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Top UFO Hoaxes in History

From weather balloons to extra-terrestrial sightings, here are the top UFO hoaxes throughout history.

By Izzy ErlichPublished 8 years ago 6 min read

We've all seen the images, and admit it or not, somewhere deep inside of you, you've wondered whether the footage you're looking at is real (at last) or if not, at least another one of the top UFO hoaxes in history. Yet for some unidentified flying reason most people find the idea of life in outer space a little bit more than fascinating at least, if not possible, no matter how many top UFO hoaxes in history they come across.

So what exactly is a 'hoax'? 

If you simply Google the definition of a 'hoax' it will tell you that it's a "humorous or malicious deception", or "to trick or deceive someone". According to Richard Nares the word ‘hoax’ originated in the 18th century, and originated from the word ‘hocus’ that means “to cheat” (if you’re like me, you’re immediately thinking of the phrase ‘hocus pocus’). Hoaxes are still very common in society today, whether it is conducted merely as a humorous action or as a malicious illegal scam. One thing to remember is that the best hoaxes are the ones that are more likely to be a reality – I mean that's what makes you more susceptible to be fooled, right?

What's the motive behind a 'hoax' and how do people react to it? 

Reading fellow internet surfers' opinions on the reason behind hoaxes pretty much amounts to publicity, hype, hunger for fame, humor and sensation. Let's face it though, if you have a good hoax, regardless of your motive, people are going to react to it. For instance, the Roswell UFO crash led to 68 years of conspiracy and is seen as the world’s “most famous, most exhaustively investigated, and most thoroughly debunked UFO-claim”, so without further ado ladies and gents, the Roswell UFO-claim is rated as number one among the top UFO hoaxes in history. Man, oh man did people fall for this one – and just between us, my grandpa still firmly believes that this incident that took place in 1947 is as true as Bob.

Curiosity vs. Ignorance

If curiosity can kill a cat, then ignorance can sink the Titanic. Curiosity is seen, among other things, as a passion for learning and gathering information about the environment – just add a hint of mystery and a possibility of discovering the unknown and the curious’ self-control flies out of the window. Another one of the top UFO hoaxes in history is the apparent sighting in Rochester, New York in 1992, and to prove my point, go look up how many apparent sightings there currently are – whether according to you it’s imagination, fact, or fiction, curiosity receives a good dose of fuel on its fire if provided with footage like the Rochester claim. To be ignorant about these claims is one thing, but if you’re blatantly ignorant and intentionally ignore sightings and warnings , then you better be careful – if I remember my movies correctly, it’s usually the ones that act like they don’t give a damn that get abducted…

Birth of the prank that resulted in the list of top UFO hoaxes in history

One of the earliest reports of a UFO hoax took place in the USA late in the nineteenth century, where two men created a lame version of a flying saucer for April Fools’ Day. This seemed to have sparked a few ideas from various individuals, bringing forth, from claims of cows being abducted to individuals building their own spaceships and flying over parts of the States. But then, as usual, hype has to be amplified with bigger and better ideas - henceforth reports of alien encounters. Disturbing images and films of dead alien autopsies and discovered alien bodies found their way to newspapers and other media, setting ablaze the trend of human-alien interaction. Naivety won the day as the public’s imagination was thrown into an overdrive by this very new, very likely, very convincing, but very misleading and soon to be exposed reality.

UFO hoaxes today

Today we have knowledge increasing by the minute, and what used to be things that could only be done by professionals, can be done with the touch of a button. And, fortunately for the hoaxers, there are even apps available to download on your phone that enables you to pick the photo and add a supposed UFO appearance to it. For any believer in extraterrestrial life, this is a small rock in the shoe. How easy is it then to grip the public’s attention with an apparent UFO sighting after a few minutes of fooling around on your smart phone?! This caused a major upset among UFO specialists, and eventually even caused the British Ministry of Defense to close their UFO sightings desk in 2009. According to reports they released their last UFO files in June 2013. Clearly, if you create and recreate hoaxes about any topic, people will start to pay lesser attention to anything published – you may catch a raised eyebrow for a few seconds or some may investigate, but post regular sightings on your Facebook page, and you’ll see the gradual degrading of likes, comments or messages – heck you might even end up being unfriended or blocked a few. My point is that, the more hoaxes, the less naïve the public becomes. Your hoax needs to be a pretty decent one in order to classify as one of the top UFO hoaxes in history, and by a ‘top hoax’, I mean you’ll cause the Doomsday prepper to spend an extra buck or two on can food this month.

Recent top UFO hoaxes 

Cancun, Mexico 2007 (Haiti)

  • This UFO hoax had so many people raving about seemingly legitimate footage of two UFO's with spinning round edges, and fiery lights underneath (note to self: it's the rocket boosters you idiot). It flew over the Haiti beach low enough for great video footage to be recorded, shared and re-shared among the public. It caught so much attention that LA times decided to investigate - to the public's demise, they found that it was just another hoax created by a French video animator doing an experiment for a movie he was involved with. He constructed the video in a day's time and posted it online, not even intending for it to be a hoax. Well what do you know, here’s an exemption on my list of reasons for posting hoaxes - now we have two kinds of hoaxers, bona fide and mala fide... Imagine.

Oak Bay, British Columbia, 2008

  • One year after the Haiti Hoax two young boys around the age of 14 posted a video of a greenish UFO hovering over the waters of Oak Bay in Victoria, British Columbia. Watching the video through all the WTF's strikes one as being real, especially the fact that not too many teenagers can match Mr. Frenchman here above's skills in video animating. It eventually came out that it was a UFO’ed drone - if such a term ever exists. If these boys couldn't animate one, surely their science project teacher can give himself a pat on the shoulder. Nice one guys! Now go sit in your rooms and think about what you did... :)

Santa Clarita, California, 2012

  • This video is the most recent of the top UFO hoaxes in history in this article. Shot in the late afternoon, with the driver of a vehicle also being the cameraman, reveals a massive UFO flying over his car. Again, the UFO flying at such a close distance from the driver’s car that the camera actually justifies the size and detail of the UFO. To use the same illustration again, if I showed this video footage to my grandpa, it would have confirmed what he believes about the Roswell sighting a million times over. Without too much time wasted on investigation, it turns out that a filmmaker with the nickname “Meni” created this UFO hoax, and this time not only generating the UFO, but the whole video scene, including the sky, clouds, power lines, etc. According to ‘Meni’, “the electric towers are 3-D geometry and the sky is a 3D dome that has a texture map on it that’s a combination of painting, volumetric clouds and photogrammetry.” In my opinion, this is worth the acknowledgement of a modern-day Roswell sighting – truly amazingly generated, and ‘meni’ thanks for getting us all excited.

Last Word

So we’ve covered the list of top UFO hoaxes in history and checked out a little bit of background, but where there’s smoke, there’s a fire – something inside all of us wants to believe that extraterrestrial life exists, and that we can somehow make contact with it. In fact, if you browse around on Youtube and look up a massive hadron collider that the Swiss have built in Cern, Switzerland, you will find that they actually are trying to open portals to other dimensions. It’s your choice if you’re gonna let the list of TOP UFO HOAXES be the fat lady’s song, but the future truly holds the answer about whether you will have to take something to your leader…


About the Creator

Izzy Erlich

Upstate New Yorker, who loves to travel to Colorado and Vancouver. Certified Yoga instructor.

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    Izzy ErlichWritten by Izzy Erlich

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