Let's get the boring preliminaries out of the way first. As said, this material comes from my case files collected from published encounter claims over several years of "collecting". As with my UFO files, these cases were not collected systematically, but merely as I ran into them and thought them interesting. The sources are quite varied. About a quarter of this particular hundred were taken off one internet site where people write in their "fairy" claims. About a like number were taken from my "UFO" files, and picked out because they didn't ring particularly true as UFO cases. Others come from books and magazine articles. The only things that they have in common is 1). they struck me as interesting potentially-true encounters; and 2). they seemed to have a "folkloric entity" feeling to them. So, this is entirely idiosyncratic to me and as such hardly "scientific" to start.
The crude data arrays are to the left. The majority of these characters are "smalls" [1 1/2--4 1/2 feet tall]. They are the "Little People" we expect. About a quarter of these are "tinies". They are almost the only critters said to be winged. "Tinkerbells", if you will. They come almost entirely from the internet site "Fairy Encounters", which seems to attract mostly young girls who want to see fairies. I waded through a very large number of these claims some time ago, and weeded out a couple dozen which were reported by adults and seemed to have some redeeming characteristics. There were very few normal sized creatures in this list, and just one, I believe, extremely large one. Perhaps the folkloric big entities are all masquerading as Bigfoot or Nessy-like creatures. Normal-sized humanoids may be shunted off into the "apparitions" category and not make the Faerie listings. There were a few fairyish things which had no entity seen but included for other reasons. [fairy music, etc.]
The files for this hundred are almost entirely 20th-21st century, which is of some interest to me, as it may be saying that the phenomenon continues to today, regardless of being ignored. Had it been true that I had just collected material out of WY Evans-Wentz, Wirth Sikes, or even much of Janet Bord, the previous centuries would have been more widely represented.
As usual, with my language-constricted reading ability, all the citations are in english, and as a consequence, mostly US and UK, in about equal amounts. There are 16% European citations, though, mainly from UFO files. Ireland has very few cites as yet. There should be a few more of those in a second hundred if I ever get it done.
A general comment [therefore not universally true] about states of consciousness: Many cases of Faerie claims occur, as reported, at bedtime, lying down, dreamily staring at something, etc. This phenomenology [in these cases reported upon here] tend to concentrate heavily in the Tinkerbell-type tiny winged fairy reports. Reports of "small" dwarf, leprechaun, gnome, etc sized denizens of Faerie typically do NOT occur in these states of consciousness, but rather "normal" consciousness at least as far as the reports indicate. What this says about reality, I will leave up to you.
Despite my comment about states-of-consciousness and the Fairy Encounters site that I made above, there still were quite a few reports that I found interesting. In VERY truncated form, I'll describe some of them. They will be a selection picked to illustrate a wide range of possible experience. All of these were from the 1970s through to circa 2005. Almost all are from the US with as sprinkling of UK, and one Belgium and Germany. Almost all these stories were written in by the observers when they were much older.
1). Four young girls find tiny footprints in rural Colorado. They make a fairy house to encourage activity. Only a glowing silhouette is seen, and an arrangement of sticks like a person.
2). Three teenage girls were in countryside in Wales to paint landscapes. Saw slim thread with something riding on it. It was a very tiny "egg" within which was a "man" with a purple-colored dwarf's hat apparently joy-riding the "egg" as a minicraft. Two of the girls drew the same thing separately.
3). Two girls were playing in the backyard at night. A "firefly" showed up. It turned out to look like Tinkerbell and it stayed briefly, smiling, and assuring the girls not to be afraid.
4). One girl used to sit out in nature a lot, and built fairy houses. Nothing for a very long time. One day she saw a rainbow-colored glowing tiny winged creature flying around where she usually sat. It stayed there a while, the two looking at one another.
5). A girl and her brother were out to play in nearby woods. He ran off to pick apples. She just sat, not going after him, picking flowers. In one flower a flutterbye [I refuse to use the modern degradation "butterfly"] flew out and danced away. It appeared as a tiny fairy. It led her on until disappearing. There was her brother fallen from a tree and unconscious. She stopped the bleeding in his head. They rested and got back home safely.
6). Two guys decided to go fairy-hunting in a place deemed likely by others [one of the reasons that I am particularly suspicious of this one]. They go to a rural cemetery just as dusk falls. This reminds me of knuckleheads looking for trouble, but OK. There they are hiding behind cover in order not to be spotted by police when they saw a rapidly dancing 5" high person. It danced continuously for 5 minutes and disappeared. Making ready to leave, they found that somehow they were at the very opposite end of the cemetery with no recollection of having gotten there [this is the element of this that I found interesting enough to include this one]. This constituted a ten minute run to get back to where their car was. There are plenty of reasons to discard things like this, but the reporter didn't make himself sound too flattering in his tale, and the spatial slip is reminiscent of the Irish concept of the "Stray Sod".
7). A woman told of constantly finding that things were "going missing" and then reappearing later exactly where they should have been and where she had looked for them [thoroughly] . She attributed this to fairy-tricksters of some kind [never saw them] and finally began to just say "Come on you guys this isn't funny anymore!" and the item would pop up soon thereafter. "Fairy" or not, this phenomenon is all over the literature [usually buried under Poltergeist phenomena] and I have a sister who is burdened with these same sorts of temporary diversions.
8). A girl living in the English countryside regularly visited a friend and experienced the beautiful garden there. She began to sketch a flower when a flutterbye landed on it. But it wasn't a flutterbye afterall but rather a golden miniature person [female] with wings. It left the flower and flew up and posed a few inches from her face. Then it flew up and away. No one believed her, but she returned often hoping to see another, which she never did.
9). Two girls used to play in the woods when they began to tell one another that they thought they were seeing creatures out of the corners of their eyes and then retreating behind the trees when the girls would turn on them. Unlike other claims on this site, these were "smalls", and the girls compared them to "Santa's Elves" in size. While this would go on, the environment would be like a dreamy, fuzzy state, which would snap back to "hard reality" only once they got back home and inside.
10). A teenage girl  was walking down a country lane when she saw a flutterbye-sized tiny girl with wings singing beautifully while seated on a hedge. She flew up and beyond the hedge not to be seen again. The 21-year-old reporter never told anyone of this due to not wanting to be mocked.
11). An 11 year old girl was upstairs in her home while her parents held a party downstairs. Watching the raindrops on her window, she saw within one a tiny almost see-through female playing inside the drop. After a while, she decided to try to get her Mom to see it too, but the fairy disappeared. The reporter was 38 at the time of the telling.
12). A woman was sitting on the edge of her bed in a dimly lit room. Then time/action seemed to slow down and small half-inch diameter balls of light of different colors began manifesting. She was able to concentrate on one which was quite nearby. It was a tiny winged creature fluttering so rapidly that you could not resolve exactly its appearance, and whose motions gave it the more distant impression of being a ball-of-light. She felt that this went on for perhaps twenty seconds, but the rate of time made it seem much longer.
13). A young man was walking his girl in a "romantic" forest setting. They heard a strange language-like cry, and suddenly were no longer on their forest path. The environment was wrong, now featuring water-sounds burbling on rocks. They turned and were confronted by a beautiful normal-sized girl all dressed in green. She then turned into a green ball-of-light and flew off. They had to walk a ways to get back to the path leading to their house.
14). Four people in a temporary house [a camper] were outside watching a meteor shower, when two retired to bed. The other two, mother and daughter, stayed up with the family dog. The dog began barking at the back gate. Mother and daughter turned to see a large ball of white light about 20 feet from the gate. It disappeared while they ran in to wake up the father. They interpreted this as a fairy lightball.
15). Two boys and their dog were in the woods camping. The dog ran off. One boy followed. He heard beautiful music and looked to see two-inch tall men and women with wings doing the singing and partying. Shortly thereafter his friend arrived and watched too. Then after ten minutes of this, the dog came romping out of the woods barking. The fairies immediately disappeared. The next morning the friend described everything he had seen, but said that it happened in his dream.
16). Two young women [sisters] were home alone baking cookies. As they looked out their window, a small man looking like a "leprechaun" but not dressed in green, floated up over their neighbor's fence riding on what looked like a motorcycle. It raced across their yard and floated up over the next fence and away.
17). A young man and woman were driving in a scenic hilly area. They saw a large ball of white light, which disappeared into the woods. They got out and looked for it in vain. All they heard was some giggling. They continued their drive and there again was the light; this time in the middle of the road. He couldn't stop and went right over it. They stopped and jumped out. Looking under their truck, there was the ball of light making giggling noises. Apparently it then went safely away, as the young woman expressed her relief that the playful fairy/lightball was unharmed.
18). A young man at a time just prior to Halloween, had heard some tiny playful giggling in his garden which he couldn't locate. Then just on or right after Halloween, he and a friend saw two bluish glittering winged figures. They were nearly transparent as if made of gas. These two experiences tripped off memories of him having a childhood "imaginary playmate" whom he hadn't remembered in years. The imaginary playmate had been a fairy.
19). A girl was in her bedroom on a full Moon night staring out the window. Into the yard came a fuzzy figure made of light. It was a woman in a silvery long gown with bright golden hair and a crown. She was winged with glittering diaphanous silver. She stopped, looked at the Moon, turned into a ball of silvery light, and disappeared. The woman, in her thirties when she reported this, stated that she didn't know whether to call her encounter as being with a fairy, a ghost, or an angel.
20). A young person [sex not determinable from the report] was unable to sleep one night, and had an odd urging to get up and go outside. Once there, the urge continued and the witness was almost put to the ground without willing it. Immediately, Alice-in-Wonderland-like, the grass seemed growing tall all around [as the person shrunk]. A large group of fairy personages came talking and smiling and circling about. They then suddenly scattered away [the person had a blade of grass laid over one hand completely covering it]. Increasing to normal size, the witness wondered if it was just a dream. In that hand was grasped a small blade of grass. Once back in the bedroom, the brother said that he had watched it all from the window.
So be it to give you a largish dose of modern alleged fairy sightings. Note that there is quite a bit of scope phenomenologically here, but not far outside the expectations of a Fairylore sighting. I, as a UFO researcher, find the frequency of Ball-of-Light phenomena interesting, especially as many of these things found in UFO files don't sound very UFO-like. Also, though this is a "Fairy" website, one expects "Tinkerbells" but one also gets several larger critters. The majority of these things happen outside in woods or garden settings, or looking out one's window into a yard or garden. The changed environment cases smack of various forms of the OZ Effect in UFOlogy. Poltergeist phenomena and apparitional things seem to crop up. The Realm of Fairy, in fact, threatens to expand to potentially contain many other paranormal claims. These cases as presented also have a very powerful gender slant to them, which speaks to a strong sociological filter. Doubtless it is OK for girls to report fairies but not guys. Guys of course can make up for this by reporting Bigfoot.
Consider this Part One of this madness. I will move on to the other sorts of sources, such as UFO file cases, book and magazine article cases, in the following parts. Those types of sources tend to produce far higher percentages of "Smalls" rather than "Tinkerbells". The cases tend to have some chance of having had an investigation as well. We will meet several "cousins" of the character above, as it turns out that they make garden gnomes for sale looking like this for a reason. Till then.....