Wednesday, 13 April 2011

David Farrant's Disappearing Trick

Charlatan David Farrant forty-one years on.

David Farrant wrote a letter to the Hampstead & Highgate Express which Gerald Isaaman published unedited on 6 February 1970. This is the original letter as it appeared in the newspaper:

This is not how it looks these days, however, when David Farrant supplies it to people wanting old press cuttings. This is what they receive from him:

Notice anything missing? It's the last paragraph of his letter. The one that says: "I have no knowledge in this field and I would be interested if any other readers have seen anything of this nature." His latter-day revisionism claims that he was already knowledgeable and had been actively investigating the supernatural occurrences at Highgate Cemetery for some time prior to his letter to the newspaper. All of which we know to be entirely fraudulent because he only decided to concoct a fake ghost story in the month before his letter was published, and, as his wife would later confirm in court, his only interest in the cemetery was "for a bit of a laugh and a joke and to look round" after the pubs had closed. Take another look at the expurgated version proffered by Mr Farrant. Something is certainly not as it should be when you examine it more closely.

Note that his name and address now superimposes over where the last paragraph should be. The line where his name appears in capitals is too close, however, to the line above, and under infra red you can see where the cut and splice occurs. The quality of the print can differ from batch to batch of newspapers printed because it was still the old method in those days, but the layout does not alter, and you will find that the layout of both versions is absolutely identical except for one thing. The last paragraph has been removed.

The original paragraph now expurgated by David Farrant.