Geoffrey Crawley: The trade mag editor who exposed the Cottingley Fairies hoax


The Telegraph has carried an obit paying tribute to former editor of the British Journal of Photography Geoffrey Crawley who exposed the myth of the Cottingley Fairies in 1982.

For 60 years many had believed that photographs taken at the bottom of the garden by two little girls were of real fairies. But Crawley demonstrated in a series of articles that the pictures were faked prompting the two girls, by then elderly women, to admit their deception.

The Telegraph reveals how Crawley gently wrote to Elsie Wright, one of the perpetrators of the hoax, to tell her of his findings:

“Of course there are fairies – just as there is Father Christmas,” he wrote. “The trouble comes when you try to make them corporeal. They are fine poetic concepts, taking us out of this at times too ugly real world. Conan Doyle, after the horrors of the First World War in which his son died, wanted to suggest a realm where spirit forms just might exist.”

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