My credibility 'is sort of shot': Former NASA engineer behind the viral YouTube glitter-bomb video admits some of it was faked

YouTube/Mark RoberMark Rober explaining his plan, and the glitter bomb in action.
  • Mark Rober, the former NASA engineer who built a glitter-bomb package that was filmed exploding as it was being stolen, said elements of his viral video were fake.
  • He said he found that two of the “thieves” filmed stealing the box were actually in on the prank.
  • Rober said they were roped in by a friend of a friend who offered to place the package on their porch.
  • The YouTuber has re-edited the video and apologised to viewers.

It’s one of the viral videos of the year, but elements of it were unwittingly faked.

Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer who built a glitter-bomb package that was filmed exploding as it was being stolen from a front porch, said on Thursday that elements of the prank section of the video – which has been viewed more than 40 million times on YouTube since Monday – were not as they seemed.

Much of the video focuses on Rober creating the package, but the payoff comes toward the end, when he secretly records it in action in the hands of unsuspecting thieves.

Read more: A former NASA engineer turned sand into ‘liquid soup’ and the internet freaked out

In a statement published on Twitter, Rober said that not all of the package-prank victims were real thieves.

He said that a friend of a friend had offered to place the package on their porch and that in return Rober would pay them for any successful recoveries. It turns out that Rober’s acquaintance roped in some friends to steal the box and that two of these fake participants made the final cut of the video.

“It appears (and I’ve since confirmed) in these two cases, the ‘thieves’ were actually acquaintances of the person helping me,” Rober said. He added that he had cut them from the video.

“I’m really sorry about this. Ultimately, I am responsible for the content that goes on my channel and I should have done more here. I can vouch that the reactions were genuine when the package was taken from my house,” he said, adding that he realised his credibility “is sort of shot.”

You can read Rober’s full statement here:

Here’s the edited version of his viral video:

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