The recent reentry of NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) led to a spate of YouTube hoax videos claiming to document satellite debris. The videos are geographically diverse, with sightings reported from Western Canada, Italy, Poland, Chile, Texas, and Oklahoma (the best guess is that the satellite landed somewhere in the North Pacific). This series of videos takes up the hoaxers’ attempts to produce visible evidence of an absent threat. The expected tactics of increasing visibility--altering brightness/contrast and saturation--are here taken to an absurd degree.


The UARS hoaxers take advantage of the fact that, through the pixelated vision of a cellphone camera, one bright thing in the sky pretty much looks like all of the other bright things in the sky--that each image of a star can also be a plummeting chunk of radioactive space junk, as long as that’s what you call it. Messages from a land of impeding pastel doom (they live) basically agrees with the hoaxers, except the impending disaster has nothing to do with bright lights in the sky, but instead the hoax videos themselves.