When news broke that a couple from Ohio suddenly had a legendary Pokemon yesterday, the most common response from other players was that something fishy was going on. Today, Niantic confirmed the shenanigans, and says it has rectified the situation. In a statement sent to IGN, a Niantic rep said the following:
We recently noticed that a few Legendary Pokemon got into a few accounts when they shouldn't have, To preserve the game's integrity and as a measure of fairness, we have rectified the situation and revoked the legendary Pokemon from the Trainers' accounts.
Honestly, it was obvious from the beginning. The Coveys, who originally obtained an Articuno through unclear means but swore that it came from Niantic, kept trying to prove the monster's legitimacy in ridiculous ways. For example, they shared an email that Niantic supposedly sent them, and it misspelled "Articuno" as "Articundo":
In a statement to Geek.com, a Niantic rep also said that the Articuno definitely did not come from Niantic, though it's possible that the Coveys used a hack of some sort to get the Articuno, or that they experienced a glitch. We know that it is possible to use a program that makes one monster appear as a completely different monster, for example.
Besides, the idea that Niantic would have given them one of the rarest monsters around as an apology for an in-game inconvenience was absurd. If having some minor trouble within Pokemon GO was all it took to obtain a legendary Pokemon, most players would already one. But who knows? We asked Niantic for comment multiple times, and did not hear back.
But now nobody has a legendary any more, and everything is right in the world. My guess is that when Articuno properly spawns somewhere, it won't be in Ohio, of all places. Antarctica seems like a better fit, don't you think?