Prior to the release of the 2008 thriller Cloverfield, producer J.J. Abrams managed to create a remarkable amount of hype leading up to the film’s release with the multitude of creative “viral marketing” schemes he employed. Among these were a number of websites, some sporting odd circumstances and slightly creepy photographs suggesting the presence of something monstrous, while others merely promoted fake brands (the infamous Japanese “Slusho” beverages) associated with various Abrams ventures.
Since that time, hardly does anything happen in the twilight world of Forteana that isn’t at some point suspected of having potential connections to similar “viral” marketing ventures. The infamous “Montauk Monster,” among others, have been noteworthy examples of such situations, inspiring a number of spin-offs and fueling debate over the various lengths entertainment companies will go to in order to promote their products. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the surge in interest pertaining to a series of purported UFO films stemming from Jerusalem have now caused very similar speculation to emerge.
I had even speculated about this at The Gralien Report earlier this week, particularly after the release of a second, longer variation of the fourth in the series of Jerusalem’s UFO videos appeared on YouTube. The video in question depicts four young adults riding together in a car, and an exchange occurring primarily between a woman in the front seat and the man beside the videographer in the backseat directly behind her. After what appears to be a heated (though lighthearted) exchange, the frustrated youth from the backseat emerges from the vehicle, and storms off into the darkness, where he is apparently distracted by “something” in the distance. The female emerges and follows, after which the driver and the cameraman leave the car and follow. The footage then abruptly cuts to the alleged UFO object from the earlier videos, providing the most vivid portrayal of the craft made available to-date. The footage looks so good, in fact, that upon first viewing I couldn’t help but find it more than just a little suspicious.
Indeed, it may be that the footage was spliced together, so as to weave a scenario around an otherwise rather ambiguous piece of footage; much the same, the entire thing could have been planned, but for what? Is it merely a hoax, or is it indeed a well-crafted promotional campaign for something else? The latest allegations supporting the latter stem from the website MovieViral.com, which features an article by blogger Dan Koelsch, who notes, “One theory I’ve gotten emailed about is that this was made by the marketing people behind Sony’s Battle: Los Angeles as part of the viral marketing campaign.” Koelsch expressed his own doubt over the potential for a viral scenario, however, nothing that although “the W.A.T.C.H. Facebook page did pick up on the story, I doubt Sony is behind this.”
If not marketing for one of this summer’s many alien-themed blockbusters, what else could the videos of the UFO over Jerusalem represent, if not the real thing? At present, the truth has yet to be determined.