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Elfin Photo Released

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 5th, 2008


Tahoe Elf? Nevada Faery? Lake Tahoe Leprechaun? Deneau’s Hobgoblin?

There is a world of good names out there, and this one cannot go down as a “leprechaun-alien” for long, please.

Lloyd Deneau, 41, of Florida was on vacation at Lake Tahoe, located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City, Nevada.

He decided to photograph some interesting trees in a forest there. (When? Exactly where? The reports don’t say.)

The he thought he’d seen a tiny creature darting from the forest. Deneau took out his camera and proceeded to take a picture of it.

What he saw startled him, and so he snapped off a photograph.

The object, which was called by the unfortunate name already mentioned, temporarily by children, was no taller than three feet and very elf-like.

Deneau swears the image has not been doctored.

When I took the picture I’m sure there was no one there. It was only when I downloaded it on my camera that I saw it. I showed it to my friends and family but no one can explain it.

My kids coined it the ‘leprechaun-alien.’

I have a military background and don’t really believe in aliens, but I can’t explain this. ~ Lloyd Deneau

As well as an elf, leprechaun and alien, the figure has also been described as a baby Bigfoot.

Is it a Proto-Pygmy, a gag, or a squirrel? A fairy, a fake, or someone’s photo fantasy?

I’ll keep you abreast of any photo analyses or further details that I see in the next few hours or days.

The story first broke in the UK tabloid The Sun and then soon by Fox News.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

54 Responses to “Elfin Photo Released”

  1. Ceroill responds:

    Intriguing. Can’t say it looks much like a squirrel to me. Aside from that I have to fall back on “I have no clue”. However…as I seem to recall, don’t a number of the Native American cultures have legends of ‘little people’?

  2. Richard888 responds:

    This could very well be real!

    Thanks Loren.

  3. drjon responds:

    There really is no telling what that is. It could very well be a small child in a Red Riding Hood costume.

    A shame, really.

  4. youcantryreachingme responds:

    A guy giving a piggy-back to a teddy-bear

  5. serpent_seeker responds:

    Good photo, back to the little people of the forest. Very much looks like a elf of some kind, something out of a fairytale, perhaps im not sure but the creature looks like a combo of different species, a interesting but good photo, wish the photo was clearer though.

  6. joppa responds:

    It’s Dexter, the little monkey from “Night at the Museum”.

  7. Amdusias responds:


    Yes they do. Where I grew up along the White River in Indiana, there were legends of little people called “puckwudjies” or “puckwudgies” but Google reveals nothing, so they must REALLY be cryptid!

    The thing in the photo seems to have clothes on, so….not a puckwudgie. They steal shirts of of clothes lines, I am told, as being three feet tall, a shirt becomes a full garment, and we can only presume they have no textile industry of their own.

  8. greywolf responds:

    Well again we Irish have a legend of the little people but this is a bad photo again. What shutter speed was he using? This whole photo looks out of focus and or to slow a shutter for the situation. Don’t people know how to use there cameras yet. Good grief!

  9. swnoel responds:

    I guess I gotta get new glasses… all I see is a blur.

  10. springheeledjack responds:

    Okay, so I’m confused…

    Above it said he thought he saw a tiny creature darting form the forest and took a picture of it. Then later, from his quote it says–he took the picture but he was sure no one was there, but when he downloaded it to his camera he saw it…

    so did he see something and take the picture, surprised he got anything, or was he just taking photos and that showed up???

  11. HOOSIERHUNTER responds:

    My guess its either a puk-wud-jie, the dancing baby from Ally McBeal, or one of those escaped garden gnomes. :)

  12. gkingdano responds:

    Blur with mange released from abandoned circus wagon. Funny how all these people take pictures of nothing , then BOOM there is some monster, fairy, UFO, etc. that they did not see when they were pointing the camera exactly in that spot.

  13. bill green responds:

    This is a possible new photo of a baby or young Sasquatch; it definitely needs more research done on it.

  14. HOOSIERHUNTER responds:

    Took the image into photoshop–does it say whether the photographer has a child, because it looks to me like a child walking or running past the camera. It seems to be carrying something (a toy?) in its right hand. I can definitely make out the face. My real guess is its the photographer’s daughter and this is a prank.

  15. fossilhunter responds:

    I’m just relieved they finally found Capt. Picard’s mummy!! Maybe the “elf” is a Ferengi.

  16. MCCSQUATCH responds:

    Little too blurry for me, could be a toy monkey with cymbals or the traveling gnome in a fur coat.

  17. bigfootsdad responds:

    You’re correct, swnoel, the picture is very blurry. Is that a “bunny” that thing is holding? 😉

  18. southernfriedbigfoot responds:

    Faith and Begorrah! It’s Lucky the Leprechaun looking for his Lucky Charms!

  19. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Endor Ewok.

    Bechawawah! 😛

  20. Bob Malarkey responds:

    Has anyone ever read Artemis Fowl? this reminded me of it. in the series, the fairies use magic to vibrate at high speeds rendering them invisible to human eye. things like cameras could catch them on tape. but the image itself has nothing in common that I can tell to the faries in Artemis Fowl except that they are both fake! to me the story seems a bit strange, and the picture to blurry to get anything out of it except a general shape. reminds me of so many blobsquatch photos that cant be used to give any credence to the cryptid at all.

  21. Artist responds:

    I’ve got one of those sittin’ on top of my bookcase – a souvie from some junky tourist spot, Santa Cruz, maybe?

  22. mystery_man responds:

    Not a squirrel. It looks like a perfectly good picture… of someone running and being blurred by shutter speed. I’m no expert on photography, can anyone say whether this could be just a mundane picture of a child (even without a costume) that due to blurring appears to be anomalous?

    I don’t think it’s even near time to start jumping to elves, faeries, aliens, and whatnot as an explanation when there could also be a perfectly normal explanation for what we see here. An open mind is a good thing, but I don’t see how attributing this photo to an alien is any more open minded than saying it could be something mundane (which I think it could).

    Do keep us updated on this one. It’s too blurry to tell what it is one way or another.

  23. Carlfoot responds:

    This is a fake picture and is not a cryptid. No doubt about it. Someone got bored again.

  24. Bob K. responds:


  25. perkin2000 responds:

    Star Wars Jawa?

  26. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    El Pombero drinking coffee from a tan mug?

  27. Spinach Village responds:

    the first thing that came to mind for me was the one Monster Quest Episode about the “Real Hobbit”.

    baby bigfoot is possibly possible too I suppose

  28. Lightning Orb responds:


  29. sschaper responds:

    Puckwudgie sounds like it comes from the Welsh pwcca. A little person, similar to the brownies.

    The elves, Good Neighbors and other fair folk in European legends are not small, they are tall, and very dangerous.

  30. steele79 responds:

    its the Montauk monster !!!!

  31. SamuraiWannaBe responds:

    Digitalization is both a blessing and a curse. Most all new photos are taken via digital camera, with limited resolution. For clarity nothing beats good old film (Infinite resolution). I think a lot of people are seeing something they want to see, sorry. I’m a skeptical believer, i need a nice solid evidence, a few colorful pixils is no good (for me or the public in general).

  32. MercuryCrest responds:

    I have only to wonder if the “pictures of interesting trees” he decided to take turned out this bad. Was it a cell-phone camera?

  33. gridbug responds:

    This one’s easy! It’s Chakka, youngest member of the near-extinct Pakuni, who climbed a waterfall and found himself one thousand feet above the Land of the Lost!

    Next up: Sleestak rampage at local shopping mall!

  34. Impybat responds:

    Mitch Hedberg said it best:

    “I think Bigfoot is blurry. That’s the problem. There’s a large out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside.”

    And it does appear to be wearing a Little Red Riding Hood outfit…

  35. shumway10973 responds:

    Finally! Something in my backyard, but what am I looking for? This picture is too fuzzy to really tell anything. It doesn’t even have to be all that short/small. Could be a man on his knees. I wish for 2 things: 1)the photo to be clearer. 2)that the..(thinking of appropriate but nice word)..person who took the picture could have given those of us from the surrounding areas somewhere to look. I have a weeks paid vacation I could use, and Tahoe is beautiful. I mean, “Loren it would be hard work looking for…whatever that is in Tahoe. Drudgery.”

  36. shumway10973 responds:

    by the way gridbug, you said something about Sleestaks rampaging a mall? What do you think the reports of lizardmen are? Thanks, I had that program erased from my memory until you said something. Of all the hokey tv shows around during my childhood…

  37. wyo responds:

    An unidentified “pygmy” mummy was found here in Wyoming when they were building Pathfinder Dam– although that was a long time ago 1906? (not sure). I am also foggy on details, but I think there are Native legends from the Shoshone and Arapahoe about ancient little people. Just tossing that into the mix. (first time post after many many visits)

  38. airforce47 responds:

    I disagree about film having infinite resolution but that’s another thread.

    However, I live not far from Tahoe and will keep my camera handy and eyes out. All kinds of stuff turns up on the west side of the lake facing the Desolation Wilderness. It has been the scene of many unusual encounters and sightings.

  39. chabuhi responds:

    child + coat/hat + plush animal/character backpack = “elf”

    And, it’s a horrible photo.

    I’m a believer, but some folks here need a couple more scoops of skepticism in their crypto bran cereal.

  40. jchip responds:

    This is a horrible photo, and why am I not surprised that it gives absolutely no sense of true scale. If it weren’t for the dry conditons in that area, I would say it looks like some type of fungus. Perhaps Bigfoot toejam?

  41. cryptidsrus responds:

    Looks like a humanoid in a kilt.

    I’m also a believer, but this is too indistinct…

    Good stuff to consider, though…

  42. cryptidsrus responds:

    Maybe this being is related to the legendary Tahoe Tessie? :)

  43. cryp-23 responds:

    the pic can’t tell us much. How come all cryptid pic’s suck!

    like Ceroil said many native American tribes do have legends of littel people

  44. krvega responds:

    Okay, here’s what I don’t get: Four years ago I got for my birthday a little 5 mega pixel nikon coolpix digital camera. I could snap a clear photo of a football game while sitting in the top row.

  45. Munnin responds:

    Man! As blurry as it is, it really could be a photo of a small brown, furry, human-like creature. But it could just as easily be a stump, or an inanimate object. Sure would be nice to see a clearer version of this shot. It might resolve into a totally mundane and familiar subject… or an enticingly mysterious one. But for now, regretfully, I’m filing it under the “blob” category.

  46. drjon responds:

    @krvega The photo is, sadly, massively cropped. We’ve got an image about a quarter of a megapixel here at most, so the original’s anything upward from three times as big, and probably much bigger.

    It’d be great to see the uncropped original. I’d estimate what’s here is about a sixtieth part of it.

  47. alcalde responds:

    This “evidence” violates Pastabagel’s (oddly violent) ground rules for claiming proof of extraordinary phenomena #2, #4, #5 and possibly #7.

    For those not familiar, from a June 1, 2007 message board comment by Pastabagel:
    Here are the ground rules for claiming proof of extraordinary phenomena in 2007.

    1. Any video must be shot with a tripod or with the camera supported on some fixed object. If you make me watch a video of some phenomena and the camera is shaking all over the place, you are, in my eyes, a subhuman piece of &!*#. You get a tripod or you’ll have a video of your colon.

    2. Everything must be in focus at all times. It’s 2007, everything in the world has autofocus. Blurry video = punch in the face.

    3. You video cannot show something that “could either be the Loch Ness Monster or an otter”. That just means you videotaped an otter, and now you want to be famous for your otter video. That makes you an %&*!#@. Otters are not at all interesting. They are the Wonder bread of the animal kingdom, just ottering around all day, like a buch of dumb otters. If you make me watch an otter video under false pretenses, I will #$^%! go Clockwork Orange on your @$&. In the name of Science.

    4. Photographs. If you claim a photo of something, it better be in focus, I’m not even kidding you. I see a blurry photo of a hubcap you claim is a UFO, and my fist will rocket across the surface of the earth of its own accord, dragging my limp and helpless body behind it, until it smashes into your face.

    5. Photos must be 4 megapixel or above, and if you claim more than one photo, one of them had better be in TIFF or raw format, with the exif data intact. An alien craft travels thousands of light years to get to earth, it’s going to stick around for the three seconds necessary for you to switch to raw. You show me a compressed JPG with visible artifacts, I throw you into a pit of otters, where you will be bored to death. See 3.

    6. If you claim a photo of an alien spacecraft, and it has Klingon writing on it, I am going to force you at saberpoint to return to high school where you will attend gym class seven times a day, alternating between dodge ball and flag football. Klingon? Not on my watch.

    7. Photos must be posted to flickr, videos to youtube, with the high res uncompressed originals available as torrents on the pirate bay. If you link to a geocities site or, God help you, an Angelfire site, I’m going to glass you.

  48. mystery_man responds:

    alcalde- haha! Very funny post. Rules to live by.

  49. alanborky responds:

    If you look very carefully around the midriff area, there are three what look like luminous metallic globular forms, two are greenish, one copper.

    There are least three more ‘golden’ coloured ones in the area of the picture’s foreground border.

    These may just be artifacts, but what militates against this possibility is they’re much more strongly imaged than the figure itself, especially when viewed in ‘false-colour’.

    Spotting these, my first reaction was: kid at fancy dress party with chrome coloured party balloons, (hence the additional ‘abandonned balloons’ in the foreground).

    But then I noticed how most of the globes were too small and too perfectly round for balloons, and that’s when I was struck by how much the whole thing resembled a scene out of one of these online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft my kids like to play.

    If that were the case, then the globes might be power objects to collide with or burst in order to acumulate, say, greater strength or healing for your character.

    Then again, maybe our hybrid ‘sasquashed’ leprechaun ‘love-child’ likes hanging out with ball lightning/packs of roaming mini ufos.

  50. Maine Crypto responds:


  51. salsashark responds:

    Two words:
    Baby Manbearpig!!!!

  52. korollocke responds:

    nothing but treebranches grass and wild flowers.

  53. mokele mbembe responds:

    The story doesn’t add up to me. I mean why would someone take a picture of interesting trees from a point where it would be to close to see the whole tree, but far away enough so that no details of the tree could be seen? I am a believer, but the story just doesn’t add up to me.

  54. GlassManX responds:

    I have seen one of those, up the mountain from Boulder CO at a party next door to a Hare Krisna house, they were playing krisna tunes, and we were playing bluegrass. It was a potluck.

    Well, I was dead sober, had 1 beer, went outside to take a piss, i looked down and there was this little fello, just swaying to themusic at the edge of the forest, near the mowed lawn line, standing in 7″ sparse grass, I just stared and stared at him, he had clothes, dressed like peter pan, hat with feather, brown pants, open shirt buckskin maybe, He definitely had a belt i remember that, Just when I was wondering if it some toy or decoration, he noticed me looking at him, He either smiled or bared his teeth, the eyes were completely black, pointy teeth. he was 1.3 feet tall, jumped a foot or more into the air and then ran off thru the grass, damp with dew, hardly disturbed a blade, FAST like a rabbit on two feet, no footprints, BUT i said HARDLY disturbed a blade of grass, he did actually turn enough dew covered leaves so there was almost a trail, and when I went in, the people that lived there said, Oh YEa, we see those all the time, keep your eyes at the windows, maybe you will see one of the ones that look like balls of lights too.

    I found this site looking thru google pages, it took a LONG time to find anything close. Hopefully no that everyone has cameras someone can catch a picture.

    I KNOW what I saw. Freaking awesome. I also saw something like he phoenix lights , again in the middle of CO somewhere, scared the shit out of me, and now there are TONS of pics and even video of that phenomenon now.

    The thing is, I was staring at the spot where he was for, what 3 minutes? Piss long length anyway, and looking directly at him (it was distinctly male, no beard tho, perfect human features, very pointy nose and chin, pointy teeth, couldn’t see ears cause of the hat) and I didn’t see him he blended in so well, If he hadn’t been swaying to the music I wouldn’t have noticed.

    Jumped up to his head hight, spun 180 degrees… ZOOooom, almost silent.

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