James was a son of a prominent New Zealand film maker, Ian Percy Forlong, whose professional name was "Michael Forlong".
In April of 2003 the Sky News Network carried a report from James Forlong aboard the British nuclear submarine HMS Splendid purportedly showing a live firing of a cruise missile, at sea in the Persian Gulf, during the Iraq war. The report included scenes of the crew members giving instructions related to the launch of the missile and included a sequence in which a crew member pressed a large red button marked with the word "FIRE" and accompanied by a sequence of a missile breaking the surface of the water and launching into the air. The report was a fabrication, with the crew acting along for the benefit of the cameras. The Sky News team did not accompany the submarine when it left port and the scenes were actually recorded whilst the vessel was docked. The shot of the missile breaking the surface has been obtained from stock footage.
The faked report was revealed because a BBC film crew did accompany the vessel to sea. The BBC crew filmed a real cruise missile launch for the BBC TV series Fighting the War. The BBC footage showed how, with modern computerised launching systems, a missile is not launched by pressing a red button but is actually launched with a left mouse click. The BBC passed the information onto The Guardian newspaper, who broke the story on July 18, 2003.
James Forlong was suspended from Sky News pending an investigation . In October of 2003, he was found dead by his wife after committing suicide by hanging. In December, Sky News was fined £50,000 by the Independent Television Commission for breaching accuracy regulations.
|Offspring of "Michael" Forlong and Margaret McGregor (c1930)|
|James Forlong (1959-2003)||1959 England, United Kingdom||4 October 2003 Hove, East Sussex, England, United Kingdom|| Elaine Toomey|
|Offspring of James Forlong and Elaine Toomey|
|Christopher Forlong (1987)|| |
|Katie Forlong (c1991)|