Yesterday, ComicBook.com reported on alleged appearances of several Legendary Pokemon in Pokemon Go on Monday night. In the first incident, a player posted video and screenshots of an Articuno appearing at gym outside of Dayton, Ohio, followed by a claim that she had received the Pokemon from a Niantic representative after she complained about losing a Pidgeot after a gym battle. Later that night, a different player in Los Angeles posted videos of him hatching a Ditto egg and placing it in a gym.
While most fans were skeptical about the Pokemon’s authenticity, the player with the Articuno posted a lengthy live stream to defend her claims. However, Niantic Labs responded to a Geek.com reporter saying that they had never distributed any Pokemon to other players, and that it was looking into the recent appearances. Niantic then followed up with IGN, stating that they had “noticed” several Legendary Pokemon had gotten into accounts when they shouldn’t have, and rectified the situation by revoking the Legendary Pokemon from the Trainers’ accounts.
It remains unclear whether either the Articuno or the Ditto were actually legitimate or not. Both reports included claims that a Niantic representative had gifted them the Pokemon, although at least one of the emails shown as proof had typos and did not match Niantic’s standard email form. Other players theorized that one or both of the players had found a way to manipulate Pokemon Go‘s data packets, thus tricking the game’s servers into accepting the Pokemon as legitimate.
Regardless of how the trainers got the Pokemon, Niantic pulling access means there were Legendary Pokemon walking among us…for one day, at least.