Nothing interesting happens in Canberra, eh? UFO hoax revealed (and it’s deemed ‘not interesting’)

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

Tech Times: Is This A UFO Vanishing Into A Wormhole Portal? Mysterious Ball Of Light Filmed Above Canberra

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.

Hoaxster apologises for viral ‘strange lights over Canberra’ video, reveals clip fake (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

‘Strange lights above Canberra’ video creator admits it’s fake, apologises for viral hoax (Canberra Times)

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

  11 comments for “Nothing interesting happens in Canberra, eh? UFO hoax revealed (and it’s deemed ‘not interesting’)

  1. Richard Garrard
    January 10, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    Great story! Glad to see you back with a bite!

  2. Bill D'Arcy
    January 10, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    He’s a pretty fast learner… fairly sophisticated video made one week after getting the software.

  3. Jake
    January 10, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    He mentioned it was only 2 days after getting the software in his reddit apology. He also stated he uses photoshop and blender on a daily basis (i.e. graphic designer) and just wanted to pick compositing up as a hobby.

    After effects is basically photoshop + time, so it’s not hard to believe a trained photoshopper could pick it up in lightspeed time.

  4. Cathy
    January 10, 2016 at 9:48 PM

    I saw the ABC story on Twitter. Didn’t even bother looking. You’re training me well. Nah, I think I already knew.

  5. Bill D'Arcy
    January 10, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    Cheers Jake

  6. Dave Down Under
    January 11, 2016 at 1:17 AM

    As an Australian, I accept that most things in Canberra (our National Capital) are usually fake . . .

  7. Loren Petrich
    January 12, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    Are there any *internal* clues that this video is a hoax?

    Something like the Dominican Republic / Haiti UFO hoax video, where several of the palm trees look alike. That was evidence that that video was created using a 3D-modeling computer-graphics program.

  8. One Eyed Jack
    January 12, 2016 at 8:33 AM

    A red flag for me is always when you find the phenomena perfectly framed in the center of a video. This is the sort of thing that happens without thought when a person creates or fakes a video. Real life rarely happens perfectly centered in a video.

    Obviously, centering isn’t proof, but more like a poker tell. It’s something hoaxers don’t usually think about, and as such provides a clue that it may be fake.

  9. Scotty
    January 19, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    Now if it had been over Queanbeyan……there would have been no story! 🙂

  10. Richard uk
    January 27, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Thank goodness for DN and its feet firmly on the ground approach first and foremost….Ive just come over from the land of the hoaxer,the hopeless and the know it better as Youtube…just watched a video,I know,I know..what a chump I hear you cry…anyway,it was this nit wit going on about ghosts or even alien faces in windows behind Dubya and Obama while they were making a speech…no it couldnt be a simple reflection or a drape or whatever has to be faces of demons or worse still demon aliens which our uploader says in his voice over,that the greys are the fallen angels and have come to terrorise us…in watching this stuff,what the hapless do not seem to realise is that the terror comes from within their own minds as they absorb more and more of this..

  11. February 4, 2016 at 5:20 AM

    Thanks for this, I will add a link at to this info so all interested members are aware of the deception.
    Take note that not all “ufo spiral” cases are hoaxes, and the majority are in fact missile launches. I consider each and every one worth following up. Objective investigation, rather than “I didn’t bother” dismissals, is far more intellectually rewarding.
    Thanks again for the update.

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