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TheGreatestMinds

Alien-Hunting in the Tabloids: What could Possibly go Wrong?

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Xavier Lopez &  Galit Cohen take an irreverent look at...well...tabloid irreverence...oh yes, and the small matter of their obsession with aliens.

     It is often said that accounts of UFOs are hushed up or otherwise not reported- that there is a conspiracy of silence about these things and that the mainstream media shies away from reporting anything UFO- or alien-related. It is a popular line, but the idea that UFO claims are never reported is not really borne out by the facts. For a start, the most famous alien crash of all time was reported as the cover story across the Roswell Daily Record, on 8th July, 1947 (under the pretty unambiguous headline “RAAF captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region”). The same story also featured in The Sacramento Bee on the same date, under the title “Army reveals it has flying disk found on ranch in New Mexico”. In his book “Mass Contacts”, self-professed alien contactee Dr. Stefano Breccia even reprints “some of the hundreds of articles that…appeared [in] Italian newspapers” (his words) – in that case, specifically relating to a curious and dramatic series of UFO sightings and mysterious dramatic phenomena in the Adriatic Sea in 1978.  (Mass Contacts, pages 309-312, Pub: Author House, Bloomington Indiana, 2009, ISBN: 978-1-4389-0678-2).

 

     In fact, you could argue that quite the opposite is true…the tabloid newspapers are absolutely awash with aliens. The Sun and The Daily Star are particularly major reporters of alien stories. Now, frequent reportage is clearly not the same thing as accurate reportage, let alone sober coverage, so one could argue that these endless alien stories in the tabloids are part of the supposed government plan to discredit true UFO reports by burying them amongst an avalanche of rubbish or badly reported exaggerations. A lot of people have made that argument. The view of this site is fairly open minded- there may well be alien life somewhere out in space and, if it is there and able to travel to us across the vastness of the void, then- yes- from time to time, it seems reasonable that it/”they” might well come to visit “our” little blue and green ball as it orbits its medium sized, middle-aged “typical” star, out on one spiral arm of the milky way. Perhaps this is the truth. Perhaps this happens on a significant scale and, for whatever reasons, the powers that run the world chose to keep such matters secret. Maybe the newspapers do indeed all tow the official line and discredit accounts of alien encounters. As far as we know, this could well be the truth. This site is not aiming to debunk all claims of UFOs nor to dismiss all suggestion of life beyond this planet, but perhaps a moderate dose of skepticism here is healthy.

 

   Be that as it may, it is certainly not the case that the media fails to report accounts or allegations of encounters with aliens.  These days, it seems that if a tabloid article is not about naked women, Nazis, footballers or vacuous celebrities (sometimes all four), you can be pretty sure there will be aliens in it, somewhere or other…  

 

Don’t believe us?

Well, here, with tongue firmly in cheek are 32 of the latest UFO links (30 articles in the tabloids & 2 related documents)-

If accounts of people seeing strange lights in the skies are getting hidden, then they are being hidden right out in plain sight.

 

The more of these links we found, the more we realised that they question is not really "why are alien stories not being reported?" but more "why do the tabloids have so many alien stories?" Are they just milking extra terrestrials for their humour and shock value (pretty much like everything else they report upon), or is it something more profound? Could this tabloid obsession an attempt to flout whatever press restrictions there may be? This would be like the infamous "blind" articles they do on celebrities when an injunction prevents our intrepid journalists from writing what they really wish. Whoever really knows what the truth is? Perhaps the facts really are as strange, inconsistent and implausible as the weirdest articles suggest...In any case, truth or lies, the articles are nothing if not entertaining-

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Warning- (Not Safe for Work)

A lot of these newspapers and articles automatically launch embedded videos as soon as you open the article's page.

These videos may come with sound.

 

Articles 1-5:

 

1) “‘Alien flying saucer’ spotted on Google Earth over Antarctica in mind-boggling video” by Simon Green, published 31st July 2017,  http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/633540/alien-news-ufo-spotted-flying-saucer-google-earth-video-antarctica-conspiracy

 

2) “‘UFOs are REAL’ Prime Minister's calls for alien probe REVEALED in secret files” , by Henry Holloway, Published 29th January 2017, http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/583122/UFO-Real-Aliens-Sightings-Proof-Secret-UN-Grenada-Committee-Eric-Gairy-Wikileaks

3) [Article 2 cites this related wikileaks document -https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978USUNN05165_d.html ]

4) [Article 3 also cites this related wikileaks document -https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977USUNN03631_c.html ]

 

5) “Winston Churchill’s X-Files: Top secret UFO probe revealed” by David Trayner, published 30th July 2016,

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/533414/winston-churchill-ufos-flying-saucers-memo-working-party-aliens-extraterrestrial

 

Articles 6-10:

 

6) “Adolf Hitler and Nazis were in touch with ALIENS, shock claims”, by David Trayner, published 17th May 2016,

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/514498/thule-society-vril-nazi-ufos-aliens-hitler-himmler-Tempelhofgesellschaft  

(Note: Nazis AND aliens in a single article- a true red-letter day at the red tops..!)

 

7)“UFO 'spaceship' emerges from storm cloud in shocking footage”, Rachel O’Donoghue, published 24th February 2017,

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/591032/alien-news-ufo-sightings-spaceship-thunderstorm-cloud-united-states-aliens

 

8) “NASA cover up? UFO filmed on ISS space station camera is ‘undeniable proof aliens exist’” by Joshua Nevett, published 19th March 2017

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/598176/nasa-iss-space-station-aliens-ufo-camera

 

9) “Alien sightings Revealed in shock report on UFO hotspot”, by Douglas Patient, published 3rd April 2017,

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/602348/Alien-news-UFO-sightings-unexplained-Canada

 

10) “"They've been visiting for years' NASA astronauts make Shock claims about aliens”, by Simon Green, published 11th April 2017, http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/603022/Aliens-exist-UFOs-NASA-astronauts-shock-claims-video-proof

(Note: this article essentially reiterates claims by NASA astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Gordon Cooper about ETs that are pretty well known in UFO books and documentaries- in essence, if not in precise wording- and it incorporates some less well known comments by Deke Slayton and Brian O'Leary)

 

Articles 11-15:

 

11) “UFO flying saucer spotted hurtling over traffic at rush hour in shock clip”, by Henry Holloway, Published 9th April 2017

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/603949/Alien-News-UFOS-Flying-Saucer-Video-Mexico-Traffic-Spaceships-Cover-up-ETs-100-Real-Proof

 

12) “Video: Bizarre hovering 'UFO' lights are the 'real deal', claim alien chasers”, by Jon Austin, published May 27th, 2015

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/580230/VIDEO-Bizarre-hovering-UFO-lights-REAL-DEAL-alien-chasers

 

13) “Did North Korea's Kim send giant spaceship to spy on the South?”, by Rachel O'Donoghue, published 15th April 2017,   http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/605833/north-korea-aliens-ufo-spaceship-spying-nuclear-war-photo

(Note: This article is more about Human-manned "UFOs" than ET-manned craft).

 

14) “Russia's secret UFO files: Soviet Union waged Cold War conflict with aliens”, by Henry Holloway, published 17th September 2016, http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/544666/Soviet-Union-Russia-UFO-Aliens-Top-Secret-Cold-War-Airplanes-Shot-Down-KGB-Files-Sputnik

 

15) “Exposed: Prince Philip’s UFO ‘fascination’ revealed”, by David Trayner, published 8th September 2016,

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/543744/prince-philip-duke-edinburgh-ufo-aliens-peter-horsley-mr-janus-louis-mountbatten-adamski

 

Articles 16-20:

 

16) “What was the big eyed monster? Roswell UFO conspiracy deepens as cop reveals he saw soldiers ‘hauling away creature’ from crash site in never-before-seen interview", by Patrick Knox, published, 2nd June 2017,

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3708896/roswell-ufo-crash-witness-never-before-seen-interview/

 

17)” 'Roswell happened' Roswell conspiracy theory ‘expert’ claims UFO crash did happen… and says a leaked US government document she’s seen proves it”, by Tom Michael, published 15th June 2017,

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3807440/roswell-conspiracy-expert-claims-ufo-crash-did-happen/

 

18) “'Aliens already here on Earth' Billionaire NASA supplier says family met ET”, by David Trayner, published 3rd June 2017,

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/619504/aliens-on-earth-nasa-robert-bigelow-aerospace-extraterrestrial-ufo-real-60-minutes

 

19)” ‘Has he been silenced?’Mystery as UFO expert Scott C Waring suddenly shuts down his site without warning after seven years of alien posts”, by Sam Webb, published 28th June 2017,

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3904276/mystery-as-ufo-expert-scott-c-waring-suddenly-shuts-down-his-site-without-warning-after-seven-years-of-alien-posts/

 

 

20) “Clearest ever ‘alien UFO’ photo snapped by NASA Mars Rover sends internet into meltdown”, by David Trayner, published 27th June 2017,

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/625179/nasa-alien-life-anonymous-ufo-sighting-mars-rover-spaceship-photo-reddit-extraterrestrial?

 

Articles 21-25:

 

21) “Villagers in fear as ‘heavy breathing’ alien ‘stomps backyards’ leaving huge footprints”, by Rory McKeown, published 13th July 2017, http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/629249/aliens-ufo-footprints-india-Gadag-Karnataka-village-conspiracy-horror-heavy-breathing

(Note: !!!!)

 

22) “Bodies of Five alien-beings discovered at ancient Peru site”, by Zoe Drewett, published 17th July 2017,

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/629736/alien-proof-footage-Peru-conspiracy-theory-mummy-body-remains-video

 

23) “‘There are Aliens hiding in Saturn’s rings’ Ex-NASA man in bombshell claim”, by Rachel O'Donoghue, published 16th July 2017, http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/630093/aliens-ufos-saturns-rings-nasa-norman-bergrun

 

24) “Frequency Fliers, ‘Strange’ signals that appear to be coming from a star close to Earth may have been sent by aliens, scientists say”, by Margi Murphy, published 17th July 2017,

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4033808/alien-signals-deep-space-radio-burst/

 

25) “‘Cities on Mars’ NASA baffled by bombshell shock claim”, by Henry Holloway, published 20th July 2017,

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/630968/NASA-Mars-Aliens-UFOs-Rover-Proof-Dana-Rohrabacher-2020-Space-Life-Red-Civilisation-Rep

 

 

Articles 26-30:

 

26) “If I Worked for the Government, I'd Ask About UFOs, Wouldn't you?”, by Charles P. Pierce, published 19th July 2017,

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a56430/rohrabacker-aliens-congress-clinton/

(Note: Yes, we are aware that "Esquire" is not exactly a tabloid newspaper, but since we're on the subject anyway...)

 

27) “Alien truth-seekers discover 'underground UFO base' at Area 51 in remarkable video”, by Simon Green, published 21st July 2017, http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/631236/Alien-news-Area-51-UFO-spotted-underground-video-proof-conspiracy-cover-up?

 

28) “Brave New Worlds: Alien life-forms could be lurking on mysterious ‘rogue planets’ floating freely between galaxies, boffins say”, by Jasper Hamill and Mark Waghorn, Published 24th July 2017, https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4085373/alien-lifeforms-could-be-lurking-on-mysterious-rogue-planets-floating-free-between-galaxies-boffins-say/

 

29) “Proof of aliens? Tourists flock to hotspot near Area 51 to contact Martians and spot UFOs”,

by Laura Mitchell, Published 26th September 2016

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/travel/adventure/546711/Are-aliens-real-UFO-sightings-America-what-is-area-51-Nevada

 

30) “Alien shock as scientists detect ‘15 mysterious signals’ from deep space”, by Henry Holloway, Published 31st August 2017

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/641284/Alien-Proof-Evidence-Signals-UFOs-Space-Galaxy-ET-Breakthrough-Listen-Stephen-Hawking

 

Articles 31-35:

 

31) “Has an Alien been filmed walking inside its ship? Baffling video has UFO fanatics stunned”,

by Simon Green, published 15th August 2017,

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/637327/Alien-news-proof-walking-spacecraft-video-ufo-extraterrestrial?

 

32) “Alien hunting breakthrough project detects fifteen 'repeater' fast radio bursts from a dwarf galaxy 3 billion light years from Earth”, by Cheyenne Macdonald, 30 August 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4837430/Breakthrough-project-detected-15-fast-radio-bursts.html

(Note: this covers the same topic as Article 30, above, but takes more of a space science angle than a UFOs/ aliens theme per se.)

 

33. “Governments are hiding aliens, claims former defence minister: Paul Hellyer urges world leaders to reveal 'secret files'”, by Ellie Zolfagharifard, published 22nd April 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3051151/Governments-HIDING-aliens-claims-former-defence-minister-Paul-Hellyer-urges-world-leaders-reveal-secret-files.html

(Note: this is one of the more interesting tabloid alien articles simply because of the impeccable credentials of Paul Hellyer and the senior positions he held in the Canadian government)

 

34. “Magnetic galaxy discovered five billion light-years away suggests planets hosting alien life could have been a 'common phenomenon' since the dawn of time”, by Phoebe Weston, published 28th August 2017,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4823862/Distant-galaxy-gives-fossil-record-magentism.html

(Note: again, as for article 32, this article is more about space science than UFology).

 

35. “Has the 'alien megastructure' mystery been solved? Astronomers say a ringed Saturn-like exoplanet could explain the strange signals”, by Tim Collins, 23rd August 2017,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4815848/Alien-megastructure-star-mystery-solved.html

(Note: this is another popular science article/space-science article that touches on ETs and some anomalous findings that had been suggested as potentially indicative of alien life),

 

Articles 36-40:

 

36. “Alien hunters film ‘UFO’ hovering in the clouds above the Philippines before it shoots off into the distance”,

by Sebastian Murphy-Bates, published 22nd August 2017,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4811838/Alien-hunters-spot-UFO-clouds-Philippines.html

 

37.  “'It has stayed with me ever since': Top UFO expert reveals the X Files that convinced him aliens are real”,

by Stewart Paterson, published 19th August 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4805056/Top-UFO-expert-reveals-favourite-close-encounters.html

(Note: the UFO expert in this article is Philip Mantle, who is the former director of investigations of the British UFO Research Association and the UK representative of MUFON - the world's biggest UFO organisation)

 

38. “‘We knew it was no airplane’: UFO hunters film mysterious glowing orb travelling over ‘sacred mountain’”,

by Sebastian Murphy-Bates, published 9 August 2017,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4775308/UFO-hunters-film-orb-Stawamus-Chief-Canada.html

 

39. “‘We're not alone in the universe': Actor who faced grisly death in Alien claims that he has been abducted by extraterrestrials in real life”, by Regina F. Graham, 30th July 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4744726/Actor-1979-Alien-says-s-abducted-real-life.html

(Note: the actor in the piece is Yaphet Kotto, there is an unfortunate tone to this in that the author printed prominently at the top of the piece that Mr Kotto “refutes claims that he is mentally ill”- the implication presumably being that the reader would otherwise naturally assume that he is).

 

40. The Daily Mirror goes a stage further than most of the tabloids with its own Alien articles section- http://www.mirror.co.uk/all-about/aliens

 

41. “Are these spooky encounters proof aliens are REAL? British UFO expert reveals his most baffling X-files”,

by John Jeffey, published 19th August 2017,

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/spooky-encounters-proof-aliens-real-11018069

 

42. “NASA has made it a lot easier for aliens to attack Earth, extra-terrestrial expert warns”,

by Jeff Parsons, 16th August 2017,  http://www.mirror.co.uk/science/nasa-made-lot-easier-aliens-10997553

 

43. “US republican congressman asks senior NASA panel if aliens lived on Mars 'thousands of years ago' - and the internet erupts”, by Kelly-Ann Mills, published 20th July 2017,

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/republican-congressman-asks-senior-nasa-10837340

 

44. “Mystery as six 'UFOs' spotted floating in night sky in sleepy Serbian town”, by Diona Martin, 25th July 2017,

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/mystery-six-ufos-spotted-floating-10865323

 

and finally,

 

45. “Chester Bennington revealed he saw a "UFO" just months before his death”, by James Draper, 24th July 2017,

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/chester-bennington-revealed-saw-ufo-10856557

(Note: it is a little uncomfortable to link to an article like this, so soon after Mr Bennington’s death, but his comments on his observation are quite interesting.)

 

 

It is not just the  tabloids that report supposed alien sightings, though, local newspapers are known for reporting them, too- for example, this “featured article” by Jamie Brassington was published in the Express and Star (West Midlands, UK) on 22nd May 2017-

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/featured-articles/2017/05/22/its-x-files-time-with-16-ufo-sightings-reported-to-west-midlands-police/

Now, admittedly the title- “It’s X-Files time with 16 UFO sightings reported to police” is somewhat irreverent. Elsewhere in the long list above, the tone ranges from seriously inquisitive through healthily sceptical to more than a little disparaging. When the mainstream media doubt their sanity, it is easy to see why the world’s UFO enthusiasts complain. On the other hand, some of the material they have to work from is not exactly stellar quality either (no pun intended).  Pieces like the first article on our list above-

“‘Alien flying saucer’ spotted on Google Earth over Antarctica in mind-boggling video” (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/633540/alien-news-ufo-spotted-flying-saucer-google-earth-video-antarctica-conspiracy )

-does the UFOlogist’s case no favours.

 

To be more specific, in this instance, the article revolves around a youtube video about a splodge spotted on Google Earth pictures over Antarctica. The video was created by a guy who may be either a "UFO Expert" or may be a "so-called truth-seeker" (the writer of the article apparently had a hard time forming an opinion about his credentials). This said splodge is shaped a bit like a classical flying saucer, only with the angle of the picture, the saucer would be flying sideways rather than the right way up, probably leaving our potential aliens with an extreme case of car sickness (thankfully, this does not appear in the picture). One would also note that the shadow pattern on this splodge actually implies the splodge is concave (like a crack in the ice) rather than convex (like a saucer would be).  The sad fact is that the original video is more than a little suspect- towards the end of it, the creator starts talking about the pyramids of Giza potentially being of extraterrestrial origin and of having the ability to fly.  Perhaps wisely, then, the Daily Star has chosen to add only a cropped version of the video to the article and not supply a direct link to the full one (or even mention that the segment of the video attached to the article is only a tenth of the length of the original video). In this case, the newspaper has gone with what we would call an unwarrantedly sympathetic view towards this supposed alien discovery being truthful. The end result is an article that is entertaining and certainly saleable; on some level, it’s actually a good piece of writing… but it is not what you might call a fine piece of investigative or remotely impartial journalism. It is all very well to slate the papers for insufficient UFO coverage or even irreverent UFO coverage, but when the material being presented by certain UFOlogists is so shaky in the first place, it is hardly surprising if the articles that come out of it fail to win a Pullizer prize.