The 9 Most Successful Real-Life Alien Hoaxes

The most successful alien hoaxes of all time might have fooled some of us for a while but in the end, science reigned supreme as the hoaxes were debunked one by one. TV shows like the X-Files make us want to believe that are out there somewhere making it no surprise that every so often when “proof” of alien life pops up, everyone’s curiosity perks up a bit. While believers go nuts over the latest theory, photo, or video “proving” that little green men visited Earth, scientists are hard at work debunking these hoaxes.

There have been numerous and alien hoaxes throughout the years, some much more successful than others, but all were eventually deemed garbage. Videos claiming sightings over areas like Jerusalem were later proven to be digitally altered. Scientists called a shenanigans on a NASA scientist’s arsenic-eating microbes. Even the famous supposed alien autopsy was eventually deemed a sham after the creator of the fake corpse confessed to an elaborate hoax.

But those are only a few of the well-executed alien hoaxes to pop up in recent years. Other alien stories are still being told by those who claim to have been eyewitnesses to the action. Retired Air Force officer Bob Jacobs still claims to have seen a UFO in the 1960s, despite the fact that Bill Nye proved his story is bogus. William Rutledge claims to have found a whole alien city on the dark side of the moon when he went into space on the non-existent Apollo 20 mission. Rutledge, however, is the only person who can vouch for the claim. Even a real NASA scientist, Richard B. Hoover, claimed to have found bacteria on a meteorite, proving life in space, though no one has believed much of his claims for many years.

While these alien hoaxes have been ruled out as nothing more than fantasy, the possibilities for actually finding life on other planets is still wide open. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll actually find some little green men out there somewhere? Until then, these fictional alien stories will have to suffice.

Fox News and the Microscopic Aliens

NASA scientist Richard B. Hoover got the attention of Fox News in March 2011 when he presented “evidence” of microscopic bacteria he found in meteorites. Clearly proof of life on other planets? Not so fast! Mr. Hoover apparently has been trying to pass off this so-called evidence for many years. Each time it’s been debunked with one biology professor going as far as saying “this work is garbage.”

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NASA STS-75 Tether

Ever seen the NASA STS-75 “tether” video, which clearly shows unexplained round objects which seemingly float around in space? Obviously, if it’s on tape, it must be true. Well, that’s where the “UFO Hunters” from History Channel series disagree. As they debunk the UFO hoax, the investigators prove that what appears to be strange flying objects on the video are actually nothing more than ice crystals floating in front of an old panoramic camera.

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Apollo 20 Moon Mission

Quick history lesson: The Apollo program, which put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 on the moon in 1969, was canceled for financial reasons. That meant that despite the fact that the Saturn rocket needed for Apollo 20 was already built, the mission would never exist, except in conspiracy theories. Some claim that the Apollo 20 mission did take place in 1976 as a joint project between the United States and USSR. Not only did it happen, but the astronauts found a whole ancient city on the moon complete with an alien spaceship and dead alien corpses. Too bad only one person (on Earth) tells of this tale, William Rutledge, a proud member of Apollo 20.

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Alien Signal from Jupiter

According to so-called astronomers, back in the 1980s, NASA and SETI researchers were contacted by aliens who were hanging out on Ganymede, one of Jupiter’s moons. The coded message, which only appeared for a few moments, wasn’t decrypted and even attracted the attention of President Reagan. Too bad the message, claimed to have been found by notorious hoax-starter Judy Fältskog, was later debunked by scientists. Fältskog later distanced herself from the claims.

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Jerusalem UFO

Supposed UFO videos are a dime a dozen these days but rarely does one captivate believers as much as the Jerusalem UFO videos that circulated in January 2011. Three videos sprung up mysteriously, all showing a lighted saucer-like object that could be seen falling from the sky, hovering over the Dome of the Rock then quickly shooting straight up and out of the atmosphere. Three videos can’t lie, right? They can when they were digitally altered with sophisticated video editing software, as was later proven.

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Bob Jacobs’ UFO Claims

While serving as the officer in charge of optical instrumentation with the United States Air Force in 1964, Bradley University professor Bob Jacobs claimed that he saw a UFO while witnessing a missile launch in California. Under the orders of his commanding officer, Jacobs was led to believe that it was simply a laser, not a UFO. Seems legit, right? It did, until Bill Nye the Science Guy debunked the story on national television with the help of “Larry King Live.”

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The Face on the Surface of Mars

Back in 2004, scientists and armchair astronomers were all excited after the Mars Rover apparently sent photos showing what appeared to be a face in the dirt on Mars. More photos came in supposedly showing a bowl, a stove, and other martian tools. While many wet their pants with the thought of real proof of alien life, other (more-respected) scientists debunked it as nothing more than pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon that causes people to see things that are not there, like the Virgin Mary grilled cheese.

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NASA’s Arsenic Eating Microbes

After teasing a huge announcement, in 2010 NASA scientists claimed to have found an entirely new type of microbe, one that ate arsenic rather than phosphorus. They went on to say that the discovery opened the door for where life could live, almost assuring the doting public that aliens were out there somewhere. It didn’t take long however, before renowned science writer Carl Zimmer tore the report apart calling the paper that “should not have been published,” fatally flawed.

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That Alien Autopsy Hoax from the ’90s

We’ve all seen the black and white tabloid magazines claiming to have found Bat Boy and other out-of-this-world things, but one magazine pulled off the ultimate alien hoax back in 1995. The Skeptical Inquirer said it had a video of an autopsy preformed on an alien corpse found in a crashed UFO from 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico. Everyone was an instant believer, that was until John Humphreys, a sculptor and movie special-effects creator, admitted to crafting the alien body for a documentary film.