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‘Tis the year of the UFO – both real and hoaxed. Readers no doubt have seen mentioned here (and elsewhere) the ‘Haiti UFO video’ on YouTube, viewed by more than 2 million people (and considered one of the top viral videos). David Sarno of the L.A. Times did some investigating, and managed to track down the creator of the clips:

Barzolff [a pseudonym], 35, is a professional animator who has a decade of experience with computer graphics and commercial animation. The videos, he said, were intended as research for a feature-film project he’s been working on with Partizan, the company responsible for, among others, Michel Gondry’s ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’.

When contacted to verify the story, Eternal Sunshine producer Georges Bermann said it was all true, and that Barzolff was “an absolute genius” who could “make anything look entirely real.”

The movie Barzolff is working on for the big screen is about two guys who create a UFO hoax so realistic that it spirals out of their control. Barzolff stressed the videos were not intended as a viral marketing ploy. His movie is still in the idea phase, and he created the hoax strictly as a “sociological experiment” – in other words, just to see what would happen.

Following in the footsteps of the ‘Chad drones’, and last year’s ‘Australian UFO Wave‘, it appears we’ve reached a watershed moment where UFO images/video are worth pretty much zero evidential value. Not that we’ve given any credence to them here on TDG, but there’s plenty of others out there who embarrass the rest of us with their credulity.

Sarno asked ‘Barzolff’ if he could provide some sort of confirmation that he was indeed responsible for the video clips, and before too long he posted the ‘Naughty Grannies‘ clip on YouTube with the comment “Back from Haiti with a big, new toy”. Nevertheless, it’s instructive to note that ‘Barzolff’ described the results of his experiment “a little scary,” because in spite of the evidence, “many people refuse to believe it’s a hoax.”