• Section 51 takes a bizarre turn, redefines itself as a “web series”, asks for money

    Section 51 Taliban attackThanks 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.

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  • Speedebunking: Thirdphaseofmoon is Dumb, Thinks You’re Dumber

    Sure, I could make a career out of TPOM hoaxes, but I prefer to concentrate on those that get a lot of play. The only authentic-seeming aspect of this clip, titled New Stealth TR-3B!! UFO Sightings ET Craft Or Military Florida Coast is the ambient sound, which gives a good impression of a woman squealing in wonder on a windy day. Blake’s intro focuses on the supposed videographer’s shaky camera work, so right off the bat I knew what to focus on. Of course, it paid off.

    A redditor mentioned that I may be inadvertently teaching hoaxers how to make better product. There are two reasons I believe this is not cause for concern: first, because of the time constraint built in to the Speedebunking format, I always hold a little something back. Second, if these people were smart or talented enough to learn from their mistakes, they’d actually be working on legit shows instead of making worthless crap for Youtube. I’m pretty comfortable that hoaxers won’t be able to create clips that can’t be blown up.

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  • Bipolar Hoaxer: Mister Enigma Responds

    Mister Enigma got wind of our debunking video Speedebunking Mister UFO: CGI Don’t Think So. At first, he was appreciative.misterufo2So 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.

    misterufo1Well, 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: misterufo3


    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.

    – Constantine


    You know what’s coming next, don’t you, folks? Of course you do.

    misterufo4Speedebunking: 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.

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  • Speedebunking: Mister UFO/Mister Enigma

    The video was taken down for a while until it wa cleared of a copyright complaint asserted by Mister UFO/Mister Enigma. Click here to see how this happened.

    Mister UFO/Mister Enigma brings you a world where nothing is real, and isn’t Strawberry Fields. The video “Incredible TR3B UFO Video Over Eau Claire, Wisconsin Discovered” is somewhat of a unique achievement in the hoax world, in that most shots incorporate a live action background with a fake UFO. This clip goes all the way, the “false monty” if you will.

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  • Copyright Theater

    Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 10.20.02 PMSo an unexpected thing happened: after three weeks the UFO Theater Youtube channel is back online– sort of. This was based on Youtube vindicating us in a copyright dispute instigated by UFO hoax channel Secureteam 10. However. UFO Theater Episodes 1 and 2 remain offline until a similar dispute with hoax channel Looknowtv can be resolved.

    Each copyright complaint is considered a “strike” against your Youtube account; three strikes and your channel is taken down. You can respond to the complaints, but the strikes remain until the disputes are resolved.

    When Secureteam 10 made their initial complaint, we responded immediately and waited for a resolution. However, two days later Looknowtv complained about two videos, UFO Theater Episodes 1 and 2, in which we exposed a few of their UFO video clips as fakes. This added up to three strikes, because none had yet been resolved. But here’s the rub: when the channel is taken down, so is the account. We could not even browse Youtube as UFO Theater, and even worse, the links for providing a counter-notification (response to the complaint) are only provided within the channel. There was no email informing us “hey, we took your channel down, here’s why, and here’s what you can do about it.” Just… nothing. Had we not responded to the Secureteam 10 complaint immediately, there would have been no chance to get the channel back online. Luckily that dispute was found in our favor, and we now have the opportunity to respond to the Looknowtv complaints.

    This is a glaring problem with Youtube’s dispute system, and needs to be changed. It creates a catch-22 in which you need to respond to a complaint to get your channel back up, but first get your channel back up to respond to the complaint. I’ve read stories from other Youtube creators on reddit who have had massive channels disappear overnight for this and other reasons, with no recourse because the channel was nuked with no notice or explanation.

    We can only hope that once the other disputes are resolved UFO Theater will be bulletproof, but we’re not counting on it. Everything will continue to be mirrored on Vimeo from now on. We will remain a problem for hoaxers for the forseeable future.

     

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  • Speedebunking: WTF Flow

    One of the videos from WTF Flow has been making the rounds, and I was challenged to look them over. Not impressed. They add some camera shake to obscure their handiwork, but their “original” UFO videos are hoaxes. Some of the camera movement is digital trickery; the most immediate indication is that no matter how jerky and extreme the shaking, there is no motion blur in any frame. One of the shots is so badly composited it may cause you to rub your eyes and make squeaky noises. WTF Flow should probably stick to reposting other people’s videos, which they do frequently.

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  • Hoaxers’ Unlikely Ally: Copyright Fear

    deletedI’m currently engaged in a chess match with UFO hoaxers, who appear to be displeased with the way they’re being portrayed by UFO Theater. In order to keep their handiwork from being debunked, they’ve used the only means available to them: claim copyright infringement. In doing so, they’re activating video host’s reflexive response to have the video removed while the dispute is resolved. They’ve pursued the issue with Youtube and Vimeo.

    It’s difficult to predict what either Youtube or Vimeo will do with the claims, which I’ve rebutted by explaining how inclusion of the hoaxer’s video is Fair Use, for purposes of education, criticism, and parody. These services have no obligation to rely on U.S. copyright law, and can follow their own rules. Secureteam 10 made a copyright complaint that I was able to see from channel creator Tyler Glockner, in which he asserted I simply re-uploaded his entire video. What? I’m not sure how that can be allowed to stand, being that it’s patently false, and the fact that most of the video was footage from the International Space Station feed (NASA footage is public domain) to which he added a flying saucer. A day later the entire UFO Theater channel and account was taken down without notice, citing “multiple copyright violations” without providing me with the additional complaints or who made them. I’ve been judged guilty and sentenced without having the charges explained, the benefit of a trial, or being able to face my accuser(s).

    The upside is that as far as I can determine, UFO Theater has had some influence, since hoaxers have decided it’s worth having removed. Thirdphaseofmoon in particular has been much more careful about their hoaxes, moving from visual effects (computer generated imagery) to practical effects (photographing and videotaping actual physical objects) and misrepresenting the result. A good example of this is their “Cigar Shaped UFO Over Napa” that looks like it may be a real object, but they hide all context by only providing three seconds of video, zoomed in and heavily filtered. They spend most of the time polishing their turd with an “interview” with the person who supposedly shot the video.

    Based on conversations with several people who have more Youtube experience, the video should be reinstated to that platform, but with the odd deletion of the account with no justification, it’s hard to say. It also may be possible that if videos are reinstated to either platform, the hoaxers may have the ability to simply submit a chain of complaints, one after the other, that keep UFO Theater in permanent limbo. Obviously based on my limited experience, I don’t have much faith in either Youtube or Vimeo. I’ll be exploring yet more third party solutions, but may end up finding a way to run the video off my own server.

    If nothing else, this has all provided a lot of creative inspiration for some new videos that will hit the hoaxers even harder, and provide a lot of entertainment. Stay tuned.

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  • Speedebunking: Secureteam 10-10

    The debunking video Secureteam 10 doesn’t want you to see:

    [ylwm_vimeo height=”450″ width=”800″]104683138[/ylwm_vimeo]

    Originally on Youtube, this was removed today because Securteteam 10 made a complaint that the video violated their copyright. Use of their footage and logo are clearly allowed under Fair Use (criticism, parody). This debunking includes their video “BUSTED! NASA EDITS GIANT SAUCER UFOS ABOVE EARTH IN LIVE FEED” in which they state “Secureteam continues to raise the bar and lead the pack in both groundbreaking new discoveries and reputable underground news reporting.” Really? Then why so scared of us, sport?

    UPDATE 8/28/2014: Secureteam 10 made a claim of “copyright infringement” against the video, and as a result Youtube has removed it according to policy in copyright disputes. It is perfectly legal to use portions of copyrighted works for criticism or parody (known as Fair Use), but Youtube has its own guidelines regarding copyright. I was sent a notice of the claim via email, which I rebutted, but a day later the entire UFO Theater channel was removed without notice, and Youtube has been unresponsive so far. I have moved everything to Vimeo, regardless of what Youtube decides.

    On the upside, this has inspired a brand new parody, coming soon.

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  • Hoax channel NDestination Unknown Removed from Youtube

    Almost simultaneous with the release of our parody of the NDestination Unknown hoax UFO channel, it has been removed “as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.” The parody:

    [ylwm_vimeo height=”450″ width=”800″]104893242[/ylwm_vimeo]

    And now when you go to watch one of their videos:

    Success? Hard to say exactly why the channel was removed, but considering it has existed for years and featured hundreds of posts, this is rather epic. NDU was a bit of an anomaly in the UFO hoax genre, in that their work was so completely devoid of plausibility, one can only wonder why they had a single subscriber, let alone seventeen thousand. Perhaps hoax channel Section51 should pay attention.

    On another note: FUCKIN’ HOORAY.

    UPDATE 7/10/2014 – 4pm PST: NDestination Unknown has regrouped as “iUFO Sightings” and is populating the new channel with the same junk. I encourage you to flag all their posts and let Youtube know what’s going on. They’ve also formed a new Facebook identity, created on 7/7/2014. The subscribers appear to be extremely loyal for some reason, as the page has over 12,700 “likes” in just 3 days.

     

     

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  • The Alien Video You’ll Never See

    dulce_alienYou’ll have no trouble finding supposed “alien” videos on the net if you spend a couple of minutes searching. There’s some purported old Soviet KGB footage, and a bit of video from abductee Stan Romanek, to… well, lots more. Some of the attempts, like this one, are laughable. Supposedly this is footage of an actual interview with an estraterrestrial held at S4, however conveniently we don’t see the guest of honor walk in the room, there’s no audio, and the room is “kept dark for the comfort of the aliens.” How convenient. The creature appears to end up in some sort of medical distress, yet looks about as animated and emotive as Robert Mitchum on codeine. Whoever created this hoax video is catering to people who are as dim as his interview suite.

    All the images and videos have something in common: you never see a full-body extraterrestrial walking or interacting with objects in the environment. The reason is that a video clip of that kind would be extremely difficult to fake.

    As human beings we are very attuned to particular characteristics of our own humanoid kind. We are experts at reading facial expressions (absent of any special mental challenges). We have a keen sense body language, and even if we interpret incorrectly, we are acutely aware of it. These abilities make us extremely difficult to fool, so up to now nobody has even dared make the attempt. Continue reading  Post ID 267

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