AUSTRALIAN UFO WAVE 2006
In April 2006, the Australian Film Commission funded an experimental digital video project by director Christopher Kenworthy. Between June and mid-August 2006 thirty-one clips of UFOs were created. The UFO videos were distributed over the internet via websites and video podcasts. Writers crafted background stories for the sightings, and answered thousands of e-mails using a fictional persona. The process, reactions and responses were recorded for a forthcoming documentary.
The project was hugely successful, being viewed by many millions of people. Very few people suspected that the clips were manufactured. Gradually, the level of plausibility was reduced, but only when the last two clips were uploaded did a large number of people get suspicious. It's also worth noting that two of the UFO clips we distributed were quite genuine - and no researcher was able to pick which two they were.
In our opinion this was not a hoax or deception, but an immersive artwork. We had three main aims:
1. To give people a taste of the drama and excitement of a UFO Close Encounter, creating a genuine sense of wonder.
2. To improve research into videos of genuine UFOs. As we discovered, researchers are woefully equipped to spot fakes. We want ufoloogy to improve as a result of this experiment.
3. To show skeptics that they often rely on faith rather than evidence. (Many skeptics made bold statments about the clips being nothing more than balloons, space junk, stars etc - without doing their research. They were more easily misled than UFO-believers.)