By JILL REILLY, The Daily Mail
A university lecturer is claiming to have photographed fairies flying through the air in the British countryside.
John Hyatt, 53, says his series of photos which were taken over the past two years prove the tiny winged creatures do exist in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire.
Mr Hyatt, Director of Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD) at Manchester Metropolitan University insists his photos are genuine and have not been altered in any way.
He 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.'
Mr Hyatt, who lives Rawtenstall, has posted some of his images on social media and says they have attracted much debate.
The exhibition, called Rossendale Fairies, will be on show at The Whitaker Museum in Whitaker Park in Rossendale, throughout the spring.
Mr Hyatt said the name is a nod to the famous story of the Cottingley fairies where two schoolgirls in Bradford claimed to have photographed fairies in their garden, which they confirmed 60 years later had been faked with cardboard cut-outs.
However he admits the creatures he snapped are a long way from the characters depicted in children’s stories and hopes his pictures will change people’s perceptions of them.
'Everything gets stereotyped, whatever it is.
'But there are stranger things in life than fairies, and life grows everywhere.
'I don’t believe they are just smaller versions of us and go home and have a cup of tea at the end of the day.
'And one is suggesting they have any special powers.
'From my experience they were just enjoying themselves and there was a little dance in the sunlight going on.
'They are just beautiful pictures and beauty can make people believe.'
In 2009, Phyllis Bacon, 55, believed she took a photo of a fairy at the bottom of her garden in New Addington, near Croydon in South London.
|Where did this happen?||British countryside|