The video purportedly showing a live woolly mammoth in Siberia that the British tabloid The Sun posted Feb. 9 is a hoax, said an Australian filmmaker living in Thailand. Someone digitally added the blurry image of a dark animal to footage of a Siberian river he shot in 2011, he said.
Lou Petho said a man who had seen one of the many news stories on the video contacted him Sunday evening. The man had searched online for video of Siberian rivers. On the third page of results was footage of a river in the Sayan Mountains shot by Petho for a documentary on his grandfather's escape from a POW camp in 1915 and journey back to Hungary, his homeland. The footage matched the "mammoth" video exactly.
Superimposed on the "mammoth" video are the words, "Siberian Mammoth, Copyright Michael Cohen/Barcroft Media." Michael Cohen is the editor of All News Web, "The World's Only Inter-Galactic News Daily News Service," which is devoted to accounts and alleged documentation of paranormal activity.
Petho said he thought the man who contacted him said he'd had footage of his altered without his knowledge and disseminated by Cohen. This was why the man took an interest and contacted Petho, Petho said.
Petho contacted Barcroft Media, which its website says is a media content company based in London. "They're just as pissed as I am," Petho said, adding Barcroft had agreed to compensate Petho for his footage having been used without his permission.
"If it was a couple of kids messing around for a laugh, fine," Petho said. "But someone was making money off it - that's what pissed me off."
Asked to comment, Michael Cohen emailed the following:
Mr Petho has no evidence that I personally stole the video. I receive countless videos every week of possible paranormal nature, I accept them on good faith and on the understanding that the sender has ownership of them. I choose he most interesting ones to publicise. I feel that i am being defamed and in fact the very concept of a paranormal writer/investigator is being attacked. Obviously a percentage of such videos are going to be fake however that should lead to the messenger being shot. I number of journalists in the media seek to promote a soulless, scientific worldview that will ultimately lead to the human race becoming nothing more than a bunch of wage earning robots. These people do all they can to take away any mystery or anything metaphysical out of peoples lives. I am not some profit-driven scam-artist but a person with ideas and beliefs. I do due dilligence to the extent possible in this field.
Cohen told Huffington Post Petho's coming forward proved only the river had been shot twice, by different people. Petho said this was "pretty ridiculous; the two videos match up perfectly, every stone." Petho posted on Youtube a video response to the whole situation demonstrating this: