Fake Pipebomb Found at ROM, Associated OCAD-Linked Videos Surface on YouTube

Less than 24 hours ago, the ROM's biggest concern around their property seemed to be ice cream and hot dog vendors, and by the end of the day street meat was certainly the least of their worries.

CTV is reporting on what turned out to be a bomb hoax that went down outside the Royal Ontario Museum yesterday evening. Slightly after 7 p.m., in the lead-up to an AIDS fundraiser, a device constructed from three pipes wired together was discovered and subsequently removed by police robot.

Do be aware that the video included above is also a fake, given that the bomb itself was. Click through for more information on the scare and suspicious YouTube activity.

Bloor street was closed from Avenue to St. George, and half of the museum was evacuated which resulted in the cancellation of the CANFAR AIDS fundraiser event, "Bloor Street Entertains." Although CTV is reporting that event tickets cost $600, that's actually the Yorkville dinner price, not the $100 ROM party price, and whether both were cancelled isn't clear.

Either way, it's pretty disgusting to disrupt an AIDS fundraiser like that, as if it isn't scummy enough to "only" fake a bomb in a major public location.

Hopefully the brief scare won't seriously alter people's perceptions of the area under the ROM crystal, which has thus far been a pretty successful addition to Toronto's list of public spaces, smallish and artificial as it may be, where tourists and locals alike have come to marvel at the museum's architecture on quiet days, as well as totally flip out in a light sabre mosh pit on busy ones.

So who's to blame?

A two-part video was posted to YouTube today under the names "The fake bombing at the ROM, Toronto, 28.11.07" and "Fake footage of the fake bombing at the ROM, Toronto" by user toadmeat. The videos show a fake bombing taking place at the ROM, the first being the lead-up and the second the immediate aftermath, captured in shaky-amateur-footage style. Though there is no immediate evidence that the videos and real-world hoax are linked, the content, location and timing makes for a pretty strong correlation.

Other videos posted to the same account give the creator's name as Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson, including the CGI short "WTC" which depicts Osama Bin Laden standing on top of the World Trade Centre on 9/11 as airplanes slam into the buildings, causing streams of hearts to pour out instead of fire, debris and smoke. The video's description states that it was created at OCAD, and it was posted this January.

(Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson's even creepier OCAD student profile, thanks "Cough", and his MySpace profile, linked by Thordur, who claims to be his brother, posting comments as "Adams" below)

Limited information is available at this time and the police investigation is presumably ongoing, so it is a little early to point fingers, but this particular YouTuber most definitely deserves a long, hard look. The hateful comments are already appearing, and toadmeat last logged in a half hour ago as I write this, suggesting they're watching what's going on.

The I-Wish-My-Art-Was-Meaningful-Or-Cutting-Edge flavour of the whole thing with the connection to OCAD is also awfully easy for me to readily accept, and if that's a bias showing through then, frankly, past OCAD students' "art projects" have earned them that reputation... although, of course, some of my best friends and some of Toronto's best artists are OCAD students, and the reality is that these sorts of wastebags are a disgrace to the school, the community and the whole of art and deserve strict expulsion and harsh punishment.

That didn't exactly happen for a cat-torturing, though, but let's see whether it does for a museum evacuation and terrorism scare. At this initial stage, given those terrorist overtones, toadmeat is looking an awful lot like dead meat right now.

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