Last night was such a magical time. The world was fascinated by a video that purported to show a Golden Eagle snatching a baby right in the middle of a Montreal park. But, as with most wonderful things on the Internet, it was only a matter of time before it was revealed to be fake. And this was a pretty frustrating fake — a cool school project, uploaded by the school's PR person, and just now admitted as such.
By morning the cracks in the facade had started to show. A Reddit thread detailing the different signs of fakeness in the video popped up. The detractors came out in full force. One Fark commenter pointed out there's a Montreal animation school that does an annual "hoax the Internet" project. Turns out, that cynical jerk of a Fark commenter was right. Canada's CBC now reports that Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin created the video for their animation class at Centre NAD. They took real video in the park and added the eagle and the baby in during post-production.
In a YouTube message to The Atlantic Wire, the original uploader of the viral video, Claude Arsenault, who is the school's PR director, pointed us to a press release that "reassures Montrealers" that they are in "no danger of being snatched by a Royal Eagle."
We wanted to believe in the baby-snatching eagle. We really did. It went along with a certain Canadian zeitgeist. There was that horse that was barred from entering a Toronto hotel. And, our favorite, the monkey in a stylish coat that ran around a Toronto IKEA. Could you blame anyone for believing in the baby-snatching eagle video? It's like a zoo up there! But next week we'll be extra skeptical when we see reports of a beaver building a dam in the middle of a Saskatchewan mall fountain. It will be thoroughly vetted before we continue our "Meanwhile, in Canada," series.