Internet hoaxes: Wow!

By · Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Internet hoaxes: They come in waves, and there are too many to count. They will catch you if you’re not careful, skeptical and alert. Yesterday a colleague sent out this YouTube clip. It’s crazy stuff. “Wow,” he wrote.

I watched — and I was impressed. Had I not been in a rush, I would have forwarded it along. Maybe someone else would have posted it on a site.

Problem: Within an hour or so, colleague Vin Crosbie wrote …

It’s a great clip. I liked it so much that I posted it on Facebook. However, I became suspicious.

Although excellent pilots have (rarely) been able to land an aircraft after losing a wing (see the History Channel’s clip about an Israeli F-15 doing so), this stunt clip is almost certainly a fake, albeit a very well-done one.

See the short English-language debunking of the clip or the longer French-language (with English subtitles) debunking. Notably, there are two subtly different aircraft in the clip. Also, compare the off-camera voice in the clip with the same voice in this one showing large model airplanes doing the same stunts.

One site claims it’s part of a viral marketing campaign for the brand whose logo is painted on the plane.

Just goes to show that you can’t trust everything you see on the Internet.

So wrote Vin.

Steve Davis

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