A recent viral video purports to show grainy footage of a Wooly Mammoth alive and well in Siberia. The footage has been revealed to be not only a hoax, but involved theft of a legitimate documentary filmmaker’s hard work.
A mammoth hoax
The Wooly Mammoth is one of the largest mammals to have walked the earth and evidence points to the enormous fur-covered relative of the elephant having gone extinct thousands of years ago. Just like other extinct animals and mythical creatures, there have been various reports of small, isolated populations of them cropping up from time to time, though unsubstantiated.
Recently, a viral video showed, according to the Huffington Post, what was claimed to be a sighting of a living wooly mammoth in Siberia. The incredibly blurry footage shows something resembling a Wooly Mammoth crossing a stream. As it turns out, according the MSNBC, it’s a fake.
Stolen documentary footage
The video was allegedly created using footage shot by Ludavic or “Lou” Petho, an Australian documentary filmmaker, and superimposing the mammoth over Petho’s footage of a river. British newspaper The Sun reported that it had been shot by an engineer working for the Russian government in Siberia, though the video that has been circulating bears the legend “Copyright Michael Cohen/Barcroft Media.” Petho posted the original footage to YouTube last year, shot on the Kitoy River in the Sayan Mountains.
Cohen, according to ABC News, is the editor of a website called Allnewsweb.com, a site devoted to “UFO and Paranormal News.” Barcroft Media is a London-based media content company, which Petho contacted. The similarity between the “mammoth video” and Petho’s footage is damning.
Petho was shooting a documentary about the journey of his grandfather, a Hungarian who escaped from a Siberian POW camp during World War I and walked back to Budapest.
Circulator defends video
Cohen told ABC that some videos he receives are going to be fake, but that “Mr. Petho has no evidence I personally stole the video.” Cohen also maintains, according to the Daily Mail, that given the vast expanse of Siberia, it is “possible that a number of species, extinct elsewhere, survive in the area.” The fossil record holds, so far, that the last mammoths were a small, isolated population of them on Siberia’s Wrangel Island, the last of which died out around 1,700 B.C.
Petho, however, released his own video, showing the similarities between the videos and saying that had the footage been just “a couple of kids in a bedroom” making the alteration, he would have been laughing along with them, but since it appears to have been manipulated for other people’s commercial gain, he says “….what the (expletive)? You’re stealing.”
The original video
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/09/woolly-mammoth-videotaped-in-siberia_n_1265517.html?ref=weird-news
Lou Petho’s website: http://www.loupetho.com/
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