UFO experts have investigated reports of a downed alien spacecraft in Brazil, to determine the truth behind the viral story.
Reports of an alien UFO in Brazil took over social media in May this year, with many claiming extraterrestrials crashed just north of Rio de Janeiro. Scores of conspiracy theorists took to Twitter and Facebook to share pictures and video clips of glowing lights in the skies. One video in particular even alleged to show the UFO crash site in the forest of Mage, along Brazil’s east coast and Guanabara Bay.
As the story gained traction, the hashtag #MageUFO began trending on Twitter.
Soon after, the hashtag seemingly disappeared and many of the shared video clips were taken down, leading people to speculate a coverup was in action.
According to the Brazilian news site UOL, local authorities and the Air Force had no record of unidentified flying objects around the time of the supposed crash.
So what exactly happened in Brazil last month and did alien UFOs really visit our planet?
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According to investigators from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the Brazil UFO story was a well-constructed hoax.
The MUFON team said: “The case, which has been widely circulated on social media outlets, has been determined to be nothing more than an elaborate hoax.”
MUFON is a non-profit organisation tasked with collecting eyewitness accounts, videos and photos of UFO sightings.
The investigation into the Brazil UFO was led by the Brazillian Director for MUFON Ademar José Gevaerd.
The MUFON chief determined there was no factual evidence to back the UFO crash story.
He said: “My team and I have intensively investigated this alleged case and found out that it is a total hoax.
“It started with a fake audio about a supposed UFO crash published over the net, later assumed to be a fabrication by the female author.
“As time went on the story got bigger and bigger every day, with many alleged witnesses making all sorts of claims, all disconnected from each other, all exaggerated, and mostly lies.”
According to Mr Gevaerd, some people claimed to have heard “telepathic” requests for help from the downed aliens trapped inside of their spacecraft.
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Others have said children were trapped inside of the UFO, or even more bizarrely, reports suggested predatory aliens that feast on humans were aboard.
The UFO crash story was also debunked by Google after conspiracy theorists shared satellite images of a white object over Mage.
A Google spokesperson told VICE: “What people are seeing in the imagery is a reflection that’s temporarily overloading the satellite’s sensor.
“Essentially, the Sun reflected off the surface of that building just at the right angle to briefly blind the satellite.
“This is a pretty common phenomenon known as saturation or blooming.”
The UFO story was also ridiculed by members of MUFON who expressed their scepticism on the group’s website.
One person said: “Eyewitnesses say. You can make sources or a eyewitnesses say anything you want them to.
“Just hearsay until you have concrete proof. Just like fisherman telling tall tales bout the one that got away.”
Another person said: “Most story’s and photos are just too good to be true.
“Rule of thumb is don’t believe everything you see or hear on the internet.”