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Viral video of Shell PR event appears to be a hoax

Alaska Dispatch

The video above, which went viral Thursday, targets Shell's plan for Arctic oil and gas development with a shot of its own.

The event represented in the video and supposedly hosted by Shell, never really happened. According to the website Gawker, in response to the video Shell spokeswoman Kayla Macke said:

Recently groups that oppose Shell's plans in offshore Alaska have posted a fraudulent video that appears to show Shell employees at an event at the Seattle Space Needle. Shell did not host, nor participate in an event at the Space Needle and the video does not involve Shell or any of its employees. We continue to focus on a safe exploration season in 2012.

The video was purportedly shot by the Occupy Wall Street organizer Logan Price. Price claims he infiltrated the private event "New Frontiers" in order to expose Shell's formal celebration of the company's impending trek to the Arctic. But the evidence is mounting against Prices' video for the following reasons:

First, the communications firm that issued invitations to "New Frontiers," Texas based Wainwright & Shore, doesn't seem to be real. On event notices, Wainwright & Shore thanks the Joint Pacific Energy Leadership Council, which according to Google doesn't exist outside of the event. Secondly, the firm's domain name server, first registered last month, is Mayfirst.org. Mayfirst is the same domain name that has previously been used by mischief-makers and left-leaning pranksters, including the infamous Yes Men. Coincidence? Probably not.

Evidence is mounting against the legitimacy of Price's video. Stay tuned for more.

UPDATES from Gawker.com:

Although the game is up, whoever was behind the hoax is trying to keep it going a bit longer. When we called the number listed on the Wainwright & Shore website a man with a British accent claiming to be with Wainwright & Shore answered and said he had "no idea" about the hoax, but promised someone would call back. Meanwhile, Logan Price, the guy who "infiltrated" the party, is keeping mum on Twitter. He just got on a plane.

Now AdAge reports that someone is sending out fake press releases on Shell's behalf claiming Shell is going to sue the activists responsible for this fake video. Shell denies sending them. Fakes upon fakes!