FOOTAGE showing a meteor in the skies above Penarth has been revealed to be a deliberate hoax designed by an artist for the Cardiff Contemporary festival.
The video, which appeared to show a flaming object crash into the sea near Penarth Pier, was uploaded to Twitter by artist Mark James on Wednesday evening.
The meteor sighting was reported by several news outlets and inspired a wide range of theories on social media.
However, it was later revealed to be part of Mr James’ exhibition for the Cardiff Contemporary Visual Arts Festival which is showcasing the work of 45 artists who are involved in projects across the city.
Their work is appearing in a variety of locations from derelict buildings to pop-up venues.
Mr James’ own exhibition, called A Response, is based on the Nasa Voyager Program, which launched two robotic probes in 1977 to explore the cosmos and seek out alien life.
On board these probes was the Voyager Golden Record, a disc that contained greetings, images and recordings of humanity and Earth in an attempt to establish contact with alien species.
Mr James’ exhibition shows the disc being returned to us from extraterrestrial life. A mock-up of the Voyager Golden Record, with a new and updated message, is being showcased at the Angel Hotel until November 19.
“The dramatic fireball seen across Cardiff Bay on Wednesday evening, which looked like a meteor, was the disc being returned to us by those who had found the original Voyager record,” Mr James said.
“It’s a response from whatever life lives out beyond the stars, who might be watching us and the state our world is in, to say ‘what have you done?’ as we continue to foster wars and pollute the planet at will.”
On the reaction the footage generated Mr James said: “We couldn’t have hoped for a better response to be honest. It was a perfect storm. The fact it went viral and all major news sites picked it up was great for us and Cardiff Contemporary.”
“When we did reveal it was part of the Cardiff Contemporary installation the next morning, there was a lot of interest in the fact, but not as much as the actual meteor footage. People seemed to like the meteor more than the truth.”
“Some people actually claimed to have actually witnessed it, which was bizarre.”