Brief history of the Faery Investigation Society

The Fortean Times posts on the history (and recent revival) of The Faery Investigation Society, "one of the strangest British organisations ever to come into being." You don't have to be a true believer, but you do have to know where you are coming from. Simon Young writes:

[Quentin A] Craufurd being Craufurd, he experimented with the radio. In 1927, in fact, he was messing around with some form of wireless device when he heard a harmony: "I began with an electrical apparatus of my own design and a nearly worn-out torch-battery, and one day I heard fairy music, the sound of harps and bells."

Craufurd then proceeded to ask questions and entered into a dialogue with these fairies (for so he believed them to be), as spiritualists in the 1920s typically did with the dead. The voices informed Craufurd that the only way to talk to the fairies was to "tune in".

The society's able organizer and secretary, Marjorie Johnson, deduced that they are "bisexual and polygamous" and furthermore that anyone thereby "admitted to the circle of fairy friendship is very fortunate," but did not appreciate or capitalize upon the sensational coverage this earned in the tabloids in 1960 and the society faded along with her own interest. But it has lately been revived by Young, who has completed a census of contemporary encounters with fairies, elves, whatever we wish to call them.

I read all submitted experiences with the greatest interest. However, I only published those where permission had been granted: seven respondents had not given permission so these were removed. I deleted two 'joke' replies, though one, involving a fishing vessel from the Faeroes, made me laugh out loud.

Young has also made available Johnson's book, Seeing Fairies [Amazon], her own epic midcentury collation of fairy sightings and lore. "THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN'S BOOK," we are warned.

The Fairyist appears to be the society's current online home. Current consensus: pointed ears yes, gossamer wings no.