Friday 15 December 2023

Leaker was a Scammer

See here for essential background:
A lot has happened in the last forty-eight hours. The Leaker agreed to send Ashton Forbes the original files and said that they added the password in a separate Notepad document; however, this document contained no password, just the phrase: "Can you deliver these to D? ASAP. also we are go Rob (sic)." What on earth does that mean? Ashton did two livestreams where he filmed his attempts to solve the mystery. A lot of his audience have always been worried that this was a massive windup and their suspicions grew during the course of the last two days. I myself believed that it was unlikely that this was faked; but I did leave the possibility open, as did Ashton. Despite this, he approached the conundrum with a lot of enthusiasm and last night he cracked the password. He has put the files in the public domain, see:; the password is: CAL084333GAUN370509files, a slight adaptation of the folder's name. The first two AVI files are simply copies of the original orb and airliner videos. The first MOV file is a seventeen second video showing what looks like the interior of a rather dishevelled workshop or factory. There are broken fuse boxes and a furnace. Rubbish is lying all over the floor. There are a few notices in English. You will recognize the red stepladder and office behind the windows from the stills. The second MOV is just four seconds long and appears to be filmed in some kind of underground tunnel or basement. There are metal beams on which a man can be seen perching. There is a noise and an object falls into some water which lies below the beams, as if the location is flooded. When this happens a voice exclaims: "Shit!" and another says: "Holy crap!" This video's frames do not correspond to any of the stills. Ashton said that the key part of the locked folder was the PDF, yet this is just an unclassified statistics document for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone, the aircraft believed to have filmed one of the original videos. The interesting page from the still is not there.
The last two days have been very exciting. Following Ashton Forbes has been a bit like reading a Dan Brown novel, but within a minute of cracking the password it became obvious that this whole business was almost certainly a scam. We should not have underestimated the effort to which trolls will go to orchestrate a superficially credible hoax. It has happened before, for example see: Why did they do it? I don't know if Ashton paid any money to anybody for this miasma; and we can't find out now because he has deleted all his streams on the subject; but if so it is a matter for the police. Fraud is the most common motive for hoaxing; however, a few scammers just do it for amusement. They target somebody they dislike with false intellectual bait in the hope that the target will rise to it in the way Ashton did. As I said in the background article above, Ashton is not to be blamed in any way; in my view this does not discredit him. He had the choice of publish or do not publish; simple as that. In his place I would probably have done the same. No doubt the tricksters are rolling on the floor with merriment. Although Ashton deleted the livestream, the key part was captured. We see his elation at breaking into the folder immediately turn to disappointment and embarrassment when he discovers the truth. To quote one of them: "Ashton might have deleted all of his calebdownload.rar streams, but fear not. We can still enjoy watching victory turn to defeat." I personally have no idea why this would give anybody any enjoyment. There are people in this world I hate, but in their case I hope I would never express my resentment in such a juvenile and cowardly way. Also, what cause do the people currently gloating have to despise Ashton this much? All he has done is disagree with them. Yes, he has done so sometimes in a very scathing and bad-tempered manner, but is this kind of backlash the just and mature response? I know from personal experience that internet trolls are willing to carry out the most bitter and protracted hate campaigns with literally no provocation at all, so maybe that's a pointless question. By contrast, Ashton has taken this on the chin. He has been calm, apologetic and dignified. He Tweeted: "We cracked the password... We're pretty certain this was illegitimate. If so it's sociopathic... Feel free to check the files for yourself to confirm this. Maybe we're missing something, but I doubt it. I apologize to anyone I mislead about the files and to the debunkers who said they were fake. We'll go back to regular investigation tomorrow. I'll also have to scrutinize for things like this much harder in the future. Ashton." It's a great shame that people are willing to trivialize and debase the UFO/paranormal/conspiratorial subject like this. As I said to Steve Mera above, there are so many real phenomena that are exciting and fascinating, why fake things? Isn't the reality enough? And, in this case, to fake things for no other purpose than childish vainglory. What's more, it's the desecration of a mystery that relates to the disappearance, and probably the deaths, of 239 people; people with families and friends who miss them and are suffering every day because they don't know what happened to them. If you haven't already, like the trolls, now would be a really good time for you to shut up and grow up!
See here for background:

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