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.
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!
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.