Cottingley Fairies
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Flim Flam! Now Tell The Truth!


Flim Flam!


"Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns and Other Delusions" was published in 1982

The famous magician, illusionist and phenomenon debunker, James Randi, released Flim-Flam! in 1982. In it he tries to show the public how astrology, transcendental meditation, ESP and biorhythms amongst other subjects are, in short, entirely make-believe.

Earlier, in 1964, he even put up a $10,000 reward to anyone who could demonstrate a paranormal power under controlled conditions. No-one was successful.

Even celebrated "mind readers" such as Uri Gellar are revealed as nothing but clever fraudsters who employ slight of hand and distraction rather than true magical powers.



A new kind of interest takes place on 10th August 1978. The famous magician James Randi and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal carries out a computer based study on the photos and claims:

"CSICP member Robert Sheaffer and colleague William Spaulding applied the technique to the fairy photographs, lo-and-behold they found among other evidence of fakery, the strings holding up the fairies."

Following the results, Randi sends a forceful letter to Elsie urging her to confess. In her reply to the New Scientist article she is clearly disappointed by his attitude and asks which part of the sky she was supposed to hand the string from and how the figures remained motionless if suspended in this way.

Annoyed that the ladies still refuse to admit that it was all a hoax, he publishes "Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns and Other Delusions"

In Chapter 2, "Fairies At The Foot Of The Garden", he discloses the findings of his investigation and debunks the case of the Cottingley Fairies..


But The Story Never Dies

In The End... The Answers