame fell to the gremlin a mischievous goblin-like entity said to inhabit the skies and aerodromes of the RAF and who delighted in causing trouble for airmen. Although rationality would suggest the gremlin was an invention of highly-stressed personnel looking for a comical and morale-boosting scapegoat for their problems, there are reports from veterans who claim to have seen these destructive imps in action. If true, then we must wonder if the creature creates the legend or if the legend creates the creature. Join us as we examine the discovery of a 20th-century folktale which just may be related to the ancient Wee Folk of nature. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode:

Popout Listen on the new Podbay