Editor’s Note: this comes from Geoffrey Hodson’s account of his visit to Cottingley in company with Frances and Elsie in 1921. Note the way that he refers to ‘visible to us’, i.e. to him and the girls. They considered him a fake. His writing suggest someone who was utterly sincere, though perhaps mistaken.
Cottingly [sic]: August, 1921
A bright radiance shines out over the field, visible to us sixty yards away. It is due to the arrival of a group of fairies. They are under the control of a superior fairy who is very autocratic and definite in her orders, holding unquestioned command. They spread themselves out into a gradually widening circle around her and, as they do so, a soft glow shines over the grass. Since two minutes ago, when they swung high over the tree tops and down into the field, the circle has spred to approximately twelve feet in width and is wonderfully radiant with light. Each member of this fairy band is connected to the directing fairy, who is in the centre and slightly above them, by a stream of light. Each member of this fairy band is connected to the directing fairy, who is in the centre and slightly above them, by a stream of light. These streams are of different shades of yellow deepening to orange, they meet in the centre merging in her aura, and there is a constant flow backwards and forwards along them. The form produced by this is something like an inverted fruit dish with the central fairy as the stem, and the lines of light, which flow in a graceful even curve forming the sides of the bowl.
Their continued activities were producing an ever-increasing complexity of form, when time, unhappily forced us to depart (Hodson 1982, 79).