I just read about this on a friend of mine’s Facebook wall, and it was just too good to pass up. It seems that CCTV, China’s state run television network, recently reported on a training exercise carried out by the Chinese air force. To make the story more eye-catching, they added footage of the exercise showing a Chinese fighter pilot shooting and destroying another fighter plane with an air-to-air missile. It all sounds normal enough so far. Just a standard display of military prowess—nothing unusual here, right?
Well, nothing except one small detail that CCTV failed to mention: It turns out the dramatic, “authentic” clip isn’t quite so authentic after all. Instead, China Central Television appears to have appropriated the footage from Tom Cruise’s hit film, Top Gun. Check out the Wall Street Journal’s side-by-side comparison, which I’ve also embedded below for your viewing pleasure: