New York Manhattan

Simulation Update

This hoax video was posted online in 1999, right before the coming of the new millennium. The FBI was on high alert then, due to the expectation that radical groups, like white supremacists, Christian Identity groups, American militia members, Black Hebrew Israelites, and apocalyptic cults may commit terrorist violence in reaction to the new millennium (see Project Megiddo).

The video was presented online as potentially real: “Is there going to be a Military Takeover of New York City on New Years Eve 1999? I don’t know too much about this tape you are about to see. I got it from my cousin Steve who’s in the army. He said that copies of this tape are floating around the base, and nobody knows who made it. If it’s fake, then there’s nothing to worry about. If it’s real, then we’re in really big trouble.”

The video appears to be some kind of army commander in Times Square explaining an operation that is meant to take place. Undercover agents are supposed to incite racial tension, and a fake mass sexual assault on a woman would serve as a further provocation. There would be “hot lead flying everywhere” and local law enforcement would be forced to call on the military, who would swoop in and occupy the island of Manhattan, making sure no one got onto or off the island.

After the video was posted, FBI agents tried to pressure the poster, and the webmaster who hosted it, to take the video down. Initially the poster refused, but the webmaster complied by taking it down, although shortly after he reposted it. They sued the FBI with the ACLU for suppression of their first amendment rights, but the case was dismissed because of the qualified immunity of the agents.

I think this video is a very interesting historical artifact.

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