There was really no story to cover when, on January 4, 2015, several news outlets reported on a video on YouTube, promoted on Reddit, that was getting attention. You see, UFO/portal/wormhole videos are decidedly uninteresting (or should be) because they can pretty easily be faked and ARE regularly faked.
All videos and photos (of ghosts, Bigfoot, lake monsters, anomalies, etc.) are not reliable unless there is corresponding documentation or other witnesses that record the same thing from another angle. You will have earned the GULLIBLE social media badge if you share such videos as real, like so many mystery mongering sites and mainstream press do. Behold:
Canberra Times: ‘Strange lights’ above Canberra captured on video
News Corp Australia Network: Was this ‘ball of light’ over Canberra a UFO?
Of course, the Daily Fail picked up on it: Video shows spherical light filmed lighting up the sky above Canberra. (We don’t link to them on the grounds that you may lose 20 minutes of your valuable life scrolling through the celebrity shaming feed on the right sidebar…) The UFO sites that posted this (all of them) may be too numerous for me to count. The story got pretty widespread exposure to the public who will now remember seeing “something” happened in the sky over Canberra one time…
Here is the original video.
“Hoax” was not the main conclusion from this even though no one else seemed to have spotted the phenomenon in the sky (RED FLAG #1). Explanations included a UFO portal into hyperspace, a wormhole, but ball lightning was the clear front runner because it was claimed to have appeared during a storm. Even an astronomer was quoted as saying it was ball lightning.
Australian National University astronomer Brad Tucker said the red and green light which glowed faintly in the background was “characteristic of an aurora” however believed this time it was ball lightning.
“An aurora is when energy from the sun hits the earth’s atmosphere, the energy rubs the earth’s atmosphere with friction and charges the gas,” he said.
“But the problem is there was no activity from the sun, it was cloudy, we can’t see the aurora, so it doesn’t really fit.”
Dr Tucker said in this case, the energy to create an aurora probably came from the thunderstorm itself.
Tucker had a nagging feeling it was not right but noted it was “probably not Photoshop either”. He’s not feeling too good today. Ok, so technically it wasn’t Photoshop, but a program called Adobe After Effects. It was computer generated using real scenes.
The incident went a bit farther than the poster, Johnson Thompson, expected. He apologized.
The creator admits to not even TRYING to depict ball lightning because he’s never heard of it before this. He expresses some dismay that what he feels was an obvious fake was picked up by the media. Two outlets have reported on the hoax but, let’s face it, the reveal is not making headlines.
This news won’t get shared and disseminated like the original story. The original video received 345,000 views. The hoax reveal — ONLY 3,500. Cat outta the bag, horse left the barn, off to the races and all that jazz… this hoax did its job of reinforcing misinformation and belief, you can’t undo that. It did NO good, all bad.
Don’t do deliberate hoaxes, folks, you make things worse than they already are. The public and the media are addicted to sensationalism and will eat up anything they can find. It’s pretty sad out there, don’t add to the parade of crap.
Your lesson for today and everyday: Extraordinary claims are highly doubtful for DAMN good reasons. Assume an incredible claim is fake until proven otherwise.
Thanks to Twitter user @ufoofinterest