After months of painstaking analysis, everyone involved was convinced that they had seen a signal from two dead stars colliding to create a black hole. They wrote three scientific papers to announce the discovery and fully detail the procedures they went through to convince themselves. The “discovery” paper was titled Evidence for the Direct Detection of Gravitational Waves from a Black Hole Binary Coalescence.
Then 300 of the scientists involved gathered in California in March 2011, with a further 100 connecting in via video links, to decide where to publish the paper and how to make the announcement.
It was here that the management told them it was a hoax. A blind injection to test the team’s ability to recognise and react to a real discovery.
So even if the rumours are true and scientists have now seen something in their data, it may not be real. The procedure in the past has always been that the scientists are only told after the analysis and paper writing is done. However, Krauss went on to claim that he had been told this is not a blind injection