Friday, 15 May 2009
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
The two young girls, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, were cousins. Initially they took two photographs in 1917 to prove to their parents that they really had been playing with fairies outside in the garden, as they had claimed. The photographs showed the girls posing while delicate, winged creatures danced around them. A local photographic expert was shown the photos and proclaimed them to be genuine, unretouched images. Once they had received this official stamp of approval, the fairy images began circulating through upper class British society.
Eventually the photos came to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Doyle was a passionate believer in spiritualism, and he latched onto the images, convinced they were conclusive photographic proof of the existence of supernatural fairy beings. Doyle publicly made this argument in an article he wrote for Strand magazine in 1920. When the girls provided him with three more fairy photographs, he wrote a second article.
Doyle’s passionate belief in the authenticity of the fairy photos helped to make the two girls famous, and it sparked a national controversy that pitted spiritualists against skeptics.
In 1936, magazine photographers Captain Provand and Indre Shira were on a shoot at Raynham when Shira reportedly saw the ghost on a staircase. Provand then took the picture shown here. This is unlike the majority of ghost photos, in which the ghost is generally undetected by the photographer until the film has been processed.
The Brown Lady photo has been widely hailed as one of the most undeniably authentic ghost photos ever taken. But many experts, including investigative writer and photo analyst Joe Nickell, have agreed that the image was faked by compositing two images together.
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Thursday, 16 April 2009
March 9, 2006—Throwing a bit of cold water onto the legend of Loch Ness, paleontologist and painter Neil Clark says the monster was perhaps a paddling pachyderm.
Clark noticed similarities in the hump-and-trunk silhouettes of swimming Indian elephants and the serpentine shapes of 1930s Nessie descriptions and photographs, such as the famous 1934 image shown as an inset above.
Why would an elephant be swimming in a chilly Scottish lake? "The reason why we see elephants in Loch Ness is that circuses used to go along the road to Inverness and have a little rest at the side of the loch and allow the animals to go and have a little swim around," Clark told CBS News.
And there's one more wrinkle in this elephantine mystery. In 1933 a circus promoter in the area—acting perhaps on inside information that the monster was really a big top beast—offered a rich reward for Nessie's capture, says Clark, a curator at the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow.
Clark's theory is published in the current edition of the journal of the Open University Geological Society.