Cottingley Fairies

Discussion in 'General Forteana' started by liveinabin1, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. gattino

    gattino Justified and Ancient

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    I think the "but one was real" claim sounds like a recent bit of revisionism to me.

    Living in the northwest "granada" area and being just about old enough to remember interviews with the sisters being covered by regional tvs own Bob Smithee, the way I recall it was that till the bitter end they claimed the pics were real and not fake. Until one died and the other now very elderly sister came clean to our Bob that they had indeed faked them. The caveat was "but we really did see fairies, we just knew no one would believe us". It was decidely not "but one of the pictures is real". This forum is the first time I've heard it.
     
  2. AMPHIARAUS

    AMPHIARAUS Great Old One

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    Agreed

    I also remember years ago a show that compared the photos to pics in one book and they were identical, not similar drawings.

    Lets face it, those pics are clearly bogus and the girl(s) are liars by admission. Case closed unless you want to believe fairies are actually deco style, 2D and made of paper :roll:

    Which also leads to an analysis of old photos of phenomenon - which seem to have a period feel to them - another thread I think.
     
  3. escargot1

    escargot1 Justified and Ancient

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    Here's another thread on photographing fairies.
     
  4. TheQuixote

    TheQuixote Justified and Ancient

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    The daughter of Frances Griffiths made the claim on the recent Antiques Roadshow from Belfast. She spoke about how her mother had never really discussed the Cottingley episode with her and only came clean about the hoax when Elsie had admitted they had faked the photos to one of her sons in the early 80s.

    She was the one who said that Frances Griffiths was adamant that they hadn't faked the last photo - which was taken a little distance away from the beck, in a meadow.

    Personally, I think what was most telling about the AR appearance with Frances' family was the point her daughter made early on in the interview. Elsie had been told off by her father on more than one occasion for falling into Cottingley Beck. She took the camera with her to prove that she was looking for fairies. They were never intended to be shown outside of the family or, in her words, "public consumption".

    This seems - at least to me - it started out as a family in-joke that spiralled out of their control when Elsie's mother (someone who was interested in the paranormal) brought it to the attention of others at a Theosophical Society meeting.
     
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  5. lordmongrove

    lordmongrove Justified and Ancient

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  6. Krepostnoi

    Krepostnoi Размышляю над бессмертием краба

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    What a terribly sad story. And the detail about his father's WW1 occupation is horrifying. You can see why a man might want to believe in fairies, all things considered.
     
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  7. escargot1

    escargot1 Justified and Ancient

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    It reads like a bit of a farce. The girls knew a lot about photography that most people back then didn't, as one's father worked in a photographic studio. Just that fact should've set alarm bells ringing.

    Also, Conan Doyle's involvement recalls his interest in the fraudulent 'spirit photographer' William Hope, exposed by Harry Price and others.
     
  8. rynner2

    rynner2 Justified and Ancient

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    Cottingley: why the village is in thrall to a fairies tale
    David Barnett
    17 July 2017 • 6:27am

    One hundred years after the photographs were taken, why is one community still transfixed by the hoax? By David Barnett
    At the bottom of Luke Horsman’s garden, there are fairies. Or at least, there were, a century ago, when two young girls unwittingly created a modern fable that brought together two worlds; the relatively new one of photography and the ages-old sphere of spirituality and folklore, entrancing as redoubtable a figure as Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle.

    Mr Horsman, 35, lives in Main Street, a narrow road of terraced houses, in the village of Cottingley in West Yorkshire. He’s an illustrator and is working on a graphic novel called, with perhaps a nod to the idyllic outlook from his end-of-terrace house, Edengate. But he had no idea when he and Ruth purchased the property in November 2015 that he was buying a slice of the history of the famous Cottingley Fairies.

    “It wasn’t mentioned to us at all,” says Mr Horsman, leading me to the kitchen, which overlooks the garden behind the house. “It was only when we moved in and one of the neighbours said to us, ‘Ah, you’re the ones who’ve bought the fairy house’ that we had any inkling. I had no idea what they were talking about at first.”

    etc...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/photography/what-to-see/cottingley-village-thrall-fairies-tale/
     
  9. GhostInTheMachine

    GhostInTheMachine Great Old One

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    Fairies (called that and other things) are a common phenomenon in Yorkshire lore. For whatever reason. I love that book 'Troublesome Things' that puts them in context and suggests earlier 'sightings' may well, culturally, be the same thing as 20thC alien abductions.

    The whole idea of a paranormal, parallel, magical world must have been immensely attractive after the horror of War - a point often made, but still true. Tolkien took it and ran with it in a much more creative and positive way, at the same time.

    The "We faked some of it to make people believe us" reminds me of the Enfield Poltergeist story. When blatantly caught out, that response seems to be a kneejerk.
     
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  10. Coal

    Coal Gone full 'folk festival'

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    Possibly a direct descendent of the Vikings' beliefs regarding elves and their world.
     
  11. GhostInTheMachine

    GhostInTheMachine Great Old One

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    Yes, that's what made me think of Tolkien. That whole idea that there are lost, forgotten, shadowy people who were hear before us and have left/faded/are leaving. You can sense it in some Anglo Saxon poetry that Tolkien knew well.

    My mother was a farmer's daughter - born in the 1920s - and she had a sort of ritual for 'appeasing' the fairies. (Leaving food out for them). Even as a child, I never could tell whether she really believed it or it was just a sort of superstitious thing she did.

    Might be a farming thing, too, as the friend I had who swears she saw what she thought was a fairy's house in a very remote part of Cumbria, was also the daughter of a Yorkshire farmer...

    A friend of my husband's was one of those English people - probably not of farming stock - who bought a small, remote Welsh farmstead in the 1980s when they were cheap. He tells this story of when he arrived there, being told not to mess with something on his land. I think it was the course of a stream, or something, as it pissed off the fairies and Bad Things Will Happen. He thought it was BS, did something he shouldn't and Bad Things Happened. He had to revert whatever it was and he claimed the bad luck reversed. Anyone reading or hearing that would think "Psychological", of course, but it does seem a common leitmotif. Don't feck with the fairies. Of course, folklore fairies are dangerous, quite sinister - like the elves. Not the sweet 1920s' flappers of Cottingley with their fashionable hair dos and cute looks.

    And I read somewhere that folklorists thought East Riding farming people the most superstitious in England. Am seeing the friend again next month - not seen her for ages. So if I get her alone I'll ask her to describe what it was she saw, somewhere up a mountain or something. She used to work in the Lake District and on her days off, walked great distances off the beaten tourist track... She changed jobs and I haven't seen her for a while, but will try and remember to ask her what it was she saw.
     

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