Friday, February 4, 2011

UPDATE: JERUSALEM VIDEO HOAX

According to this video, the Jerusalem UFO is a hoax....



Still, at least one of the videos shows vehicles moving along a road in the foreground. Can the same explanation apply? Moreover, the video in question was something of an anomaly among those available. It was the English language video wherein a woman quite laconically talks about not having anything like this in Mississippi. This was also the only video without the mysterious "camera flash".

I don't doubt that this one might be faked, for whatever reason, but I'm not sure we can yet chuck the baby out with the bath water.

A commentor got me thinking:does this story exist outside YouTube? That is, how has this been covered locally? Has the Israeli press spoken to other witnesses who saw, but were unable to record, this strange event?

I went to the website for the Jerusalem Post, the only English-language paper in that city and searched their archives for the relevant term, "UFO". The only hit was from months ago in a story about Churchill and Eisenhower's purported cover-up during World War II.

So this earth-shattering event that news agencies, websites, and blogs around the world are sharing (without much corroboration) isn't even covered by a local news outlet?

Something doesn't add up. This is precisely why I am often dissatisfied with the UFO community these days. There's a lot of look-at-this-video going on, but precious few are asking questions. If this is how most UFO reports are handled, no wonder answers never come.

These people don't want their precious world view upset by either resolution. It's best, it seems, to maintain the status quo as armchair investigators and professional hair-splitters. Oh, sure, a small country's worth of man-hours can be burned up digging through obscure records to find out that a gas station attendant in Roswell noticed a soldier had his boots laced in an oddly asymmetrical fashion around the time of that famed crash, but they can't spend a few hours online fact-checking the veracity of these videos?

I'm intrigued by this event. Not only for the extremely interesting videos and the fact that it seems like this can be solved neatly, but because of the story's inability to call forth into action in any response from the UFO community beyond a few passing comments.

"Oh, yeah. We, like, totally saw that video.... ANYWAY, as I was saying, Peterson's report in '73 conclusively proves that the metal discovered on Henry Thompson's farm was...."

I don't doubt that a hoax is afoot. In fact, as I investigate more, I'm sure of it. There don't seem to be any witnesses other than those who posted the videos, the local media has made nary a peep on the story, and the videos themselves seem full on inconsistencies.

The most striking of these, aside from the English language video, is the almost computer-generated feel to how the luminous object appears to elongate in some sort of warp speed swoosh. The very first time I watched these videos, I wondered if that is really what we would have seen on a camera of that quality.

Furthermore, why don't we know more about those who recorded the videos? You would think they would step forward to boast that THEY caught this on tape. Why such obfuscation?

I will say this: they certainly did a really good job of hoaxing these videos. Their efforts managed to make this dyed-in-wool skeptic sit up and take notice. Of course, that could have to do with the fact that I've been largely trapped indoors all week as the ice and snow lingers on the roads outside.

12 comments:

Autumnforest said...

Well, I'll have to say that I definitely think it was a fake in every way--a well plotted out one, but a stupid decision. Had they done this in the woods, I would have been impressed, but the very fact it happened over such a densely populated area and with such wham! bam! makes me absolutely certain it's a hoax. There is no way anyone in that city didn't see that.

Cullan Hudson said...

You bring up an interesting point. Did the whole city witness this or only this handful of videographers?

Paul Kimball said...

Cullan,

I took one look, and could see that it was a hoax, for any number of reasons that stood out to me. Once one has made that determination, why waste anymore time with it? Why even mention it all?

The problem with UFO research is not the focus on old cases - that's not a bad thing, as any historian will tell you, because you can always learn something from the past (although if the focus is exclusively on old cases, then that's going too far). Rather, the problem is the focus on cases, whether past or present, that buttress conclusions one way or another that people have already reached. Thus, the ongoing emphasis on Roswell as part of the "it's aliens and a coverup" meme; on the flip-side, however, is the focus of disbelievers on things like this hoax, or Billy Meier, or Steven Greer, or whomever.

Somewhere in the middle, real researchers are going about their business, almost always outside the public three-ring circus that is ufology.

Best regards,
Paul

Cullan Hudson said...

You're a god among men, Paul. What can I say?

I, however, found 2 of the three videos to be rather interesting. I wanted to learn more. Since I couldn't investigate the actual videos themselves, I decided to look at the logic surrounding them and the circumstances in which the event occurred. It was along that avenue the my doubts arose.

I guess I'm a lesser man for paying attention to what obviously was beneath you. Sheesh!

RRRGroup said...

Your point, Cullan, that the UFO community doesn't ask enough questions or even try to be serious about UFO sightings, current ones anyway, is right on the button.

And Paul's lament about the continuing and absorbed interest in old sightings, Roswell in particular, goes to the laziness of UFO aficionados nowadays; no one wants to investigate present sightings, and I assume that's from a state of ennui, among UFO buffs and media too.

But as French researcher Gilles Fernandez says, "That's ufology."

RR

Paul Kimball said...

Cullan,

My apologies for the snarkiness - I guess I hadn't had my morning cup of joe yet.

There's nothing wrong with looking into the footage, of course. Harmless enough. But your OP excoriated UFO researchers for placing their focus elsewhere, and how is that helpful? If it's fine to look into the Jerusalem vid more closely than I would be inclined to, then it's fine to do just about anything. I can imagine the guy looking into the Roswell gas station attendant asking just why you would waste your time looking into the video, when the real story was the attendant, and Roswell. ;-)

But then there's the bigger problem - the real 1000 poung gorilla. A discussion on the Internet, between mostly anonymous people in forums and the like, about the validity of a video posted on YouTube, isn't likely to reveal much. If people were serious about all of this, they wouldn't have posted the video directly to YouTube (clue #1 as to the hoax) - they would have sent it along to a professional for careful analysis, and verification... and then, with that in hand, they would have sent it to a reputable news organization. Or at least that's how I would have done it, and I think that's how anyone who actually had something anomalous happen would have done it.

But no, what we have here is video posted to YouTube, and then largely anonymous Internet chatter about whether or not its real. If it makes me seem holier-than-thou to want to have nothing to do with stuff like that, then I guess I'll just have to live with that. In the meantime, serious investigation by serious people continues - I can guarantee you that it isn't being streamed on-line or discussed in chat forums.

All the best,
Paul

Cullan Hudson said...

I certainly understand your take on things, Paul. However, I would encourage you to discuss what you and others are seriously researching in an open forum. How can we hope for "real" UFO research to trickle out to the more ignorant masses if it remains cloistered?

I agree it's suspicious (as I pointed out) when someone witnesses an event like this and then posts the evidence anonymously.

But in this day and age, I would expect them to post it to some sort of social media FIRST, before sending off to be analyzed. We have to remember: most people don't investigate UFO's. Therefore their first thought probably wouldn't be to find a learned researcher and get his opinion.

It's more likely they would post it to YouTube, Facebook, or such. Later, the lazy media would troll these same sites in hopes of finding some fluff to kill an extra 45 seconds.

Cullan Hudson said...

I should add, of course, that I meant no offense to you, personally. My frustration stemmed from the likes of MUFON who didn't bother to cover this story, but gave top billing on the homepage to a local Utah report of what invariably was a Chinese lantern set off for the New Year. Although, I'm just as guilty in dismissing this out of hand as I have accused others. But, CGI or no, the Jerusalem video is visually more compelling.

Cullan Hudson said...

To Dalix, I'm sorry I couldn't post your comment. As you can see from the above conversation, even though Paul and I may not see eye-to-eye on this matter, we've not resorted to expletives and such. I encourage you to resubmit your thoughts, framing them in a manner befitting a general audience.

To your point, about only the third video being a proven hoax, I would agree-to a point. To me, it is the most obvious hoax; however, I still think the others are not yet cleared. I am concerned about what I see as hits of computer generated imagery.

Paul Kimball said...

Hi Cullan,

I remain an admirer of your work, and I'm glad that we can agree to disagree from time to time in a civil manner.

On the social media front, I think you're wrong... but I probably am as well. If someone really did have a genuine video of something anomalous, I'm sure they would try to sell it to the highest bidder - of which there would be many. Either way, however, I'm certain their first move wouldn't be to post it on YouTube.

As for research, there is indeed an "Invisible College", as Vallee once called it, and there always will be. Let's assume getting to the bottom of the UFO enigma might beimportant. So is finding a cure for cancer. The real research into these things, and other things of importance, is being done by serious people, away from the madding crowds, and their Chinese Lanterns and Galactic Peace Ambassadors.

As it should be.

All the best,
Paul

Paul Kimball said...

Hi Cullan,

One more thing - I agree with you that, hoax or not, MUFON dropped the ball. But then MUFON isn't about researching the UFO phenomenon - it's about petty empire building, and the promotion of the "aliens are here" narrative.

Paul

Autumnforest said...

When I had Ben Hansen over from Fact or Faked and we talked, one of the things he told me was that he wanted to go back to college for his Master's and wanted to do a thesis on the subject of video as proof of paranormal. He said basically that if you get some extraordinary on video, it can make people either totally believe because they saw it with their own eyes or totally skeptical because it can be hoaxed. It's a real dilemma. Look at the Phoenix Lights--thousands of witnesses, a bunch of video and we can all agree there were strange lights in the sky, but we still can't say what they are. I'd more believe a large crowd if they said they saw it together, but I still know that they can't tell us the origins of what they saw. Brilliant discussing, Cullan, but I expect nothing less from you.