Geoffrey Crawley, who played a role in debunking the Cottingley Fairy
hoax, died recently on October 29. The New York Times ran an interesting article
about his life. From the article:
From the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, Mr. Crawley was editor in chief of the magazine British Journal of Photography. His 10-part series exposing the Cottingley fairy photographs as fakes appeared there in 1982 and 1983. Mr. Crawley had been asked to determine the authenticity of the photos in the late 1970s. “My instant reaction was amusement that it could be thought that the photographs depicted actual beings,” he wrote in 2000. But he came to believe, as he wrote, that “the photographic world had a duty, for its own self-respect,” to clarify the record.
I've always thought it was strange that it took sixty years for the fairy photos to be fully debunked, even though the hoax itself wasn't particularly sophisticated.