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The Cottingley Fairy Incident of 1917 was a photography hoax founded by Frances Griffith (age 10) and Elsie Wright (age 16), cousins, who claimed to have photographed fairies cavorting by the beck (a small stream or brook) in their home town village on the outskirts of Yorkshire England.
The pictures were shown to members of the Theosophical Society in nearby Bradford several years after being taken and subsequently garnered the attentions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's interest in spiritualism led him to declare the photographs as real and valid, believing in the validity of the entire experience until his death. The hoax was not revealed until 1983.