This is one of those things that we’ll present you with as many details as we possibly can, and let you make the decision for yourself whether or not you believe the tale.
The above video allegedly shows Peruvian footballer Joao Contreras Fuentes being struck by a bolt of lightning during a Copa Peru game. Fuentes, who plays for Sport Aguila, was reported by local media to have died during the incident — though fingers are now being pointed back at the club for any misinformation leading to these false reports.
Fuentes has gone so far as to tell a Peruvian news organization, “Thank God, I’m alive again.” The 21-year-old did, however, suffer second-degree burns over one-fifth of his body.
To this point, none of Fuentes’s near-death tale is all that hard to believe. People get struck by lightning fairly often — according to the National Weather Service, everyone living in the United States has a 1-in-12,000 chance of being struck by lightning at some point during their lifetime — and that kind of energy coursing through your body would almost certainly leave burns and perhaps convince you that you had passed away upon losing consciousness.
But — and here’s where I question a bit of this tale’s legitimacy — watch the video above, if you haven’t already. Watch Fuentes (circles in red) the first run-through, but then rewind for a second viewing, this time keeping an eye on the substitute who checks in at the halfway line and runs onto the field. When Fuentes and the nearby assistant referee are “struck by lightning,” the video footage skips forward a frame or two and by the time it resumes, the pair are already lying on the ground with a cloud of smoke hovering above.
Thoughts? Is the footage a bit fishy, or is my skepticism unfounded and harsh? If so, why does the video evidence skip forward in that exact moment? Might the jolt of electricity have briefly rendered all electronic devices useless?