Fake UFO videos are nothing new on the web, and the Internet is the perfect platform for hoaxers looking to draw traffic or simply to play a practical joke on an unsuspecting, gullible public.
But, one video going viral takes the concept a step further, and makes a brilliant point in the process. What's the catch? The whole video is faked, including the "car" it was taken from and the "clouds" in the sky. And, oh yeah. The UFO "mothership" itself.
According to an article published by WPTV on Feb. 11, 2013, Hollywood computer graphics artist Aristomenis Tsirbas created the video last October and posted it under a pseudonym to YouTube. Then he sat back and let viewers decide on how "real" the sighting was.
There was plenty of evidence for both sides of the debate. The "witness" seemed to be driving down a California road at sunset. He appeared to be startled so much that he stopped his "car" and got out for a better look. A "UFO" seemed like it opened up a portal in the clouds. And a "mothership" beamed it aboard.
Most viewers immediately derided the spaceships as looking cheap and artificial. The video was branded a hoax soon after by qualified "experts" commenting on the channel.
It wasn't until this week, however, that the "witness" came forward and admitted the video, called "UFO Over Santa Clarita," was indeed a fake. Totally.
According to Tsirbas, every element in the 39-second clip was created using powerful software, usually only accessible to animation studios making TV shows and movies. The trees, the sun, the electrical grid, even the car dashboard were all created from scratch.
Since admitting the hoax, the video, which had already attracted a respectable 40,000 hits, has quadrupled that traffic. And counting. Was that the point? Or, was it to show that "real" has become more "real" than ever?
Either way, it worked.
Click the video on the left for a look. There is an expletive at the very end which is cut short, but still audible, so be forewarned.
It seems there are still some things which just can't be faked.