UFOs Videotaped Over London?

July 4, 2011

I recently provided an analysis of a UFO video that was allegedly shot in London, England. It began, "A new viral video making the rounds on the Internet purports to show what's been dubbed a "mothership" and at least three separate smaller alien spacecraft filmed in the skies over London. The most famous video (which was taken anonymously and is one of two or three versions in circulation) shows a large glowing white oval moving in and out from behind clouds over the course of about 20 seconds, and then zooming off, with three white dots also making an appearance. So what are they? The pattern of movement does not resemble any known aircraft, and some are already proclaiming the sighting as proof of aliens." 

The piece appeared on CBS News, Fox News, Yahoo News, The Free Republic, and elsewhere. Reactions to my UFO video analysis were interesting. The majority of those who commented were obviously UFO believers, and the following two comments (which appeared on CBSNews.com) were typical:

"If it is a hoax, it is travelling all over the world. Exactly the same formation (3 spaceships in a triangle) has been sited in multiple cities in the US including NY. Looks like the aliens are ready to reveal themselves if we are ready for them. It is the US military/intelligence community that does not want the truth about advanced aliens visiting from outer space to be revealed, since that would undermine US military and economic dominance of the world. This elaborate coverup has been going on for almost 60 years. See ufocoverup.org for more info."

"Copycat hoax that is frickin hilarious, are you serious, do just a LITTLE research, just a LITTLE, like let me give it a shot here, Presidents, Defense Ministers, Astronauts, Goveners, mayors, Nulceur base commanders, Nucluer sceintists, Minutemen, FIA Officals, Radar operators, Military jet, plane, and helicoptor pilots, Navy, army, esp. airforce cia fbi nsa norad nasa u.n. personel of all walks including even High up personel, submarine crews, I.S.S. ocupents, civil defense contract personel, thousands of civilian testomony, tens of thousands of hipnotic abduction cases, even done by harvards physcoligy teachers, roswell, kecksburg, rendelshen forrest, Prob. close to millions of photos and videos, nasa video of the tether incident, were the guy off ufo hunters tried to say it was all because of the lens are you kidding, the objects are clearly all different in every aspect, I mean on and on and on I just cant beleive people are so blind, you mean to tell me all that info out their and STILL we have to listen to the people that are kicking and screaming into change or most people refer to the future, people were once told this world was flat, the center of the universe, humans can't fly, their was no such things as giant squid, life could only live in temperate areas, and there is no water in space, esp. the moon dah, well guess what we were wrong before! And we are very ignorant to beleive we are not being visited, the proof is in the pudding!"

The misspellings and logical contradictions speak for themselves, but suffice it to note that many criticized me for providing an incorrect analysis.

While most said I was obviously wrong, others criticized me for being obviously correct. One poster wrote, "A Hoax, you think? That never occured to me! This Benjamin Radford must be a Rhodes Scholar. Until the existence of extraterrestrials or interdeminsional beings can be proven, all the UFO footage in the world is a mute point. The media just makes themselves out to be fools."

I clearly can't win with most people, though a smaller handful of readers complimented my analysis, such as this person: "Excellent points made in the article. I would definitely NOT take the the camera of the sky for one second if I thought I might be filming UFOs. If it is a hoax, the people doing it need to learn from this experience and work out the kinks for the next time."

Perhaps the funniest response appeared on the Web site EducatingHumanity.com, where a blogger named Richard did some investigative research into my background and discovered that I'm Deputy Editor for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Clearly assuming he's dug up discrediting information, Richard wrote:

"I took a look at the reviews for Skeptical Inquirer Magazine and there were three, here is what one reviewer said!: "As much as love conspiracy theories and mysteries, I love facts more. I want to know if a story holds water." Apparently this person felt the magazine was great on conspiracies but short on facts!"

It's a beautiful quote, and perfectly illustrates the author's inability to understand what he's reading. The reviewer is obviously stating that he recommends Skeptical Inquirer because it provides facts that discredit conspiracy theories and mysteries (he rates the content quality 5 out of 5 stars)-not that the magazine is "great on conspiracies but short on facts". The fact that UFO advocate Richard can read a short sentence and conclude that it means exactly the opposite of what it really does speaks volumes about his level of analysis and critical thinking. While my analysis of the UFO video is certainly open to discussion and debate, the critics and UFO believers offer no better explanations.