Wednesday, October 07, 2009

War of the Worlds tribute taken for real

A video that recently surfaced on the Internet purporting to show a UFO pursued by jet fighters has, in a bizarre twist, proven to be a tribute to the Orson Welles War of the Worlds radio broadcast. The viral video was actually produced to promote the Spanish website, and was one of several in a series. The others are extremely silly, but the one that got the Internet abuzz is a much more intense piece of work. A group of fishermen out at sea are seen on shaky hand held footage to be freaking out at something in the sky. Jet fighters roar past, and then the camera manages to focus on a disc shaped object, which abruptly plunges straight down into the sea, ejecting a great plume of water as it submerges. Next second a helicopter comes into view and a voice orders the ship to return to port immediately.

This is fantastic stuff, as a bit of a UFO buff myself, I was very excited to find it, but cynic that I also am, I determined to have a hunt around to see if anything could be found to explain it. It didn't take long. A video detailing how it was all made even exists on the terra website, and the reference to it being a tribute to the Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast is there in black and white, well Spanish to be precise - "Un homenaje de Terra a 'La Guerra de los Mundos' de Orson Wells en su aniversario." As well as the making of video, you can also see some of the other videos in the series on the terra site, including a nice copy of the UFO Jet fighter chase.

Quite odd to think (and a little worrying) that something made to celebrate a fake broadcast could in itself be mistaken for the real thing. I discuss exactly this sort of thing in my book, Waging the War of the Worlds, arguing (I think all too plausibly given this example) that it would not be impossible for a really talented and determined group of people to pull off a scare on the scale of the Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast, though this time on a truly global scale.

Here's an embed of the UFO Jet Fighter Chase.