Hello and welcome to another thrilling installment of Everything Pure Is Secretly Tainted, everybody! Earlier this week, former NASA engineer Mark Rober posted a video on YouTube documenting how he used his gift for inventing weird shit to exact some sweet, sweet revenge on a few thieves who stole packages off his porch. It was a truly incredible video, made all the better by the string of footage of unsuspecting robbers opening the booby-trapped box and finding themselves covered in glitter and gagging on fart spray.
Unfortunately, it looks like some of those reactions weren't the real deal.
A few days after the video went viral, a handful of eagle-eyed viewers noticed that something looked suspicious about a few of the thief reaction clips. In a series of Imgur photos that would probably be best viewed on a wall connected with red lines of string, the post maps out a compelling case that there are more than a few weird coincidences in the video. Something was definitely off.
Now, Rober has released a statement saying that he re-edited the video to remove two of the reaction clips, admitting that they were, in fact, fakes. But as he tells it, it's not his fault—he was just as duped as the rest of us.
"I was presented with information that caused me to doubt the veracity of 2 of the 5 reactions in the video," Rober wrote on Twitter Thursday. "These were reactions that were captured during a two week period while the device was at house 2 hours away from where I live. I put a feeler out for people willing to put a package on their porch and this person (who is a friend of a friend) volunteered to help."
Sadly, those people who signed on to help with the scheme actually had a scheme of their own, and they reportedly faked the footage to scam Rober out of some cash. "To compensate them for their time and willingness to risk putting a package on their porch I offered financial compensation for any successful recoveries of the package. It appears (and I've since confirmed) in these two cases, the 'thieves' were actually acquaintances of the person helping me."
According to Rober, that doesn't mean the whole video is a fake. "I can vouch that the reactions were genuine when the package was taken from my house," he says. "I'm especially gutted because so much thought, time, money and effort went into building the device and I hope this doesn't just taint the entire effort as 'fake'. It genuinely works (like all the other things I've built on my channel) and we've made all the code and build info public."
Rober has uploaded a new version of the video without the two fake reactions and promises to "take all necessary steps to make sure it won’t happen again." But as lame as it must feel to set out to prank some assholes and wind up getting pranked by some other assholes, the news doesn't discount Rober's entire glitter bomb video. The booby-trapped package is still a brilliant piece of engineering, and the new edit is still a hilarious watch.
All Rober has to do now is figure out what kind of inventive revenge he's going to take on those shitty friends-of-friends. Let's hope he films it for our viewing pleasure.
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