Representatives at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, otherwise known as CERN, say they are investigating startling footage appearing to show a mock human sacrifice conducted at their site. A video emerging from the particle research center, situated in Geneva, Switzerland, shows eight figures outfitted in black robes standing in the shadows around a statue of the Hindu goddess Shiva. A woman walks into the middle of the group and lies on the ground, as one of the robed men approaches and appears to stab her. The video is filmed from the perspective of someone secretly spying on the ritual. The man filming can be heard gasping and exclaiming, “Fuck,” and “shit,” as he quickly moves from his vantage point just as the woman is stabbed.
“These scenes were filmed on our premises but without official permission or knowledge,” a CERN representative claimed in an email to Agence France Presse, adding they would independently investigate the video and that it was a “work of fiction showing a contrived scene.” “CERN does not condone this type of spoof, which can give rise to misunderstandings about the scientific nature of our work.” The CERN spokeswoman also confirmed that ID badges are required at all locations within the research facility, and that “those responsible for the prank had access badges,” according to The Guardian. “CERN IDs are checked systematically at each entry to the CERN site whether it is night or day,” she stated. The email went on to explain that thousands of researchers come to CERN each year, and that the suspected ritual was actually scientists letting their sense of humor get out of hand. “CERN welcomes every year thousands of scientific users from all over the world and sometimes some of them let their humour go too far. This is what happened on this occasion,” the CERN rep stated. CERN is home to the Hadron Collider particle accelerator and conducts some of the world’s most intricate experimental research into the field.