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  • 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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