Many of you may have seen the ‘Australian UFO Wave’ website over the past month or so, with its “sensational” footage of UFOs and aliens being ‘reported’ across Australia. After much skepticism from the UFO research community (and I mean researchers, not gullible believers), not least due to the fact that all reports were anonymous, a new and unexpected development has arisen. Apparently, the Australian UFO Wave was “an experimental digital video project” , funded by the Australian Film Commission (we’ll be seeing this on the current affairs programs soon):
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.
The creators state their belief that the project was “not a hoax or deception, but an immersive artwork”. I guess that would depend on your sense of humour. I can see their point, but if I was a UFO researcher with limited time and resources, and I had spent some time on this, I’d be pretty ticked off. Not to mention that it just furthers the field of ufology as one that cannot be trusted, despite there being some excellent researchers out there who have fascinating data.