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Should UFO Hoaxers Be Prosecuted?

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posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:29 AM
It may seem like a trivial thing to post your fake UFO photos or videos on a public web site, but...

Basically, it falls under the definition of forgery, which is the process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents, with the intent to deceive.

Different countries have different legislation for sub-categories of forgery, but to most it is considered a serious offense.

Certain personalities within Ufology have already been subjects to law suits, such as Alien Autopsy Producer Ray Santilli (for consumer fraud), and I believe Billy Meyer has too.

Crop Circle makers can be prosecuted, since they destroy food crops (although only one has been prosecuted so far, and that was a crop circle researcher that made 'test' circles to see if he could make elaborate circles matching some of the more complex ones out there).
They could probably also be prosecuted on the basis of making a crop circle with the intent of passing it off as an 'unknown' phenomenon. The offense is in the intent to deceive, and fake Youtube-videos of 'unidentified' objects falls under the same category, even if the poster makes no claims on the nature of the object. Forgery is deceit, and once you make it public you become liable.

Of course, someone has to file charges, which is what both UFO believers and skeptics should pursue. It is in the interest of both sides to get rid off these pranksters.

We're talking about a subject of uttermost importance IMO, the possible presence on Earth of one or several otherworldly intelligences, and the fact that some people are trying to deceive us on it is unacceptable.

Personally, I'm not a hardliner. I believe these people should be sentenced to community service. Apparently they have a lot of spare time on their hands that can be better spent cleaning streets rather than posting BS on the internet.

[edit on 27-11-2009 by Heliocentric]

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:33 AM
No they shouldn't.

If the msm can spout fake crap all day long I don't see how hoaxers can be held accountable. I don't see a need to hold a private citizen to a higher standard then a corporation when it comes to presenting "facts".

I think shame is a better deterrent.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:40 AM
The problem with your logic seiko is that you're kind of saying "if some gets away with a criminal offense, there's no point in pursuing others."

It's kind of like saying that if O.J Simpson got away with murder, it makes all other murderers unaccountable for they did.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:42 AM
Not at all.

There is not enough room in prisons to contain them all.
Maybe thats what all this silly death camp talk is about, they are going to round up all hoaxers which means the large majority of anybody who has ever cut and pasted a link to a video hoax which would probably mean all believers and some skeptics, put them in FEMA camps, give them a deadly vaccine so they can finally put a use to all those bodybags aswell as thinning the herd.

Yep thats it.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:45 AM
reply to post by Heliocentric

Your point is understood but we're not talking about murder.

The reason I'm against this is because if there ever were proof and it was silenced by the media we could see a discloser prosecuted. If an 'expert" weighed in and said it was fake would that constitute the final word? Will you have a panel of experts? What's the vetting process? This is a complicated issue, and we've not even established a baseline for what is truth and what is not.

Whenever you seek ways to halt information whether good or bad the people suffer.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:45 AM
thing is if you prosecute [hoaxers] who will have the cahungas to release a legit video if its going to be ridiculed and called hoax right away... THEN get prosecuted.

it will be like suppressing information, and make the govt cover-up of UFO's a lot easier.

people will be reluctant to release any video they come across, or record themselves.

what you say could probably be a good idea to weed out the hoax videos... but some people wont even believe a legit video, and call them all hoaxes, which will just not motivate people to release the vids. Not to mention the possible procecution if their video isnt found as legit... when the person recording it knows that it wasnt.

it wouldnt be fair to the ones who recorded a real event, and then have the fear of going to jail because no one is going to believe them anyway.

[edit on 11/27/2009 by ugie1028]

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:52 AM
Seriously though, who is to determine what is a legit video or not? How does one go about determining is authenticity? Last time i checked you cant, its what keeps spinning the whole revolving world of UFOlogy is the fact there is no actual proof, rendering all films as hoax's. And what about those poor chaps filming planes landing and sattelites all night, just because they believe they are filming UFOs it doesnt mean they are, lock them up too i guess.
Actually i do like the sound of your plan more now.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:56 AM

Originally posted by pazcat
Seriously though, who is to determine what is a legit video or not? How does one go about determining is authenticity?

A photo or video somehow 'faked' (CGI, hubcaps suspended with strings, etc) publicly posted as 'unidentified object' equals forgery.

A photo or video showing a true unidentified object is what it is.

The forgery will have to be shown and proved, just as with any other crime.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:58 AM
We wouldn't have to worry about UFO hoaxers around here if there weren't legions of people around here that don't have the basic ability to tell when something is bunk or not. Watching you guys argue and defend some blatantly false videos until the very last minute of truth never ceases to amaze me.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:05 AM
I'm thinking the assignment of all the criminal offenses you enumerated for these actions, are simply not the case.

In fact hoaxes are a lie. A prank. Nothing which rises to a criminal act. It doesn't even rise to criminal mischief.

So while it's annoying, it's not illegal. And lets hope it never becomes illegal. If we all have to prove every single thing we post on ATS, or risk facing criminal charges, then our daily menus would shrink to the point of veritable worthlessness.

People still have the freedom to be an arse. Guess we should celebrate this while it lasts?

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:06 AM
Well i think this just depends on what you are calling prosecution, I think that if someone involves the government, local law enforcement and the such in hunting for or investigating something, and it is proven 100% to be a hoax then yes they should be prosecuted.

Example would be, If I hung something up and took a photo or video of it, then called the police or the Local news and reported it, and it led into hours and hours being spent looking for proof or other witness' then i should be punished if someone can say hey thats a hubcap, heres a pic if one just like it, '

As far as the punishment i would say Hefty fine community service. Make them do something useful not sit in jail.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:09 AM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

Well i know around where i live if you pull a prank or hoax and it leads into the police or someone getting involved they can prosecute you for tying up emergency resources. has happened a few times in the past for fake 911 calls.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:11 AM

Originally posted by Heliocentric

Originally posted by pazcat
Seriously though, who is to determine what is a legit video or not? How does one go about determining is authenticity?

A photo or video somehow 'faked' (CGI, hubcaps suspended with strings, etc) publicly posted as 'unidentified object' equals forgery.

A photo or video showing a true unidentified object is what it is.

The forgery will have to be shown and proved, just as with any other crime.

Yes but who decides?
A judge?
As i mentioned before, it is highly unlikely that any video would ever be called legit, strings or no strings. The court system simply could not handle the massive increase in prosecutions. Then what?, set up a specialised commitee of independant adjudicators to rule on videos. Who is on this commitee and what are there credentials? etc
See this is not going to end well is it, best leave hoaxers be.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:14 AM
reply to post by Heliocentric

I'll try to explain in finer detail.

Only you can decide if you believe something or not. If someone posts a video of a white object, and 40 experts say it's an umbrella, it most likely is. But that doesn't mean you should just believe them either. You're talking about outlawing perception and that leads to madness. I just don't like the idea of someone else deciding for me what is real and what is not. To prosecute anyone under a hoax law you'd have to do just that.

Keep all thought free.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:24 AM
I think the freedom of speech applies here, people should be able to say whatever they want and lie as much as they please, it should not be a criminal offence.

On the other hand as soon as people start to make money of it, i think the criminal side should step into picture. If someone claims to have inside information, sells books that tell it, and turn out to be hoaxin it is a clear fraud to me. They stated something untrue in their sales pitch, and this is fraud.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:27 AM
reply to post by pazcat

im not saying every video that is proven a hoax should be taken to court im just saying those that tie up taxpayers money and emergency resources.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:32 AM
reply to post by Heliocentric

Question: Should UFO Hoaxers Be Prosecuted?
Answer: No.

Crop circle makers - Damage the crops, but it has been proved that the crops are capable of being harvested. The damage comes from the tourists & circle-watchers tramping around. The hoaxers have taken care not to leave any trace.

Consumer fraud is a different thing altogether! That IS illegal.

A person putting CGI on youtube is not consumer fraud. It's a public domain, no fee charged, etc.
If they tell you it's a flying saucer, that's up to you to believe

If someone else comes along and copies that picture, not knowing its a hoax, and publishes it privately, it's still not considered fraud. It shows that your sense of legality is non-existent.

Here's another thought for you:

I tell my children that Santa delivers Christmas presents!
Are you entitling my children going to sue me when they get older?
By your definition, its fraud. I've not profited from it, apart from getting the kid's to bed early on Christmas Eve and the occasional spot of good behaviour.
(Honestly though, Santa does exist! I swear!)

Basically I think you've loved something and then found it to be fake. Basically: Tough!
Deal with it,
Get over it,
Learn from the experience and
Move on.

Anyway, some of them CGIs are really good.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:33 AM
reply to post by triaxrob

Ah, yes, such as we recently saw with "balloon boy". But the internet is different, and even that standard would not apply here. Now if somebody posted a hoax which did cause some type civic response that required police or government intervention, then it might be discovered and the person charged.

But I really don't see that happening.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:34 AM
It wouldn't matter if we got those that produced fake UFO videos prosecuted , as there would be more on the side lines ready to try their luck.
What we should do is send out a plea to those thinking that they will make a hoax is NOT TO, as it sets genuine UFOlogy back and makes the UFO community look like a laughing stock or a bunch of loonies. so out of decencies sake please don't UNLESS you actually admit to it upfront.
I'm all infavour of creativeness but if you are going to produce what you know is a fake UFO video at least have the decency to overwrite the video with " This is NOT a genuine UFO" or some other disclaimer.
That way not only will you be taken seriously , you also may garner media attention as someone who can make a reasonably good video, I'm sure that there are lots of studios out there that would appreciate creative artistry, whereas if you create a hoax video in the hopes of getting attention, the only attention you will get is ridicule, and I'm pretty sure NO ONE in their right mind wants that?

If we can get across that making hoax UFO videos is bad , then maybe when the real UFO's show up people will accept it more readily? IMO.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:37 AM
It depends. Is money changing hands? If so, I see problems.

If someone wants to post a phony pic and say it's real just for laughs, that's one thing, even though I fail to grasp what's so funny about that. I don't see how that could be prosecuted.

If someone claims to have the real deal and sells it as it such, that's fraud pure and simple and it should be prosecuted, IF you can prove it to be a hoax.

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