Fairy Hoax or not? Well, let’s examine the evidence. The story began in 2011 when Jose Maldonado, a 22-year-old unemployed Mexican bricklayer reported finding a fairy while picking guavas in western Mexico. According to Maldonado, “I saw a twinkling…I thought it was a firefly. I picked it up and felt it was moving. When I looked at it I knew it was a fairy godmother.”
To preserve his find, which died soon after its discovery, Maldonaldo placed his fairy in a formaldehyde jar and then charged 20 pesos ($1.60) as a donation to examine the “fairy” for a few seconds and take a photograph of it. His fairy, with red and yellow costume and insect like wings, attracted thousands of curious people to his home in Lomas Verdes, one of Guadalajara’s poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods. His neighbors capitalized on the phenomenon by making money selling photographs and key rings with the image of the fairy, as well as drinks and food to those people while they wait in line outside Maldonado’s house.
Now Maldonado’s story was true to an extent. He did find the fairy in a field. He placed in a jar and he put it on display. However, the fairy that he found was a plastic toy figurine of Peter’s Pan’s best friend Tinker Bell. By saying the fairy was alive when he found it, Maldonado took advantage of people’s belief in the enchanted and the fairymania the figure produced. It was comments like “I’ve seen everything and, yes, I believe the fairy is real. Therefore, I wanted to come to confirm that those myths are true,” that helped fuel Maldonado’s story and make a tidy sum for himself and his family.
In the end, Maldonado’s so-called fairy was nothing more that a piece of a plastic toy sold in shops throughout Mexico. But is believing in fairies really that bad? If nothing else, those who came to see the fairy were no different that a person purchasing a lottery ticket who for just a few moments gets to experience the brief possibility that his or her life could change dramatically.
Similar stories in recent years reported a sighting of a Leprechaun in a tree in 2006 near Mobile, Alabama in an African-American community of Crichton; a dead fairy sighting on April Fool’s Day in 2007; and a cell-phone video claiming to have capture an image of a duende (a gnome or goblin like creature) in the town of General Guemes as reported in 2008 by the El Tribuno, an Argentina newspaper.
“We looked to one side and saw that the grass was moving. To begin with, we thought it was a dog, but when we saw this gnome-like figure begin to emerge we were really afraid…This is no joke. We are still afraid to go out – just like everyone in the neighborhood now. One of my friends was so scared after seeing that thing that we had to take him to the hospital. – Alvarez”
The more elaborate of the stories involved the Dead fairy hoax published on or around April Fools’ Day in 2007. The prank was the brainchild of Dan Baines, 31-year-old sculptor and prop designer for magicians from London. In a fit of whimsy he created what appeared to be the 8-inch corpse of a fairy and then posted the images on the Internet alleging them to be the mummified remains of a fairy discovered by a dog walker at Firestone Hill in Duffield, Derbyshire, England.
Baines also alleged on his website Lebanon Circle Magic “The 8-inch remains, complete with wings, skin, teeth and flowing red hair, have been examined by anthropologists and forensic experts who can confirm the body is genuine.” and that X-rays of the remains revealed bones that were “hollow like that of a bird.”
After thousands of people left messages on his website, Baines revealed the entire escapade had been a hoax and that the fairy corpse was a fake. The photographs have now been taken down from the website.
According to his website confession:
“Thank you for the interest you have shown in my story.
Even if you believe in fairies, as I personally do, there will always have been an element of doubt in your mind that would suggest the remains are a hoax. However, the magic created by the possibility of the fairy being real is something you will remember for the rest of your life.
Alas the fairy is fake but my interest and belief has allowed me to create a work of art that is convincing and magical. I was also interested to see if fairy folklore is still a valid belief in modern society and I am pleased to say that yes it is! I have had more response from believers than I ever thought possible.
As well as an artist I am also a magician and you have been my fantastic audience. That spark of magic ignited your imagination and made your day more memorable and exciting.
I believe fairies to be Earth spirits rather than physical beings so my performance was slightly flawed. The question stills begs to answered though, are they made of flesh and blood like you and I?
I hope you have not been offended by the events of the past few days but if you are I sincerely apologize. It took 50 years for the Cottingley fairies to be revealed as a hoax; at least you’ve only had to endure a few days of mystery.”
Baines later sold his “Firetone Fairy” on an Internet auction. After receiving 40 bids, he sold his unusual creation to a private collector in the United States for a few hundred dollars.
In 2014, John Hyatt, a professor in England alleged he captured images of fairies on film in Rossendale Valley in the Lancashire landscape. The out of focus images do resemble the shapes of a winged creature that could be assumed to be tiny humanoids, however, Entomologist Erica McLaughlin from the British Natural History Museum, believes the “creatures are most likely a small species of fly known as the ‘midge’.”
These tiny midges form mating swarms where the males will ‘dance’ around trying to attract the opposite sex,” she writes. They have delicate wings and long legs which dangle down.”
John Hyatt, on the other hand, believes that “People can decide for themselves what they are. 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.”
The idea of finding fairies goes back to the days of The Cottingley Fairies in 1917, when 17 year-old Elsie Wright and her cousin, Frances Griffiths, produced a series of photographs of themselves in the nearby woods surrounded by dancing fairies.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes novels became the greatest advocate of the Cottingley fairies and continued to argue for the authenticity of the images for the rest of his life. In his book “The Coming of the Fairies” (1922), he suggests that the world may soon come out of its secular worldview as scientific evidence emerges for the existence of fairies and other supernatural beings.
According to Doyle, “It is hard for the mind to grasp what the ultimate results may be if we have actually proved the existence upon the surface of this planet of a population which may be as numerous as the human race, which pursues its own strange life in its own strange way, and which is only separated from ourselves by some difference of vibrations.”
Years later, in 1983, Elsie Wright recanted their fantastic tale and revealed the fairy images were just hand-colored cardboard cut-outs suspended in the air via hatpins to be photographed.
Real Fairy Found in England (Video)
Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama (Video)
Fairy in Guadalajara, Mexico – Spanish (Video)
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Creepy Fairy Insect (Video)
John Hyatt Photos of Flying Fairies (Video)
Cottingley Fairies (Video)
Real-Life Leprechaun (Gnome) Photographed in Mexico (Video)