So! My good friend PurpleKecleon designed a potential alternate Shaymin based on the description PokeBeach reported, printed it on gloss paper, and took a terrible photo of herself holding it. (You may remember her as the mind and brush behind the fake dark/psychic/fighting D/P starters.) I suggested posting this on 4chan's /v/, as it is anonymous, it's not unusual for random unsourced crap to show up there, and a decent enough slice of the Web population reads it.
I would like to emphasize that neither of us ever claimed that this was a confirmed Nintendo Pokémon, or from an official source, or in any other way real. We assumed people would take it that way, of course, but all PK provided to the public was a picture with a name on it in Japanese.
The "original" photo is this, mirrored by someone on ImageShack:
I think the spread of information here is interesting enough to document. It seems to have gone as follows, at least from the bits I dug up. All times are afternoon May 22nd or May 23rd, taken from their respective sources, and PDT. DeviantArt times may be off a bit, as I can't figure out how to get an actual time out of DA instead of "X hours Y minutes ago" and my arithmetic is less than reliable in the mornings.
2:58p -- Original /v/ post, now expired (but see below). No source, no poster name, no explanation or message at all; the image is posted naked as a new thread. Again, we never claimed or even implied that the image is a real Pokémon.
3:06p -- Image is copied from /v/ to ImageShack and posted on the GameFAQs Pokémon Platinum forums. Source is named as /v/.
3:47p -- Image is copied from /v/ to a different ImageShack account and posted in a pokemon community post. Source is named as "2chan or 4chan".
4:00p -- First front-page mention! Image is copied to PokeBeach's servers, complete with color fuckery and their logo, and posted as news. Source is named as denkimouse, with no mention of either the LJ community or 4chan. Who exactly is quietly omitting the source is unclear; regardless, now the chain back to anonymity has been cut, and the source is shrouded in mystery. Perfect.
4:07p -- Someone rule 34's the fake Shaymin (nsfw; direct link). No source is given save for "board".
4:11p -- The second ImageShack image (from pokemon) is embedded in a Bulbagarden forums post. No source is given.
4:26p -- Fanart on DeviantArt. Links to the second ImageShack. Source is given as pokemon and then 4chan, making this possibly the only tertiary source who actually names the entire chain. Bravo.
4:28p -- Someone posts the original photo on the Serebii forums. No source is given.
4:36p -- PokeBeach's image is linked on the Smogon forums. Source is named as PokeBeach.
5:16p -- According to PK,
Pigzilladirect-links the PokeBeach image in #bulbagarden. Source is of course implied to be PokeBeach.
5:42p -- Someone on DevianArt reconstructs the original original image fairly well. Source is named as PokeBeach.
6:23p -- Some idiot uploads PokeBeach's image to DeviantArt, apparently completely missing what DA is for. Source is named as PokeBeach. (Later deleted, exact reasons unknown.)
6:55p -- At some point in the past 25 minutes (I was taking a shower!), the /v/ thread expires. All trace of the original source is lost, completing the mystery. All trace except the copy I saved, anyway.
2:42a, May 23 -- Gold. Serebii.net makes a news post (no permalink) slathered in warnings about authenticity, presumably because it didn't come from a source whose dick Serebii sucks. The image is the original photo. Source is given as "the internet".
3:36a -- Someone on DeviantArt draws Sugimori-style fanart of the "new" Shaymin. No source is given, but maybe once something hits Serebii it's assumed to be common knowledge.
Time unknown -- Second ImageShack upload is posted to some blog and linked to from some other blog. No time is on the first post, and the second has no time zone information but has a time of 6:23a. No source is given.
6:48a -- Some other idiot uploads PokeBeach's image to DeviantArt, this time with the watermark cropped off. Source is given as "the internet". (Later deleted, exact reasons unknown.)
1:27p -- More "fan"art, this time on FurAffinity and actually G-rated. By Minun, who hates PK for some reason, which makes it hilarious.
Serebii's forums discuss it a bit after it gets posted there. Of note are: lots of people say they really like it (<3); Serebii calls hoax (I suggested to PK that she post it on 2ch too but we couldn't find anyone in Japan to do it); Serebii finds the original, doesn't say where he got it, and rags on PokeBeach for not saying where they got theirs in the same post; people think the finger makes it a hoax which is odd since it was deliberately meant to look more like a photo than a Photoshop filter; and someone assumes it's Photoshopped (wtf?) but catches on to the blank background. I thought the blank background gave it away more than anything -- usually these shots are cluttered with other game screenshots and whatever -- but Serebii dismisses that in the next post as the original source is unknown. Possibly a valid point.
The last post as of when I typed this is someone saying it's a really nice Pokémon and e hopes it's real. :3
Presumably at some point after the above discussion (which includes Serebii and who I assume to be PokeBeach's owner arguing over authenticity), the PokeBeach news post was edited to be a little more cautious.
Also interesting is how doubts there are that this is anything less than a new Shaymin before it hits Serebii. Even /v/, breeding ground of cynicism, only has a handful of people questioning the source. Once the image hit PokeBeach, it had legitimacy despite the "we don't know the source" and lack of mention of 4chan, and then most places only have one person casually mentioning "if it's fake it's pretty good".
Of course, unlike the rest of the Web who spread this around, I actually have evidence that this was started by us: the ACTUAL original image, in full resolution, now on her DA, which you will find nowhere else. I'm probably not going to spread this post much myself, though, if I do at all; I'm curious to see if a hoax report spreads as fast as the hoax itself.
She's going to give me the print later. I might frame it and have a one-of-a-kind super-secret signed alternate Shaymin on my wall. It's a pretty cool Pokémon whether it's real or not, and it led to the Pokémon community hoaxing itself. For the third time. Music not deliberate.
Props to Filb and BulbaNews for not reporting on an unknown Pokémon from an unknown source that didn't purport to be real in the first place. Perhaps if Serebii and PokeBeach (neither of whom cited a real source) weren't having some dick-size contest over who can be the SUPER FIRST ULTIMATE BEST NEWS SITE, they wouldn't have posted it either. Unfortunately, the lack of BulbaNews means it never appeared on Veekun either, since I use their feed for Pokémon news. That would have been amazing: to have a hoax in which I was involved appear on my site's front page via a chain of third parties.