Jimmy Kimmel calls it “the greatest local news story of all time.” Ahead of the late night talk show host’s annual St. Patrick’s Day replay of the 2006 report by Brian Johnson for Mobile, Alabama NBC affiliate WPMI-TV, Press-Reporter journo Emily Hill hit Le Cren Street with a photographer to see if anyone remembered the infamous sightings of a “leprechaun” sitting in a tree.
Hill hit the rainbow-jackpot, tracking down Shun Thomas, the Crichton neighborhood man who started it all. Perhaps Kimmel’s producers can invite Thomas on to the show for the ninth anniversary WPMI celebration:
Thomas said he told his brother, cousin and friend who were with him to look at the tree. One by one they saw the image [of the leprechaun] as well. …
This event occurred every evening for about a week before news stations began showing up, as the discovery snowballed. “For me, it became frustrating because of the reports. It was more like, the people of Crichton discovered this and it became a joke, when it wasn’t at all,” Thomas said.
“No one ever came, like you did today, saying, ‘I want to get to the bottom of this.'”
The sketch above, drawn by Thomas’ sister, was purchased for $1,100 by New York resident Tye Miksis. The two anchors in the original report ended by commenting on the sketch, wondering who drew it. Now we, and they, know.