Thirdphaseofmoon steadily craps out crimes against common sense and integrity in the form of YouTube videos. They may occasionally get shared by third-rate news sites looking to boost numbers, but they can’t escape their own mediocrity. We watch, analyze, and turn crap into gold- with FIRE. Enjoy.
In addition to debunking, this details a bit of the process for discovering the source of a video, and some interesting things you can find along the way. This hoax happened to pop up at the right time for me to be able to respond quickly. The fact that it was picked up by a few news sites is part of a sad trend: us UFO freaks are not really taken seriously for the subject we’re interested in, yet we’re seen as a target market and a way to draw more attention. Web sites have picked up on the fact that we’ll watch just about anything UFO-related on a larger news site because the association with the larger entity, makes it seem legit. Unfortunately these sites have chosen the absolute worst material to put on display, hoaxes from Secureteam 10, Third Phase of Moon and Mister Enigma.
There really is no excuse or purpose to this except to generate traffic. Some of the comments from the 07TV YouTube page for this hoax include:
“Fake, fake, fake.”
“THIS IS GROUP IS LIKE THIRD PHASE OF THE MOON IT’S ALL FAKE…”
“Stop wasting everyone’s time. You’ve made these stupid hoax videos before, and they get debunked every time. FUCK OFF.”
News sites are certainly not making their UFO video choices based on credibility or reputation. I’ll cover this more in another episode.Share this
A UFO hoax created by Mister Enigma, aka Robert Simmons of Wisconsin, was posted to YouTube on June 21, 2015 and subsequently featured by some larger news sites beginning June 25.
How this happened is difficult to understand; it featured nothing remarkable. It’s the type of thing you’ve seen from hoaxers before: footage from the ISS with a few tiny specks added in to make it look as if objects were exiting the Earth’s atmosphere. This was followed by the typical NASA “loss of signal” title card, suggesting we were seeing something forbidden. It’s a scenario so old, I’m surprised hoaxers still use it. In this case, it worked to spectacular effect from Mister Enigma’s point of view, as it’s been taken up by news sites worldwide.
As best I can determine, patient zero is Huffingtonpost.co.uk, who ran with the story on the 25th. Other news sites followed suit without doing the simplest bit of research, such as Googling “Mister Enigma hoax.” I guess it’s one of those oddball stories that’s too good to check.
This episode is a good illustration of what an echo chamber online news has become. If one of the larger news sites makes an error, that mistake will be repeated ad nauseam, possibly in perpetuity. I have been posting comments on every site pointing out this particular error, even tweeting directly to the articles’ authors, but I’ve not seen a correction yet.
Also repeated ad nauseam: my advice to check your sources. Not the source of the news story, but of the video it’s based on. Five minutes of effort by Huffingtonpost.co.uk could have averted this nonsense. Viral mistakes of this kind are an insult and a disservice to people who invest the time and equipment into recording real sightings, but even worse, the media attention directly supports the creation of more hoaxes.
If you need any background on Mister Enigma, check these links:
I have to admit I was stunned at the number of insane pareidolia-driven Mars channels on YouTube, yet after some thought, it makes sense. It’s incredibly easy to spot something unusual among millions of rock formations in thousands of photos, doctor it up with Photoshop and create a glorified slide show. It’s hoaxing for the completely lazy and talentless.
I can’t tell if people are engaged with the content because they consider it a serious analysis or if they’re simply curious to find out how ridiculous the assertions can get. Hopefully I’ll get some feedback from fans of the Mars slideshows.
The hoaxers would have us believe that the Martian landscape is strewn with random objects having no plausible explanation for their placement or existence. I wondered what such a nutty environment would look like, so we now have Mars Madness as a reference.
There’s so much new crazy each week it could be a full time job.Share this
Thanks to an alert from Isaac Koi, Youtube hoax channel Section 51 seems to have shifted its stance on what exactly it’s trying to accomplish. Previously Section 51 was content to let people believe they were putting forth footage of real events– note the UFO Attacks Taliban Camp clip that got a lot of play online. At least one of their videos had “REAL!!!” at the end of the title, but this has since disappeared. Now, Section 51 seems to have redefined itself. In the About area of the channel, we now see this:
“Section 51” is an independent reality web-series that premiered on August 2013 on Youtube, and ran for two seasons. With a total of 17 million views and 30.000 subscribers, “Section 51” is one of the best UFO channels on Youtube. Based on reality video footage and sometimes VFX, the concept of the show is : Hoax or Real ?…
The concept of the show is “Hoax or Real.” What does that even mean? Is the “web series” a guessing game that earn the winners big prizes? I parse this as “well, you caught us making hoaxes but… that was totally our plan all along!” Naturally many people were left feeling betrayed, as evidenced on the Section 51 discussion page [update: YouTube account deleted] where the producers spend a good deal of time responding to insulting comments from outraged viewers.
The channel description continues:
We launched that new idea of reality web-series with UFO and Sci-Fi subjects in order to expose the reality of UFOs. We call that kind of event UFOs because we are totally bemused about what this could be ? Sometimes we have no words to explain what we see, sometimes we can see that it’s just hoax. The purpose of that web-series is to make you ask yourself these questions about UFOs… until the real contact happens one day !
If you can make sense of that word salad, you’re more conceptually flexible than I am. Section 51 doesn’t even know what the term “web series” means. It’s a collection of episodes around a common theme, usually with a storyline of some kind, at least within each episode. A web series definitely is not a collection of military clips with visual effects added, with no storyline and not a word of dialogue.
In spite of all the negative response and waffling about their purpose, Section 51 has obviously been encouraged by the number of subscribers their charade has taken in, and is now looking for money to do more of the same by promoting this link [update: Patreon account deleted] on their channel’s main page. Their plea for funds is laughably devoid of specifics on what you will get for your money. According to their Patreon page, “As a Patron you’ll receive many exclusive bonuses per month unavailable to the public. See below for details!” and then gives no details, just vague references to future endeavors: “This year we’re working on a TON of amazing projects for you guys.”
In a way, it’s kind of refreshing that a hoaxer has dropped the charade: they’re making hoax videos, and they’re in it for the money.
Things don’t seem to be going so smoothly, however. The promo video on the Section 51 channel’s main page features the following text:
This is a message to all our subscribers. No one can intimidate you. Section 51’s channel is temporarily limited. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, and nothing is hidden that will not be made known. We have another alternative. It is called Aurora 51. Subscribe to Aurora 51 and discover new exclusive videos of Section 51. A new way to support us and continue to follow your favorite Section 51’s program. We’ll be back soon on Aurora 51 and Section 51. Thank you!
(I just saved you two minutes of eyestrain watching text on a flashing background mixed in some shadowy logo porn.)
Did Youtube get complaints about Section 51’s content and restrict them, similar to what happened to NDestination Unknown? Hard to say. I’m not sure what their policy is on such matters. I don’t know how splitting off to a second channel helps Section 51, but they must have done it for a reason.
This whole scenario reinforces what I’ve said about UFO hoaxers: they do this because they have a desperate desire to make legitimate entertainment– art, even– but are too inept or lack the motivation to actually do the work to accomplish that goal. They’re desperate to have eyes on their work, even if they have to lie to get the views. The online UFO community is just the easiest mark they could find.Share this
Mister Enigma got wind of our debunking video Speedebunking Mister UFO: CGI Don’t Think So. At first, he was appreciative.So I guess this is a win/win. Mister Enigma is exposed as a hoaxer, and it only increases his traffic. Sadly, this is not surprising based on the popularity of most hoax channels.
Well, sure. You’re welcome? I get your point. Or do I? As it happens, I don’t, because in a couple of hours gratitude gestates into full-blown butthurt:
Dear Mister Enigma,
Truly odd how you state that I “think” your video is CGI even though I’ve just proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Nobody tries to “make a name” for themselves in UFOlogy; if they do, they’re doing it wrong. People simply look for answers in pursuit of the truth.
I’m not sure what “hard work” you’re referring to. If your interpretation of hard work is making hoax UFO videos, or reposting videos that others have made, allow me to familiarize you with what “hard work” means: having an extraordinary experience you can’t explain and ruminating about it for decades. Earning the money for cameras and telescopes and IR equipment, then searching the skies for hours in hopes of capturing something amazing with no guarantee of success. Taking up mental bandwidth researching and parsing and trying to make sense of all the disinformation and opinions being pushed at you. That is hard work.
All you do is make noise, perpetrate lies, and I presume make money off those lies. Is it even worth it, knowing you’re producing nothing of value?
This isn’t about what you’ve done to me, it’s what you to all of us who care about this subject. When you pollute it with false sightings, you help make it even more difficult for a marginalized community to make a difference in the world.
If you’ve truly made a mistake and innocently posted a video you didn’t know was fake, allow me to offer my services. I’d be happy to vet any video that comes your way and let you know if it’s authentic.
My own original idea for a Youtube program was to expose hoaxes, explore ideas, and make it entertaining. As far as I know that’s rather unique. You know what’s hack and unoriginal and overdone? Taking advantage of people who are looking for answers so you can make a buck.
I hope you make better choices in the future.
You know what’s coming next, don’t you, folks? Of course you do.
Speedebunking: Mister UFO will be back up after we get copyright clearance, just like we did with the other three videos that were taken down due to the same kind of complaint. Round and round we go.Share this
Browsing the UFO channels, I came to a realization: The NDestinationUnknown Youtube channel, claiming to have “The Best UFO Sightings” has not one authentic video clip. Every single one includes badly composited computer generated imagery.
I went back to their very first video from two years ago, and searched forward. Really bad fakes. Every. Single. One. The fact that one of their posts has over 400,000 views makes me want to weep for humanity. The video that got that many views is so incredibly bad. They put in almost no effort to make the stuff look real.
I know people who make comedy sketches for Youtube. Really great stuff, made by a team of talented writers, performers, editors, and other artists who have honed their craft for many years, often with no compensation. On average, their videos get about the same number of views as a fake UFO channel, for about one hundred times the effort.
There’s one other genre that has an equal or greater appeal compared to the effort required: porn. Consider the similarities: Continue readingShare this
I can’t believe I even have to say this, you guys, but there are so many opportunistic douchebags out there using NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s name as clickbait (thirdphaseofmoon, The Cosmos News, ADG, and others) that someone has to spell it out. There is not one shred of evidence, not one, to support the idea that any such info was released… unless you believe the Iranian FARS news agency which also reported more Americans would vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than Barack Obama.
In the case of thirdphaseofmoon, it’s just become another one of the interchangeable, meaningless buzzwords they use to drive traffic, along with “incredible footage”, “breaking”, “smoking gun”, and “special report.”
The Cosmos News, with its overuse of graphics and creepy robot voice, went so far as to totally fabricate a story they claim was reported on the site The Intercept regarding UFO photos. Continue readingShare this
Having proved unsuccessful at faking clear, close-up UFO video clips (see UFO Theater Ep. 1), profiteer UFO Youtube channel Looknowtv is trying a different tactic. In their latest post, “BEST UFO SIGHTINGS FEBRUARY 2014” they shrink UFOs to miniscule sizes where low resolution and compression obscure any evidence of tampering. Continue readingShare this