What happened to those people when they died? The same that happens to all of us when we die: the synthetic chrysalis falls free, leaving us in some other, higher Nature (for there is no point to undoing our creation, and so we must have a distinctive natural system in which to be); and the consuming fire of the eternal Holy Spirit works upon us, as He always has done, as He is doing this very moment to you and to me, as He always wishes to work even more with us. The Holy Spirit, the 3rd Person of the Trinity, is not separate from the 1st and 2nd Persons; the Father and the Son are there as well, God Self-Begetting and God Self-Begotten, as they are now with us, as they were with the people at the beginning of recorded history, and before the beginning.
Does this mean we will exist in some merely mental fashion without a body? Perhaps–we already exist in a merely mental world at night when we dream, while our sleeping bodies exist in the fuller reality of Nature. But this natural system is a fuller reality than a merely mental one–would anything be gained by restricting our existence afterward to that which was merely mental?
But if it is physical, too, we must either be supplied with new bodies, or else our old ones must be transformed and raised from their corruptibility into incorruptibility.
This, to put it mildly, clearly does not currently happen! But would it happen someday? And why would that be, if so?
I do not think it is likely that the new Nature we shall enter will be corrupted as our current Nature has been corrupted–there would be no point in God making such a translation of our spirits into an equal corruption. Then again, how much of our nature, and of our Nature, shall be done away with, and how much shall be saved and redeemed?
We shall put off corruption, and will (if we choose to accept the gift) put on incorruption: a new body, whether or nor redeemed from the old one. Perhaps there we will meet–perhaps our ancestors did meet–creatures born into that Nature, unfallen. Perhaps they can come to this Nature on occasion, as messengers, or merely as travelers to the dangerous and exotic and beautiful land of this world that we should love.
These are but speculations: the ‘elves’ of our world are already here–you and I are two of them. Yet, we do have stories of other elves…