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UFOs Over Oahu? Sorry, No.

April 14th, 2011 by Ryan Ozawa · 3 Comments · Technology, The Web, Video

UFO Over Oahu?

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.

UFO Over Oahu on FacebookI caught up with it via my friend Ed on Facebook, where apparently hundreds of people recently shared it.

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:

UFO Over Oahu - Raw vs. Rendered

A version of the video with the environment set to an evening scene:

UFO Over Oahu - New Night Shot

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:

UFO Over Hawaii - Plane View

And as viewed out the window of an airplane cockpit:

UFO Over Oahu - Out Window

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.”

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Kaimana. P

    #SaveMakua

  • Will

    I was wondering what the big deal was, I kinda thought it was fake. I’m glad I found this post! Aloha!

  • Randy Otaka

    i saw a very similar phenomenon this evening. my wife was driving eastbound on the h-1, and as we passed waipahu, we saw a strange formation of about seven orange spheres. they were small, because from perspective, they appeared to be over waipahu, not in the distance, but they could not be discerned with any greater clarity. i tried to take a picture, but my camera “washed” it out. the only remnant is a small white ball to the left of the image. not very convincing…

    i searched youtube (“ufo over waipahu”) and did find a couple of videos (new year’s 2011). although indistinct, these videos do depict exactly what i did: small orange balls hovering.

    while the video you highlight seems faked (sorry, just scanned through it), i can personally attest that there was (tonight) something odd in the skies over waipahu. (and, btw, it was not the persiad (sp) meteor shower which is supposed to occur tonight).

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