Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
May 16, 2024 ·  4 min read

Fairy Godfather: A British Professor Believes That ‘Fairies’ Exist and He Has Pictures to Prove It

We all love thinking about fairies and how adorable they look in books and movies. They are feel-good imaginary creatures, but what if they were not as unreal as we’ve always believed? What if fairies had secret populations in the human world?

A British professor went viral after coming forward with claims of an existing fairy population in England. Immediately nicknamed the “Fairy Godfather,” Professor John Hyatt is an art research lecturer at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

Professor Hyatt, who has remained caught up in a whirlwind of media attention since his announcement, explained that fairies are almost identical to humans. He backed up his claims with photos allegedly taken in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire County, England. He named his exclusive collection “Rossendale Fairies,” and it has since been on display at the Whitaker Museum in Rossendale. 

Wyatt, who is also the director of the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD), explains that the major differences between humans and fairies are size and illumination. Excluding these distinctions, they are just pint-sized human-like beings with wings.

I was just taking sunset through the trees and when I enlarged the photographs later in the studio, I saw these figures,” he wrote in an email to the Huffington Post, noting that he took the pictures after dark. [1] “They are not doctored apart from I increased the size of a detailed section of a larger photograph along with the DPI to stop them from being just large pixels — normal size enhancement techniques.”

Of course, people thought he was crazy

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Professor Hyatt says that he’d been a photography enthusiast around Lancashire for two years before stumbling across the tiny beings. [2]

It was a bit of a shock when I blew them up, I did a double-take. I went out afterward and took pictures of flies and gnats and they just don’t look the same.” 

Professor Hyatt was not fazed by the millions of comments that followed his photos, with most people claiming he’d doctored the images and others insisting he needed medical attention. Many others believed that Hyatt’s photos were authentic, also claiming they’d spotted fairies at some point in their lives.

Hyatt ultimately stood by his findings and accepted that everyone is entitled to their opinions.

“People can decide for themselves what they are,” Hyatt said. “The message to people is to approach them with an open mind. Let the world decide for itself. It is my job, as an artist, to open people’s eyes to the wonders through which they walk every day.

“I think it’s one of those situations where you need to believe what you 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.

What do the Pros think?

According to Entomologist Erica McLaughlin, an author for the British Natural History Museum’s NaturePlus blog, Hyatt’s creatures are most likely midges or gnats, “any of a group of tiny two-winged flies (order Diptera) that superficially resemble mosquitoes,” according to Britannica. [3]

These tiny midges form mating swarms where the males will ‘dance’ around trying to attract the opposite sex,” she writes. “They have delicate wings and long legs which dangle down.”

Hyatt’s claims were so controversial that they also attracted the attention of former FBI special agent, Ben Hansen, who is also the lead investigator and former host of paranormal reports on “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files”.

In an email to the HuffPost, Hansen questions Hyatt’s motives, stating the professor was fully aware that his photos didn’t depict any such things as fairies.

The majority of his quotes are redirecting the conversation away from the facts of the case and instead, toward a discussion on belief and magic,” Hansen said. “His motive? He clearly does what you would expect for an art and design director to do… bring ‘magic into their lives’ by appreciating the beauty of life that ‘grows everywhere,’ which in turn ‘can make people believe.’”

There have been countless other fairy reports in history, and most of them have either been debunked or later discovered to be hoaxes. Hansen also doubts Hyatt’s claims of being unaware that he was photographing alleged fairies until the images below.

The foliage is all blurred together for that artsy look that really crushes the background. He says he didn’t see the fairies until later, but aside from the motion blur, they look quite in focus,” Hansen said. “It would be quite coincidental that the fairies all happened to emerge in front of the camera at the precise distance they would be in focus.”

In the end, as long as it’s a harmless thought that makes you feel happy, there’s really nothing wrong with believing in something that isn’t real. 


  1. Rossendale Fairies: Skeptics Swarm Over Alleged ‘Fairy’ Photos.” Huff Post. David Moye. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  2. Pictured: Photographers around the world swamp professor with new images of fairies.” Jack Crone. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  3. Midge.” Britannica. Retrieved August 19, 2020.