A train selfie – showing a previously unknown Canadian dude named Jared Michael – is blowing up on the Internet this week. Michael uploaded a 10-second video clip, seen above, to his YouTube account, evidently showing a train conductor giving him the boot – literally – because he was standing too close to a passing train in Machu Picchu, Peru.
According to the Daily News on April 17, the teen from Regina, Canada has “some selfie-explaining to do,” especially after his video went viral. As of today, his short clip has been viewed over 13 million times, and many of the viewers are calling foul.
Michael is now speaking out about the locomotive incident as well as his own “loco” motive in standing so close to the moving freight train.
“Honestly, even the truth is a little ridiculous and it does make me look stupid,” Michael's admitted to CTV Saskatoon.
But despite the best Internet video debunking sleuths out there listing dozens of reasons why Michael’s video is bogus, Jared says it’s totally real.
Michael appeared on the syndicated news show Right This Minute on Tuesday and promised that the video was “100-percent real,” although he understands why watchers of his video are calling it a hoax. “It certainly looks fake. I totally understand why people think it is,” he added.
Michael’s description posted to the YouTube video says:
I tried to take a selfie while a train passed a “safe” distance behind. I guess I was still too close and got kicked in the head. I messed up.
Sites like The Daily Dot are questioning the teen’s story, even breaking down the video into several frames to assess whether the clip is real.
“I pressed play and was going to look at where the train was, but by that time, I already got kicked in the head,” Jared said.
The tourist said he wasn’t hurt by the boot-to-the-head encounter and said the train was actually not moving that fast. Michael says that if his life was in danger because he was standing on the tracks, the front of the train would have clipped him before the conductor’s boot came flying by on the side.
Jared has no regrets about uploading the video.
"It was an accident and I got it on film and I think it would have been a shame to just throw it away," he said.
So, staged stunt or the real deal? Leave your comments below.