Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Changing a “UFO” lightbulb


“Take a look at this photo that I got from Juarez from FESPORTE, of the Santa catarina Federal University, they say it’s a UFO”.

That was the message forwarded by Eustáquio Patounas. The trivial solution and some commentary after the jump.

Patounas himself warned that the image must have been originally of a streetlight, and soon afterwards Paulo César Onofre, from SOCEX, visited the University looking for the “UFO”.

And he found it:


Even before Onofre located the exact streetlight used to create the “UFO”, several people had already noticed that the UFO appeared with a burned lamp. A very nice detail.

This case is trivial, perhaps not worthy of a post, but the UFO with a burned light reminds me of a classic of Internet ufology:


light2cq8In February 2007, user “forked_at_fark” asked for advice in the notorious website. “WTF did I just take a picture of? I thought it was a planet, but it looks really weird”. The first answer, seconds later, was… “a streetlight?”.

Then followed an epic thread (be sure to click the link) with over 1,400 comments, countless jokes and a confident “forked_at_fark” insisting that it couldn’t be a street lamp, since among other things, it was allegedly high in the sky.

But a couple of days later, “forked” captured more images, thought about all the thousands of comments and arguments, and surprise, surprise.

It IS a streetlight. Surprising that NONE of you knew. I am an Idiot — forked_at_fark”.

Recognizing the mistake and playing along, forked_at_fark was evidence, as Skepchick Rebecca Watson noted, that “there is hope for the world, yet”.


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Posted in UFO photos | 4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Joseph Capp February 6th, 2009 5:00 pm

    Dear Fang,
    No matter what you do by pointing out the obvious hoaxes and naive people out there you will never prove these objects are not real. Every day professional people who have a great deal on the line…unlike you put there careers on the line to speak out at what they witnessed. You can cherry pick the evidence all you want you will never change that. People are getting angry at being called liar’s and fools by people like you.
    Joseph Capp
    UFO Media Matters
    Non-Commercial Blog

  2. Mori February 6th, 2009 5:11 pm

    Wow, calm down. Just for the record, there are plenty of unexplained cases out there and the ETH is a plausible explanation for them. It’s just that it hasn’t been proven yet, and the signal, if it exists, is buried among a pile of noise.

    I’m not calling anyone’s a liar or fool here. In fact, by the way, I have just exchanged emails with “forked_at_fark”, seemingly a very resonable person who just made a mistake.


  3. andy December 21st, 2009 10:08 pm

    joseph you seem to have lost all objectivity in your desire to believe ! its all about evidence and unfortunately the overwhelming majority of cases are hoaxes or mistakes

  4. Imshadi July 31st, 2011 9:38 pm

    Wow…. I’ve been reading this site for 24 hours straight. Let me just say I admire your work and your style of writing. It’s not about killing the romance, but about finding better places to put it than mere fantasies. Carl Sagan would be proud.


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