Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Video Of Golden Eagle Grabbing Child In Quebec Now Confirmed To Be A Fake Produced By Students At Centre NAD In Montreal

A video purporting to show a golden eagle swooping down and seizing a small child in Quebec has gone viral -- even the Daily Mail and The Blaze initially picked up on it and trumpeted it. Raw Story published a good description of it. Here's the original video:

However, there was growing skepticism. And now it's confirmed that the video was fake. The confirmation comes from Global Montreal, who reports that both the eagle and the child were created in 3D animation and integrated in to the film afterwards, citing a statement by Centre NAD spokesperson Claude Arsenault. Centre NAD students Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin created the video in the production simulation workshop class of the Bachelors degree in 3D Animation and Digital Design.

But the Global Montreal news team had already determined the video likely to be a fake through their own analysis, which produced the following conclusions:

First: Montreal police confirmed on Wednesday morning [Dec. 19] that there have been no reports of such an incident, nor has a baby-snatching bird ever been reported by the local media.

Second: The video was shot when there was no snow - and there's plenty of it now. Surely if this had taken place weeks ago, someone would have heard of it?

Third: This the only video uploaded by 'MrNuclearCat' - and this person has not responded to any of the (numerous) media requests posted in the comments section.

Fourth: If you look at the shadows of the trees (especially those far from the dramatic scene of the bird and toddler), you'll see that they are at different angles.

Finally: On December 19, 2011, another video was released that caught the attention of media and animal lovers alike - and it was also revealed to be a hoax created by Centre NAD.

Here's a shorter close-up version of the same video provided by Cyatek:

Cyatek spotted the fake by first noting how the child falls and the seeming lack of any independent reaction by the child. Cyatek also notes that the eagle's shadow does not consistently appear from one frame to the next. Nevertheless, the fake was well constructed, and birds of prey have been known to pick up animals as large as mountain goats in some parts of the world, which explains why so many media outlets were fooled at first. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game says that eagles don't pick up children, though.

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