The ‘what ifs?’ are always more interesting than sensible facts

Steve N Allen
Steve N Allen

If you have £70,000 you could buy some photographs, writes Steve N Allen.

That sounds like the start of some blackmail but the photographs that are for sale are the famous ones that fooled the world.

Two young schoolgirls in 1917 used a borrowed Midg quarter-plate camera and paper cut-outs to fake photographic evidence that fairies exist.

It was not until 1983 that the truth came out.

In many ways these girls, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, were architects of the modern world.

Elsie was a teenager who used special effects to fool people with pictures.

That’s basically what Instagram is.

They also gave us fake news.

They lied about reality and enjoyed seeing people who were meant to be sensible adults falling for their misinformation.

They tapped into the fact that people will believe what they want to believe not what makes sense.

READ THIS: Have we all gone Brexit blind?

Yes, it was unlikely that fairies were real but isn’t it more fun to believe the ‘what ifs?’

It’s a good job they confessed in the 80s or we may have lived through a time when Theresa May was Home Secretary and brought in a hostile environment for imps and elves.

America might have started a war with Never Never Land.

Imagine how high Trump’s wall would have to be then?

The hope is that the original camera and fairy photographs will be sold to someone who will put them in a museum.

They could act as a reminder that we shouldn’t always believe the thing we prefer to believe, we should listen to facts.

But if you think that’s likely to happen you’re probably away with the fairies.