Saturday night, just after sunset, the Los Angeles area was in a tizzy after a strange light appeared in the sky. According to media outlets, there were calls to emergency services and social media erupted with photos and videos as well as mad speculation. The official pronouncement, that it was a rocket launch, was not universally acceptable to the conspiracy-minded public. Understandably, the Trident II (D5) missile test flight was top secret so no warning could be given to the public beforehand that might have quelled a bit of the uproar. Good or bad, the view in the sky was more dramatic than anticipated, as was the public response. Check out the LA Times piece: UFO scares are the price we pay for secret missile tests, expert says.
Among the somewhat serious responses and the joking ones about alien invasion of the West Coast of the US, there appeared this picture and accompanying story that is getting some attention in the darker corners of the internet.
(Warning: graphic content)
The story is that someone found this thing in San Jose, California after the UFO spotting. The UK tabloid Daily Star picked up the story.
With what appear to be two legs and some sort of face, the alien-type discovery looks as if it’s a prop from a freaky horror B-movie.
Perhaps it originated on Reddit/Imgur yesterday where the only caption is “Friend found this outside her house.” No mention of time or place.
Then, it also appeared on Facebook with the trope that “the man” wants it deleted.
The story was suddenly accompanied by the new details that it was in California and the finder: “…heard something scream at like 11.30 last night and went on my side yard and found this thing. It was dead when I found it.” The Express added that the scream was “blood curdling”. Don’t you love the “news”? Neither tabloid appeared to make any effort to determine the veracity of the story, they just repeated it.
The finding of the thing after the UFO sighting and upon hearing a scream is an unlikely story with no confirmation to back it up. It sounds spooky and looks gruesome so it gets passed along whether or not its credible. That the “UFO” was identified quite quickly SHOULD have scuttled the story. There is no reason to link that the missile launch with this weird creature. But that never stops a good viral tale, does it? Facts don’t slow it down. As we note so often, this is another effort to manufacture a good tale and make it spread as far as possible. It worked. As we post this, the piece is being picked up by several more outlets that will undoubtedly spend not a whit of time on thinking about the credibility of the story, but just pass it along with some added details to make it even more bizarre.
However, there is no reason to discount that someone really did come across this pathetic critter and took a picture. The most obvious and reasonable response is that it’s a miscarried animal fetus that has been partially eaten by a predator – nasty but common. The most probable animal named seems to be deer, though others suggest cow or lamb. You can see the animal has hoofs, not toes. The skin coloration looks dark in some patches around the neck such that it could have black and white coloration of a cow. But with no reliable information on the location of where it was found, we can’t say much more.
One thing IS for certain: it’s not an alien. It is most definitely just a normal terrestrial animal of some kind in an abnormal situation.