[UPDATE: I can't believe that I have to do this, but after a half dozen emails questioning my sanity (folks: read the whole post, not just the title!), it seems that I do. So, let me set the record straight: the UFO "video" referenced in this post is an amusing hoax, and the purpose of this post is to point out that - because of it - a certain expanding corner of the internet is now in the throes of Shanghai-related UFO fever (some suggesting that it's real, others claiming that it's the sign of the rapture, etc etc). A perfectly appropriate subject for a China blog, no? Read more below.]
No surprise, since going off-line to finish a book, my readership has been down. Way down.
But on Sunday, something funny happened: readership started to spike, with most of the spike focused on a largely dormant post about UFO sightings in Nanjing. And that post’s numbers were being driven by hundreds of readers arriving here via google searches for “UFO Shanghai” “UFO Over Shanghai” “Giant UFO Shanghai.”
Did I have any choice but to follow? I clicked over to google, ran my own “UFO Shanghai” search, and found several links to this startling October 12 video. For the record, I’m out of Shanghai at the moment, so – with tongue firmly in cheek – shame on my fellow Shanghai bloggers for allowing me to get to this first! Couldn’t you guys pay just a little more attention to what goes on in Pudong? Sheesh!
[UDATE 10/13: Shanghai Scrap just snared a link from The UFO Chronicles!]
[UPDATE 2 -10/13: I really don't have much more to say about this, except to note that there appears to be an internatioanl groundswell of interest in the youtube video that inspired the traffic that inspired this post. As of a few minutes ago, more than 92,000 people [update 10/14: 116,000] had visited it in less than 72 hours. Here at Shanghai Scrap, where we have carefully cultivated all UFO/Shanghai related internet traffic, the interest level has yet to peak. But already, this post has become one of the five four three two [update 10/14: make that MOST READ, period, for goodness sake .. to laugh? to cry? to include 'UFO' reference in all future posts?]most read in the history of this blog . Just how intense is the Shanghai UFO fever (given searches for “Sarah Palin on political blogs surely beat this)? Below are the top 10 search terms that have led visitors to this site in just the last 12 15 hours:
For comparison’s sake – usually the top search term has been searched five or six times in a day (“Shanghai Scrap,” say). And, keep in mind, that these are just the search terms. Most of the traffic leading (landing!) here is coming from links from UFO blogs.
So. I think it goes without saying that – had someone ginned up a UFO video over, say, Minneapolis – it wouldn’t have resulted in nearly as much traffic as this Shanghai video. The reasons are several, of course, with exoticism near the top of the list. But, in the end, chalk it up to the fact that for many Americans (especially the conspiracy-minded, hunkered down in basements, for whom the stateline is international enough), “Shanghai” is as remote as the “dark side of the moon,” making it an ideal backdrop for this kind of thing. Well done, whomever made that video.]