Did a North Carolina man really find a pixie skeleton, proving the existence of fairies?
That’s what the internet would have you believe.
Realistic looking photos of a tiny skeleton in the palm of someone’s hand are being heavily debated on Facebook this week, including claims that “scientific tests have concluded the bones are indeed real.”
Historical Pictures and Beyond the Science both posted the photos, explaining “James Cornan of Wilmington, North Carolina, claims to have discovered the remains of a pixie in a falcon’s nest while exploring the Rocky Mountains in 2017.” Pixies are mythical creatures that resemble tiny humans, with pointed ears and mischievous habits.
The posts have drawn thousands of shares and hundreds of comments, including one person claiming the skeleton is a marmoset.
Fact is, it’s fake story.
The same photos appeared more than a year ago on the website of Dan Baines of the United Kingdom, who is linked to one of the most popular hoaxes of the past 20 years, involving a “mummified fairy corpse.”
Baines web site featured a story on the alleged pixie skeleton in February 2017, asking: “Could these shocking images finally be proof of the existence of pixies and fairies?”
He credits the photos to a “mysterious man” who works for a birds of prey rescue center in Cornwall, not a North Carolina man. “During a routine check, he climbed a tall tree to inspect the nest when something amongst the twigs and feathers caught his eye,” according to Baines’ website.
In the 12 months since that story was posted, the photos have morphed into a discovery made by the fictitious James Cornan of Wilmington, N.C.
Baines contacted the Observer Saturday and noted he has no idea who James Cornan is, but he’d like to thank him for the exposure.
“Like all the great British TV comedies, the original story and images have been recycled for the American audience by a mysterious chap called James Cornan,” said Baines in a blog update posted Feb. 10. “Other than the location, the story of the Pixie skeleton discovery was copied verbatim...My blog page also received a staggering 17,000 views in one day and the YouTube video has been viewed 53,000 times.”
He adds that the pixie bones now reside in a secure facility in Germany “where biological specimens that defy conventional science are stored. The mystery of the Pixie bones has never been solved and remains one of this century's greatest mysteries.”
Social media has continued to hotly debate the authenticity of the photos and the story of Cornan. Among the Facebook commenters is Courtland Marsh of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, who sums up the situation with a request.
“I just found some wonderful beachfront property here in Nebraska that I’d like Mr. Cornan to help me sell to the same people he sold this (skeleton) to,” she posted. “Scientific studies have confirmed it to be a real beach.”