Train Selfie: Viral Star Says Video Is '100 Percent Real'

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 12:46 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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The man behind the now viral train selfie video who broadcasted himself getting kicked in the face by someone on the passing train said the video is "100 percent real."

Jared Michael told a "Right This Minute" host that he believed it was the train's conductor who kicked him as the train passed. The 11-second video has received more than 12 million views on YouTube, and it has more than 15,000 comments from users. 

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"Wow, that guy kicked me in the head," Michael says. "I can't believe I got that on film!"

Michael was standing near Peru Rail tracks; Peru Rail runs from Cusco and a few smaller destinations to Macchu Picchu.

Michael said he was trying to take a video selfie as the train passed behind him but didn't realize how close he was to the tracks. 

Many viewers say they believe the video is fake, but Michael told "Right This Minute" that the incident really happened.

"I was with my friend who didn't warn me that the train was coming because I had my headphones in, which was something I definitely shouldn't have done," Michael said. "I tried to make a quick video of me with the training going behind me and immediately got kicked in the head. I actually was not injured at all. It was way more shocking that it was painful."

Michael told "This This Minute" that he felt the conductor kicked him as punishment for being close to the track but said in the end it made "for a better video."

Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post said she was skeptical at first of the video's authenticity but conceded that it could be real.

"A lot of tourists walk the route instead of taking the train, which means the tracks are often crowded with people," Dewey wrote Wednesday. "Peru Rail says the leg from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu takes an hour and a half, and it's only about 26 miles. So the train that hit Michael moves at an average speed of 17 mph — way, way slower than the speeds typical of passenger trains in the U.S., and a little more than half the speed of your average flying soccer ball."

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