John Hyatt, lecturer on art research with the Manchester Metropolitan University, presents a collection of intriguing photos at the Whitaker Museum in Rossendale, Lancashire, U.K, he claims as proof of the reality of fairies. According to Hyatt, he had been photographing the trees and the sunset in the Rossendale Valley, when these creatures suddenly appeared before his camera lens:
“I was just taking sunset through the trees and when I enlarged the photographs later in the studio, I saw these figures. They are not doctored apart from I increased the size of a detailed section of a larger photograph along with the DPI to stop them being just large pixels — normal size enhancement techniques.”
Obviously, skeptics from around the country have flocked around him to scrutinize these alleged fairy images, often resulting in some really sarcastic comments. Entomologist Erica McLaughlin writing for the NaturePlus blog owned by the British Natural History Museum claims that these are nothing but a species of flies called “midge”.
Of course, this hasn’t stopped Hyatt from claiming that his photos are, indeed, genuine, he says to the Mirror:
“People can decide for themselves what they are. The message to people is to approach them with an open mind. I think it’s one of those situations where you need to believe to see. A lot of people who have seen them say they have brought a little bit of magic into their lives and there’s not enough of that around.”
Ben Hansen, former FBI special agent and former host and lead investigator of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, goes one step further to claim that Hyatt is committing a forthright hoax:
“The majority of his quotes are redirecting the conversation away from the facts of the case and instead, toward a discussion on belief and magic,” Hansen told Huff Post by email. “His motive? He clearly does what you would expect for an art and design director to do… bring ‘magic into their lives’ by appreciating the beauty of life that ‘grows everywhere,’ which in turn ‘can make people believe. The foliage is all blurred together for that artsy look that really crushes the background. He says he didn’t see the fairies until later, but aside from the motion blur, they look quite in focus. It would be quite coincidental that the fairies all happened to emerge in front of the camera at the precise distance they would be in focus.”
This isn’t the first time fairies made the news, like the famous Cottingley Fairies hoax, perpetuated for more than sixty years until Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths confessed their scheme.
It is strange Hyatt quotes Arthur Conan Doyle, a staunch believer in the Cottingley hoax, to support his claims in the Huffington Post.