Who Forted? Magazine

SPOILERS: April UFO Sightings Won’t Be Worth A Damn!

Early in the evening, last October, a brace of boys conspired to make headlines. Their gadget was a simple tricopter, wrapped with green LED strips, set aloft in some fields ’round Gloucestershire1. Despite a close-call with locals, the pranksters weren’t sure if enough people bore witness to their handiwork, and reached out three local papers, The Stroud News & Journal, Stroud Life, and The Gloucester Citizen, to raise the signal.

hoxed_device

Hi SN&J,

Long time reader of the SN&J here, first time I’ve ever emailed.

While driving from Painswick to Stroud this evening I spotted a very odd blue/green light in the sky. It was about 1am. It seemed to be just sitting still above the trees. I pulled over in the bus stop near Edge to get some pictures (see attached). The object then simply disappeared after a few minutes.

I wondered if you had any information? Do you know what it could be?

Thanks in advance

Jim

I like their moxie, calling the newspapers out on lax reporting. Even funnier, the fictional Jim was misquoted from “No”, to “I wasn’t frightened” by The Stroud News and Journal‘s stringer. Pranksters like these are harmless, compared to Rick Dyer and his monkey suit full of ‘possum meat.

Or are they?

Inspired by their English colleagues, some hobbyists are hard at work arranging a worldwide UFO stunt on April 5th. As you can see, they’re putting a lot of work into the endeavor and folks are buying it.2

Don´t fly circles, looks too much what you expect of a plane. Appear-straight line-disappear, repeat at irregular location. Make sure to fly high enough not to be heard, and return to land in stealth mode :) Forget purple, it really fades out at a distance, hard to notice with backgroung lighting (streetlights and houses around you).

In fact, one of the forum members has found a bold new opportunity!

UFO tours
Follow your UFO expert and go UFO spotting.
A chance to maybe see a real UFO.
$350 per person. Maximum of 16 per tour.
Includes camping, spotting gear and food for 3 nights.

Appreciating the marginalization of forteana by mainstream media, this is great fun. Journalists don’t treat UFO sightings seriously, begging the question about how much investigation happens for bigger, important stories like government leaks, and corruption, often ignored in favor of digging up dirt on celebrities. Then again, Kim Kardashian’s not going rendition you to Romania for waterboarding.

Pranks in this vein are a double edged sword. Dinosaur media like TV, radio, and newspapers always emphasize these sightings are Venus, seen through swamp gas, by a bunch of rummies setting sky lanterns aloft down at a railyard, or some such bullshit. Big-S skeptics and denialists will have a field day crowing about everyone’s gullibility, emphasizing the need for denialists like James Randi and others to protect us from our ‘delusions’. Heaven forbid Neil deGrasse Tyson releases a soundbite about the sightings on NPR, this’ll be the biggest Skeptic circlejerk of 2014.

spreadsheet

The roster of ‘sightings’ so far, click to embiggen.

Let me reiterate, most UFO sightings in April won’t be worth a damn. Even before April, stay frosty, take note of everything if should you have a sighting, and ask tough questions to see you really saw an honest-to-goodness UFO. Most contemporary UFO videos and photos are worthless, with the most recent, credible sighting taking place in 2008, over Stephenville.

Are you for calling media outlets on shoddy reporting, or does hoaxing for any reason get under your skin? Vent your righteous opinion on our Facebook page, at Twitter, or in the comments below.


  1. http://mrgyro.tumblr.com/post/63555624005/mrgyros-ufo-spotted-by-local-papers 

  2. http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php?25040-The-big-UFO-project 

Chris Savia
Editor and contributor at Who Forted?, also a news editor and the social media maven with The Anomalist. He first caught the weird bug as a kid, boning up on the legends behind the Jersey Devil, moving on to harder stuff like the occult, then forteana. Chris lives near the Pine Barrens with his wife, and six cats.
Chris Savia
Chris Savia

4 Comments

  1. Aisling

    02/24/2014 at 6:50 AM

    Sounds like April might be a good month for night skeet shooting, glow in the dark will make for easy targets. ;)

  2. Jonathan

    02/24/2014 at 11:41 AM

    Aisling, I might be joining you. It’s time to brake in The Judge for some target practice.

    I suppose from the other side of the fence – in the S-Skeptic camp – it’s probably fun to do these sorts of things, especially when you believe that there are no such things. One probably has a gratifying sense of both; accomplishment ,and adrenaline inducing fun when it comes to hoaxing so many people with a propeller drone.

  3. Chris

    02/25/2014 at 12:34 PM

    Unfortunately, sensationalist news makes money regardless of its content, the media will have a field day with this hoax. Hopefully now it’s all out in the open its impact on the gullible public will be lessened :)

  4. Jerry

    03/15/2014 at 12:04 PM

    Could it be they are staging this because someone is aware that there will probably be legitimate sitings in April, for whatever reason?

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