Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, has appeared many times to mortals throughout the Hawaiian Islands from ancient times to the present.
Sightings of Pele even made the front page of The Garden Island back in March and April of 1926.
On March 30, the newspaper reported that Pele had been seen by several Chinese and Hawaiians at Hanalei in the form of a mysterious haole woman.
In a number of instances, the woman asked for articles that only elderly Hawaiians could possibly know of. Then she suddenly disappeared.
It was also reported that a haole lady asked a Chinese man a question he did not understand. When he turned to call for assistance, she vanished and a search found no trace of her.
In April, Pele appeared as an old Hawaiian man to an old-timer named Kahanu at Kilohana, Lihu‘e.
The old stranger spoke to Kahanu in Hawaiian, asking if Kahanu was kama‘aina to Lihu‘e, to which Kahanu replied that he was. When Kahanu asked the old man if he would like to eat, he accepted.
Kahanu stepped into his kitchen to mix poi. When he returned, the stranger was gone. He then searched his house and surrounding property in vain, as did his son and Captain Dick Dias, when they arrived during his search. The old man had simply disappeared.
Convinced the stranger was Pele, Kahanu resented notions that he’d seen an hallucination.
These appearances by Pele were believed to be a portent of unusual or disastrous events, but nothing of the kind was later reported.
Another series of Pele sightings, which went unpublished, occurred on Kaua‘i during the mid-1960s, when Pele appeared as an aged Hawaiian woman with long hair walking alongside the road between Anahola and Moloa’a.
Drivers would offer her a ride, and when she exited their vehicles, she would vanish.