NASA engineer who made ultimate glitter bomb revenge package go viral admits he was scammed


(Video screenshot)

The producer of a viral video that depicted glitter bombs exploding on unsuspecting package thieves has come under fire over allegations that the whole thing was a hoax.

Uploaded to YouTube in mid December by scientist/inventor Mark Rober, the video shows him use a “custom built bait package” to deal with package thieves.

“If you’ve ever been in a situation like this, you just sort of feel violated,” he says in the video. “And then I took this to the police, and even with the video evidence, they said it’s just not worth their time to look into. So then you also feel powerless. I just felt like something needs to be done to take a stand against dishonest punks like this.”

“And then I was like, hold up: I built a dart board that moves to get a bulls-eye every time; I spent nine years designing hardware that’s currently moving around on another freaking planet. If anyone that was going to make a revenge bait package and over-engineer the crap out of it, it was going to be me.”

Watch part one below:

According to Rober, he built his bait by connecting four phones to a GPS-connected circuit board and placing them inside an Apple box. The package was designed so that the moment a thief picks it up, the GPS begins tracking its location and uploading footage from the phones to cloud storage.


But what makes the bait so appealing that millions of viewers have tuned in to watch the video is the fart spray and glitter Robert added to the box. Thanks to a centrifugal motor, the moment a thief opens the package, he or she gets blasted in the face by fart-smelling glitter.

Brilliant, yes? Social media’s favorite part of the video was, in fact, watching actual package thieves being blasted in the face.

Watch some of that below:

The problem is that some of those reactions were reportedly not real.

“I was presented with information that caused me to doubt the veracity of 2 of the 5 reactions in the video. These were reactions that were captured during a two week period while the device was at house 2 hours away from where I live,” Rober himself revealed in a tweet Thursday.

“I put a feeler out for people willing to put a package on their porch and this person (who is a friend of a friend) volunteered to help. To compensate them for their time and willingness to risk putting a package on their porch I offered financial compensation for any successful recoveries of the package.”

He added that evidence suggests that in two of the cases, the thieves were actually friends of the people who’d signed up for his offer. In other words, the people who signed up tried to cheat him.

According to a small but vocal minority, this makes Rober a liar and proves the entire setup was a hoax:

Except Rober came “clean” voluntarily. It wasn’t until after the scientist came “clean” on Twitter that the media began running with dubious headlines such as this: “NASA engineer forced to admit his viral glitter bomb package was a FRAUD.”

These allegations also neglect to factor in the scientist’s popularity. Even before he uploaded this video, he already had over 500 million views to his channel.

All this suggests he didn’t mislead anybody, as noted by a large majority of supporters:



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