Over the last several days, a number of websites have reported that Japan's Nippon Television was covering a story of how a UFO crashed off the coast of Okinawa and that officials had released a photograph of the UFO.
This is either an amazing story or yet another example of how stories of this type often get overblown. In fact, this comes under the category of "You've got to be kidding me."
As reported by inothernewz.com, and picked up by other media sources, the UFO was seen by several news crews, police and emergency vehicles as it sunk in the water near the islands south of Japan on Dec. 4.
That's a lot of potential eyewitnesses. The photo, above, was reportedly released by the Japanese navy. A navy spokesman, Yoshido Hari, has been quoted saying, "We wanted to release this photo to the world and confirm the reports. This picture will give credence to what some of our citizens living in Okinawa witnessed ... We clearly still have many days of salvaging ahead of us, but we will take our time and bring the aircraft up in one piece. We must preserve the object as much as possible."
That's quite a mouthful, if it's true. But this story falls apart on several levels, as ghosttheory.com also points out.
First, the UFO that reportedly crashed off Okinawa is suspiciously identical to a Google Earth image, below, that was one of many shown by HuffPost months ago to be nothing more than lens flares.
Next, while several websites have reported that Nippon TV said a UFO went down off the coast of Okinawa, a simple search of the Nippon TV site -- using the word "UFO" -- shows no results of any recent news item about a UFO.
Next, a simple Google search of "pink ufos" brings up numerous examples -- including the so-called Okinawa UFO -- of camera lens artifacts that aren't even solid objects.
If the Japanese navy had, in fact, released an official photo of a UFO that crashed into the sea near Okinawa, where exactly is that photo? Because the image that's shown up in most stories about the "event" is clearly not the object in question.
It's not known how or where this story even began, but the UFO field is already mired in enough bad stories with bad images and bad videos. It doesn't need any more to drag the credibility of the subject further down, much to the delight of debunkers everywhere.
Check out more pink lens flares that inhabit Google Maps
Check out this group of unexplained lights over Japan, reportedly in November of 2012