Pope Francis seemed to disappear on TV on Monday, some viewers are saying. A video that appears to show the Pope disappearing has been called a “hologram” by some. But it appears to actually be just an editing glitch. In a video shared by the Vatican from the same moment but a different angle, the Pope clearly does not disappear. Read on to learn more and to see the videos.
The ‘Disappearing Video’ Is Circulating on Social Media
The “disappearing” video was shared all over social media, including in the YouTube video below. It appears to show Pope Francis on a newscast suddenly just disappearing after he turns away from the window. The video caused people to wonder if he vanished into thin air or was actually a hologram, but it’s more than likely just an editing glitch. A video taken at the same time from another angle shows him definitely not disappearing.
The “disappearance” happened when he appeared from his Vatican City window on April 13. Here are some more versions of the video shared on Twitter.
Some people online wondered if they were seeing a hologram of the Pope. Some versions of the video have the caption: “Nothing is real.”
Here’s a version of the video where it’s slowed down to 1/2 speed:
Another video shows the Pope fading out when it’s really slowed down.
The person on Twitter claiming to have seen this live created a burner account to share it, so their identity isn’t known. The news scroll at the bottom indicates the video is from WWMT in Philly. The video appears to be from when the Pope gave his blessing after the live recitation of the Regina Coeli the day after Easter on April 13. The scroll at the bottom of the story includes WMU’s Miller Auditorium announcing the postponement of three remaining shows, which was also announced on April 13. So this video is from April 13.
Viewers Say It Was Likely an Editing Glitch & a Straight-On Version Does Not Show Him Disappearing
So what really happened? 106.7 LiteFM reported that it’s most likely just a filming or editing glitch. It’s important to note that the video circulating is from a news report by WWMT about the Pope’s live prayer — it is not a live broadcast itself.
Here’s a longer version of the video. You can tell from this (even though the sound is missing) that it’s definitely not a live broadcast of the Pope, but clips used for a news story later.
The different cuts used for the newscast make it likely that this is just an editing glitch.
The live broadcast of the Pope from straight-ahead is available to watch, and it doesn’t show the Pope disappearing. It was shared in the original Twitter thread about the “disappearing” video.
In the video below, the Pope doesn’t disappear.
One person on Twitter wrote that they believed it was an editing mistake. But no one is actually showing the original source of the video.
Other viewers said it was an issue of frame speed or a shutter time delay.
Another person wrote: “From this angle you can tell he steps down from something into the room. Which from the other camera angle could make him look like he just *poof* disappeared.”
One Reddit discussion offered the following explanation:
As much as I would love this to be true and that he does go poof as that would be a wonderful happening. However look at this view.
In that link he steps up to what looks like a high step Infront of the window and there is light hitting the first few feet of the room. When he steps down he looks like he bends forward. Which from the other view would look like he goes poof.
The user added: “The camera will be set for a certain light level and it could be possible to have him go poof like that. Also when a piece of video is compressed it lacks gamut range so the steps from light to dark are very sudden. Source worked with camera equipment professionally 20 plus years.”
They added: “Try it. Get a camera it your phone set it to manual and have it set so your are lit when under a strong light source. The manual setting is important. Then step out of the strong light into shadow and you perhaps will disappear due to the lighting conditions and the ability for the camera sensor to see you. Try it by a sun lit window perhaps.”
In a different thread, another Redditor wrote: “It’s low frame rate – the frames are missing and it makes it LOOK like he fades when in reality he simply walks from a sunny window into a darker room.”
And just in case you were wondering, here is the Pope broadcasting a mass on April 16, three days after the “disappearing” video took place.
So no, the Pope hasn’t mysteriously disappeared. He’s still alive and well. Here’s another video from April 17.
If you want to watch the Vatican live during the pandemic, there’s a live stream that’s always streaming below.
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