UFOs are reported across the globe on a daily basis, and it's often the same thing -- a circular object shines brilliantly in the sky, and then, instantly, it disappears.
Of course, if an advanced civilization in a far off galaxy had the technology to cross the far reaches of space, we might assume the pilots of those spacecraft could also have a cloaking device or hyperspace afterburners, like you might see in your favorite science fiction movie.
They might even have the ability to slip into and out of other dimensions or realities.
A sighting last month in Ontario, Canada, posted to YouTube, delights viewers' eyes and lives up to every expectation of a close encounter, except in one respect: It probably isn't real.
We generally don't comment on anonymous UFO reports posted on social media. However, this one seems to illustrate an important point, and you might keep this in mind the next time you think you see an ET's spacecraft.
The eyewitness, known only from his V-For-Victor (V4V) YouTube channel, claims that he saw through his bedroom window, "three bright objects in the sky hovering beside each other in a strange formation."
V4V decided to videotape the objects after they began to blink randomly, disappear and reappear in the same spot. The following 13-second video shows some of this activity.
The incident is under investigation by MUFON, an international UFO research organization that collects UFO reports and attempts to come up with credible explanations for those sightings.
MUFON is not related to any academic organization, nor are their internally trained investigators required to have advanced degrees in science.
The first problem with this submission, of course, is that we don't know the identity of the eyewitness.
MUFON claims it withholds a submitter's personal information to save that person the negative attention that might come from claiming to see a UFO.
That's understandable. Nobody wants to be dismissed as a kook. Still, that means we know nothing about this person's credibility, mental health or sobriety at the time of the incident. He or she might simply be a prankster.
In this particular case, HuffPost reached out for more information to V4V, who didn't respond to our request.
The YouTube posting does provide some background, at least.
"I have no idea how high and how far away the UFOs were," V4V says. "[They] looked very large. I did not hear strange noises or any aircraft engines ... The color of the UFOs was a yellow/orange, almost like car lights."
But we don't know exactly when the incident took place because the witness' post contains conflicting information, and there are no corroborating witnesses.
His written report begins with: "Filmed with a iPad Air 2, on Feb. 19, 2016."
Yet, just below that, where the incident description actually unfolds, it says: "On Feb. 21, 2016, at around 5:50 PM, I witnessed 3 UFOs hovering outside."
So, did this take place on Feb. 19 or Feb. 21?
A Holland-based YouTube channel, FindingUFO, presents information, news and videos about dubious UFOs, submitted by people from around the world. The channel added some visual enhancements to the Canada video, in the following attempt to better clarify the UFOs in this story:
Some of the comments on the YouTube page of the original report support the eyewitness' testimony of capturing something very unusual in the sky.
Others weren't so kind, suggesting the UFOs were simply window-reflected lights.
HuffPost showed the video and written report to Marc Dantonio, a video and image specialist of FX Models, who uses advanced software tools in his photo analysis work.
"Interesting video," Dantonio emailed HuffPost. "However, I noticed something peculiar when the objects vanish in the 'sky.' I say 'sky' that way because, in my opinion, they were very likely not in the sky at all. I could see, at one point in the video, the edge of a window. I believe we are seeing lights reflected in a window, and the 'winking out' is just the light becoming blocked in the room, and thus, no longer reflecting in the window.
"The right-hand light goes out top to bottom. It's like someone slid a piece of paper or cardboard down in front of the lights one by one. In my opinion, we are looking through a window and viewing light reflections that were extinguished manually, one by one."
We're not saying this is what V4V did. We're just keeping the dialogue open.