First, no one knows who took the videos. In UFO reports, as in police investigations, anonymous reports are usually a red flag that something's bogus. There are very few legitimate reasons why a genuine witness would not want to be identified. (For example, fear of reprisals from gang members or the mafia; though it seems unlikely that the aliens threatened anyone to keep quiet.)In the below video analysis, the camera operator behind the first video appears on camera and gives his name and thoughts on the alleged event. It is said that he came forward due to pressure one week after the sighting in 2011. Radford's article states that, "Surely at least one of the videographers -- or someone working with them — would have come forward in the past 10 days to sell their story to a newspaper or tabloid. Suspicious."
It also said to be known that four high school students recorded the last video shown.
To take Radford's tone, I could say that a witness did apparently come forward before your article, and in any event, it is now over four years later with no update to reflect the fact that your point about anonymity is moot. Suspicious.
Furthermore, there is certainly a ridicule factor that makes many UFO witnesses not come forward!
The Dome of the Rock is one of the most famous and important religious sites in the world, and there are well over a million people in Jerusalem at any given time—many of them religious tourists near the Temple Mount. It's probable that there were thousands of people in the area at the time, yet no one else reported seeing or videotaping the bright light? Very suspicious.A YouTube commenter responds to this type of criticism:
I responded, "Do you have a source you can provide regarding these several hundred or perhaps over a thousand witnesses who made calls? I'm not doubting what you are saying, I just can't find any such info." I'll provide an update if I find or hear anything more on this point.
Third, though one woman can be heard in a videotape saying that the mysterious light was so bright that "you can almost hardly look at it," the object does not seem to reflect any light from the gold-plated dome below it. This is very mysterious indeed, and strongly suggests that the "UFO" light was digitally inserted into the scene. (Note also that a generic light would be among the easiest "UFOs" to fake; you don't need to worry about drawing or animating spaceship windows or wings or shadows on the craft itself.) Super suspicious.Commenters responded:
Thomas JohnsonFurthermore, this analysis notes that a security camera snapped a picture of the object at the correct time, also not addressed in Radford's article.
Just a cursory viewing of the video reveals the lighting you claim is not present in fact is. Reflections or no, the initial flash when the light shoots into the sky illuminates the surrounding area. Also, shadows appear during the flash. I'm not saying its legit, but I would give her another look. For me, the presence of multiple videos and angles is pretty convincing.
Gray Phoenix Scott · Top Commenter
Couldn't agree more. Seriously, this guy claims to be a UFO investigator, but looks for every excuse to "debunk" this as something made in After Effects. I actually only watched this video after seeing a Project Camelot interview with Emily Windsor-Cragg who claim this was a legit attempted landing. I've studied video editing and KNOW what fake footage looks like, it's very easy to claim but very hard to pull off. Guess the sheep will continue to sleep, eh? ;)
Since this time, more videos have surfaced, bringing the total to six. I don't know for sure if this is a giant hoax or not. What I do know is that Benjamin Radford is a "Bad Science columnist for Live Science," but what he provided us was a Bad Debunking!
Blog Visitor Comment:
Your post is really good! It seems to go over the circumstances pretty well – as far as I can tell. I heard Richard Dolan talking about it at one stage and I think he said that there had been one real event and hoax videos of the event ... this muddied things a bit, so I left it at that.
I did not know there were 6 videos in circulation. The first two seem pretty legit, the one with the big blob seems suspect... Good work on bringing that together.