It’s an exciting time to be into UFOs. The government is finally taking sightings seriously, releasing information about what they know, and even holding hearings about what to do about these mysterious objects in the sky. Understandably, UFO sightings are way up, and everyone is turning their cameras skyward at the slightest hint of anything odd up there. People are constantly reporting space debris, Starlink satellites, rocket launches, aircraft flares, or even just bright planets, postive that they have captured a video of a real UFO.
But not every unidentified light in the sky is a sign of an alien presence, and a lot of videos you find online are just plain silly. There are some things to watch for when you spot a video online that looks like it might be fake.
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The most obvious, helpfully illustrated here, is a super short clip. Though you can’t expect a witness to a UFO incident to have their camera out and ready the exact instant that an object appears in the sky, a very short clip (a few seconds) with zero context indicates that they didn’t film it very long for a reason. Maybe if they kept flying it would be clear that what we’re really seeing is a balloon, or perhaps, like this video, a firework.
Blatant CGI is another dead giveaway. I promise, if you were really seeing a super clear, super detailed shot of a UFO, it would be on the nightly news, not a random TikTok video.
Finally, keeping mind the “five observables,” characteristics that UFO experts use to differentiate real UFOs from other objects we might happen upon in our skies.