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Portsmouth UFO Revealed as Publicity Stunt to Promote Sci-Fi Weekend

UFO over Portsmouth
Published: 10:48 AM 9/24/2014

A story about a UFO being spotted in Portsmouth has been revealed as a hoax.

A photo which showed a mysterious object in the sky appeared in stories across the world with experts saying that it wasn't a cloud. Today it has been revealed that it was orchestrated by staff from Action Stations at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as a publicity stunt to promote their Sci Fi and Fantasy event that is going on this weekend.

Joshua Hibberd, Learning Co-ordinator at Action Stations explained, "I had this idea of doing it so I got ten people to take a photo of the sky at the same time as it needed to be consistent. They sent their pictures to me and the photos were then edited."

The team then went on to sci-fi forums to gain support in talking about the #pompeyufo on social media. Eventually Portsmouth's local paper, The News, took notice.

Joshua said, "Eventually we got them to pick it up and they called Johnny Blackwell which was one of our pseudonyms. I spoke to them as Johnny Blackwell and gave them the information they needed and then from it being in The News it really took off."

Not only did the story go on to appear on national newspaper websites but it had exposure across the world appearing on websites in Canada, India, Singapore, Australia, USA and others.

Joshua said, "We weren't expecting it to go as big and wide as it did. It was great to see that enough people have an interest in science fiction to be talking about it for it to become a wideworld thing."

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