photoAlmost a month after the fact, the Federal Aviation Administration is still “looking into” the “Harlem Shake” video a group of Colorado College students filmed on a plane in February.

“We are still gathering information,” Elizabeth Cory, a spokesperson for the FAA, said in an email to The Catalyst on Thursday. “That is all we have at this time.”

The CC ultimate frisbee team filmed the video on a Feb. 15 flight from Colorado Springs to San Diego on a Frontier Airlines Airbus A320. After uploading the video to YouTube , which now has some 400,000 views, team captain Conor Crowley, a senior, received a voicemail from a federal investigator who wanted information on the flight.

The story of the video and the ensuing investigation went viral last Thursday-Friday, prompting a media firestorm of newspaper, radio and television inquiries. Members of the team were interviewed on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, and during CNN’s regular programming.

“It was pretty crazy and a little overwhelming I think, especially on Thursday-Friday,” Matt Zelin, the sophomore who filmed the video, said. “But it was a really cool experience, and obviously something I’ve never experienced before and something I won’t experience again. It’s great to say I have that part of my life, to say that happened.”

The video now has 4.63 million views on YouTube as of Thursday evening.

The short clip was filmed in the air somewhere near the Grand Canyon in Arizona with both the permission of the crew and the enthusiastic participation of fellow passengers. Aviation experts told The Catalyst last week that the dance posed no danger to the structural integrity of the plane.

Frontier Airlines released a statement saying all regulations were followed and that the seatbelt sign was off.

“We believe we were never in the wrong because we followed the instructions of the flight attendant and we aren’t worried about he federal investigation,” said junior Conor Crowley, a team co-captain who was on the flight.

In the shaky, 30-second video, passengers are seen jumping up and down, banging on the cabin, and generally acting erratically in one what person aboard the flight likened to “a riot.”

“I got phone calls from friends and family, and people from high school I haven’t talked to in years, sending me emails and Facebook messages, which was nice to get that attention,” Zelin said. “But obviously it’s just overwhelming. It was fun to be able to talk to friends and have their support who said they didn’t see any reason why we should be investigated by the FAA.”

While team members say the media attention has died down since last week, some are still trying to find out more about the circumstances surrounding the video.

“[The attention is] pretty much done except for emails from a student in Belgium who is writing an article for her university publication,” Zelin said. “Very broken English questions are being sent to me so I’m in the midst of interviewing with her.”

President Jill Tiefenthaler was also contacted by the student journalist from Belgium for comment.

Because the actual “Harlem Shake” song is copyrighted, the ultimate team can’t make money off of the ads running with the video online. However, one person called the Worner Desk this week asking for information on how to donate directly to the ultimate team.

After all the media attention, what’s next for the ultimate team?

“As we said in all our news interviews, we have a season to play now,” Crowley said. “We have four more tournaments to play and then hopefully nationals.”

Jesse Paul


1 Comment

  1. In the picture above which one of you was wearing the mask and initiated the dance? (you’re a fancy dancer.) ….rkb ’72

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