On September 17, multiple pictures showing some kind of "UFO" hovering over Portsmouth, England were posted on Twitter. They trended with the hashtag #pompeyufo
Johnny Blackwell of Southsea told the Portsmouth News
: "I don’t believe in UFOs, but when I saw this I didn’t know what it was. It didn’t look like a cloud, and it was moving very fast. It was a grey, disc-like shape, which I know sounds like a stereotypical UFO, but that’s what it looked like. I don’t know much about military craft, but this was very fast-moving and very odd to see."
Animation Director Lewis Rogers said, "My initial thought was it was an aeroplane, but it was just moving too quickly."
But a few days later, the sightings and photos were revealed to be a publicity stunt designed to promote a Science Fiction and Fantasy Weekend
hosted by Action Stations at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Joshua Hibberd, Learning Co-ordinator at Action Stations gave the following explanation to a local Portsmouth news organization
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.
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.