A video is making the rounds on YouTube, Facebook, message boards and blogs, said to depict five unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, hovering over the Makua military reservation on the island of Oahu. It spread like wildfire through online communities focused on everything from aliens to government conspiracies, then started catching the notice of people in Hawaii.
It is also, quite obviously, a fake.
As skeptics were quick to point out, it seems unlikely that anyone capturing video of such a spectacular sight would do so without saying a word, or making a sound. Also suspicious? The fact that the camera was pointed at the sky exactly where the UFOs decided to appear.
If you study the mountain ridge closely, as well as the city or village briefly visible below, it would be obvious the setting isn’t Hawaii. I wasn’t sure sure where it is, and given the pixelation, suspected the entire scene was computer generated.
Most importantly, though, is the fact that the creator of the video has come forward: David Almond, or DavidLTG on YouTube. He created the videos using Flight Simulator X and a variety of common video editing tools, like Sony Vegas.
Even though he posted the video first, on April 8, alongside several other flight simulator videos he created, it didn’t go viral until other users captured it and reuploaded it with far more sensational titles and descriptions. He’s since been chasing them down, and filing copyright claims with YouTube.
Of course, the fact that he’s been able to get unauthorized copies of his video removed has only added fuel to the fire, as UFO fanatics are convinced the deleted videos are further proof of a wide-ranging conspiracy to keep the footage a secret.
Finally, DavidLTG posted a video specifically to debunk those who still insisted the footage was real, showing the elements that went into its creation. For example, a side-by-side comparison of the raw, in-process video and the fully rendered final video:
A version of the video with the environment set to an evening scene:
And, since the video was created in a flight simulator, he was easily able to depict the same UFO formation floating in front of an airplane:
And as viewed out the window of an airplane cockpit:
It certainly doesn’t advance the cause of UFO fans to have fake videos circulated as the real thing, and DavidLTG seems understandably miffed to be accidentally sucked into the global battle between believers and skeptics. Of course, using a description like “Multiple UFO Lights filmed OVER OAHU near makua military reservation” didn’t help.
What’s more interesting to me, as this video continues to spread and get reposted by others despite being thoroughly debunked, is how badly some people want to believe that it’s real. To the point of saying DavidLTG is fabricating an elaborate backstory simply to obfuscate “the truth.”