“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”– C. S. Lewis
Growing up, I believe my imagination worried my parents. My dad, a mechanical engineer for the Corp of Engineers, was gone all week. My mom, a strict Aussie matriarch, basically raised three kids on her own and ran a registered Angus ranch while doing so. She ruled our family and had no time for my “nonsense,” as she put it.
My brothers were both mathematically inclined. I, however, was not. Instead, I danced with fairies and often escaped to a dreamland no one else could fathom. But one I was convinced existed.
On acres of lonely ranch land, I roamed looking under rocks, into the depths of trees, and over the rippling waters of our pond for fairies and other wonders.
As I grew older, I put away such notions. My mom threatened I’d better or I’d never graduate from high school. So I did. But then my dear friend, Maggye, sent me pictures of fairies.
My love of such mysteries bloomed again. Join me as I return to a wondrous dreamland where fairies peer at us from beneath overreaching vines, squatty mushrooms, towering trees and whispering blades of grass.
We will need to free our imaginations and be like children once again on a quest to find fairies. (You know, if allowed, children often see fairies. Both my daughter and son did.)
The Hidden Folk
In my last blog, I talked about the origins of fairies and where they might exist. I opted for the explanation that fairies live in a different dimension than ours, and this is the reason they are not readily seen by us.
Now combine this with the one Cassandra Eason offers in her book A Complete Guide To Faeries and Magical Beings. She suggests there are natural entrances into the fairy realm on Earth.
Let’s merge realm and dimension. As discussed last time, it seems plausible to accept fairies exist in a different dimension (realm) than we do. However, there are doorways from their realm to our Earth and this is why fairies have been seen.
From our research, we might conclude fairies visited earthlings more frequently long ago.They entered our universe through these natural doorways. And maybe even kidnapped humans for their pleasure or for purposes of procreation.
This answers the question as to why there exists — throughout history — an abundance of folklore revolving around fairies.
People of the Fairy Hills
One may ask why fairies don’t visit as often as they did once upon a time. It’s important to note stories of fairies declined with the Age of Reason, when industrialism and urbanism became ever prevalent. There was no time for such nonsense — as my mum would say — as fairies.
Unlike our ancestors, modern day humans distanced themselves from nature and their surroundings. We locked ourselves away in our little structures with all our conveniences only to emerge for work, supplies, and/or take kids to school.
We traded our horses for horsepower and our lush, forested paths for asphalt. Few humans took time to stroll and enjoy nature.
Many of us, however, have come to realize the importance of being in nature. We find time to shuck our everyday duties and become children again. In awe of all that nature represents, these individuals may be honored with a glimpse (or two) of a fairy.
Evidence of Fairies
In my two previous blogs, I mentioned my friend, Maggye, and told you about her sending me pictures of fairies. Her friends were on a friends’ retreat.
In nature — enjoying all it has to offer — a fairy visited the friends and stayed long enough for them to snap some photos and take a video.
The photos have not been altered in any way. Maggye’s husband, Tom, who is an astrophysicist, agreed that the photos were authentic.
Video of an Actual Fairy
Now, look at the video below recorded by Kim Herzog Ross. (It gives me chills.)
(Probe Note: Once you hit the play button be sure to click the small square in the lower right hand corner of the video. This will enlarge it in order for you to obtain the maximum effect. When it’s over hit esc on your keyboard to escape the full screen video and return to my blog.)
This video and the above photos confirm what I’ve always believed, but suppressed.What I had experienced as a child. Fairies do exist.
A Fairy Hoax?
The Cottingley Fairies was a case study in human gullibility some say. And also noted as: How smart people lose control of the truth. (Quite apropos for our current state of affairs with regards to the presidential election.)
Much like me as a child — in search some exciting mystery — cousins ventured to a nearby stream. It was 1917. The stream was at the bottom of a garden in Cottingley, England. The cousins were sixteen-year-old Elsie Wright and ten-year-old Frances Griffiths.
Their intent was to see fairies and capture them on film. Elsie borrowed her father’s camera, and she and Frances set out on their mission soon returning with evidence of fairy existence.
Elsie’s father, an amaetur photograper, had his own darkroom and developed the photo. He was aware of his daughter’s artistic ability and believed the photograph to be fake.
Two months later the girls returned to the darkroom with another picture of fairies. At that point, the father decided not to let the girls borrow his camera again.
Photos Became Public
His wife, however, believed the photos to be authentic, and in 1919 the photos became public.
Elsie’s mother attended a meeting of the Theosophical Society. Just so happened the topic of discussion was Fairy Life. The mother showed the photos to the speaker at the end of the meeting.
The two fairy photographs were displayed at the society’s annual conference. At this point a leading member of the society, Edward Gardner, saw the potential importance of the photographs to the society’s movement. The movement being a belief that mankind was undergoing an evolutionary trend toward perfection.
the fact that two young girls had not only been able to see fairies, which others had done, but had actually for the first time ever been able to materialise them at a density sufficient for their images to be recorded on a photographic plate, meant that it was possible that the next cycle of evolution was underway
Gardner sent the photos to a photography expert to authenticate. The expert’s conclusion was that the negatives were genuine, unfaked photographs.
Sherlock Gets Involved
Just so happened, the famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was commissioned to write an article on fairies for The Strand magazine. He contacted Gardner to gather the specifics of the photos. He then wrote Elsie and her father for permission to publish the pictures in his article.
Gardner and Doyle requested another opinion as to the authenticity of photos from Kodak. Technicians at the company said they saw no signs of the photos being fake. However, their conclusion shouldn’t be taken as conclusive evidence, they warned.
Doyle also consulted British physicist, Sir Oliver Lodge. Lodge believed the photos to be fake and the fairies a troupe of dancers.
More Fairy Pictures
In July of 1920, Doyle asked Gardner to visit Elsie’s family and try to obtain more photographs. He was too busy to go himself. He was preparing for a lecture tour in Australia.
Gardner wrote of his meeting with the family in his book published in 1945 titled, Fairies: A Book of Real Fairies.
I went off, to Cottingley again, taking the two cameras and plates from London, and met the family and explained to the two girls the simple working of the cameras, giving one each to keep. The cameras were loaded, and my final advice was that they need go up to the glen only on fine days as they had been accustomed to do before and tice the fairies, as they called their way of attracting them, and see what they could get. I suggested only the most obvious and easy precautions about lighting and distance, for I knew it was essential they should feel free and unhampered and have no burden of responsibility. If nothing came of it all, I told them, they were not to mind a bit.
The girls insisted the fairies would not appear if others were present, and so, to the stream the girls skipped with their new cameras in hand.
All in all the meeting produced three additional photographs of the girls with their fairies. Doyle used these in a second fairy article for The Strand, at which time he included other fairy encounters. This article provided the basis for his 1922 book The Coming of Fairies.
So What Happened?
Of course, the public viewed the photos with mixed acceptance. Skeptics noted that the fairies looked like the traditional fairies from nursery tales. Critics were quick to call the photographs fake. They said all a person had to do was to know children to realize the pictures were not real.
But Elsie and Francis didn’t confess the photos were fabricated until sixty-four years later in 1983. Elsie was eighty-seven-years old at the time and died five years later. Francis was eighty-one and died two years after Elsie.
Why tell of the Cottingley Fairy Hoax you might be asking? Especially if I’m trying to convince my readers of the possibility of fairies.
- Though the girls admitted the photographs were fake, they said they had really seen fairies.
- Francis claimed, even in her final years, the fifth photograph of the fairies was real and had not been altered in any way. Even her daughter, Christine Lynch, said she believed her mother that the last photograph was legitimate.
Why confess if one of the photographs was indeed real?
Elsie and Frances married and lived aboard for many years. My thought was that they’d had enough of being in the spotlight and wanted to escape for their sake, as well as their families’, hoping the Cottingley fairies would be forgotten.
Frances wrote to Elsie in 1983:
I hated those photographs from the age of 16 when Mr Gardner presented me with a bunch of flowers and wanted me to sit on the platform [at a Theosophical Society meeting] with him. I realised what I was in for if I did not keep myself hidden.
If Frances wanted to remain hidden, why did she profess the final photograph to be authentic? This is the question for which I have only one answer. The girls did see fairies and the fifth and final photo was real.
What are your thoughts? Were the Cottingley Fairies photographs entirely a hoax? Or — as in all things — is there some measure of truth? I love hearing from you.
Part Three of my next blog is titled: “Finding Fairies.” We will discuss how one might open themselves to the possibilities of actual fairy encounters.
Closing Fun Facts
- Doyle changed the girls’ names in the two fairy articles he wrote for The Strand to protect them and their families. Frances was Iris and Elsie was Alice.
- The first two photographs sold for premium prices in 2018. Iris and the Gnome brought a little over $7,000. Whereas, Alice and the Fairies sold for almost $20,000.
- Both girls claim they took the fifth and final photograph.
- A movie, loosely based on The Cottingley Fairies, was released in 1997. FairyTale: A True Story is its title. Well-known actors Mel Gibson, Peter O’Toole, and Harvey Keitel star in the movie. (Have you seen it?)
- The Theosophical Society formed in 1875 in New York City. One of the founders was Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who I have mentioned in a couple of my blogs. Theosophical means wisdom in things divine. They sought to bridge East and West religious philosophies by affirming the common threads among cultures.
(Probe Note: Much of the information on the Cottingley Hoax was obtained from wikipedia.)