RIP Geoffrey Crawley

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.

Death Photos

Posted on Tue Nov 16, 2010


You're right about the photography being not particularly sophisticated. Considering what can be done today for motion pictures there's no comparison.

I think the current generation is somewhat more skeptical because they are exposed to this sort of thing daily. Although that doesn't quite explain the sightings of Jesus on a piece of toast.
Posted by KDP  on  Wed Nov 17, 2010  at  08:10 AM
I think that the fairies were not comprehensively debunked earlier because most people in the UK didn't take them seriously anyway. They might as well have been photos of Santa, most of us don't believe in fairies.
Posted by Croydon Bob  on  Mon Nov 29, 2010  at  04:54 AM
"...died recently on October 29."
You dont follow through with a date if you say "recently". Why not omit "recently" altogether?
Posted by Peter  on  Wed Feb 23, 2011  at  02:05 AM
by my math 1960-2000 isnt 60 years its 40years
Posted by JASON  on  Sat Apr 02, 2011  at  12:20 AM
Sad to know that a good actor had pass away, its so sad but I know there
Posted by connections speed  on  Thu Apr 28, 2011  at  06:46 AM
Crawley enjoyed a long career with BJP, joining in the 1960s as a contributor. He became the technical editor, and was promoted to editor in 1967, a position he held for 21 years.
Posted by Trymaxload  on  Fri Aug 05, 2011  at  07:50 AM
Ya came a know about him recently on "new page". I am a huge admirer of him! His contribution in the field of lens and the writing is really appreciable setting a benchmark for all of us!
Posted by Wood Grain  on  Sat Aug 06, 2011  at  01:29 AM
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