Chances are, if you are reading about UFO's, you hope to spot one if you haven't already. That desire for an answer about one of Earth's greatest mysteries - are we alone - lead many to fall for faked footage and misleading stories that are obvious hoaxes.
Back in the 1950's when we first started to see a huge increase in UFO reports, hoaxes were easy to carry out. With a pie tin, plate, or aluminum foil and string a hoaxer could easily create a "UFO" to fool the public. Camera technology had not yet developed enough to reveal the image details that could debunk the claim.
Now we have cell phones with crystal clarity, Photoshop and image editing software, along with CGI that makes it a lot easier to stage a hoax that is hard to discern from the truth. Even with the advances in technology, astute researchers can learn how to spot a faked UFO sighting by analyzing the details of the sighting. Here are a few common things we notice among fake reports and sightings.
New YouTube Channel
One thing we have noticed is that 'ground breaking' UFO footage will often pop up on a new YouTube channel. The poster creates the channel just for the purpose of sharing the video. The channel will also have an unusual name, as if the channel was created in haste, or with a name that can't be traced or linked to the poster.
This stands out because most first time observers of something unusual will search out help in understanding their sighting by contacting a UFO website like ours, or many of the others out there like MUFON. They don't upload videos to YouTube the next day - that is unless they are hoping to cash in on their sighting.
The Witness Has Little or No Reaction
Seeing a UFO is a life changing moment. Most report that an encounter creates an emotional reaction which can vary from a peaceful calm to absolute uneasiness or terror. Either way, seeing something like a UFO should create some reaction, but quite often in the fakes we notice that the poster has little to nothing to say - if they even speak out about the video or pictures they share. Usually it's because they didn't see anything at all that they can't put their sighting into words.
Other hoaxers will commonly not react in their videos despite the amazing event unfolding in front of them. This is common in CGI hoaxes where the video is made on the computer than later speech and reactions are dubbed in. They just don't match up. Search YouTube and you'll find plenty of videos of HUGE motherships floating over a city yet no one seems to even notice or react. Sightings of this magnitude would be witnessed by hundreds or thousands of people who would also be recording and taking pictures.
Witness Only Provides Vague Details
Now too many details could be a sign someone is making things up, but on the other hand not being able to provide any context is a clue that the sighting is a hoax. If you saw a UFO, you should be able to approximate the time, date and location where you saw the object. Hoaxers leave out these details because they don't have them.
As another website pointed out, digital technology like cellphones, cameras, and recording equipment includes data which makes identifying time and date characteristics (sometimes even GPS coordinates) easy to find. So even if you were completely entranced by your sighting - it wouldn't be hard to go back later and look for important information like this to help lend truth to your sighting.
Lack of Other Evidence
Not every sighting is an event on par with the Phoenix Lights where thousands witnessed the event and managed to take photos and videos to back up the story, but a UFO sighting should have some corroborating evidence. That's why we have MUFON field investigators - people who go out and look for the hidden clues to support the case.
Evidence can be small or large, but it's common that in an area where a UFO is sighted there will be something else unusual to be found. This might be radioactive material, burnt grass, or other physical evidence. At the least, you should find witnesses who also reported something strange, 911 calls, or a mention in the local paper since something so out side the norm is going to be talked about by the locals.
Whenever we get a reader reported sighting, one of the first things we do is search for other sightings in the area and cross check the MUFON database. We don't need an exact match, but other reports in the area or close by help us look at the report as credible.
What do you think? Are there things we missed that are signs of a UFO hoax? Comment below.