Fans have been obsessed with finding GTA V’s Michael in Red Dead Redemption 2 ever since the character’s voice actor revealed on Twitter that he was somewhere in the Wild West game.
After a lot of searching and guesswork, it looked like the long-suffering criminal turned FBI stooge had been tracked down, and it seemed to tie in to another Red Dead Redemption 2 easter egg – aliens.
YouTuber ZacCoxTV uploaded a video to his channel, which shows a burnt-out corpse that we’re supposed to believe is Michael, after he gets dropped to Earth from a previously undiscovered third UFO (players had only managed to locate two UFOs prior to this).
Michael’s “corpse” was alleged to have on it a pretty iconic amulet from GTA V, leading many people to believe that both Michael and a third UFO had been found, putting this mystery to rest.
Unfortunately, the whole thing turned out to be a very convincing fake. It looks like the hoax originated from Redditor charliebedabes04, but it didn’t take long for YouTubers to start sharing the “news”, along with fake footage and images of the event.
To be fair, It wouldn’t be a Rockstar game without people on the internet trying to convince you of stuff that isn’t actually in the game. This is bigfoot in San Andreas all over again.
The suspicions of many gamers were first aroused when it turned out nobody could actually recreate the conditions required to spawn the third UFO, and the appearance of Michael’s corpse.
Some put it down to Red Dead Redemption 2 being such a big game that it was too slim a chance, but others weren’t convinced.
Before long, both the mysterious amulet and the footage of the third UFO were debunked by users on YouTube and Reddit, and charliebedabes04 soon admitted he was just having a bit of fun with us – although the footage and images don’t seem to have come from someone else.
As it turns out, it’s really not that hard to fake a UFO in a video game using Adobe After Effects. Check out one video that explains how the fake was made below.
It looks like the search for Michael in Red Dead Redemption 2 continues for now. Just remember not to believe everything you see on YouTube, however convincing it might look.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.