GETTYThe New York Times and Politico both reported on the programme
The belief in aliens visiting Earth via spacecraft was given greater validity last year following reports by both The New York Times and Politico Magazine of the secretive Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP).
This was coupled with a video released by the Department of Defence which shows a two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets and an unknown object near San Diego.
But, some experts in UFO studies think the release was merely a test to gauge public reactions to set people up for really big news about aliens.
Retired nuclear physicist and a long-time investigator and lecturer on the UFO phenomenon, Stanton Friedman, said: "I can't say I know why things are coming out at this time.
"I appreciate the courage of those former officials who came forth.”
He also criticised debunkers who advocate listening for alien signals but “ignore the tone of evidence of alien visitors”.
According to Steven Aftergood of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, the purpose of the AATIP is “threat identification”.
He added: "But the fact that this program was initiated at the request of Senator Reid — not the Air Force — suggests that national security was not the paramount motivation here.
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"It is somewhat dismaying to see how quickly 'unidentified' aerial phenomena are publicly interpreted and portrayed as UFOs of possibly extraterrestrial origin.
”Collectively, we should all be becoming more intelligent and more perceptive, not more stupid and gullible."
President and scientific director of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies in Chicago, Mark Rodeghier, said he was initially sceptical of UFOs.
But, after looking through hundreds of reports by witnesses, he became convinced that UFOs deserve serious study.
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The Crop Circles are often believed to be created by aliens, as there is no proper explanation behind this phenomenon.
Speaking of the AATIP, he said the sightings "confirms something that has been believed for many years … that these sightings are still happening, we just were not learning about them”.
He said he hopes the core AATIP information that has been gathered can be released to the public and made available for scientific study.
He added: "It would be extremely disappointing and frustrating if these reports are not released for scrutiny. We need high-quality data about UFOs to do better science.
"If those reports are never released, all of this is going to be blip in UFO history.
GETTYMark Rodeghier said he was initially sceptical of UFOs
"But even if it's only a blip in history, it's still a darn interesting blip."
A spokesman for the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU), Alejandro Rojas, said the revelation of the AATIP is evidence the US Government has been researching the phenomenon for years, despite claiming no interest in the phenomenon since 1969.
Mr Rojas advocates the scientific study of UFOs and believes all information regarding them should be released so the data can be properly analysed scientifically.
He said: "Remember, the 'U' is for unidentified, not alien. We don't know what these things are.
GETTYThe US Air Force had a programme called Project Blue Book
“Just because we get uncomfortable with the idea of aliens does not mean we should not investigate when the people who pilot our most advanced technology say they encounter something that outclasses their aircraft.
“It would be highly negligent not to investigate."
Between 1952 and 1969, the US Air Force’s official UFO-investigation programme called Project Blue Book came to the following conclusions:
No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated has ever indicated a threat to our national security; there is no evidence that sightings categorised as "unidentified" represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge, and there is no evidence that sightings categorised as "unidentified" are extraterrestrial vehicles.
A video showed an alien boarding a spaceship in Romania in January 2018.False
A video purportedly showing an alien boarding a spaceship in a field near the Romanian city of Târgoviște and then flying the UFO over the forest racked up millions of views as it was passed around social media in January 2018.
The most popular iteration of this video was likely the one posted to the Târgoviște+ Facebook page where it garnered more than 15 million views:
Although many expressed skepticism about the footage, some were convinced that this video documented an actual alien making a pit stop in Romania.
This video doesn’t actually show an extraterrestrial being.
For one, internet users couldn’t quite agree on where this video supposedly took place. Most claimed that the video was shot in Târgoviște, but others shared this video as if showed an incident outside of Bacău, a Romanian city approximately 300 kilometers to the northeast, while others claimed that the footage showed an alien invasion in Alaska. This is a common trope of internet hoaxes. As the footage is not rooted in reality, the location can be changed to make it more appealing to audiences in various locales.
But this video was not filmed in Romania or Alaska. This video was posted to the YouTube page “Alien Unleash” on 2 January 2018 (the day before the Târgoviște+ video) and was not accompanied by any information about where this incident allegedly took place. Rather, the description for the video was simply a list of relevant keywords:
Alien, UFO, Real Aliens, 2018, NASA, Thirdphaseofmoon, Spacecraft, Flying Saucer, Humanoid, Area 51, Alien Footage, UFO Sightings, Secureteam10, Grey Alien, Mothership,
The Alien Unleash YouTube page is full of similar videos. Over the last few months, the YouTube page has published videos purportedly showing dragons, alien abductions, motherships, and UFOs all over the world:
In fact, they published a a similar (yet much less convincing) video in October 2017 which showed another little grey alien boarding a spaceship:
This video was not filmed in a field outside of a Romanian city. It originated on an alien-centric YouTube page with a penchant of promoting similar hoax videos.
Although this particular video was good enough to convince some viewers that it was real, it still contained a few errors which revealed it to be a hoax. When the UFO makes its way over the trees, for instance, it appears that the spacecraft is flying through the trees and not over them: