Mammoth Hoax Verified

Mammoth Hoax Verified

Last week the interwebs were abuzz about a video that was claimed to have caught an (extinct) Woolly Mammoth crossing the Kitoy river in Siberia.

It was such a sham that I refused to post it as did Javier. We wanted no part of perpetuating something so ridiculous. Which is not to say we haven’t done or won’t post ridiculous things in the future. This was just way over the top of what a logical person is expected to believe. Furthermore, I was not going to insult the intelligence of our readers.

Of course we knew it was a hoax and it was such a bad hoax that eventually the truth would surface. Apparently it only took a week cause here it is:

Last week, a new video surfaced claiming to show a live woolly mammoth — an animal scientists think has been extinct for at least four millennia — crossing a river in Russia. The suspiciously blurry footage was allegedly “caught by a government-employed engineer last summer in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug region of Siberia,” according to a story in The Sun newspaper.

The video became an Internet sensation, making headlines around the world. Some Bigfoot believers and Loch Ness Monster lovers murmured their tentative approval, hoping it proved that large unknown (or assumed extinct) animals still exist in Earth’s remote wilds.

While most people didn’t believe that the animal in the video was really a woolly mammoth as claimed, viewers were sharply divided about what exactly it was.

Some suspected the video is an outright hoax — a computer-generated mammoth digitally inserted into a real river scene. Many others, however, were convinced that the animal was real: not a mammoth, but instead a bear with a large fish hanging from its mouth. That would explain its relatively small size, the shape of the “trunk” on its head, and the color.

Experts cast doubts on the video’s authenticity; Derek Serra, a Hollywood video effects artist, concluded that it “appears to have been intentionally blurred.”

Serra isn’t the only expert who can shed some light on this mystery: another person is Ludovic Petho. His name may not be familiar to most people, but his work has been seen by millions; he captured the scenic footage at the Kitoy River in Siberia’s Sayan Mountains in the summer of 2011.

He’s not an anonymous government engineer, but instead a writer and videographer. Petho filmed the river scene during a 10-day solo hike in the mountains as part of a video project he’s working on about his grandfather’s escape from a Siberian POW camp in 1915 and his walk across Siberia to Budapest, Hungary. The footage may end up being used in a documentary film — but there’s one big difference between the video he shot and the woolly mammoth video.

“I don’t recall seeing a mammoth; there were bears, deer, and sable. But no woolly mammoths,” he said in an interview with Life’s Little Mysteries. “I had no idea my footage was used to make this fake sighting.”

Petho noted that his original video had been available on YouTube since July 2011, depicting an exactly identical scene — minus the woolly mammoth, of course.

Here’s the original footage sans the Mammoth:

It’s unfortunate but there were plenty out there who actually fell for this. For those who did, I feel terrible.

People innocently put their trust in others only to develop a distrusting attitude. You may say it’s their problem if they can’t tell a hoax when they see it. However, things like this have a bigger impact. Eventually people become hardened and cynical. Over this you say? Yes, over this and other things in life that build up and turn people into jaded pessimists.

We have enough pessimism out there……

Thanks to the following sources for helping to expose this silly hoax:

Benjamin Radford
Ludovic Petho

See more about the Woolly Mammoth:

Woolly Mammoth Wiki
Woolly Mammoth Org
Frozen Mammoth Found-National Geographic