Review - Dan Baines @ London Fortean Society

May 14, 2015

We here at Sternberg Clarke love seeing what is out there on the speaker circuit, as we are always looking to recommend speakers that are not just entertaining and enjoyable, but whom are also that little bit different, where guests to an event may not have heard of the talented speaker at the mic.

With this in mind, we took a trip across London to the London Fortean Society to hear from Dan Baines, the man behind the Derbyshire Fairy Hoax. How it came about, what happened after the news subsided and what he is up to now.

To say that Dan was an entertaining speaker is an understatement. He was exceptionally engaging with his words, which in no small part is probably down to how interesting a life he has lived thus far. Moving from the Navy to forensics and then on to his hoax, we gained a very clear picture of the events surrounding the case.

Using various illustrative slides to show the packed crowd exactly what transpired - the story was picked up by the world's media including the BBC - it was a pleasure to see an audience as rapt as they were. The mystique of fairies was covered in some detail and by the end of the talk it was quite clear why. Of course, it wouldn’t do to spoil the talk, but Dan Baines is a very interesting man who has had some fascinating experiences.

We expected him to tell us how the fairy had changed his life in small ways but as it happens, this creature created on a whim had actually transformed Dan’s entire career. He is now making use of his art degree and running a highly successful prop-making company for film and television, able to count Pacific Rim and Hellboy director Guillermo Del Toro amongst his customers and friends.

If you are looking for an interesting speaker that is slightly left field but also incredibly motivational, then Dan Baines may just be your man. A very entertaining speaker indeed.


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By Henry Fosdike