Do you believe in the Cottingley Fairies story?

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  • 9 years ago
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    Given the grim realities of the harsh world we live in, it would be nice to believe in things like the Cottingley Fairies, wouldn't it? Alas, like most such stories, it was a complete hoax. Although still claiming to have seen actual fairies as young girls, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths admitted in a 1983 magazine interview that the famous photographs had been faked. They admitted to copying illustrations of fairies from a popular children's book of the time and then cutting out cardboard figures which they supported with hat pins for the photos they took. It's worth noting that it took the cousins over 60 years to confess, though experts doubted the authenticity of the photos from the beginning.

    You might be interested in seeing a couple of movies inspired by the story, both of which came out in 1997. Photographing Fairies is a fantasy romance starring Toby Stephens, Rachel Shelley, Frances Barber and Ben Kingsley. FairyTale: A True Story focuses more on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who took an interest in the case due to his keen interest in spirituality and the supernatural. Peter O'Toole plays Conan Doyle and the excellent supporting cast includes Harvey Keitel, Paul McGann and Bill Nighy.

    Source(s): There are loads of sites confirming the fabrication but the Wikipedia link is as good as any place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottingley_Fairies
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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The real situation is far from the way it has been depicted in film. The sister taking the photos was actually a young teenager not a child, and she had had experience working for a photographer.

    Both sisters admitted later in life that the photos had been faked, but one of the sisters insisted that the fairies had been real, and that they had created the photos to depict what they had seen but could not truly photograph.

    It is important to understand the social atmosphere of the time: The War to End All Wars (WWI) had recently ended, the Spanish Flu epidemic was still raging, and the world was in despair.

    Fairies were thought to be a creature akin to angels and that they could be a way of contacting the dead (Spiritualism was very popular at the time). Photography was still relatively new, and many people believed that a photo was out and out proof.

    ADD: For an interesting FICTIONAL story about the time see the book/movie Photographing Fairies.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN3iQcYeJeo

    Youtube thumbnail

    For an interesting NON-fiction book on REAL fairies see Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by Evans-Wentz. http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/ffcc/index.ht...

    Source(s): I do believe in fairies. I do not believe that they are the creatures depicted in children's sticker books.
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  • 9 years ago

    i believe it happened, i believe something gave those girls the inspiration and want to show the fairies to the world.

    and you have to remember that faith is the thing that keeps you going when your proven wrong.

    (no im not some religious nut, im talking about faith in its basic form not sanctioned toward any deity)

    Source(s): lots of research on the cottingley fairies story
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  • 9 years ago

    The girls have admitted themselves that the fairies in the pictures were mere cardboard cutouts.

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