Ben Hansen Of Syfy Channel's 'Fact Or Faked' Examines Your UFOs

Armed with millions of available cell phone cameras and digital cameras, people are looking to the skies around the world, and posting images of apparent UFOs on YouTube every day.

It's about time the FBI helped out with sifting through it all. Or at least former FBI Special Agent Ben Hansen, who now makes a living uncovering the truth behind strange and bizarre sightings.

"I think that having a background in formal investigation helps in a logistical part of how to manage a case, and also gathering information," Hansen told The Huffington Post.


As the lead host and investigator of the Syfy Channel's "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files" series, Hansen, seen at right, uses his FBI-trained skills to debunk fake material and search for the truth. He says most UFO sightings are easily explained.

"It probably falls in the range of about 95 percent. When you actually have a photo or video, I would say the percentage of the unexplained increases a little bit. However, the biggest factor, I think, in the increase [of claimed UFO videos] is due to the availability of computer graphic software."

Hansen looked carefully at several videos for HuffPost Weird News and offered his expertise on whether they're fact or faked.

One video shows three lights in a triangular pattern over an east London power station in August. The lights appear to merge then suddenly vanish in a bright flash.

"The guy who took the video admits in his comments that there are some video cuts, because of his swearing and bad camera work," Hansen noted. "When I go frame-by-frame on this, it's only one frame that flashes out, and it's very easy to replicate just by doing a little artwork around the clouds.

"I give a bit of attention to people's reaction -- they react to different situations in a whole myriad of ways. But I do feel this was a little underwhelming to them. It didn't feel very congruent. When you see something flash out like that, I would be screaming, myself.

"I would give it a 95 percent probability that this has been computer generated," Hansen concluded.

The next item is a video from Russia titled "Shockingly real!" It allegedly shows a group of glowing orbs over a house while other individual orbs move through the sky. They seem to pass behind trees and a power line.

"The title itself is interesting to me," Hansen explained. "There's a tendency for people who lie to over-compensate when presenting a story. By using just the words 'shockingly real,' they're more concerned in convincing you that something is real, rather than just presenting the facts to you."

The former FBI agent points out that one of the orbs in the Russian video actually appears to pass in front of the power line in the picture, rather than behind it. He calls this technique rotoscoping.

"In rotoscoping, what the editor has to do is to basically trace an outline for an object, and they extract that object to another layer of the video. You tell the program, 'I'm extracting this part of the power line,' so when the animated light comes by, I tell the program that this is now a second layer, and it will go behind the power line."

But because Hansen thinks this video didn't quite get it right, what's his "Fact or Faked" legitimacy percentage?

"I'd say this is 98 percent faked. I also really don't like when people put music and theatrical editing behind a video. All I want to see is the raw footage.

"And the other thing about this is that it's pretty typical of some objects that we see, like sky lanterns. What I always tell people is if you've gotten as far as you can with the video or the evidence and you can't figure out the story, figure out the storyteller."

Hansen also likes to remind people that, with sufficient experience, a 14-year-old can turn out work that's comparable to a professional, using the same software.

In the following compilation video, Hansen suggests that the camera movements in some of the examples "are more difficult to replicate and the reactions seem a little more genuine."

Finally, Hansen offers advice to those who continue to fake UFO pictures or videos.

"For the hoaxers, it's fine with me to demonstrate your skills, if you want to take on the UFO or paranormal subjects, but do it ethically.

"The fact is, this phenomenon is real -- it's really happening, and new technology helps us sometimes to get closer to it. But because of the ease of which we're able to now create things ourselves, it's also hindering the field."

Most UFOs can be easily explained. Take a look:

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