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(Elsie and Frances) Wright and Griffiths
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Photographer
    Elsie Wright (1901-88)
    Frances Griffiths (1907-86)
    Cousins living in Cottingley, England
    Took five pictures of fairies (1917-20)
    Pictures published in Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Coming of the Fairies' (1922)
    Inspired the movie 'Fairy Tale: A True Story' (1997)
    After Elsie took the first two pictures with her father's camera, Mr. Wright, convinced they were fakes, banned her from using the camera again.
    After copies of the photos reached Doyle and fellow spiritualist Edward Gardner, they provided the girls with their own camera and twenty photographic plates.
    For some reason, they never thought it at all suspicious that the girls were only able to photograph the fairies when no one else was around.
    Several of the fairies look just like illustrations in 'Princess Mary's Gift Book.'
    A visible hat pin holding up one of the fairies was declared to be a fairy's navel by Doyle.
    Even after they admitted to faking the photos (1982), Frances insisted they had seen fairies.
    They managed to fool quite a few people with simple paper cut outs.
    Wright said they were too embarrassed to admit the truth after fooling the author of Sherlock Holmes: 'Two village kids and a brilliant man like Conan Doyle, well, we could only keep quiet.'
    Griffiths commented, 'I never even thought of it as being a fraud. It was just Elsie and I having a bit of fun and I can't understand to this day why they were taken in - they wanted to be taken in.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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