That site has links to three more fake sites: GreaterAmericaNews.com, PresidentAndrewHarrison.com and SpaceElevatorClimb.com. They all make reference to the space elevator attack, by a group of terrorists calling themselves Autumn Rain. What they didn't mention was what they're advertising. I figured it must be selling a book, movie, tv show, video game or carbonated drink, and set about to find the truth.
The sites were very nicely done, so I figured somebody out there would be talking about them (and the book/movie/game they're advertising). Much to my surprise, Google searches for President Andrew Harrison, Greater America News and Space Command Center turned up nada. Huh...
So, I tried using some of my newly acquired cyber-recon skills. I read the source code for each website, but found no hidden author information. I did a whois search on the addresses, thinking I'd find out who registered the sites (I was expecting Sprite). Nope. All the sites are registered through DomainsByProxy.com, effectively masking the owner. Dang! All I found out was they were registered on 22 Jan 09, so I knew I wasn't dealing with an old site, ala I Love Bees, which was an ad for Halo 2 (back in 2004)
This just made me even more determined, and since I'm on day 3 of being snowed in, I had some time on my hands. So, back to Google and some more focused searches. I eventually found my way over to a site for sci-fi author David Williams, and his latest book The Mirrored Heavens. It's about a terrorist group called Autumn Rain and a thing called The Phoenix Space Elevator. The mass-market edition was released on Jan 27th, 2009.
Mystery solved! (but I've got to wonder - why advertise on Gmail and not have any link to the book from the fake sites?)