In a universe this incredibly vast, we can be sure we’re not alone. It’s almost beyond doubt that alien life is out there. It’s even possible that little gray men have paid us the odd visit. Just like David Duchovny in the 1990s, many of us want to believe.
But that belief can take us down routes that are, shall we say, less than scientific. And while it might be exciting to believe those strange lights buzzing your house last night were UFOs, the truth is probably a lot simpler.
10, The Apollo 16 UFO
The Apollo 16 UFO tape was a six-second bit of footage that seemed to prove UFOs were visiting our moon. Shot on a jerky, hand-held camera, the film shows what looks eerily like Hollywood’s idea of a flying saucer hovering near the lunar module. Today, it’s trumpeted by sections of the UFO community as a verified sighting, despite NASA debunking it years ago.
When experts extracted still frames from the footage for analysis, they realized that the UFO appeared to have a metal pole protruding from it, one almost as big as the ship itself. Seen at normal speed, the pole was hidden in shadow, but on the still image, it was clear as day. And it appeared to be attached to the lunar module.
The UFO was nothing more than the module’s own external floodlight, with a few dramatic shadows conspiring to make it look mysterious. The only aliens the footage showed visiting the moon were, well, us.
9.The Taliban UFO
Early in 2014, a video was uploaded to YouTube from the Asadabad district of Afghanistan. Filmed by Marines, it appeared to show a floating, triangular object attacking a Taliban camp with some sort of impossible space weapon. Across the world, people went wild. The Daily Mail ran a serious analysis claiming the object could be from another world. The Huffington Postcouldn’t decide if it was a UFO or a new type of super-drone. Was this final proof of alien existence?
You can probably guess the answer. Instead of a UFO or even a drone, the object turned out to be a CGI light show designed by YouTube user Section 51. At some point, he or she had found a genuine video of a Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) destroying a bomb factory in the Middle East and decided it needed more aliens. Even as news sites were taking the video at face value, online conspiracy factory Infowars was actually debunking it.