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Morristown UFO Hoax

Dubbed “The Great UFO Hoax of 2009”, Morristown, New Jersey was the source of a media frenzy a decade ago as a result of a little experiment several jokesters concocted to measure the public response of a UFO sighting. In January of 2009, the perpetrators blogged about and captured a video of UFO’s hovering above the skies of New Jersey. They had simply tied flares to helium balloons with several feet of fishing line connecting the two, and sent them off into the night sky, filming as they went.

In the News

Many people jumped on board to report the sensational news, including TV broadcasters, amateur astronomers, and eyewitnesses. One witness, a pilot, gained lots of media attention about his experience, and of course many conspiracy sites covered the news. However, best of all for the crew behind the prank, the UFO Hunters show on the History Channel covered the show with lead investigator Bill Birnes declaring the sighting couldn’t have been flares or Chinese lanterns.

Proving a Point

The pranksters later came out to claim their work, explaining that it was a big experiment to test the validity and believability behind many UFO sightings. The pair said “Are UFO investigators simply charlatans looking to make a quick buck off human gullibility? … If a respected UFO investigator can be easily manipulated and dead wrong on one UFO case, is it possible he’s wrong on most (or all) of them? Do the networks buy into this nonsense, or are they in it for the ratings?”

Legitimizing UFOlogy

While the curious minds behind this prank have justification for the experiment they conducted, one does have to wonder what the results really mean for the media, UFO enthusiasts, and serious scientists devoted to discovering the truth about UFOs. By definition, UFO’s are unidentified, making them very difficult to pinpoint or prove. As the experiment showed, people do believe in the possibility of alien life coming to visit earth, but it’s hard to draw accurate conclusions when there aren’t exactly facts. All rumors and theories have a grain of truth, and even though this incident may have been staged, it necessarily doesn’t represent conclusive falsity for every UFO sighting. Many incidents have substantial proof that they happened, piquing public curiosity. However, stunts like this hinder the support of the public behind the real research and seriousness devoted to worthy UFO sightings.

For now, the public continues to argue about if UFO sightings are true or not, but if the government is trying to cover-up their existence, the public’s lack of concern on the subject will only bury the truth deeper. Despite reports of fake sightings and practical jokes, it’s more important than ever for true believers to step up and dig in to discover the truth about extraterrestrial visitors and why they’re really here.

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