Several videos have surfaced online that supposedly show a UFO hovering over an Islamic shrine known as the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem's Temple Mount some time after midnight on Jan. 28. The videos have sparked a furious debate about whether we finally have evidence of UFOs.
By Benjamin Radford
As a veteran investigator of many UFO photos and videos, these images strike me as highly dubious, and all signs point to a hoax.
Why are the Jerusalem UFO videos suspicious? SPACE.com's sister site, Life's Little Mysteries, counts the ways:
First, no one knows who took the videos. In UFO reports, as in police investigations, anonymous reports are usually a red flag that something's bogus. There are very few legitimate reasons why a genuine witness would not want to be identified. (For example, fear of reprisals from gang members or the mafia; though it seems unlikely that the aliens threatened anyone to keep quiet.)
If you were one of the first people in the world to capture some of the most amazing video footage of a UFO taken in the past decade, why would you post it anonymously on YouTube instead of either submitting it to professional analysis, or making money by selling it to CNN or MSNBC? (In fact, there's some speculation that most or all of the videos were actually posted by a single person, which would guarantee a hoax.) Surely at least one of the videographers -- or someone working with them — would have come forward in the past 10 days to sell their story to a newspaper or tabloid. Suspicious.