An assistant ecclesiastical history professor discovered footage of puppies playing around on a silent 8mm roll of film labeled “The Philippines 1942.”
Gregory Schnakenberg, who is also a Dominican friar, shared the footage to Twitter on Saturday.
“While working in our archives, I found an old metal box. Inside was a long-forgotten roll of silent 8mm film marked ‘The Philippines 1942,’” Schnakenberg tweeted. “Excited at possibly discovering lost WWII footage, I sent it to specialists for care and digitization.”
Schnakenberg received the digitized footage on Jan. 6. In the black-and-white film, puppies are seen playing with one another, tugging on a Filipino broom called a walis tambo and digging in the ground.
While working in our archives, I found an old metal box. Inside was a long-forgotten roll of silent 8mm film marked “The Philippines 1942”
Excited at possibly discovering lost WW II footage, I sent it to specialists for care and digitization.
Yesterday, it came back. On it was: pic.twitter.com/Wvlla8k21R
— Gregory Schnakenberg (@GSchnakenberg) January 7, 2023
The tweet went viral with over 2.8 million views, 208,00 likes and more than 32,000 retweets, with many social media users expressing their adoration and appreciation for the found footage.
“All these years of posting medieval manuscripts on Twitter and I just needed to post some puppies,” Schnakenberg replied to his tweet after it had gone viral.
“Honestly, I find this footage to be more important than a new WWII footage because it shows a more intimate slice of life of the population,” one user wrote. “This one can be used to explore the day-to-day life of civilians, something I find more interesting than war.”
“You came looking for copper, but found gold,” another user said.
“Modern people: ‘The past was so different’/ People in the past: ‘Lol check out our puppies!’” one user tweeted.
Daniel Hashimoto, a twitter user who works with animation, also shared a colorized version of the footage.
colorized for fun🐶 pic.twitter.com/KzoH5XaL5c
— ActionMovieDad (@ActionMovieKid) January 9, 2023
It is unclear whether the film was actually taken in 1942. The country was invaded by Japan in December 1941 after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor during World War II. The Japanese occupation of the Philippines lasted until July 1945.