An ITV documentary which aired in the UK on September 26 – and looked into claims that the deposed autocratic ruler of Libya, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, supported the IRA – was found to contain footage of a helicopter being shot down from a video game instead of actual, raw footage of the event in question.
According to a report on PC Gamer, the documentary Exposure – Gaddafi and the IRA, showed what it claimed was 1988 footage of Gaddafi’s army demonstrating the ability to use heavy machine guns to shoot down a helicopter.
The screen shows shaky cam footage of men in camouflage-painted truck bringing the craft down with the words “IRA film 1988” displayed across the video. However, the footage is not actually raw footage from the event, but footage from Bohemia Interactive’s ARMA 2 released in 2009.
Bohemia Interactive CEO, Marek Spanel has said ITV did not contact the firm for permission to use the footage, and had no idea footage from the game would appear in a documentary in the UK.
“We are going to try to get some explanation from ITV how this could have happenned,” Spanel told PC Gamer. “Sometimes creativity and realism in our games lead into crazy results and this is one of such example. I just briefly watched the entire documentary and I still can not believe it as it is overall very serious and lenghtly feature.
“We are surprised our games apparently may look real enough to some users already that they can not tell it is not real life footage.”
Earlier today, an ITV representative explained away the clip’s inclusion has a case of human error on the producer’s part.
“The events featured in Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA were genuine but it would appear that during the editing process the correct clip of the 1988 incident was not selected and other footage was mistakenly included in the film by producers,” said the ITV spokesperson. “This was an unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise.”
The spokesman said ITV has a copy of the real footage and will replace it in the documentary.
You can view the footage shown in the clip below, which was brought to media attention by users on the Bohemia Interactive forums.
So far, 25 complaints following ITV’s mistake have been logged with broadcast regulator Ofcom.