Parting The Veil of Faery, The Colmore Fatagravures
A Scottish adventurer, inventor, and photographer named Neville Colmore claimed to have constructed a device capable of "...parting the veil of Faery...". The device, which he called the "Spectobarathrum", produced beautiful photo graphic plates he called "fatagravures", through a now lost process. The original "Spectobarathrum" along with all of the images he claimed to have made were believed destroyed in a fire.

Because of my background in anthropology, archaeology, digital imaging, art, Scottish history and as board member of the Traprock Society, I have been asked to examine these materials. I am fortunate enough to have received permission to share some of my preliminary findings here. The current caretaker of these treasures wishes to remain anonymous.

These astonishing images should not be confused with the later, more familiar, Cottingley garden fairy photos on which the 1998 film "Fairy Tale - A True Story" was based. The Cottingley photographs were published around 1918. His were first made public in the 1890's. They were presented in scientific lectures and by and large ignored. The Cottingley girls had a literary champion in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and they were cute little English girls. He was a cantankerous Scots scientist with a thick Border accent and was consider quite mad by the majority of his peers in the United Kingdom. Colmore was very bitter about the attention they received.

He was convinced that the Cottingley images were hoaxes and felt they received far more attention than they warranted due to the fame of A. Conan Doyle and the cloying sweetness of the girls. However, when the popularity of the Cottingley images surged, he did manage to enlist his own literary and scientific champion, the famed American explorer and author, Walter Traprock. He was best known for the popular accounts of his scientific expeditions published in the 1920's, Cruise of the Kawa, Sarah of the Sahara and My Northern Exposure.

Traprock had connections with George Chapell and through him the Algonquin Roundtable. Colmore had high hopes for wide exposure and lecture tours in America. Where he would not face the real or perceived snubbing that greeted his presentations in Britain. Dr. Traprock predicted that "...all New York will be mad for fairies! " They hoped to publish a book on elucidating his research and scientific theories about the existence of the world of Faery and presenting his astounding fatagravures in published form for the very first time.

Tragically the fire that was believed to have destroyed all of his materials occured before their collaboration came to any fruition. However, I believe that some of the material that I have been asked to examine may have been part of Traprock's estate that was never published due to the controversies and accusations of fakery that arose around Traprock's earlier books. Prior to his death, Colmore did not give any public indication that he knew of anything surviving the fire.
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