Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FACT OR FAKED: Vanishing Victim; Sky Serpent

SyFy - Original Air Date: 5/1/2012

Cases not tackled this week include: "Zozo the Raven Spirit" which seems to show a raven vanishing in mid flight. Is it a demon? More likely a publicity stunt for the movie being made where it was shot.  "Aloha Alien" shows a light falling from the sky.  When the photographer pursued it, he filmed a "creature" in the woods.  But it all looks like CGI to the crew.  The in-break fake (between commercials) is "Nibiru Second Sun" which shows a globe floating just above the sun.  Is it the mythical planet of Nibiru, portending the end of the world?  Nope, just a lens flare -- and seriously stupid believers, apparently.

"Vanishing Victim" seems to show a woman disappearing from beneath a sheet while sleeping only to re-emerge 13 minutes later.  Is this a true alien abduction?  The woman believes she has been abducted by aliens, and her husband supposedly set up the camera for security.  The couple seems sincere, and the crew can't figure out why someone would fake something like this.  (I guess they've never heard of various medical conditions in which people cause themselves, or others, harm to gain attention--like Munchhausen-by-proxy.)  The crew tests whether the woman could have rolled out of bed accidentally; it doesn't look the same.  Figuring it might be a hoax, they then try to replicate it with an air-filled bladder, but it doesn't deflate fast enough.  So, they cut a hole in the bed and use a lift to make their subject vanish and then reappear.  Pretty perfect match, and only their compassion for these people keeps them from (IMO) declaring this case a hoax.  Because, in fact, the vanishing sleeper looks like a fairly standard magician's trick to me, and I think you could do it without the hydraulic lift.  Sadly, the crew then does a "ghost hunt" to see if there are alien presences.  Are there EVPs?  Who cares. This is not science, and I wish they'd stop doing it.  Yet, every week we get a ghost hunt.  An outside video analyst thinks the whole thing might be an optical illusion caused by the woman rolling next to her husband.

"Sky Serpent" seems to show a flaming, serpentine UFO streaking through the English sky.  The crew tries to replicate it with kites and fiber-optic ribbons, but the results look like kites.  Next they try an RC plane with flares, which looks closer, but still too near to the camera; you can see the plane.  So, they get some local stunt pilots, and with actual planes and bigger flares, they get a perfect match.  And, as it turns out, there was an air show nearby the day the film was taken.  Mystery solved.

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