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Fake Himalaya Lockdown Footage Originated In Attenborough Film

May 2, 2021

By Paul Homewood


The other day, I wrote about how ITV had broadcast fake, photo-shopped footage, purporting to show that the Himalayas were now visible from Kathmandu because of reduced pollution during lockdown.

The same footage is included in a new Attenborough film, “The Year The Earth Changed”, apparently made by the BBC. The report below about the film is dated 18th April, so predates the ITV item, and it appears likely that the fake footage originated in this film:.




For those who missed my earlier post, the top photo is claimed to be pre-lockdown, but the group of men in the bottom right proves that it is the same photo as the other, with the Himalayas photo-shopped out. The film includes this claim from a local:

“With the clear skies, for the first time in a lifetime we can see the Himalayas”


Whether air quality has improved or not is not the issue. The BBC film makers have used footage designed to deceive, and Attenborough has lent his name to the fraud.

Good News Network give a flavour of the film, which is only viewable on Apple TV:

 In celebration of Earth Day 2021, a new documentary “The Year Earth Changed” was released, narrated by Award-winning broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

Produced by the BBC, it is now available globally on Apple TV+, showcasing exclusive nature footage from around the world after an unprecedented year of worldwide human quarantine.

“During this most difficult year many people have reappraised the value and beauty of the natural world and taken great comfort from it,” said Attenborough. “But the lockdown also created a unique experiment.

“Less noise, less fume in the air… Creatures around us have flourished, by and large, in this last year,” Attenborough told CBS.

Especially whales. They were able to vocalize to their young much easier with no cruise ships nearby. The parents could travel farther to feed, knowing their young could hear them. Scientists had never heard some of the sounds.

From witnessing whales communicating in new ways, to hearing a new birdsong in cities, to encountering capybaras in South American suburbs, people all over the world have had the chance to engage with nature like never before.

In the one-hour special, viewers can contemplate what can be accomplished by closing beaches a few days a year, for instance, which can have a profound impact on nature.

“The stories of how wildlife responded have shown that making even small changes to what we do can make a big difference.”,after%20an%20unprecedented%20year%20of%20worldwide%20human%20quarantine.


  I leave you to form your own views. But it sounds to me as if Attenborough would be happy to us stay in permanent lockdown.

74 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2021 1:14 pm

    They can’t put anything past Paul but that doesn’t keep them from trying.

    • May 2, 2021 10:51 pm

      Actually I know Paul posted on Monday evening
      but in my comments on Tuesday evening
      ITV didn’t do the fabricating
      It’s 2 frames from the trailer for Apple TV+ new original film Mar 29
      David Attenborough ‘The Year Earth Changed’

      Then when I checked I saw that @Malcolm Skipper had mentioned, midnight on Monday, that the gust was Gunton from the BBC who’d made the new doco.
      Often it’s a team effort

  2. afkeith permalink
    May 2, 2021 1:25 pm

    Sent from my Galaxy

  3. Andrew Harding permalink
    May 2, 2021 1:27 pm

    Yet another reason, if anymore were needed, to despise Apple!

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      May 2, 2021 1:47 pm

      and Attenborough !!

    • NeilC permalink
      May 2, 2021 4:44 pm

      And the BBC, which I already do.

    • Duker permalink
      May 2, 2021 10:04 pm

      BBC and Attenborough are responsible for the TV program, Apple is just like a moviehouse, and the the means of making money from it

      • May 2, 2021 10:58 pm

        I don’t think Attenborough is such great mastermind
        he’s just a 94 yo guy who goes into his home recording booth
        and reads a script he has been sent.

        TV work corrupts people, they intend to tell a story
        as they gather their facts they COOK UP a story which is more exciting than the truth, so that is what they run with. It’s almost unconscious to them.
        Attenborough shows have featured such enhanced storytelling for 20 years at least
        It is possible that DA doesn’t understand what level of fakery they are at
        but producer Gunton should have a better idea.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    May 2, 2021 1:37 pm

    The implication, of course is that there is a very dangerous trace gas( unseen in the photos) that is responsible for all of this…To wildlife “making even small changes to what we do can make a big difference.” But making huge changes to OUR lifestyles is just fine??? Accelerating senility.

  5. Penda100 permalink
    May 2, 2021 1:51 pm

    So the BBC aided by Attenbollox fake news to promote their climate emergency fantasies. Whoever would have thought it.

  6. Devoncamel permalink
    May 2, 2021 2:01 pm

    I’d go further; Attenborough would prefer it if we weren’t here at all.

    • JimW permalink
      May 2, 2021 2:41 pm

      Exactly what I was about to post. He has openly stated it.

    • May 2, 2021 11:02 pm

      I am sympathetic to DA’s sterilise some people approach
      cos it is honest.
      but Greenblob PR trisksters continually promote “have your cake and eat it” solutions
      ‘We have all these magic new tech like wind/solar and electric cars
      and all you have to do is buy more green tech like this and you can live your life as normal and still have zero-CO2’
      they imply

  7. mikewaite permalink
    May 2, 2021 2:11 pm

    Taking the point:
    “Whether air quality has improved or not is not the issue. The BBC film makers have used footage designed to deceive, and Attenborough has lent his name to the fraud”
    .Is there not supposed to be a whole dept in the BBC dedicated to combatting disinformation? (A very good idea of course if done honestly) How then is this deception possible?

    • May 2, 2021 11:06 pm

      projection is a libmob characteristic
      and ..ambush-naming is their MO
      .. like Skeptical-science (unscientic PR front of non-skeptics)
      … GreenPEACE (an org that is neither green nor peaceful)
      .. Extinction Rebellion (not much extinction, Conformists)

  8. May 2, 2021 2:14 pm

    Beware, mikewait the whole climate scam IS fraud

  9. Tim Spence permalink
    May 2, 2021 2:14 pm

    I could see them from Kathmandu and I would bet it’s normal to see them. Only the clouds could obscure them, the air is very clear up there.

    • Curious George permalink
      May 2, 2021 4:09 pm

      Clear air? Kathmandu is one of most polluted cities. You were very lucky.

      • May 2, 2021 4:32 pm

        I have checked up the investigation by Fullfact of the interview and showing of the fake photo on Lorraine on ITV. They state following their investigation, that in the actual film “The Year the Earth Changed”, it was made perfectly clear that the photo was a fake. However that was not the complaint that Fullfact were investigating. Statement in their conclusion: “The fact that the after picture has been edited is made quite clear in the documentary being discussed on Lorraine, called ‘The Year Earth Changed’ on Apple TV. In the documentary, Mr Chopra describes how he took the photo showing the Himalayas, and then you see the edited “before” image fade into the real “after” image. There’s no suggestion that the first is a genuine “before” shot.” Link:
        Mr Chopra has been boasting on Facebook etc etc that he is delighted that his (fake) image has been viewed worldwide………… fame at last then…….

      • Tim Spence permalink
        May 2, 2021 8:10 pm

        Look at the second photo and tell me the air isn’t clear or it was taken on a lucky day. Make your mind up.

      • Curious George permalink
        May 2, 2021 8:32 pm

        Never underestimate the power of the Photoshop.

  10. Derek W Wood permalink
    May 2, 2021 2:22 pm

    So the claim is that these two photographs have been taken from exactly the same place, on two separate occasions, months apart? There is a sheet/blanket spread on the wall in the foreground which is absolutely identical in both images, in the bottom right hand of each image, the same two people are wearing the same clothing, and standing in exactly the same position. Not only do I smell a rat, I can see one!

  11. Frank permalink
    May 2, 2021 2:35 pm

    The clip with the fake photo was shown on the ITV programme “Lorraine” with Lorraine Kelly at 9am on 22nd April which we saw from the link you sent to us. The interview with Lorraine Kelly about the Attenborough film, 13 minutes into the programme, was with the Executive Producer of the film, Mike Gunton, who surely must have known of the deception??. He explained how this was an extraordinary and meaningful photo and Loraine Kelly said wide eyed, how remarkable and amazing this was. Gunton was obviously happy to deceive a well loved TV presenter live on TV, who I think is a genuine person. I have complained to ITV and also to Ofcom as this was a blatant deception of the truth. I have an acknowledgment from both of my messages but no reply from either so far.

  12. Athelstan permalink
    May 2, 2021 2:47 pm

    Lets be honest and like his old mate wadham fakir, Davros attenboro doesn’t know which way is up.

    Even on cursory inspection that ‘photo’ is an amateurish effort. Is this really the best that they can do?

    Furthermore shouldn’t Mademoiselle fifi, Mariana Spring be fact checking, doh! It might be funny but coming from the bbc we know that, all climate scam footage is done in the utmost deadly earnest but note, like horrorbin the masthead. At the bbc and including davros attenboro, there ain’t a bona fide scientist between them.

  13. deejaym permalink
    May 2, 2021 2:49 pm

    So…………. Fake News on the BBC. Is Marianna (she’s 25 you know) aware of this ?

  14. May 2, 2021 2:57 pm

    I have just seen the Official Trailer for The Year the Earth Changed on Youtube, which has the offending fake photos 37 seconds into the trailer. A very cool young photographer, who I imagine is the “manipulator” of the fake, is seen climbing on to a roof, and then the two photos are shown. link here:

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 2, 2021 3:27 pm

      Everything in that trailer has been commonly reported over the years, long before lockdowns, there was nothing new other than the anecdotal supposed turtle breeding success.

      Sheep and goats in streets – nothing new. Penguins in streets – nothing new. Jaguars and similar big cats venturing into villages/town – nothing new etc. etc.

      2 seconds on Google and hundreds of related news items appear dating back decades and such phenomena even feature in old BBC programs!

      But then the whole program was clearly propaganda produced to support an agenda.

  15. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 2, 2021 3:08 pm

    The BBC is now recycling the Victoria Falls story.

    A more honest report – although it makes a spurious climate change link to ENSO.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      May 3, 2021 10:09 am

      Very interesting that the data for the 1980s is excluded in that chart? I was in southern Africa in the early 1980s. It was a time of drought and Vic Falls was extremely low when I went in 1984. Botswana where i was working had had very little rain for a few years. I went back in the late 1990s and it was completely different. Vic Falls was huge and Botswana was green in many places.

      • May 3, 2021 11:10 am

        Yes, I think they’ve simply shown the most extreme years along with the last few

  16. terryfwall permalink
    May 2, 2021 3:30 pm

    So whales can hear each other better with no CRUISE ships around. Do the far greater number of transport ships have no effect, then? Or is it simply to have a dig at humans doing something unnecessary for enjoyment. How wicked.

  17. Dave Andrews permalink
    May 2, 2021 5:11 pm

    Attenborough has form in this area. In one of his Our Planet pgmes for Netflix he showed film of walruses tumbling to their deaths from high cliffs and claimed that the large numbers of walruses involved had been forced to seek shelter on small areas of land because of a lack of sea ice.

    However such large gatherings of walruses on land are not uncommon and if the full footage had been shown it would have revealed that the walruses which tumbled to their deaths were trying to escape from a couple of polar bears.

    • May 2, 2021 5:16 pm

      Even “national treasures” and OM appointees enter declining and eventually fatal years!

  18. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 2, 2021 6:00 pm

    I had a look at available news footage and photos, my conclusion?

    Some opportunistic propagandist made up the story that you could suddenly see the Himalayas hidden by pollution for decades, and then people started actually looking, going up high and using high magnification. The power of suggestion, it goes viral, people delude themselves, they just weren’t looking in the same way before.

    In an Indian news video you clearly can’t differentiate the mountains from the sky in the view until they go to high power zoom.

    In the trailer link in Frank’s post above, pause the video at about 35 seconds and there is a view from the rooftop as the photographer goes up the ladder. The mountains may just be visible to the left of the skyline but you would assume it was just more mist/cloud. Compare the skyline scale to his photo, you can see he has used massive zoom.

    That would explain why the pre/post-lockdown view had to be simulated, he couldn’t take a comparable shot without the mountains showing up.

    From my regular walk on the Sussex South Downs the IOW is indistinguishable from the mist/cloud/sea/sky, look through a telephoto lens, and there it is clear as day.

    That’s not to say the air quality and visibility didn’t improve, I’m sure it did, with their backward industry and transport, but the iconic effect being used for propaganda is likely almost a complete lie.

    • dave permalink
      May 2, 2021 6:22 pm

      Meanwhile, we have the UAH figure for Global Brightness Temperature Anomalies for April.
      At -0.05 C, it is down from -0.01 C in March – both as compared to the mean of the thirty-year period, 1991 – 2020.

    • bobn permalink
      May 2, 2021 9:22 pm

      The weather – humidity, wind and air mass momement have far more influence on visibility than human emissions. Its all codswallop. The north indian plains see static air masses and high humidity, hence low visibility even if no humans lived in India.

    • May 2, 2021 11:45 pm

      Grim the effect was real, but only happened for a day
      AFAIK On other lockdown days you still couldn’t see that mountain
      Other rare days in the past had same effect usually after rain washed pollution
      eg in 1998

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        May 3, 2021 9:55 am

        Stew, please read everything before commenting.

      • May 3, 2021 11:23 am

        Grim , I explained below, I think you are jumping to a conclusion

  19. marlene permalink
    May 2, 2021 6:19 pm

    If climate “change” were real, picture proofs of it would be real too!

  20. May 2, 2021 7:34 pm

    I have read the information provided on where it is stated and I quote

    “The fact that the after picture has been edited is made quite clear in the documentary being discussed on Lorraine, called ‘The Year Earth Changed’ on Apple TV.
    In the documentary, Mr Chopra describes how he took the photo showing the Himalayas, and then you see the edited “before” image fade into the real “after” image. There’s no suggestion that the first is a genuine “before” shot”.

    1. I had to read this text 5 times. It was obviously NOT CLEAR to Lorraine Kelly otherwise she and the other sofa vacuum would not have made the comments they did.

    2. Quote from Fullfact: “There’s no suggestion that the first is a genuine “before” shot”

    HELLO….this means also, there is no suggestion that the first is NOT a genuine “before” shot. How did Fullfact miss that? Is it just me or does it look very much like Fullfact are writing not facts but a defense?

    3. For what reason would anyone make such a Photoshop exercise? What value has it exactly except to deceive? Are they so short of catastrophe that they have to invent it? Maybe Mr Chopra can help Greta and photoshop the CO2 she also claims to be able to see. Making a photo on a crystal clear day and photoshopping it to make it look bad is done for what reason? What reason does the now famous Mr Chopra cite? Who photoshops to make a good situation look bad?

    Maybe they would also like to make fotoshopped pictures of polar bears and then “disappear them” or gull colonies and “disappear them”. We already have fraudulent usage of video and images out of context so just more fraud. Why would you do that if everything is as bad as they claim?

    The movie with Attenborough doing the narration of is supposed to be about factual change so I can see no justification for screening “pretend” changes. Has anyone watched it and if so what is the reason given for the photoshop except the asininity quoted by Fullfact?

    • bobn permalink
      May 2, 2021 10:50 pm

      Yep. It appears the Fullfact bunch are just another Fakefact bunch. throw them in the unreliables bin.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      May 5, 2021 11:38 pm

      Regarding FullFact, why should we actually trust them anyway? This is an organisation which was twice refused charitable status and has significant politicians on board.
      As you say their report simply reads like a defence or even a cover up job rather than an impartial analysis.
      The obvious point is why fake anything if you simply don’t have to?

  21. tomo permalink
    May 2, 2021 7:39 pm



    Bloomberg (reluctantly…) reports on the tip of an iceberg

    – lots of threats, Non Disclosure Agreements, PR trickery + lies and media embargos…

    Offshore windfarm cabling is a mess (cough, Western Link ?

  22. 2hmp permalink
    May 2, 2021 7:59 pm

    We almost have an expression about misleading people as ‘doing an Attenborough’

  23. cookers52 permalink
    May 2, 2021 8:22 pm

    In some ways it is our perception that is at fault.

    The obvious fake photo is so obvious a fake it only reveals the inbuilt prejudices all of us have. It serves a useful psychological purpose.

    Some see man made ecological disaster, others see a deliberate deception by dangerous zealots. We should be careful as the easiest person to fool is yourself .

    Neither of these points of view is correct, the photo is just a picture, reality is something else.

  24. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 2, 2021 9:58 pm

    How did whales know it would be easier to vocalise to their young in the absence of cruise ships? Has some scientist discovered they have powers of cognition and reason?

  25. May 2, 2021 11:29 pm

    Tip : I try to be a bit careful with rushing into comments
    In the past I’d type it all in and then find someone above had said the same thing
    I see other people here making that same mistake.
    ..take a glance first and you might save yourself some typing.

  26. May 2, 2021 11:33 pm

    good tweet from Warren to FullFact
    Nice attempt at papering over the fact
    she presented is as an unedited factual photo on a live broadcast
    to a viewership that dwarfs whatever ropey Apple TV documentary four or five people watched. This isn’t the Great Reset anymore, it’s the Great Awakening.

    Basically saying, don’t try to say it’s nothing
    she conned more British viewers that will watch the Apple doco.

  27. May 3, 2021 12:20 am

    Paul your mistakeThe other day, I wrote about how ITV had broadcast fake, photo-shopped footage, purporting to show that the Himalayas were now visible from *Kathmandu* because of reduced pollution during lockdown.

    You misremember , you didn’t mention Kathmandu last time
    It isn’t Kathmandu and the Himalayas it’s Punjab
    It’s the Indian city of Jalandhar, Punjab looking to the Dhauladhar Mountains, in the LESSER Himalayas

  28. May 3, 2021 12:23 am

    I see some Indian technical forums where some people say it shouldn’t be possible to take those photos as the curvature of the Earth means the lower part of the mountain shouldn’t be visible from the city anyway.
    The discussion has a lot of noise “man it’ the pollution” etc.

    I guess it could EVEN be one of those strange days where an optical effect means you can see over the normal curved horizon
    and the local clean air actually be an incidental thing

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 3, 2021 10:00 am

      If you read my post I explained that, people were heading to rooftops to see the spectacle that they could not see from the ground and were only noticing because they were looking!

      And the stuff on social media is from lots of different places, some in the foothills, some 50km or more away.

      • May 3, 2021 11:17 am

        Grim, I disagree cos last week I went back to the original tweets from that town
        Once it had gone viral, there was a lot of noise.
        but before then it did seem that locals had tweeted, that it was a strange day and they could see the mountains, which wasn’t usual.
        Likewise the 1998 event people said they got up and suddenly they saw the mountains
        not that it had been suggested to them, or that they had got out telephoto lenses.

        People are on those rooftops all the time, that’s where they put their washing up to dry etc.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      May 3, 2021 3:33 pm

      See this post, and the comments

      It seems the answer is yes when the air is clear enough. Of course, Kathmandu experienced record air pollution as recently as January this year. So much for lockdowns and reduced tourist traffic..

  29. May 3, 2021 4:24 am

    “The BBC film makers have used footage designed to deceive, and Attenborough has lent his name to the fraud.”

    And that surprises, …nobody.

    • May 3, 2021 9:44 am

      Given that the same group of people, in the same clothes are stood in exactly the same spot, then I think the answer is YES!!

  30. May 3, 2021 9:06 am

    This is an old trick. Here’s a ‘view’ of the Bavarian Alps from Munich, but good luck standing anywhere in Munich even with no foreground obstructions and seeing them like that with the naked eye. They’re about 90 km. away.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      May 3, 2021 4:16 pm

      An interesting comment at the post I linked to above

      thank you for this inspiring article! I just wanted to confirm that it is not unusual to see a peak in about 200-300 km distance when the air is clear. For example, from Grand Ballon ( 1424 m), highest peak of the Vosges (French mountain range next to the German border), you can see up to the highest peak of the Alps, Mont Blanc (4810 m), which is in about 230 km distance. And Mont Blanc is just half the altitude compared to the Everest…. I just like to share one of my photos taken at Grand Ballon:
      If you zoom into the very right part of the image, you will find the ice cap of Mont Blanc illuminated by the early morning sun.
      I would like to share another fact/observation for people interested in these things. Sometimes, geographical data is not sufficient to anticipate how a panorama looks like. Under special atmospheric conditions (inverse weather when a cold air layer and fog rests down in the valleys) the image can be modified by an optical effect called “mirages” – a kind of Fata Morgana in colder regions.
      This can result in a deformation of the mountain shapes seen from a specific point. Sometimes, mountains can be seen that – as calculated based on geographic data alone – should be hidden.
      As an example, I would like to share an old panorama photo I took (still on film) in 2003 in the northern Black Forest in Germany:

      Some of the mountains seen in this photo are also more than 200 km away

  31. May 3, 2021 9:11 am

    What the Alps from Munich really look like…

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 3, 2021 10:06 am

      Yes indeed oldbrew, as I explained, that is exactly what they have done, used massive high quality optics from an elevated position – the structures that are clear as day in the first photo are not/barely individually distinguishable in the bottom one. Very deceptive.
      And the same thing happened in a Jalandhar video, only the Himalayas where completely invisible before they zoomed in.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      May 3, 2021 11:31 am

      I was in Munich on training courses on several occasions in the 1970s and early 1980s. I don’t ever remember seeing the Alps.
      What I do remember is that one course was 3 weeks long in December and during the first week there was a heavy snowfall. There were two blogs from BT who were keen skiers so we went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the first weekend. I remember the drive took a couple of hours. Not being a skier I explored bars and cafés.
      The second weekend I went to see Bayern Munich who played at the Olympic stadium then, (Karl-Heinz Rummenigge scored a hat-trick) , but even up the Olympic Park tower I didn’t see the Alps as far as I can recall

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        May 3, 2021 4:03 pm

        It took me several visits to Geneva before I saw the local Alps there. OTOH I had great views across Switzerland from the Matterhorn above Zermatt. The real disappointment was I had hastily loaded a new film while queuing for the cable car, and 38 clicks later when I came to rewind the film, I discovered that the sprockets had not engaged it, and I had no photos. But by then we were back down in Zermatt. I had had hopes of a spectacular 360 degree rival one taken by an uncle in the 1930s.

    • May 3, 2021 11:37 am

      On Twitter some people claim it’s a real view from a weather effect
      They call it “Foen” when the moutains get pushed towards the city.

      Tweeter @stefanwagnercom (Born and bred in Munich)
      A regular occurrence in Munich. It’s called “Fön”.
      The clouds are stuck on the other side of the mountains and rain off to create a very dry atmosphere between the mountains and Munich.
      This is the reason the mountains appear so close to the city.

    • tom0mason permalink
      May 3, 2021 8:55 pm

      Blue haze of the far distance has been well known by artist for quite a few hundred years.

      For example from 1648 …

  32. cookers52 permalink
    May 3, 2021 10:26 am

    Does this mean all photos everywhere are fake.

    Nowadays, because the thing in your hand can do it easily the answer is YES.

  33. Ben Vorlich permalink
    May 3, 2021 11:34 am

    Did anyone see Shukman on BBC TV News doing an item on coal, CO2 and Cop 26 that featured a 2000 year Hockey Stick temperature reconstruction?

  34. May 3, 2021 11:40 am

    “The city is also subject to the Föhn, a warm and dry wind that descends from the mountains (the Bavarian Alps to the south, which become clearly visible when this wind blows because it clears the air) “

  35. May 4, 2021 12:43 pm

    We expect nothing less from David “the whispery-voiced gorilla-hugging Malthusian, slayer of walruses”. Or the BBC for that matter.

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