Around three hours ago a Facebook user named “Kaitlyn Covey” uploaded a video of her showing off an Articuno that she’d used to take over a gym, and calling for Mystic backups to help her hold the gym.
The video by itself screams “fake”, and if the video was all we had to go off of, I’d be inclined to agree. But there’s more than just that video. Shortly after the Facebook video was posted, a thread popped up on the Pokémon GO subreddit with a screenshot of the same gym, with the Articuno sitting right there.
Could it be a coincidence? A well orchestrated troll? Yeah, maybe. But then the GPS spoofers started chiming in. At least 5 different spoofers set their GPS locations to the same area as the supposed Articuno gym, and confirmed that yes, the Articuno is real. Here are a few of the pictures sent in by different users:
As you can see, it’s the same 1589 Articuno and the same player (kaitcovey). So if the Articuno is real, the question needs to be asked: how the hell did she get it?! According to Reddit user catsareme over in this thread, kaitcovey (real name Kaitlyn Covey) received the Articuno by way of apology from Niantic.
“Trainer in question who posted the video says that she woke up to an apology email for something from Niantic and they gave her this. Multiple people posted screenshots of it in a gym/them battling it. The only thing that makes me stop for a moment is the video. I swear, if this is how Niantic is doing things, I am done. I don’t want to believe it.”
We’ve got to agree with catsareme on this one; if this truly is Niantic’s way of apologizing, giving the girl a freaking Articuno, then this game might be doomed. There are other theories about how she got the Articuno, though.
One theory claims that the Articuno is a product of an annoying glitch that’s affecting players at the moment. With this glitch, whenever you catch a Pokémon there’s a small chance that it will randomly turn into a different Pokémon. Perhaps she caught a Fearow and it turned into an Articuno?
After watching the video and taking a look at all of the different pictures, I’m pretty sure it’s not a fake. I just don’t think 10+ people have conspired to prank the whole community like this. But, even if it’s not fake, that doesn’t mean it’s a legitimate Articuno.
The glitch I mentioned earlier was only discovered a few hours ago, and since then an Articuno has been found. This might seem like it’s too obvious, but I think the glitch is responsible for the bird. If this is the case, it will probably (definitely) be removed once Niantic catch on.
Or, the other possibility is that it’s been hacked into the game. Now I’m no expert on hacking, so I really have no idea how you’d go about hacking an Articuno into the game, but surely it would make a lot more sense than “Niantic gave me an Articuno as an apology”… Right?
What do you think? Do you think it’s real or a fake? Do you think it’s an apology from Niantic, a glitch, or a hack? Let me know in the comments below!