China’s CCTV Steals Scenes From Top Gun

January 31, 2011 Updated: December 20, 2011

Chinese CCTV Broadcaster Uses Top Gun Footage
In Military Drill

China Central Television (CCTV) reported in its Network News Broadcast that the Chinese Air Force has acquired combat capabilities for distant waters. A video clip of a J-10 Fighter in a live combat exercise was shown. Sharp-eyed netizens quickly noticed a less than two second long clip of an aircraft exploding in midair that was taken from the 1986 U.S. movie hit Top Gun. A frame-by-frame comparison of the CCTV news video and the footage from Top Gun has widely spread on the Internet.

CCTV’s Network News Broadcast is a 30-minute news program that has been aired every night at 7 p.m. since 1976.

A Jan. 27 report by Yunnan Information News said the video in question was aired on Jan. 23. An Internet user by the name of “Liu Yi” pointed out that the exploded target was a U.S. F-5 jet fighter, and that the video was from the movie Top Gun, where Tom Cruise piloted an F-14 shooting at the F-5.

This discovery was first posted on Jan. 26 at 14:48 on a Sina microblog by someone calling himself “X-rated”. A frame-by-frame comparison of the two videos shows that the two footages are identical, including such details as the moving direction of fragments from the explosion and the shape of the smoke.

The video clip was aired by CCTV with the following narration: “The J-10 Fighter is a new acquisition to this division and made by our country … [it] won the first battle against a brother division by 13 to 1. All 18 targets were hit in its first live target combat practice.”

“X-rated” sectioned the CCTV video into 3 frames and compared them side by side to footage from Top Gun, saying, “How come they look the same to me?”

“Liu Yi” responded, “Just saw the frames. The target is confirmed to be an F-5.”

He then posted in his microblog another picture from the CCTV video showing clearly an F-5. The same footage in Top Gun was found at 96′ to 98′ where a few scenes show an F-14 fighter destroying an F-5.

Other people noticed that the color of the clip in question is lighter than the rest of the video. The conversion from NTSC used in the U.S. to PAL used in China might be the reason.

Some netizens suggested that Top Gun should ask CCTV for copyright damages.

It is not the first time that CCTV programs were found to have been faked. A Wikipedia entry in Chinese lists 24 incidents of false or questionable CCTV news reports.

One well-documented incident is the staged Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation where five people were said to have set themselves on fire on Jan. 23, 2001. CCTV claiming that the immolators were practitioners of Falun Gong. The program was used by the communist regime to instigate hatred against Falun Gong followers and to justify its persecution of the group. In March 2002, NTD Television broadcast the documentary False Fire which revealed the inconsistencies in CCTV’s immolation story; the documentary was later given a Certificate of Honorable Mention at the 51st Columbus International Film & Video Festival.

On Sept. 27, 2008, Xinhua, the official news agency of the Chinese regime, published a short apology on its homepage for fabricating an article dated Sept. 27, which the news agency accidentally posted two days before.

The fabricated article, “An Exciting Night on the Pacific: Shenzhou VII Orbits 30 Times,” was published even before the Shenzhou VII spacecraft was launched. The article was soon deleted from the website, The Epoch Times reported on Sep. 28, 2008.

Read the original Chinese article.