Group claims Belarus teddy bear drop

July 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM   |   Comments

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 5 (UPI) -- A Swedish group claims to have parachuted pro-democracy teddy bears over a Belarusian town, but some experts have branded the stunt a hoax.

Swedish public relations firm Studio Total released video footage of the bears being dropped from a small Jodel plane over the town of Ivianiec Wednesday morning, but town residents have not reported finding any of the bears, The Local.se reported Thursday.

The video, which was shot from the ground, shows the landmark Church of Saint Euphrosyne as well as the falling teddy bears.

"We haven't seen any teddy bears or any other kind of bears falling from the sky," the manager of the city's only hotel said. "We can see the church from the hotel. I was tending my tomatoes early this morning and I'm sure I would have heard something."

Experts said Studio Total has been responsible for several past media hoaxes, including the founding of a fictional Culture Party in 2005 and the establishment of the Austrian International School of Sex in 2011.

Swedish Belarus expert Martin Uggla said the stunt was likely a hoax.

"I can't say it 100 percent, but it certainly seems improbable," he said, adding that no opposition groups in the country were discussing the stunt later in the day.

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