On Monday night ITV broadcast “Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA“, a documentary about the connection between Libya and the IRA. This was a serious programme about serious events though it did cover items already well known by most people. Basically it was the chance to get some talking heads on tape along with some clips of terrorists in action and to make it sound all bad all because of that nasty man Gaddafi who is no longer in charge of Libya.
Well it was an attempt at being serious.
It seem that they have shot themselves in the foot when the editors or researchers at ITV or their independent co-producers Sylvia Jones and Clive Maltby, slipped up a bit and used video game footage instead of real footage. I’m assuming that they thought it real because they saw the words “IRA film 1988″ on the video segment rather than attempt to find any computer generated footage and use it “because no one will know the difference”.
The commentary over the top of the segment made it out that they knew the context of the film as it said “This is what the security forces feared most…It may have been a lucky hit, but for the Army and crew, once was enough. No one died in this attack…”.
However it has come to light that the video is not a real video from the IRA. It is a clip from a video game. “Arma 2“, released in 2009 by Bohemia Interactive to be exact. The clip was uploaded to YouTube in March this year by NOTICIATUBE. Looking at a sample of the other videos this person uploaded to YouTube it seems that he is attempting to recreate events that happened in real life (or could have happened in real life) by using video game footage, along with cheesy music.
However it is obvious which of his videos are computer generated and which are real. Why the people at ITV who work with video 24/7 couldn’t see that I don’t know. You can tell just by looking at the picture above. Makes you think they tried to pull a fast one.
According to ITV, “The events featured in Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA were genuine but it would appear that during the editing process the correct clip of the 1988 incident was not selected and other footage was mistakenly included in the film by producers.”This was an unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise.”
Sounds OK, except that there never was an event in 1988 when the IRA shot down a helicopter and so there never was any real footage of the 1998 event. The only helicopters the IRA damaged were those on landing pads with motar bombs.
UPDATE: The IRA hit a helicopter on 12/2/1990 with machine gun fire forcing it into an emergency landing, injuring four.
UPDATE 2: More background on the story over at Media Guardian.