When your facility is rumored to be creating black holes, opening portals to hell, ripping apart the fabric of space and time, summoning the anti-Christ and worse (cloning Justin Bieber?), you should be prepared to respond to these accusations with facts, assurances and something more than “Nuh-uh, you crazy nuts!” Officials at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), home of the Large Hadron Collider, have been dealing with these and other conspiracy theories since day one, but this one is a first. A group posted a video of what appeared to be a human sacrifice on the grounds of CERN. It was quickly proven to be fake but officials, fear mongers and the fearful are wondering, “What next?”
The video appeared on August 11th on YouTube and on the Facebook page of Stranger Than Fiction News. It shows what appears to be a staged human sacrifice ritual performed on CERN grounds at night. Most of the people are in black cloaks and a woman appears to be stabbed. The French news agency AFP reports contacting CERN about the video and an unnamed official confirms some aspects of it.
These scenes were filmed on our premises, but without official permission or knowledge. CERN does not condone this type of spoof, which can give rise to misunderstandings about the scientific nature of our work. CERN IDs are checked systematically at each entry to the CERN site whether it is night or day.
So how did these people manage to fake a human sacrifice on the grounds of what is undoubtedly one of the most secure sites in the world? Good question. The unnamed spokesperson confirmed that the people in the video were on CERN premises so they must have had badges. AFP reports that Geneva police have seen the video but are not involved with the investigation since CERN is treating it as an “internal matter” or, as the spokesperson described it, a “prank.”
A prank? At CERN? That diagnosis is even scarier than a human sacrifice! CERN has an army of public relations people and that’s the best they can come up with? Here’s the post on its FAQ page.
No, this video is a work of fiction showing a contrived scene. CERN and its on-site accommodation fills up with scientists from across the world coming to CERN as part of their work. Work at CERN can take place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with shift work and data analysis. Persons that are authorised to access the CERN site sometimes let their sense of humour go too far, and that is what has happened on this occasion.
We’re glad it wasn’t a real human sacrifice but this kind of breach of security at CERN is a cause for conCERN.