Conspiracy theorists think they have found photographic evidence of an alien spaceship visiting Earth on... Google Maps.
YouTube account UFOmania posted 'evidence' of a UFO sighting on their page yesterday. It has since been viewed thousands of times, with people thinking it's definitive proof that aliens are traveling all the way to Earth, stopping off for a quick photo opportunity, and then flying away without telling us.
Fellow conspiracy theorists, after viewing the footage and parsing it with everything they know about science and space travel, decided that on balance:
"THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE – so why does NASA, & the American military hide this shit @ every opportunity ?? F.T.N.W.O. ?? ??" and "[Everyone] knows UFOs are a fact, not a maybe."
So after heading here all the way from some distant star, where did the UFO decide to visit? East Lake George in New York state. The aliens got all this way, made it to New York State, and couldn't even be bothered to check out Manhatten.
So, what actually is it? Some people have suggested, not unreasonably, that it could be a water droplet on the lens. This would explain why it looks greenish – it's just a distortion of the mountain behind it. Others have said it's probably a weather balloon, which is normally a good bet whenever somebody spots a UFO.
However, neither is the explanation. The actual explanation is much, much funnier than that.
Google Photosphere is an app that lets you take panoramic photos. You can then add them to Google Maps yourself. Why are we bringing this up?
Here is the Google Photosphere logo.
Notice something, uh, familiar about those contours? Here it is overlaid onto the UFO.
"HOLY CRAP!" we hear you cry, "the aliens are here and they've modeled their UFOs on Google logos!"
Settle down there. Before you leap to that conclusion, we'd like to propose an alternative hypothesis – a YouTube conspiracy theorist has mistaken a watermark for alien life, uploaded it, and a hilarious amount of people think it's proof that aliens exist.