Earlier this month, Iran's news agency provided visual evidence that its government had figured out to make a fancy new drone that could take off and land vertically. What they didn't tell us is that they used Photoshop to make it stop taking off from the roof of Japan's Chiba University, which built the aircraft and never had anything to do with Iran's alleged version of it.
All the credit of this photoshop spot goes to one Gary Mortimer, a blogging pilot who photo-sleuthed the Iranian drone, the KOKER 1, when it was unveiled on November 7. Here's actual visual evidence of the two images — the Iranian image is on the left, the Chiba University 2008 image is on the right — with the same building and everything... except for those windmill things:
"Perhaps the Iranians have purchased one of these platforms to experiment, or maybe somebody has been handy with Photoshop I will let the reader decide," writes Mortimer. This isn't the first time Iran has been caught manipulating reality: Just last month their state news agency was caught passing off a scene from the disaster-thriller The Day After Tomorrow as a real scene of Hurricane Sandy's aftermath, and in 2008 the Iranian government released some doctored photos of a successful rocket launch. According to the Mehr news agency, the drone — whatever it does, or whether it even looks like the thing above — is scheduled to be unveiled for real in the coming weeks when, presumably, Iran upgrades to CS6.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.