Pope ‘hologram’ video sparks conspiracy theories

By WND Staff

Pope Francis concludes a brief appearance at a window of the library of the Apostolic Palace on April 13, 2020 (screenshot)

A clip of a TV newscast that appears to show Pope Francis disappearing after retreating from a Vatican City window went viral on social media, prompting conspiracy theories.

Has the Vatican secretly whisked away the pontiff and replaced him with a hologram? Has he been stricken with the coronavirus, and the Curia is desperately trying to buy time before it tells the world?

Apparently not.

Along with having made appearances since then, more careful analysis points to an editing glitch. Another video of the April 13 event, from a different angle, shows the pope gradually fading into the darkness.

The video that lit up the internet was from a WWMT-TV West Michigan report after the pope’s recitation of the Regina Coeli on Easter Monday.

See a clip posted on YouTube of the “disappearing pope”:


The recitation was streamed live around the world. Afterward, the pope made a brief appearance at a window of the library, overlooking an empty St. Peter’s Square.

Video from livestream coverage by the Catholic site Shalom World shows there was no sudden “disappearance.”

Francis was seen earlier in the broadcast delivering the traditional recitation from the library.

See the pope’s appearance at 17:30 in this Shalom World video:


Some Twitter users weren’t convinced, however.

One wrote: “Some people are linking a vid to a straight-on view where he doesn’t vanish. However, a hologram would probably work seamlessly from directly in front of it, right?”

But others speculated issues such as lighting, compression and frame rate may have factored into making it seem that the pope suddenly disappeared.

In any case, Francis presided over the Santa Marta Mass on Friday in front of a small gathering of worshippers.

See the Mass:

See a longer version of the WWMT broadcast:

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