Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Cottingly Faires

In 1917 Else Wright and Frances Griffiths became worldy famous when they released a series of five photographs of faries in their home in Cottingley, near Bradford, England. Though their was a very mixed public reaction to the photos - as some accepted the images as genuine whereas others believed them to be faked, it was only in the early 1980s that the women admitted that four of the five photographs had been faked using cardboard cutouts of faries. However the fifth and final photograph was still said to be real, something which has never been confirmed, even almost a hundred years on.

The photographs were first brought into the public's eye after the Theosophical Society's leading member, Edward Gardner, recognised the potential significance of the photographs according to the movements central beliefs the "Theosophy is that humanity is undergoing a cycle of evolution, towards increasing 'perfection". It is this belief which made the images so famous at the time, and shows how the general publics actions have changed to that this would not be so effective today.
"... 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 says that others had also seen faries, but this was the first true evidence that these creatures exisited. Though fairy sightings were much more common a hundred years ago, there are still 'true believes', and this website shows the passion that some people still have to believe in these creatures.

This brings us back to the final photograph - which was said to be the only genuine one out of the series:

The fairy's wings appear to be transparent, making this photo different from the others. She is also standing still, meaning that her wings would not be blurry - something which was pointed out in the other photographs taken.  

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