Last week on the Sideshow, we told you about this video purporting to show a Woolly mammoth crossing a Siberian river. And just as we speculated, the video has been debunked as a hoax.
What we didn't realize at the time is that apparently the entire video is fabricated, according to Life's Little Mysteries. There were several flags raised when I first watched the video: The creature looked more like a bear, there were no accompanying tusks and the supposed trunk looked more like a disproportionately large fish hanging from the "mammoth's" mouth.
Well, all the rampant speculation has grinded to an abrupt halt now that the original video's author has stepped forward. Writer and videographer Ludovic Petho shot the footage (minus the mysterious creature) while traveling through near the Kitov River in Siberia's Sayan Mountains last summer.
Ironically, Petho was shooting the footage while working on a project about his grandfather's escape from a Siberian POW camp and his long walk across Siberia to Budapest, Hungary. I saw ironic, because a film tackling similar subject matter, The Way Back, has itself been at least partially debunked as a work of fiction.
"I'm the guy that filmed the river footage in the Sayan Mountains that now hosts a fake woolly mammoth," Petho writes on his YouTube page. "It was taken in the summer of 2011, the river is the Kitoy river and I don't recall seeing a mammoth; there were bears, dear and sable to name a few mammals but no woolly mammoths. I had no idea my footage was used to make this fake sighting and question if a law was broken here."
Petho's video has been posted for free use on YouTube since last summer. So, the mystery still remains as to exactly who shot the altered footage. And now, not only have millions clicked on a hoax video, Petho's original, unaltered clip has racked up more than 90k views today. It's a bit of notoriety he probably never expected while trekking through Siberia last summer.