Once upon a time a group of old friends were relaxing after a meal. Perhaps it was the food, or maybe the time of year, but their conversation eventually tuned to the subject of folklore, fairies in particular. Each had stories to tell. Personal experiences, family stories, anecdotes, and rumours. Boggarts, brownies, bog dwelling will o'the wisps. All and more raised their red capped heads that long comfortable night.
They talked well into the night, supported by a plentiful supply of tea and biscuits.
By the time breakfast dawned they had resolved to form a society of like minded individuals with the intention of routing out what exactly lay at the root of it all.
Later nocturnal meetings were held to discus suitable areas for research and investigation. It was established quite early in the societies deliberations that a suitable, and agreeable, definition of the word 'fairy' would be most beneficial.
This lead to much discussion and the consuming of a great many biscuits. Various simple definitions were discarded in favour of a general "it means anything you'd like it to mean".
So, for the purposes of the Society the word "fairy" is interpreted and any being or entity which is outside the normal run of things. This would include ghosts (whatever they are), the little people, denizens of other worlds, or hidden dimensions, and folk who the average scientific mind would consider impossible. Quite a wide range, admittedly, but it would be a failure of duty to exclude anything relevant from inquiry.
The question of where should fairies be investigated was not discussed, nor was the nature of investigation. It was believed that only experience could satisfactory answer these questions.
Reports of sighting or otherwise of fairies (in the wider definition) would be sought from the public. The offering of rewards for such intelligence was discounted due to the fear that this would solicit fictional accounts from the unscrupulous and also place an unwarranted strain on the limited funds available to the society.
Difficulties for the investigator
Having seen a fairy, one is often under considerable pressure to provide photographic evidence to support ones claim. It is well known that fairies are notoriously difficult to photograph. This can result in the witness resorting to underhand, and perhaps dubious methods in order t satisfy the demands of the doubtful.
Understandably this has lead to many people attempting to recreate fairies, with differing degrees of success depending on the creative abilities of those involved.
Notable successes include Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths of Cottingly. Together they produced a series of photographs which remained authentic in the popular view for many years. Until that is the persistence of the eminent Fairy watcher Mr. Joe Cooper was made aware of the truth.