There once were two cousins who lived in Cottingley, England. Their names were Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths. The two of them loved to take pictures in the gardens where apparently fairies seem to exist. At least this is what 16 year old Elsie and 10 year old Frances saw in their photos. In 1917, the girls’ photos became famous and known as the Cottingley Fairies. The series of five photographs first caught the interest of writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He was writing an article for the Christmas 1920 edition of The Strand Magazines and wanted to use the girls’ pictures for his article on fairies. As a spiritualist, he felt the photos were solid proof of psychic phenomena. Some people viewed the pictures as real but others were not as easily convinced. The skeptics said the pictures were a hoax.
By 1921 the appeal of the Cottingley Fairies had weakened to the point where most didn’t care. Elsie and Frances both married and moved away from England. The girls moved on but the pictures still had some that believed them to be real and were fascinated by them. In 1966, Elsie moved back to England and was located by a Daily Express newspaper reporter. The woman wanted to regenerate the story of the pictures. After that, people started showing interest in their fairy photos once more.
It would be close to 20 years later when the girls or rather ladies would admit they faked the photos by using cardboard cutouts of fairies. They made copies of the fairies from a children’s book using hat pins to hold them up. Although Elsie maintains all the pictures are fake, Frances stands by her claim that the fifth and final photograph was authentic. I agree with Elsie in saying that they are all bogus.
|Elsie & Frances 1917|