UFO hoaxer fuels worry about an attack on Turkey

A fear about an invasion by UFOs sparked a small panic on social media on Sunday, November 27. The story played out AS IF many people were seeing and reporting the same cluster of lights in the sky across the country and even later in other places. But that wasn’t what was happening. Our UFO media expert, Scott Brando, (@UFOofInterest) spotted the trending story as it made waves.

He saw it happening via his daily search for tweets and news on UFO sightings. “I noticed that the keywords “ufo turkey” were very frequent in the results of my research. Reading several tweets about this alleged mass ufo sighting, people shared them with the hashtag #ufoattacktoturkey.” Some people said the tag was trending but then disappeared. There was no evidence shown that this even happened. The story went viral when a well-known UFO hoax site on YouTube, SecureTeam10, run by Tyler Glockner, made a video compilation and stirred up manufactured concern. Their “Breaking News” report about the Turkey event has nearly a half million views. A second video with more fake reports, has nearly 400,000. In the second video, Glockner promoted ridiculously false statements about the media being run by government, and that these sightings and reports are being “censored” across all platforms (an impossibility) because there is something going on “they” don’t want us to know about. His videos of these non-events turn them into reality for his tens of thousands of subscribers and received media publicity ensuring he gets additional eyeballs.

The Reddit thread also fanned the flames, with the participants exhibiting “hysterics”. The thread was shut down after it was clear it was a hoax. When Reddit calls for people to use some critical thinking, you KNOW you are off the chart.

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One photo promoted in the orchestrated hoax of UFOs over Turkey

One photo promoted in the orchestrated hoax of UFOs over Turkey

Obviously, if this event is widespread and really happening, it would be all over the news, unable to be contained. Brando went to the local news to check on the veracity of the story. He quickly determined it was already determined to be false, orchestrated by a Facebook group named “goygoyrail” who coordinated to post old, debunked and fake pictures. They provided a statement (in Turkish) on 28 Nov admitting the hoax with a tweet message “Comment on yesterday’s #ufoattacktoturkey fun!” Several of the Twitter accounts participating in the sharing of the “news” were newly created, a red flag of a hoax. Brando also recognized two of the pieces shared as part of the “attack”.

“I immediately remembered these old sightings,” he said. “This is an old Italian case I know very well. It was a launch of a little hot air balloon to celebrate one of the patron saints.”  And this one was over Santiago in Chile: it’s the Chilean Air Force that usually performs several activities and ceremonies to celebrate anniversaries and new air school graduates.”

Brando used a reverse image search (Google and Tineye) to identify other photos that were old news used as part of the fake event.

Dubious sources like HNGN (Headlines and Global News – an ad-supported pseudo-news site) propagated SecureTeam10’s (Glockner’s) gibberish about the videos and photos being “suppressed”. It was more likely that these bogus accounts were deleted or the tweets removed. The twitter hashtag was quickly overtaken. But anything that conspiracists can shoe-horn into their framework appears to make the story seem more supported. The appearance of this news as being true sparked some concern with readers and people watching the Tweet stream. Glockner’s paranoid banter encouraged people to believe it because of the many reports he found. Anomaly hunters almost never consider the plausibility that every single one of these “reports” was unverified and had issues that made the entire body of evidence unacceptable. The interest then sparked copycat “reports” from Denver, Texas, Canada and Mexico. The UK Express tabloid eventually quoted Brando in the story that revealed the hoax. Finally!

But the UFO parade of foolishness continued as the portion of the audience hearing about the debunking is tiny compared to those who heard about the manufactured scare. The Herald Express posted this story based on a video by a reader who had heard about the so-called events in Turkey. He watched a light in the sky in Torquay harbor for 10 minutes around 5PM when he decided to film it:

“My wife and I spotted this very, very bright light that just stayed stationary – although my video is a little shaky where I zoomed in -but I know what I saw wasn’t an helicopter (totally no noise) and certainly not a Chinese Lantern (was stationary).

“It seemed brighter to start with and seemed elliptical shape!

“One of my Daughters then sent me a link on Facebook about multiple UFO sightings in Turkey on 28 November which I found a little worrying!

Venus is very commonly mistakenly labeled a UFO.

Torquay harbor. Venus is very commonly mistakenly labeled a UFO.

The light appeared to move, but it actually didn’t. It was the planet Venus, which is very bright after sunset these days. Venus is mistaken to be a “UFO” extremely frequently. The human eye is fooled into thinking it’s moving closer or farther away or changing shape.

SecureTeam10, who bill themselves as “Your number one source for breaking news and exposure of the alien phenomenon!” has a agenda to promote a belief in alien visitation and disclosure. Brando calls them the worst of the hoaxers due to the reach and the attention he gets from major news outlets who never fact-check the articles. News is about clicks, not facts.

Despite that he was debunked many times (by me and UFO Theater), people love his channel. Everything goes viral, and he has become a source for many English tabloids which guarantee him many views.”

The SecureTeam YouTube channel has 638,136 subscribers and 145,971,900 total views. 

This is NOT news but propaganda and lies. People pushing such fake news and hoaxes negatively affect society. Nice going, SecureTeamBS.

  27 comments for “UFO hoaxer fuels worry about an attack on Turkey

  1. Tony
    November 30, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    Sounds like someone was listening to Orson Welles’ famous War of the Worlds broadcast and decided to do a contemporary version, just this time with a thick dollop of fraud.

  2. RL Staff
    November 30, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Put your name to it if its a hoax. Love **** articles like this written by staff. Fake news right here just lile msm you have no *** clue just promote your government own crap. Wake up sheepies amd put your name to it if you stand by it!!!

  3. November 30, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Thank you!
    Finally, a full story about this viral hoax exposing, also, why SecureTeam is a ‘dangerous’ hoaxer who likes to make views and $$$.

  4. November 30, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    It’s not hard to find out who runs this site, it’s under Contact Us, and I’ve never hidden my identity. I put “staff” because Scott helped but will change the attribution and take full responsibility. Scott and I GLADLY put our names out to call out jerks like Glockner who make money off scaring people. I do wonder why you can’t be bothered to investigate this site for validity but yet you say we have no clue? We are following the leads, checking the facts, looking for corresponding evidence, and use reason. If you follow a dude who has been caught in hoax after hoax and never admits is, who are the sheeple, here? Not us, Mr. RL Staff (anonymous). Put your name on your comment if you want to be taken seriously.

    Sharon Hill, Editor

  5. dubious f
    November 30, 2016 at 9:09 PM

    Let’s not forget my favourite Poe, Scott Warning and his pals (secure teamlame and streetcrap and blablablah…)
    These jesters are just in for the buzz and the dough. Sad part is that nowadays, the social hooey net accounts are more easily reachable by the feed than by the 6 o’clock news. Look in the nightsky, after 10 minutes you’ll see something “odd” just like 4000 years ago, but in those days, the viral sighting would stop at your village boundary. Unless a troubadour came knocking…

  6. jeremy
    December 1, 2016 at 4:41 AM

    There is abundant evidence which suggests that the UFO phenomenon is real. I’m not saying there isn’t a lot of fake stuff out there, but there is genuine footage and the Turkey images from a few days ago is in my opinion genuine. If you’d be really interested in finding out more about it you wouldn’t hang out on some dude’s youtube channel. Look at officially released military reports from France, Brasil or Belgium. Objects that couldn’t have been classified by pilots and military staff have been sighted, investigated and documented since a long time, and many of them. The Venus explanation is old and one of the first things people usually come up with as an explanation, along with military flares, weather balloons and so on. Have a look at this http://www.thephoenixlights.net/Myths.htm and reevaluate your stance on this topic. There’s nothing bad about a healthy skepticism and I totally oppose people causing hysteria about alien attacks… but we have to be aware that there are weird things happening that we haven’t figured out yet what it is and we have to get over buying cheap and lazy “explanations” from people who prefer to stay within their comfort zone. This isn’t gonna get us anywhere. regards

  7. dubious f
    December 1, 2016 at 6:32 AM

    Peleaaase! A possibility is not a fact … Sigh, again, even 9 years ago:
    https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4041

  8. jeremy
    December 1, 2016 at 7:41 AM

    …but absence of proof is not proof of absence either.

  9. December 1, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    After enough time, absence of evidence strongly supports a conclusion there IS nothing there.

  10. December 1, 2016 at 8:13 AM

    Jeremy: Your comments contain a lot to unpack. I resent people coming on my site to tell me that reasonable explanations clearly documented are “cheap and lazy” when you point to your “opinion” and a website that wishes to reject any reasonable possibilities.

    As I’ve stated many times before, this isn’t a debating site. You have to come armed with solid evidence for any extraordinary claims. Your opinion that there is something mysterious out there is not adequate. Explanations of Venus (or other planet/moon), weather balloons, mylar balloons, drones, experimental craft, plastic bags, drones, etc. are all good explanations because they REALLY WERE the explanations.

    The Phoenix lights? This is your evidence? Not adequate. It’s well established these were dropped flares.

    I do think we need to establish what we mean by “UFO phenomena”. Of course there are plenty of sightings that do not have a good explanation. There is not enough information to make a judgement on them. It doesn’t matter if it’s the person on the ground seeing it or some military investigator later on. Sometimes, they will be left unexplained. But that does not mean they are some mystery, cover-up, aliens, etc. It is not reasonable to jump to an extraordinary conclusion when an ordinary conclusion works or we just can’t say what, if anything, it was.

    As a retort to your healthy skepticism quip, an open mind is great too but don’t be so open that your brain falls out.

  11. randall krippner
    December 1, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    One thing that has always surprised me about stories like this is how some people grasp at them almost desperately, refusing to see the discrepancies, refusing to look at the actual evidence, refusing to accept actual facts that contradict the claims of the story. We used to call them TBs (true believers) and we could be sure that whenever we debunked a story, a faked UFO photo or whatever, we would quickly have them leap upon us with both feet and descend into abuse. Our researchers were called names, accused of criminal activity, fraud, etc. I, as the person who hosted and edited the website, was accused of being a government agent of some sort and being part of the “cover up”, and, at one point, of being an actual alien who was trying to “deaden the sensibilities of the American people to prepare” them for invasion. We shut down the site after a few months. We were all working full time real world jobs and just didn’t have the resources or the time to keep going, but while we were doing it, it was an eye opening experience into the world of human behavior.

    I have an enormous amount of respect for Sharon and the people she works with who make Doubtful News possible. My experience in this area is 25 years old or more, and was limited to only a few months exposure to this, but it seems things haven’t changed. She and those she works with have far more dedication and patience than I did.

  12. Steve
    December 1, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    “Wake up sheeples”? Now, that’s frigging funny.

  13. Steve
    December 1, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    I’m a smoker and an amateur astronomy buff. When I’m outside having a smoke, at night, I look up, a lot, we have dark skies here. I have seen a handful of UFOs. That means I saw something and didn’t know what it was, at first. I have yet to see an alien spacecraft. If I saw an alien spacecraft, it wouldn’t be a UFO, since I know what it is. Most of the time, it’s been aircraft, or weather conditions. So far, the freakiest and coolest thing I’ve seen, was a meteor skip off the atmosphere. Weirdest trajectory to witness.

    I did my research on Roswell, it’s a collection of stories/folklore. It was a weather balloon, although, a very special, classified one, it was being used to monitor if the Russians were testing nukes. If you look up Joe Kittinger, he was “the alien”, he had a vacum suit malfunction during a jump. There’s more evidence that Alien Spacecraft don’t visit, than any proof they do.

  14. December 1, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    Thanks so much. It’s very easy to burnout, thus I took a break for a few months because there is little support for this kind of task. But along the way, I realized a lot about people. They have different values, motives and ways of thinking about the world than me. I have to continually strive to remember that. I also have an automatic reaction to lash out and must suppress that because it’s not right – and by that I mean both morally right or “correct” in fact. There is always more to the story than we see in the news and in the comments.

  15. December 1, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Anyone who yells “wake up” or “do your research” I categorize as “probably not worth my effort talking to”, they are ideologically trapped where they are and I can’t help. Sad but I have to pick battles.

  16. December 1, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    Commenters:

    A very BASIC request: Please use coherent sentences, grammar, and punctuation or your submissions may not be approved.

  17. Darren
    December 1, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    Nice work Scott! Keep up the great work my friend. Secureteam10 should be made to remove there account and stop feeding there Hoaxes to the local media who are just as gullible as most people who view there garbage!

  18. Kevin B.
    December 1, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    Sharon, you wrote in response to a comment above…..”The Phoenix lights? This is your evidence? Not adequate. It’s well established these were dropped flares.”

    That is not “established” by any serious reckoning of what really occurred. Anyone watching those vids of the Phoenix UFO can see that they never behaved as real flares do. That was the “official” BS line that was thrown out to silence anyone suggesting non-human origin. Witnesses saw that UFO move laterally and it was later spotted moving over Arizona and beyond. Flares drop on parachutes, with smoke emissions. Even the former mayor of Phoenix admitted this afterword. Go check.

    Please understand the topic you pretend to know about before vomiting accusations and standard debunking fare. You might get labelled as a fake debunking site if you don’t apply objectivity to your work.

  19. December 1, 2016 at 5:50 PM

    This is a dead issue. If you keep on bringing up dead issues as mysteries, you may get labeled a crackpot. http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-05-21/#feature

  20. Steve
    December 2, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    Hilarious, even before I watched the video of the Phoenix Lights, I saw a flare pattern in the thumbnail. Sure, they don’t look like artillery flares intended for illumination, they definitely appear to be the thermal flares for anti-missile defense.

    The biggest mistake is to look for something specific. If you look at the sky expecting to see an alien spacecraft, anything you see that you can’t recognize, becomes an alien spacecraft.

    I wanted to believe in such things when I was younger. But, the more mature that I got and the more open-minded research I did, I soon realized there’s nothing there. Heck, The Roswell Mythos is like 3 or 4 separate things rolled into one very tall tale. It’s disheartening to an extant. Things to look for on the BSometer, if it was over a major metropolitan area, why aren’t there dozens of Youtube videos, like the average barfight these days? Does the explanation crap on our understanding of things like physics or biology? Does the story have actual eyewitnesses or is it all secondhand or even thirdhand testimony (cough, Roswell), or can be traced back to a lone, mentally ill person (Philadelphia Experiment)?

    I often find the actual explanations fascinating. Be it an atmospheric phenomenon, camera quirk, space debris, or spacecraft, secret aircraft, or even how they hoaxed it.

    This is a skeptic’s site. If you’re going to insist we’re being visited by alien craft, you best have, audio, video, selfies of you with the alien, and some samples. In short, you best come correct.

  21. December 2, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    I would not call this a “skeptic’s site”. I would call it no-nonsense, pro-science, and rational, though. We might be a bunch of “skepticals” because we require a high bar to accept outrageous claims. A few commenters are not willing to think critically about the things they accept as true in order to understand why we do not accept the same.

  22. BobM
    December 2, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    In the 1950s, a group of New Zealand university students perpetrated a UFO hoax without the use of Internet or cell phone cameras or anything like that. They simply arranged for a group of people to telephone the newspapers I think it was, at set times on a particular day, suggesting that they had seen a UFO. Because the times were slightly different the UFO seem to be progressing its way down the country. I really must look it up, because I heard a talk by the guy who organised the whole thing once. I can’t remember if they admitted to the hoax straight away or waited for years. But there was certainly no attempt to defraud anyone or anything like that. Just a good prank. Incidentally, anyone who uses the word “sheeple” immediately loses the Internet.

  23. December 2, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    It’s rather sad that “hoax” has to be the primary explanation we must consider these days, they are so prevalent.

    Pranks are to be expected but when real people are afraid, then we have more serious problems than lack of sense of humor.

    If you think the “sheeple” guy lost the internet, you might like to know there are several commenters (here, not shown, and on Twitter) who lack contact with reality, calling me “disinformation agent” and that I’m committing “slander”. SMH.

  24. Youvebeenduped
    December 3, 2016 at 3:12 AM

    Here’s a thought…..we all live, exist in our little “bubbles”. Our home, our family, our friends, place of work, co-workers, Facebook community etc. On a day to day existence it seems that it’s all there is..relatively speaking…until we take that business trip, that vacation that requires a plane to travel. Once in the sky..we see from our birds eye view…suburban sprawl lighting up the horizon as far as the eye can see, endless cars traversing endless highways. Then it hits you..”I’m not that important”, there are millions of other stories out there…endless..around this beautiful blue marble. I use this as an analogy to our place in the universe. To think your block is the only one around would be quite preposterous now wouldn’t it? Well it’s quite foolish as well to think Earth is the only “block” in the universe with its lights on. THINK critically Shannon.

  25. December 3, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    It’s Sharon, not “Shannon” and I have learned some critical thinking skills in my time, thank you. I believe you are saying that we should not be so arrogant as to think we are the only life in the universe? This is in response to a post doubting that the incident reported over Turkey was anything other than a hoax. The two concepts are not connected as you have connected them which makes your statements a “straw man” – a false characterization of my argument that you then knock over.

    I will readily agree that there is probably some “life” (in a form we may not imagine) somewhere in our universe or another universe. That does not mean that it is intelligent and can travel and find our planet to have some semblance of interaction with us. So, I disagree – I do not accept aliens are visiting earth in craft that we call “UFOs”. Are you making all those assumptions (in bold)? There is no basis for all of those to be true.

    It’s actually foolish and uncritical to assume that what we see as anomalous lights in the sky are alien spacecraft when there are possibly hundreds of alternative plausible explanations. I am not ready to discard all we have discovered to be true about physics, astronomy, biology and human perception from some YouTube videos or personal claims.

    I suggest you back up, Youvebeenduped, and consider the premise of this story more carefully. There was a claim made that UFOs were attacking Turkey. That has been demonstrably debunked – it was an orchestrated social media hoax. Never once did I say that “aliens don’t exist” which is what you appear to have mistakenly presumed.

  26. BobM
    December 3, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    I think the 1950s was a far more innocent time, when university students – at least in my country – were expected to do a little more than just be educated for a job. When in fact an education meant a little more than just be prepared for work. And consequently they had plenty of time to do stuff like this, which I think was coordinated amongst at least four universities. And people were a lot less afraid, at least in western countries. As you say these days…………

    I have experienced the idiocy as well. Though probably not as much as you, because I only comment rather than write. 🙂

  27. BobM
    December 3, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    You’re a government agent? Apparently I’m a shill for big Pharma. How much do you get paid? Personally I get three fifths of bugger all and I rather resent it. Seriously though, we used to call them true believers possibly because of Eric Hoffer’s book, which I think you can now get free as a PDF and if you haven’t read it, you probably should. It’s quite a quick read, but here is a guy writing around 1951 – an autodidact, who had it sussed even then.

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