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Photo app effect responsible for ET hoax

On Wednesday, February 27, the Visayan Daily Star published a story with a photo showing a government employee posed with an extraterrestrial-looking creature outside the Bacolod City Government Center in the Philippines.

Photo of Santodelsis and the ET. (Credit: Emily Santodelsis/Visayan Daily Star)

The Visayan Daily Star reports that this woman, Emily Santodelsis, was surprised to see a two-foot-tall figure “that looked like an extraterrestrial creature standing beside her in her photo taken with her cellphone by a fellow city employee” at approximately 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26. But Santodelsis reportedly claims she only noticed the extraterrestrial when she viewed the photo later. She apparently had a co-worker pray over her because the experience left her extremely terrified.

According to the Visayan Daily Star, “Some employees have claimed that they had seen about four of these ‘extra terrestrial beings’ in the area.”

And if having an extraterrestrial appear in one of her photos wasn’t enough, another photo taken on the same day shows a streak of lightning hitting Santodelsis in the head!

Ad for Camera360’s ‘2012’ effect. (Credit: PinGuo Inc.)

Coincidentally (or not), lightning and extraterrestrials are special effects recently added to the cellphone camera application Camera360. The current version of this free app (v3.9), published by PinGuo Inc., was released on December 6, 2012. It features a new photo effect titled “2012” that adds a UFO, an extraterrestrial, or lighting to a photo.

Earlier this year, a similar extraterrestrial appeared in a photo taken by a police officer at Krabi beach in Thailand. The officer told the Bangkok Post, “The photo was not edited and if any organisation wants to use the image for research they can contact the police station.” But as the Bangkok Post pointed out, this extraterrestrial is identical to the extraterrestrial used in Camera360’s advertising.

Photo taken by a police officer in Thailand. (Credit: Bangkok Post)

A few individuals have also submitted photos to Open Minds containing this identical creature, trying to pass these photos off as evidence of extraterrestrials here on Earth. And shamefully, they have also indicated that they plan to submit these photos to filmmaker James Fox who is currently working on a UFO film for which the producers have offered $100,000 for the best evidence of UFOs or extraterrestrials.

This clearly illustrates the importance of viewing all photo and video “evidence” of extraterrestrials or UFOs with scrutiny and cautious skepticism. Camera360 is just one of many tools allowing people to insert UFOs or extraterrestrials into photos, and, because of this, the evidentiary value of photos and videos has been greatly diminished.

Jason McClellan

Jason McClellan is a UFO journalist and the producer/co-host of the web series Spacing Out! He is also the web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and a co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. As a founding member of Open Minds, Jason served as a writer and editor for the now defunct Open Minds magazine. He has appeared on Syfy, NatGeo, and, most recently, he co-starred on H2's Hangar 1: The UFO Files. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook.

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  1. Wow that looks just terrible! Funny stuff though. Hopefully the little fella won’t get stepped on.

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