Professor John Hyatt of Manchester Institute claims he has captured the images of Fairies in the Rossendale Valley.
Hoax or Fact:
Pictures of what are said to be Fairies, the mystical creatures that have been captured by Professor John Hyatt of Manchester Institute in the Rossendale Valley have spread viral online. Let us analyze this interesting claim that caught wide attention of people.
How it Started
On 2 April 2014, the 53 year old Manchester lecturer John Hyatt told Manchester Evening News (ManchesterEveningNews.co.uk) that he captured the enchanting images of tiny winged creatures in the Rossendale Valley while he was photographing the Lancashire landscape in last two years. Later, when he enlarged those images, he said he noticed they looked like Fairies. Hyatt insists that his photos are genuine, and the creatures in his photos do not look like normal insects. The Manchester Metropolitan University lecturer then started showing his photographs as a proof that the mythical fairies are real and reside in the Rossendale Valley. Talking about his mystic find, Hyatt said:
“It was a bit of a shock when I blew them up, I did a double take. I went out afterwards and took pictures of flies and gnats and they just don’t look the same. 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.”
John Hyatt started promoting his pictures, wanting more adults to believe in fairies and ‘bring a bit of magic into their lives’. He posted some of his pictures on social media sites that have attracted much debate. Dubbed as Rossendale Fairies, he has also put his photographs on display at a special exhibition at The Whitaker Museum in Rossendale. Since his fantastical revelation, he even appeared on radio shows around the world as well as on Japanese TV.
After John Hyatt started his claims to show photographic evidence of Fairies, skeptics started buzzing around him like flies. Interestingly, he received many such magical images from more than 15 countries. But the fact of the matter, according to an insect expert, the photos actually show flies. Talking about these pictures of Hyatt claiming to show the mystical creatures fairies, Entomologist Erica McLaughlin mentions in the British Natural History Museum's NaturePlus blog that they 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. They have delicate wings and long legs which dangle down," she explains.
It should also be noted that John Hyatt is the Director of Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD) at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Moreover, former FBI special agent Ben Hansen pointed that the "Rossendale Fairies" appears to be a direct reference to the "Cottingley Fairies," a famous hoax involving fairies that occurred in 1917. Back then, two schoolgirls in Bradford claimed to have photographed fairies in their garden, but later, after 60 years, they confirmed that they have been faked with cardboard cut-outs. Also, there's slight, but easy possibility that the shapes in the photographs have been photoshopped. So considering the aforementioned facts, the photographs that John Hyatt claims to show Fairies are simply flies, perhaps Midges, as pointed by an entomologist.