A recently released videotape recorded in 2010 at an Air Force Base in Chile is being touted as perhaps the best-ever evidence that UFOs have visited Earth.
Leslie Kean, author of the New York Times best seller "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record" (Crown, 2010), wrote in an article discussing the Nov. 5, 2010 sighting at El Bosque Air Base in Santiago Chile: "From different locations, spectators aimed video cameras and cell phones at groups of acrobatic and fighter jets performing an air show overhead. Nobody saw anything amiss. But afterward, an engineer from the adjacent Pillán aircraft factory noticed something bizarre while viewing his footage in slow motion."
That bizarre something was a roundish black object that seemed to chase the jets as they flew overhead. The engineer sent his video to the government's Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, whose experts concluded that the Chilean jets were being stalked by a UFO. [Video]
The slow-motion image shows something with a dark body and light-colored top flying quickly through the air. Kean and others interpret it as a metallic interplanetary spacecraft flying past the jets in excess of 4,000 mph.
Others, however, are far less impressed with the video. Many people — skeptics and UFO believers alike — are pretty sure it's from this earth. In fact, they think it's an insect. [5 Fake Scientific Breakthroughs]
Is this truly the case that "UFO skeptics have been dreading?" Two Internet video sleuths have compelling evidence that suggests otherwise. The first compared an unrelated video taken of a swarm of bees in flight to the object in the video; they are virtually identical. A second investigator going by the handle "Hoaxkiller" did his own video analysis that clearly shows the "UFO" flying up from the foreground in front of nearby hills. It seems that whatever it is — whether extraterrestrial spacecraft or very terrestrial insect — the UFO began its journey into the skies above the El Bosque Air Base from approximately knee height, and probably took off from less than 20 feet in front of the cameraman.
If the Unidentified Flying Object truly is some sort of extraterrestrial spacecraft and not flying insect, it's odd that it apparently didn't show up on radar. Then there's the fact that not a single person on the scene, including the pilots, noticed the UFO. This makes fits with the flying insect theory — the pilots would of course be unable to see the bee or fly, and the crowd was of course watching the jets overhead.
Kean and others insist that the bug explanation was ruled out by expert analysis, in part because there are said to be several different videos showing it. While that claim appears to be true, it does not rule out the likelihood of the image being an insect, because so far all of the available videos are from a nearly identical vantage point. In order to conclusively debunk the bug explanation, we would need to see the UFO appearing in video taken from different locations.
Veteran UFO researcher Robert Sheaffer, who covered the topic on his "Bad UFOs" blog, told Life's Little Mysteries, "What is truly surprising is how easy it is to create a 'world class' UFO video, and stump the so-called 'experts.' Just get a video of an insect flying around, and edit it carefully so it's not immediately obvious that the object is a bug. Many UFO promoters have such a powerful will-to-believe that they often do not apply any reasonable critical analysis to sensational claims."
Skeptical explanation-defying ET craft stalking Chile's military jets or annoyed insect? You be the judge.
This story was provided by Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of "Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries." His website is www.BenjaminRadford.com.