FairyTale: A True Story
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2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2010

1 item from 2010


Geoffrey Crawley obituary

15 November 2010 10:29 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Photographic scientist who played a key role in debunking the Cottingley fairies

The photographic scientist Geoffrey Crawley, who has died aged 83, played an instrumental role in the debunking of the world's longest-running photographic hoax. The unlikely deception was hatched in 1917 by two cousins, Elsie Wright, aged 15, and Frances Griffiths, 10, who claimed they had captured photographs of fairies near their home in Cottingley, west Yorkshire. The "Cottingley fairies" tale quickly caught the public imagination, rolling on until some six decades later, when Geoffrey's scientific analysis of the pictures led the cousins to confess that the fairies had been nothing more sensational than cut-outs kept in place using hatpins.

He may be best known for exposing a schoolgirl prank, but Geoffrey also had a far-reaching influence on photographic science. Yet he held no professional scientific qualifications nor had any formal training. He learned much from his father, Tom, who built microscopes and radios in his spare time. »

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