Almost every day, new UFO images and videos are posted all over the Internet for everyone to see. Here's one that, at first glance, may have you believing a fleet of otherworldly orbs were captured on video, maneuvering in wild patterns somewhere near Honolulu, Hawaii.
At least that's what it looks like in the following video, posted on Oct. 21, 2015, by YouTube channel Earth & Space News. The UFOs -- for lack of a better word at the moment -- are seen hovering, moving rapidly, darting back and forth, merging with each other, blinking in and out in unison. That's more than you normally get in a UFO video.
While this may appear to be incredible footage of strange lights in the sky, there are some credibility questions here.
First, the identity of the alleged videographer or the exact date and time of the video are not revealed. No information is offered that could help any research effort to learn more about this incident. But the video itself is riddled with visual problems.
"I would say this is definitely CGI [computer-generated imagery]," according to Ben Hansen, the former lead investigator of Syfy Channel's "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files."
Hansen points out several segments of the video that have reliability issues.
"At :26 in, the orb on the far left takes a short jog back and forth that didn't look like it was intended. This happens throughout the video. It looks like evidence of poor anchoring of the object to a fixed reference point," Hansen told HuffPost in an email.
"They do an OK job with tracking the animation layer over the background, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the video was also filmed off a projected screen of some sort to give the impression of zooming in and out with a handheld camera."
And what about all those moments when the alleged UFOs appear to suddenly blink out and then come right back, sometimes doing it simultaneously?
"The fact that the blinking lights usually all go out at the same time might indicate a laziness in editing," Hansen, an ex-FBI special agent, suggests. "It's much easier to turn off a whole animation layer than it is to take the time to individually adjust each light to fade in and out."
And there were weird interactions between the "orbs" and some clouds.
"They had some problems with clouds and rotoscoping (telling the software what objects to treat as separate layers). At 4:50, an orb is traveling upward through the cloud. It disappears through the edge of it as if it was behind the cloud. Yet, it then travels straight down, and now it's on top of the cloud. They either forgot it was supposed to travel behind it, or they just got lazy and didn't think it would be noticed."
Another visual problem occurs with the clouds. If you watch closely, you'll notice how (around the 6:20 mark), as the horizon sometimes bounces up and down, from camera movement, the clouds above it stay in the same place. Shouldn't they bounce as well?
One final issue should at least be mentioned. The following double image shows an identical moment from the video, with one interesting difference: The image on the left was posted by Earth & Space News on Oct. 21 of this year. The right side picture comes from another YouTube channel, FindingUFO, which posted a shortened version of the entire video on March 14, 2013.
While the YouTube channels offered the same video more than two-and-a-half years apart, they both neglected to provide any extra identifying information about its origin.
Don't believe every UFO image or video you see.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place