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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

APRIL 8, 2006, AUSTRALIA:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

A webmaster in Australia put up a hoax by gradually publishing on a website he called "Australian UFO Wave" a collection of alleged "UFO videos" accompanied with suspiciously sounding comments. The videos were quite simple at the beginning and grew more "spectacular" in time, that last one claimed to show an alien being.

The entire website was only a hoax, admitted by the webmaster, who said he wanted to know if people would believe in it or not.

Video frame An image from the faked video.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-000251
Date of event: April 8, 2006
Earliest report of event: April 2006.
Delay of report: Weeks.
Witness reported via: Allegedly to a webmaster.
First alleged record by: Hoax website.
First certain record by: Hoax website.
First alleged record type: Hoax website.
First certain record type: Hoax website.
This file created on: February 18, 2007
This file last updated on: July 28, 2007
Country of event: Australia
State/Department: Not reported.
Type of location: Open country
Lighting conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Not reported.
UFO/Entity Relation: Not reported.
Witnesses numbers: 1
Witnesses ages: Not reported.
Witnesses types: Not reported.
Photograph(s): Yes.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Humanoid
Entities height: Not reported.
Entities outfit type: Naked
Entities outfit color: None.
Entities skin color: Light grey.
Entities body: Normal.
Entities head: Normal.
Entities eyes: Two, large, black.
Entities mouth: Uncertain.
Entities nose: Yes
Entities feet: Not seen.
Entities arms: Normal.
Entities fingers: Yes.
Entities fingers number: Uncertain.
Entities hair: None.
Entities voice: Non reported.
Entities actions: Not reported.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, filmed, went.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: Not reported.
Explanation category: Hoax.
Explanation certainty: Certain.

Narratives:

[Ref. au1:] AUSTRALIAN UFO WAVE:

This website, after claiming to have published 29 "UFO videos" from an "Australian UFO wave" allegedly taking place in 2006, published a 30th video showing an alleged "alien", accompanied with the following "witness report":

04.08.06
Undisclosed location

04.08.06. Location withheld (see below). One witness.

OTHER DETAILS: The witness reports seeing a bright low-flying light, bigger than a house, which flew above his car, then moved ahead and landed behind the trees. He found the courage to park nearby, at which time the light went out. He approached the landing point and shot this footage, then ran back to his car. He did not see the light or the figure again, and admits his memories of the journey home are vague - but he ascribes this mostly to shock. (The tape was delivered to me by hand, about 24 hours after the event, and I have viewed the original camera tape.)

We have decided to keep the location of this event secret, to allow full analysis of the site by experts. If hundreds of UFO tourists show up, vital evidence could be destroyed.

Later, the website admitted that its entire content was a fraud:

"In April 2006, the Australian Film Commission funded an experimental digital video project by director Christopher Kenworthy. Between June and mid-August 2006 thirty-one clips of UFOs were created. The UFO videos were distributed over the internet via websites and video podcasts. Writers crafted background stories for the sightings, and answered thousands of e-mails using a fictional persona. The process, reactions and responses were recorded for a forthcoming documentary."

"The project was hugely successful, being viewed by many millions of people. Very few people suspected that the clips were manufactured. Gradually, the level of plausibility was reduced, but only when the last two clips were uploaded did a large number of people get suspicious. It's also worth noting that two of the UFO clips we distributed were quite genuine - and no researcher was able to pick which two they were."

They then added to the claimed alien video page that it was a "fictional report", with the following comment:

"REALITY: This one finally seemed to do the trick. Most people, whether inside or outside the UFO community, couldn't swallow footage of an alien being. Thankfully. And once they were clued in, people finally began to suspect that the whole project may be faked. A number of other people were convinced it had to be a man in a costume, rather than CGI, which was interesting. Some, however, thought it was real. I received some amazing analyses of the footage, including proof that there were other aliens in the background, and even a spaceship. In reality, this was a CG model, created in Poser 6.0 and composited into footage. Huge clues were left to its unreality, and this time, most of them were spotted. Despite that, there were many comments such as these:

'it looks real, hmmm'

'It is for real. Yes, it is a tall grey, but it didn't appear to be coming towards him to attack him. It was trying to make contact with him.'

Points to consider:

The "australianufowave" website claims that "few suspected" the entire site was a hoax. While it is true that legions of UFO amateurs discussed the clips on Internet forums with comments indeed ranging from "hmmm it looks real" to "hmmm it looks faked", I have yet to find any serious ufologist who even considered the collection to have been "genuine." On the contrary, many quickly noted that the ever growing of clips on this website looked like an attempt at a hoax. Many noted that the report accompanying the alleged video were entirely deprived of any useful data, that the witnesses names were systematically withheld, that the webmaster did not answer any query etc.

I actually spotted the hoax so immediately with the first clips. this is why absolutely none of the clips were announced in my news page or anywhere on my website. As we say in France, "you don't get an old monkey to smile" for just any suspicious "UFO video".

This 30th and latest faked clip from the series was intended by the webmaster to look so unbelievable that people would realize it was a hoax.

On one discussion list in France I participated in, a list mostly used by very gullible UFO buffs that are mostly not ufologists but conspiracy buffs, one one participant mentioned the "Australian UFO Wave" in a gullible manner, actually claiming that I would have a hard time debunking the videos! When I told that they are all fakes, according to the website itself, the guy claimed that he "always knew a video is not proof."

On another such list with supposedly more educated participants, nobody dared say that the clip collection was "genuine". However, after I told that it was indeed a hoax, a couple of people who are proponents of some global conspiracy by "governments" about UFOs started to speculate that, since the Australian Film Commission gave some money to the webmaster, the site was some sort of evidence of a "disinformation campaign" on UFOs by "the Government". These people simply cannot grasp that a hoax is sometimes just that: a hoax.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
None.

Evaluation:

Hoax.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:

Authoring

Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 18, 2007 Creation, [au1].
0.2 Patrick Gross February 18, 2007 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross February 18, 2007 Conversion from HTML4 to XHTML Strict.

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This page was last updated on July 28, 2007